The Collar Story in Full

When I was a boy, merely 25 years old, I met Todd the first night I walked into his bar. i was looking for trouble and he knew that from the first time he set eyes on me.


We had a conversation, and if you looked into Todd’s eyes, you would have thought that you were looking into the eyes of God, Jesus. I knew from that moment I needed to know him. And so I set out a plan to work for him, which did come to pass, soon thereafter.

I don’t know if you are familiar with gay subculture, it might not be something you’ve ever encountered before. But before i got sick (at 26) a year and a few months prior, Todd opened a second bar, where I was employed.It was a rough and tumble leather bar. You know, leather clothing, rough and tumble clientele, all that jazz.

It was the world I sought out, after the education in Gay I got from my father, I knew exactly what it was I was looking for, and the night I first met Todd, he knew that as well, without ever having me to explain it to him. There was only one reason I walked into his bar, and it wasn’t for pleasant conversation.

When I got sick, and told Todd I was going to die, he told me Not on his watch.

Todd became my Master, My Protector, My Guide, My Friend, all the while he was my employer.

Every man in our world knew that Todd was on my side, and they knew, by His Words, never to touch me or engage me physically or sexually.

I was protected from the get go, without my knowledge at that time. He passed a decree in the bar, and everybody obeyed his rules while under his roof. Nobody ever touched me. And I did not have sex with anyone for a very long time. It was a bitter pill after I had found the holy grail of what I really desired, but Todd, like I said, knew that from the get go, and he knew that if I was allowed to explore my darkest fantasies, I would end up in real trouble or even dead.

Too many of my young brothers got mixed up with the wrong men and all of them died. I was the only one who lived in that grouping along with my friend mark, who now lives in Florida. He was the dj in the bar. And I worked with him too in the dj booth.

In the beginning when I was in my head about death, Todd has to curb me in and sort me out. And the relationship we formed did that for me, because he knew what he was doing, and I am still alive here with you, so he did something right from the beginning.


The chain and lock, is a significant item of clothing between two men. We call it a collar. The collar, in our world, signifies that we have been spoken for, because the man who provided it to us, is the man we are in relation to. it is a ritualistic piece of clothing, because it is not an item freely given to just anyone. But it shows that the man who gives it, thinks we are worthy to wear it, and respect the man who gave it to us. It marks us as untouchable to other men in the leather world, that we are “Spoken for.”
And other men see that outward token on us and they know to leave us alone. 

Wearing a collar is an outward sign of inward desire. Todd will always be the man who saved my life. He was the Master of my sinking ship, that he kept from sinking. Nobody else did that for me. He chose me to save, and he could have saved any random other boy in that bar, but before all the others he chose me. He loved me. And I knew that. And for the rest of my life I think of him daily when I get up in the morning and I am still alive.

You know, I am tired of some of our sober men in the rooms. All I get from them is critical judgment about my weight, my body, and my choice of clothing. And that irks me to no end. because I am not going to become a fifty plus year old frumpy miserable man, like they are.


I fucking work my ass off, I am in the book, I work with others, and I do service. I do a hell of a lot more than many of those men, but they would never criticize my sobriety openly, because I work my ass off and they come and sit in judgment and are miserable. And I see that and I know what I’ve done, and how I got here. And I know what they do not do on any given day in sobriety.

Yesterday morning I went to Home Depot and bought the chain and lock I am wearing right now, because it reminds me of the commitment I had with Todd and that he had with me, and how he loved me more than any other boy in the world then. And I thought to myself that I would no longer hide the most important part of who I am because of some assholes in the meeting, if they cannot deal they can go fuck themselves.

Nobody can take my story away from me, because I am the ONLY gay man who survived AIDS on the English side, Everyone else is dead, and all the gay men we know together, don’t want anything to do with me, because of their prejudices and judgments. You saw how they treated me when I was at my worst when we were at that Monday meeting for those 14 months.
So I am wearing an outward sign of inward desire.

Todd is in my heart and in my soul, and honoring that man for the rest of my life, as I do, just grew out in another dimension in my outward life.

