I just finished reading, no devouring, A Home at the End of the World. It’s a rich novel that explores relationships and the limits of love. It begins in the 60’s and I’m uncomfortable because there’s sex but no talk of condoms and I’m furiously flipping pages because I know what the 80’s will bring.
There was incredible sadness and fear in the 80’s and the 90’s were marked by slower deaths with anger and activism. There’s an article that needs to be written and it needs a more targeted audience than this site can provide but one day I’ll be able to write about what it is to watch someone die. Deliberately. One day I’ll tell you about the day he killed himself and we all watched and chanted and said the prayers he needed. We watched him take his last breath and no one interrupted to try and save him but no one helped either. We knew better than to do that.
In his dying months he regaled me with tales of Die Ins and trips to the desert where he and his friends from ACT UP would stamp their money with pink triangles. Queer bills, he called them. Just a year earlier in Colorado I’d watched in horror as the Christian Coalition rallied the troops and passed laws that were violently anti-gay assuring that the state would never see them as a protected class enabling good people to be fired, evicted and generally abused. I’d never really believed that people hated gays until I left Los Angeles. I should add that I’d never been to Church. My experiences in Colorado showed me that the hatred and fear I’d seen started at a pulpit.
I was checking the Lemmle for movies I might want to see and there were none so I looked at what might be coming soon and saw How to Survive a Plague is coming next week. I assumed it was a tongue in cheek title until I clicked through for the trailer. And then I sat and watched and sobbed.
I cannot tell you how many men died. I think this is a movie I need to watch alone.