Your Love Is Killing Me

My eyes are closed and I’ve nothing more to say
But I’m so willing to give it all away…

The scent of pot, skunk-like and pungent, drifted up the open staircase. It felt like the college-age version of ‘Tales from the City’ and not unfittingly so, as this was the same city. It was dark, but the magical multi-chambered jewel-box of San Francisco sparkled in the distance, even through the foggy night. Shadowy figures passed me on the stairs.  Whispers and laughter and the flush of youth so palpable its headiness matched the marijuana.  I hopped a train to take me further into the city, away from such magnificent madness.

Heaven only knows, at your every turn a scandal…

There aren’t many moments when I’ve been afraid in my life. Most of my fear comes in subsequent waves, irrationally washing over me long after the fact when it should have started any adrenaline-pumping. That summer, Andrew Cunanan was going on his killing spree, starting with a gay man in San Diego, and ultimately working his way across the country to Miami, where it culminated with the cold-blooded murder of Gianni Versace outside his Ocean Drive mansion. That hadn’t happened yet, and as I sat waiting for my friend, the memory of a hand-made poster of Mr. Cunanan’s vague visage, seen earlier on the door of a bar in the Castro, suddenly haunted me. A serial killer that seemed to be targeting gay men? As if we didn’t have enough to deal with.

My friend arrived, and we spent an enjoyable time on the town. Worries of Mr. Cunanan faded away, as it’s difficult to be so concerned when surrounded by good friends and fun. Still, there was tension in the air of that summer. It crept in with the night, and lingered long after the day broke. It was the tension of evil lurking in the world.

Sometimes the nights of summer are darker than the nights of winter. How strange – and terrifying – that it should be so.

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