A Birthday and/or/with Joy


Here is my Steady Girlfriend, Joy Riner Taylor, in the haloed darkness of a service-for-six karaoke room. Some days back she asked me what I wanted for my birthday, and what kind of cake I wanted. I asked for a Scrabble Night Party at her stepmom Genny’s house, and a lemon cake with lemon frosting. My dear Joy gave me EXACTLY what I asked for, Saturday night. The delicious sweet/tart cake had added lemon juice in the cake, and thinly sliced lemon circles on top of the frosting. Best cake I’ve had in forever. And I won the Scrabble game by one point, only because Genny’s Scrabblemaster daughter Marleah was keeping score, and fudged the numbers. (I think.)

Then there was today . . .


Today Joy, my daughter Kate, the Karaoke Fanboy himself, Russ Kazmierczak, his lovely and nice girlfriend Randi, and I appropriated a karaoke room at the Geisha a Go Go out Scottsdale way. I put my meager vocal talents to work on “Homeward Bound,” “Blowin’ In the Wind,” “Piano Man,” “Forever and Ever Amen,” and “The Dance,” which I dedicated to the memory of my friend Karen Wilkinson. Joy joined me in another Garth Brooks song, “Friends In Low Places.” Russ KILLED on songs like Rod Stewart’s “Forever Young” and Jim Croce’s “Time In a Bottle.” Kate did the Blink 182 song “All the Small Things,” and Randi sang “Can’t Fight the Moonlight” as softly as, well, Moonlight.

The laden table above reminds me of another song, Bob Dylan’s “Restless Farewell,” a good way to close:

O all the money that ever I did spend
Be it gotten most right- or wrongfully,
I let it slip gladly to my friends
To tie up the time most forcefully.

But the bottles are gone
We’ve killed each one
And the table is full and overflowed,
And the corner sign
Says it’s closing time,
So I’ll bid Farewell and be down the road.

–But before I go, THANK YOU to those who shared my Birthday, and those who wished me well; and especial thanks to Joy, whom I love.


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