Mercy

8 Jan

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“At high tide the fish eat ants; at low tide the ants eat fish.”

Thai Proverb

 

 

I leave my apartment a couple of times a week and drop into a karaoke bar where I’m the only so-called white guy. Two nights ago, a middle-aged Korean man told me about his son who died in infancy. Then he sang “Tears in Heaven” by Eric Clapton.

I was talking to another guy who showed me his X-rays – he had a month to live. Then he sang “Power of Love” by Celine Dion. I don’t care how cheesy Celine Dion is – this guy sang from the heart. It was like Tom Hanks in Philadelphia listening to Maria Callas; except this Korean guy wasn’t listening – he was singing.

I love the way karaoke allows people to let their emotions hang on their sleeves. They always ask me to sing “My Way.” Then, late at night, I grab the mike and sing ”Satisfaction,” giving it all I got on the “Hey, hey, hey…that’s what I say.”

The bar maid, Gina, tells me her favorite thing is going to the beach and looking at the horizon line. Something she gets to do about twice a year.

She e-mailed me today for the first time. At first, I thought it was spam.

She thanked me for all the kindness I showed her.

(2005)

 

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