Patrick May, September 2 1964 - September 8, 1995.

His ex-boyfriend texted me today with words that at first meant nothing: fifteen years. And then it dawned on me what anniversary this is. The day went by, blogging, emailing, grabbing some eggs for breakfast, walking the dogs, playing with my iPad, checking in with Aaron, a visit from a friend ... and then this afternoon, for no apparent reason, I glanced out the window and something just snapped and I found myself sobbing so hard I had to lean against the wall to hold myself up. It was like a vomit. And my body wouldn't stop convulsing for ten minutes as I grabbed the phone to find my friend, the one who was there, the one who still knew and still felt, the one who is still there.

Is this still grief? Does it lie buried all along? When you think it's over, when you've paid your respects, written a book to remember him, and "moved on", and survived, and thrived, and found love and even marriage, does it come back again suddenly like this? Even worse? Like that proverbial truck we always joked could always run you over one day, just as AIDS ran over so many lives and hearts and still does for so many?

I think we are in rats' alley
Where the dead men lost their bones.

'What is that noise?'
        The wind under the door.
'What is that noise now? What is the wind doing?'
                    Nothing again nothing.
'You know nothing? Do you see nothing? Do you remember
I remember
Those are pearls that were his eyes.

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