Tubthumping

My Story in Song: Part 4




You’re free at 4, right?



I held my breath as I sent the text and then hopped back and forth to burn off some nervous energy. A more conscientious person might have paused for a moment to wonder what in the world had gotten into her. Me, I was riding the high that came along with the first beautiful day after a long, cold winter, so instead I just laughed, inebriated with sunshine and thoroughly amused by how crazy I was about to sound.



My phone buzzed and I read the text.



Yes.



Great, I’ll see you in 10. We’re going on a field trip.



I tossed my phone in my bag and hurried out the door, not giving either of us a chance to back out. One quick car ride later, and I was picking up a practical stranger to accompany me on some errands.


The stranger in question was New Kid, a wayfarer who had decided to pit stop in Toronto for a while. We met through a friend, and though we had only spoken a few times before, we got along well. He seemed like a good guy, but he was quiet. Reserved.


Which, of course, only served to pique my interest.

Not in a romantic sense, of course. I was still dating my boyfriend after all, and besides, New Kid was wholly committed to his vagabond life – a huge plus in my books, because with that came a commitment to singlehood. Finally, here was a man that I could truly just be friends with.



Well, maybe. He would have to pass a little test of mine first.



“Here.” I handed New Kid my decade-old blue iPod nano as he got into the passenger seat of my car. “Pick your favourite song out of what’s on there.”



“Oh.” He sounded surprised. “I don’t really know a lot of music.”



But to his credit, he scrolled through the list anyway.



“What’s this?” he asked, selecting a song and listening intently as a nonsensical narrative began to play.



“Oh, you'll definitely know this song,” I reassured him. “Just wait for the chorus.”



In my periphery, I watched him squint as though trying to concentrate and stifled a grin. Any second now…


“I get knocked down, but I get up again!”

Finally, recognition set in as the 90's party anthem blared over the speakers. “Oh, I know this song!”



“It’s great, eh?” I laughed, setting that grin free and sounding very Canadian in the process.



It was an excellent, if unintentional, choice. Tubthumping brings me back to my first time rocking out with my brother – at the ripe old age of five. I love throwbacks and I would, under normal circumstances, be singing/yelling right along with the track.



The man I had spent the last five years with, however, very clearly resented my penchant for car karaoke. With that in mind, I offered New Kid what I thought would be the ultimate favour: “I’ll spare you my awful singing.”



But that’s when he turned to me and said, in all seriousness, “I will do no such thing.”


And then. He started. TO SING.

He wasn’t trying to be funny. He wasn’t trying to entertain me. He was just genuinely having a good time. I was stunned. Not just a little surprised, mind you. We’re talking jaw-dropping-onto-the-floor kind of stunned. Tune-out-the-world-and-take-a-minute-to-process-this kind of stunned. This-guy-is-freaking-amazing-and-we’re-about-to-be-best-friends kind of stunned.



New Kid was singing in my car.



How awesome is that?



Listen to Tubthumping here