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 Days: Scenes Through the Epidemic February 22, 1994

We DON’T UNDERSTAND locations to get as the doctor’s is left by me workplace. The stores and folks appear two-dimensional. Noises are muffled. I keep thinking: focus on everything you feel. But all personally i think may be the wind.

From the 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 where in fact the stone has been worn down by footsteps.

I’m impressed as constantly because of the dinosaur bones. These are generally shown for action — about to battle, planning to feed.

A trip guide breaks my thoughts. She informs band of schoolchildren to disregard online installment loans vermont direct lenders the indications into the cup instances; normal history is advancing therefore quickly, she describes that the curator can’t keep pace, plus some regarding the info is away from date.

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


WE HEAD INTO a glassed-in sidewalk cafe near Du­pont Circle. We ensure it is point out stay across from Daniel because I would like to flirt without having the others noticing. We mention the way the other countries in the world seems so aware that is little of we have been going right through and just how much the neighborhood changed. We purchase omelettes; we shop around and recognize its lunchtime when it comes to some other clients.

Daniel happens to be traveling into the Midwest and states he’s impressed by just just exactly how knit that is close individuals appear in little towns; he would trade a number of the freedom we now have in ny for the feeling of community. We start 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 personally use too salt that is much. We look over the cup and state Washington could be a place that is nice after all.

I quickly knock my fork on to the floor and bend right down to select it, but I’m perhaps perhaps perhaps not watching and I also slam my forehead in the table that is next. It’s quiet around us all. I research 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 into the suburbs to go to 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 an innovative new wing of this medical center, with fall ceilings, sheetrock walls, and a little 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, i will be alone with my dad as he wakes up. We now have little talk. Abruptly, he asks if individuals nevertheless get AIDS from transfusions. I’m startled simply to hear him state the term. I wish to make sure he understands i realize exactly just how afraid and alone he seems, but I’m perhaps perhaps perhaps not ready for him to learn about me personally. He is told by me to perhaps not worry — they screen bloodstream now. He does not look convinced, but places their mind straight straight back and drifts down to rest. We touch their hand and notice how much our hands are alike.

A few weeks later he’s back and we see him once more. He appears little and hunched over, nevertheless the quickness has returned in his eyes. He provides me personally an integral up to a deposit that is safe; their might and some cost cost savings bonds are in. If such a thing takes place to him, it’s as much as us to care for the plans. I’m the just one who will be relaxed adequate to understand what to accomplish.


We ADHERE PETER out to your beach. Kiddies through the village play down when you look at the distance. The sunlight has already been strong. Peter sits in the edge that is water’s reduces his head. We sit several foot away, wondering things to state. It absolutely was easier right right back into the town; right right right here there clearly was too much effort to think. We look straight straight right back during the visitor home and notice once again exactly exactly exactly how shabby it is gotten.

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

Further along the coastline, somebody has sculpted a full life­ size individual into the sand. The hands are crossed on the upper body such as a physical human anatomy in a casket. The face area is calm. We begin to inform Peter I heard these sculptures are included in a classic people faith still practiced regarding the area, but halfway through, We can’t keep in mind if that’s true or We imagined it.

Unexpectedly, we envy their hysteria. We make sure he understands that the frightened child inside of him may be the component I adore many and if he got sick that I would be there. He calms down. We choose to decide on a swim. The water’s too cool plus the tide’s to arrive, but it is made by us past where in fact the waves are breaking and immerse under the sun together with sodium and also the movement. As soon as we return to secure, the sand corpse happens to be washed away.