Tuesday, February 12, 2013
The start of 1994 looked good as I was working, weight was fine and things were humming along until January 14--that afternoon I had been to the dentist and he told me it would cost about $5,000 to get my teeth fixed--it seemed the implant I had done in 1972 was not ‘for life’, needed to be taken out and replaced--that evening Tom Lilly and I had dinner at the Mandarin Restaurant at the Fountain Shops--we had become friends the year before while working together--nothing romantic or sexual--we just liked a lot of the same things and enjoyed spending time together--that evening he told me he had been diagnosed being HIV+ and was showing signs of AIDS--a week later he would be in the hospital with pneumonia but everything turned out okay--there were new drugs and AZT wasn’t being used so freely.
Ed came down for a week--after a while of not seeing him Perry called and we met for dinner--Perry had gone bald since the last time I saw him--at that time I had known Perry for about 50 years we having met in Miami Beach and became Joe and Albyn’s first ‘sons’--Perry had owned a very successful art gallery in Boca Raton for many years but had fallen on hard times lately--in passing he mentioned about living in a H.U.D. sponsored building on the 14th floor--a few years later I remembered that reference.
Things started to go downhill--on February 14 (Happy Valentine’s Day!) I was fired as my boss’s nephew had gotten out of jail and was on probation so John (we would become good friends) took over my shift--the following week my car was stolen again which meant money for another steering column while I was also having problems with the top’s cables--in June everything started to fall apart--I couldn’t find work--was spending money and using the two charge cards I had to fix my teeth and car--the latter needed a new radiator--June 21 I moved into a new apartment off Federal Highway and a block north of State Road 84 because though it was a 2 bedroom apartment it was a cheaper rent and not working I had to save where I could--HA!--for whatever reason I developed an irrational ‘fear’ of phones which would stay with me for a couple of years--I didn’t call people and let the answering machine pick up all the in calls.
On July 17 Tom went into the hospital and I called his brother and sister to tell them that I wasn’t allowed in to see him but the doctor had told me to call them--they came down the next day--Tom had told me where things like his papers were--Tom died Saturday, July 23, 1994--I helped his siblings going around to places getting things done and they asked me if I would mind seeing about selling Tom’s car which I did and sent them the money -- Sandy and Eric sent me $400 for my trouble which was unexpected.
On the day that Tom went into the hospital I sat down and wrote a letter to everyone and anyone I knew--’pride goeth before a fall’ and I had no pride, or money left, so I reached out for help.