Have you heard Betty Buckley sing? Have you heard Betty Buckley sing while she's standing five feet away from you? Jesus Christ.
Our dinner at Cafe Luxembourg couldn't have been tastier. Our trip through Central Park in the dark couldn't have been lovelier (oh, the lights of the city. All yours. All free!). Our seats at Feinstein's—I could stretch out a foot and touch the stage—couldn't have been better. Betty is a performer, like my dear Patti, who it's hard to be indifferent about; they don't sound like anybody else, and there's no lukewarm, no in between or half measures or hedged bets. That's it: when they're on stage, they show you everything. They look you in the eye and dare you to look away. The voice is strong, steely, lived in, deeper. Knowing. "Fire and Rain" means something when it hits you through a voice like that. "Move On" means something else—another cautionary tale, a pause and then a push: stop wasting time—my time, yours. Whatever you're losing—whatever you've lost—is worth it. Believe that it's worth it; believe the choice you made had its purpose. This one hit me hard (as of course it would): all I could think of was everything I left behind, everything I haven't been able to process yet because I haven't had the heart it takes to let it all sink in, to know that it's true. To hope that this choice was the right one. Sung in a voice of reason, of sense and maturity, of acceptance and joy and resignation. And I can remember this: she stood there, I sat here, just for a moment. When you're remembering what I remember, a moment is all you need.