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Author Topic: Alan & Mark's "Epiphany"  (Read 6655 times)

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Offline AlanBama

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Alan & Mark's "Epiphany"
« on: November 14, 2007, 08:44:01 PM »

While enjoying our trip to the Castro District in San Francisco at AMG, Mark and I learned a few things about life as 50 year-old gay men, and thus, about ourselves:   

1.  We have super-human powers.  In fact, when we enter a gay bar, we become completely invisible!  We could have done hand-stands in the center of the dance floor, and no one would have noticed.
2.  Our bodies have changed.  We’re lipoatrophied and lipodistrophied, we can’t see without our glasses, we don’t have any hair to speak of, and things don’t “work” like they used to.
3.  We seemed to feel more comfortable in an “older men’s” club, such as the Twin Peaks…..yes, it’s a wrinkle room.   At least someone made eye contact with us in there.  One guy actually even SPOKE.
4.  We don’t hold gay nightlife in quite the position of high esteem that we once did;    in fact, we could take it or leave it. We were definitely more popular with the younger females in our group than we were with the younger males.  We had more fun at a car show than we did seeing the “shows” at the bars.
5.  We don’t really care!   It just isn’t that important any more.   After 20 years of AIDS and a dump truck full of pills, 'going out' just isn’t that high on the charts. 

Part of being 50 is learning to be comfortable in your own skin, with who you are, exactly AS you are.  I think we’re facing it with courage and tenacity (of course, a few drinks helped us face it a little better).  I think we realized that in our roller coaster ride with AIDS, we’re definitely over the “big hill” and on the downward trek. We’re enjoying the hell out of it, with the wind blowing through our scalps…. ;D

We are 50 years old;   we have AIDS;   we’re not getting any younger, but most importantly, we’re O.K. with it.  Sure, we’ve got a few miles on our odometers, but we’re still good for quite a few more.

"Remember my sentimental friend that a heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others." - The Wizard of Oz

Offline allanq

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Re: Alan & Mark's "Epiphany"
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2007, 09:01:54 PM »
Alan,

Please add me to your select and esteemed group! I feel EXACTLY the same as you and Mark.

Hard to believe that at one time I used to live for the weekends to go out to the bars.

Thanks for posting.

Allan
Top (Breakfast): Prezista, Norvir, Isentress, Zoloft (2), Glyburide (2), Aspirin
Bottom right (Dinner): Prezista, Norvir, Isentress
Bottom left (Bedtime): Sustiva, Trazodone (2), Lipitor, Septra (no longer taking this)
Center: Alprazolam (Xanax)
Not shown: various vitamins & supplements

Offline allanq

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Re: Alan & Mark's "Epiphany"
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2007, 09:34:04 PM »
I was just remembering a letter to the editor that appeared in the B.A.R. (Bay Area Reporter) around 20 years ago.

A guy in his mid-20's was complaining that a lot of guys who looked like they were close to 40 were approaching him in the bars. He found it very annoying. I think the word "creepy" was in his letter. I remember that letter because it was around the time I was approaching 40 myself.

I smile when I think about that guy, who is now in his mid-40's. I wonder how he's doing.

Allan
Top (Breakfast): Prezista, Norvir, Isentress, Zoloft (2), Glyburide (2), Aspirin
Bottom right (Dinner): Prezista, Norvir, Isentress
Bottom left (Bedtime): Sustiva, Trazodone (2), Lipitor, Septra (no longer taking this)
Center: Alprazolam (Xanax)
Not shown: various vitamins & supplements

Offline DCGUY2007

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Re: Alan & Mark's "Epiphany"
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2007, 01:34:10 AM »
interesting post. We are all going to get older. Unfortunately everyone doesn't realize this. Wish there was more diversity at many gay events young, middle age and older guys. But it doesn't seem to always happen this way. I think you guys have a good attitude about it though.

