2017-03-02

notmypresident: (Depressed)
Watching "When We Rise" has evoked a lot of memories. I lived in New York City from 1980-1986 which, as we all know, is when the AIDS epidemic decimated Gay communities nationwide. It wasn't a pretty time. At that juncture, the medical community referred to the disease as GRID (Gay-Related Immune Deficiency), but no one I was in contact with was talking about it in 1982.

David was the first person I knew who contracted GRID/AIDS. David was a friend, though I wouldn't say we were BFFs. David lived in a fabulous loft in a Manhattan building which was then kinda/sorta run down but which has now become home to condos that sell for millions. The space was huge, and I once went to an incredible party there. It really was the epitome of living life in the Big Apple.

David was an extremely goodlooking man. He bore a close resemblance to Sam Jaeger, an actor in "When We Rise," which I suppose is why I've been thinking about him for the past couple of days. I was never quite sure why David decided to be my friend. It's true we shared a number of the same things — silly humor, being passionately Gay, loving big dicks — but there was always a question mark in my head as to why a man like David would befriend a Gay Nerd like me. Perhaps it was because I was never interested in him sexually. David had a magnetism about him that would make men openly stare at him. It sometimes made me uncomfortable; after all, no one wants to be the one who's ignored when the friend at your side is being constantly (and obviously) cruised. It didn't take me long to figure out that I needed to avoid going to places like bars with David for the sake of my own self worth, though we did have a great time together one night at Crisco Disco.

In general, David and I would pal around once or twice a week at the height of our friendship. Then came a time when I didn't hear from him. My calls to his message machine went unreturned, and I was a little puzzled. Had I done something to offend him? After a few weeks I finally did hear from him, and he told me that he had been hospitalized for pneumonia. I offered to come see him, but he said not to because St. Vincent's was such a "pig sty." I wasn't worried because "pneumonia" at that time didn't have the same meaning as it does today. I figured it would take him a few weeks to recover and that would be that.

It's not hard to guess that I never heard from David again. And once the pandemic took ahold of the city, hindsight told me what had obviously happened to him. I was terribly upset that David probably died by himself. Despite his many (many) sexual conquests, he really had very few friends. And I don't remember him ever mentioning a family. I knew that David had purposely kept those of us he did call "friend" at a distance, but that didn't help the guilt I felt about not being there with him at the end.

I still feel that guilt 30+ years later, but life goes on. And at the least, I still have my fond memories of him.

And now, Another Hot Guy.

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