HIV Longevity Still Fighting…


all hail the garryowen geezers

i'm sitting in an irish pub. this is where the magic happens... i have made friends here. i have a writing group meeting here every week where i can find support and give support in the creation of the art of writing. the guinness flows freely, and the indian bartender vish makes the very best tanqueray martini i've ever had.

i left work this evening, knowing i'd head to gettysburg to meet with my writing group. i have bills to pay, so i settled into my little corner table early, next to a window where i can pause my activity to watch this little town speed by on main street in the cold. when i arrive, i am alone in the dining room.

the first geezer across the room showed up and chose his chair. it looks like he chooses as i do - to face the door if it's possible. i'm not sure when i developed this need to keep an eye on who enters the room. maybe it's a vigilance that has arisen out of too much abuse and not enough trust. i try to thrive. sometimes it's been hard just to survive.

he was joined by a boisterous geezer friend who announced that the third geezer in their party was trying to get the B52 bomber they arrived in to take fewer parking spaces on the street. he doesn't drink whisky and coke, he corrected derek the server who knows us all by name: he drinks rum. if derek could make that a diet rum, it would be even better.

my attention waxes and wanes as i focus on my task at hand. i get paid once a month. i try to pay bills once a month, so that my living needs are all handled and i don't have to second guess any finances until the next paycheck. suddenly, i'm aware that geezer number one is talking about his wife. he talks about her tending to her aged mother. he talks about the attention she gives her grandchildren and the amount of time she makes herself available to help her adult children. "bless her heart," he keeps saying, "i don't know how she manages it all. bless her heart." they all laugh as they joke that she got the short end of the deal in their relationship. then the talk becomes earnest.

these men talk about the mid-life crises they've observed their friends having. they talk about their decisions to stay put in their own relationships and about the rewards from investing in the proper choices. they solemnly call each other brother and thank each other for being real and important people in their lives. the current topics of hateful politics never make an entrance into the conversation. the tragedy of the week's autumn hurricane doesn't rear its ugly head. these men, they've weathered decades and decades of elections and storms and tragedies, together. promises are made to stand by each other and to keep the tradition alive of meeting, as long as they're alive. and suddenly, unexpectedly, my sitting with a pint paying bills has yielded something i've been running low on. faith.

i know how to live properly. i know how to love well. i know people who choose to do the hard work and who are willing to stand strong when the weight of the world threatens to topple everything. here they are, can you see them? these men are good friends and so have good friends. they are good partners and so have good partners. random sampling of the town's population tonight does not evidence barroom debauchery. rather, these pint lifters are building important, lovely structures in their own lives, and supporting the same in each other's. we should all be so lucky.

there are no good excuses for not designing the very best life we can imagine. there is no other time but the present to start. i lift my guinness to thee, garryowen geezers. and i thank you. bless your hearts, bless your hearts.

This guest blog was written by: Staci

Staci's Bio
I love to write! I spend a ton of time outside. I have a degree in forestry. I fix computers. I was a mermaid once. "I believe that deliberate living takes time and energy

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. There is a beautiful grace to the connection we have with our lives, if we're willing to invest. Sometimes the effort itself is a return to mindfulness that allows other aspects in life to gain clarity. Each day becomes a canvas, and my acts boldly brush on the paint of good consequences." ~me

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