Fear and Love

So.

I’ve had a real home for a few months, had a shift change, and am now held again to my IDP. (Individual Development Plan as you remember).

New team manager can be a bit of a stickler, and he is gonna hold me to it! (Thanks, Mr. Man. I definitely need the motivation/prods).

It’s not that I don’t want to write. I do! I really really do! There is just so much going on in my twisted little head…

First.

There is of course a fear of starting back up. Writing on a regular basis means commitment!

Other than my high and lofty goals, set out 1.5 years ago, I haven’t written regularly since 1993 when my best friend in the world, the mate of my soul, and one of the most loved people in my life Kevin, died.

He was so young. Just 30 when AIDS took him.

This was before the first cocktail went into trials. This was back when people were so afraid of AIDS that they freaked out at the mere thought of knowing someone affected. I remember my mom being worried because I used to hug Kevin, and even (OH MY GOD) kiss his cheek. She was frightened – afraid that I would contract the disease from that kind of contact.

Back then, people weren’t very informed. There was a LOT of hysteria about the disease. The docs didn’t know much, and the general populace, even less.

I however, knew that we were OK. If he didn’t have an open sore on his cheek (and yeah. Whose gonna kiss a cheek with an open sore anyway. Really?) I would be fine. It wasn’t airborn, so hugs were FINE.

And, at that time, we were both in need of hugs.

I had miscarried my first baby, and he was in the midst of an ugly breakup with his boyfriend. Ex-boyfriend was still his roomie – because they couldn’t afford to live separate. Ex-byfriend was bringing new boys home every couple of evenings – and in the end, had a “live in”. Poor Kevin. His heart was given, and he tried to be stoic, but I know he was hurting. His heartbreak was mine.

I loved Kevin from the first time I met him, at the Denny’s where my first husband waited tables early in our marriage. (He worked there, and I had a job as a subcontractor for the USGS, doing data entry). He worked there as well, and when I came in for all night coffee, waiting for Rick to get off, Kevin never minded if I had a table in his section.

We would talk about books, politics, religion… any and everything that could or would come up. Debate, and discussion, and even if we didn’t agree (which didn’t happen that often, surprisingly) we had a rousing good time, often ending with heading out to breakfast when his shift was over, to discuss more!

It was with Kevin that I saw the movie “The Accused”. Jodie Foster playing Sarah Tobias, in a film that was loosely based on a 1983 rape case, involving a woman gang raped in a bar in MA. SHE was the accused, because she “dressed and acted provocatively”. This movie had me in hysterics. Kevin was able to calm me down, talk me down, help me feel not so violated watching the movie. (I have some serious empathy issues – and when I can relate, Nellie bar the door!)

It was with Kevin that I learned about non mainstream religion (read paganism, in all of its forms) and started to come to an understanding of what the divine means to ME. It was with Kevin that I learned to be a bit more open. Kevin was like a brother I didn’t grow up with, but had he been NOT gay, or I a man, he would have been my love. My one and only. And I would have been his. In the bodies/lives we had however, that was not to be.

Kevin was also my writing buddy. Both of us had the fire. The need. The want. We would read, and critique, and edit, and then reread each others work. He was a maarvelous author, and he had faith in ME and my writing as well. Of course, thinking back on what I was writing then, I cringe. SO fraught with meaning – symbolic as hell, and oh my gods preachy? I should say SO! Ugh. I hope that when I get up the courage to try to write more than my little blog posts here, that I will have found I have grown, and that I am better for the wisdom I have gained.

Still, and most importantly, we were both writing. Kevin was in school – taking classes at the community college, and writing stuff for his Creative Writing course. He also had a filebox full of titles, snips and ideas, as did I.

1993. Kevins HIV positive status had tipped over into full blown AIDS and he had Kaposi Sarcoma. It was invading his legs, feet… pretty much the entire lower half of his body, and with HIV, yeah.

There was a close call in November of that year – where I (as executor of his estate, and Power of Attorney for him) was told that his family should be called – he wasn’t likely to last much longer. He was out of his head – delirious.

