The price of the Kindle version of my book, Holding Breath: A Memoir of AIDS’ Wildfire Days (you know–the book that this blog is about!), will be reduced just this week to 99 cents. On May 1st it will go back to its usual price of $3.99. (The print version is also available for $11.95.) Here’s the link:
Monthly Archives: April 2013
A few minutes ago I happened to look at my travel blog (between 2001 and about 2009 I was a relatively successful freelance travel writer; the blog is for the most part made up of travel narratives I’d written that weren’t quite commercially-oriented enough for most travel publications, but are still my favorites), and at a story I wrote back in 2006.
The story, which is called “Depressed at Disney World”, is about a press trip I took to Orlando just when my newly awakened grief for David had started to surface, and I was on the brink of a kind of emotional free-fall. In the story, I simply refer to David as “my friend.”
It occurred to me that this might be a good place to share it. Here’s the link:
A & U (Arts and Understanding) Magazine ran an excerpt from my book, Holding Breath: A Memoir of AIDS’ Wildfire Days, in this month’s issue. I was, of course, thrilled. A & U is a magazine that was launched in 1991, and its mission is to “collect, archive, publish and distribute the growing body of art, activism, and current events emanating from the AIDS pandemic.”
The excerpt they published was actually included in a post in this blog a while back, but I’m happy to share it again through a link to the magazine’s website:
(To see the digital edition of the magazine, go to:
It’s about 4 p.m. on a warm fall afternoon in Manhattan, in 1989. I’ve just visited my last client of the day at his apartment in Stuyvesant Town, the apartment complex across 20th Street from Peter Cooper Village, where I’d lived as a child. I’m free for the rest of the afternoon, and all night, and I have no plans to go home to my own apartment in Hoboken, because I’m falling in love with David, and I don’t want to be anywhere other than his studio apartment on Suffolk Street, where I’ve recently started spending most of my nights, against anyone’s better judgement but my own.
So instead of walking up 14th Street to First Avenue to catch a bus across town, I cross the street and start south on Avenue A, toward David’s place. The afternoon light is orange and gold on the sidewalks and windows and storefronts, and I smell the East river, and pizza and Dominican food and bus exhaust and cigarette smoke. I have my Walkman on as I head downtown through the East Village, and I’m scared to death of what I’ve been doing with David and at the same time incredibly happy because I will be spending another night with him.
And my Walkman is playing the album Electric Warrior, by T. Rex. Whenever I hear the song “Mambo Sun,” that afternoon, and that intersection, and the way everything looked and smelled and felt, and the fear and joy of realizing that I was falling in love with a man who had AIDS and who was also my client, and that no one would ever be able to understand why I would take such a risk, all come back to me. It’s a memory I never want to lose.
Here’s the song: