All Photographs + Text © 2005 Christopher Keeley
robert barrett blogspot
From: Robert B
Date: Sat, 1 Jan 2005 08:53:15 -0500
Subject: First Night Celebrations?
Happy New Year to All,
Tonight is the last night of 2004, however, in these parts, people
refer to it as the First Night Celebrations. It reminds me of my last
night/first night celebration two weeks before Easter in 1989.
I was diagnosed with HIV in the fall of 1985. I took part in a Red
Cross program designed to test the general public for the new "gay
A friend who knew how promiscuous I was in my glory (hole)
days at 54 and The Lost and Found, felt it his duty to tell me about
the article he'd recently read in the New York Times . My doctor was
Doctor O'Maley, and I remember the day he asked me to come back into
his office at Provincetown Health Associates.
He was an older doctor,
who I believe retired the following year. Who knows, this was probable
the proverbial nail in his coffin too.
I can only guess at his
perceptions about this "new gay cancer" thing, but I'm sure he had at
least an inkling of the coming devastation.
I remember he told me I
contracted the disease with the somber tone of, "sorry there's nothing
I can do". And there wasn't. At this time many experts were hoping for
a quarantine to contain the rate of infection, but that was all they
It was terminal. Driving my mother's AMC Pacer out the
driveway and down Harry Kemp Way, tears weld up in my eyes as I talked
out loud to her, a victim of cancer who died two years earlier. I
would join her soon, but God Damn it, I didn't think it would be this
For the next four years I didn't breath a word for fear I'd be
locked up. I stood by quietly while friends moved away to die. Some to
their parents homes, some to New York, or San Francisco, to fight the
disease with a new drug called AZT.
But as you know, this only
shortened lives in the end. Within a few years, the dosage was
considered to high for the immune system to handle. It is with a
profound sense of gratitude that I salute those who chose to fight
early on, making themselves human guinea pigs. If it were not for
them, we would still be testing on lab rats. So it's a big, "Holla"
out to Doug and Steven! I miss you both.
In the spring of 1989 I was exhausted. The Key West store had failed
miserable. There was a reason after all, Tony Lambert sweaters didn't
sell in Key West. It was too damn hot! And the fashionable,
understated, Khakis long pants I was sure would sell in my new store,
were passed over by the Australian upper leg slit shorts in bright
colors and prints that were bought in other stores.
Even my heavy
gaged, low slung, solid color tee's from Christoper Street which were
such a hit in Provincetown the previous summer, lost out to Ginni
tee's with printed advertisements like, "Have another Margaretta in
I drowned my sorrow in Cape Cods at the Copa which
was located across the street. I often opened up the store late at
night to some prospective buyer I picked up, enticing him with a joint
or line of coke.
When I returned to Provincetown that spring, I
left the Keys (and the keys to the Pacer) with the orders to pack it
up, ship it out, and leave undetected. Why didn't I listen them and
set the store up under a different corporation. This was the end of
My weight dropped so dramatically I cried when I asked
the sales girl for a twenty eight waist even though I knew,"Giraud"
cut big.I couldn't eat and I remembered sitting down at the kitchen
table with my best girlfriend, pushing pieces of fruit around in a
bowl, too embarrassed to tell her I no longer had an appetite. I was
dieing, and dieing fast.
I told her if she loved me, she would let me
go.I didn't want to suffer like the rest. I was very convincing, I
was, after all, a great salesman. I sold some sweaters in Key West,
just not enough.
I purchased a one way ticket to Amsterdam, where I heard they
practiced euthanasia, and booked myself into the the Marriott, the
most expensive hotel in Amsterdam, with my American Express Card.Once
there,I contacted some doctor with an Aids organization and told him
He scheduled an appointment for the following day. We met
and I convinced him about the euthanasia thing, and he told me,
although the Netherlands allows such practices, in my particular,
undocumented, and really unprecedented case, he could only circumvent
the authorities by prescribing a lethal dose of barbiturates.
suggested I fill it in another country, for my sake, as well as his. I
left the following day for Geneva.
I purchased the round trip ticket
on my American Express Card. "DON"T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT IT!". Geneva
had a surreal quality to it as I flew in over the snow capped
mountains and down to the runway along the ice covered lake bed, or it
could be the tranquilizers the doctor had prescribed for my nerves.
was popping them like candy. Sure enough under the international red
cross sign for a pharmacy, I filled my prescription for the
barbiturates. Now just two more refills to go. The doctors orders were
After two days, I was back on the return flight to Amsterdam with my
loot. Flying, now, took on a peaceful quality as if I were getting
closer to heaven, and my dreams were all about ascending and
descending. Once back at the Marriott, I called my best friend and his
lover, also my lover, that's why we were best friends, and I invited
them to join me for a big celebration with a night on the town
courtesy of, you guessed it, my American Express Card.
I bought a
camera to take the last stills of my life. I thought it would make a
good visual aid at my memorial service of my final days. And the
pictures, (Which have some how gotten lost, and I still harbor
suspicions the ex boyfriend has them or disposed them), were amazing.
One of a women with tulips surrounded by small children, towering
above their heads.
One of the flower market, totally framed with
bright tulips of every color imaginable. One of an old man's face,
showing the age lines that cut so deeply that are only associated with
growing very old, (something I would never experience). One of the
joyous face of a girl, smiling with her hair held back with something
colorful and girlish, yet she had wisps of hair that hung around her
face that relayed a hopeful, yet possible, disheveled life ahead of
All the pictures had some profound meaning of what it was like to
be human, to live life, and to grow old in doing so. My friends met me
at the hotel right away, driving the over three hour drive, in two
hours. We had dinner at a place of their choosing, and it was a place
we normally couldn't afford without the rich boyfriend. But this was
not going to be a normal night. "Waiter.. another bottle of Dom
We'll order dinner in a in a little while". And this was how
the night went.The three of us talking, and me telling the story, and
the bottles of Dom Perrier coming until they ran out and we had to
switch. The boyfriend, older and perhaps, more wiser, and certainly
more particle, wasn't buying the story. He thought I was making a big
mistake, but the night ended with the tearful goodbye between friends
who know they'll never see each other again.
The next morning I called the airlines to find out how much it cost
to send a dead body back to the United States. And I was appalled that
it cost almost four times as much for a dead body, who didn't
eat,didn't drink,didn't watch movies,didn't even make any special
requests or need a blanket, (Well, they might need a "special" sort of
blanket or wrapping, and I'm sure, they require the temperature to be
at, or below freezing).
But you get my point. I shouldn't be concerned
with the money, although by this point, I was beginning to think they
might try to attach the debt to my family somehow. So it was back to
the States with another one way ticket. (Two last minute, one way
tickets came to over 2,000 dollars, but I could hardly look at the
bill when it arrived a month later). Once I landed in Boston,( by this
time I don't really think I landed, without much food and all the
pills, I was definitely floating on air) I found a hotel that was
conveniently located near the airport and easy to get to so my family
could identify the body, and once in the room, placed the lethal dose
of pills on my pillow.
I wrote four letters. One to the poor hotel
worker who found me, apologizing to her for putting her in this
situation and directing her,(I always imagined it would be a maid from
Haiti or somewhere, hysterical, screaming her prayers to God in broken
English as she ran down the hall).
One to the police officer,
directing him how to contact my immediately family. One to my
brothers, telling them how much I loved them and didn't want them to
suffer over my prolong illness.
