'I Know Hunger'

"I know how hunger feels. Your stomach is touching your backbone. There is a huge cramp in your belly. You are weak and very tired. All you can do is lie down. But you can’t sleep because you are too hungry.

I have no problem asking for food if I need it. It’s not that I don’t have any pride; I just feel there is no shame in asking what you need.”

I Know Hunger | Jacqueline Turner (available for purchase from badged Street Sense vendors)

Survivor guilt

"It was true: Steve was one of a surpassingly small number of people on Earth whose bodies essentially ignored HIV. And he was one of an even smaller subset who had occasion to find out. Back in the early 1980s, at a time when thousands of gay men, including dozens Steve knew and loved, began dying, he kept on living. Surely he’d been multiply exposed, and yet as he waited a year, and then many, to join those he’d lost, he came to realize that his body would not give him the chance. Frantic to find out why, he went from doctor to doctor, all but begging someone to study him; when eventually someone did, a great discovery was made. Not only had he inherited a genetic mutation that spared him, but that knowledge would lead to the development of a drug that even now helps sustain the lives of people not as lucky as he. ‘He realized that he could provide a piece of the jigsaw,’ one researcher said, ‘and he was right.’

The Man Who Was Immune to AIDS | Jesse Green

Five years

The five-year anniversary of Clark’s death is Monday. I am thinking today of what I always think of every time the date creeps back into my consciousness: this passage from Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking.

I did not want to finish the year because I know that as the days pass, as January becomes February and as February becomes summer, certain things will happen. My image of John at the instant of his death will become less immediate, less raw. It will become something that happened in another year. My sense of John himself, John alive, will become more remote, even “mudgy,” softened, transmuted into whatever best serves my life without him. In fact this is already beginning to happen. All year I have been keeping time by last year’s calendar: what were we doing on this day last year, where did we have dinner, is it the day a year ago we flew to Honolulu after Quintana’s wedding, it is the day a year ago we flew back from Paris, is it the day. I realized today for the first time that my memory of this day a year ago is a memory that does not involve John. This day a year ago was December 31, 2003. John did not see this day a year ago. John was dead.

Next year, the anniversary will be on a Tuesday, the same day of the week he died on. Is it the day.