It does not make me sick, or demented. Because most straight men, think I am demented to begin with, so that is a no brainer.

It just means I was loved, by a man who saved my life, when I was supposed to die. The last word I will utter on my death bed will be Todd’s name.

Memories of a Time Gone By: Day 1

Here is the story of that week from my journal. If we are to start anywhere, here is the best place. Today is July 4th 2019. Twenty Five years have passed.

July 4th 1994

it was a nice day. Josh and I prepared the house for company; we were hosting a “friendly” BBQ in Ft. Lauderdale. Alan and his hubby and other friends from the complex were coming, a veritable who’s who of my social circle back then. It was a great day. We cooked and ate at the picnic table out back – the drag queens in the adjacent area were entertaining, and the conversation was light and campy. The day wore on into night, and fireworks were going to be shot off over Ft. Lauderdale beach. So we piled into the convertible and headed out for the five-minute drive across the bridge to the beach. Parking was a nightmare, but eventually we found a spot to sit in. I remember that things were happy and there were no worries; we were out celebrating the holiday. After the fireworks we came home and imbibed a great deal, and sat down to watch the new film out on video, “Philadelphia” with Tom Hanks. Little did I know how much life would…?

Imitate art that week?

I watched with a certain attention, as if saying to God, “I know what’s coming so please be gentle with me, because I am not sure I am ready to do this or die.” It had been a year since the first time I was tested at “Planned Parenthood” and that test came back negative.

The second test was done in a city hospital lab, and those results came back negative as well, but six months later we found out on the news that the lab had switched our (100 gay men’s) HIV tests with a retirement home lab list. It was freaky when 100 elderly folk got positive HIV tests back from the lab, OOOPS – someone made a HUGE mistake.

Anyway, that was that.

Around 8 o’clock I called my parents to wish them a Happy July 4th; there was another piece of information I needed to get across to them, and this was not going to be very easy, I had been feeling pretty sick since January, and checked 7 of the 9 symptoms off the list from “If these things are happening to you — you might have HIV” wallet card.

The conversation started light and airy, then all the air left my lungs and I could not breathe. And this is how it went

Hello…

Hello…

Pleasant conversation, then I dropped the bomb!

I have some news for you.

Yes, what would that be?

I’ve been feeling a lot sick lately and tomorrow I am going to see a doctor…

Silence.

I could hear the wheels spinning in their heads. My mother had been working in Home Health Care for a number of years and she had seen what AIDS can do to a human being; couple that with what they were watching on TV and she was having worse case scenario visions in her head!!

They were watching “Philadelphia” at their house at the very moment I called. Suddenly my mother must have looked at the TV and she screamed. Yes, that’s right, I am sick, and I need to go get tested tomorrow, it’s time. My father was listening in on the extension, and I am sure he was beside himself; his fag son was sick and putting two and two together led to only one conclusion.

Josh was sitting in the living room while I had this conversation, he didn’t say a word. I had to prepare him for what was coming; Josh and I would never see the end of the week together. In the end, I would never see Josh again.

After a bout of hysterics, I told them that everything would be all right and I ended the phone call. That night I did not sleep at all, and Josh was all over the place. He was such a quiet and calm young man; we were both young then. We had only been dating for a couple of months by that point. Tomorrow’s test was just a formality; I knew already the answer I would get confirmed in a few days’ time. I did not tell any of my friends that night. Todd and Roy were in Provincetown on holiday.

I would eventually call Todd.

December 1st: World AIDS Day 2017

world-aids-day

It IS December 1st, in Montreal, at this hour.

On July 8th, 1994, at 12:00 noon exactly, a doctor entered my exam room, sat down, and said these words to me …

“No Better time than the present. Jeremy, You have AIDS, you are going to die. Go Home, Get your affairs in order, time is of the essence.” I thanked him for the information, he gave me five minutes to collect myself, and leave the office.

I went outside, because my friend Ken, the clinic nurse, was nowhere to be found inside. As I looked down at the car, he was sitting on the hood of my car waiting for me. He, in fact, knew, what the doctor knew.