And one to my father, forgiving him. I
turned up the TV, so if I made some unconscious moaning or choking
sounds during my ascent, it wouldn't draw any premature attention to
me. I laid on the pillow, I looked at the vial of pills. "So this was
it... not so bad... nice comfortable bed.... soft white sheets....
comfortable clothes....and ....." passed out.
I remember dreaming I
was on a platform like a shrine, and some friends were saying things
over me and laying hands on me. They were helping me elevate to the
other side, lifting, no elevating me, and each time I rose a little
higher, each time I became a little lighter, up.. up.. up.. soon I was
ascending high above the city,(What city? Was I still in Amsterdam?)
then down.. down.. down..then up... up.. up...and down.. ..down..
down, until I splashed into a canal and woke up in a terrible sweat.
It was morning and I had a sudden urge to make the final plans myself,
relieving my family of any obligations. So I contacted a funeral
parlor I found in the yellow pages. It was Irish, but my only other
option appeared to be Italian and that didn't feel right, so I made an
appointment for "a friend of mine named Robert who was dieing of an
"Robert" told me everything he wanted, and I was
to convey it to the funeral director. I walked into his office, never
having been in one before, I was strikened by how ordinary it looked,
like a lawyer's office. After hearing "Robert's story", the funernal
director thought it best if,
"Robert" went to get retested inoder to
prove to his family he was very sick, and dying, soon to be dead. I
said I would tell him, and left a deposit of $1,000 cash,( he didn't
take credit cards) and left for the testing center. I reached the
clinic, which to the best of my recollection was located near Harvard
Square, really flying now.
I actually believed I was in an ultra state
of telepathy and could perdict the future, but it was later
diagnoised, as a psychotic episode. My high was rudely interrupted
when the receptionist at the clinic told me she would be happy to make
an appointment for a test, "Let me see...next Friday...no,no,...the
Friday after that, at two thirty?". "You don't understand, I almost
killed myself last night.
I need a test today". The words just came
out, like I had no control, (Go figure). "Oh, I understand", ( And to
this day I remember his name, and have often thought to thank him for
saving my life) "Dr.McCain can see you now". Well then, that's better.
I was shown to his olffice. Dr. McCain left the office for two brief
periods during my "story". Under the cloak of confindentalaliy, I
decided to be completely candid and told him everything. He was such a
nice man, easy to talk to.
I asked to take a smoke break and didn't
return until he came down and found me outside talking to a dog. He
stood up from behind his desk when the knock at the door came and he
stated his name was Dr. McCain, he was committing me to observation
and he was afraid I might do harm to myself and he believed I had the
means to do so on me, (What, had I told him that too?) to the police
officers as they walked in.
I went quitely. The officers had me empty
my pockets,(God, what was I thinking. Why didn't I just leave the
pills in the hotel room, the maid probable wouldn't have stolen them).
We proceeded, arm in arm, to the the back of the paddy wagon.
remember giving them the letters through the slot claiming it wasn't a
good idea to have them on me, (I brought them too, "You can read them
if you want"). I tired my best to sell my case to the intake doctor at
the Mass.Dept Of Public Health, but he didn't buy it. I would be
committed for observation for 72 hours. I was allowed one call, I made
two, one to my best girlfriend, and one to my deserving, yet,
My father's new wife answered the phone. She's
about my age, and I'm his youngest son, you can do the math, and
although my father didn't know what he could do, she went into action,
and together, over the next few days, they planned my release. It was
simple. The family had to appear loving and supportive, with friends
who were also, loving and supportive. The latter was easier to pull
off. But three days later, my father arrived via air and ticketed
through American Express.(They still had no clue, and I'm afraid I've
ruined it for the rest of you would be suiciders because these days
they will question even a one way ticket to Amsterdam, and cut you off
just like that.
So to all of you who are planning your own demise, be
My father stayed in my hotel room since I was unexpectable detained
from checking out.The hotel's close proximity came in handy, although
not for what I had intended, and he showed up early on the fourth day
in his navy blue, double-breasted suit, looking like he was going to
work for the State Department, which he did, followed in by my best
girlfriend, looking sharp as always.
The first morning, if I may back
track for just a minute, I was summoned to the Harvard ampitheater
which was filled with young doctors and interns from Harvard School of
Medicine. You would of thought it was scene from the Elephant Man, and
I made sure there wasn't a dry eye in the house.
I told them they had
no right to prevent me from euthanasia, now I have to die a slow and
painful death. I was an example of the psychotic, suicidle, state of
mind, but as I saw it, I was there to explain managing death over
prolong illness.(This was before anyone ever heard of Jack Koverken).
It took two full weeks to draw blood, run the tests and convince
me I wasn't dieing of Aids. But I was suffering a nervous break down.
I returned to Provincetown in time to celebrate Easter with supportive
friends since I aggreed to go to Boston once a week from
psychoanalyisis. (The most fabulous, and only real thearpist I've ever
known was named, get this, Dr.Storm Lynn).
Within the week, I found
out the night I passed out with the pills on my pillow was the same
night friends had attended a sayaunce in Provincetown.
trying to reach someone's long lost dead sister, instead, they reached
me.This would be far fetched, except that I was able to name the
friends since they were also the ones in my dream.
Why am I telling this story? Well you see, I got another chance at
life, in fact, I've had serveral, but this time I welcome the New Year
with hope and new oppertunity. So, wheather you're celebrating the
first night, or the last night, with a little luck, we'll all have a
long and happy life. :)
From: Robert B.
Date: Mon, 31 Jan 2005 12:42:50 -0500
Subject: The big thaw or the big chill?
To: Eric K.
Hey, hey, Lulu,
Back at the office/library. What a week. Nothing but snow and more
snow. The town is, for lack of a better word, back to normal. It's all
about catching up now. As you know my infections continue with the
last one requiring another dose of antibiotic, but this time
intravenously. I felt like such a pathetic thing hooked up to an IV,
and hope it's not in my immediate future any time soon.
is also a bit confused by the Meds. I went to thebody.com and entitled
my question, "My head or my liver?". I asked weather they have any
stats on Susteva's mental side effects and to what degree I might
experience them. As some say, I'm half crazy already so there's only
half as much at stake. My other alternative is Viramune which can
cause irreversible liver damage, and or liver failure, and or death.
So as my doctor points out," it's a crap shoot".
One thing I'm clear
on is that I will feel worse before I feel better. And that's the rub.
Whatever regiment I decide on will have to be adhered to for at least
eight weeks to, as the doctor says, "work through". One thing they
both have in common, in this case not such a good thing, is a rash,
nausea, and diarrhea, symptoms which I'm dynamically opposed to
because it's just such a mess in the end. (ha, ha, me make a little
jokie). We'll see what the experts say...
Otherwise the week was spent filling in time. Time to clean the
kitchen cupboards at 5:30 am., time to shovel the snow off the front
walk at 5:30 am., time to go for a walk along the beach at 5:30 am.
The latter was out of desperation since the," house" feels I'm
competing for the Mary Poppins clean sweep stakes and resents my
compulsive -too- clean behavior. I've already decided to plead the
fifth in the house meeting on Wednesday when work assignments are
reviewed, " I clean therefore I am on the grounds that I may
You'll also be glad to hear that among volunteering for stage manager
for the up and coming Provincetown Theater's production of Jacques
Braille, I've also signed up for a memoir writing course at the adult
So I look forward to improving remarkably with a
little assistance from a visiting fellows from UT Grad school who also
teaches at the Artist's Fine Arts Workshop here. When I went to sign
up and asked for an enrollment form, the very nice girl behind the
desk asked what class I was signing up for.
