Forgetting; Remembering

9 Aug
Mom and I watched Tim Burton’s animated movie “9” last night (which I was duly UNimpressed with, for the record) and there was a line in it that said:
“You forgot to remember to be scared.”

And it dawned on me…  That’s what I am going through with my whole AIDS diagnonsense.  I guess from working with it in the Gay community for so many years through various charities and what not, it was not as frightening to me as it probably could have been.  All of my Loved Ones, I think, were more scared in their ignorance of the disease than I was initially.  Sure, I had my moments of panic as I guess anyone would when diagnosed with something as potentially fatal as HIV, but I didn’t throw myself in the floor and wail and freak out.  I was more worried about Mom and others than I just didn’t think to be scared for myself.
I realized last night, too, that this is so applicable to dang near every aspect of my life.  Thinking back to NYC days, I never considered that living in Central Park might get me killed.  I never took into account the risks of being a 17 year old prostitute.  I didn’t care that shooting Heaven knows what in my veins might kill me.  I always just went for it.  Later in life when moving back to New Orleans with no damned money to my name sounded like a good idea, away I went.  Same with California…  I just went.  It didn’t matter what it was.  If it called me, I answered.  Consequence (and common sense) be damned.
Of course one would say now:  “Look where it got you…”  And, sure, I have paid – and continue to pay – my dues.  But, inversely, look at the life I have lived.  Look at the experiences I have had.  Not many have enjoyed my roller coaster.  I did well for myself.  I did poorly.  That’s the nature of the beast.  But I lived.  And I am only 34 years old.  I am still alive and kicking (the world in the balls) for now.  My punch may pack a little less punch these days but who knows what idiotic adventures lie beyond the next rise for me.  And hopefully I will still go chasing after it with the blind and crazed abandon of a three year old chasing butterflies…
Remind me to remember to be afraid in a few decades.  I don’t have the time – or energy – for it now!

13 Responses to “Forgetting; Remembering”

  1. Call Me Cate August 9, 2010 at 8:30 am #

    Really thoughtful post this morning. You're right – you've been living the hell out of life. In my 32 years, I've lived barely a fraction of all that you have. Fear, I guess. I'm trying to change that a bit but old habits are hard to break.

  2. Vencora August 9, 2010 at 9:51 am #

    if you don't live your life, what's it there for, right? it took until my late 20s for me to realize that. but, then, i'm kind of a slow grower. it took until my mid 20s to even start getting over my people anxiety. living my life for myself and actually living it are things i have to keep reminding myself to do. perhaps sooner or later i'll forget the old habbits entirely.

  3. Nariane August 9, 2010 at 10:22 am #

    Interestink dahlink! 😉

    I'm caught with fear – but not so much fear for myself – Me I can (hopefully) take care of, but fear for others in my life.

  4. Jane August 9, 2010 at 10:47 am #

    I'm reading a book now called The Smile at the Heart of Things by Brian H. Peterson. He tells of when he was diagnosed with Parkinson's in his early 50's. He was never sick his whole life and it still didn't hit him until he saw the look of fear in his wife's eyes. As morbid as it sounds, we all have to go at some point in time. It's just a matter of when and how. In the meantime, we are living life. I cringe at some of my actions 10, 20 years ago. I cringe at how I behave now at times. Each day we are still here is a gift. How are we using it? I try not to look too far back in the rear view mirror anymore. Life has been hard and fucked up at times. Life has been awesome too. All of the good and bad has shaped me in to who I am. Keep moving. You are a warrior.

  5. Pat Tillett August 9, 2010 at 11:58 am #

    You've had adventures that most people can only dream about (maybe). Your memoirs are just begging to be published and you're still living “chapters” of it now…

  6. Marlene August 9, 2010 at 12:12 pm #

    Brutal honesty is why I love reading you. 🙂

  7. ~L August 9, 2010 at 2:16 pm #


    I applaud your positive energy and future-oriented thinking. Like many, I have feared and forgotten to fear…myself. Since you and other blogger friends have entered this mundane life, I have gained courage and ambition beyond my dreams. We live how we live. We share what we know. We believe what we experience. We move to our music. We smoke um if we gottum.

    thank you for your honesty. thank you for your friendship. thank you for being you.
    love and hugs someday,

  8. Lynne August 9, 2010 at 4:09 pm #

    I would love to grab you by the hand we both go do something you have not done yet. Let's ride the rails warrior man… I'll be the 50 yr runaway and you the wise-cracking partner.. damn, never know what life has in store for us.. YOu have a wonderful history. Ever wrote it out in a journal/book format?

  9. Jhon Baker August 9, 2010 at 6:14 pm #

    Fantasized Experience Appearing Real – you are right to walk unafraid into and through life – what's the worst it can do to you? kill you? we all die anyway so even the threat of death is unreal.
    The more I read you, the more I want to read.

  10. The Empress August 9, 2010 at 6:24 pm #

    Keep embracing and living life to the fullest!

  11. holly August 9, 2010 at 11:10 pm #

    great post. loved it. all of it.

  12. holly August 9, 2010 at 11:12 pm #

    great post. i love your attitude.

  13. Bukowski's Basement August 9, 2010 at 11:53 pm #

    Such a wonderful and honest post, Michael… A brave write. Inspiring…

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