My Christmas spirit is at an all-time low. I don’t think I’m alone in that this year, nor do I need to explain why. I’ve only watched a couple Christmas movies, I’m not reveling in Christmas music every waking hour, and we’ve had a couple hard discussions about what our family Christmas gathering plans should be.
But one thing has made me happy this season, and that is the life of a local radio DJ.
The same station has been “Indy’s Christmas Station” for something like 15 years now. It is a generic “hits from all decades” station, the kind that you hear in countless waiting rooms and businesses over the course of the year. It is also the station that plays the old American Top 40s on the weekends, which is normally the only time I listen to it voluntarily.
But from Thanksgiving to Christmas, it is my default. I play it in the kitchen, it’s my first choice in the car, etc.
A few years ago I mentally wrote some imagined biographies of the various DJs I heard during the month I spent with them.
The mid-day lady was active in her church and approximately 800 different crafting groups. She worried about some of the songs her program director made her play, so she always tried to include an inspirational message before she spun “I Want Your Sex.” She was worried about her daughter going to college, and prayed every night that she didn’t make poor decisions that would sidetrack her life.
The younger guy who covered evenings was stuck in a format he hated, but it was a paycheck and he had no ambition to look at other stations/markets. Plus his girlfriend had missed her period so he might just be stuck in Indy permanently.
The afternoon shift was handled by an older guy who had a big, jolly voice. I decided he and his wife were former porn stars now living semi-anonymous lives in the Midwest. They lived pretty boring lives but every now and then he thought about those old days, and the wild shit they did in the 1970s.
And for the morning drive DJ, I really filled in the details. He was single and enjoyed watching the Colts and Pacers with his buddies. But he also enjoyed hanging out with the ladies in his cul-de-sac and watching The Bachelor and the latest Hallmark movies while drinking fancy cocktails. And sometimes he caught himself staring through his windows at the neighbor’s private chef, an Argentinian named Raul…
I felt kind of bad about that last one – which is probably why I never posted it – but it made me laugh.
A year ago I was listening and the morning DJ mentioned something about getting engaged recently, and how he had a post about going ring shopping on his blog. As soon as I got home I pulled up the station’s website, found his blog, and looked for the post. I let out a triumphant shout: the pictures showed him shopping with another man! I was right!
Oh, and good for him, of course!
From what I’ve heard the past few weeks, they got married not too long ago. Which, again, good for him/them! Even in 2020 it can’t be super easy to live a public life in the Midwest and be open about being gay. I would imagine he/the station get emails and calls of annoyance and protest anytime he mentions his husband. And I bet some folks have switched to a different outlet. But fuck them.
As happy as I am for him, I’m also more that a little pleased that my imagined biography for him was kind of true. And I wonder how closely my others are to reality. It is little shit like this that has provided a spark this season.
This was obviously the one I’m most proud of. Later I found out he is a legendary DJ because he was one of the first blind DJ’s in the country. A blind porn star is a niche I didn’t know existed! ↩