Monday, July 04, 2005


Monday July 4th 1994

It was a nice day, Chris and I prepared the house for company, we were hosting a “friendly” BBQ in Ft. Lauderdale. Alan and his hubby and other friends from the complex were coming, a veritable who’s who of my social circle back then. It was a great day.

We cooked and ate at the picnic table out back – the drag queens in the adjacent area were entertaining, the conversation was light and campy. The day wore on into night, and the fireworks were going to be shot off over Ft. Lauderdale beach. So we piled into the convertible and headed out for the 5 minute drive across the bridge to the beach. Parking was a nightmare, but eventually we found a spot to sit in.

I remember that things were happy and there were no worries, we were out celebrating the holiday. After the fireworks we came home and imbibed a great deal, and sat down to watch the new film out on video,Philadelphia” with Tom Hanks. Little did I know how much life would imitate art that week?

I watched with a certain attention, as if saying to God,

"I know what's coming so please be gentle with me, because I am not sure I am ready to do this or die." It had been a year since the first time I was tested at "Planned Parenthood" and that test came back negative.

The second test was done in a city hospital lab, and those results came back negative as well, but 6 months later we found out on the news that the lab had switched our (100 gays men's)
HIV tests with a Retirement home lab list. It was freaky when 100 elderly folk got positive HIV tests back from the lab, OOOPS - some one made a HUGE mistake.

Anyways, that was that, I knew already, I just had to go through the motions to get "on the map" so to speak. But I was not ready to admit it to myself. The reality was alot worse than assumption.

Around 8 o’clock I called my parents to wish them a Happy July 4th, there was another piece of information I needed to get across to them, and this was not going to be very easy. I had been feeling pretty sick since January, and so after checking 7 of the 9 symptoms off the list from

“If these things are happening to you -you might have HIV ," wallet card.

The conversation started light and airy, then all the air left my lungs and I could not breathe. And this is how it went.



Pleasant conversation, then I dropped the bomb!

I have some news for you.

Yes, what would that be?

I’ve been feeling a lot sick lately and tomorrow I am going to see a doctor…


I could hear the wheels spinning in their heads. My mother had been working in Home Health Care for a number of years and she had seen what AIDS can do to a human being, couple that with what they were watching on TV and she was having worse case scenario visions in her head !!

They were watching “Philadelphia” at their house at the very moment I called.

Suddenly my mother must have looked at the TV and she screamed.

Yes, that’s right, I am sick, and I need to go get tested tomorrow, it’s time.

My father was listening in on the extension, I am sure he was beside himself; his fag son was sick and putting two and two together lead to only one conclusion.

Chris was sitting in the living room while I had this conversation, he didn’t say a word. I had to prepare him for what was coming, Chris and I would never see the end of the week together. In the end, I would never see Chris again.

After a bought of hysterics I told them that everything would be all right

And I ended the phone call.

That night I did not sleep at all, Chris was all over the place. He was such a quiet and calm young man, we were both young then. We had only been dating for a couple of months by that point.

Tomorrow’s test was just a formality; I knew already the answer I would get confirmed, in a few days time. I did not tell any of my friends that night. Todd and Roy were in Provincetown on Holiday’s. But I would eventually call Todd, later in the week, and he would return to Ft. Lauderdale to take care of me.


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