Goodbye Dan – Writing 101: Day Seven

Published June 10, 2014 by Liz Ault

Writing 101, Day Seven: Give and Take. Focus today’s post on the contrast between two things. The twist? Write the post in the form of a dialogue.

My brother’s best friend for years was named Dan. Dan and my brother went through the tail end of grade school, and high school together. Dan was a year younger than I.

I had my driver’s license, the boys didn’t, so I drove them to the HS dance. I had no desire to go in to the gym.

“Liz, I can’t handle walking up that long walk to the gym.”

“What’s up?”

“I don’t feel right. Something is just messed up. I’m so confused.”

“Dan, I don’t care either way if we go up there or not.”

We ended up making out, talking and hugging for several hours. Jim never knew.

That all happened about 2 years before their HS graduation.

Mom called me, “Liz, Dan has aids.”

Excuse me?? I had just had my first child, and had first heard of aids while I was pregnant. 1984.

My brother could not accept what happened to Dan – he thought that meant he might be “gay.” I couldn’t stop thinking about the long talks, hugging, kissing back in 1972 with Dan.

Dan was one of the early ones. He died while still in his twenties.

Life and death? One religion vs. another? Nope, tragic loss of a great young man. I dream of what he could have been. Life is precious.


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