Thursday, February 01, 2007

Here today, Gone tomorrow

The salon where I get my hair done is in the heart of Brooklyn. Unsurprisingly, like most establishments that cater to an African and Caribbean clientele, it is a very colourful place. What is refreshing however, is that instead of getting attitude from them, they are among the friendliest and most interesting people I have ever met. One kid in particular, we'll call him M for the sake of his anonymity, could definitely be described as the life and soul of the party. He once showed me how to do the 'dirty whine' and put absolutely every woman in that place to shame. It was astonishing.

So naturally, when I went to get my hair done yesterday, I asked about M. "Didn't you hear?" my stylist asked, "He passed away two weeks ago." I was in such shock that I could barley make out the words. "How? What happened? Why?". My stylist told me that M had been in hospital after the New Year. He contracted some type of pneumonia, PCP. At those words, my heart dropped. PCP very rarely occurs without the presence of HIV. M was 19 years old and now he is gone. I have never had someone with whom I am personally acquainted have their life claimed by AIDS. It is quite a shock.