I have seen first hand guys that had a lot of attitude later come down with Hiv, then their body changes and they are forced to be more humble. Hiv and getting older has a way of doing this. I guess that is why many parents try to teach their kids to treat others as they would like to be treated. Although this doesn't always work.

Offline manchesteruk

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Re: Alan & Mark's "Epiphany"
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2007, 03:40:36 AM »
We were definitely more popular with the younger females in our group than we were with the younger males.  We had more fun at a car show than we did seeing the “shows” at the bars.

Hey Alan,

I know I'm not really supposed to post in this forum but I just wanted to say I enjoyed reading your post and you were both popular with me too!  I loved that car show as well it was one of the best parts of AMG for me.  Did anyone ever find out in the end which won car of the show?

Chris
Diagnosed 11/05

"Life is too important to be taken seriously" Oscar Wilde

Offline Dachshund

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Re: Alan & Mark's "Epiphany"
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2007, 06:36:20 AM »
C'mon Alan, it's hard to hit the disco when you eat dinner at five and then are asleep by half past eight. There are some perks to getting older. Why the discounts of AARP membership alone is worth it's weight in Ben-Gay.

I hope that one day soon, I will have the honor of meeting you on the dance floor.

Hal

Offline DanielMark

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Re: Alan & Mark's "Epiphany"
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2007, 07:39:41 AM »
If I manage to live two more years I will also be 50. I never really thought I'd make it to 40, so every day I'm still alive is bonus time to me. For the most part I’m comfortable with who I am and who I am becoming. Aging is natural. Fighting it is not.

Now book me for an extreme makeover. '-)

Daniel
MEDS: REYATAZ & KIVEXA (SINCE AUG 2008)

MAY 2000 LAB RESULTS: CD4 678
VL STILL UNDETECTABLE

DIAGNOSED IN 1988

Offline aztecan

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Re: Alan & Mark's "Epiphany"
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2007, 11:18:40 AM »
Alan and I discussed this post when we were still in San Francisco. Each of us did experience something of an epiphany. OK, the Irish coffees at the Twin Peaks probably helped, but still . . .

When Alan sent this post to me a few days ago to find out my thoughts on it, I was delighted.

He expressed beautifully how I felt in San Francisco - and still feel today.

Chris, I also enjoyed our treks through The City with you, as I'm sure Alan did. I will never forget you all in the Haight, at A Different Light bookstore on Castro and, of course, in that overly warm balcony at the Twin Peaks. Those are memories I will never forget.  ;D

But regarding night life in general, Alan said it very well:

Quote
5.  We don’t really care!   It just isn’t that important any more. After 20 years of AIDS and a dump truck full of pills, 'going out' just isn’t that high on the charts. 

I get more out of a weekend in the mountains or a hike in the desert than a Saturday night at the local nightclub.

I think this is in part because we've gotten older and living with HIV has taken a toll and, also, because the clubs have changed. I wanted them to be the way I remembered them and they weren't.

But that's OK too. All things change.

Now, Alan and I are both entering another chapter in our lives. It is a different chapter, a brave new frontier. That can be fun and exciting too!

It just doesn't move quite as quickly. ;D

HUGS,

Mark
"May your life preach more loudly than your lips."
~ William Ellery Channing (Unitarian Minister)

Offline pozniceguy

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Re: Alan & Mark's "Epiphany"
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2007, 06:53:28 PM »
I love how you guys have "accepted" being more matured...(mentally and physically) I had to accept it long ago and have even become well pleased to be "mature"...The things that make life fun are mostly the same but with more variety...family..lots of them...now several generations with little ones from a few months old to some who are 40s....older parent still in there at 94...sisters and brother with many medical issues of their own  ( not HIV)  and many friends who have "matured" along with me....especially good times to visit with "youngsters" I hired into a company more than 20 yrs ago who still call and ask for advice......  Yes Mature  has its perks..... make all the best of it..savor every day  and many more to come.  If you don't have grand children adopt some....you will love it.....

