This word has little relevance in my life now. I am not a promiscuous homosexual because I can't be bothered anymore. By the grace of Mohamed and a wish to live to fair age and the fact that at some times I just stopped and mentally stood back, I have avoided the disease. There were some close calls though.
I had people I knew, friends, who died. Sorry if I have written some of this before. I can't remember now.
1/ Brad Aiton was a friend. We and our brother friends knew him and his boyfriend. His boyfriend was alright, but Brad was such a sweetie. He was quite slim, nice enough looking and ever so cutesy pie. He behaved like he had discovered the world in every day life. They had a great neighbour when they lived in Marystone Street, Yarraville. Jean was a salt of the earth type and with the language to match. They would invite her in for a sherry and several hours later they would carry her home. She was an old Myer sales lass. She too has died.
We knew Brad was not too well and the brother friends invited him to their place where we all met. I was gobsmacked. He was skin stretched over bone. He had an air cushion to sit on. His personality was still the same and his talking but it was not the person we knew. We were so angry with the brother friends for not giving us an advance warning. He died and on a stinking hot day, we went to his funeral in a big Catholic church in Sommerville Road, now I think a Buddhist temple or something.
2/ I worked with David Ashcroft. He a very hot guy and very outgoing and charmed everyone around him. I have a vague memory of peeling skin off his back after he was sunburnt. It was almost an erotic experience for me. He was not behind the door when dicks were handed out and used this to its full advantage. When the Village People came to perform in Melbourne, he met up with one of them at Prince of Wales in St Kilda and scored. He left work, went to Sydney and worked for Qantas for a few years and I lost touch with him. One day when I was on a tram, someone came up and said hello to me. It was David and he was so thin and haggard, I could barely recognise him.
He had just bought a house in Pakington Street, St Kilda, a very nice place it was too. We had just moved to Balaclava and so we had a bit to do with him for a while, but he became sicker and sicker and then somewhat irrational. The second last time I saw him, he was swearing at a volunteer who had visited to help him with his clothes washing. He was screaming at the volunteer that he had hung the clothes all wrong on the clothes line.
He held what was to be his last party. At the party he invited people back the next day for drinks and nibbles and help him dig a pond in his back yard. It was a hot day and I don't believe anyone turned up. People just could not deal with him anymore. He died shortly after.
3/ Stephen Dawes. He was more of a friend of the brother friends but we had quite a bit to do with him. He worked in the fashion industry and we recently found out coincidentally that he had dealings with Dame M over a few years when she had her Cornelli Embroidery business. He had bought and sold a couple of houses in Richmond and Collingwood but he knew he would not last forever and so downsized to an apartment in East Melbourne. We saw him a couple of months before he died and this time we were mentally prepared and it was just as well. A righteous person might have said he was a shocking slut and deserved what he got. Nope, no one deserves that. Six months before he died, he was struggling financially and the brother friends bought his apartment and rented it back to him. They did very nicely out of the capital growth and only sold it last year.
It all seems dreamlike and so long ago, well it was around a decade or a bit more ago, and has no bearing on our present life. HIV is still around. People still catch it. It is a terrible problem in the third world. But for me thankfully and selfishly, it is history.