It was about 6 a.m., and it was cold, dark and quiet.
Downtown was just waking up. A car here. Apartment lights flicking on there. Stuff you barely notice.
Then we heard it. Someone was singing. Singing loud.
You could tell it was a man. He's plastered, we thought.
Maybe. But this guy a block away could halfway carry a tune.
The singer was on First. We were on Sprague. We were both walking east, at about the same pace. And when cross-streets or space between buildings allowed, we could hear this man belting out a song. You know how sound carries when it's cold.
Still, it wasn't quite possible to make out the lyrics.
A time or two we even caught sight of him. But he was too far away for a positive assessment. Probably drunk.
Then, near Monroe, we had to reconsider. Wasn't that a Christmas carol he was singing? Sure, it sounded like -- could it be? -- "We Three Kings."
We stopped and soaked in a Hallmark Moment.
We looked for the guy in the predawn darkness. There he was. Walking and singing in a big coat.
And then there came a line we could definitely make out.
"You're my l-a-a-a-dy."
So it wasn't a carol.
We watched the singer cross Monroe and then walk out of view.