I said the memoir writing
class, and this fat bitch who was also signing up for the class, asked
if it was a beginners class because she's "published" already and I
can only assume, doesn't want to waste her time. Could the instructor
call her at home? How dare she! Is it that obvious I'm a beginner?
looked at her check book and she was writing a check for two hundred
and something dollars, the courses only cost up to fifty dollars and
unless she was singing up for advanced pilates or yoga, or better
still, food and wine parring class, she's signed up for every fucking
writing class and obviously isn't "publishing" at this bloody moment.
I mean really. I'll give you an up date on this one when I start
classes next week.
So Lulu, Dr. Bob has said he will track down a computer for me next
week as he slipped me another $200.00 dollars as I protested I hadn't
even spent the last installment yet. He only got me to except it
finally since he is going out of town to Vermont next week looking for
a liver for his friend who apparently is still in denial.
denial, Dougie is up to his old tricks again calling me Sunday to rave
and rant foaming at the mouth about how he heard through a hairdresser
who worked with him last year, that one of my house mates, I have
eight, went out on Saturday and was "a mess and had an orgy with two
other guys from out of town and did I hear any of the ruckus
downstairs last night and how he is such a mess, drinking and shitting
himself, never eating, all over the place, yada yada yada..."
please, look to the source, who's by the way, a fat horse without
anything or anybody to do in his spare time. These queens in this town
are comic figures without a leg, or peg, to stand on. As my house
mother said after I told her,"please, I've never seen anyone come out
of the West End Salon looking any better than when they went in, and I
know, I used to work across the street!" Love her, she's very gay, my
Lulu, I haven't told anyone about the Blog yet and I'm very excited
about it. How do I do it? I'd like to write in it if I can, so you
don't have to copy all the time. You'll let me know about that soon I
hope. Obviously this is my way of telling everyone about MY BLOG that
LULU MADE FOR ME. Go visit it at: robertbarrett.blogspot.com and let
me know what you think.
Well dear Lulu, that's it for now and I'll keep you up to date now
that the snow has melted and no one in town has a reason to stay in
and do whatever it is they do. So write when you can. Love, Francine
From: Robert B.
Date: Fri, 10 Dec 2004 11:45:56 -0500
Subject: Feeling better after yelling and apoligizing for yelling. You
don't need to know, but do you remember?
The weather in Atlanta this morning reminds me when we arrived in
Sydney. The mornings after it rained the low fog gave way to partly
clouding sky. In the distance you could see the dark rain mass as it
moved out to sea. There's a light cool breeze which hints at the
change of seasons.You remember? Oh and the flight over. We had stayed
up most of the night before at Private Eyes, the new hottest club in
New York with wall to wall videos. I knew the owner's boyfriend and he
got us into the VIP room and free drinks. We were quite fetching then.
We were with that Irish boy I picked up in Boston that summer who
still lives there. We didn't want to spend any money before leaving
for Sydney for six months so you stayed with some trick and I stayed
with your stewardess friend at the YMCA.
Remember I got so drunk that
in the middle of the night I had to pee so bad I got up and thought I
was stepping out the window to a balcony outside her room and fell
from the 27th floor to where the balcony actually was to the 25th
floor?.How I woke up in the morning in nothing but my underwear in a
strange empty room with a broken window thinking I'd been robbed by
the little stewardess or pissed her off and figured she'd left me for
How you all found me wrapped in a towel, no that's right, by
that time security had found me some clothes to put on from lost and
found. I was going through the hotel registry trying to remember the
girls name? How I had long cut marks of dried blood from where I
crawled through the broken window all up and down my legs and arms? I
had thrown a brick through the window to get off the balcony once I
fell so I could get into the vacant room. How the security guard took
me outside and for emphasis and showed me it wasn't even a balcony it
was more of a decorative eve that ran up each side of the block long
building not to be accessible to guests?
And how even though I ended
up staying in "my own" room the management only charged me five
dollars for the broken window? Oh and the 19 hour flight, how I
suffered stinging from the cuts and bruises? Those were the good ol'
And how the Aussie boys from the guest house took us to Bondi Beach,
or was it Tamarma,? How the next day, we were suffering from immense
hang overs and jet lag, and how they just stood there idle and watched
us as we jumped into the surf paying no attention to the yellow flags
(we thought they were decoration) and swam out too far getting caught
in the rip current for twenty minutes with the waves pounding us and
the tide taking us further out to sea until I, I think it was me,
remembered to swim sideways and into shore and how these two Queens
not from Australia, wet and water logged, half drowned, actually
kissed the sandy shore confessing to have "almost died" to one another
through our tearful whimpering sobs? Those were the days.
Oh OH! And how that night when we went to the Exchange Hotel on Oxford
Street with those Aussie boys that worked at the Albury Hotel, one of
which I told you I had had a crush on since I was last in Australia
two years before and how near the end of the night I couldn't find
either one of you and at breakfast the next morning you came sashaying
in by yourself and I asked you about it that night and you told me you
were just trying to prove to me he wasn't worth it and when I
confessed I loved him you told be he was "no big deal" presenting your
little figure to me as an example of his size and how I flew across
the bed and started to choke you to death?
Yeah those were the days
alright. And how that boy came to P- town years later and you would't
let him stay with you so I took him in and that's when he met David
and we met David?
And how he died of AIDS two weeks before Willem and
I went to Australia for six months the last time, before Willem was
your boyfriend and the two of you got married.?Yes indeed. We've come
along way since then haven't we?
From: Robert B
Date: Mon, 29 Nov 2004 14:53:32 -0500
Subject: Saw a dead squirel today
I'm at my clinic/office location today and went to sign on and
realized after putting in my password that the email address was
wrong, it was left from the previous user and
that's fucked up! Yes I passed a
dead squirrel on my way here and although I don't find any literal
meaning in this, I am depressed today. Moments later I passed a crack
addict who actually turned around to start with me. I waved him off
without a word. He must of seen it in my face, the venerability
One hour has passed.................it's amazing how crying
( "I can't
believe people actaul care that much about me") and then screaming (
can't you give me anything for the pain) at your therapist, can make a
world of difference.
Surely I exaggerate, it probable won't make a
world of difference, but it's a start. I told her, not letting her
interrupt, what has happened in the last few days.
How on Thanksgiving
a friend of mine gave me a Colonopen(?) which made me relaxed for the
first time in weeks.
How after dinner I got cramps and lied on the
floor of the bathroom in a fetal position, deep breathing and
sweating. How he then gave me a pain killer and I felt just fine. Was
it food poisoning or just nerves or a reaction to the drugs, who
I went home and called Evelyn Simon after two years and was
aesthetic about my sobriety. She didn't believe me and asked what I
was on. She didn't return my call yesterday.
On Friday it was back to
work with Paul, the slave driver who takes his "work very seriously"
which is window washing. He's been sober for 10 years and is what they
call in the field,"a dry drunk".
He was incredible abusive, needlessly
criticizing my work and telling me why I'm just like his loser sister
the drunk. We worked from 9am to 5pm with no food or water, no
exaggeration( and he's doing me a favor at ten dollars an hour).
need the money. By the time he dropped me off at home, after trying to
search for some levity on my part, it ending with yet another fight
where he slammed the car door and sped off.
