Three weeks ago today was my dad’s 75th birthday. My sister and I came to Houston to celebrate. We knew he didn’t feel well, but we didn’t have any idea that a blood clot was forming in his leg, that it would break off and travel to his lung, that his 75th year would begin with a massive heart attack.
Dad has been in the ICU for 20 days now. His condition is “critical but stable,” which means that life is a roller coaster of small progress and new symptoms. The only plans we make are tentative plans.
I’m trying to remember the skills I learned from Katy’s illness, the balancing act of saying yes to life without imagining too far into the future. It’s very hard. I’m out of practice.
It feels precarious yet crucial to tell you that I’ll be reading from and talking about my work this Tuesday afternoon at UT Austin. I’m scared to leave Houston, but I know Dad would want me to go.
My respondent for this event is Andy Campbell, whose 2015 Outsider Fest panel on AIDS Activism in the Age of PrEP was one of the inspirations for my presentation’s title, “Queer Rock Love in the Age of Marriage, Tipping Points and Miracle Cures.” Ever since my wife was cured of Hepatitis C this November, I’ve been wanting to talk with Andy about medical interventions and how they impact our queer sense of living with the future in parentheses.
There’s no time like the present. Or, in this case, next Tuesday.
Glickman Conference Center (CLA 1.302D)
University of Texas at Austin