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This is a question Have you ever seen a dead body?

How did you feel?
Upset? Traumatised? Relieved? Like poking it with a stick?

(, Thu 28 Feb 2008, 9:34)
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an occupational hazard
Being an actress, I have more than my share of gay friends, which means I have way more than my share of friends dead from AIDS. Bob was gorgeous, funny and a flailing, almost-bad dancer. He and I giggled our way through many rehearsals, secure in the knowledge that as the leads we could get away with our silly behavior. Make-up artists for Christian Dior, he and his boyfriend Glenn were among my most favorite people.
I had been on the road for 9 months playing Juliet across the US. I came home for a weekend by chance, and no sooner had I walked into my mommy's house the phone rang: it was Glenn, telling me Bob had AIDS, he didn't have long and he wanted to see me.
No one knew I was coming home - I hadn't seen Bob and Glenn in a few years - but somehow the Gods arranged for our schedules to converge. I drove to his place immediately. Bob was in a hospital bed in the living room, emaciated, covered in kaposi's sarcoma lesions, but his eyes were the same as when we giggled and danced those few years ago. I hadn't been there long when he began coughing up blood and with it, lung matter. I held him up in my arms, trying to clear the crap from his tongue, his mouth, his throat, in the process getting the gruesome stuff on my hands and arms. In a few minutes it was over, and when he was calmer and we were cleaning him up, I said, "Wow Bob, you sure know how to make a girl feel needed". After that we joked and laughed and gossiped, and mostly just looked into each other's eyes and knew we loved each other. I stayed there for a month, helping care for him. One day I was helping the home help raise him for a sponge bath, and with his arms around me I said, "Oh Bob, I've always dreamed of being in your arms!" his eyes, inches from mine, glittered and glowed as he whispered, "Don't tell Glenn!" and we laughed. Apparently it was the last time. I went home for the night, until the hysterical call from Glenn: Bob was gone. The night I left, Bob told Glenn he wanted to go home, to the green fields. So he did.
When I came into the apartment, he was laying there as always, but at the same time he wasn't there at all. It was as if he was a table, a box; a piece of incidental furniture, nothing at all. I looked at him and kissed his face, his hands, his hair. But he was gone - all that he was, was gone. Less than 1 month later I eulogized him in front of 2000 people. 1 month after that, Patrick, Steven and Justin were dead. 2 months later Tony, David and Carl were dead. and Ted. and Christian. and Miles. and Steve. and Ricky. And 4 months later Glenn went to join Bob in the green fields.
I had a dear friend who asked me how I could have stayed so long in "a death house" (as she called it), how I could've been bathed in lung matter and blood without fear for my own safety, how I didn't go crazy tending Bob, Carl, Miles, Tony, David, Glenn... all of them. I just shook my head; when you love someone, you'll do anything for them, and I loved them all.
(, Fri 29 Feb 2008, 1:47, 1 reply)
That was very moving. It's a fucking horrible bug leaving sorrow wherever it touches.

All those people were very lucky to have a friend like you.
(, Fri 29 Feb 2008, 3:32, closed)

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