Nick
remember the good times...honor the past but don't live there
Le stelle la notte sono grandie luminose, nel cuore profondo del Texas

Offline newbernswiss

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Re: Alan & Mark's "Epiphany"
« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2007, 01:10:27 PM »
I'm right behind u Alan . . . age wise that is  :D. I totally agree with you. I'm enjoying getting older as an hiv +, gay male. It reminded me the other day I had to go to the market (15 years ago everything I wore was designer clothes only, had to look my best ya know) I went in the market with a pair of plaid sweat pants, and stripped shirt, flip flops with white socks. O my god, if Calvin Klein or Ralph Lorin would have seen me they would have dropped dead of fashion shock.  ;D
It's nice to not put so much emphasis on how I look, but put more emphasis on how I live. 
« Last Edit: November 18, 2007, 01:12:09 PM by newbernswiss »

Offline Ann

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Re: Alan & Mark's "Epiphany"
« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2007, 01:36:56 PM »
Oh I just love epiphanies! Good thing too, because I've had a few of my own recently. ;)


I love the crack about the wind blowing through your scalps. I could just hug and squeeze you both until you asked me to put you down. Thanks for putting a smile on my face and reminding me why I love you both so much. If I ever need reminding how to hit 50 with dignity (and maybe the odd disgrace!), I know who to look to. Thanks.

Hugs,
Ann
xxx

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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline bear60

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Re: Alan & Mark's "Epiphany"
« Reply #11 on: November 20, 2007, 05:13:10 PM »
God Alan, do I ever know what you mean. The biggest social event for me the past few weeks has been grocery shopping. And running into a friend who (also) does not go out much anymore. And the word "comfortable" came up in converstion. Same context...as long as we are comfortable with ourselves...who cares how old we are or what.
Poz Bear Type in Philadelphia

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: Alan & Mark's "Epiphany"
« Reply #12 on: November 20, 2007, 09:26:14 PM »
At least you guys didn't get your lipo at age 35.
"I’ve slept with enough men to know that I’m not gay"

Offline AlanBama

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Re: Alan & Mark's "Epiphany"
« Reply #13 on: November 20, 2007, 11:35:37 PM »
Honey, at age 35 I was diagnosed with "full blown" AIDS as it was called in 1991;  had lost about 40 lbs, had MAC of the liver, and looked like death warmed over.  I had to go in and sit down with my boss and say "look, I'm being admitted to the hospital, I have AIDS".   That was not a good year (I told you all the really BAD ones for me were the odd numbered ones -- that's why I'm looking forward to '08!)

You're right, the lipo issues did not come into play in a major way for me until about age 45.
"Remember my sentimental friend that a heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others." - The Wizard of Oz

Offline DCGUY2007

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Re: Alan & Mark's "Epiphany"
« Reply #14 on: November 21, 2007, 02:55:00 AM »
Welcome to the world of being different. I could substitue your comments about being 50 with being handicapped, a minority, gay, poz or anything that is not the majority. I like your comments. You both are handling getting older well. I hope to do the same  when I am 50 :D.

"Part of being 50 is learning to be comfortable in your own skin, with who you are, exactly AS you are.  I think we’re facing it with courage and tenacity (of course, a few drinks helped us face it a little better).  I think we realized that in our roller coaster ride with AIDS, we’re definitely over the “big hill” and on the downward trek. We’re enjoying the hell out of it, with the wind blowing through our scalps….

We are 50 years old;   we have AIDS;   we’re not getting any younger, but most importantly, we’re O.K. with it.  Sure, we’ve got a few miles on our odometers, but we’re still good for quite a few more."

