Thursday, December 01, 2005

World AIDS Day

My best friend Al, died of AIDS nearly two decades ago.

He was the first gay man I knew well. He was a good friend of my husband, and introduced us. (Knowing if we were both crazy enough to enjoy his company we would get along with one another - LOL) He had a wicked sense of humor and could always make me laugh. He taught me things about pleasuring a man that I would never have thought of - LOL When I was an unwed mother, he accompanied me to an elegant soirée held by the radiologists of the hospital I was shaming by continuing to work in their x-ray department, despite being knocked up and not married. Having premarital sex is not an adequate reason for dismissal, so they had to put up with me. I told Al of the upcoming event, to be held at an exclusive club. I said since my future husband/father of my child had to work, that I wouldn’t be attending. I was informed in no uncertain terms that I would be attending, with him (Al) as my “date” because he’d always wanted to see the inside of the place. I kept pretty quiet about my private life, (hard to believe, huh? LOL) so my co-workers knew little, but were intensely curious. Showing up pregnant with a flaming gay man provided enough gossip fuel to heat the building for a year - LOL We arrived in a VW Beetle, which was valet parked. We entered the chic Palace of Plentitude, me carrying the out-of-wedlock child who would be born in a couple of weeks, and Al in all his Gay Glory. He wore more makeup than I did, including black eyeliner; a large back cape lined with blood red satin, and a pair of loafers spray painted gold. We were quite the pair. We ate, laughed, danced the tango (YES - what a sight!) and had a blast. He knew when he was dying, but didn’t fear the reaper, saying he’d rather live fast and die young than to be a lonely elderly homosexual. “There’s nothing sadder than an old queen,” he used to say. He was wrong. There was me, the day he died. I hope you’re cloud-dancing in those gold-leaf loafers, Al. I miss you.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


12/01/2005 12:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a wonderful tribute! I second the hugs.

12/01/2005 03:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Awww, Marti. *wipes a tear away* I'm sure that Al valued your friendship as much as you did his. Sounds like he was a kick and someone that I would have liked to known.


12/01/2005 09:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, this was a fantastic tribute, Marti. I'm sure Al was quite a guy. He'd have to be to keep up with you!

12/01/2005 10:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There has been some wonderfully informative programs the last few days. It's really been eye-opening.

I wish there was more I could do to help.

12/02/2005 05:50:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Marti, this is such a beautiful post. Thanks so much for sharing.

12/08/2005 02:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


12/22/2005 05:35:00 PM  

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