Excerpt: Not in My Family



love changes

i was surprised to discover that david's last and most ardent lover veiled himself as heterosexual. he was a musician in a band that had some success in the industry. while david wore his sexuality like a badge of courage, his lover refused to introduce david to his bandmates and friends. it hurt me to watch david get hurt by such calculated rejection, and from someone whom he loved without measure.

he was dying. and to my shock and dismay, david did not tell this lover about his status. i struggled with the deception, but tried to reconcile my concern with the thought that each deception begot the other.

he loved the man he was deceiving, as much as he loved his work. hair was his passion. so, it should not have surprised me then, when he also refused to tell his clients. we had difficult discussions over the right to know versus his right to earn a living. david was certain that he would be ostracized. he needed to work, to pay for his medications, in order to live. he assured me that he was careful. that he was being safe.

sunshine almost always makes me cry

eventually, david's body deceived him. his former scrupulously sculpted frame became an emaciated silhouette. his beautiful skin marred by lesions. his spirit was broken by his image in the mirror.

the road was long, but the end was near. and when the end came, it came quickly'all in a series of ones.

one ominous call

one frantic trip

one whispered question

one screaming family member

one painful 'yes'

one hand held

one last breath

one love lost

one life remembered

would i date a man with hiv? right now, today? i would love a man with hiv; i would love him desperately and fiercely, and with all my heart. but, knowing that he had hiv, i couldn't fall for him. i couldn't/wouldn't want to watch him/help him/let him go. in order for me to love fully and freely, i need options, like the option to give him my entire heart, to live and love forever, and to grow old together.