I approached him tentatively and he opened his arms and folded me into them, as HE wept for me. He was the nurse, who cared for all the sick, in the bar we worked at, after hours, for FREE. We saw hundreds to their deaths over those two years.

Now I was one of those men who were going to die.

I’ve shared this entire story with you back in July, as it happened in real-time.

I called my folks, after my boyfriend left me, my friends all bolted for the doors, and could not run away fast enough. I called Todd and his hubby in Provincetown to come home immediately. They did come home, immediately.

I remember meeting Todd at the bar, a couple of days later. We were sitting alone together on the stage, on the main dance floor. I told him that I was sick, and that I was going to die.

Todd Wept…

He took on, taking care of me, because in the end, everyone else had fled. It was too much to bear for any of my fellows AND my family. I had lost everybody.

Todd crafted a plan of action. He chose to save me, when he could have easily walked away, but he did no such thing. Everybody working in the bar was sick, in one way or another.

It was me he chose to focus on.

Hindsight does show me that, in Spiritual terms, Heavenly Father had stepped out of His heaven and walked with me, in real-time, for the whole of Todd’s and my relationship.

Todd saved my life.

Bob was buried in the cemetery across the street from the bar, directly. Todd had lost already, and he knew the drill. After attempting to kill myself a few week later, Todd was at the COPA with my friend Danny and the paramedics, as they revived me from an alcoholic stupor and alcohol poisoning.

Danny took me home and stayed in my apartment for a week, on suicide watch, on Todd’s orders. The following week, I went back to work. I had also gone to my first meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Todd told me that I would get sober, if it killed me, and it almost did, seeing that many of the men in that sober room, were not very sober. As they bet on me like a race horse, waiting for me to go back out and drink again.

Thankfully, Todd’s lover, Roy, was a year sober then, worked at the bar, had a Big Book on his cash register, that we read together. Because for the year prior, while that Big Book was on that register, I asked him, what that Big Book said, because it said BIG BOOK on the front.

His response was always the same:

When you need to know what it says, I will tell you. That took a year to get there.

I did stay sober that first year, despite the assholes who hounded me for a year. I stayed sober another year, and then a third year. At the end of year two, Todd moved to San Francisco, with the entire bar staff.

I was too young to go. Too sick to travel. And in my sick, and deluded fantasies, of my father dying and my eventual moving to be with my mother for the rest of my life, never happened.

I lost my Mother and my Father.

To this very day they still believe, and have said repeatedly that:

I was a MISTAKE and should never have been born.

On July 31st, 2017 – I turned FIFTY years old. I am still alive.

Because of God’s good grace and Todd’s intervention.

When all else failed, ONE human being walked into my life and affected change that changed my life in ways I could never repay. I cannot tell you the price Todd paid in caring for me, personally, and what my illness did to him, because he never batted an eye for one day or even one night.

His love never wavered. His Words were Gospel. His cup overflowed every day that I remained alive, under his watch.

YOU never know when YOU may save a life, in being there for another human being.

AIDS is still a disease that kills. Not like it killed indiscriminately, back in the day, because there were no drugs to come by, or speak of. No doctors to take care of us. Only a woefully prepared group of physicians in MOON SUITS, who did not know their asses from a hole in the ground.

It was total MAYHEM and FEAR, unlike any fear I had ever seen.

My friends suffered terribly. Doctors treated them indignantly and in death they all died alone, save myself, Ken and a few others who sat death watch for over 100 men who died on our watches.

I skated by, by the grace of God, and Marie Wansiki, who ran the local 411 Drug Farm, Health Link, they collected drugs from dead men’s medicine cabinets. Repackaged them and gave them to us for free. That was the beginning.

In year two, was when I met my first real AIDS doctor, who set out to continue to save my life. And get me drugs that did the job quite well.

In 2002, Eight years later, I landed in Montreal, and found the doctor I have today. He treated patent ZERO. He maintains my care to this day. For all the years that followed, my agreement with my doctor is this: He gives me new drugs that our medical GROUP test among ourselves, if they work, they go to the government for national and international dissemination world-wide.

