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Author Topic: Happy Halloween  (Read 2015 times)

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Offline Joe K

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  • Posts: 3,180
  • 30 Years Poz
Happy Halloween
« on: October 17, 2010, 01:03:53 PM »
It is that time of year, Halloween and I have no idea what to wear. I have always enjoyed Halloween, but after meeting Stephen it took on a new significance. He is a Drag Queen, so he brought a new zeal to dressing up and together, we have elevated it to an art form. We enjoy morphing into something new each year and constantly amaze our friends with our zest for the holiday. But my enjoyment of Halloween has another darker side.

As I get dressed each year and labor intensively over my makeup and wig, I almost become giddy, because I am able to transform into someone or something else, at least for that night. My makeup and costume serve to shield the world from what I have become. My costume hides my skinny and vein-bulging legs. It covers my extended belly and inner tube waist that I gained from Crixivan. For one night it helps me to forget the physical destruction that HIV and the meds have wrought.

However, my greatest enjoyment is having the makeup cover my sunken face, eyes and the ever growing brown splotch on my right temple. I am not, by nature a vain man. I have been blessed by genetics in that I enjoy good looks, but HIV has taken a horrible toll. Over the years I have watched my face and body change, with each change being more severe than the last. Where I once possessed beautiful characteristics, I now see both the ravages of time and of my disease. I suppose it is fortunate that I am not overly vain, because otherwise I fear this destruction would be insurmountable. There is a world of difference in taking pride in one’s appearance and vanity.  Actually I find vanity rather laughable, because one is taking credit for the luck of the genetic lottery.  But that is not to say that I do not want to maintain the looks that I have been so fortunate to acquire.

Except that it has proven not to be. I suppose it is because of all the friends that I lost and how I watched HIV ravage them, up to the bitter end. When I lament my loss of beauty, I need but think of others. Friends who have had to endure shunts, ports and feeding tubes, just to maintain their health.  Or those who lost their teeth or eyesight to this disease, yet carried on valiantly. I am reminded of those who dressed to hide their KS lesions.  And the countless others who have suffered the loss of physical attributes, but through it all, they each retained both their dignity and humanity and by doing so, their beauty.

For even as I lament my loss, I take solace in the peace that my body changes have provided.  Which is rather odd, when you consider I am part of the gay community that often values vitality and beauty over substance.  Through the years, as I witnessed the change in others and myself, I began to appreciate the adage that “beauty is only skin deep”.  I became capable of looking beyond the body and seeing the heart or soul of a person.  Where I might have worried about looks, I was now concerned with that person’s health.  Where I might have worried about what others thought, I was now only interested in my friend and how they view the world.

I suppose you could say that where I once possessed a rather shallow view of  the world, it has been replaced with real beauty.  Seeing the sparkle in someone’s eyes, regardless of the state of the body, because the eyes remain the windows to the soul.  Learning what was truly important in life and making friends, not based on how they looked, but based on the caliber of their character.  Understanding that beauty in a person is not what you see, but who they are.  I have been fortunate to know some of the most beautiful people to ever have graced this planet.

So each time I become distraught, regarding my looks, I revisit my past and everything comes back into perspective.  I remember what is truly meaningful in life and bask in the incredible life that I enjoy.  I never need to look any farther than Stephen, to realize how fortunate I truly am.  Yet, when Halloween comes around, I still get giddy, because for just that night, I get to forget some of my loss and play pretend.  But what I enjoy most about Halloween is that I get to morph into this year’s fantasy, without losing what I know is truly important.

Happy Halloween
« Last Edit: October 17, 2010, 01:06:32 PM by killfoile »
Life is what happens, when you are busy making other plans.

Though you may be only one person in the entire world, to one person, you may be the entire world.

I wish to become half the man, that my dog thinks I am.

Remember me with simple acts of kindness and I will live forever.

Offline jkinatl2

  • Member
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  • Doo. Dah. Dipp-ity.
Re: Happy Halloween
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2010, 04:29:42 PM »
Joe:

I am sorry that this time of makeup and costumes brings up body issues. Brings them up for me as well. But I certainly hope you don't allow those issues, or that God-Damned mirror to stop you from celebrating, from having a good time, and from showing off your truly fabulous self. That self, by the way, comes (at least) as much from your generous heart and soul as it does from your face and body.

Knowledge, I surmise, is gained from education. Wisdom, I think, is gained from scars. we have paid full retail price for everything we know to be true, and (more importantly, I think) everything we know to be REAL.

We Long Termers are true Velveteen Rabbits. stitched up, missing parts, only beautiful to those who love us sometimes... but chock full of the real, and infused with love where it really matters.

