I sing. Not so much in the shower, because I can't stand the decibels there, but in church, with a group of friends (led by H2). I sing while looking through the skylight, up at the pines that tower over our little church, over the congregation's faces. At least I'm no longer standing with my side to them like when I couldn't bear to see that there's an audience out there.
I used to do what's called "public speaking," back in the day when I was saving the world for a living. I did it for years and always hated it. So I stopped. If I had a nickel for every person who's tried to convince me since that I "can do it"... Nope, I tell them. Not interested.
But singing is another story. I won't ramble on too much about why and how, but singing is a whole lot like channeling someone or something else for me. It may be me who's standing up there, but it's not me who you're hearing.
Fortunately, The Editor likes my singing, or at least, he does a damned good job of making me think he does. Works for me.
One of the ways he harps, pardon me, bestows his admiration on me is with frequent suggestions that I "YouTube" myself.
Note: I don't play an instrument (other than an autoharp, poorly, which doesn't count in my book), so any video of me singing would necessarily be acapella. Sort of triples the fear factor for me and [Editor's note: what I imagine] the grimace factor [Editor's note: might be] for listeners.
I finally succumbed to his pressure one night. He was out of town and it'd been awhile since we'd had the pleasure of each other's company in a romantic way. I was alone while The Boy hung out with his dad elsewhere, and there was nary an item on my calendar. Plus, the mail had delivered one of those checks that puts my shopping cart over the beer edge.
Add to all that the fact that it was The King's birthday, and you have a recipe for YouTube-in.
I dutifully put my heart in my hand and recorded myself singing one of Elvis' sweeter songs.
You'll never see it. The Editor never did either. Nor will anyone. The situation unraveled along these lines:
After countless takes, I uploaded a video, marked it private, and emailed a link to my favorite Editor. I clearly recall holding my breath upon clicking 'send'. The Editor being on a whirlwind tour of his mother's home, the time to sit still and listen to my sappy vocal meanderings never presented itself. I bolstered my confidence with the idea that he likely is attracted to other facets of my personality, so my YouTube debut wouldn't make or break this relationship. Then he spent an entire day and night wandering the skies of the midwest, after missing his first flight and playing the Stand-by Game. I instructed him not to view the link while in airports, but not because it was naughty. Eventually we learned that my designating the video "private" wasn't a good idea, since I'd sent him a basic link (which wouldn't allow him access.) Two days after uploading the still-unseen video, I retrieved a specially coded link and emailed it.
Finally, three days after I'd mustered the nerve to sing on camera and plaster the Internet with the results, The Editor let me know again that the new link wasn't working either. That notice came around the same time that he decided to share with me some details on his beloved ex-wife's penchant for sharing erotica with him.
Suddenly, my YouTube premiere seemed way out of place -- couldn't quite put my finger on the squirmy feeling I had inside, but I surely knew how to remedy it. I scrambled to the URL and clicked "delete" without a second thought. I felt clean again.
There're a whole lot of things that shouldn't be done or said. Then, there are a few things in this world that are simply better left done in the presence of another human. It's good to feel clear about that.