On Tuesday morning I switched on the local news headlines to check the weather before leaving for the day. Is a winter coat or light jacket kind of day? The moving captions under the daily forecast icons went by quickly. I caught the tail-end of a passing caption as I looked up from zipping up my boots. The last part of the caption read has confirmed he has had H.I.V for four years.
As drove to work, it played on my mind. Who disclosed this diagnosis? An actor? An athlete? A musician? I knew it had to be someone in the public eye. I listened to the radio, but there was no mention of this passing caption. I would not find out who this person was until later that day through my friend at work. The star of what was one of my favourite shows, Two-and-a-half Men. Charlie Sheen.
Charlie has spent many an evening in our living room. As we laughed so hard our sides hurt. His comic timing with his co-stars on Two-and-a-Half Men was nothing short of genius. Now this is great writing, I would think. I stopped watching after Charlie’s big dispute with the network. I couldn’t imagine anyone else in that role. Don’t ask me how Ashton Kutcher is doing. I haven’t a clue.
I wasn’t going to write another post this week, but I realized my initial reaction was very judgemental. “Well. Is it any wonder?” I told Andy. “This is Charlie Sheen we are talking about. The guy’s past-time is sleeping with prostitutes and porn stars. If you live that kind of lifestyle, what can you expect?” Then I couldn’t mask it. My sadness. This is the guy that made me laugh each evening, at times after I had a bad day. This is the guy I once described to Andy as, “cracking open a bottle of red and talking crap all night.” This is the guy who took every joke in stride during his celebrity roasting. I love his humour and can appreciate his ability to make me laugh like that.
Yes, he led a questionable lifestyle to many. Drugs, promiscuity and the like, but no matter how rich and famous he may be, he is just a man. A man who suffered from years enveloped in his addictions. I can only imagine his emotions when receiving such a diagnosis from his doctor. Did he regret? Did he reflect? Did he think back to that night when he was so high, he didn’t remember what careless acts he engaged in?
Luckily for him he does have a fat bank account, getting access to the latest in drugs and supplements to keep Charlie alive. In his latest interview he said “that if there is anybody who will find a cure out there it’s me.” It does look like something positive (no pun intended. Charlie would appreciate my humour) may come out of this if he is determined to make this statement a reality. Maybe he will use his celebrity status to help to educate others about this disease and help those individuals who can’t afford the medication to stay healthy.
Best wishes, Charlie boy. I truly hope you’re winning this battle because this will be the fight of your life. I will say a prayer for you tonight.