vendredi, vendredi
i was supposed to wake up early to see imelda play, but of course i woke 40 minutes before her set, and missed the entire show. :-( but it's all good.

imelda works at the state and randolph borders, and she opened for an author of a self-help book. i heard the audience clap and the writer congratulate imelda as she made her exit.

"i played the usual songs from the open mics," she said, waving her hand. she said two others from the open mics showed up, and her husband gabe and friend were there.

she's known for hilarious "cartoon junkie," but a song of hers that's currently haunting me is "anniversary."

they heard me scream from the top of my lungs
so they came to see what the yelling was all about
give me this moment, some other life
i am still young and i need to grow old

up the stairs and down the hall where they saw my hand
laying gently on the floor, didn't stand a chance
momma, she held me up to hold on tight
saying she is still young and she needs to grow old

i will never be great
oh, one more time they hear the things you always say
you'll grow up strong they'll help you rise
will carry on to everyone's surprise

friends will come and friends will go, remembering me
light me like a candle on my anniversary
go on now i'm on my way
was this my life?
i am still young and i need to grow old

[ listen ]

did she kill herself or was she killed? i asked her.

her expression grew serious and solemn. "it was about one of gabe's high school friends who suffered an arranged marriage. they're vietnamese, she was killed. they were dating in high school, and she realized that she didn't like him at all, but he was obssessed with her. gabe said he threw out the family from their house and locked her up in their room, and they stayed there until it happened," she told me.

well, it sounds like a saving-face issue, i said. i mean, it was arranged for him and there's certain expectations he thinks they need to fulfill? or maybe he really just didn't want to lose her.

"yes, it looks that way," she said. then she brightened shyly, "it was one of the first stories gabe told me when we were still dating."

i thought what a macabre way of starting a relationship, but i laughed and said i might call in sick to see her play at the pontiac later this month. she said they haven't invited her for the next open mic, but she'll play if they do. i doubt they won't.

you should hear her sing. i didn't ask her about her process, and i don't think she sings for the money or fame, but just so she can get her stories out.
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