I’ve been wondering since Sunday why I keep postponing watching ‘The Normal Heart.’ I want to see it, but at the same time would rather not. There are emotional memories I don’t want to have. It’s the same reasons(s) I moved to New York City in 1993, and why I never saw ‘Philadelphia’ or the movie version of ‘Angels in America’ (I sobbed through the stage play in L.A. 22 years ago). AIDS is forever part of my life’s trajectory, including how I met my husband – his partner died not long before we met. It’s an inescapable part of who I am, but there are elements of it I prefer to keep in the distance. Watching someone die in the bed next to me for two years, not to mention all those friends and acquaintances lost as if a strong wind had simply blown them to the curb, broke me on some level. The cracks closed but are still there; they remain voices I would prefer to hear as faint echoes. So every time there’s a ‘Normal Heart’ I end up not watching. I did see the play, in Los Angeles in 1987 or thereabouts. My theater companion was my partner Jim. His life ended in a hospice four years later. I just don’t want to glance that way again, but I might this time.

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