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Wes' Journal -- 1996

From the two weeks December 14-28, 1996:

From the week December 7 - 14, 1996:

From the week November 30th - December 7, 1996:

From the week November 23rd - 30th, 1996:

From the two weeks November 9th - 23rd, 1996:

From the week of November 2nd - 9th, 1996:
From the week of October 26th - November 2nd, 1996:
What a week! Look at all this stuff! From the week of October 19th - 26th:
Nobody has died in a while. That's kind of nice. It's also a bit weird. Of course, dying seems to happen in blotches. Then again, maybe it's the advent of protease inhibitors. No, not entirely: I read in the gay paper and see that plenty of people are still dying. I'm just fortunate in that they aren't my friends dying right now. From the week of October 12th - 19th:
From the week of October 5th - 12th:
From the week of September 28th - October 4th:
From the week of September 20th - 27th:
From the week of September 13th - 20th:
Since I spend much of my time on the computer, that also happens to be what gets in here a lot: From the week of September 6th - 13th
Here's what Harv had to say afterward, on the 12th:
The ride was fantastic and very moving. There were about 3,100 riders and several hundred volunteers who supported, fed, and serviced us through the four day, 311 mile trip from Boston to New York. Included in the 3,100 riders were the "positive pedalers" -- a group of HIV + riders.

It started last Wednesday, Sept 4th, with registration in Boston. We all had to make sure all our pledges were in, check in our bikes, attend a mandatory safety orientation, and stand in several long lines just for the hell of it! Of course, there was merchandising -- AIDS Ride t-shirts, riding jerseys.

The ride itself was four days: 100 miles-day 1; 74 miles-day 2 (lots of hills!); 83 miles-day 3 (lots of rain and hills); and 53 miles-day 4 (lots of NY potholes and torrential downpour!). We had three nights in camps with tents for everybody.

There were many moving moments: rememberance for those on whose behalf we're doing the ride, hundreds of people along the route cheering us on, and riding into the closing ceremonies with many cheering us home.

The spirit and commitment of the 63 people who sponsored me by donating over $8,000 to the Boston-NY AIDS Ride was with me throughout my 2,000 miles of training and the 300 mile ride itself.

Although I and most riders I know want to do the AIDS ride again, I wish very sincerely that we could say that the need for this event was no longer there.

From the week of August 30 - September 6
Update on what's below:
- My sinuses didn't get any better. So, I've changed antibiotics and have an appt. to get my nose sucked.
- I got sick and didn't get to go to the boot camp graduation.
- My cousins ran out of time and didn't visit my sister.
Yes, it was a kind of sucky week. From the week of August 9 - August 16

Tuesday July 30, 1996
I drove up to Fort Worth on Friday to visit the family. The main reason was my brother-in-law Dan's 40th birthday & my nephew's 14th. It was a nice visit. On the way back, I saw two bumper stickers that made me laugh:

Tuesday June 25, 1996
Tom is on the Houston news for his participation in the Salk Vaccine study.

Monday June 17, 1996
Wes was awakened at 6:30 this morning by a Sheriff's Deputy at his door. Normally Wes would welcome him right in, being the agreeable sort that he is. But that was not to be the case today. No, dear readers, the Sheriff had something much more mundane on his mind. He was serving Wes with notice that he is a co-defendant in his very first lawsuit! "Was it something malicious and egregious that Wes did?" you may wonder. You decide: The lawsuit alleges that two years ago, Wes loaned a five foot stepladder to a neighbor. The neighbors in turn lent it to a contractor, who was installing gutters on their one-story house. The contractor gave it to an employee to use. That employee is the Plaintiff. He alleges that the ladder was defective, causing him to fall, and the fall caused a foot injury. He is suing the ladder manufacturer, Builder's Square, the neighbors, and Wes for $147,005.69. Wes is amused (particularly with the $5.69 part), but will take the proper contact-an-attorney-etc. steps to protect his heretofore unbesmirched Ladder Reputation.

