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