Touched The Earth

Every time we danced he put his arms around me and lifted me up a bit; he used to say: "As long as you are with me, your feet will never touch the earth."

His name wasn't David but since he was the world's biggest Bowie fan, that is what I called him. Everyone was attracted to him. He was tall, thin, blonde and with blue eyes. His beauty made me breathless.

When he came down with a serious case of nausea, we went to see his internist. The doctor explained that a change of David's treatment would be necessary, also a new therapy – about 30 pills a day (that dose was normal in the eighties. Costs about 1.500€ a month).
But Dave exchanged sex for money, street based, (which means he had no health insurance).
I do remember the doc's assistant said that David should work harder, seeing as he was so attractive, so he would be able to pay for the treatments.

It was the time when Gay's Cancer (that's what they called it) became a busy subject in the media; consequently almost everyone talked about it. Diarrahea, rash, neurological episodes where one would pass out...
... just the image of losing control of one's body scared us more than death.
A lot of people were paranoid; they stopped sharing cigarettes, used glasses, makeup etc. Even a harmless cough caused panic. It was worse when the government discussed about whether one should isolate infected patients; in fact they were isolated already -- socially.

Suddenly, life was like living in a kind of mist.

During this time I was a student without income, so I asked someone for help and he sent me money plus the phone number of a military hospital, which was equipped to handle and treat HIV patients.
At the same time a friend of ours died from internal bleeding due to Aids. At that point we decided to ignore reality in general.

Here are we

One magical moment
Such is the stuff
From where dreams are woven
One magical moment
- D. Bowie -

Dave never checked into a hospital – instead we went out to see Bowie live on stage.
Music was our drug, and music was love. The music was everywhere.
It was one of our best days; we felt so... alive!

David bought a lot of LP’s for me; hell knows why it became an obsession. We used to sit on the floor, and listen to Station to Station over and over again. We talked, we were silent, we laughed and he told me his secrets. He helped me for exams - ah, he knew much about math - and we ate jars and jars of honey because I thought, honey was good for one's health. We even planned a trip to Florida. The line from Station to Station "It's too late" got a macabre meaning. But – well, for a while, life seemed to be normal -- in a bizarre way.
Months later his HIV level reached a higher Stage.

Dave committed suicide at the age of 27.

(dedicated to my hero, and that is what he was!)

-- 2008 marks the 20th anniversary of World AIDS Day --
Die Rote Schleife


  1. Thanks, Jazzy, for this very important post. Having lost a partner and several friends to the epidemic of AIDS, it's important for everyone to remember that this disease is still very much among us and wreaking havoc among populations without the medical resources of more advanced countries. December 1st is World Aids Day, and Dec. 1, 2008 marks the 20th anniversary of World Aids Day.

  2. This is a wonderful post because it speaks of friendship and devotion as much as it does of the awfulness of HIV and Aids.

  3. Your 'David' sounded like a really great guy. Thank you for sharing this very moving post.

  4. So profoundly beautiful and so tragic. Time passes on and it is so easy to forget those years when we lived in fear because of publicity, our lack of knowledge about the disease and our own prejudges. It’s good to be reminded of what life was like and to learn from our past and move forward with compassion, knowledge and a vow never to go back but always look for new ides and solutions. Thank you for the beautifully written reminder.

  5. Anonymous1:46 PM

    This was beautiful. I am glad you posted this, because it reminds us that there still is something worth fighting for. I have never personally lost someone to AIDS and therefore I can only imagine the pain. Thank you for making me aware of something I didn't know. I will be sure to get my red ribbon.

  6. Anonymous2:05 PM

    All that really matters is love and friendship, irrespective of gender or beliefs.

    This is a wonderful tribute to your friend Jazzy.

  7. oh. how sad jazzy and i am sorry for the loss of your friend but you have some fine memories to hold on to.x

  8. Very touching tribute, Jazzy. Thanks for the reminder of World Aids Day.

  9. What a sad and moving story.

    I've never lost anyone to AIDS, I don't think I've ever even known anyone with the illness. But so many wonderful people in the public eye have been lost to it - Rudolf Nureyev, Rock Hudson, Kenny Everett, to name but three. Such a tragedy.

  10. time may heal the pain of his loss, but as long as David lives in your memories, he will live for ever; I'm sure he knows and appreciates your moving tribute

  11. A beautifully touching post,Jazzy,and a wonderful way to remember someone special.Thank you for sharing suomething so personal with us

  12. What a beautiful tribute to you friend Jazzy. I think because AIDS isn't in the headlines anymore people tend to forget just how many people we've lost to it..

  13. Thank you Jazzy, for sharing such a private and touching thing with us. Your devotion to your friend is wonderful.

  14. Anonymous5:58 AM

    Jazzy, thanks for your history. It is really very detailed and I
    finds it to courageous which you over it writes.I am proud aif you!!

  15. This made me cry... Beautiful tribute Jazzy.
    Freddie Mercury also died 17 years ago...

  16. Beautiful post, Jazzy. You've helped all of us know what a wonderful person your David was through your heartfelt and poignant words.

  17. can never say "I love you" too much.