Tuesday, January 26 & Wednesday, January 27

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About this site:
In 1993, I spent the year writing in a blank datebook from 1954. Now, in 2010, I'm posting each page on the web and writing about it. You may want to start at the beginning.

1954: January 26-27

This is the first of several hand traces in 1954; it was a handy (pun ...well, yeah, sort of intended) piece of imagery, and a nice organic shape to experiment with. My friend Gabriela's hand was tiny, too, which she was self-conscious about. Chances are if you compared your hand to this outline, your hand would easily envelop it.

Gaby was (and probably still is) a little sensitive about her smaller-than-average hands -- she used to (and probably still does) threaten people by saying "I will beat you about the head and neck with my tiny fists!" That's part of the reason the explanation of the outline is somewhat obscured: she got mad at me, so I made it harder to notice. What can I say? I'm a softy.

Pat was one of my brother Peter's friends. He was a bit of hippy -- as were a lot of kids at BHS. The Grateful Dead and Phish were really popular, and there was plenty of patchouli and hacky-sack around campus. I can only assume that's what Pat was under the influence of when he wrote this. Why else would he think cat food smelled cool?

Oh man. Yeah, bad poetry. This was high school, don't forget.

So, this was a poem about AIDS. This was actually not the official version -- the real one used font changes, creative typesetting and such in order to more visually emote. I felt this poem pretty strongly. I was really disappointed when it wasn't chosen for the school literary journal.

A little context: This was the early '90s, and AIDS was at the very forefront of public consciousness. My junior year the theater department produced a play about HIV and other STDs called Secrets, based on a free script from Kaiser Permanente, that debunked myths and presented scenarios to the student body. I was in it, and one of the roles I played was a gay man who was sexually active but didn't have HIV. I really expected to get teased or at least receive some odd looks in the gym locker room, but instead I got a lot of praise for being brave enough to take the part. In fact, my gym class was the most supportive.

Meanwhile, other actors who may or may not have been actually gay were ridiculed. One kid had pennies thrown at him by a couple idiots while he was on stage playing Don Quixote. (The goons were caught and got Saturday detentions, thankfully.) High school is nothing if not inconsistent.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Andrew Huff published on January 26, 2010 9:56 PM.

Sunday, January 24 & Monday, January 25 was the previous entry in this blog.

Thursday, January 28 & Friday, January 29 is the next entry in this blog.

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