I went up to soak in a
bath which lasted about five minutes until I got the courage up and
called him, "Yes BOBBY?" "Paul, I just want you to know that I'll work
for you tomorrow, but you don't control me and the abuse has got to
stop! Think about it" He started to yell again, I hung up the phone
quickly. He's so miserable and sick.
He has no excuse for being an
asshole, he dosen't drink, but I feel sorry for his mental problems.
So much for the twelve steps! I was supposed to go to my first meeting
that night with my friend Thomas, but he called to tell me he couldn't
make it, how about tomorrow night? Too many pain killers for him I
assume and agree to meet the next evening. I was relieved.
The next morning, if you can call 3am that, I've been getting about
four, five hours of sleep a night for the last couple of weeks, I woke
with a stye in my left eye and the fever blister from the week before
and a back ache.
I waited till 7am and called my brother, waking him
at 6am his time. I couldn't even get out the words hello I'm sorry
before sobbing uncontrollable.
I told him I needed a treatment center,
that I had to go away, that I'ld miss Christmas and I did'nt even know
if I could get Christmas presents to the kids, sob, sob. That I was
broke and this is probable not the time to stop smoking (now up to two
and half packs a day).
He suggested some place in Texas and I told him
that the family may be where some of the problems are, that I can't
further his burdens( he takes care of my brother and his wife's mother
is very ill), and that I wouldn't know what he could tell the kids
about Uncle Bobby and I simple couldn't save face.
Now there's a joke!
I mentioned that Doug in P town had mentioned a place up there in a
passing conversation the week before( had he seen it coming?) and that
if I wanted he could check into it for me. My brother suggested I call
Doug, once I got a hold of myself and we hang up.
When I called Doug
he didn't let me indulge myself and said to wait for his call around
At 12:30 Doug called, and in only the way Doug can say it, "
It's all taken care of call Bob Dewars, you remember him." Apart from
having the last name Dewars, Bob, who I think I sleep with once, was a
huge drunk who obsessed with me and would fall asleep (pass out) on my
porch behind the store.
I think I was fairly rude to him then, but
Doug has reported to me each and every time he's asked about me over
the years. ( In later conversations, now Dr. Bob Dewars, remembers my
birthday, a fact that escapes my own father!) He's on the board of
this and that drug rehab, knows everybody, and has "connections". Doug
describes him as top in his field, considered the very best.
call, getting no answer, I left a message clearly emphasising and
spelling my last name.( probable unnecessarily, the man knows my
BIRTHDAY) He called back several hours later stating he was on the
Outer Cape and didn't want to risk a phone interruption.
responsible, so far so good. He described the "treatment options"
available to me, I interrupted in order to bring him up to date with
all my particulars so as to get things rolling. All in all, I was
I admitted my tremendous fear that people might not be
taking me seriously and that I could not afford yet another mistake or
misguided attempt to finally fix my life. He assured me, it, and he,
and Doug, were on the up and up. I hung up with a twinge of hope and a
over riding sense of uncertainty.
Yet I managed to call some friends,
while answering calls from others. "'We support you" and "whatever you
need, just let me know" was the general theme from my friends from out
of town. I was started to feel better.
Then I called Pat, my
practicing alcoholic, (he's actually very good at it and can drink
anyone under the table), best friend who between beers,"hold on let me
get a beer" and "wait a second, can someone PLEASE get me a beer? and
"where's my beer?" and finally," I told you to get me a fucking beer",
to tell him about the developments.
He's response, although
predictable, considering, hit me like a ton of bricks. " That's what I
hate about white people, (he's white), they're always bitching and
moaning about how their parents did this, blaming their parents for
that. You don't see the black men blaming their parents, he gets a
job, (or steals or sells crack) because he has to. You can't blame
your parents for all your failures. You fucked up!
You're fucked up!
Your life's a mess because you chose to get drunk and loose every job
you ever had,( he exaggerates, we'll say many) and you tell everybody
at the bar their wearing an ugly shirt, (just one queen, and it was,
and I felt bad for it the next morning). And then, have properly read
me for filth, he, or I, hung up on each other.
The next call was to
Paul, I felt bad about all the negativity I was attributing to him
from the abuse the day before and decided to give him one last chance.
"It's because you're fucked up. Look at your life;( He met look at my
life and how much better it is than your's) you have three dui's,
you're getting evicted, you don't have a job, you don't have a car, of
course you feel bad, you're a loser.
Go to ninety meetings in ninety
days",....and then,".these doctor's are paid by the drug companies,
all the want to do is get everybody on drugs, ( and feeling better
about themselves?) Admit you're powerless over alcohol, then we'll
It occurred to me how similar Pat and Paul are, how miserable
they are, how they are so much alike, and how they've always despised
each other equally. But maybe they have something. Maybe I'm a spoiled
Maybe my goal to feel better about myself and live a fuller more
meaningful life, now that I'm given this window of opportunity, is
selfish and self centered. Maybe if I just go to the meetings my life
will slowly turn around like Paul's after ten years, because look at
all he's got.
When the phone rang again, it was Dr. Bob. I was on my way to a
meeting, but I took the time to tell him about all the advice I've
gotten from my support system in Atlanta, and that I was having second
(third and fourth.....) doubts.
I even explained to him that I was in
a crisis, and by it's very definition that means I can't be trusted to
make sound judgements, ( I once convinced my friends it wasn't
suicide, it was euthanasia, so let me go and get on with it), "so if
you could give me the hard line, it would be appreciated". He took a
breath and began, " Although working the twelve steps is helpful in
recovery, if one (meaning me) has a bio/chemical aspect it may need to
be treated with drugs, and if one has serious emotional needs, ( I
plead insanity), they'll need to be addressed with intense therapy,
and I am offering you both, not to mention getting you started on HIV
meds".. Sounds good to me, "but what if I get up there and find out
that I've made a mistake.
I can't afford another mistake"." Well, Doug
and I would love seeing you and it's not like you'ld be missing out on
anything in Atlanta for a week while you check out what's best for
you, your health, and you're recovery,.
Robert, you need to relax, get
away from the daily stresses in life",( like eking out a below poverty
existence, living pay check to pay check for forty plus hours a week,
never getting anywhere, but too busy to be really concerned or
connected?)," and give recovery a chance".
OK, now I'm going, two
points for Dr. Bob!, and off I go to my first meeting.
The meeting was pretty much as I anticipated.
Half the group obviously
suffered from some greater degree of manic depressive and bi polar
illnesses, they were, however, sober, and miserable And the other
half, were celebrating their sobriety; happy and well adjusted,
So, weather I went with an agenda or not, I believe, if I'm
going to truly beat this thing, this thing that's probable been with
me before I drank any alcohol or smoked any pot, I've got to give Dr,
Bob's recommendation a chance. So with the help of friends and family,
with the support from so many I didn't expect it from, I am on the
road to recovery, and to P town, and finally, maybe, this elusive
thing called "a happy life".
I talked to Paul this morning. He thinks
I'm making a mistake," look at all I have, you're such a looser".
From: Robert B
Date: Wed, 1 Dec 2004 15:03:40 -0500
Subject: Welcome home, I feel better already.
I was beginning to think you were an enigma of my imagination, some
invisible friend I dreamed up to keep me company through all this. But
you're back in the flesh, or should I say, black and white, with
stories forthcoming to boot!
