Six months ago today (August 12, 2015), I walked into 12 Kings Pub with the intent of effortlessly pulling off the premier of my open mic night. Little did I know that my life was about to change in a very significant way.
I chatted a bit with the owner, Armin, and he showed me the lay of the land -- where the sound board was, where I had to switch cables to connect the sound board and output with the system in the Pub, etc. I got to work, and started plugging things in, and flipping switches, etc. and I couldn’t get my guitar to work. I called Armin over and asked if he could help me get it working, and he couldn’t. So I told him not to worry, I had a few friends who might be able to help.
I called one friend - no answer. I called another friend - no answer. My panic was setting in and my hopes and dreams of pulling off an effortless premier were fading fast. I was so determined to make sure this night went off without a hitch that I called someone I hadn’t ever met in real life yet.
I went out to a quieter spot in the Pub, and I dialed. And it rang. And I waited. And then I heard a confident yet tentative “Hello?” He answered! My first hurtle had been overcome.
I may have stuttered and laughed (I laugh when I’m nervous) as I fumbled over my words to explain who I was (he knew very well who I was), and I asked him what he was up to, and he said he was just finishing work. So I explained a little further that I was having some trouble getting my sound board to work at the open mic I had mentioned to him earlier, and he asked me to talk him through what I was doing. So I ran back to the sound board and tried to explain what I saw, which made no sense to him. So he said “I’ll be there in 15 minutes. Is that ok?” Of course it was ok! I answered an emphatic yes and thanked him a few times over in a way that reminds me of DJ Tanner saying “Thank you thank you thank you!” every time she got her way. He said he couldn’t stay long, just enough time to help me out, but then he had to be on his way.
Fifteen minutes later, in walks this handsome man with a confident strut that had my attention from the moment I saw it. Of course I recognized him from the photos he had sent me. I composed myself; I threw a quick smile to my friends Maggie and Mia, who were there to support me on my premier night, and walked over to him. I probably stuttered and laughed some more, and showed him where the sound board was. Armin joined us after a minute or so, and within seconds, he had it working again. They left me to continue setting up and get on with the show.
Chaz (that is the name of the mystery man) went over to the bar, ordered a beer, and sat far enough from the stage so that he could slip out when he had to get going, but close enough that I could still see him.
I started off my first set, and if I recall correctly, I started with an original that was Maggie’s favourite. I kept singing, and Chaz was still there. I’m sure it had been way past the “enough time to help me out” mark, but there he still was. Once I settled the next singer on stage (Greg Pun, another very good friend of mine and the other half of The Princess + The P), I went over and chatted. Since it didn’t appear he was leaving any time soon, I invited him to sit with my friends over near the stage. So there we sat, Chaz chatting with Doug, me chatting with Nona, and then Greg and I taking turns at sets and duets on stage.
At the end of the night, when I wrapped everything up, Chaz was still there. So just the two of us sat and talked for another hour or so until we saw it was after midnight and that we both had to work the next day. We went outside where I hailed a cab, and we parted ways.
Six months ago today (August 12, 2015), I met Chaz Barker. He is the most patient, smart, caring, kind, loving and supportive person I have ever met and I count myself to be so very lucky to have found him. He makes me laugh every day, and I feel like I can be my true self around him. He has changed my life in so many ways, and I am very much in love with him.