Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Midnight Rainbows With Charlie
How credible is the message "life can be good" when there is so much turmoil in Iraq, Afghanistan, Burma and Sudan? To be sure, there are times when I feel that living with HIV is just a walk in the park after navigating the landmines of the day's depressing news. On Sunday night I was sitting in a restaurant in Times Square with my good friend Charlie from Hawaii. Charlie and I met three years ago outside a gay bar in Manhattan, eight months after I was deported back to America. He was in town for the US Open. Our eyes met and we got to talking. We agreed to go see matches at the Open one day. It was the first date I had been on since learning I was HIV+. He was so nice, so good-looking, I thought I was in a dream. He wasn't shy about holding my hand in the stadium or showing the kind of sincere affection that made your heart start beating a little quicker. But it was when we found ourselves alone that I really got nervous. I wanted to tell him about my status. I felt myself caring about him. So I found a way to force the words. And he found a way to take me in his arms and tell me it was all right. I felt so protected, so accepted. Charlie went back to Hawaii, but we kept in touch. I went to see him in 2005. Rainbows everywhere--in the sky, on the license plates--it was a gay man's paradise. Looking out the window at the midnight rainbows of Times Square, with Charlie next to me, I felt the world could be peaceful and beautiful.