Saturday, December 01, 2007

Winning the Lottery

It has been over 23 years since I lost my first friend to what was then an unknown disease. This year I wanted to write something inspirational and thoughtful for World AIDS Day - however I think this piece that I posted last year still holds true a year later. I first read it on EVERYTHING IS NOT REAL, a blog that has been sadly discontinued. Christopher could write frivolous, naughty, nasty, informative and touching. His entry for World AIDS Day two years ago moved me immensely. As I know I could not write anything as appropriate to the day I am taking the liberty of reproducing it.

December 1, 2005

I have lottery fantasies.

I dream about being able to buy fast cars and designer clothes until they come out of my ears. I want houses in London, New York, East Hampton and Rio. I want to be able to travel first class and work out at The Third Space and get reservations at Annabel's just because of who I am. I want to be able to take hot dates on tours of the National Gallery. When it's closed. Because I'm one of it's biggest benefactors.

Needless to say, twice a week, I am disappointed.

This morning, on the way to work on the tube, I was reading a Times article, written by Annie Lennox, about the millions and millions of people in Africa who are suffering with HIV and AIDS, and dying, and how the governments of the richer nations, such as the one I live in, have pledged support over an eight year period. And how they absolutely must stay committed to this goal.

One of the kids she spoke to on a recent trip to Africa was dying of AIDS. But before he got sick he lost his mother, father, brothers, sisters and pretty much everyone else he cared about to the same disease. He was totally alone in the world. With no hope. And certainly no dreams of fast cars or a nice comfortable house, anywhere. And that shit isn't even near the important stuff.

There are approximately 6,450,000,000 humans on Earth.

Most of them are not 33 year olds who have careers which afford them access to guest lists to the best clubs and bars the city has to offer. They don't have friends who will stick with them no matter what (and slip them Jil Sander dress shirts every now and then.)They don't have housemates who have Thai cuisine prepared and ready to eat when they arrive home. They don't have comfortable beds to sleep in at night.

6,450,000,000.

When I think about it I kinda did win the lottery.

About 33 years ago

EVERYTHING IS NOT REAL - Christopher

Most of us can say the same thing.


01 decembre - San Alegio

5 comments:

Doralong said...

So very, very true...

Auld Hat said...

It's important that you shared this. I am so moved, Will. Thank you.

more cowbell said...

Hey Willym, thanks so much for putting this up today. I was feeling sorry for myself today. Thanks for the perspective jolt.

Elizabeth said...

Thanks for posting this. It made me remember a dear friend of mine saying to me, in San Francisco, in 1980, "You have to worry about getting pregnant when you have sex. I don't have to worry about anything!" He died a few years later and is one of the first names on the AIDS quilt. It's such a heart break, that lottery....

BigAssBelle said...

i knew this would make me cry. gratitude for my great good fortune and compassion and sadness for those not so blessed. thanks for this, willym. writing like this shouldn't be lost into the ether.