I am still alive – At fifty years of age. And almost Twenty Five years from Diagnosis.

I did DRINK and USE again, in year FOUR the first time around. I returned to Alcoholics Anonymous on December 9th, 2001.

In just a little while from now, on December 9th 2017, by the Grace of Heavenly Father, I will reach SIXTEEN YEARS Clean and Sober.

Today we stop to remember. So many died. Horribly. Undignified. Alone. Family less, friend-less, lover-less.

I will never forget the debts that I owe Todd and Ken.

I will forever be grateful for my life, because without Todd, read GOD, I would certainly have died a very long time ago.

Remember them.

Share the hardest “Goodbye” you’ve ever had to say. Patreon Introduction Story.

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This story is one of the most important stories i have ever recorded here. Among the many memories recorded on this blog, this story stands out as one of the worst days of my life.

Here is the story about the night i met Todd in 1993, ending on the day i said goodbye to Him in 1996.

**** **** ****

It was a normal night in my life. i had left James and was living alone. i drove to a particular strip mall and parked my car, got out, and walked into a little hole in the wall Leather Bar, i was not familiar with.

Nonetheless, that night began this life i live today.

i was a strange little boy, walking into that bar. i was not a regular, but a stranger. i knew, in my heart what i knew. Fantasies of magazines read, years before, in secret, when my father left them in the bathroom to be consumed, when he was not at home, were running in my head. i don’t think my father ever caught on that i was reading his gay smut left out, by a married man, who had a skeleton in his own closet.

Little did i know what was about to happen to me.

i ordered a rum and coke, and took a seat on a stool, in the area reserved for conversation. i sat for a little while.

There was CCTV in the bar.

And i was being watched.

From out of the shadows, walked a Shit Brick house of man. He greeted me, told me His name, Todd, and sat down next to me. He had those eyes of Jesus, water blue and as deep as the ocean.

i was transfixed.

One never knows when we will meet someone of His caliber, someone who can look into your eyes and divine what lies behind them. In a few moments, the man who sat down next to me, knew my innermost desires and the deep darkness of my hidden heart.

What happened next, stole my breath away and knocked me out of my known reality.

That Shit Brick House of a man, raised his hand, and slapped me clear off my stool and i flew across the floor. It was not a hit of malice of any kind, but a test of my heart. i think He wanted me to get up and say, “please, Sir, may i have another ?”

i don’t remember what i said, i think i was in shock, really. i knew that i loved him from that very moment. And i would do anything to be close to Him, in any way that that desire lead me.

From that moment on, i was beholden to Him. He knew what i was, who i was, and what i had intended on doing, when i walked into the bar.

In the days and weeks that followed, i spent every night in the bar. i met people. i met the employees, and in that bunch of men, would eventually arise, my first sober sponsor, Todd’s lover Roy. Who got sober one year before i had, in 1993.

i eventually quit my day job. And lived for my nights with Todd and His crew.

One night, we learned that the bar was closing, and would be rebuilt at another location on the other side of Ft. Lauderdale. This was my chance. I stepped up, with a few other intrepid men, and i became part of the wrecking crew. i remember that night, as if it were yesterday. The final view of that bar, was an empty space, that had been stripped and wrecked to pieces.

i had to prove my worth and i did just that. i worked for weeks, sweating, pushing and building the bar we called home from the ground up. Under Todd’s watchful eyes, i worked my way into Todd’s employ.

It was the most important decision i had ever made, up to that point in my life.

Todd took me in.

What we did not know then was, that Todd would become God as i understood Him, when i found out i was sick with AIDS, and was going to die.

i had survived James’ suicide, my diagnosis of AIDS, and i eventually got sober, at Todd’s command.

Todd would see to it that i would live. And here we are right this very moment.

**** **** ****

None of my friends today, would understand the life i had lived so many years ago. i am a particular type of gay man, who had a lived experience that nobody in my gay world today, lived themselves, which sets me apart from them, by this clear distinction of life experience.

