I fell asleep beside my laptop again. Now I have woken up next to a blog. A nifty little blog with an attractive color scheme. It has ambitions. And a confusing title.
My Husband’s Trophy is the product a sleep disorder. In order to understand the oddity, I need to explain what happens after the fuzzy pyrotechnics start to waltz on the backsides of my eyelids each night.
While asleep, I am able to walk to the fridge and consume many items. I often have one-sided conversations. And, as it seems, I use the computer and write things down. Collectively, these behaviors are called sleep parasomnia. What makes all my nocturnal escapades possible is my brain’s amazing ability to override my body’s circuitry. Most people experience muscle paralysis while sleeping. But I’m special, so I don’t. While mobile, I dream.
Needless to say, my nightlife adds depth to my experience. However, I’m privy to knowing about it only after the fact. From what I gather the following mornings, it can be quite exciting. Evidence sometimes is strewn on the floor, or is sleeping in bed next to me. Sometimes friends inform me of the things I said. But this time around, it was my computer.
So, how does all of this add up? The blog’s title?
Unfortunately, the explanation is anticlimactic. The phrase was floating in an open Microsoft Word document next to a flashing cursor. I took this as a sign that the title was as good as any, particularly if I went to the trouble to write it down in my sleep.
I would like you to believe that the randomness of the title “My Husband’s Trophy” is a deeply insightful analogy for this blog’s content. Just like my dreams buoyantly meander among whirlpools, I unpredictably stray through topical eddies—I don’t stay put quite long enough before finding a more interesting place to drown. In other words, I like variety. But I have interests that I frequently come back to. These are art and AIDS.
I’ve spent several years studying the Human Immunodeficiency Virus in its historical, socioeconomic, medical, and political senses. I even wrote a master’s thesis on it. It’s pretty nifty how much this bugger reveals about our world. About human nature.
All too often, sadness and death. AIDS is quickly becoming the largest killer of people outside of the West. In some African countries, it has been for the past decade. However, the virus has also revealed humanity’s capacity for compassion, care, and resilience.
In part, My Husband’s Trophy traces the chiseled outlines HIV has etched into our world. It also explores the things we project onto HIV, the ways we visualize it, as well as how we understand those who have it. There are many stories to tell.
My other interest is art. I am the son of a potter mother and a patron father. She sculpts pottery, and he pays the bills. No, that’s not fair of me… More accurately, both of my parents nurtured my love of art by buying me lots of things.
Plasticized PVC lanyard, embroidered floss, oil pastels, and Crayola® moldable foam were my birthday presents. In the absence of friends, I spent a lot of time with these things. I pounded clay with dusty fists while I watched my mother spin vases in her studio. Some of the pounding reverberated up into my head, no doubt.
In college, I gravitated to the marginal, outlandish, macabre, and over-intellectualized ideas of art history courses. I eventually found myself in grad school, where I studied history proper. I started to write for the arts and culture section of one of the university’s dailies, The Badger Herald. Now I’m a reporter.
This blog is my studio, the space where I experiment with ideas. Unlike my mother, who suffered a great deal on my behalf, I have the luxury of an audience who ‘behaves.’
In return, I offer this blog and my authenticity. Sometimes I will refer to people using pseudonyms, and I will note this. I will also try to write insightful things, while not being boring. I will remain truthful, logical, but try to find rich possibilities for expression that entertain me. And hopefully you too.
–Bennet, February 2012