I have attempted to take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) three times in three years. In 2006, three days before my test appointment, my aunt died two weeks to the day after being diagnosed with end stage ovarian cancer. In 2007, two weeks before I was to take it, my father died after a four and half year long struggle with vascular dementia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and depression.
This time, I thought I was out of the woods. I was taking the test Friday September 5. No one was ill, I had been studying for 3 months, and finally felt like I was ready to take it on and make it my slave.
Then Anthony Kibort emailed me that Monday that Sydney had died the night before.
I managed to take the test, and then promptly let all the emotions I had managed to dam up for 4 days flow freely over the wall.
What. The. F*ck. Sydney?
We had met in the summer of 1989 -- G-d, it's hard to think that was 19 years ago.
She had just graduated from Vassar and was living in a sublet on the Upper West Side. I was working at A Different Light Bookstore on Hudson Street as well as becoming active in ACT UP. That was where we met -- her in her lipstick, black glasses and a single streak of caramel in her otherwise chestnut hair, me in my AIDS Activist Ken(tm) uniform.
I was smitten. She was aloof. If I had known then what I know now, I would have changed nothing except wishing I had known more, so that in the end, I could have been a better person to her. Otherwise, Non, je ne regrette rien.
I am a week behind in processing all this, so hopefully others will help fill this site while I get our old clips and photos together. At the moment, it still feels unreal, especially since I'm no longer in NYC, which is so inextricably linked with my memories of her. But I'll be back. Please join us.