I thought it was time to look back as "Sick Steve" from 10 years ago to see how he's progressing and I saw a diary entry for June 23 labeled "A Landmark Event." Curious, I read the entry to see what I would have, at that time, considered a "landmark." This is what I found:
"Today was a landmark day. Here's why. Two reasons. 1) I had no diarrhea today. 2) I had no imodium today.
"For almost five days now I've gone without (diarrhea) and for me that was a world record, but I was still faithfully taking the imodiums a half hour before every meal. Thankfully, I had stopped taking the codeine and the paregoric (which is made from opium) -- which are fine on vacation but a bitch when you actually want to think or something! (god forbid).
"Yesterday, I decided to see if I could make it without the chemical help and, YES, a whole day. No you know what and no imodiums. Two days in a row? We'll see. But the point is that the TPN treatments are working more spectacularly than I had even dreamed they would. In fact, I look over at the bag now filled with its milky fluid, slowly dripping into my vein and I want to hug it and kiss it.
"You know, I'm not one to lose faith or become a Negative Nelly, but I was really seeing the gravesite and the memorial service and preparing to die. Now, I've been rescued and I know I am going to live."
I was still slowly accepting the idea that I was not going to die, as you can see. I was also informing the reader that I was much closer to death than I had been writing in the diary -- and also that my mind had long been picturing and accepting my death as an early inevitability.
On the 24th, I went to see the doctor because my ears were stopped up. He said he saw fluid behind one eardrum and a lesion that looked like a molluscum on the other. He wasn't sure there was anything anyone could do except wait it out.
The only problem was that we had already cast our workshop of The Last Session and were in rehearsals! That's right. After we accepted the workshop offer from the Zephyr, we immediately went into casting and then rehearsals. On this day, I also talk about meeting Chip Esten who played "Buddy." He had broken his thumb and was wearing a cast. We must must have collectively looked like wing of the hospital all on our own.
In the entry on the 24th, there's also an interesting note that I've made about some emails I was getting about the diary. One was from a gay friend who told me I was wasting my time trying to "teach" conservative Christians how to be more tolerant and loving toward gay people -- that "Christians" were worthless and beyond saving. His exact words:
He says that the "average Christian" who stays silent against the hardcore bigotry coming down from the Fundamentalist leadership -- as evidenced by the Southern Baptist's recent pronouncments and by the horrific anti-gay videos of people like Jerry Falwell -- makes them accomplices in this horror just like the German people were accomplices for staying silent against the Holocaust.But then I also talk about another situation. I wrote:
"I got an e-mail from a self-described born again Christian woman in Seattle who tells me she's been reading this diary every day for a month or more and that in her position as a large company in charge of insurance and helping very sick people maintain their coverage, she has had much interaction with gay people with AIDS and that she has learned much about how much bigger the world is than she ever dreamed.Then I ask my readers:
"She thanked me for the diary telling me that it has taught her much and that she has been directing others to it, both gay and straight."
So, am I wasting my time here? Should I simply call all born agains stupid accomplices to a huge and horrible potential Holocaust? You tell me.Funny, but I never dreamed that 10 years on, these same forces would be fighting each other so openly in the media and churches. When "The Last Session" finally opened in New York, there were some who criticized the play because they thought we were dealing with "old issues," this whole gay/straight Christian debate.
Little did they know that not only were they NOT old issues, but we were actually ahead of the curve. The country hadn't even begun to start wrestling with them.