None of my friends know AIDS like i know AIDS.

Many people, on the outside, in the real world, do not know the underbelly of the Leather World as i do. The world believes, in many circles, that Leather men are sick and deviant, and could not possibly know love, or live a proper life or have proper relationships. But we did.

We Existed.

We Loved.

And we Died.

When i studied religion in university, my mentor, friend and professor, taught a class about the Leather Lifestyle. He had a course outline, based on reading. i had life experience that proved very beneficial to the class reading and discussion.

i cannot express how these few years had changed my life and gave me tools that nobody else could have given me, in the way and method that Todd gave them to me.

I have said, retrospectively, that the day Todd walked into my life from the shadows of the old rendition of the bar we built together, God made manifest in my life.

I share this story now, because it is a good preface to the next portion of my life journey, because without Todd’s story, there is no life for me to speak of.

This is but one small chapter in a lived Book of Life recorded on this blog.

Writing is a full time job. Recording your life’s stories are some of the most beautiful and some of the most painful experiences you will ever write about.

This post is communion with the “God of my understanding,” who came into my life, when i most needed Him, and that “God of my understanding” has kept me here to share with you some of the most important stories and lessons i have in my memory arsenal.

**** **** ****

This is part of an ongoing  story that i have shared here on the blog at great length. I was working at the Stud for a long time. From 1993 to i think maybe 1996. The bar had had it’s day and the crowds used to pack the house night after night. Those were the good old days.

At some point in the timeline, the owner of the bar had lost his partner Dennis to AIDS and things began to head south. We worked day and night to keep the bar afloat, but like i have heard it said before, sometimes you get your day and then it is over, and you have to move on to bigger and better things.

Certain people were brought into the organization and i was not very happy about that, in no uncertain terms. Ray was his name and he was bad news. He was a man who did nothing to gain my respect, but he muscled his way into the bar and into management – how that happened i cannot remember.

i was living a parallel life while at the bar. You’d have to know something about living behind the veil of the leather lifestyle. Living in this place for me was safe and secure. i was protected and cared for. And this strange man made his way into the bar and attempted to take over the running of the bar.

Todd was at a loss to stop this from happening. i did not like this man who came in and he did not like me because my alliance with my Master was absolute. And nobody was going to come between us, come hell or high water.

i went to work on shift one night and things had taken an ominous turn. Ray was sitting in the office and Todd and Roy were collecting their things and were escorted out the door by security. We had been overtaken by forces that we were powerless to stop.

i did not know what was going on or why? But i had my moment with Todd and He told me to behave and not make waves and to do my job. He walked out of the bar and that was the last time He and Roy ever set foot in the bar.

For a number of days – i don’t think it was very much longer than that that, i had had enough and ended up quitting my job, opting for a new position at another club in Miami. One of the DJ’s that worked with us landed me a good paying job at club Ozone.

Before i made that trek south, i had to deal with Todd and Roy. There was a secret that my Master never told me about, and i was never invited inside of that Fidelius secret for Todd’s own personal reasons. If you were invited into His dungeon, you did not speak of it to outsiders or anybody else. i knew one boy who was a friend who shared with me his secret.

Of all the fantasies i had harbored in my heart, none of them came to fruition. While working for Todd and living under the watchful eye of my Master, i was never taken into any man’s lurid world of S&M. Todd knew that i was a hard player and had i ever acted upon any of my fantasies with any chosen man in that bar, i could have gotten lost, hurt, or ended up dead.

There were men who abused boys in their charge. Some of them did die in the charge of some of those men.All of them died, within the space of two years.

This went on for a long time, and that’s why Todd had his rules about me in regards to other men that came into the bar. If you wanted to get to me, you had to get through my Master first. Nobody i knew of, ever asked His permission to claim me. It was better that way. i could come to work and dress any way i like and even act out all those fantasies going on in my head and had witnessed on a nightly basis in front of my eyes. Through the eyes and experiences of my friends and guests.

The day came when i was called to my Master’s home for one final job that was entrusted to me alone. He gave me the job of dismantling this secret room. Having heard about it in the past and finally setting foot inside of it, was a watershed moment for me.

