Everyone should have a friend like my friend Claire. She’s the kind of person who will fist pump to the sound of your name being called at an assembly. She’ll break dance in public and write obscenities on her dearest friends’ cars with window marker. She’ll kick your prom date in the balls if he isn’t treating you right. She’s fearless and fun and a little bit of crazy and a lot of insanity.
Today my friends and I were carpooling to our graduation rehearsal. Keira, who just recently got her license, was driving, which was delightful when we weren’t veering into oncoming traffic. Claire was singing “Teenage Dream” out the window at passersby. It’s necessary for you to know that Claire is tone deaf to the point where it should be considered a disability, so “YOUUUU… MAKE… ME… FEEL LIKE I’M LIVIN’ A TEEEENAAAAAGE DREAM…” wasn’t exactly a musical marvel. Her voice cracked, she was pitchy in all the worst places… but what she lacked in talent she made up for in volume. Claire believes that if you’re going to sing, you’ve got to sing it loud and sing it proud. She belted out “LET’S GO ALLLLL… THE WAY TONIGHT. NO REGRETS… JUST LOVE” in a way that probably made Katy Perry flinch for reasons she’ll never understand. And then, and then stars aligned and everything fell into place and Claire screeched “THE WAY YOU TURN ME ON!” just as we were passing these two elderly, posh, well-to-do businessmen carrying briefcases who both whipped around in absolute shock.
There’s a certain crazy screwed-up beauty to Claire’s singing voice that coincides with the beauty of Claire the person. It’s surprising, it’s strange and unexpected, but it’s beauty all the same.