I’m just not very into it. I don’t keep up with what’s popular. Most of the time if I go to a bar and a restaurant and they are bragging about having live music, I want to go somewhere else. In the car I listen to podcasts or NPR. I mean, I listen to music while I’m at the gym and occasionally we will play something in the background while we are cooking dinner, but I’m not one of those people who just has to have a soundtrack to their life.
T2 is. He has his iPad with Pandora on it and is always playing something. If he’s playing the X-Box or PlayStation, he has music on. If he is reading, he has music on. Walking around the house? Music on. Taking a shower or using the toilet? Music. He’s a big Pitbull fan. Pitbull is a Cuban-ism performer from Florida who is very popular but pretty terrible too. T2 also generally likes anything with an electronica feel to it. I think. I mean, I think that’s what the kind of music he likes is called, like I said, I’m not a music guy. For some reason, Cass bought him a little speaker to plug into the iPad and so now we all have to listen to it to. The most uttered phrase in our house has become, “T2, turn that down!”
Oddly, although I am not into music I do like to sing. This isn’t the same as being good at singing. I don’t let that stop me.
I may have mentioned this before but when I was in first grade I was chosen, by virtue of being the only kid in my class who knew all the words, to sing “The Little Drummer Boy” at the school Christmas pageant. I got up in front of the whole school and all the parents, surrounded by classmates who made little drums out of Quaker Oats cans, and sang the whole song solo. I had a speech impediment at the time, so “Come they told me…” was transformed into “Cwoom, dey twoold me…” like a six year old Elmer Fudd. I was fucking adorable. I received a standing ovation. My mother will, I am sure, confirm both of these facts in the comments below.
Sadly, that was the peak of my performing career. My voice is terrible and nobody has asked me to sing in public since. But I like words, I like lyrics, and so that is why, I think, I like to sing without being a music lover. I sing in the shower, in the car, in the kitchen, really in any given opportunity. Yesterday, I sang almost all day.
I got up, went into T2’s room to wake him up and have him get ready for school and, instead of talking, I started singing in the style of musical theater- very specifically in the style of Les Miserable.
I kept it up all morning and into the evening.
Reactions fell into four camps. Cass did what she generally does when I or the boys are being weird. She largely ignored it. Starbuck the dog loves it when I sing and so she was very enthusiastic about the whole affair. T1 was grudgingly amused, mimicking his mom by not actually addressing the fact I was singing instead of speaking. T2 hated it.
“PATRICK,” he screeched upon being woken up by the melodious tones of me, “STOP IT!”
And that’s how he responded almost every time I would burst into song for the rest of the day.
This is odd, because usually when I decide to do something fun and/or weird T2 is the one I can count on for support. Not in this case.
The boys went to school, Cass and I went to work and that evening at dinner I resumed my performance. Finally, his mouth full of cod (his fish of choice) T2 broke.
“PATRICK!” he yelled, “SERIOUSLY STOP IT!”
“I caaaaaaannnnnn’t,” I sung.
“Why are you doing this?” he asked. “Actually, WHAT are you doing?”
“I’m glad you finally asked,” I said. “I am singing in the style of Les Miserable, specifically the song from that musical called ‘The Confrontation.’”
“What is Les Miserables?” he asked.
“It’s a about a guy named Jean Valjan who, in gets arrested for stealing some bread in order to feed his niece and who gets sentenced to twenty years in prison. He does that and then, when he gets out, he runs away to start a new life. However, a policeman named Javert chases after him for like another twenty years and tries to put him back into prison. Also, the French Revolution happens. Everybody sings.”
“He chases him for twenty years?” asked T2.
“Yeah, “I said, “I think that is right.”
“He is not a very good policeman.”
T2 got up to get some more fish. He patted me on the arm as he passed by, shook his head at me and said, “We don’t live in a musical, Patrick.”
Which is true. A person can try though.
“Can we go get ice cream?” asked T1.
“No,” I said, reflexively.
“What if they sing?” asked Cass.
“DEAL!” I exclaimed.
T1 was down for it and immediately busted into a rendition of the theme song from The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, altering the lyrics slightly to make it a little more ice cream themed. It was a valiant effort.
He tried to get his brother involved, but T2 wanted no part in this nonsense and went downstairs, declaring that if he had to sing to get ice cream then he didn’t want any ice cream.
I took him anyway.
I imagine if I was Pitbull, he would have sung.