Been in a bit of a somber mood tonight/this morning, as July 31st marks the anniversary of three of my friends deaths due to ARI(AIDS Related Illnesses). In different years, people I had gotten close to died because of AIDS related illnesses that they never shared with me. Kevin, in 1996, who passed away literally in his apartment that day, right before I was supposed to go over there to talk about my boyfriend at that moment. Kevin puts you in the mind of an educated version of Alex from Noah's Arc. Full of personality and charisma, Kevin was sharp, witty, intellectual, and, in hindsight, brave. He told me his HIV status just three days before his death, and in his usual gregarious manner, said to me sharply, "Don't worry about me bitch. Worry about that late ass outfit you got on!"(LOL).
Charles was a much different, but no less charismatic, a creature. We met in 1995 during the summer. He worked for a nationally recognized news outlet and was much older than me( I was 21, he was in his 40's...he was PHYNE as hell though...caramel complexion, over 6 feet tall, and when we would wear sandals, shorts and a tank top, would test the limits of our friendship because baaaaaaaby, I WANTED that! lol). We initially had interest in each other, but when we would get "intimate", he was very strange to me. He would never let me perform oral sex on him,(despite that huge pretty penis he had),was the first man to suck my toes(even to the point of complete sexual satisfaction for him), and only wanted us to have body contact with each other as intimacy. As a newbie in the "gayborhood", I thought I wasn't attractive to him enough to touch me in that manner. What I didn't know, was that he was dealing with HIV and scared to tell me. He made sure not to expose me or anyone he was with to anything that could pass the virus, but he was too scared to mention he had it. After the third "session", in which I was getting too frustrated with not even being able to fully touch him, I remarked, "Chile why are you torturing me with all this body, ass and dick that I can't have????"
We fell out laughing and became instant,fast friends. On July 31st, 1999, Charles was found dead in his home by his sister, who tried to cover it up by saying he lost a bout with "cancer". After I got her drunk the night after the wake, I asked her "the question". She didn't answer, but she looked at me, slowly nodded her head, and began to cry.
Chris was my mirror image, in terms of personality. Funny, yet introverted, I had a light crush on Chris since 1995 when I was dating one of his buddies here in Chicago. Tall, bow-legged, lean, muscular with glasses, we ended up being best friends once I moved to DC...we fell out over something silly that I won't even mention in February, 2001. Nearly six months later, he was dead from HIV related illness. I never got to tell him that I was being an asshole when we fell out. I never got to tell him I apologize and that I was wrong. I figured we would make up once we saw each other. We never did. None of these men that came into my life as bosom buddies, dared to speak on what they were battling. They dared not speak HIV's name.
Eery year, I go into a funk over this day. This day saw three men that I loved die, and taken from me. From midnight to about 45 minutes ago, I began writing the treatment and first act of a screenplay dedicated to them entitled, "They Dare Not Speak It's Name" and features all four of us as friends, with all the personality clashes I know would have occurred if they all got together continuously. It will be drama, fun, pain, love, tragedy, plot twists for your ass and, above all, education.
They Dare Not Speak It's Name.