Thursday May 30, 1996
We had some excitement last night about 10 p.m.: Lightning hit a tree 3 houses down & it, in turn, took down a power line. Our house was one of the few unaffected (it takes its feed from the cross-street). But it was cool to hear this big "Boom!," have our lights flicker off momentarily, hear the screech of our battery backups' alarm -- and still not lose power to the computer I was working on. It just kept running on the battery backup until the power stabilized. _Really_ cool.

Plus, the big boom brought out the neighbors. I got to meet two new houses of people I didn't know before. Tom remembered about Mrs. Coleman, our 76 year old neighbor. Her son, Pat, lives with her, so we figured she'd be fine -- if he were home. So, Tom gave me a flashlight & I went & shined it through their garage windows: Pat's truck wasn't there. I went around front & knocked. At the same time, her neighbor John from across the street came over with a little battery lamp for her. And, just a bit later, John's next-door neighbor Laura came over to tell Mrs. Coleman that if it got too toasty she could come over there and spend the night. I sat with her in the semi-dark and visited (she's always fun) until Pat got home a little while later. She said it sure was nice living in a neighborhood where all the neighbors looked after each other. I couldn't agree more. We are very blessed.

Monday April 22, 1996
Well, the postscript to the April 4 entry below was I should have gone out anyway. It didn't rain.

I've been feeling a bit melancholy today. Bil died Friday. That's part of it. But it also makes me think of my friend, Burt. I really haven't had a nearby best friend since he died, and that's been over a year and a half ago. I feel a bit lonely. I asked Tom tonight who his best friend was, besides me. He said he didn't really think he had one. I told him I felt the same.

I went out last Saturday with a new friend named Tim. It seems that we might make good running buddies. He has a similar world-view as I do -- and a weird sense of humor. Plus he lives just about 10 blocks away. Biking distance. So, tonight I asked Tom if he'd feel jealous if I did have a best friend. (Burt was involved with my friend David by the time Tom moved down, and I was involved with Tom being here, so we didn't see each other nearly as much as we had before. Then he died. So, I haven't had outings with a best friend impinging on my time with Tom since he's been here. It made me wonder how he'd feel. Jealous? Glad to have some private time? Happy for me but more aware of his own loneliness? I really don't know.) He said no; it would be fine. But I wonder.

I don't feel it often, but tonight I feel acutely lonely, even though Tom is only 10 feet away, lying on the couch watching the first episode of The Winds of War. I'm sure it has something to do with Bil's death, and the things it brings up. Perhaps it doesn't help that I went for my blood draw today. That's always a reminder, too.

This has happened before. My sponsor's primary advice is usually to go "work with others" to get outside of myself, since "self-centeredness is the root of most of our problems." Yeah, but I don't feel like visiting sick people just now. Maybe I should just link up with a newly-sober drunk: Their problems always seem so acute, as opposed to the more general malaise I feel when people have died. Their acute problems are a reminder of how easy my life really is.

Thursday April 4, 1996
I've been working on the "People I've known who have died from AIDS" page and am tired of it. That's a lot of people. I feel like going out, but it's supposed to rain: The ad for the car -- which is clean -- appears in tomorrow's paper.

Wednesday March 27, 1996
The pecan tree outside the office and kitchen started budding today. The squirrels are having lots of fun.

We went over to our friend Bil's today. He's getting ready to die, it's just not coming soon enough for him. Though I'll be sorry to not have Bil around, I appreciate that he has the strong support of people who love him and he is being cared for 24 hours a day.

March 1996
Well, I had sinus surgery in late January. There was an airfare sale on through late February. Wanting to take Tom to Hawaii, but knowing of the then-upcoming surgery, we booked our trip for the last week of February. The surgery went well, and I was all recovered in time for the trip. But when we got to Hawaii, it was cool and VERY windy (as in 40mph). I got pneumonia. The weather kind of spoiled the trip for Tom, which was disappointing to me. So, when we returned, I spent most of March recuperating and working on the Web site. I was particularly disappointed with the trip, since it was our last big trip before our income drops when my private disability policy ends in December.

Wes & Tom's Cool Site
The Letter Wars (aka The Homophobe Hellhole)
Things From Wes' Nose | Things From Wes' Mind

© 1996 by Wes