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Archive for December, 2000

|| December 3, 2000 || 12:41 am || Comments (0) ||

My thought process is strange tonite. Tonight.

|| December 3, 2000 || 12:40 am || Comments (0) ||


|| December 3, 2000 || 12:39 am || Comments (0) ||

One last cigarette, and then off with me to bed.

But it’s too cold outside to smoke *sniff*, so I guess I’ll be up all night.

|| December 3, 2000 || 12:38 am || Comments (0) ||

A post a minute. How interesting. [NOT]

|| December 3, 2000 || 12:37 am || Comments (0) ||

Mike TeeVee….you remember. We’re all little bits streaming through the air. Some of us are just strung a bit more loosely than others.


I hail from a large, tight-knit family of German-Italian stock. I am proud of my family. I am proud of the far-reaching effects that we have had in our own little corners of the globe, as spread out as we in fact are. I am proud of our diversity of experience and occupation. The running not-so-untrue joke is that we have everything but a preacher in the family and sooner or later one will be brave enough to marry in.

My mom has 8 brothers and sisters, so that makes for lots of cousins. She was also close to HER cousins, so that made for lots of extended cousins. Therefore, my playmates early in life consisted mainly of first, second and third cousins, once-removed, twice-removed, removed only for maintenance, whatever….

There are those people in life who you grow particularly fond of, and in families that tendency is no different. There were five or so that I regularly found myself in the middle of, but only one of whom that I am here to share with you today.

Danny, as we called him way back forever ago, was a really handsome kid, with dark hair and mahogany eyes that could split your soul if you looked into them for too long. He was quiet, but not somber or brooding. He thought about these huge things that kids aren’t supposed to let meander around their brains. His intellectual capacity was equally matched by a rogue wit, and we often goofed on things that other kids our age (or thereabouts) simply couldn’t grasp.

A bunch of us kids would sit under the willows by the creek behind my grandmother’s house. Danny would shag the beat-up guitar that his granddaddy gave him out there, then once we all got settled, he would magically produce a harmonica from his back pocket and mock-cajole my cousin Eric into playing it. He would then demand that I sing, and we would while away the afternoons, a dozen smalltown kids harmonizing to whatever, experimenting with sound. We would also tell stories–large, elaborate tales that would take ages to finish and simple, direct ones that made you want to fall over with the matter-of-factness they rained on you.

Dan told the best stories and kept us all in tow with his words, his inflection, his demeanor, even the older ones. He had a way of just being that drew people in, a spark that shone up through his center and made people take notice. As unassuming as he was, this always amazed me.

My folks moved us away from our hometown in the Delta, as did Dan’s parents. We kept in touch, swapping stories of life as we came up through the ranks in age. Amazingly enough, we both experimented with drugs about the same time and became junkies early on. I kicked long before he did, sick of the desperation of it. He flirted with it on and off throughout his early twenties.

My hands shake as I type this. My fucking head hurts.

When he finally did the big kick, he did it right and round and thoroughly. He cleaned up, got himself a PHAT excellent jobby-job where he coincidentally met his bride. They were married in a small, beautiful ceremony that I was a grooms[wo]man in. Eighteen months later Corinne was born and he had the perfect life. When the baby was fourteen months old, Dan went for an annual physical–a requirement of his job. It was then that he was diagnosed with HIV. His doctor mercifully allowed that information to sink a bit before telling him that he not only had the virus, but was in full-blown mode as well.

NOT FAIR. Notfairnotfairnotfair, you fucks! He had fixed his life…he had swept out all the excess and nonsense. He was Good Guy Number One On A Glittering Steed.

The trumpet sounded and the walls came crashing down. Within 5 months he was utterly wasted physically, drooling and gibbering out of his rotting head. He had turned on his body at one time and it was paying him back in spades. He was an Auschwitz caricature of his former self physically; mentally he was no longer there. I would visit and tell him utterly stupid jokes and play tapes of us making music as children and then I would go home and wash the clothes I wore three times to get that impending death smell out of them. I would scald my skin in the shower and retch over and over. By the time the funeral came I couldn’t even cry.

AIDS is ugly and fetid. I could describe it to you all day and still not really pin down the essence of it. Somebody needs to fix that shit, quick. I am NOT being glib here.

Daniel was a really great dad. I always knew he would be. Corinne sends me a school picture each year. She has a superb stepdad and her father’s eyes.