Not from the masses (I am actually, and inexplicably, quite unpopular here and to the ASO's in my vicinity) and not even really from those fortunate enough (there, I said it) to know us, to know our kisses and our company.

but from ourselves, who despite our own neurosis, manage to stay on this side of the dirt. Still.

I have had two amazing weekend of Halloween parties, corn mazes, haunted houses, and friendship. Weekend after next, I am off to New Orleans for a final blowout party and to show my boyfriend a city I keep rambling on about. For me, it has been a great time despite my physical limitations and my mental challenges. So I figure if I can make it work, so can anyone.

My landlady, who I loathe (sixteen years without a new carpet.... seriously??) actually sent me a note saying that my Halloween decorations were the talk of the apartment complex. To be fair, they also sell crack in the parking lot, so there IS that. But we choose our celebrations, and this is mine.

My ever-suffering and tolerant boyfriend has been subjected to loads of dry ice in drinks, black cupcakes, bleeding candles, a fog machine, and no fewer than thee viewings of the original "Halloween." Comes with the territory.

i am so glad you are going for the giddy!

Me too!





"Many people, especially in the gay community, turn to oral sex as a safer alternative in the age of AIDS. And with HIV rates rising, people need to remember that oral sex is safer sex. It's a reasonable alternative."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

Welcome Thread

Offline camille07

  • Member
  • Posts: 570
Re: Happy Halloween
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2010, 06:52:17 PM »
One of the best costumes I've ever saw was a few years back in Asbury Park. I've been to the parade many times in NYC's west village viewing some great things over the years, but this magical. A friend dressed up as "Cotton Candy"  He was beautiful, stood at 6'8" with white platforms.  His hair was a pink, sparkly and about a foot high.  He carried a stick a long stick with simulated cotten candy, aside from his own apparel.    The costume was spectacular. His side kicks did not have killer bodies, but they having ravishing costumes. One guy claimed to have bought Victoria Secret's Body Shapers to help with his belly issues.  So I don't know if that helps.   :)

The Village People's Indian MC'd  the block party which was really a great night.  I believe Cotton Candy won.. and second runner up was an autopsy.  They had a real table, wheel in with a live guy having a y insection being performed.  A hospital curtain connected to table added to the authenticity of the  "live costume".

Don't ever feel limited  by what you see in the mirror.  There is so much creativity in costumes and just have fun.

I was going to wear a pink slip with little tags saying "laid off", "unemployment etc, but the pink slip concept could land me on the street.  Perhaps I'll have to rethink things.

Camms

Offline Tim Horn

  • Member
  • Posts: 800
Re: Happy Halloween
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2010, 07:58:19 PM »
Thread has been cleaned up and unlocked. I'll spare the explanation for those who missed today's ludicrous hijack.

Edited to add: Yes, tommy246 has been permanently banned. 
« Last Edit: October 17, 2010, 08:49:35 PM by Tim Horn »

Offline sharkdiver

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,350
Re: Happy Halloween
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2010, 08:01:55 PM »
Thank you Tim :)

Offline GSOgymrat

  • Member
  • Posts: 4,957
  • HIV+ since 1993. INTJ
Re: Happy Halloween
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2010, 01:10:49 AM »
Joe, I relate to a lot of what you are saying, particularly in regards to the lipoatrophy. Obviously I am also a big fan of Halloween and once again I'm making my annual pilgrimage to West Hollywood for the festivities. I thought about going as the Martian spy girl from Mars Attacks! but I can't pull off that figure.



Then I really, really got excited about doing a steampunk costume with a jet pack and wings. I sketched the costume and props but it is really complicated and I don't have time to do a proper job. I'm am going to work with a friend of mine who is an artist and construct it for next year. This is along the lines of what I am thinking of.



My partner neither understands nor appreciates my fascination with Halloween costumes and doesn't accompany me to West Hollywood. I think I love it so much because it is fanciful, imaginative, creative and escapist. Walking down Santa Monica Blvd on Halloween is like attending both a party and an art exhibit.

I'm going as a Viking this year. We'll see how it turns out.

Joe, I hope you pick a costume that makes you laugh, smile and forget about your troubles for a while. Thanks again for sharing your perspective, which, as usual, has more depth than mine.

Offline Jeffreyj

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,403
Re: Happy Halloween
« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2010, 04:28:32 AM »
Joe,
You have a great way with words, and I must say this was one of my favorite posts you have written lately.
I know we might have disagreements, but you have been through the wars. I am happy you can share this holiday with a true friend and find some joy in life. True joy, it's so nice I wish it was more present in life!
Hope you have a great Halloween!
Positive since 1985

Offline camille07

  • Member
  • Posts: 570
Re: Happy Halloween
« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2010, 05:33:50 AM »
Gso-

I attended a steam punk wedding last year.  Many of the costumes were good, but your's would have been unrivaled.  Great costume!

