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.