I found out last Saturday night that a guy a used to know when I lived in Toronto had died. He had died of AIDS (or complications from HIV) more than a year ago. I had seen him last at a store on Bloor St and he was looking rather bad. He had told me that he was recovering from pneumonia but was feeling much better. I guess that didn’t last long.
I remember meeting him at a bar in Toronto one weekend night. He was wearing ripped jeans and a cowboy hat and he looked very sexy. He wasn’t what I would call gorgeous but he definitely had that thing that makes a guy desirable. I think it was the way he carried himself and his confidence. We had spoken many times after that night but never really become best friends or anything. I’m not sure when I found out he was sick, but I never thought much of it. I certainly didn’t think beyond it. And now he is gone.
I remember hearing guys talk about all the friends they had lost due to HIV and AIDS, and I remember thinking how these guys must have either known a lot of people, or be much older than me, or had worked in a hospice or something. For them to know so many people who had died was usual to me. And now there’s me. I’ll be 28 this year (that’s hard to say) and now I know friends (well, a friend) who have died. I’m not sure what to make of it all. It makes me feel so sad. Not only for them but also for the situation in which we now find ourselves. I can understand the strong urge some have to fight for the rights of AIDS victims and to help out in the community so much. All this because a friend I once knew had died.
Needless to say this news put a damper on my Saturday night. But I also realize that my sadness pales in comparison to what I will feel if someone closer to me should also suffer the same fate. I hope I will have the strength to survive those times when they arrive.
Goodbye my friend.