Todd had taken me inside the Fidelius charm.

It took me two days to do all the work and it was then that i learned that Todd and Roy were leaving for San Francisco and there was no turning back. i was only 28 years old. i was still young and i had responsibilities that i thought were important.

Todd did not ask me to go with him. i think he thought it was better that i stayed where i was. i was still very sick and i needed the care that was being provided for me by Health Link. i had not ventured south to look for a new doctor to treat me yet. That would come later on.

i lived inside my leather head for so long that i was so used to what was going on. The day that i had to say goodbye to Todd came so suddenly. They packed up the truck and the car and i stood in the driveway at the house and sobbed. i wanted so badly to go with them, but i knew that i could not.

He hugged me and told me to remember all the lessons He taught me and that i knew where He would be. They got in the car and drove away.  That was the last time i ever saw my Master, as the dust settled behind the car.

i was saying goodbye to the man who saved my life, the man i loved more than anyone else in the entire world. Todd took on the monumental task of taking care of me and by extension all of the men who worked in the bar. i was his favorite. It was me He chose to save at that time in my life. i lived every day to serve Him and by extension the men in the bar.

That life came to a screeching halt and the life i had lived for so long, was over. There was no turning back, i had to go on and find the way to survive without Him.

i cannot tell you how important a man Todd was to me … suffice to say, no other man has ever filled that spot in my heart. Not even my husband. He inhabits another part of my heart in other ways. There will never be another Todd in my life. i had Him for a season or two. And like they say, all good things must come to an end.

i had to go back into the world. i packed up my home and headed south to Miami to attempt reintegration. i had a job at the time and i had found a doctor to treat me. Dr. Jose would be my savior. He had access to drugs and treatments that i could not get in Ft. Lauderdale.

i remember walking around the city by myself trying to figure out how i was going to reintegrate back into the normal world and leave the world that i had lived in for so long behind.

i attempted reintegration. i failed, miserably.

i could not make it work alone, by myself.

When Todd and Roy moved to the West coast, i knew that i could not follow them, however, many of the men who worked at the bar did. Few of them are still alive, but a good number of them have long since died.

i harbored the idealistic fantasy that one day my father would die and i would go back and claim my mother back into my life and that i would remain at her side and take care of her as long as she lived.

But alas, my family never came together, my father did not die and the last time i saw my mother was on New Years Day 2001 for all of 25 minutes on their way back to Sarasota. This is one of those regrets that i have, that i stayed for family that never came to fruition. Family was a wasted idealistic dream.

i don’t know what would have happened had i gone to San Francisco.

i will never know. Because i am in Montreal and not San Francisco. i have spoken to Todd on few occasions since moving to Montreal. And I see Him here and there, in the business he runs today.

Protect in confidence this story, and please respect its dignity as well.

July 1994 – Crazy SOTB

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Cue the music – start the fog machine – blue light GOBO slow pans across the floor through dimly lit space, and the first beat comes…

I am alone, it is early, the bar is not yet open, but I am there alone. Just me, the music and the spirit of God. Well, what little spirit of God there was at that time of my life. It is mid-summer in Ft. Lauderdale. I have just told Todd that I was going to die…

He wept.

Over the next few weeks, the teaching would begin. The team rose to the call, one of the boys was sick and was left on the side of the road with nothing but what little dignity was left in his soul. All I needed would be provided come hell or high water. Wild Horses would never stop the charge for life. We were all sick, we were all dying. Save for two people in the entire organization. My champions would save me, if I wanted it or not. Death was not an option and I would either get it or I would die…

So it began…

At that time, the temple of sin was alive and things happened so quickly that if you blinked you would miss it. The temple was filled with every earthly delight, Dante would have been pleased with our Garden of Earthly desires, carnal, profane and truly sinful. I loved every minute of it.

The rule was set…

You have a life, outside the temple. When you come to work, you leave your baggage at the door, do not bring it in here. No exceptions. Come to work, and you will serve me your Master and do whatever you are told without question without complaint, is that clear!

