I think for me one of the hardest things about AIDS especially in the early days was the “disappeared”. The people in your life you didn’t see as often as others who all of a sudden were gone and you found out later why. It made you wonder why they were too afraid, too shy, too whatever to reach out to a friend at least for a hug if not more.
The worst experience was when I volunteered the 4 days the last time the Quilt was at the Rose Bowl. I was walking it early before my shift and along one edge was a name I knew. A guy I had two very bad blind dates with in college. My sorority sisters fixed us up not once but twice even though I had made it quite clear that I neither needed nor desired a date for our formal dances. He was very sweet and nice and totally wrong for me. One, because he was male and Two, because he was one of those too nice people with a “Kick Me” sign on their foreheads, that kind of person brings the very worst out in me since they generally have no sense of humour and big puppy eyes. He would have made a great friend but he was a terrible date. He made me feel like an evil dragoness for saying anything even slightly negative. Anyway, I lost track of him when I dropped out of college. I was totally blindsided to find his name. I was totally unprepared to see THAT name. What a loss to the world of a genuinely sweet and good man. I have no idea when he came out but it was obvious from his square that he had. I hoped he had been happy and well loved by someone, he deserved that.