Thursday, April 23, 2009
1989 David Hayes
One day I came home from working at Hasting's to find David on the floor cleaning with a toothbrush. I was so naive that I thought nothing of it. We were living on Routh St in this really nice but small efficiency. I remember it being $450 a month. It was gated on the ground level with a landscaped garden. The floor was white tile throughout. The all black appliances were brand new and the interior was lighted with recessed lighting and was mirrored from floor to ceiling with sliding door closet space behind most of the mirrors. The entry was entirely glass with a sliding door. It also had a murphy bed, the kind that folds up into the wall when not in use. Very cool place. One hot September afternoon, when walking home from the Gay Pride Parade, David brought up the fact that we should be using condoms. I asked why, once again my naivety glaring. He was like, "Well you just never know." I started to get upset because I thought he was saying that I could be a risk for him. Looking back I feel so stupid knowing now that we were taking a risk any way you look at it. Anyway, hindsight is 20/20, right? Over the next few autumn and winter months David became more withdrawn socially and started sleeping a lot. One cold morning on my way to work David and I got into a disagreement and out of anger he put his hand through our bathroom window. He then confessed to being addicted to meth and if that wasn't enough, was shooting it with a needle. I was surprised but not near as concerned as I would be today. (especially knowing the severity of the needle and seeing what it has done to so many people.) At the time though I didn't think it was that big of a thing to overcome. Although his use had become minimal, I'm not sure David was ever able to completely kick it. One summer afternoon I had returned to the dark, lonely apartment that we had to move into because of David's inability to work. It was on McKinney Ave. One bedroom with a crazy land lady. I walked into the bedroom to find David crying in the dark. I asked him what was wrong and he told me he had been to the doctor. I kept asking him what the doctor said but he just kept crying. Finally I said, "Is it HIV?" He cried harder. Then I started crying and left the apartment for a walk down the street. I called my parents from a pay phone, not to tell them but just to talk to someone that could make me feel normal for a minute. When they answered the phone they said things weren't so good there. One of my childhood dogs, Foxy, was dead of old age. Not too long after that I remember my other childhood dog, Fancy, had passed as well. I felt like my whole world was falling apart and it was. I had no money, hated my job at Hasting's in Valley View Mall, had no car, my dog died and my boyfriend has AIDS. Knowing that I was probably HIV positive as well was so overwhelming to me and more frightening than anything that had ever happened to me. I thought, "Great, thanks GOD, I knew you were never there anyway." I wanted to be mad at David as well but somehow, even then, I knew it wasn't his fault. He no more wanted this for himself than I did and I knew his guilt was eating at him because of things he would do and say like on Gay Pride day on our walk home. I loved him still and wanted to be there for him but the whole thing was getting over my head emotionally. I didn't know how to cope with it all so after about a month we agreed to move apart. I moved in with Frank at his parents house in NE Dallas for a few weeks. This was when we started going out every night to escape the depression of what I had been through and avoid the reality of what could lie ahead. Eventually I moved into a small efficiency on Douglas which everybody called The Alamo because it looked so similar. It used to be a living quarters for women studying to be nurses at Parkland. It had 2 floors with 10 efficiencies on each. I lived on the second floor with Frank, who wasn't my roommate anymore but may have well been as much as he stayed there. I quit Hasting's and started working at RAPS 5 days a week. I still worked at Oak Lawn Records a couple of days a week as well. Craig Bell and I started going to the gym 4 times a week and hanging out a lot as well. He introduced me to a lot of people and that helped keep my mind off of my deepest fears. Was this it for me? Moving to Dallas to meet someone as awesome as David only to find out he is dying? Am I gonna get sick and die this way too? I need to get tested but I'm AFRAID!