Wednesday, July 18, 2007

A Big Round of Lemons for Everyone

A post on Joe.My.God this morning made me remember that I found a recent piece by Peter McQuaid in POZ magazine particularly witty:

I was at a party recently, talking with a new acquaintance whom I really rather like because she’s funny and weird and smart and has a really hot husband too, who’s nice. I don’t even recall how we got on the subject, but she said “I have a friend who says, ‘When life gives you AIDS, make lemonAIDS.’” And then she paused for a minute and said, thoughtfully, “I guess you wouldn’t think that was so funny if you had AIDS, huh?” She looked a little concerned. She knows I’m one of The Gays. (I’m not gay, I’m a Gay, or one of The Gays, and I am proud to be one of them.)

What she didn’t know at the time was I’m one of The Gays with The AIDS. Well, actually I’m only poz.

So I told her. “You know, I have The AIDS and I thought it was pretty hilarious.” And I was hoping my date would play along with me and say “What!!! You have The AIDS! You didn’t tell me! I could be infected!” And then throw a really big fit in the middle of this really classy catered party. Fun times, right?

I’m poz going on seven years, and I say, “Why not have some fun?” I mean, hell, I’ve spent enough on health insurance and copays to buy a house by now, which makes me one of The Lucky Ones. I’ve been blamed for everything from the rising rate of HIV infections in young men (because 19-year-olds are all desperately looking to have unsafe sex with bald guys pushing 50) to 9/11.
You gotta have a Sense of Humor, right? And although I think my days of pushing the “live-on-the-edge” envelope are [mostly] over, at some point, you do realize that we all basically end up in the same boat, so why the hell worry? There's still a lot of scary stuff lurking out there — pretty much all of it totally unknown — but I've found that often, what we might envision as "the worst thing that could ever happen" to us... really isn't.


Huntington said...

Amen, brotha. (Or sista.)

BigAssBelle said...

well ain't that the truth. and then there's the fact of facing what you think is, what possibly is, what is to that point, the worst thing ever and finding that you've got the strength of whatever ~ soul, will, gut, something ~ to buck up and carry on.

some days, when i'm really happy and kicking up my heels, i'm really happy that i've had the trials in life i've had. loony, i guess, but some days it feels pretty cool.

what you've survived is what millions of people fear and here you are, alive and kicking and smart and funny and that's pretty impressive.

BigAssBelle said...

and it's clear that i'm suffering from some kind of brain fog because i can't quit saying the same words over and over and over. kicking. happy. whatever. jiminy christmas, will i survive dementia?

Junk Thief said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Junk Thief said...

The edge. Or THE Edge. Or the EDGE. I've sought it a lot, found it, it ran away and...then.

Its appeal has pretty much escaped me too. For much of my life my parents worried about my seemingly permanent state of "being alone". Then I lost my mother and dealt with three years of my father being sucked into the hole of Alzheimer's...seeing him as the lost child that both my parents feared I would be after they were gone.

I feel confident that I have plenty of years until that happens to me, but it all could snap suddenly.

In those seconds when I think of my father's final dementia and see a mirror of many friends, I try not to see my own face in the crowd. Then I feel thirsty, and search for a glass of lemonaid.

Joe said...

Peter McQuaid has been my coworker for the last six years. True story!

Steven said...

Joe - the lemon AIDS joke is a Sarah Silverman joke. Lots of the gays love Sarah Silverman. I don't.

Salty Miss Jill said...

If I don't keep laughing, I'll have a meltdown. We all have our different ways of coping.

I can't stand Sarah Silverman, either. I hate that being offensive for the sake of being offensive schtick.

Mike said...

AIDS jokes are about as funny as Holocaust jokes.

Huntington said...

Mike, I have to disagree to the extent that everything in life can be - has to be - looked at with humor. When it's subjects of such overwhelming horror like AIDS or the Holocaust, for example, it's just really, really difficult to do well enough that most of us are well advised not to go there. Not to promote a Reader's Digest trademark, but laughter really is the best medicine, and closing off those very historical phenomena that need it most from well-done comedic treatment that highlights their absurd aspects prevents necessary healing. Life can go on just fine with scars, but not with open wounds.

As far as the lemon-AIDS line goes, I thought it was funny. I think Sarah Silverman is hilarious, but I understand why others might disagree.

Joe said...

I agree (obviously). There's a world of difference between "AIDS jokes" such as "AIDS: Kills Fags Dead" and "... make Lemon-AIDS". I hope that our human intellect is sophisticated enough to be able to tell the difference between the two examples above, and others... though there is perhaps a fine line that can be drawn on this topic (and many others).

Anonymous said...

Wow, I feel famous! Actually, the friend I was referring to in the story is friendly with Sarah Silverman, it turns out. I didn't know that at the time.

But I think we're allowed to laugh at anything or anyone I like as long as the person or thing we're laughing at never finds out about it.

Joe's Coworker