Today has been an interesting day, one filled with “God Wink’s” right from the start. You know those little messages that drop in your lap throughout the day. Giving you nudge-full suggestions through media, other people and random unexpected finds. When you piece them all together at the end of the day, week, month or year you have a paper trail of clear similarities. A sort of road map that suggest what might be a good plan for whatever’s on your mind or a need in your life.
Today the messages where clear and consistent. They all pertained to stepping outside of myself and being of service to others. Today just so happens to be the day I had chosen to finally see about volunteering at a local HIV agency here near my home. My ears and gut had been on fire lately. Pushing me, to return to my slowly fading desire to serve society in various forms.
My heart understands, this is where a large part of my journeys fulfillment is derived from. I believe that giving back to man kind is an integral part of the cycle of life. It is also the cornerstone of my personal journey through trauma and recovery. And an expression of my gratitude to the world and to my Source. For the experiences in this lifetime, that have afforded me the luxury to grow on multiple levels. Expanding my spirit and perceptions creating greater empathy, understanding, compassion and love of my fellow man. While reigniting perceptions of my own spiritual truth.
When it comes to new endeavors of socializing, work or even volunteering I still quake a little deep inside. I have a some residual fears that well up from time to time. It is part of my dissociative condition associated with life events of past. I know how critical it is to press past these moments successfully. For my own health, endurance and evolution as well as to help others in their journeys. In order to help another I need to continue on my path fully engaged, lovingly and completely.
This is not about survival, this is it is about living. I have never surrendered completely, I never have given up and I vow to never keep these gifts of living to myself. Live and learn, pass the lessons on, knowledge equals power and love is the ultimate fuel.
As I felt myself get ever so shaky around the edges of my flesh. Concerning the follow through of the actions of my day. I knew to proceed with caution and to be aware. I felt secure about the application process then hesitation dipped in. The fear voice spoke up with “dude what are you doing? your bank register is at $4.95.” I asked myself, what the hell am I thinking? I am not working, I am in debt, why am I going to see about volunteering?
Money of course does matter, but I learned a long time ago to follow my gut and to trust instinct over logic. When the moment is right, step out side of ego and let your heart decide. Often allowing hesitations to rest I find is best. Hesitations are fear based and often an energy waste. When they are a warning sign requiring another action I know it, and I respond appropriately.
At this moment I reached into my closet in search of an item for my roommate. Randomly I came across a box of mementos and proceeded to open it. Flipping three papers in I came across this card. With my pet name Robes-Pierre written across the envelope. It was from Lucky my first lover, warmly starring up at me, and unexpected surprise. I have never read this card before, I have never seen this card. If I had I must have been in much denial, I honestly do not remember ever seeing it.
I came across the above note dated June 16th, 1992 from my first and possibly only “real” love and partner Carl “Lucky” Chavez. Two days before my 29th birthday, (looking back I was just a kid). He was 20 years my senior dashing, smart, kind and loving. Both of us had been HIV positive since 1987, I obviously am still here and gratefully in relatively good health. In 1992 Carl was in the process of dyeing of AIDS. I young, manic and full of drugs and denial wrapped up in the club scene to alleviate reality.
I have had this card and all of these memories for years, I remember all of them but this one. I may have read it and have no recall. I have been through this box a thousand times, over the last thirty-three years. Why haven’t I come across it until today?
(pause) I take a moment to ponder, I believe I needed a moment to forgive myself. To remember to continue on my journey, to never loose sight of my personal quest and passion. To continue to contribute and to remember we are all loved and supported. Both here on this plain and beyond, this is my perspective and my feelings.
At the time that this note had been written Carl was going into Chicago House. A hospice care home here in Chicago. They bridged the gap as comfortably as they could until he died later that year. At St. Josephs Hospital, attached to machines until tubes and plugs where undone. I fear he died alone or with a family that rejected him. I know part of his homophobic clan came to claim his body. Although the full story I will never know.
I trust I came across all these similar winks and this note today to step outside of myself. I went to this position to volunteer, I believe I may have a job we will see. I will find out more it as time progresses. Howard Brown is the name of the organization I went to today. HB was a pioneer clinic back in the day for the gay community. It actually is where I tested HIV+ when I was only twenty-four years of age. One of the few alternatives to a Cook County hospital for queer health care for many years. Trust me back then and today it is an optimistic choice for dignity and care.
PAST & FUTURE
Looking back, with the exception of those last long months of denial and madness I remember most of all the love. The unconditional love, all that was shared and the feelings of safety, never a judgement. I don’t know if I have known a love without limitations since, not quite like Lucky’s love.
Lucky may have been Carlucci’s given nick name at birth. He was not expected to live, I somehow have made it all these years. I am the unexpected lucky one, I am still here with honor and pride. One of the last things he wrote is “I will miss looking after you.” My Carlucci I know you are still looking after me, all these years later. I love you, I miss you Pookie, thank you.
I know you hear my words and taste my tears. You know how sorry I have been. Finally I let it all go knowing you are with me, I love you, love is all that matters. I now I continue to pass that love along.
Love and Light Always
The Empowered Runt – lil Big R