“Sing me a song,” the woman across the table demanded. “Any song.”
I looked up from rearranging my BLT the way I like it: lettuce, then bacon, then tomato. LBT. It had to be like that. But my concentration was skewed now, my structural plans rudely interrupted.
“A song,” she repeated in an irritated tone, as if I was the one interfering with her time. “Sing it. Anything. Just anything.”
I narrowed my eyes, a thick piece of tomato dangling from my cold fingertips. “Why?”
“I’ve got this terrible song stuck in my head, and it’s driving me crazy. I need something different.”
Setting down the tomato–it had to be touching the mayonnaise, but the bacon absolutely could not, that was not allowed–I exhaled through my nose. “I can’t sing.”
“Doesn’t matter, no one on the radio can either.”
I had a thing or two to say about that, but smartly chose to let that opinion rest. “What song?
The line of her mouth twisted into a curvy, downward bend. “Just said it doesn’t matter. Anything but this one.”
I thought about it. What should I sing? The obvious choice was to sing something that would flatter my voice, something that would best suit its range and ability. That wasn’t much to work with. Another choice would be to sing the first song that came to my head, yet this seemed equally impossible, for like most things, a great list of them projected across my mind like a film reel on fast forward. Desperate, I looked around for inspiration.
Well, here was a table–did any songs exist about tables? There was my lettuce, which was becoming disappointingly soggy. Moon Over Miami, maybe? I asked myself where that had come from. Right, that joke about “eggs over my hammy.” Ham, bacon. Bacon which was now congealing in its own luscious fat.
“You really can’t think of anything?” the woman huffed. “What do you do here, anyway?”
“I run diagnostics.”
“Hm. You’re obviously one of those left-brained people. You could use a bit more creativity in your life, you know. Left-brained people suffer from that.”
Who was she to say it like I had some sort of disease? I poked a tomato slice back into place and finally closed the sandwich back together, being extra precise. Half a piece of bacon stuck out, so I had to reopen it and start the process over.
“Really? Nothing?” she prompted again, checking her watch. It was probably past her lunch hour, and she had taken up a quarter of mine.
I didn’t feel like she should walk away with confirmed beliefs about left-brained diseases, so I resolutely lifted my chin and started to sing one of my favorites.
“A Christmas song?” she barked, more offended by the minute. “Who sings Christmas songs in April?”
Apparently I did. The weather wasn’t frightful, but her expression was. With much snorting and grumbling she gathered her things and left me to my soggy sandwich, though I knew she would be humming the song to herself for the rest of the day. It was impossible not to. And now that I had it on repeat in my mind, I conquered the sandwich with much more enthusiasm. Perhaps her interference had been useful after all.
“Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow . . .”