SUMMER, 2001


In life the idea of acquiring excessive knowledge in various profession drives most people to do things that can be rewarding or disastrous. We are living in the scientific age where at least in the minds of renowned scientist, everything is possible. The story of Goffa and Joffa follows this pattern of belief.
Goffa was a renowned scientist who tried hard through numerous experiments to challenge the creation of nature. It was not an easy task for him. However, he succeeded in creating a monster like creature through an accidental experiment and named him Joffa. Goffa became extremely popular and his fellow scientists put him on a higher pedestal. What was exciting about Goffa’s creation was that, Joffa possessed extra ordinary qualities and he was able to learn very fast. Joffa was very intelligent, respectful, hardworking and a lover of music. He was physically big and very strong and looked athletic. Joffa’s worst enemy was loneliness. He never liked to be alone because that made him fearful of his surroundings.
It is very interesting for one to note that in spite of Joffa’s smartness and intelligence as a monster, Goffa hated him and most of the time tried to avoid him. The darker side of Joffa in terms of behavior and looks were very disturbing indeed to Goffa. He was never patient and always wanted his demands for food attended promptly. Besides this, he was very ugly and his physique could send chills throughout ones body. Perhaps it was because of these darker setbacks that drove Goffa away from him.
The isolation technique adopted by Goffa towards Joffa could best be described as a time bomb waiting to explode any day. Feeling abandoned, neglected and growing alone, the thought of revenge kept ringing in Joffa’s’s ears. He became very wild and very fearful. This reminded me of the fact that, anything that can be set into motion without control could be extremely dangerous. The stage was set for confrontation and the ultimate result was that they should both go their separate ways. At the time of their separation, there was a serious animosity and anger between them. The trust that Joffa had in Goffa had vanished and instead hatred and dislike had taken its place. Goffa on the other hand, felt regretful for creating Joffa.
As the years rolled by, word came to Goffa about a serious disease that had attacked Joffa. Surprisingly, Goffa sent money to pay his medical bills and even paid him a visit while he was on admission at the hospital. During his untimely visit, Goffa reconciled with Joffa and advised him to let sleeping dogs lie. After his discharge from the hospital, Joffa went back to live with his creator. Goffa and the raking of old wounds became history.


A few months before I was born according to my mother, my father met a stranger who
was new to our small town. From the beginning my father was fascinated with this enchanting new comer and soon invited him to live with our family. The stranger was quickly accepted and was around to welcome me into the world a few months later.
As I grew up, I never questioned his place in our family. Mommy taught me to love the Word of God. Daddy on the other hand taught me to obey it but the stranger was our storyteller. He could hold our whole family spellbound for hours each evening. He could weave the most fascinating tales. Adventure, mysteries, and comedies are daily conversation. He was like a friend to the whole family. He was always encouraging us to see the movies and he even made arrangements to introduce us to several movie stars.
The stranger was an incessant talker. Daddy did not seem to mind, but sometimes, mommy would quietly get up while the rest of us were enthralled with one of his stories of faraway places and go to her room and read her bible and pray. I wander now if she ever prayed that the stranger would leave.
You see my daddy ruled our household with certain moral convictions. But this stranger never felt an obligation to honor them. Profanity, for example, was not allowed in our house not from us, from friends, or adults. Our longtime visitor, however, used occasional four world that burned by ears and made my daddy squirm. To my knowledge, the stranger was never confronted. Alcohol was not tolerated in our house, but the stranger always had. The stranger felt he needed exposure and enlighten us to other ways of life. He offered us beer and alcohol often. He made cigarette look tasty, cigars manly, and pipes distinguished. He talked freely about freely (too much to freely) about sex His comments were sometimes blatant, sometimes suggestive and generally embarrassing. I know now that my early concepts of the man and women relationship were influence by the stranger. As I look back I believe it was the grace of God that the stranger did not influence us more. Time after time, he opposed the values of my parents. Yet he was seldom rebuked and never asked to leave.
Interestingly it has been over forty years since the stranger moved in with us and he is still having a good time. Unfortunately, we never ask to know his name and he never voluntarily told us what his name was.

I once know a man, who was homeless, deprived of possessions was he, but he taught me a lesson, I shall never forget he taught me humility. My heart ached as I passed him each morning but I tried to be cheerful and gay as I stifled a hello, how are you? He always responded politely "Oh things isn’t too bad" he’d say. The sun is coming out. Thanks! Have a nice day. I scowled as I ran for the bus or the train hating it more as it started to rain. How could he just sit there and never complain with swollen legs and feeling pain. I tried to forget him the rest of the day sitting in his squalor and decay, hoping that he would be away, for I had so many things to do, could I worry about him too? I wonder if he sits there still. As a race of men goes by, with outstretch hand and happy grin looking upwards to the sky. Each time I see a homeless man, I say there, but for the grace of God to I.

It’s like trying to get everything done in a hurry. There is not time to waste,it is realizing that every moment counts. It’s a time for enormous emotional and spiritual growth. Fear of rejection every time I meet someone, I am interested in. Incredible frustration that builds up because you cannot do for yourself, and the constant draining asking others for assistance, it is the overwhelming emotions of watching one person after another waste away before you and wondering am, I next? It is the frustration of friends who still won’t get tested. It is observing the incredible amount of feeling that has occurred between the straight and gay communities, you feel isolated and very lonely. Friends desert your company, doctors who do not know or lie to. Your health care workers, who are afraid to work with you, how may more pills and needle sticks? Why is my skin dry? I hate it when people disappear and later you hear that they have died, no chance to say goodbye. Aids are a shame and anger because a relative won’t see or let you near their kids. What use is education to me? After all, the end is near. Are the medications helping or hurting, and which ones should I take? Is there a cure? And will I be around for the "cure?" I need to be happy because I know the end is near.

Here I am, a few years on it was hard enough explaining where daddy had gone he knows there is something wrong with me how can I explain about HIV. I see the sadness, the fear in his eye, each time I have to be hospitalized. And, I see the pain in his eyes each time I take my AZT. "I thought these pills were to make you well,: So, why are you still sick? Go on Dad! Tell, quick dad, here, be sick in his basin I will help you dad watch you, don’t fall, and he treats me like an Egyptian doll then the moment for something, I was very scared, the question that I had not prepared, why do I get jag dad, why do I get blood taken? The moment for truth now, there can be no faking, well, It is the doctor’s special way of knowing that inside you, there is not bug growing tiny bugs that can make you sick I had no choice, but the truth to tell you, do not have these bugs, so there is not need to worry "but you have daddy,: he says in a hurry, "When you die daddy, where will I go?" I do not know the answers to that question instead I make this useless suggestion "Shall we go to the fridge and get some ice cream?" I wish I could take away all his fear; his blood just may not be infected but by HIV he is most definitely affected I do not fear of dying any more; just for a special little boy who is only six.

Death...who are you? You are the uninvited guest. You are the one who unlocks any door without a key of password. You claim your victims prepared or unprepared. You never seem to care whose heart you break, or whose family you offend. You are so cold, so unfriendly, and so final. Yet you bridge the gap between mortality and immortality. You were promised to us for once we were born. Yet it’s so hard to prepare for your arrival. You are a mystery. You come, but no one sees you, and your vital work is done and you depart. You leave a trail, which no one can deny, they know that you passed by. Or death! Where is thy sting?