Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Crixi on a cure for AIDS

I posted Saturday about a promising technique developed by German researchers which actually snips the HIV virus from cells, thus curing the cells of infection. I connected to that research, from Deutsche Welle, here.

In response to that post, Mr. Crixi Van Cheek responded with a comment that touched me. I have fallen in love with Mr. Crixi over the last year as the result of his comments on Joe.My.God. When he writes, I listen up, so here is Crixi on what he might do when the cure for AIDS gets here.

My Dear Lynette...

At first we think how wonderful it will be. A sort of VE day over AIDS. What would we call it? In 1990 "Longtime Companion" an Oscar nominated film about AIDS, portrayed the end by having us re-united with all our loved ones on the beach on Fire Island. Sadly, nearly everyone in the film is now dead. Including my bright eyed friend Frankie.

I sometimes wonder myself, what would it be like? I got the virus on 11/26/89. I found out, and got sick April Fool's Day, 1991. Now, all these years later, after having watched way too many people breath their last I find I have very few tears left, but a reservoir of rage.

When I was in school I saw news reels from the end of WWII showing survivors of the Nazi Death Camps being liberated. I used to wonder why they just didn't run for the open gates the minute they were freed. They sort of scraggled towards their liberators.

They were wide eyed and skeptical as they were let out of that hell. Of course the cameras focused on the weakest, the rail thin "walking corpses". But in the background and to the sides were the people that had arrived at the camps later, who were still relatively healthy. What were they to feel? Are they less relieved since they have suffered for a shorter period of time? Do they stifle their joy in the presence of those who have suffered unimaginable pain and loss?

And so it may be when they announce a cure for AIDS. Will I be entitled to joy? Or will I feel too much guilt for having been one of the survivors? How many more accomplished people died before me? My first love, a handsome young doctor, such a waste they all said. But me, just a blue collar kind of guy, why me, why did I make it?

Yes, yes, the Mary Ann Williamson profiteers will all have reasons for me to 'embrace' my feelings and live in some spirit, some moment. But fuck them all, they just wrote books and got rich while our bowels rotted.

Will I walk out of the camp, or will I run? Do I have any run left in me? Will I want to go back and scoop up the ashes of my friends or will I not look back and wash that whole dirty virus off me in a marathon shower?

What will I do when there is a cure? Will the Glaxos and Squibbies mourn their lost protease profits as much as we mourn our dead? Or, will we meet at the corner of Gay St. and Christopher and as our friend Joe.My.God would say: "They tried to kill us, they didn't, let's dance"?

Can you imagine such a thing? And is it even possible to experience such a glorious breakthrough ~ a cure for this dreadful plague ~ without mourning loved ones lost? All of my Houston friends are dead, my band of sweet gay boys who introduced me to the bars, to their lives, who I loved absolutely and who loved me right back. I don't think I could revel in the joyful news of a cure without again mourning the loss of those precious men. We were just babies, all of us, so very young and innocent. To think of them older is impossible. I will always remember them on the dance floor, just as Crixi has said, in movement and life and joy and love. A cure will come. I know it.

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Blogger Dave said...

I should have known better than to keep reading this post at work. Who's got Kleenex?

July 03, 2007 10:50 AM  
Blogger Mamma said...

What a wonderful and thoughtful post.

Here via Kellyology. Couldn't resist checking out someone who refers to herself as Big Ass Belle!

July 03, 2007 11:09 AM  
Anonymous tater said...

I love Crixi too, for his intelligence, and all that fight he has. He is one lovable scrappy motherfucker, as are you my friend. It will be a time to dance. Loved this post, thank you!

July 03, 2007 11:17 AM  
Blogger Red7Eric said...

What a wonderful way with words he's got. As a gay man born in 1970, I largely missed the days of the plague as I went to high school on military bases that would cement me into a life of denial until the age of 25. I'm almost ashamed to say how lucky I am, in that I don't know a single person that died from AIDS; all of the poz people I know are managing the disease and -- based on all outward appearances -- doing really well.

Still, it's important to hear the voice from Crixi and yourself -- from people who knew what the plague was like, who lived through it while being completely ignored by your government and shunned by a society who believed that this thoughtless, heartless virus was the wrath of a vengeful God. It's good for me to think about that, and to get angry, even if it's not on my own behalf.

So, yeah -- thanks.

July 03, 2007 12:28 PM  
Anonymous Joe / Kusala said...

I keep thinking I want to watch Longtime Companion again... but I think when time came for that beach scene at the end might just cause me to have a meltdown. I'm not sure I'd even make it through the credits listening to Blondie's "The Tide is High."

I probably think about "What's Going to Happen?" (or "Will something come along to cure us?") just about every day. I know none of us really knows how much time we have, but I find myself asking all the time: "How long am I gonna be around?" because it all just seems so... uncertain...

July 03, 2007 7:48 PM  
Blogger farmboyz said...

Crixi's voice is unique and wonderful.

I also cannot watch that last scene in Longtime Companion.

Belle, you bring out the good in people.

July 03, 2007 9:42 PM  
Blogger Doralong said...

So many bright lives, so many friends that I miss so very, very much.. The past two decades have been one painful goodbye after another for many of us. We can all only pray for an end..

But it will end, and the day will come- not soon enough I'll grant you, but it will. The Hurricane was born with a weird genetic immune deficiency and became part of the Genome project, with a later request for additional labs and such for the folks at NIH that are working for the cure.

It makes me happy that the trials the boy went through as a little critter may well help erase the virus that took so many of his Mother's friends. For some strange reason this gives me great comfort.

July 05, 2007 7:02 PM  

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