Yes Sir…

I took that time of my life as sacred and profane, but that is another story. You can read about the Sacred and the Profane over there in Pages… This is another thread to a long running story of how this boy was made a man, a saved man, a profane man, and in the same vein Sacred. You never know where your lessons are going to come from, and you are grateful for the wisdom and time people took out of their lives to care for you and teach you lessons that nobody else was going to teach you. So pay attention Little One.

This is your life we are talking about…

The gobos are tracking across the floor slowly through smoke and mirrors as the music plays just for you. I learned very early on, in that space that music would identify particular moods, paint particular pictures. Farkle and I had a ritual. He IS the only one left from the fray of men who lived and died from the temple of sin. We began each shift in our own way, begging god another night, another day, another minute. I was surrounded with warriors fighting their own significant battles with AIDS. I was not hit by the KS demon. I was not plagued by things I saw and witnessed, thank the creator. It was ugly. It was brutal and it was most importantly the fight of the century for all of us. Many men went to their deaths in our arms. We bathed them, clothed them and in the end we buried them.

Angry Larry…

When I got sober there was a man with AIDS named Larry, he was a drunk like me. But he was unique. He sat with a bottle on the table and a loaded revolver to shoot himself. He carried that gun with him and showed it to every one of us, and he told us relentlessly that he was going to kill himself. He got sober with the rest of us. Over the years following his spiritual awakening, he did something that no one else thought to do.

People with AIDS were being left in the streets. Mortuaries would not process sick people, they would not touch a body that had been infected with AIDS. Families would not bury their children. We did that. Larry opened his services to the community and he became another champion of the cause. I knew him. He eventually got rid of the gun, so I heard.

For a few minutes during transition, I would warm up the smoker, fire up the turntable and start the computer so that I could worship my God to the music of my soul. I did that every night. I worshiped whatever was going to save me.

I was servant to the men. I was servant to my Master. I was a slave for God, be he dressed or undressed. You never saw God until you witnessed true beauty of the soul in all its carnality. There is something sacredly profane about this part of my life. What went on inside the temple stayed in the temple. Many months would pass and I battled my demons of alcoholism before I finally fell into the pit of death, and there happen to be somebody watching from the sidelines.

Danny saved me that night. He was the man who cradled me in his arms, oxygen mask on my face and had called the paramedics to try and revive me. Danny took me home that night, and did not leave my apartment for a week. He fed me, bathed me and cared for me, under that watchful eye of my Master Todd. When the word was spoke, action was taken, and hell hath no fury if you did not jump when told to. Todd was very protective over his boys and men.

We were reminded that Todd had lost love to AIDS. Bob was buried across the street in the cemetery that faced our building. It was hard – it was painful, and it was sacred. Kevin and Larry did things for me that no man ever did for me in the real world. We were the three musketeers. We were the team to beat in bar management and service. We ran a tight ship and we were accountable, respectable and reliable. We proved a mighty force against the odds we all faced.

Let’s get it on…

Shift was begun at eight. The wells were filled the beer was stocked and the ice bins were full. Put your money in the drawer and let’s get the music thumping. Like clockwork at the strike of eight bells the first note hit the turntables. They were lined up around the building. Cars were parked all over the place. The temple worship had begun. Heaven was found amid the souls of suffering men who knew they were all marked for death, but for tonight, whatever you desired was fulfilled. You could drown away your sorrow and dip into the well of living water if you wished as well. You have never lived until you party like your dying with crowds of undulating flesh as far as they eye can see. The ghosts of those men now inhabit the fantasies and dreams I have still to this day.

One by one, two by two, they died in our arms. We held them until they took their last breaths. Memorialized in the careful and blood soaked threads of quilts, as the years went by, they started collecting by the dozen, then by the hundreds. If you’ve ever seen the entire quilt unfurled, all the men who were part of my life in those first years of my epidemic life, they are all together in death, as they were in life. Memorialized until the end of time. And we remember each of their names.

