He’d never been to karaoke, let alone karaoke in a bar inside a bowling alley. So one Saturday night he walked the few blocks from his house to the bowling alley for karaoke at The Decanter Lounge.

He didn’t want to sing. He was terrified of that.

He wanted to see what it was like. He wanted to see people in public behaving much differently than he ever would. On a stage. In front of other people. He wanted to see what nightlife on a Saturday was like for people other than himself.

He went in. He got a seat and drank some beer and watched and listened to karaoke. It was mostly country. A guy sitting next to him at the bar remarked on his t-shirt. The guy said he had KISS Destroyer on CD in his car, but admitted Rock and Roll over what his favorite album. The guy said hardly anybody in the bar ever got up and sang rock.

That guy left so he sat at the bar, alone, and drank some more. He got drunk enough. He was delighted to see people make fools of themselves publicly and not caring one goddamned bit about it. He watched and drank for a few hours, then he walked back home.

At work he was asked what he did over the weekend. He said he went to karaoke at the bar in bowling alley near his house.

They asked if he sang.

He said, “No. I’d never get up there and sing. I’m way too inhibited.”

“Then why did you go?” they asked.

“To look and listen.”

Later, they got together and discussed. They said he must be depressed. They said he must have gone there in hope of finding a woman. They said there must be something wrong with him, for who in their right mind would go to karaoke alone with no intention of getting up on the stage to sing or finding someone to take home?

Many reasons for his strange behavior were surmised. But the one that never saw the light of day was the simple fact that he’d never been to karaoke before.

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