November 08, 2018


Sasha died last Friday. Her ashes were delivered to me just a short while ago.

I had known she was dying for the last several months. I didn't mention it here because I couldn't bear to think about it, although I was all too well aware of it every time I looked at her, every time I held her in my lap and stroked her and gently scratched under her chin, while she purred very loudly, every time Sasha and I curled up in bed together. But to put the fact that she was dying in writing here ... well, that would somehow make it more real than I could tolerate.

She died peacefully, here at home. Sasha was a wonderfully sweet, completely adorable little girl. My apartment, my life seem desolate without her.

Now I must somehow regroup, gather what strength I can, and go on. I have to find a new home and move in the next six months. And there is writing to do. Oh, yes, I've seen some stories recently that have reawakened my writing impulses. And I may write a bit about grief and dealing with it. God knows I've had more than enough experience with loss and grieving in my lifetime. Here's one post on that subject from six years ago: "Never Enough." That essay concerns living through, and miraculously surviving, the AIDS crisis in the gay community. I got it right in that post. I know that because rereading it for the first time in at least five years made me cry, again.

So now I cry for all those lives lost to a ghastly disease -- and all the deaths that might have been avoided if we as a culture had been more compassionate and caring, and if we had chosen differently -- for Sasha, and for all the cats that have graced my life with their treasurable love and companionship -- for all the beloved friends I've lost to other causes -- for any of you who suffer for reasons that might have been mitigated or even avoided altogether, or for any of a multitude of other reasons.

Please forgive me for the following. I must be crass for a moment. At present, I'm worse than completely broke. I had managed to get an increase in the credit line on the credit card I use for most of my purchases (groceries, certain bills, etc.). That's mainly what I've lived on for the past couple of months; it's also how I paid for all the expenses in connection with Sasha (which were considerable, and none of which I regret in the slightest -- if I had thought it would save her, I would have robbed a bank).

That increased credit line is gone now. So I'm without funds for any of my living expenses for the month -- internet, phone, electricity, groceries. I would obviously be profoundly grateful for any help you may be able to provide.

I'm going back to bed now. My body was already in terrible shape, and the loss of Sasha is wrecking me at the moment. I'll be back as soon as I can; hopefully, some writing will help to refocus me and provide me renewed strength to go on.

My deep thanks to all of you.