Tonight right at sunset, a young man, not much more than a kid, stood on the edge of their parking lot, serenading someone. His gestures showed he meant to be seen. His voice, tender and sweet, carried across the cars to the concrete walls where I stood smoking. He meant to be heard. "Don't you remember, you told me you loved me baby. You said you'd be coming back this way again, maybe. Baby, baby, baby, baby, oh, baby, I love you. I really do."
I had to wonder who he was singing to and why he chose that old Carpenters' song. The Carpenters are hardly retro-chic. It's just not likely that a man seemingly in his early twenties would know that song unless he picked it up from his mother. Did she sing the songs of her youth as lullabies like I did? Did he grow up knowing that song, or did he just need a song to express longing and heartbreak? Was there someone wonderful listening, and was she moved? Maybe it was a song she knew and loved, and he learned it for her.
I'll never know what was really happening, but it was a beautiful moment for me. I have an image of a young couple recently broken up and a grand, hopeful gesture asking for reconciliation. I see them both embarrassed and secretly pleased. It would be nice if that sunset framed a kiss just like in the movies. I hope that years from now, she'll remember that boy singing that song and recognize the touch of romance.
My imagination is probably much rosier than what was actually happening. I'm old and jaded enough to accept that, but I'm going to stick with the daydream and fall asleep with the gentle pining desire of Superstar in my mind.