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Specimen Times: Your Own Essay. By Robert Massa

Plus: ‘A Diary of managing AIDS’ and ‘Remembering Robert — Seven Writers Commemorate a Colleague and Friend’

Specimen times: Scenes Through the Epidemic 22, 1994 february

We DON’T UNDERSTAND where you should get as the doctor’s is left by me workplace. The stores and folks appear two-dimensional. Noises are muffled. We keep thinking: look closely at that which you feel. But all personally i think could be the wind.

I recall the museum is near by. The woodwork that is heavy the leaded windows, the cavernous spaces remind me personally of primary college. I go up the main staircase, after the course where in fact the rock has been worn down by footsteps.

I’m impressed as constantly by the dinosaur bones. These are generally exhibited for action — about to fight, planning to feed.

A trip guide breaks my ideas. She informs band of schoolchildren to disregard the indications in the cup situations; normal history is advancing therefore quickly, she describes that the curator can’t keep up, plus some for the info is away from date.

I’m disappointed to consider which our technology will some­day appear quaint and that I’ll can’t say for sure just what really took place to your dinosaurs.


WE HEAD INTO a glassed-in sidewalk cafe near Du­pont Circle. We ensure it is a true indicate stay across from Daniel because i wish to flirt without the others noticing. We mention how a remaining portion of the globe appears so aware that is little of our company is going right on through and exactly how much the neighborhood changed. We purchase omelettes; we shop around and recognize it’s lunchtime for the some other clients.

Daniel happens to be traveling within the Midwest and states he’s impressed by just just how close knit homosexual individuals seem in little towns; he’d trade a number of the freedom we now have in ny for the feeling of community. We begin to have fun with the game, staring a little too much time, jerking our attention away. He apologizes for making use of Sweet ’n Low, and I also confess i personally use too salt that is much. We look over the glass and state Washington could be a place that is nice in the end.

I quickly knock my fork on the ground and bend right down to choose it, but I’m perhaps not watching and I also slam my forehead in the next dining table. It’s quiet around us all. I research to say, “I’m fine, ” but I see two drops of my blood, bright red against the white linen before I get the words out.

We DRIVE into the suburbs to consult with my dad into the medical center. My hometown seems too manicured, like those model towns we utilized to construct for the train set. My father’s room is with in a unique wing for the medical center, with drop ceilings, sheetrock walls, and a crucifix that is small every home.

My mom and sibling is there. We inform them Dad looks good and my mom smiles. We start to resent the interest he’s getting.

Later on, i will be alone with my dad when he wakes up. We’ve tiny talk. Unexpectedly, he asks if individuals nevertheless get AIDS from transfusions. I’m startled simply to hear him say the phrase. I wish to simply tell him i am aware just just just how afraid and alone he seems, but I’m perhaps perhaps perhaps not ready for him to learn about me personally. He is told by me to perhaps perhaps not worry — they screen blood now. He does not look convinced, but sets their mind straight right right back and drifts off to fall asleep. We touch their hand and notice how much our hands are alike.

A weeks that are few he’s back and we see him once again. He appears hunched and https://camsloveaholics.com/female/europeans small over, however the quickness has returned in the eyes. He offers me personally a vital to a safe­ deposit field; their will plus some cost savings bonds are in. If any such thing takes place to him, it’s as much as us to manage the plans. I’m the one that is only will be relaxed adequate to know very well what doing.


We ADHERE PETER off to the coastline. Young ones through the village play down when you look at the distance. The sun’s rays has already been strong. Peter sits during the water’s edge and reduces his mind. We sit a couple of legs away, wondering what things to state. It absolutely was easier back into the town; right right here there was time that is too much think. We look straight right back during the visitor household and notice once more exactly just how shabby it is gotten.

I touch their neck. He does not wish to perish alone. He does not like to perish. He is told by me i realize, I’m going through it too. That does not soothe him. He begins once more, telling me personally just how their friend passed away. We turn away.

Further along the coastline, some body has sculpted life­ size individual within the sand. The hands are crossed within the upper body such as human body in a casket. The facial skin is peaceful. We begin to tell Peter We heard these sculptures are element of a classic folk faith nevertheless practiced from the area, but halfway through, We can’t keep in mind if it’s true or We imagined it.

Unexpectedly, we envy their hysteria. We simply tell him that the frightened kid inside of him could be the component I favor many and if he got sick that I would be there. He calms down. We choose to go after a swim. The water’s too cool as well as the tide’s to arrive, but we allow it to be past where in fact the waves are breaking and immerse within the sunlight together with sodium as well as the movement. As soon as we return to secure, the sand corpse happens to be washed away.


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