Musical Savant - 3 in one day? I know! What's going on?!

I love my MP3 player. However, I know that I have been listening to it too much when I am getting bored with the music...

There are a few songs that I have added to playlist that remind me of an amazing man that I met a couple summers ago. He and his mother were on tour (she is a well known singer/songwriter) and they both came in for a massage.

When the man called to schedule their appointments he introduced himself as (insert first name here)'s "manager" like I was suppose to know who he was. I immediately felt like an idiot for not knowing who she was...I now know that I should not feel like an idiot (her fame was well before my time) but I am so glad that I have gotten to know her and her son's music.

He is his mother's accompaniment and played the guitar for her while she is on stage. He also plays on his own and had "invented" a number of different ways to play. As a result of the guitar playing his wrists and forearms bother him regularly so we concentrated on those areas.

He talked the whole time he was on the table (at one point his father, who was in the waiting area screamed at him to "shut up and relax" - but he was). He thanked me every time I worked on an area that was especially bothersome to him. He seemed obsessed with music and the way it is created. He told me what an amazing guitarist he was but not in a boastful way, in a matter of fact way. Mostly I didn't understand the way he talked about music but I did understand the passion he felt.

I was lucky enough to see him twice and each time he left he hugged me goodbye, thanked me and told me to send his "love to the boys" (although he never met my boys and we rarely talked about them) - never one looking me in the eye. His last session he left me a gift of his mother's latest CD but I never got one of his. That Christmas I asked for it and Monica and Steve got it for me.

I truly believed that he was on the spectrum. I truly thought that he might have Asperger's or some other form of high functioning Autism. When he completed his client intake form he had not indicated it, his parents (both of whom I spoke with) never mentioned it - but why would they? He was an adult, it did not effect his ability to receive a massage.

About a year later I ran into the woman who had introduced them to me. We talked about he and his mother and how they were doing (how incredibly handsome he was, etc). I asked her if he was on the spectrum. She said that he had never been identified (of course, 20 or so years ago autism was barely recognized, never mind a high functioning case) but she wondered...his father (and manager) had refused to have him looked at as anything but brilliant.

Yesterday, listening to his music on my MP3 I was, once again, struck by what an amazing musician he is. Each time I hear his music I, again, recognize his passion and understand why it is such an important part of his life. He is a musical savant, a genius - there is no question in my mind.

And now I realize why he was put on my table. He was put there to show me that Autism (diagnosed or not) can be an amazing thing. Since then I have learned that some of the most amazing inventors, composers, writers, artists are thought to have been autistic including Shakespeare, Einstein, Mozart and even Woody Allen. Where would we be today with out these people?

And, someday, my little man is going to be one of them. I don't know what he is career he destined for but I do know that he is destined for greatness in whatever he chooses to do.


Jessi said...

Awwww! How lucky you are to have been able to meet him.

Nicki said...

I know EXACTLY what you are talking about, I feel taht way too when I look at autistic adults who have become amazing human beings. I don't really wonder what Xander will be, I can see the engineer or some other specialty brewing inside him.