« Last Edit: November 21, 2007, 06:08:31 AM by DCGUY2007 »

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: Alan & Mark's "Epiphany"
« Reply #15 on: November 21, 2007, 10:27:58 AM »
Honey, at age 35 I was diagnosed with "full blown" AIDS as it was called in 1991

Honey, I had full blown AIDS at 28!  I can't wait to meet you and play a game of AIDS poker :)  tee hee
"I’ve slept with enough men to know that I’m not gay"

Offline GSOgymrat

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Re: Alan & Mark's "Epiphany"
« Reply #16 on: November 29, 2007, 12:54:19 AM »
I had a very handsome friend who is in his 50s ask me if I wanted to go dancing and do some Ecstasy. I laughed thinking he was joking and obviously hurt his feelings. First I felt bad but then I thought "what the hell is wrong with you!" First, he knows my partner. Second, he knows I don't even drink alcohol much less "party". Third, I'm 41 and feel like at my age the disco ball should only come out on special occasions. It's not that I feel too old to go out to clubs-- I do LOTS of age inappropriate things-- but I just have no desire to be in that atmosphere. Creeping out 20-year-olds does sound amusing though! ;)

Offline MOONLIGHT1114

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Re: Alan & Mark's "Epiphany"
« Reply #17 on: November 29, 2007, 07:03:00 AM »
I enjoyed reading this!  But hey guys, "50 is the new 30," or so they say!  LOL   :D

Chuckling at Bear's trip to the grocery store here, lol......  ;D

~ Cindy
HIV+ since '93, 1/12 - CD4 785 and undet.   WOO-HOO!!

Offline TimmyT

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Re: Alan & Mark's "Epiphany"
« Reply #18 on: January 06, 2008, 02:42:57 AM »
Yeah being diagnosed with full blown AIDS at 28 too slowed my ass down. But things picked up again in my 30's. But now I'm just content sitting at home with the hubby, a nice dinner with music and movies in my 40's. Oddly enough, he just turned 30. I guess I didn't creep him out... yet!  ;D

Offline CowboyPOZ

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Re: Alan & Mark's "Epiphany"
« Reply #19 on: January 06, 2008, 10:25:52 PM »
Alan...
I loved it! Congrats on the milestone. I completely understand what you mean about going out. Who has the patience for that crap. I hope I have as much pep when I turn 50 as you do.

Offline BT65

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Re: Alan & Mark's "Epiphany"
« Reply #20 on: January 06, 2008, 10:41:31 PM »
Boy, can I relate to all of this age stuff.  Even though I'm 42, I feel soooooo much older.  And for me also, yes, going to do the grocery shopping, or even doing laundry, is what "going out" means anymore.  Of course, I do throw in the occasional NA meeting and that's more recreation for me.  When I was in my 20's, I loved to dance, go out and stay out until all hours.  Now, if I'm up past midnight, it's usually because I'm sick. :P
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline aztecan

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Re: Alan & Mark's "Epiphany"
« Reply #21 on: January 07, 2008, 10:00:56 AM »
Hey Betty,

I was up most of the night Saturday. It was quite an experience.

OK, I have an abscessed tooth and its killing me, but it did keep me up all night. Does that count?

I do bowl on a league and go out for the occasional movie with friends. But my life is pretty quite and I get more excited about the upcoming gardening catalogue than I do about going to a club.

Oh, and Cowboy Poz, you're right, Alan does have a lot of pep. You should have seen him hiking the hills in San Francisco.

HUGS,

Mark
"May your life preach more loudly than your lips."
~ William Ellery Channing (Unitarian Minister)

Offline AlanBama

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Re: Alan & Mark's "Epiphany"
« Reply #22 on: January 08, 2008, 11:17:56 PM »
LOL  :D

I do have a lot of pep -- "Pep-to Bismal"  LOL

I do pretty good for being 50, I think......esp since the past 21 of those 50 were with HIV/AIDS.

Mark, honey so sorry you are having a toothache...nothing is worse!

hugs,

Alan
"Remember my sentimental friend that a heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others." - The Wizard of Oz

Offline BT65

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Re: Alan & Mark's "Epiphany"
« Reply #23 on: January 09, 2008, 12:18:14 AM »
Mark, as far as going to movies, I took my granddaughter to see "Meet The Robinsons" when it came out and, I fell asleep during that! :D  How embarassing.
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

 


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