Wednesday, December 1, 2010

World Aids Day 2010



It's all over for you now
The curtain has fallen
And the stage has cleared
All that remains is a ghost
Rattling around in a memory
There is for you
No more fear
No more tragedy
No more pain
And the fire
That raged in your eyes
Has been forever extinguished
You have gone home
To rest in peace
From an unkind world
Be at peace my friend
And rest in the wings
Of the Angels.

( For my friend Sean )


Somewhere in my mind
I already knew it was over
Just a feeling in the dark
Reaching into my dreams
And haunting me in the shadows
And I looked to the past
When all of this began
It was truly innocent
Not a care in the world
But that was a fleeting moment
And it all came crashing down
When the darkness came
It shook the foundations
It was the beginning of the end
And this time
It hit too close to home
It would not get better
It would be just the beginning
I had lost yet another friend
Somewhat numb
I sat alone staring out the window
With the news
Only a couple of hours ago
When the voice on the phone
Said ... Terry's gone
My heart sank...
I stood silent...
What do you say after that
Somehow sorry isn't enough
And there were just no words
Maybe they would come later
Or perhaps
Simply not at all.

( For my friend Terry )

Over the years I have lost many friends.  Each one special, each one mattered.  My friends Terry and Sean were the two that hit me the hardest.  Terry was a friend from school, we hung out, went out partying.  We were roommates for several years out in California.  He was the first person I knew that had AIDS.  It didn't make me treat him any different, it didn't change the way our friendship worked.  The hardest part, was when he was admitted to the hospital, it was touch and go, and it was me that had to make that fateful call to his Mom.  It was absolutely the hardest conversation I have ever had.  They did not know he was sick, he had kept that his secret for many years.  Although he would recover, he would have many touch and go moments in his life.  Each one took a little bit more from him.  In 1995 he moved to Texas.  I took him to the train station, gave him my turquoise necklace he had always admired, hugged him, watched him board the train.  It would be the last time I ever saw him. 

Sean lived in San Diego, we met at Jack in the Box close to my apartment.  He said I had that "I just moved here and don't know where I am" look.  We hit it off right away as friends.  He seemed in perfect health to me, and a month later he told me that he had AIDS.  In three short months , I watched him decline rapidly.  I have never seen anything like this.  He had fevers of 107 degrees, he was so sick he couldn't hold his head up.  He got so bad that I had the ambulance take him to the hospital, called his Mother and told her where he was going and in 3 days he was gone.  I think I was just in shock really.  I flew back to Ohio a couple days later,  I just had to go back home and re-group. 

About 2 weeks after I got back to Ohio, my friend Terry was just constantly on my mind.  So I called his Mother... the phone rang for days till a week later his Mom answered the phone.  Terry had died in Texas and they had just gotten home from the service.  So I wrote the poem 'Terra Nova".  A poet has many words... but none of them can express exactly how I felt, but it was my only way to say what I needed to say even if nobody ever read it.

So I decided, on this World AIDS Day 2010...that I would share what I wrote.  I'm sure that this story has been repeated many times over... different faces...different places.   It isn't about what a person does, as much as it is who the person is... and everyone deserves respect, dignity and love.