Did you ever have that perfect partner? The one who knows you better than anyone, understands you completely and loves you anyway? I'm talking unconditional love, not that "I'd love you better if you..." and "if you really loved me you'd...." mess.

I had that. For years, I had that kind of love. We had a house together, had friends over for parties, and quiet evenings at home with the cats. I sang at local clubs, and recorded a few albums in my basement studio. We were happy, the kind of happy that most folks never find, and the lucky ones rarely find more than once.

Until that night. The night when everything changed.

We were out walking, as we often did in the evenings. We'd stopped at a corner to decide which way to go next, when we heard sirens. As i turned to look, a police car came screaming around the corner - no, I have to tell the truth - plowed right through the corner. It hit us dead on. I was lucky; I got thrown aside. My honey was not so lucky. The police car crushed my honey against a truck that was stopped at the light.

When I came to in the hospital - in traction - they told me my honey had been killed that night. I screamed and cried until I couldn't even talk. A couple of days later, when I'd got my voice back, I called my lawyer.

By the time my body had recovered, my lawyer had gotten me a substantial settlement. Even after all the hospital bills were paid, I wouldn't have to worry about money for a long time. I went back to our - my - house, but it wasn't home any more. It was just a place; empty, even with all our things in it.

So I called my agent, who'd been asking me for ages to go on tour. I'd always refused, because I didn't want to leave my honey home alone. Now I was alone; I had no-one to leave. When my agent answered the phone, all I said was "Set it up. Now."

Then I called all our friends, and invited them over for one last party. We spent all night remembering honey, celebrating the life we'd had together. As the sun began to rise, I told them I was leaving. Not just going on tour, but leaving for good. If there was anything in the house that any of them wanted, they were welcome to take it, because at the end of the month, everything would be sold. Then I left for the airport, and a life on tour.

I've been on the road for years now; so long that I'm not even sure any more how long it's been. Singing blues, ballads, torch songs, rock...whatever the style, all my songs are sad ones. Go figure. Along the way, I've learned some things: like how to defend myself, and why; how to defend those who can't defend themselves; and other things as well, skills and talents that show up when they're needed.

When my travels brought me to The City, I decided it was time to settle down again, and try to have a life again. So I've got a job at Cream of the Sea, singing and helping to run the place; and I've got an apartment in the Brownstone; and I'm starting to make friends.

It's time I stopped running from life, and started living again.