Of course, this happened when we were in the beginning stages of a full blown blizzard in Denver. Still, I went to the airport (20 miles give or take each way) three times to get his parents, and each of his brothers as they flew in and take them to the hospital.

Turned out, the staff at the hospital had given him a drug that was dehydrating his brain, and hadn’t given him saline in his IV to help. Once someone realized that, he was more himself.

At that point though – I had another meeting with the hospital staff. His condition wasn’t going to get better, and they wanted me to choose a hospice facility.

It was a happy chance that the one closest to where I lived (only about 6 miles) was also rated the best. At this point, I was spending 18-20 hours a day at bedside, making sure he was never alone. After he got moved to the hospice, he became clearer, more focused. The staff there was awesome. He however, was breaking my heart. He kept talking about “when he got out”. I didn’t want to face it, but I had to.

“Kevin, hon. This is a hospice.”

“Yeah – I know. But when I get out – ”

“Hon. The reason you are here, is because there isn’t much time, and we want to keep you as comfortable as we can until…”

“You mean I am going to DIE here?”

“…” (with a squeeze to hand, and tears in my eyes)

“Why the FUCK didn’t anyone tell me? Mom and dad have been talking about when I go home. There’s so much I need to do before I die! So much I need to get out. Please. Make sure my stuff gets done? My books and stories get written? Finish them for me?”

(This is pretty much verbatim for how that conversation went. It is seared into my brain.)

And for the next week or so – I took notes. And listened. And committed to memory. And spent time with my best friend, my soul mate, as he slipped further and further away.

Finally, on December 3rd, 1993, we were in the sun room, and he was giving me more information about stuff he wanted written. Ideas he had, and novels that were conceived, but he was wandering a bit. A couple of nurses were in the room as well, having a smoke break. (This was back in the day – most places still allowed smoking, and in this hospice, that sunroom was the smoking room.)

They looked at each other, and then at me, and the sadness and compassion in their eyes told me exactly what I was afraid to hear/see. “Why don’t we get Kevin back to his room now for a bit? I think he is probably a bit tired.”

They got him back into his bed, and then went to hunt down his family. I stayed there, holding his hand, and a couple of minutes after everyone got there, he was done.

I leaned over, and kissed his cheeks, his lips, his eyes, and whispered into his ear that I would write for him. I would remember him, and I would love him forever.

Now, 20 years have passed. I still love Kevin, and I miss him every day. Some thought of him comes most every day for me still. He was and is, a part of my life that is precious, and beautiful. I have NOT however, fulfilled that promise. I stopped writing.

Apathy. Fear. Heartache. These invaded my life, until it became easier to make excuses than it was to make stories.

Writing this blog was supposed to be a way back to the joy – but I have been letting fear (and a bit of real life) get in the way of that.

Fear is the biggest part here. I have been left with a huge responsibility. Write his stuff – and do it justice. Write my stuff, and do IT justice.

I am afraid. He was such a marvelous writer – and I don’t know that I CAN do this. He had faith in me, but I am having a hard time finding that faith in myself. Can I write it – get it out, and get it READ? If I do, would it be what he wanted it to be? Would it be good enough?

These thoughts haunt me, and I find myself sinking into a quagmire. If I don’t try, I won’t fail.

If I don’t try however, I can’t succeed. I will also have broken a promise made to someone I loved, and still love with all my heart.

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. diceygee
    Jul 18, 2013 @ 08:52:48

    /hugs

    Reply

  2. Vicky's Electronics
    Jul 18, 2013 @ 11:23:00

    Beautiful!! Honestly, you don’t have to try. You just have to be yourself, and everything just flows from there.

    Reply

  3. Patti
    Nov 17, 2015 @ 20:24:41

    Thanks for sharing this, lady. I know it’s been a couple of years since you wrote this and even more since the events you wrote about, but it still affects you obviously. Kevin was lovely and you’ve described him so well.

    Because I am the way I am, I offer unsolicited advice. It’s selfish, because I want to see you write. So my advice: fail. Just fail. And you’ll see your failures and fix them, because you live and therefore, you fail. And you keep going because you fix what you can and just…go.

    I hope you find your courage soon, even just a little. If I can help even a little, let me know, ok?

    Reply

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