World AIDS Day.

I’ve been thinking all day that I ought to post something about World Aids Day. You know — condoms, babies born with AIDS, Africa, testing, research, prevention. All the stuff people ought to know about AIDS. If I’d had a blog ten years ago, that’s the kind of thing I would’ve posted. All those things are important, but they’re not what I’ve been thinking about today.

I’ve been thinking about Tommy telling me he was glad he had a house to leave to his parents, and how he was looking forward to seeing Mikey on the other side.

I’ve been thinking about Ann being so angry, because that patient’s nurse wouldn’t even go into his room, and left his meals on a table out in the hall. (Ann used to leave her own floor and go care for that patient, because nobody else would.)

I’ve been thinking about Bob’s funeral, and the minister saying that because Bob was gay, he was in hell.

I’ve been thinking about John telling me he just didn’t want to get skinny. “I’ve been fat all my life, and I’ve taken more shit about being fat than I have about being gay. I want to die fat.” (He didn’t.)

I’ve been thinking about another John, my sweet, talented friend, writing his own obituary — and making it funny.

I’ve been thinking about Ella, always so funny, raucous, full of life — lying in a hospital bed, too sick to talk.

I’ve been thinking about Bill finding the love of his life at the end of life, and how he cherished every day of that relationship so much, knowing he only had a few months left.

I’ve been thinking about how much weight Steve lost and how he told me, the last time I saw him before the dementia set in, “It’s a shame I had to die to look this good.”

I’ve been thinking about Jeff telling me he might as well drink himself to death.

I’ve been thinking about standing on the State House grounds with Drew, when the speaker told us to say the names of people we’d lost to this disease, and how Drew leaned into me and said, very softly, so only I could hear: “Me.”

Things aren’t as bad as they used to be, not for people who can get good medical care, but that doesn’t mean this is over. So. Condoms, babies, Africa, testing, research, prevention. Educate yourself. It’s important.

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3 Responses to World AIDS Day.

  1. Ahab says:

    I didn’t realize you had so many friends who suffered and died from HIV complications. My deepest condolences.

    • The DV8 says:

      Thank you. I didn’t even mention all of them. I lost some of the most interesting people I’ve ever known. When you’re still young, and you know you’re going to die, it gives you a certain clarity. Now I’ve reached the age where your friends start dropping dead of heart attacks. Surviving is a mixed blessing.

  2. Too moved by this powerful post to comment other than to say, Thank you. And I’m so sorry.

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