So many young boys torn from life before they knew what hit them. Men who infected them had died as well. Many of my friends were taken on trips that were detrimental to them, and just robbed them of life that was still left to live.

Todd saw to it that I would never go there…

You come to work, dress as you will, you obey me and do not waver from my eye, for I know your carnal desires and you are too young to tempt the devil with his dance. Because I surely did not know what could befall me if the right charmer enticed me into his web of desire, and they all knew I was fair bait. But in order to dine from my buffet, you needed explicit permission of my Master, who never allowed any man to defile me like many had been. I was off limits. I never crossed the line provided because that meant disrespect and I could never bear to break my Master’s heart with disobedience.

I loved Him, and He loved me – I had many problems. I was depressed and angry and resentful. I had the scars of traumatic visions of my dead lovers corpse in my head, and the words of his mother still ring in my ear today “I hope that every night until you die, that you see the corpse of my dead son in your field of vision.” That curse still lives with me and will go with me to the grave. Five day old corpses are not pretty. I had to identify the remains when all was said and done. Save that he was wearing jewelry that I could identify and part of him was still recognizable – God forgive me…

I remember that day, it was early afternoon the morgue called me from work to come and do the deed. I drove in and looked upon him in that room, I wept tears that burned into my soul forever. I just could not imagine – the pain was so hard to bear. I drove over to the bar. Bill was working behind the bar. I drank until I could not stand up on my own. I drank for a week, straight…

Todd and Bill needed to find me a solution and quick, because I was on the outs.

I started suicide therapy in a group setting that lasted 32 weeks. Nothing like rehashing death week after week, until the pain was purged from your soul, but is it ever? Months went by until I got my news.

But they cared for me in all my brokenness. A young angel would earn his wings back. Come hell or high water. In the end, when all was said and done, at the end of the day I survived, but so many did not. And each night I offer them prayers in hope that when I meet my death that all of them will be waiting for me in the Temple Of Earthly Desire in the promised land of the Kingdom of God, where the sacred and profane are mingled with the blood of the Almighty and the blood of my friends who have gone before me, on that day we will be cleansed of our sins.

And forgiven by God…

Amen

Goodnight angels of men

In a church,by the face,
He talks about the people going under.

Only child know…

A man decides after seventy years,
That what he goes there for, is to unlock the door.
While those around him criticize and sleep…
And through a fractal on a breaking wall,
I see you my friend, and touch your face again.
Miracles will happen as we trip.

But we’re never gonna survive, unless…
We get a little crazy
No we’re never gonna survive, unless…
We are a little…

Cray…cray…cray…

…Crazy yellow people walking through my head.
One of them’s got a gun, to shoot the other one.
And yet together they were friends at school
Ohh, get it, get it, get it, get it no no!

If all were there when we first took the pill,
Then maybe, then maybe, then maybe, then maybe…
Miracles will happen as we speak.

But we’re never gonna survive unless…
We get a little crazy.
No we’re never gonna survive unless…
We are a little…
Crazy…
No no, never survive, unless we get a little… bit…

Oh, a little bit…
Oh, a little bit…

Oh…
Oh…

Amanda decides to go along after seventeen years…

Oh darlin…
In a sky full of people, only some want to fly,
Isn’t that crazy?
In a world full of people, only some want to fly,
Isn’t that crazy?
Crazy…
In a heaven of people there’s only some want to fly,
Ain’t that crazy?
Oh babe… Oh darlin…
In a world full of people there’s only some want to fly,
Isn’t that crazy?
Isn’t that crazy… Isn’t that crazy… Isn’t that crazy…

Ohh…
But we’re never gonna survive unless, we get a little crazy.. crazy..
No we’re never gonna to survive unless we are a little… crazy..
But we’re never gonna survive unless, we get a little crazy.. crazy..
No we’re never gonna to survive unless, we are a little.. crazy..
No no, never survive unless, we get a little bit…

And then you see things
The size
Of which you’ve never known before

They’ll break it

Someday…

Only child know….

Them things
The size
Of which you’ve never known before

Someday…
Someway…
Someday…
Someway…
Someday…
Someway…
Someday…