i am on a karaoke high, music ringing in my ears & sake sinking into my veins. i wore the tiara and the wings and the glitter and floated through the crowd and onto the stage and i sang. i sang. i don’t even know where i learned that song, but each note rolled off my tongue and into the mic. when i sat back down, darlene said to me in that proved-you-wrong voice, “see, you can sing.” and i felt like i was 8, again, wiping the tears from my eyes because mom just made me sing “the greatest love of all” in front of all my relatives and she assured me that i could do it but i just wouldn’t let myself believe it. deep down inside, i knew she was right, and late at night i’d lock myself in my bedroom and play my madonna tapes and perform in front of my full-length mirror and belt out the tunes like i was some kind of diva, thinking nobody would find out my secret, but now that i think about it, i’m sure the whole house heard.