Quite by accident, last night I stumbled across the PBS premiere of "Desert Migration
," a short documentary on men living with AIDS in Palm Springs, California.
To say that I had problems with the film is putting it mildly. While I don't contest that every AIDS survivor has a story to tell, the fact that "Desert Migration" chose a small group of affluent Gay men living in a desert oasis and talking about their "struggles" left me feeling a bit cold. It's one thing to discuss how AIDS has devastated your life but it's quite another to have documentary cameras filming you in your posh condo as you type away on the latest Macintosh computer with your iPod resting close by.
I should probably state that my own personal prejudice against muscle bears also came into play here. It takes time — and more importantly, money
(gym memberships ain't cheap, honey) — to develop some of the physiques that were on display in "Desert Migration." I just can't work up my empathy for guys who have "spent thousands" on surgeries and implants and gym workouts to combat the look
of AIDS, even as they talk about the irony of potentially losing government benefits because they now appear so healthy.
To be fair, there were several interviews of folks less fortunate in life — one of whom died before the film was released, though "Desert Migration" fails to address the apparent suicide. The sole African-American interviewed even talks about how his minimum-wage job negates any government help such that he's often left with only a handful of money between paychecks. I was drawn into these stories much more than those belonging to the men with "several" Palm Springs properties.
By the end of the program, I began to see a kind of parallel of these stories with my own. I may be HIV-, but with my kidney failures, I'm living on borrowed time as well. Many of the men talk about how depression is a constant element in their lives, but that the ones who can put it in check are the ones that survive. Indeed, the man who didn't live to see the project completed openly talked about his own depression and how it consumed him. That's something I need to work on.
So after last night, I decided to make July the start of my "reboot." I checked out Nutrisystem last night to see if I could start losing weight. It's still a bit too expensive for me right now as I continue to pay off NYC and the new TV, but I do plan on going through with it in August for at least two months. I managed to crawl onto the treadmill this morning for the first time since NYC, and I did better than I thought I would (though I have a looooong way to go). I'm not going to be deterred by unrealistic goals. Instead, I'm just going to do the best I can for as long as I can and hope that results can be achieved.
Now for Another Hot Guy.