Friday, June 13, 2014

US History 1973 - 2014 Commonplace Book: Lecture 12, AIDS in America (Con't)

I meet young gay guys today and they don't know what it's like to watch your best friend pound the floor with his fist in agony because the pain won't stop; to pick up a buddy off the carpet when you drop by after work, and see his brittle bones covered in fresh gray diarrhea; to see a friend wake up one day and be unable to tie his shoelaces because toxoplasmosis had eaten half his brain away; to have your shirt cuff brush past a friend's skin and have him scream in agony because of neuropathy; to dance on a disco floor next to a rail-thin guy covered in KS lesions who knows this is the last time he'll dance to anything; to open up the local gay rag and find 10 pages of obits where the real estate ads now sit; to hear a friend speak of watching as a needle is pushed into his open eyeball to alleviate the threat of CMV; to see your date consume two handfuls of toxic drugs twice a day to do something about a virus that would nevertheless kill him at the age of 29; to hear of couples torn apart and bereaved lovers thrown out of their homes because their in-laws hate them and their husbands just died; to scan the eyes of a doctor to see if he's lying to you about your prognosis; to catch the face of an old man on the street and realize seconds later that he was a friend who looked 25 only a few months before; to attend more funeral services than happy hours; to feel shame because of an illness; and to endure sickness knowing that there is no end or future except pain and death.

—Andrew Sullivan, 2007
Introduction to (and explanation of) this quote series can be found here.  Read this tag to see all of them.

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