Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Morning Edition - 3/27/07

Say When
You remember back in the day when you’d get ready to pour something in a glass for someone and you’d ask them to “say when.” Basically, we were asking that when the person thought you served them enough he/she would ask you to stop pouring. I’m grateful that the last few weeks have been a time of feast in my dating life. I’m enjoying the great company and the crop of good fellas that have come my way. Last night I agreed to a date with White Chocolate – a man I met close to two years ago. A professional by day and a single father by night, White Chocolate is a light-skinned, full-pink-lipped brother that has always struck my fancy. He’s a quiet, but sexy soul who knows what he’s doing and doesn’t need a lot of fanfare to get the job done. Unfortunately, as many single moms will attest, time is of the essence with single parents and plans can easily be shifted, broken or disrupted. In the last year, I’ve come away from WC because I’m not good at compromising and I don’t take well to having dates cancelled when I’ve looked forward to them. Admittedly, my original date with WC was for last Saturday, but since I was enjoying the HOE, it seemed an act of self sabotage to keep my date and forgo the great time I was already having; so I cancelled and offered-up a brief dinner and some reconnect time for last night. At 5:15 p.m. I dashed from my office and made for the train like Carl Lewis on steroids, I opted for a cab instead of the bus after my train ride and halfway levitated, rather than walked, the dog. I dumped all my junk mail, cleaned my bathroom and ran the vacuum – let me be sure you get the picture here… I could probably do all these things from my couch, since my apartment is about half the size of Barbie’s Malibu home. Just as I was getting ready to freshen up and order Chinese, I heard my phone ring. Do I really need to tell you who was on the other end? Right! WC was calling to say that his confirmed sitter – his younger brother – had cancelled and he wouldn’t be able to make our date. I laughed. When he asked why I was laughing I said, “When!” and burst out into more hearty laughter. He was silent for a moment and then followed-up with some nervous laughter of his own – what can I say, my laugh is infectious. As I caught my breath, I cleared my throat and said, “Don’t worry about it pa, it’s really cool.” He sounded surprised to hear my calm and light demeanor. “Well, get that boy of yours some dinner, I need to jump in the shower. We’ll make time for each other at some point.” He sounded relieved, but skeptical. I reassured him and said, “Hey, it happens. Call me later in the week.” I hung up and laughed some more. I enjoyed an incredible weekend and was greedily scheduling more and more dates as though the idea that I could somehow was more of “I should.” Lesson learned. Know when to say when. It’s okay to enjoy someone and really like them without feeling that by adding others to the mix you’ll protect yourself from focusing your full emotional attention on one person. Now I won’t say that I’m going to somehow confuse dating with becoming serious, but I don’t need a slew of men to help me recognize a good one.

Paris Has Burnt; By the Grace of God Puerto Rico Stands
Every so often, I’ll pull the old documentary Paris is Burning out of the video collection and take a look at the 1980s classic that introduced the world to the Blatino NYC Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Transgender community and the cultural phenomenon known as the ball scene. What strikes me about the film is not what it introduces – I mean, I lived and partied in this era and with these people – but I look at all the faces and realize many of them are no longer with us. I remember dancing in clubs with these folks, going to 12-hour marathon balls with them and yes, even how the hard street life running with some of these folks shaped my life. Last night as I watched my old running mates, I found myself tearing up at the fact that most of them are gone – dead. To say that I had some kind of magic formula that saved my life is a lie. It was the grace of God and the luck of the draw that allows me to be here today. This year I will celebrate my 38th birthday. When I hang out on weekends I’m rarely, if ever, confronted with those familiar faces of years past. Sure, it might be that folks my age have given up on the whole “hang-out” scene, but more often than not, their absence is due more to the catastrophic effect of AIDS on our community. In the coming weeks, I will begin my drive to raise funds for my yearly NY AIDS Walk. I hope you’ll take a moment to help support the cause. God and luck may have been on my side, but there are those that live each day with the reality of HIV and AIDS. It is a difficult and stigmatizing daily struggle that we all must share the burden of if we are to help bring an end to one of the top killers in America.

On Blast
Have your views on HIV/AIDS changed in the 25 years since the discovery of the disease OR do you feel that the facts and information have done little to change your reaction to those infected?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

8 comments:

WhozHe said...

I too feel the lost of friends who have gone on before me as a result of AIDS. Today, I continue to allow myself to get emotionally close with people who have the disease praying everyday that they take their medicines without fail, that they never get sick, and that a cure will be announced tomorrow.

Darius T. Williams said...

The old HIV/AIDS deal, huh? I have only been around for 25 years, but as the disease becomes more and more of the monster it is...it begins to affect us all. My only issue is that as humans we can become so desensitized to the issue, even though it's enormous. Awareness...fresh awareness - we need it more and more.

Just Me said...

I feel the same way as I did back in the 80's. The HIV virus was/is a man-made catastrophe. I don't care how you've contracted the virus, I feel for you and your family. People will never understand this until it hit or land in their home. The ONLY was there will ever be a cure is if a non-profit or university comes up with it. The disease and many others are generating tooooooo much money for the economy. It’s a shame that business is preying upon humans for profit.

Anonymous said...

I think that the MEDICINE has come a lot further than when HIV/AIDS started. People are actually living longer. However, I think that people still need to really take this seriously and protect themselves. So long as this epidemic exist there is death and so long as there is death...well we have not gotten to were we need to be..

Cocoa Rican said...

The disease caught me by surprise, since it affected so many folks that were close to me. Ultimately, I see it (saw it really) as any other deadly disease... I don't think I ever had a stigma of judgement for those who suffer with the disease and do everything possible to be someone who does my part in creating a change. My hope is that the disease (if not cured) will be met with the same compassion as other diseases.

POZ said...

Chat with other HIV positive people @ http://www.AIDSchat.org (hundreds of members, share experiences, make POZ friends)

That Dude Right There said...

I guess that I can consider myself lucky because I don't have HIV either. I also consider myself lucky because no one close to me has died of AIDS. But I do know of countless people who have died of the disease.

I have compassion for those persons and their families because I know that it could be me. I could walk out of the clinic one day with a sad look on my face and pain in my heart.

Anonymous said...

the only cure we have for aids is abstinence. but since stupid people like to think only of the moment and insert their dicks into various orifices, well, AIDS will be here forever. honey, its aints just paris thats burning.