Specimen Times: Your Own Essay. By Robert Massa


Specimen Times: 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 should get as We leave the doctor’s workplace. The stores and individuals appear two-dimensional. Noises are muffled. We keep thinking: look closely at everything you feel. But all personally i think may be the wind.

I recall the museum is near by. The hefty woodwork, the leaded windows, the cavernous spaces remind me personally of primary college. I go within the staircase that is central after the course in which the rock was worn out by footsteps.

I’m impressed as constantly because of the dinosaur bones. These are typically presented in action — about to fight, planning to feed.

A trip guide breaks my ideas. She informs band of schoolchildren to disregard the indications into the cup instances; normal history is advancing so quickly, she describes that the curator can’t carry on with, plus some of this info is away from date.

I’m disappointed to consider which our technology will seem quaint and some­day that I’ll never ever understand just what really occurred to the dinosaurs.


WE WALK INTO a glassed-in sidewalk cafe near Du­pont Circle. We allow it to be a true indicate stay across from Daniel because i do want to flirt with no others noticing. We speak about how a remaining portion of the globe appears so small alert to exactly what we have been dealing with and exactly how much the neighborhood changed. We purchase omelettes; we shop around and recognize it is lunchtime for the some other clients.

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

I quickly knock my fork on to the floor and bend down seriously to choose it, but I’m not watching and I also slam my forehead in the next dining table. It’s quiet around us all. I look up to say, “I’m fine, ” but I see two drops of my blood, bright red against the white linen before I get the words out.

We DRIVE towards the suburbs to consult with my dad when you look at the medical center. My hometown seems too manicured, like those model towns we utilized to construct for the train set. My father’s space is with in a unique wing associated with hospital, with fall ceilings, sheetrock walls, and a crucifix that is small every door.

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

Later on, i’m alone with my dad as he wakes up. We’ve little talk. Unexpectedly, he asks if individuals nevertheless get AIDS from transfusions. I’m startled simply to hear him state your message. I would like to make sure he understands i realize just how afraid and alone he seems, but I’m perhaps perhaps not ready for him to learn about me. He is told by me to maybe perhaps maybe not worry — they screen bloodstream now. He does not look convinced, but sets their mind straight back and drifts down to fall asleep. We touch their hand and notice how much our fingers are alike.

A weeks that are few he’s back and we see him once more. He appears tiny and hunched over, nevertheless the quickness has returned in the eyes. He provides me personally an integral up to a safe­ deposit package; their might plus some cost cost cost savings bonds are inside. If any such thing occurs to him, it’s as much as us to look after the plans. I’m the one that is only could be calm sufficient to know very well what to accomplish.


I ADHERE PETER off to the coastline. Kids through the village play off into the distance. The sunlight has already been strong. Peter sits during the water’s edge and reduces his mind. We sit a feet that are few, wondering things to state. It absolutely was easier straight right straight back within the town; right right right here there clearly was a lot of time to think. I look right right straight back during the visitor household and notice once more exactly just how shabby it is gotten.

We touch their neck. He does not wish to perish alone. He does not desire to die. He is told by me i realize, I’m going right through it too. That does not relax him. He begins once more, telling me personally exactly exactly how their buddy passed away. We turn away.

Further down the coastline, somebody has sculpted a full life­ size individual within the sand. The hands are crossed throughout the upper body such as human body in a casket. The face area is calm. We begin to inform Peter We heard these sculptures are section of a folk that is old nevertheless practiced from the area, but halfway through, We can’t remember if it’s true or I imagined it.

Instantly, we envy their hysteria. We make sure he understands that the frightened kid inside of him may be the component i enjoy many and that I would personally be here if he got ill. He calms down. We opt to opt for a swim. The water’s too installment loans online utah direct lenders cool additionally the tide’s coming in, but it is made by us past where in actuality the waves are breaking and immerse into the sunlight together with sodium therefore the movement. As soon as we return to secure, the sand corpse happens to be washed away.

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