May 13, 2019
It started with a terrible crush I had on a drummer. “Alex” was living in Alaska for the summer, spending some time with relatives when we met. He was a successful musician in New York, a small town boy who’d done well for himself in the big world, and a devout Christian. He sat in at clubs around town where I was singing and we ended up attending the same church for a while. He was sweet and very hip, an excellent drummer, and I liked him immediately.
I was young and had virtually no experience with romantic relationships, so I pined away silently for him as we hung out, just friends and fellow musicians.
One night I will never forget, we were sitting in a coffee shop late in the evening on an Alaskan summer night with the sun still high in the sky when we fell into deep conversation. I was trying to express what I wanted - out of life, out of our friendship, many things - and I was fumbling awkwardly. After listening patiently to me a long while, his summary of my thought was piercing. “You want to be known,” he said simply. It was the emphasis on the last word that nearly crushed my heart.
I was ashamed by my own need, and I could not deny that he was exactly right.