This is a long one. Get some tea.
Last night I learned that a young man from around my way had died. Over the past several weeks, he has been in the hospital largely unresponsive and plainly diminished. There was hope but little. There was discussion of his illness but little. He was just. Dying.
At 28, he will join a list of young men from around my way who. Just. Died. They were all, if not explicitly, homosexual. And this is how they all died. Of some unnamed failure of the body that is always explicitly not one of the common ones: cancer, diabetes, heart disease. The Hush tells all. It is AIDS.
We never say that; we might name the failure that AIDS has authored: pneumonia, meningitis; with the proper inflection even “he was sick” works.
“That boy’s funny” was as close as we got to naming…
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