i am aad de gids, 53 years old, was just beginning to have sex with men and experimenting, when in 1981 on the news the bizarre message came as i still remember, that in new york there was an outburst of a strange disease, which targeted mainly homosexual men and hemophiliac diseased persons. in dutch it sounded dadaistic: “homofielen en hemofielen”. as an artist and nurse and homosexual i was in the bizarrest of mindsets. the bizarrerrie of the words resounded time and again in my ears. that was the artist who already had done some performances with bas, always neodadaistic and distortionistic. the homosexual immediately grasped that i was warped overnight in a danger zone. the nurse, unfortunately, immediately grasped all epidemiological implications. i shall never forget that moment. it was a shifting moment i had done all deeds necessary sufficient to contract aids. the person that i am immediately made decisions to undergo the test (that was a little later) because i am the type of person who wants to know. first there was a period, i clearly remember, with explanations and footage of kaposi sarcoma, opportunistic infections, candida albicans in the mouth, fever, night sweating, diarrhoea, vomiting, pulmonia and various pulmonary diseases. more and more it became apparent that these were syndromes caused by a micro-logical operating agent. the virus was discovered. aids tests were being developed. and it must have been in 1982 that i was tested on aids, surrounded by hookers, junkies, the works, well, i was one of them. the outcome lasted six weeks, that i also remember. the test itself was hilarious, in that, when they took a swab of my penis, i looked straight in the eyes of someone standing outside, peering through the half open luxaflex. i guess it is always handy when one is an exhibitionist. rock hudson in dynasty, emaciated. rumours, rumours. new york became the world center which it already was for everything, but now there were discovered other localisations. i remember paris, amsterdam, san francisco, london. after six weeks i went to the [academic rotterdam] “dijkzigt hospital”. the man, medic, who brought me the news, made the grave mistake to begin with a list “you have no gonorrhea, you have no syphilis, you have no candida.....” and
wanted to proceed. i yelled at him. “DO I HAVE AIDS?” “no,” was the answer, although still then, you got a remark with it that the tests were still “preliminary”... in a way it felt as if the man had said “you have aids.” i was devastated.
the time, the year, flew by with news satiated on aids, this, i remember in a haze. the funny thing is, i still went on with unsafe sex for a while. THERE IS NO SAFE SEX. IT IS A HOAX. when enough aroused, you don’t give a flying fuck anymore if somebody is infected or not. and, there is an idiosyncrasy which also must not be left unspoken. i am eschatologic, fatalistic. i am not afraid of death. i wish i were dead. so, that needs to be said. nuances later. and yet, somehow, and i know why, i slowly shied away from sex, and slowly but firmly made the decision to then not to have sex at all anymore, to evaporate the dilemma of aids. and, believe it or not, as such everything proceeded.
somehow this line of behavior got hold of me and got consolidated. so my sexual “career” surely didn’t last long. piquant detail however is that i had the first sex with a man called “pierre” in...paris. i guess in the pigalle. i sure looked good then. i had bought an avant guardistic jacket in rotterdam and even in paris it drew all attention. oh, how i like that. utter fulfillment. better than
sex.. now let me think about chronological and narrative issues.....
it seemed, my decision was steadfast, however my mind tricks again and again need some adjustments. and then a relict of the past steps in. i am not really endowed with the best of personalities to enjoy a big, active, dynamic social life. it simply is a borderline personality disorder, and it wouldn’t be exaggerated to speak of post traumatic stress disorder. these two, i must say, came in handy to at least maintain a certain quietude. because, as it also broke out when i was seventeen, when i engaged in an all too restless social life i got destabilised. i got anxious.
i have had sleeping disorders ALL MY LIFE and then they deteriorated with a rate four or five.
so, i combined as well the de-sensibilising aspects of these personality traits as well as my
lively interest on everything philosophical, art, esthetics, cinema, distortion, music. the best way to describe the esthetics is: “anti-esthetics; punk”. i built an as well artificial as real world, somewhat eclectic. and i was profoundly happy and profoundly unhappy. i always had my
moods. but it seemed they quadrupled, and in particular the mood swings. jacking off was still
a possibility, so, then, that as a derivative of all festivities that could have been. and weren’t.
then, darker years still began to seep in. i always had the strange predestination to fall for straight guys. people who don’t understand this pull it in the volitional sphere. i would want to kill them.
yes, you choose for this to feel so much unhappyness. actually, i also fell for some gay guys. one lead me on and finally dished me, as so many others. alone: the best personality to give this a good relevation, i hadn’t. then came the three musketeers. the first one was that gay guy, and it was all
intrinsically linked with.... sicily. well, he lead me on, sending postcards, making an almost satanic gesture of goodbye from the trip to sicily with a kiss of death. (he was the travel agent. i saw him in the train to schiphol. i didn’t know he was the travel agent. immediately i thought: “HIM”. it was a “coup de foudre”.) the voyage to sicily and southern italy had still to begin. and, did. i was in heaven. after this holiday he sent cards. i sent love letters. then he rifted, knifed my world. he had an algerian friend. my heart was broken. immediately after that came the two straight guys. friends of bas. i fell like an alpinist on vodka. they knew, i knew, everybody knew, we kept seeing each other. they were straight as hell, and, my friends. and, we used a lot of dope.
immeasurable amounts of coke, heroin, xtc, alcohol, everything. my depression begun. twice i tried to rob myself from life, first 230 lexotanil / bromazepam 6mg., a (half?) year later with 200 refusal/
antabus and a bottle of expensive scotch. it had become a snakepit and i wanted dead. in some way aids has determined my life. i have never been happy. moments. but that truly happy feeling of sharing and warmth and comfort. no. its not been given. i am very tired now. this life hadn’t had a lot of sex. masturbation has been cut off for fifteen years now, with my antidepressants. this life has known love in the deepest way. my heart was broken three times. this will never heal. something i cherish. still i’d rather be dead. somehow the force of my mother grabbed hold of me. i live. as my
life is also shapen by aids. and by silent magmaic rage.