Essay 3, Option 2
Pearl Cleage’s novel, What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day gives a glimpse into the life of Ava Johnson, a recently diagnosed, HIV positive, middle-aged woman. Ava begins the novel as a single woman in transition from a fast paced, close-minded life in Atlanta, to a more open-minded, life of opportunity in San Francisco. The transition brings her to her hometown of Idlewild, Michigan to stay with her sister for the summer. Ava’s transition ends up evolving into a permanent new life for her. The decision to stay in Idlewild, her relationship with Eddie, and all the decisions that Ava makes after being diagnosed with the HIV virus are based around what she sees appropriate for
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But once Imani was in the house Ava developed a bond with her and began to realize what she might never be able to have because of her disease. She even felt as thought she was part of their family and she knew that her chances of having a healthy HIV negative baby were slim. Having Imani there was a way for her to fill a hole that otherwise never be able to be filled in her life. Ava’s relationship with Eddie was another factor that led her to remain in Idlewild instead of continuing on to San Francisco. At first they began as old friends that quickly became comfortable with each other’s company. It wasn’t long before Ava began to realize her physical attraction to Eddie. “I’m attracted to Eddie,” she came to realize, “Not curious about. Not affectionate toward. Attracted to, as in sexually” (108). She would imagine herself being sexual with him, but always with her disease in the back of her head. HIV played a major role in their relationship even before Eddie knew that Ava had it. Cleage makes it clear that Ava is and always has been a sexual person. She also shows that carelessness with sexuality was how Ava was in the position she was. Had Ava not been HIV positive, Eddie may have been just another male that she slept with as the, “quickest way to finish the evening without hurting anyone’s feelings” (47).
It is important that Ava finally agreed to marry Eddie because it shows how the