Specimen Days: Your Own Essay. By Robert Massa

Specimen Days: Your Own Essay. By Robert Massa

Plus: ‘A Diary of coping with AIDS’ and ‘Remembering Robert — Seven Writers Commemorate a Colleague and Friend’

Specimen times: Scenes Through the Epidemic February 22, 1994

We DON’T UNDERSTAND where you can get as the doctor’s is left by me workplace. The stores and individuals appear two-dimensional. Noises are muffled. We keep thinking: focus on that which you feel. But all personally i think could be the wind.

I recall the museum is near by. The woodwork that is heavy the leaded windows, the cavernous spaces remind me personally of primary college. I go up the staircase that is central after the course where indian cam show in fact the rock was worn out by footsteps.

I’m impressed as always because of the dinosaur bones. They’ve been exhibited for action — about to fight, planning to feed.

A trip guide breaks my ideas. She informs number of schoolchildren to ignore the signs into the cup instances; normal history is advancing therefore quickly, she describes that the curator can’t carry on with, plus some regarding the info is away from date.

I’m disappointed to believe which our technology will seem quaint and some­day that I’ll can’t say for sure exactly just exactly what really took place to your dinosaurs.

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WE HEAD INTO a glassed-in sidewalk cafe near Du­pont Circle. We ensure it is point to sit across from Daniel because I would like to flirt minus the others noticing. We speak about the way the remaining portion of the world appears so small conscious of just what our company is going right on through and just how much the neighborhood changed. We order omelettes; we shop around and understand its lunchtime when it comes to some other clients.

Daniel happens to be traveling when you look at the Midwest and states he’s impressed by just how knit that is close individuals appear in little towns; he’d trade a few of the freedom we now have in nyc for the feeling of community. We begin to have fun with the game, staring a little a long time, jerking our attention away. He apologizes for making use of Sweet ’n minimal, and I also confess i take advantage of too much sodium. We examine the cup and say Washington could be a place that is nice in the end.

I quickly knock my fork on to the floor and bend right down to choose it, but I’m perhaps not watching and I also slam my forehead in the next dining table. It’s quiet all over. I research to say, “I’m fine, ” but before I have the words away We see two falls of my bloodstream, vivid red contrary to the white linen.

I DRIVE into the suburbs to check out my dad into the medical center. My hometown seems too manicured, like those model towns we utilized to create for the train set. My father’s space is with in a fresh wing of this medical center, with fall ceilings, sheetrock walls, and a tiny crucifix over every home.

My mom and sibling is there. They are told by me Dad looks good and my mom smiles. We commence to resent the eye he’s getting.

Later on, i will be alone with my dad as he wakes up. We now have little talk. Unexpectedly, he asks if people nevertheless get AIDS from transfusions. I’m startled simply to hear him state the term. I do want to simply tell him i am aware just exactly how afraid and alone he seems, but I’m perhaps not ready for him to learn about me personally. We simply tell him to maybe not worry — they screen bloodstream now. He does not look convinced, but sets their mind straight right straight back and drifts down to rest. We touch their hand and notice how much our hands are alike.

A weeks that are few he’s back and I see him once again. He appears little and hunched over, nevertheless the quickness has returned in the eyes. He provides me personally a key to a safe­ deposit field; their might plus some cost savings bonds are in. If anything occurs to him, it’s as much as us to look after the plans. I’m the just one who will be relaxed sufficient to understand what to accomplish.

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We ADHERE PETER out to your coastline. Young ones through the village play down within the distance. The sun’s rays is strong. Peter sits during the edge that is water’s reduces his mind. We sit a feet that are few, wondering what things to state. It absolutely was easier straight right straight back within the town; right here there was a lot of time to think. We look back in the visitor notice and house again just exactly how shabby it is gotten.

We touch their neck. He does not wish to die alone. He does not wish to perish. He is told by me i realize, I’m going right on through it too. That does not sooth him. He starts up once again, telling me personally just exactly how their buddy passed away. We turn away.

Further along the coastline, somebody has sculpted life­ size individual into the sand. The hands are crossed throughout the upper body such as for instance a physical human anatomy in a casket. The facial skin is peaceful. I begin to inform Peter We heard these sculptures are element of a folk that is old nevertheless practiced regarding the area, but halfway through, We can’t remember if it’s true or We imagined it.

Unexpectedly, we envy their hysteria. We simply tell him that the frightened kid inside of him could be the component i really like many and that I would personally be here if he got unwell. He calms down. We opt to aim for a swim. The water’s too cool plus the tide’s to arrive, but it is made by us past where in actuality the waves are breaking and soak within the sunlight together with sodium plus the movement. As soon as we return to secure, the sand corpse is washed away.

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