As you can see, I've been quite prolific
since your departure and it appears each time I try to end a
chapter (of my life) something more compelling, more dubious, more
tragic, comes up.
My note book is stuffed with ideas and concepts
waiting to be put down on paper, however this day to day bullshit must
be extracted first, usually leaving me too exhausted to write another
line.( so much for catharsis, but that would be the wrong word because
this shit is REAL! )
That's how I left last night after emailing, hopeful, full of
trepidation and exhausted. Pat called in a rare sober moment and told
me he supported what ever decision I made. Paul called to invite me to
a meeting, however my back still ached, I was hoarse from yelling at
the therapist, and besides the meeting he goes to is outside the
perimeter ( OTP is the Manhattan equivalent of "bridge and tunnel")
other words, I was full of excuses. But he called and that was
The next call was from Dr. Bob Dewars who apologized for
calling late, he had had a bad day. He said that he was trying to
arrange for a new liver for a friend, he had a donor,( I imagined the
donor, no longer alive, lying stiff and cold and not missing his liver
anyway) and that his friend had called to say he was having problems
with his ulcer and cancelled his appointment.
Had Dr. Dewars had a
sippy sip sip of his name sake?, and he would call me from the hotel.
Why is a successful doctor staying in a hotel? With these questions
unsaid and unanswered, I replied that would be fine, paused a minute
and said,"sorry about your liver "," that's OK." and we hung up.
One day later. ..I'll stop the stories for a moment to reflect on your
latest email. All I can say is WOW, my dear friend Eric, you've blown
me away once again with your spot on insights.
It is obvious you know
me better than anyone, and your concern for my welfare made it hard to
read the email through my tears. I now agree that P town holds the
only real solution for my problems.
Although my recovery has begun,
and will continue, for what I can only imagine, will take
considerable time and effort on my part, P town holds the key to my
ultimate success. I don't mind this thing pestering me for the rest of
my life, I just don't want it to fester and smolder, ready to catch
fire without a moments notice.
It dosn't have to be easy, in fact it
will be hard, I only hope that I will get better. I'll listen to the
experts and do what they say, giving myself over to humility and
trust, not something which comes easily to me. The way it stands right
now, the application process will take at least two weeks, which is a
disappointing because I too was thinking Dec 6th was the day.
long as I stay busy and do the right things for recovery, two A A
meetings so far, try to get my health in order and see the doctor
regularly because my blood pressure is back up, and of course go to
therapy, now two times a week, I will be OK. The screaming worked and
they gave me a low level sleeping aid which did little last night, but
over time I'm hopeful it will work.
Tomorrow I go to eviction court
and hope I get two or three weeks more in the apartment for the
cashier's check I have for for five hundred.
Plus the eight hundred
dollar deposit, plus a third party check for five hundred. That would
pay the rent though December, if they count the deposit. Of course
that's only a moral decision and dosn't involve any legal penalties
like breaking the lease, but there too, I have excuses, or mitigating
circumstances if you will.
Now it's off to the "occult" indoctrination because it's "recommended
Maybe I'll have the courage to "share" if I can get out
the words," hi my name is Robert and I'm a alcoholic and addict". It's
so serious. And then after I "share"they'll all say,"thanks for
sharing Robert". But I got myself into this mess and I'll get myself
out of this mess.
Once again, you are my rock, and I love you for the support and
encouragement shown by your email. I'll be funnier tomorrow.
From: Robert B
Date: Mon, 22 Nov 2004 11:42:24 -0500
Subject: Don't think I'll be talking to any squirels today.
I believe I've reached the end of this chapter which began when the
doctor told me to go to the emergency room for my blood pressure. You
see I've had what you might consider an epiphany.
I suddenly realized
at 5:30 in the morning after reading,"Dry", by Augusten Burroughs,
that what I've been experiencing is detox, and cold turkey without the
help of pills or morphine.
Although I haven't been to an actual place
of detox, I did however manage to detox on an out patient basis.
imagine it's more dignified, and certainly a lot cheaper.Through the
guise of treating my high blood pressure, half the battle has been
won.Scared straight I think they call it.
Think about the doctor from
the school of hard knocks who wouldn't prescribe a single pill, think
about the shrink who said I must be in," a lot of pain, so we'll see
you next week", think about the placement of what I now call," bath,
breath and beyond" and exercise to fill the void left by years of
"self medicating", and finally think about the journal I kept
consisting of all these emails to you, my dear friend.
I always seem
to end up with an unintended, but certainly gratifying, result.
Suddenly I'm in no rush. I don't feel threatened anymore because the
worst of it is over. For the first time in my life, I have the
ultimate control. Please don't think I'm brainwashed, be happy for me.
I don't have to say I'll never have another drink or a joint, but I
know, you know, we know, the truth.
I have so many challenges facing
me, better to face them with a clear mind and open heart. And you know
what a drama queen I can be, I even have a new theme song, Elton
John's, "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me".
With everything now in
place, set to music, I'm truly ready for the encore, and if I get
booed off stage, that's OK too, because it's in the process, not the
Talk with you soon after you catch your breath. love ya Robert
From: Robert B
Date: Wed, 17 Nov 2004 16:41:06 -0500
Subject: tropical paridise ?
I've moved temporarily to a new office, or should I say branch because
it's located on the fourth floor of the central library.
expanded my intake of the yellow pill, up to a whole one now and the
blood pressure continues to fall. today, i did however talk to a
squirrel while basting beside the pool.
the squirrel had drank the
chlorinated water and i said, in squirrel, ( chrip, chrip, or is that
bird talk) AND OFF IT SCAM MERED WITH ONLY A FLASH OF IT'S BUSHY TAIL.
Which made me notice my own bush had grown in quite a bit since it's
I took care of it once I returned upstairs. Funny how
the(my) mind works. I was actual waiting for the eviction notice( now
there's a reason to wait by the mail box) which is due any day now..
The bastards won't take the check from the aids support group so I'll
have to tell it to the judge. And today I also had to write to the
unemployment office for an appeal in thier discion. The world seems a
pretty rough place right now.
I've also sent out my last resume, not
that I don't have anymore, but I think I've drop off, emailed, and
faxed as much as I can for now. if I don't get anything in the next
week I'm throwing in the towel.(moving back to Texas).Note to
patterson: can you get me out of Atlanta, do you need your house
painted or fence fixed? I was thinking of some funny things to make
you laugh, i think the tragedy speaks for it self and we have to
I might of mention that I was back in the red robe at the abbey,
well, that transition wasn't to smooth either and i was caught by a
particular bar Nazi for steeling a bottle of wine. I was actual only
going to open it and have a glass, it was the ninth hour of a ten hour
wedding and i thought since no one feed us that a glass of wine would
ease the pain of having to reset the entire dinning room. not!
there will have to be a cooling off period before Mr Gore, my manager
that I protested to ( maybe pleaded to is a better word) to keep what
little work he can offer, It'll be Christmas by then. so i have
precious moments left (no no not that) before the computer shuts down,
it even sends a message if you sneak on more than once. so it's for
tomorrow and a better day.
