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Remembrance of Things Past


Will
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Today is December first, World AIDS Day. AIDS is not a popular subject on this board. It would be easy to say that denial or escapism are the culprits, but I wonder if it isn't something far less sinister, even, in its own way, something endearing. I wonder if our complicit silence might not be explained by suggesting that M4M provides a comforting, humorous, and mutually supportive haven from the terrors that AIDS has turned loose in each of our lives. Those of us who reached sexual maturity before 1970 bring a particular galaxy of memories to this day. Those of us who were young and randy in the 1970s bring another; and those of us who were just beginning their sexual adulthood around 1980 still another. Then there are those of us who have no memory whatsoever of what the world was like before you had to experience it through a baggie.

 

However different the experiences and attitudes that each of us brings to this day, and however differently each of us decides to acknowledge or ignore World AIDS Day, we have one thing in common. We have in common the irreducible fact that the only means we have with which to give and receive intimate, sexual -- even conjugal -- love is also a means of death. That is a horrible nucleus around which to organize one's whole romantic imagination. However, it is an old one, especially for men. Love and Death, Eros and Thanatos: those are ancient themes for good reason, celebrated even in Homer's Iliad in the funeral scene for Patroclus. I also think that men, far more than women, understand deep inside themselves the odd erotic fascination that playing around the edges of death has. It is men, after all, who like to go to war; it is men who like public sex and risky behavior; and it is men who get turned on by displays of masculine power even when it is not overtly titillating; it is men who invent games like football that provide maximum body contact with maximum brutality. Men are warriors and they are lovers, they are trickster and they are sages.

 

Men are endlessly fascinating, endearing, maddening, lovable, inventive. And on this day I remember those men whom I have loved and who are no longer here because they were fields where Eros lost his battle against Thanatos.

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Guest allansmith63

In 1986, I had a crush on a very attractive man who lived in the community that I did. I saw Dan frequently in the office where I worked, and spoke to him often. I was not sure he was gay, I wasn't even sure I was at that time, but we had a rapport that was unique. We sought each other out to talk - it never went anywhere, but we enjoyed each other's company. (I was very happy in the closet, and at that time, in the small community I lived in, "gay" wasn't an acceptable word, never mind lifestyle.)

 

He was the first man in our community to die from AIDS, early in 1987. I want to remember him on World AIDS Day, because he was the first man that I was attracted to physically and emotionally - he wasn't just a model icon in a f***book, he was a real man. It was horrifying to watch the treatment he was accorded as his disease progressed. I remember him stumbling and falling once in the office, and me being the only one willing to help him up.

Watching people's reactions to this great guy when he was ill were heartbreaking.

 

So, Dan, a "Red Ribbon" to you today.

 

A.

 

ps: Will, thank you for your post, it brought back this memory very vividly to me this morning - I can see Dan's face in my memory.

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Guest Travis69

LAST EDITED ON Dec-01-00 AT 10:51PM (EST)[p]Until 4 years ago I thought I was doing my part by marching in the marches and writing checks to the AIDS charities, then I made a new friend who was HIV positive. Although his "counts" are good and he has survived 13 years now he has days when he needs a little help. Just running down the street to pick up a prescription, getting him some groceries, or doing some light cleaning in his home makes his life a lot easier. Just knowing someone is there in case of an emergency means alot. Look around your building or neighborhood and see if 10 minutes of your day can help someone. Remember your old friends by making new friends.

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Guest Tampa Yankee

LAST EDITED ON Dec-03-00 AT 10:07PM (EST)[p]LAST EDITED ON Dec-03-00 AT 10:04 PM (EST)

 

Meant to post this yesterday...

 

Will,

 

<AIDS is not a popular subject on this board.>

 

Or in most other venues either, I’m afraid...

 

<I wonder if our complicit silence might not be explained by suggesting that M4M provides a comforting, humorous, and mutually supportive haven from the terrors that AIDS has turned loose in each of our lives. >

 

If so, then it is a good thing about this site, I’m sure you’ll agree. But it is also appropriate to reflect on the shadow that is AIDS that has darkened so many bright spots in our collective lives. That is sufficient reason to observe World AIDS Day and for you to draw our attention to it... for many of us are distracted from such issues, caught up navigating daily through our sometimes hectic personal lives.

 

...and it provides an opportunity to reflect and remember those that have touched our lives as Allan has done and shared with us. It is important for us to remember those no longer among us who did touch our lives for they helped make us who we are...

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AIDS is not a popular topic on this board. Hello? Obviously not!!! The whole enterprise of buying and selling escort time is a very dangerous endeavour- no matter what lip service real and/or imagined we pay to safety. AIDS looms very large on this board but no one wants to bring it up- like no one brings up the bear market if you work on wall st. I do not even look at AIDs posts or disaese questions because I get reminded to ask my self- what the hell am i doing on this board and all the activities around it. The point is the "we do not want to talk about aids and disease on the escort board group" do not have our heads anymore in the sand than the "we need to talk about aids on the escort board group"- both are delusional except one group just does not want to name it and the other wants to name it and do nothing about it- if you really want to do your bit for aids- get off this board- do not encourage the enterprise that this board supports- for the rest of us- we are just taking our chances- its too hot and we are too young not to have a good time- in the mean time we do not want to be reminded- especially here- that we are playing with fire- deep down- we all already know this. blu

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The purpose of my initial posting was elegiac, intended to honor some gay men whom I loved and who have died of complications resulting from AIDS. Furthermore, as TY noticed, I made room for a creative (if I may use that word) interpretation of the complicit silence that Blu says is our common ostrich-headedness. The last thing I wanted that post to sound was confrontational, and the last thing I intend for this is that it respond in kind to an angry and patronizing outburst, so apparently spontaneous that it's not even written in complete sentences. For the fear and frustration that fueled Blu's energy, I am sad beyond measure. That is so partially because I do not think that all man/man sex need be unsafe at all, and partially because our patron, St HooBoy, has provided a forum where we can have good old sexy fun about hot men without having to worry that it's going to cost us something, such as our lives.

 

After I've had a chance to think more about Blu's dilemma and have put his contempt behind me, I may have more to say about the degree to which fully conscious denial is in itself a form of denial, subtler and therefore potentially more dangerous than the good, old-fashioned kind that Blu seems proud not to entertain.

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