Meanwhile, Back in Seattle

Imagine you’re at The Comet on a Wednesday night. Someone comes in and starts setting up equipment in your vicinity. A band? The long table that you’re sitting at is moved and replaced with the big round industrial-spool table and an extension cord is threaded behind your legs. You take the hint and find a new seat at the end of a table where an old man is staring blankly at his Budweiser.

Two guys are across the table from you, one with frizzy curls and the other dressed a little conservatively. They keep telling you that they’re from California. “So, what are you doing up here?” “Oh, we work at Amazon.” Of course they do, where else would they work?

You don’t figure out what’s happening until the tables are seeded with song-directories, despite the fact that the equipment in the corner has started to resemble a karaoke machine.

Ingrid perks up. “Karaoke? It’s been awhile!” She pretends she’s not interested. But after the slightest encouragement, she starts making a list of all the songs in her repartoire. She says they’re all men’s songs. Songs with female singers tend to be kind of syrupy. (You don’t recognize most of the titles.)

She chooses Knock Three Times. She frets a bit before taking her selection to the karaoke-guy, and she worries a little while she waits for her turn and a singer pours her heart into an Alanis Morisette song.

Ingrid is introduced and she shuffles over. She takes the microphone, the music starts, and she closes her eyes. And she is into it! She sings with complete confidence, not looking at the lyrics scrolling by on the monitor, hitting every note. And she’s good! She punctuates every other note with a practiced hip swing or an arm motion – different knocking motions for “knock three times on the ceiling” and “knock two times on the pipe”.

That’s it.

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