I'll leave you with this thought........one
reason for me to write is that people don't want to hear it and find
me somewhat exhausting! love ya robert
From: Robert B
Date: Thu, 11 Nov 2004 13:52:35 -0500
Subject: still can't get to google
well marie, seems francine is having a problem with the most simple and
benign of tasks, and you don't need to be so nasty about my short comings,
it's not entirely my fault i was born in america!
anyway.the blood pressure medicine seems to be working-i didn't see any
squirells today, just the normal crack additics in the park. although, i
must say they're much more aggressive and louder than the squirells.as i
briskly walked (check) by i couldn't help notice they've dorned the new
winter ware early this year, probable due to being immoblized (passed out)
for prolonged periods of time in the cold.
as i pass one, she complimented
me on my tan and pretty eyes befor asking for spare change.
eric, i haven't
been sun tanning or using visine in weeks! maybe it was just wind burn and
watery eyes or a simple ploy on her account. i was just in a sweater mainly
because i haven't found the appropriate coat which has long sleeves, buttons
or zips up, goes below the waist, oh yeah, costs no more than a dollar.
stopped by for cigs and a banana (check)- i've decided because of my
unfamilarity with the food group of "fruit", reasons that may aapear obvious
and freudian to you, i've decided to eat them in aphbetical order, yesterday
was apple, and unless you count advocado which actually has a seed and is
therfor a fruit, today is banana.
i don't see any problems until "d", unless
you count dried fruit like apricots...shit there goes the whole order,
better just eat whats in season. so here i am, at the office (clinic),
slightly out of breath with a slight cough and almost no soles left on my
shoes.i've briskly walked up and down the streets so often that i'm sure
people must think i'm getting paid for cannvassing.
so yesterday, after
siging up for the wrong email account, i reported to the doctor knowing that
having followed her instuctions to the tee, would have dramatically reduced
my blood pressure. apparently they had tired to reach me on my disconnected
phone to tell me that they were suddenly not as concerned as the night
befor, and that i should come back next week when the medicine has time to
work it's magic.
i say, since i didin't die over night and that i relieved
them of they're liablityby signing on the dotted line, thier honest concern
has turned to professional relief.
the problem is that the warning signs of a
stoke; dizziness, headache,sudden clapping noise and tingling of the
extremities, is uncomforable simular to the side effects of the
drugs,........or so i'm assuming.
well i should probable get on with the rest
of the day- healing mind, body and soul (note to self: call an exsorists) so
until we write again, please try to get my letters in one account so that i
can compile them for my new book-" letters from a former promising sexy
handsome club kid, now with hiv, no place to live, no money to show, getting
older by the minute, to his bitter nasty friend who hates americans".
think that covers it, don't you? next time i will attempt to asnwer the age
old question: how can the cab pick you up if you "live on a street with no
From: Robert B
Date: Thu, 4 Nov 2004 14:18:53 -0500
Subject: that was easy
well just when i thought things would be settling down.....so you know
i was off to the doctor last time we spoke to get some anxiety pills?
well the first appointment was with the shrink who, among other wise
insightful things to say, repeated that i must be in "a lot of pain" (
note to self : tell her i don't like that comment) .
appointment was with the case manager for rental assistance which was
supposed to be a follow up to close the deal. not the case, she
regrets that there's nothing she can do until the jerks at the
apartment complex who won't take second party checks, evict me, and
not to worry that can't happen till the 19th. THAT'S IN TWO WEEKS!
needless to say by the time i got to the clinic and they checked me
in, the doctor informs me my blood pressure is in the "stoke range and
that he was writing an order for the emergency room. furthermore if i
choose not to go, i would have to sign a form relinquishing his
liability.(which i'm sure, just shot it up a few more points) " can't
i just have a Valium?", i say.
" we don't have that here on hand and
it could take three weeks to fill that request even if i would
recommend such a 'band aid' approach".
he would, however, be able to
start me on that diuretic that i stopped taking cause it made me
tired, tasting salt, and made me pee a lot, and ( the catch 22)
drink water (ugh) all the time. so it's a new fortified tougher me
today. i walked briskly home making sure to get the heart rate up,
stuffed a chicken while singing to myself and i limit what and how
much TV i can watch.
this morning i only watched twenty minutes of my
favorite hard news show (The Today Show) and turned it off to practice
my Jacobson deep breathing and relaxation exercise, took another brisk
walk, had a breakfast of low fat no salt... something or other, what
does it matter if it doesn't taste like anything,... and fruit,( i
decided that if i was going to smoke at all, i would buy fruit every
time i get cigs, smart huh?)... and wrote a, not too demanding, list
of what i should get accomplished today, but by that time, i had to
skip lunch. so here i am, (not late,.... i'm not to punish myself with
negative thoughts, perhaps better to say,.. having to make up a little
time), writing you on my new email account.
( check... check, see, i'm
getting things done in an organized disciplined manner). i also got a
library card (check) so that i could get a John Irving novel since
falling asleep to the TV is bad "sleep hygiene" . ( new term to
me too). oh yeah, i'm not to live in my bed anymore either, no eating
in, no watching TV in,.....(the bed is for sex and sleep)
i hope i hid
my facial expression which i'm sure had "at least one out of two 's
not bad" written all over it. so i must go, time management don't ya
know, to continue my quest for a new,stronger, fortified me.
sounds like that could become an issue, but not to be overwhelmed
today) PS. i still talk to squirrels but in a kindler, gentler tone
and besides i'm told i don't have to worry until they answer back.:)
From: Robert B
Date: Wed, 22 Dec 2004 15:26:23 -0500
Subject: Singing the laguage...
People in Boston seem to chirp the language. They're like morning
birds quipping hello. The speech is very fast, punctuation over kill
and solicits a reply often when no reply is even necessary."
Suzie, did you her about Jamie? he left before the party was over can
you believe he didn't even say goodbye what do you think about that it
sucks that he thinks I don't exists don't you know I won't talk to him
next time I see him I'm not giving him the time of day you know I'm
serious this time".
Atlantes on the other hand seem more like song
birds, they languish in the warmth of the sunlight. They're southern
drawl leaves the language dangling on the tongue and gives in to long
dissertations about the obscure and the obvious.
The southerner for
example will tell you the subway is around the corner to the right,
but if you go to the left you'll be going the wrong way and when he
went to the left he got lost the other day cause he wasn't paying
attention cause he didn't get much sleep the night before cause he was
out partying till 3:00 in the morning since the bars don't close until
two thirty now since they changed the liquor laws last summer due to
the shooting in Buckhead so make sure you go to the right, ya kno wha
Maybe not the best examples but hopefully you get the
drift. So yo fro the south lives again, kno wha I'm sayn and the north
goes gaily forward don't you know. When I would say hello in the
south people looked at me as if I was crazy talking to my self.
There's no such mutual trust among strangers, they simple don't talk
The people in the north are crazy and will talk and say
hello to anyone if so compelled. I love it up here! Don't you know I
On Mon, 27 Dec 2004 06:58:12 -0500, Robert B
Date: Mon, 27 Dec 2004 06:56:40 -0500
Subject: Creamery butter or pale blue sky?
It hasn't gotten light outside but I can see the snow out the sliding
It has caked the trees and all else with a thick velvet
of white. The wind howls and buckles this house which is truly my only
sanctuary between the harsh elements outside and the womb like warmth
My compulsive cleaning has paid off. I would feel absolutely
trapped in a huge dust bunny surrounded by mountains of paper trash
had I not pitched in and organized this mess. I sit by a portable
heater cozy as can be while listening to the BBC, my window to the
They're predicting eight to fourteen inches ending later today
with high winds. I wonder if everything closes down. I have an
appointment at Health Association at ten. I'll call before I try to
My complexion has taken on the ashen look so predominate
among New Englanders of these parts. I used to think how foolish it
looked, void of sun and bloated by the lack of outdoor activity.
