My best friend Justin is dieing. I knew that. I’ve known that since he told me that he was diagnosed with Acute Immune Deficiency Syndrome or AIDS. I know that AIDS is not the death sentence that it used to be, but I also know that if you don’t catch it in time that it can be.
Justin didn’t catch it in time.
He ignored my continuous, nagging, persistent advice to go get tested. Especially because his then partner, Ian, was and is a male-whore, who slept with anything with a hole and without a condom. The jerk even hit on me just hours after sleeping with my best friend.
Justin stayed with him and never got tested.
I and the rest of the Sexy-Squared Crew (Which is what we called ourselves as seniors in high school and freshmen in college-yes, we were dorks) were always very aware that Justin was putting himself in danger, which is why, although we were all very “open” and “free” sexually (all of us except Ryan, who was a very staunch, upstanding Christian, who also fell in love with his now wife Tiffany as a freshman in college), we got tested religiously. I think we were hoping that we would rub off on Justin and make him go get tested eventually.
He finally did, only after he got so sick that he passed out and had to be rushed to the hospital.
I remember when I found out, the rushing sound of the wind in my ears, the thudding of my heart. He’d said AIDS, not HIV, but AIDS. Then months passed and I got the dreaded phone call. Justin had been in and out of the hospital for weeks, for many different things, but this time it was serious.
Justin has an extreme case of pneumonia. When you have AIDS and then you get sick, the doctors have to race to keep you alive. People have died just from having pneumonia, people have died from just having AIDS. My best friend has both.
It is a struggle everyday for me to pull myself out of my emotional funk. I am consistently pestering my other best friends and their partners/spouses Angel and James, and now Ryan and Tiffany on news about Justin since they are there with him. I can’t fly over to England because I don’t have my passport yet or the money to get there, but I can find out all that I need to know by constantly calling, texting, and skyping.
I know that it’s depression that I’m fighting because all I want to do is cry, eat and sleep and read books. I don’t have a desire to write, to sing, to act, to direct, to produce, to dance, to draw, to design…my desire for sex, kissing and a relationship is even gone. I watch television and occasionally laugh but the characters, their dialogue and their plots rush right through me. Wednesday night’s episode of “Criminal Minds” is still sitting queued up on my DVR, unwatched.
I’m trying to pull myself out of it, but I can’t. And this is only as we all wait with shattered hearts for the outcome of Justin’s hospitalization. He isn’t even gone yet and my heart is broken, shattered and destroyed, I have no idea how I will feel if and when he actually passes.
How am I supposed to pull myself out of this? How do I get over this depression? How would you my Tumblings and friends deal with the preemptive passing of your best friend?