13 March 1995

by jkatejohnston

Dear Max,

Last night I got up to go pee, and then I lay there trying to sleep and making plans for what I would do if I were trapped in a windowless room with floodwaters rising.  I decided that, when all hope was gone, I would duck under the water and take a huge lung full of water, so as to get the dying over with. What if Teresa were there? Would we remain loving to the end?

This is what I think about instead of job prospects.


My roommate Gary doesn’t like his boyfriend very much these days. Yesterday morning he mentioned that Julio had called him fat, and then by the evening he had something a little better worked out. “I swore after Cecil I would never go out with someone who wasn’t a reader. Julio and I talk about our work and the people we know, but we never talk about ideas.” 

“You don’t have to read to talk about ideas,” I said, thinking, who wants to talk about ideas?

“I don’t know.  I just really miss conversation.”

I asked how Julio came to the states, and Gary said that he came here with this gay doctor who still gives him money. “Of course, Julio’s positive and I really have no idea if he has health insurance.”[1] 

And he wants Julio to read books so that they can talk? I guess they’re too retarded to talk about their lives.

“We gossip,” Gary said with a sigh, and I was like, then what’s the problem? But of course they have no idea how to gossip about themselves.

And since when does Gary read, anyway? He’s been reading this paperback based on Northern Exposure for a month.

[1] Note added 2013:  This was before good drugs for HIV. Positive (which Gary was not) meant getting AIDS and dying.