Perhaps the latter is confused with the early signs of alcoholism and
therefore at least, my check bones won't be buried underneath a layer
of vodka fat. Honestly the last thing I would want to do right now is
I mean why when faced with this awesome weather would one
choose to get drunk inside, trapped and unable to escape for a walk on
the shore or for a fashionable dinner party at some friend's house.
Those are probable the only things to escape from today, besides maybe
read a book, maybe write a little, maybe take a warm soothing bath. If
your drunk all those things would be either impossible or at least not
But yet that's exactly the excuse people who live here
give for their high rate of alcoholism. I guess anywhere there's going
to be the temptation but with this weather it is quite, "surviving the
storm" and every day I get things accomplished requires a miracle of
faith. I guess when I'm satisfied with cleaning I can get started on
painting. My room, which I've not seen for more than a split second
when I secretly stoled a peak, is rather small and will need a coat of
paint to make it cheerful. It only has one small window and I imagine
a brilliant shade of beige to set it off. Everything is about beiging
for me lately.
To achieve balance one does not paint bright green or
red, or even their popular darker shades, but must open up the space
with a creamery butter or pale blue sky. And the room is void of
furniture which I actually like. I've become quite Maoist minimal and
choose to have a floor which one can walk or lay about.
I wonder if
the hardware store will open today. I'm sure I'm not the only sober
queen who finds it a perfect day to redecorate. That's of course if
Vadeim, that is his name, he's corrected me several times.
that Vladimir is his friend who moved out long ago and keeps this as
his mailing address for permanent residency.
Anyway he chose to find
new accommodations even though I told him he could stay another week
It's the least I could do after breaking his prized hand blown glass
bong he was given for his birthday. I mean what the hell, it's not
like he could fly anywhere with it.
Maybe that's the point, he won't
be flying anywhere with it because he has stayed beyond his visa and
although he was caught while taking a Vermont vacation by a police New
Year's Eve road block, his court date for fleeing his country's
tyranny and seeking US asylum won't be until March 2006.
illegal immigrates: don't vacation during holidays when police are
setting road blocks to catch drunk drivers). I think I scared him the
other night with my visions of sobriety, and conversely, the ills of
It appears that Vadeim at the ripe age of twenty-five, is a
consummate drug user who feels only competent while under the
influence of cocaine.
I'm sure I ruin it for him by noting that if he
fells so masterful on cocaine he must truly have a inferiority
complex. He went to bed early and defeated.
The next day quite
determined not to take advantage of my generosity, he announced he'd
been looking for a temporary place to stay, where I can only imagine,
his drug use can be throughly enjoyed without further comment from me!
I used to do the same, that is run from people in sobriety, they
simple ruined it for the rest of us.
Well, I'm through with my bitch
session for now and I think I'll leaf through some magazines I've
correctly stored alphabetically on top the book case for the perfect
shade of creamery butter or pale blue
From: Robert B
Date: Wed, 29 Dec 2004 07:24:06 -0500
Subject: General mail.
Yesterday was a little overwhelming. It was a good day for R&D, and
although all information is considered beneficial, there are some
critical bits that leave me with trepidation.
First, my blood pressure
is down, perhaps down too much. It read 100 over 70, a value never
associated with my health, and although the doctor refilled my
prescription for the medication, he doesn't necessarily think that I
Especially since I'm still complaining of "dizziness". I wish
there was a better term to use, something that would capture the,"augh
oh, here it comes, I hope I don't black out here in the middle of the
supermarket, go back down, I feel nauseous, pretend your tying your
shoe, people are, or are they, looking at me, that's a little better,
yes, definitely better, now go up slowly, pretend you're reading the
labels on the middle shelf, slowly, slowly, up, yes you're OK",
It's disconcerting. So I'm taking myself off the little blue
pill, not to be confused with Allegra, and will monitor it via public
Maybe the guys a the firehouse are cuter than the ones in
Atlanta, or better yet, gayer. That would be nice. Secondly, the
disaster in Indonesia, India, and it seems anywhere along the coast of
the Indian Ocean, is just awful.
The death toll has climbed to 60,000
with more expected to lose their lives due to disease from rotting
corpses and infected water. It reminds me of what I fear and dread the
most: the destruction of mankind as we know it, as described by
Every since I was a kid, his predictions left me in awl
and I think of every one of his examples, as I believe they
individually come true. The recent war between the Infidels and the
Believers, which just ten years ago with the perceived threat of
communism, seemed impossible. The occurrences of natural disasters
around the world. The change in world climate. The out break of a
world virus that appears either incurable, or at least runs unchecked
till it is out of control.
The break down of Christian values which
have led, rightly or wrongly, our society for the last two thousand
years. I know this seems way out left field, but I can't help it. It
does scare me. What happened to Nostradamus away, notice there's been
no new interpretations lately.
Is it too sensitive an issue? It makes
the two feet of snow outside, the losing of electricity for six hours
yesterday, meeting with health and social personnel, working for Doug,
opening a bank account, all of it, seem so inconsequential in the
larger scheme of things.
So although all information, knowledge is
power, is a good thing, I wonder if some knowledge, is best not fully
From: Robert B
Date: Mon, 13 Dec 2004 14:36:46 -0500
Subject: Great weekend converstions..was it really four hours of
international rates? and The Lastest Just In....
Just arrived here for my 9:00 am sharp therapy session and it's not
until 3 today so I have plenty of time to write and (wash my hands).
I found our conversations "stimulating" too! Unfortunately most of
what we discussed would have to be labeled " Executive Privilege
Only"or "Personal Private Confidential", but new Reality TV Concepts
can be addressed here and here's my idea.
Your familiar with the 1960's TV show "The Munsters"? The charters
obviously won't work, but if you remember there was a reoccurring
theme of their daughter, who was actually gorgeous compared to the
hideous looking rest of the family, and yet the family considered her
awkward and homely. Here's my idea.
We take a family who is not soo
attractive but who has a daughter, who with a little make up, (maybe a
make over like The Swan) is made beautiful. Then you have the family
interviewing prospective bo's (The Bachelor or Meet My Parents) and
the end result they're sent on some kind of date and possible
engagement. Is it cast able? Two word answer ...West Virgina. If we
need another segment the two families, the girls and the chosen bo's,
could compete for their mystery date(Survivor). So whach'a think?
Today I'm writing from the clinic/office and amongst the other
charterers who will need a separate chapter of their own,( two sex
changes, hot sexy playboy pig, and cast of homeless) is a man I've
seen at both the clinic here and the library 4th floor. He's the one
with the fabulous home page and he's read some of my writings.
turns out we have more in common, friends in Holland! He's an ex
patriot, (he's got that news letter on his home page too!) is from the
south of Holland, HIV, and this is the switcher, just left to go and
apply for food stamps.
I made him read the appropriate chapter of my
book before he left and wished him good luck. We may be hearing from
him because I asked him to take notes, More about him as things
develop( I told him to look up Miss. Peacock).
You'll be overjoyed to hear that after trying to induce labor in a
warm bath and while doing my yoga stretches in the kimono Paul brought
for me from Hong Kong, I gave birth at 6:37 this morning. As you know
it was difficult to carry to term, I considered a c-section at the
doctor's office just two days ago.
Her only recommendation was a regime
of antibiotics in order to lessen the chance of infection from
afterbirth. Here are the details: Hight- 3 centimeters, Weight- 2
grams, Eye color-albino, Hair color- none, Sex- undetermined,
Race-mixed or alien, Length of pregnancy- 3 days 17 hours. I've named
it Spot, as in get out damn spot. Oh wait a moment, reality check.
This describes the simultaneous combustion of the quite pregnant boil
which formed above my right eye. Seriously I'm the new poster boy for
opportunistic infections, "ready for my close up Mr. De mile,... not
soooo close,... MAKE_UP!".
(The boil was misdiagnosed, then
re-diagnosed as a staff infection from, I'm sure, the filthy key board
at the various offices where my colleagues are homeless perverts
trying to get a date on the Internet).
And... I've saved the best for last.I told you about the call from the
receptionist of The Foley House and how she informed me about the
waiting list and rigorous application process, and how she strongly
doubts whether I will be accepted by Christmas if at all, who by the
way is leaving on vacation until the end of the year, and how I
decided not to say anything about my"connections". Well I received a
message from Dr. Bob last night and it went something like this: He's
sorry he hasn't been in touch, he's been busy up in Maine with the
"liver" or the person it's recipient, it wasn't clear, and that he
spoke with Laura who he's interviewing for a job at his new alcohol
and drug recovery clinic up Cape, it's down to just one other
candidate, ( exactly who was down to one other candidate competing for
the prized position, Laura or me?) was also left unclear.
continues and says that he had a haircut over the weekend,( whow, he's
making the rounds, Boston to Maine to Provincetown and back to Boston)
and Doug is on cloud nine(his words) in anticipation of my arrival.
And than he says he feels obligated to tell me that ever since the
murder at Foley House, it will be exposed next week in
deposition..shh, (what I knew about the Meth lab but .. not
murder?...which room? ..not MINE!), they were going to be doing a
criminal background check so he felt obligated to mention my recent
DUI, ( so much for the rigorous application process, it's not like a
DUI is felony punished by death, or worse yet, life imprisonment) but
he doesn't think it will reflect negatively, (then why mention it?).
Otherwise... at least it will be good to see "you"( his ulterior
motive becomes transparently apparent). Can you believe this shit?
Maybe The Foley House for recovering persons with HIV is not the right
place for THIS recovering person with HIV! I would of called Doug to
discuss it but I couldn't stop laughing. The saga which is sooo P-town
will undoubtedly continue.
P.S. Thanks for forwarding the web sight, "The Body" and other pertinent news.
P.S. EVERYBODY, the web sight of my friend Chris'
is:http://surrealism.50megs.com/dreamtimedaily.htm (OK, he's a bit
NEWS FLASH JUST IN: My new friend from here that I spoke of earlier
just emailed me titled simply DFACS, (Department of Families And
Children Services) and here it is: "I walked in the office on Walton
Street and felt like a creme in an Oreo cookie... I couldn't do it.
Although, there was time when I was creme... Well for some reason,
that seemed easier to digest.
When I get hungry, I'll just think about
the long session ating the Oreo cookie :)" He's not as diplomatic as
me, but he's very funny and I like him. He's soooo......Dutch. It's
been swell, it's almost 3:00 and time for my therapy, gotta to go wash
my hands and open doors with my elbow:)
From: Robert B
Date: Fri, 24 Dec 2004 06:39:33 -0500
Subject: Bringing in the "Cheer".
I'm sitting listening to BBC on public radio, ( I think it's banned
from the state of Georgia) and it's De'lovely.Did you know that the
past tense of popped is papped as in papped pop corn, who knew? I've
been cleaning none stop for two days.
I couldn't see the filth under
the filth. Doug brought me over to my new home on Wednesday night. My
new roommate is Michael La Bell, a HIV recovering...well I'm not sure
what he is recovering from since he was drinking and smoking with a
local Portuguese worker when we arrived.
Doug swears he never saw
Michael drink before, perhaps it was just a fluke. The place has two
small bedrooms side by side and tall cathedral ceilings. Michael is
quit the proverbial artist and the walls are covered with art of all
sorts. Unfortunately artist are notorious rat packs and his etchings,
and what I can only imagine are many pieces of paper containing some
inspiring art work yet to be produced, are abundant, although it is
hard to determine this from all the junk.
I started in one corner
yesterday and went around the apartment not really cleaning house
because once uncovered the stuff secreted so much dust and dirt, I
felt like an archaeologist on an ancient dig uncovering little hints
into the past. I have yet to catalogue any of this suffice to say
Micheal's room can fill a small landfill.
Just locating the present
apparatus to write involved sorting and dumping huge amounts of paper
and debris, and moving just the mouse around a flat surface proved
impossible. So here I find myself with bleached dry and constantly
dirty hands. Luckily some things have recently been purchased so not
to much dirt has had a chance to collect and ultimately disguise it's
intended purpose or intent.
Micheal stayed up all night and I found
the place, all be it still filthy and cluttered, only slightly better
the next morning. He spoke very fast and was a little bug eyed when
the van came to take him to Boston for the holidays.
He has "worked
the system" as Doug says, and he has activated every possible free
service offered to HIV man! Of his many angles, not to mention the
free van service to the car rental in Boston so he can visit family
for the holidays and then fly to Romania where he has purchased a soon
to be gay night club, is the little none fact that one of us can
receive $600.00 a month for caring for the other one whom ever is the
sickest at the time.
Of course we'll split that, ( Doug warns me to
watch my potential earnings cause Micheal is notorious for pinching
the penny from any pocket of an unsuspecting person who sees, or in
this case, doesn't see him coming).
But he is a true consummate artist
and there certainly won't be any fastidious coaster use here. I think
it is a good match as long as he doesn't try to move in a third
Slovakian to lessen his rental obligation.
I'm currently sharing the
apartment with Vladimir who is staying in what will someday be my
bedroom. He's supposed to leave this week end for New York, actually
with his own kind in Astoria, however he told me yesterday he's off
for the next three days which assumes he'll be going back to work in
four, so who knows.
I'm afraid we haven't gotten off on the best foot
since exhausted and numb from cleaning, I accidentally broke his bong
after determining a unresolved stench. It was a gift and although I
was grateful it wasn't Michaels, I'm however saddened by his forlorn
expressions ever since.
Today I'll locate some glass adhesive and see
if I can't piece it back together. Doug thinks that he's going to pout
his way in for a replacement but that ain't gonna happen, I just don't
have the money.
At least Micheal would have put it on my bill.
Speaking of which the "don't worry about your rent until I get back"
speech has turned in to being further indebted to Doug who has
received a deposit slip from Michael dated January first. So laying
back and getting acclimated is hastily given way to the necessity of
working my debt off with Doug, He has already said that I have this
whole week, now over, to acclimate.
I feel he expects me at the shop
bright and earlier Monday morning. But that's OK as long as he treats
He often confuses me with the hired help who he calls,
"Slow vacks"! Well dears this cleaning lady has gotta go. It's time
for the fine tuning of this project.
I think I'll try to find the
curdling smells emulating from the refrigerator and then move on to
the floors once I can find the detergent.
It's probable in a desk
drawer somewhere. Love Bambie, your "Slow vack" looking servant.
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