Before I left to go home, before I had to face the depression that has settled over my family, I had profuse and troubling dreams. Nights on night, I woke in a sweat. My shirt so wet I had to change it. My anxiety trying to bleed out through my pores.
One of these dreams had me in a dirty, monastic chamber with no decorations save the condensation rivulets carved into the caked dust on the walls. I was dying of AIDS, so weak I could not even turn myself from that filthy wall. So thirsty, but without the strength to drink and I was completely alone. There was only the dim hum of the oxygen machine, the only medical equipment in the room.
I woke up, shaking, wet, warm and so thankful that I could get up out of bed and quench my thirst.
It’s World AIDS Day today. I could barely think about this dream or articulate it last week, but today I want to have those who are suffering, waiting for the vaccine, for access to drugs and just hoping for some comfort in my heart and thoughts.