Camms

Offline GSOgymrat

  • Member
  • Posts: 4,957
  • HIV+ since 1993. INTJ
Re: Happy Halloween
« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2010, 09:20:49 AM »
Gso-

I attended a steam punk wedding last year.  Many of the costumes were good, but your's would have been unrivaled.  Great costume!

Camms

That is not me, just an idea of where I am going with my costume.

A steam punk wedding sounds fun!

Offline Joe K

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 3,180
  • 30 Years Poz
Re: Happy Halloween
« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2010, 05:11:13 PM »
I will be honest, I always follow my own threads, but nothing prepared me for what happened to this thread when I first posted it. Thank you Tim, for giving me my thread back.

I still don't have a clue on what to be this year, but something will come to me. I appreciate all of your replies and the costume posted, makes we want to learn metalworking and welding. It certainly looks professionally made and I would be wearing it to every contest I could find, to make some extra cash.

I am still a little shaken and words are not coming easy right now. Imagine, me, at a loss for words.

However not all words. Ford, please do not ever suggest, that my perspective is somehow superior to yours. I have learned more from you, than you can ever know.
Life is what happens, when you are busy making other plans.

Though you may be only one person in the entire world, to one person, you may be the entire world.

I wish to become half the man, that my dog thinks I am.

Remember me with simple acts of kindness and I will live forever.

Offline wolfter

  • Member
  • Posts: 4,028
Re: Happy Halloween
« Reply #10 on: October 18, 2010, 05:29:10 PM »
Thanks Joe.  I very well could have written this same post.  I just hope I never get too old or too sick again to enjoy this holiday.  I'm fortunate enough to live close to Athens, OH and they have the greatest Halloween block parties ever.  I made my own custume and haven't shared it with anyone yet.  My creativity kicked in!  I'm going as a "one night stand".  I made a gold dress like outfit, complete with a velcro tray around my waste and a custom lamp shade that I wear on my head.  And of course, a sash that indicates that I'm a one night stand.  Haven't quite figured out what make up will complete it though.

Have fun and enjoy.
Judging someone does not define them, it defines you. 

True peace is not merely the absence of war, it is the presence of justice.

Offline GSOgymrat

  • Member
  • Posts: 4,957
  • HIV+ since 1993. INTJ
Re: Happy Halloween
« Reply #11 on: October 18, 2010, 06:19:48 PM »
.My creativity kicked in!  I'm going as a "one night stand".  I made a gold dress like outfit, complete with a velcro tray around my waste and a custom lamp shade that I wear on my head.  And of course, a sash that indicates that I'm a one night stand.  Haven't quite figured out what make up will complete it though.

Don't forget to put a couple of condoms on your nightstand (wrapped of course, we mustn't be tacky).

Granny60

  • Guest
Re: Happy Halloween
« Reply #12 on: October 18, 2010, 10:43:53 PM »
Prince Poppycock ( John Quale from Los Angeles) should be an ample inspiration to try to best.

Offline WillyWump

  • Member
  • Posts: 7,017
Re: Happy Halloween
« Reply #13 on: October 18, 2010, 11:06:41 PM »
Joe,

Great post.

I just want you to know that when I met you in Boston I saw none of the stuff that you currently see in the mirror. I am not trying to patronize you or minimize what you feel about your body,  but just wanted to tell you that I dont think everyone sees what you see and that perhaps "we are our own worst critic".

I just remember a sexy guy in a leather kilt :)

Have fun dressing up!

-Will
POZ since '08

Last Labs-
6/25/13 CD4- 1036, UD,
2/4/13, CD4 - 489, UD, 28%
8/9/12, CD4 not taken, UD.
2/13/12, CD4- 904, UD 42%

Current Meds: Prezista/Epzicom/ Norvir
.

Offline Snowangel

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,413
Re: Happy Halloween
« Reply #14 on: October 18, 2010, 11:16:29 PM »
I just want you to know that when I met you in Boston I saw none of the stuff that you currently see in the mirror. I am not trying to patronize you or minimize what you feel about your body,  but just wanted to tell you that I dont think everyone sees what you see and that perhaps "we are our own worst critic".

Me either, handsome, kind and quiet.

I feel the same way when I wear sunglasses, I feel like no one can look me in eye and see that I am hiding a deep ,dark secret. Hope you find the perfect costume and that you have a wonderful night!

Snow
Of all the things you wear, your expression is the most important

The heaviest thing you can carry is a grudge..

One thing you can give and still keep...is your word.

One thing you can't recycle is wasted time.

Online aztecan

  • Member
  • Posts: 5,357
  • 28 years positive, 56 years a pain in the butt
Re: Happy Halloween
« Reply #15 on: October 18, 2010, 11:19:37 PM »
Hey Joe,

I thought of you and Stephen in your kilts too. I know that wasn't a costume, per se, but I do remember it quite well from our time together in Montreal.

