Monday, November 24, 2008

I miss Freddie
It doesn't seem possible, but it was on this day way back in 1991 that Queen front-man Freddie Mercury died of AIDS. I've always thought he had one of the best voices in rock music and I'm a huge Queen fan. I recall years ago walking by one of his panels when we went to the display of the AIDS Quilt in D.C. and feeling tremendously sad.

AIDS isn't in the news much these days. It's been supplanted by breast cancer as the disease of popular consciousness. Nothing against breast cancer, it's a horrible disease and deserves as much attention and research as possible. But I wish the tragic urgency of the 80s hadn't faded so much. I don't miss the pain, but I do miss the money it brought in.

It's hard to comprehend how long The Steves have been gone. I still miss them every day. After cursing the fact that AIDS has faded from people's minds, I have to confess that I'm one of the guilty. I still write the checks (though not as much as we used to since we're living on one income) but I don't give my time the way I did. Illness kept me from AIDS Walk this year for the first time in, what, 15 years? And i don't give my time, or my heart, like I used to. These days I volunteer with kitties, not the dying. Easier on the soul but I do feel the "I'm not doing enough" guilt. And I do the old "if not me, who?" trip on myself to try (and fail) to convince myself to go back. But I honestly don't think I can.

But what I can do is let today's sad anniversary inspire me send a bit of money to the American Foundation for AIDS Research. And maybe play "You're My Best Friend" and hope it doesn't make me cry.

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