Borrowed Time: An AIDS memoir

I first read Borrowed Time, with that jacket, yes, in the late summer of 1996. My first and only term at SDSU which is to this day, I feel, my true Alma mater. Such was the impact of it that one April the 8th of a 2015 I decided to buy it again in digital form far fetched notion indeed from the days I curled up to the book in paper format in the corridors of SDSU that 96. The memories it brings, yes, they last. So I bought it again. Only to finish it again in February 2016. The math says 22 months to read. So I took my time. Loads more than what it took in 1996. Why? What happened? There is a pain so deep which transpires time as the very breath I take now, it feels here and now. Though I fail to recollect my exact emotions when I first read the book I can recollect being taken by it in a way palpable today as then. Suffice to say, Mr. Monette weaved a tale that drew on the past as well as the now and the future which entangles one to this day. So am repetitive, only because I went against the grain towards my own myself, I do not reread for the most part. Yet I did for this volume. It is not easy to describe the aforementioned. What is it that makes a person reread a book? Take good old Virgina Woolf. She suggested to read a book ‘several’ times. But for the sake of memory? To relive? So I did it. I feel like when I got off the metro Piazza del Popolo in Rome, confronted with a past only I know because I knew where I was since I had been there before and I could imagine its world anew. A past I built on bits and pieces; facts and sheer fantasy. So I walked it alone. Admiring its beauty. Although I was more critical of Monette this time. The emotional fluctuations of the passage of time as he went through the pangs of pain and love for his dear Roger.

A reading of Monette is a delight because this is a good wordsmith. Not to mention that he weaves a series of interrelated events with the emotional load which tends to obligue one to side with the narrator on the injustices suffered by those who ended up guinea pigs for the conservative agenda of the Reagen years which linger on to this very day like a bad fart. Again, the second reading made me see a different Monette though, perhaps because so much time has passed by and am more cynical than when I was younger and more prone to the references to Greek and Roman history alluded in the text, stretched out like a thin silk line to the present, ah, yes, what imagination doesn’t fall for that? Yet the emotional decrying seems so exaggerated at times, viewed from what we now know with what we knew then, it is easy to lay blame on Paul.

Over and out.