Notes On Attention Paid

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Modern Nature, Derek Jarman

… DJ hospitalized with mysterious illness, not confirmed to be HIV, but he and we suspect that it is, though i think he hopes it is something exotic he picked up in Poland… exotic and treatable… fevers, sweats, no appetite… i am reminded years ago of Fleet… of working in an office where we were asked if it would be a concern if there were a co-worker with AIDS… i said no… what i knew of the disease at that point was that it was transmitted through sexual intercourse or blood transfusion, otherwise, not easy to catch…

… DJ’s descriptions of hospital life are deadpan and sometimes funny… he writes more than when not in the hospital… possibly because he has lots of time on his hands when symptoms are not washing through him… he describes himself as having the classic symptoms of HIV…

… i get to the place where the doctors say it isn’t HIV related… but nobody knows what it is… of course, i know how the story ends… he dies of HIV related causes eventually… his was in the early rounds of dealing with the virus, before they developed treatments that managed it… people live long and normal lives while carrying it now… there is not, to my knowledge, a cure, just management…