Thirteen years: Reading Isaac’s words (4)

AIDS was… an illness in stages, a very long flight of steps that led assuredly to death, but whose every step represented a unique apprenticeship. It was a disease that gave death time to live and its victims time to die, time to discover time, and in the end to discover life.

~ Hervé Guibert

Reading Isaac’s words (4)

Continued from… Reading Isaac’s words (3)

May 8, 1998
I received a letter from my mother today. For the first time in writing, she asked me how it happened that I’m gay. She wants to know why I prefer men. She told me she loves me, no matter what, but she thinks it’s a pity I will never give my love to a woman and child. She thinks I would have been a good father. You see, I have a mission now. I have to try to explain it to her again, although I explained it in a letter when my father was still alive.

May 14, 1998
I still have a lot to learn, but here I am with my first letter typed on my new computer. The computer is in the dining room still, but soon Billy will make me a desk for the computer so I can put it in the small room.

May 16, 1998
So, now the computer is in the small room. Billy has really done his best with my special computer desk.

I’m actually dead tired at this moment. It is not because of little sleep, I just feel numb. It was too hot yesterday. Maybe that’s why I’m so tired.

May 19, 1998
Everything in life has a reason. Just when we wonder why and how, things start to change. I always say that He has a purpose with each and every one of us and we should just leave our lives in His capable hands.

May 23, 1998
I wanted to send you this letter by email, but I still don’t know how that works. Maybe something is wrong with my settings.

I think I have a cold again, but it’s my own fault. Last night I went out after I had showered. I should have known better.

May 29, 1998
I cannot believe I’ve spoken to you on the phone! After the phone call, I saw your emails, but when I tried to reply, my messages didn’t go through. I will ask someone to come and help me with my settings.

I had a strange week. I have a bit of a cold and there is a terrible flu virus going around over here. I am doing everything not to get the flu, but I hate to be dependent. Actually, that’s not the right word. Pampering is a better word. Every afternoon they send me home from work to go to bed. It’s the first time I didn’t do the month-end transactions like I do every other month. I feel ashamed. I hope I will be better soon, because at this moment I also feel weak.

May 31, 1998
A colleague was here yesterday to check my e-mail settings. I don’t know if it is fixed now.

June 2, 1998
This morning at work, I stirred up a mess. In our new building, all of us sit in one big office. One of my colleagues came to work with a cold this morning. I went to the colonel to lodge a complaint. I told them it’s unfair of them to expect I should work in an office full of people since I easily can get ill. I wanted to know if I could move out to one of the many unoccupied offices. They said they would think about it. I will keep you informed.

There is a young gay man working in the signal office at the military hospital and he’s very friendly with me. I’m not interested, but it’s good for this old man to see a youngster still sees some potential in him. He’s obviously gay, if you know what I mean. He boosts my ego, and it makes me feel good. Maybe I will lock him in my office with me one day. Oh dear, I do have a big mouth sometimes, don’t I? I am only joking!

Moving to the new building and the cold has given me a blow. I weighed myself today, and I had lost a couple of kilograms. I’m 7 kilograms lighter than the last time I weighed myself, which was about a month ago. The dietitian said it’s not good. I noticed my watch was turning around my wrist and some people around me mentioned it too. I guess I could have seen it in the shower, but then again, I don’t keep my watch on when I shower.

Since I now work in the hospital for a couple of hours every day, I think it’s a good time to round it off with my psychologist and to arrange a meeting with the new psychiatrist. I will see how I feel tomorrow. Maybe I will do something positive for a change.

June 10, 1998
I am at home. Not because I’m ill. It’s because of everything that happened in the past week. My neighbor, Billy, has tried to commit suicide. I came home earlier on Friday and then his wife called me to say he was in hospital. On Saturday morning, I drove her to the hospital and only then, she told me he had taken an overdose. I don’t know why.

Another colleague was here this morning to try to sort my e-mail problem. He has left and will be back later. I hope he can solve the problem so I can send you email.

Last night I watched a show of Oprah, where she spoke about love and lust. I really loved Freddy, but when I think of it now, and if I want to be honest, I think it was more lust than love. I think there was love in the game too, but a lot of it was lust. I have never felt like that about anyone else, and I don’t know if I would ever allow myself to feel like that again. I will not go out to look for it and I know it will not find me here at home.

June 13, 1998
Billy is home. The ward where he was admitted only takes in ten patients at a time and they are closed for weekends. I saw him yesterday and today, but we have not spoken to each other yet. I will go over there sometime this weekend.

To be continued… Reading Isaac’s words (5)

Note: This series is a rework of a self-published book (2009), rewritten for this blog, and in loving memory of a dear friend who suffered from and passed because of AIDS. Keep in mind this story happens in the late eighties and throughout the nineties. Names of characters have been changed to protect their privacy.

© Rebel’s Notes
Image from Pixabay

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