Monday, December 1, 2008

An old post for a sad day


It's World AIDS day, and, as I often do even without this official marking of our losses, I'm thinking of all the friends I've lost to AIDS. Above is the section of the AIDS quilt that has my friend Micah Sabraw's name on it. He was an early death, and his was one of the first names on the AIDS quilt. But before that, he was small, lithe, and beautiful - with dark eyes and dark curly hair. He had perfect manners- writing thank you notes after any little thing you did for him - and a tender, generous heart. I was a devastated stray straight girl at the shattered end of a poisonous relationship. He took me under his wing, took me to clubs where I could dance my grief away with gorgeous men who would never hurt me. I felt so cossetted and cared for, so safe. I wish that it had been as safe for him. But how could anyone, in those heady days in San Francisco, know what was coming, what was already there? I remember standing with him at the top of Castro Street one evening. He turned to me and said, "Poor thing, you have to worry about getting pregnant when you have sex. I don't have to worry about anything!" He was a gleeful child set free in a candy shop, in love with his amazing luck at being a lovely man in that time and that place.

I like to imagine him, now, as an old married man. Perhaps he finally settled down with that hunky French flight attendant he had the on-again-off-again relationship with. They'd live in Paris (Micah spoke beautiful French), but have a pied-a-terre in San Francisco. We would have drifted, because of geography, into only intermitent touch. But I would have visited him on my recent trip to Paris. He would have had me over to his gorgeous apartment in the Marais, for a coffee, with pastries which he bought at the "best little patisserie in Paris." I would have showed him pictures of my kids. He'd have a little dog. And we'd say things like, "Do you remember that time that silly boy got us into Studio 54 by driving us all up in his daddy's limo and yelling to the bouncer, 'We came in a limo! We came in a limo!" He'd say, "Darling, feminism is great but I'm so glad you finally threw in the towel and dyed your hair! The grey made you look ancient." He'd still look almost exactly the way he did thirty years ago. Me, not so much. But, in the way of old friends, when he saw me, he'd see the young, messed up, lovely girl I was so long ago, and I'd see the young man, off his leash in a world where he was accepted fully for the first time, and full to the brim with the drama and bliss of it all. We'd carry each other in memory through time. Instead, I carry us both, alone. So Micah, this is In Adorium (adoring memorium) to you. I wish we were dancing still. xoxoxo

11 comments:

Willym said...

Elizabeth as always you paint a touching and beautiful memory picture. Micah is still alive thanks to your words.

Hugs

mrpeenee said...

How charming and poignant. Thanks for this.

ayem8y said...

Very sweet. The world is a less happy place without these charming creative folks. We’ve been left with a world run by those who didn’t or don’t have sex and they’re mean crabby people!

yellowdog granny said...

mae me cry..remembering my friends

sageweb said...

You are such a lovely person and Micah was lucky to have you in his life.

mumbliss said...

Oh Elizabeth,
what a gorgeous and sad and beautiful rememory. I spend so much time running like crazy from these painful recollections of love and loss, that it hits very hard when this loveliness slips through the cracks.
Happy thanksgiving to that beautiful pair, Elizabeth and Micah.
Happy thankgiving for this beautiful Elizabeth and her wonderful life that we are sharing on December 1st 2008. Love to your beautiful family and Thank you for your sweet and inescapable cyber perfumes. Yes, you can make a nastified joke, but it makes me very happy. I feel full of love and all I did was read what you wrote. Another Elizabeth vegetarian sweetmeat. Another for the fabulous bouquet, buffet, sashay. Thank you.

Elizabeth said...

Thanks, all, for the kind comments. Micah saved me. I wish I could have saved him.

Claire M. Johnson said...

Yes, I have a few of those too. Forever young.

a thousand shades of twilight said...

Such a lovely, moving tribute, Eliz! He sounds like a wonderful, beautiful, wonderful person. I'm so glad that you found each other, and loved and danced and looked after each other. So sad that he's gone.

jason said...

as always...beautiful.

more cowbell said...

Yes, he was beautiful. Thank you for writing about your friend, Elizabeth, and sharing him with us.