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hs84150.jpgbuy prints of select halfsquatch photographs at etsy or dawanda. (prints of all photographs are available upon request) day 84

The first annual Kara-fest: Karaoke for the Kause fundraiser party was taking place at Shipyards Park, down by the river, on Saturday, and Aaron and Devin decided that Rebecca should sing. A two-hundred-dollar donation bought the opportunity to sing for the masses at the outdoor festival. Aaron placed the flyer over the computer keyboard for Rebecca to see. “It’s perfect,” he said. “You get up there, do a song, you’re real, people love it, it’s in the paper, we make our move.”

“I can’t sing,” Rebecca said.

“Who cares?” said Devin. “It’s karaoke.”

“Seriously. I have a terrible voice.”

Aaron snapped his fingers. “That’s great. That’s better than perfect. It makes you more accessible – you’re sympathetic, you’re human.”

Devin crafted a series of hints that Rebecca would be performing at the fundraiser. She worked them into her online diary as instructed. Aaron took care of the registration and picked out a song. Rebecca practiced alone in the bathroom.

When Saturday came, Rebecca dressed in her black stretchy skirt with the ruffly hem and a DON’T DEBAUCH THE SASQUATCH T-shirt Aaron had given her to wear. She couldn’t eat or sit still. She poured herself a drink and logged on to halfsquatch.com. She couldn’t concentrate and was partially through writing a new diary entry when she lost interest and deleted the file. She poured another drink, finishing it before it was time to go.

“I’m not sure I can do this,” Rebecca said. People filled the park, sitting on blankets, drinking in the beer tent, standing in line for the portable toilets.

“Sure you can,” said Aaron.

“You have to,” said Devin.

Rebecca spotted Stew and Julie. She waved to Raylene and Nicole. Jeremy was there. So was Lisa. And Dave. Shit. She flashed her laminated pass and ducked backstage before he could see her. She turned to say something to Devin and Aaron, but they were gone. In her panic to get backstage she’d lost them in the crowd.

“Rebecca! Hi!” It was Paula.

“Hey.”

“Honey, what’s wrong? You look like you’re gonna be sick.” Paula rubbed Rebecca’s arm. When she pulled it away there she noticed a few hairs stuck to her right hand. She rummaged around in her purse, finding a miniature bottle of hand sanitizer. She squeezed out a blob of the clear gel and rubbed her hands together. “Pre-show jitters, huh? I saw your name on the list. I think it’s great that you’re doing this. I’d love to talk to you about it afterwards, maybe get a drink? Maybe introduce me to that cute boyfriend of yours. It’s Devin, right?” Paula whipped out a notebook and pen.

Rebecca nodded.

“So can we talk after the show?”

“I don’t know—”

“There you are! We’ve been looking everywhere.” Devin rushed up and kissed Rebecca on the cheek.

“I’ll find you after the show then? So we can talk?” Paula asked again.

“I don’t know—”

“What did you have in mind?” Devin interrupted.

“Just a friendly how-does-it-feel-to-be-home kind of thing – what’s new, etcetera, who’s your cute new boyfriend….” Paula giggled and looked up at Devin. She flashed a bright smile. She’d had her teeth whitened before the Sasquatch Summer shoot.

Devin smiled back at her. “I’m sure we can work something out.”

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                                                                                                                                                          ©2008 pamela klaffke