You have inspired me to go to the halloween party this year. I haven't in a few years.

Now, what to wear?  I wonder if that sailor suit still fits?  I used to look very dashing in it, but that was when I had a butt.

HUGS and HAPPY HALLOWEEN,

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

Offline WillyWump

  • Member
  • Posts: 7,017
Re: Happy Halloween
« Reply #16 on: October 18, 2010, 11:34:20 PM »

Now, what to wear?  I wonder if that sailor suit still fits?  I used to look very dashing in it, but that was when I had a butt.

HUGS and HAPPY HALLOWEEN,

Mark


oh hell yeah, a sailor suit would be perfect for you. We will need pics btw :)

-Will

POZ since '08

Last Labs-
6/25/13 CD4- 1036, UD,
2/4/13, CD4 - 489, UD, 28%
8/9/12, CD4 not taken, UD.
2/13/12, CD4- 904, UD 42%

Current Meds: Prezista/Epzicom/ Norvir
.

Offline hope_for_a_cure

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,483
Re: Happy Halloween
« Reply #17 on: October 20, 2010, 03:02:58 PM »
Haloween can be a fun evening indeed.  When I lived in DC we would head down to Georgetown and hit a few bars, get totally toasted then head over to Tracks or L & F when it got late.  The only costume I would NOT advise is a Palm Tree.  I did that once and let me tell you, the mobility factor or lack thereof created problems like nothing else could.  My version of such included real palm branches (LOTS of them) stuck into a Styrofoam wreath that I wore around my neck.  My 'trunk' was this horrid brown bed spread that I wore tightly around my body.  If you can imagine such a mess... ok, the fun part was trying to actually get into the car.  I WILL say that I was the only palm tree at the party!  I like the sexy sailor idea.  Have fun!

Granny60

  • Guest
Re: Happy Halloween
« Reply #18 on: October 20, 2010, 10:56:03 PM »
Haloween can be a fun evening indeed.  When I lived in DC we would head down to Georgetown and hit a few bars, get totally toasted then head over to Tracks or L & F when it got late.  The only costume I would NOT advise is a Palm Tree.  I did that once and let me tell you, the mobility factor or lack thereof created problems like nothing else could.  My version of such included real palm branches (LOTS of them) stuck into a Styrofoam wreath that I wore around my neck.  My 'trunk' was this horrid brown bed spread that I wore tightly around my body.  If you can imagine such a mess... ok, the fun part was trying to actually get into the car.  I WILL say that I was the only palm tree at the party!  I like the sexy sailor idea.  Have fun!


No way I would ever want to go as a tree or a fireplug.  Key words here.... Male dog.  Think about it. :D

Offline elf

  • Member
  • Posts: 582
Re: Happy Halloween
« Reply #19 on: October 21, 2010, 01:34:53 AM »
Happy Halloween everyone. I won't be going out. I will be staying home,
watching some horror flicks.

Enjoy the festivities ;)

Let's have a Kiki!

Offline hope_for_a_cure

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,483
Re: Happy Halloween
« Reply #20 on: October 22, 2010, 05:30:13 PM »
I hear ya Granny..  WS with a dog is not my idea of fun.  I dont plan to go out this year because our family will be getting together at Ocean Isle NC for a quiet weekend.  If anything, a nice walk on the beach, a shrimp dinner, and maybe just maybe some spiked cider will be the highlight(s) of the day. 
« Last Edit: October 22, 2010, 05:44:22 PM by hope_for_a_cure »

Offline AuroraCOGuy

  • Member
  • Posts: 29
Re: Happy Halloween
« Reply #21 on: October 22, 2010, 05:42:30 PM »
I was thinking about dressing up like a puckered flesh colored anus but then I realized that would be redundant.

:)

Kidding aside, that's some soul bearing there and very honest. In fact it's quite sobering and puts things into perspective for me.
Infected 04-17-2010
Diagnosed 07-05-2010

07/2010 - CD4 741, 40%   VL ~4500 (initial labs)
08/2010 - CD4 751, 41%   VL ~3000 (one month after initial labs)
09/2010 - CD4 732, 40%   VL ~2000
10/2010 - CD4 738, 40%   VL < 1000
11/2010 - CD4 761, 41%   VL 430
12/2010 - CD4 758, 41%   VL 194
01/2011 - CD4 745, 40%   VL 103
02/2011 - CD4 782, 41%   VL 77
03/2011 - CD4 763, 41%   VL < 50 / UD
04/2011 - CD4 758, 41%,  VL < 50 / UD
05/2011 - CD4 761, 41%   VL < 50 / UD
09/2011 - still UD, still strong
06/2013 - still UD, never a blip

Never taken any therapy/meds

 


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