Tuesday, September 10, 2013

AIDS phobia does this make me damaged goods?

Art by Ralfka Gonzalez

Sept 10,2013; this endless AIDS phobia makes its hard not to feel like damaged gooods. It does make me be grateful for being alive, but mostly it’s a cross to carry that wish I could burn!
When I was very sick, the young buck doctor said that I might have AIDS or cancer or both. That night I cried so hard and watched Nina Simone at this art-deco theater in Oakland. A few days later, it was take the pills or write your will. I had this truck that I began to paint. It looked like a Mexican sugar bowl — you know: the flowery, hand-painted gourds you buy at the folk-art galleries. The truck was named Eye Too Hell Ah Gay — Eye2 for short. Then on Monday, Sept. 10, 2001, I went to the doctor. My T-cells were over 100. The meds were working! I was going to be HIV-poz and not have AIDS any more. The next day me and my best pal planned to go camping up in redwoods wine country. I woke up and went to the grocery store. It was mad. People were crying and running around! I asked why are people acting so odd? With a tear in his eye, the clerk said jets are crashing into buildings; I rushed back to turn on the news. After about three hours of this, we got in the truck and went camping. Then it hit us: People were crying and waving at us. For weeks, people would hug me as I got back to my truck, telling me that my art heals them! I even got a magnet with the Twin Towers from a fireman that had just come back from Ground Zero, saying my truck made his day, and that’s what freedom is about. I never told any of them that I was healing with this art too; it is the most powerful gift that AIDS has given me. I loved that the truck, putting smiles on people’s faces. To make a long story short, the car went poof, and I did not have the cash to fix it, so I left it beside the road. I sang part of Lulu’s song “To Sir With Love” as I walked away: “How do you thank someone, that has taken you from crayons to perfume ...” I’d love to have a car of my own to paint again one day.

Quote: "love is blind ...but the neighbors aren't"!
 Books written by Ralfka Gonzales
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