After a simply exhausting day on the beaches of Corsica, Amanda and I decided to nap, supp and explore the ship. It was that evening (on the predominately European boat) that we stumbled upon an English-speaking hang out---the piano bar. As we passed by, a sexy Australian voice serenaded the crowd with pub-favorites and funny jokes; jokes I could actually understand.
Happy to hear something I didn’t need Amanda to translate, I convinced her to duck in for a drink. There were Scotts, Irishmen, Australians, Englishmen and even a few Americans---but still, no potential flings in site. Everyone was holding someone else’s hand, or (depending on their alcohol intake) someone else’s tush.
We avoided those people.
We held onto our drinks instead and moved closer to the piano. The pianist looked up and smiled as if to welcome us to his humble home.
Once some of the sillier songs were out of the way, he began crooning a Sinatra classic---Fly Me to the Moon. My ears perked up as his vocals took on an almost Jamie Cullum quality; with a confidence and rasp I hadn’t heard in his other ditties.
Side-note… Jamie Cullum ranks number two in the “men I’m allowed to leave you for” list. When I enter into a serious relationship, my terms are clear. If someday I meet and/or manage to intrigue Michael Buble, Jamie Cullum, George Clooney or James Morrison, pack yo’ bags, sucka!
But, I digress…
As the set was ending, Amanda nudged me. “Ask if you can sing one, Al!”
[Amanda and I routinely seek ways to show off our vocal prowess in public; in her opinion this was a golden opportunity.]
“Oh… no. People are leaving and I’m sure this gentleman has other things to do.”
“So you’re a singer, aye?” the Australian musician interrupted.
“Yes” I chuckled. “I sing jazz back in New York.”
“Are you taking the piss out of me?” he asked.
“Oh, umm… piss? No, of course not, I don’t want your pi---”
“So what are we singing?” he laughed.
I softly performed The Nearness of You, after which he invited me for a drink.
Twenty minutes later, we were sitting in a booth at the club, conversing quite easily. He wasn’t wonderful looking, and his club-dancing turned out to be hilariously awkward---but what he was about to say would seal the deal.
“I’ve actually met Cullum!”
This seemed so inconceivable, so incredible, so indescribable, I had to hear it again.
“Yeah… we were signed to the same label back in the day. He bought me a drink and told me about his upcoming covers. He’s a goofy mate, I tell ya.”
Great voice, nicely dressed, no wedding ring AND he was now the *one* degree of separation between me and my creative idol. Sold! This guy was getting a kiss!
We sauntered along the windy decks, discussing music, performing and family. Being a ship-employee, he knew all the best views. “Ladies first.” He said as we climbed the stairs to an upper deck. But I couldn’t wait… I wanted my kiss and I wanted it now! I turned around to meet his gaze---er, at least I would have met his gaze if I hadn’t tripped on my heel and fallen down five steps.
“Oh shit!” he screamed. “Are you okay?”
“Oh yeahh…. Fine. Nobody saw that.”
“What was that about?”
“I was turning around because, well…[what did I have to lose?] I thought you might like a kiss.”
“Oh…” he replied. “Alex I would,” he said helping me up. “You’re lovely, but there are cameras everywhere. I’d get the sack if they caught me fraternizing with a guest.”
“Right… right. That makes sense.”
--- Awkward silence---
“Well… I’d better turn in.” I said, limping away.
“Are you sure you don’t want…”
“I’m good! Have a great night!”
And the saga continues...