I fell in love with good music, including jazz, after my first adult crush on a slightly older woman while I was still in high school.
She taught me how to persevere, excelling in often toxic male environments (at the time) of broadcast radio, and what I admired her most for: being true to herself and who she loved.
I would sit in the back of the radio studio for hours and watch her. I wouldn’t talk much. She would forget I was there and go about her shift.
Answering phone requests, getting carts out of the rack, cueing up records.
In addition to all the reasons I already mentioned, I fell head over heels for her, (in my teenage brain), because of what was behind her tough exterior.
When she forgot I was there, I would have the good fortune to see her true self shine. As she talked to herself quietly, she would brightly smile and laugh, carefree and content.
I could see why she had to protect herself from the world. Her creative, loving, happy self was vulnerable.
She helped me better understand myself and those I would eventually call “Alts.”
Alternative creative types; neurodivergent, like myself, who appear odd, freakish, or perhaps even “disabled” by society but who have a unique creative ability.
Whenever I get the opportunity to see an alt person’s “superpower,” I’m reminded of my first adult crush.
Little makes me happier in life than seeing the “real” person beyond the neurodivergent; the part most people never get to see either out of bigotry or not taking the time to establish a connection. ❤️