Kitchen Table Covers Week 10: (Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay

When I was 17, my aunt took to me to Santa Monica, and as we wandered down 3rd Street,  we stopped to watch an elderly man busking, singing soul and R&B tunes. 

I was about 10 feet away from him, and as he finished a song, I cheered and clapped, and we made eye contact. 

He looked straight at me, and said into the mic, "Do you know Sittin' On the Dock of the Bay?"

I replied, "Um...yeah?"

I had listened to that song a thousand times growing up. 

"Well then come on up here and sing it with me!"

I had done some singing and musical theater when I was young, but I hadn't really sung in front of people, like into a microphone, since puberty hit, and brought its friends shame and self-consciousness. 

But I did it. I went up there and sang, and it was terrifying and exhilarating, and it felt good. When the song was over, I was so embarrassed, I ran back to my aunt with my head down. She was tickled and surprised, and we walked away, giggling. As we continued up the street, my cheeks burned and my heart raced. I had really liked that. 

Not too long after, we were in a boutique and a woman came up to me. 

"Excuse me, were you the girl that sang on the street back there? I just wanted to find you and tell you that you sounded great!"

My heart soared. I teared up and tried to squeak out a "thank you." My aunt looked at me and said, "See! I told you!"

The impact of this woman finding and encouraging me has stayed with me all these years. We don't know how much our kindness can do for others, do we? Could she ever imagine that I would carry her sweet words with me all this time and that I would be telling this story after 20 years?

Weeks later, my aunt developed a roll of film and found a photo she had taken of me singing. I hung it on my wall for years as a reminder of the thrill I felt that day and the joy that I felt singing this song. I thought it would be a good one to revisit.

I hope you like it!