I sometimes say that I am the opposite of autistic. I would describe myself as empathetic, intuitive, good communicator, sociable, flexible, and completely lacking in spatial awareness (I get lost all the time). But there is one characteristic I share with my son Michael – obsessions or special interests. My current obsession is Bob Dylan and I have been obsessed with the world’s greatest singer-songwriter for the past couple of years.
Don’t get me wrong. I have always liked the man, but I was not previously obsessed with him. In fact, I recall borrowing a tape (yes, you heard me right – a tape) of Bob Dylan songs from the local library when I was in my early teens. I shared a room with my older sister Lisa and let me tell you, she was none to impressed with me playing that tape. She is a bit sensitive to sound and there was something in the quality of his nasal breathing that disturbed her greatly. I can’t for the life of me understand the problem.
Anyway, my obsession began after inadvertently watching on TV the Martin Scorsese directed ‘No Direction Home: Bob Dylan.” If you haven’t seen it – JUST DO IT! It is brilliant and has some of the best interviews with the man himself, that I’ve seen. As you will be aware he doesn’t like being interviewed. Maybe he really likes Martin Scorsese.
After watching the best documentary ever, I began collecting every Bob Dylan album ever made. Then I began to play every Bob Dylan album ever made; and I didn’t stop for a year. I had my 6 stacker CD player in the car full of Bob Dylan albums. I had, and still do have, Bob Dylan albums piled up and spilling all over the place in the living room. I drove my little 6 year-old Tessa crazy. Michael, on the other hand, just loves Bob Dylan (isn’t he a champion and great taste in music) and never complained. After a year of endlessly playing Bob Dylan albums, and reading biographies and anything else I could get my hands on, I started to calm down a bit. I regained composure and now play Bob intermittently, as is the way of a well-balanced person.
A collective sigh of relief was heard emanating from the Bryden clan (minus Michael, bless his heart).
Earlier this year, however, on a long trip home from Brisbane to Woodgate after visiting my mother, I had the urge to put on ‘The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan’. I had put off playing Bob Dylan because I didn’t want to annoy the sound-sensitive Tessa. All was quiet in the back seat and I thought Tessa might even be asleep; beaudy, at last I can play Bob Dylan. I started playing the album and after a couple of songs a little voice chirped from the rear “Mummy, I’ve got an earache.”
“Oh no, that’s no good. How long have you had it Tessa?” I asked in a concerned voice.
“Since you put Bob Dylan on!”
There’s no accounting for tastes, is there!