I’m temping for the week at the Children’s Hospital, screening any and all guests with Covid questions and asking everyone to sign into the “SafeWA” app. It’s a busy job on the main entrance and in Emergency, but absolutely perfect on one of the wards with hardly any visitors – because then I earn a tonne of money while just reading a book. So good!
Yesterday I was on the main entrance and worked alongside young people who are volunteering at the hospital. One of them was a young man called Andy. He looked to be maybe 18 or 19? Tall and thin with light brown hair, an open, honest face and brown eyes.
2 things struck me about him.
1) There was something different about him. An obvious lilt and pause in his talking, as if he carefully examined every word before speaking it; selecting words from an array in his mind, finding the one most suited to the conversation and saying it, very clearly and with a distinct gap before he said the next word:
“How. Long. Have. You. Worked. Here. At. The. Hospital, Janet?”
My guess what that he was Autistic – or maybe had Asbergus (sp?) although I don’t know much about it and could be way off, but Andy seemed a stickler for rules and processes. He spoke deliberately and carefully and welcomed each visitor in the same level voice, guiding them to the right hospital clinics and departments…like a friendly robot? (I mean that in the nicest way. I love robots).
2) He was REALLY COOL.
There was something very special about the way he held himself together. Andy stood with casual ease, comfortable in his own skin and quietly confident which was really, really attractive. I got the feeling he found smiling/laughing unusual but his natural resting face was happy and open. He was nice to everyone and chatted easily to the other volunteers. As if not wanting to leave me out (which was really thoughtful and touched my heart a lot), Andy would wander over to me to tell me a fact about the hospital or ask something about my role. I think in his world, he was making light conversation but it was always about work, rules and the hospital.
I liked the way Andy moved. I like how he stood up straight. He was clean and dressed nicely in tanned slacks, and orange shirt and black over-shirt. He moved gracefully. He stood stoicly (?) at his “station” by the hospital check-in computers but whenever I felt overwhelmed and called for help or needed to direct a guest to him to check in for an appointment, Andy was helpful and dependable. I like that.
If I was much MUCH younger, I would have had a crush on Andy.
I tried to “joke” with Andy about wearing a tutu. They look like so much fun to wear. The other volunteers laughed and joked with me but Andy looked confused and uncomfortable so I stopped teasing him. Maybe another sign of Autism? Not getting jokes?
Andy emanated goodness and a lovely wholesomeness about him. He’s the type of young guy you hope your daughter goes out with. I hope his parents are really proud of him. I imagine Andy has a tidy bedroom and that everything has it’s place. I imagine he has a pet dog who’s his best friend and maybe a few siblings who don’t have Autism as he seemed really comfortable in a public space, maybe that comes from practice in a big family?
I thought Andy was awesome.