Wednesday, May 27, 2009

And Love?

"Don't deprive yourself of a love life. Love is part of life and for us, life will still go on."

These were the very and only lines that were trivial that came from my counselor. Bobby Ruiz spoke this with much conviction but I don't know if he meant those lines for me. I guess he did, since he was speaking only to me, at that time.

Serious relationships? I've had less than 10. Pseudo relationships? I've had somewhere within 25? Flings? I'm not good at accounting. A heart? I still got one.

A broken one...

Much like my body; but no one can see it since this thing's asymptomatic and they'll only know if I confirm it to them.

I don't have to tell everybody, sure don't. But what about those who want to get in my life. I can see it now as I've expected the worst: everything that they are promising to be and everything that they wanna share with me would and can plop into ashes as quickly as I can say H-I-V.

I'd be a motherfucking hypocrite if I said I don't want or even need a love life in the long run. But here in the Philippines, if the stigma upon HIV testing scares the living shit out of the misinformed public, the hell it can scare the most stalwart Cassanova, when he finds out that the bitch's ass he's been sniffing is spiked with HIV.

There are guys that I "dated" [dated, meaning that I went out with them, got to know them but did not stick any organ of my body into theirs or vice versa] that seem promising but that's the case: they don't know everything about me and of course, that includes the virus.

I had to see how it works. I had to admit it to one of them, and it was my biggest mistake in doing so because I admitted it to the most promising one. Promising because he's well educated, came from a good family of breeding and stock, had above average culture and seemed to be open minded. The operating word was "seemed" and it is now in the past tense.

Nope it won't cut it. Even for someone who can be the creme de la creme of the Roman Catholic Archipelago of South East Asia, who has studied from a top university, and is expected to know more and be a man for others-- Na uh. The virus beat 'Romeo' out of his wits. HIV 101 is still not available even in the highest bastions of education of the still developing Pearl of the Orient.


This is what they feel. If they had other feelings aside from it, fear would still be the prevailent entity that will drown all hope from people like me who are still people-- that's what we believe to be.

So what do I do now? How do I operate? I can just eat them like hamburgers without telling them, of course, I'd use protection, but it'd be the same thing all over again... just using a condom this time.

Oh yeah, I forgot. This could be my penance. It can't be all sunshine, unicorns and pink elephants in lemonade after knowing you're positive.

Alright, security blanket is off. I've to set my mind on how to operate. Heart? I've to set it aside, coz the moment someone does some math and decides to tell me he loves me, without knowing that I'm positive, it automatically means 'fuck you' to me. And like the vampires in the Camarilla do, we'll just toy around the little son of a bitch and decide if we give him the dick, the finger or the most painful coup de grace: become like us.

Cmon, you wouldn't love me if you wouldn't accept and understand everything about me, right?

So the next time I really love someone, I'll tell him. But not right away. I'll tell him when he thinks he's the perfect man for the job. And I do hope he holds on to his balls.

As for now, I think I'll go get myself a juicy hamburger tomorrow, eh? After all, my hamburgers don't have to know.


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Letter From a Far Away Friend

I'm going to paste a friend's letter here. I just received it today and it really warms my heart, thought short, it's precise.

We've never met in person. I talked to the guy online and he is one of those rare people who makes sense and keeps the internet worthwhile.

Statistically, I've had more nasty and carnal experiences from eye balls. I mean, in a country that nurtures a culture that frowns upon my people, we have no choice but to interact in the shadows of online chat and profiles. With this being the case, it is difficult to find real and honest to goodness people. There is a larger chunk of the online gay population in the Philippines that are just there to screw you and forget what happened. What about those who are just new in knowing that they're gay? Most of their hopes and dreams will be shattered simply just by meeting with the wrong people who are everwhere.

With this thought in mind, I will timidly celebrate this short letter I have received from a good soul that is immune to the limits of boundaries and distance.

And the letter goes:

Happy Early Birthday 


I believe that life has significant things in store for you. You have the warm heart of an activist determined that the misconceptions perpetuated for generations do not tarnish the spirit of those vulnerable enough to believe without question. Your strength in that realm suggests that in addition to fueling your own passion, you have the capability to touch the lives of others. And all you really have to do, in order to do so, is to live your beautiful life as true to yourself as you possibly can. 

Take a look at the cute boy in that profile picture of yours. The warmth radiates from your eyes into open hearts. 

I tell myself those words when my mind wants to drifts towards fatalistic thoughts surrounding the brain tumor a doctor discovered I had last year. Kinda Inoperable. Possibly Debilitating. But I don't have enough energy to devote to focusing on that. So I focus on maintaining my health & happiness, as best I can (even those sometimes I don't). Therein lies my peace. 

Anytime you need a friendly word my brotha. I am here. 

With an open heart. 

And as the letter ends, I take a moment to smile and thank the stars that I simply am and simply still.

It's not all that bad.

Usually I have a moment of tears a few days before my birthday. This year, there is none. Why? I do not know. The morale I have can be as neutral as it could be at the moment. My first birthday knowing that I am positive-- it doesn't really strike me much as I have expected. A bonus year, perhaps? There are things that I have to do, that's why He allows me to live still.

I have to find out what must be done and I have to do it as soon as possible, I guess.

I'm starting slowly... or the elders say I've started quite quickly.

Doesn't matter. I've started.


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Meeting an Old Friend Anew

I had to drink an entire glass of water before typing this down and believe me, the glasses used for water drinking in this house are BIG.
We really don't like going back to the fridge to pour more water so we got them big designer plastic tumbler types in the kitchen.
Yesterday was yet another trip to RITM, and while waiting for the nurse, we stayed at the isolated ward at the end of the quadrangle. Of course, those waiting for nurse Anna would always go straight there and funk around with the other possies and exchange memoires and anecdotes of their lives.
I discovered something new about that room yesterday. It felt like it was going to be familiar to the "THIS IS YOUR LIFE" show wherein people who have come and gone in your life will ust walk through the door and surprise you; there was a guy whom I dated way back in 2006 who busted through the entrance with his partner.
How did it go?
At first he was ignoring me. Maybe he was finding out a way to explain why he was there in that same room as me. Maybe he was a bit ashamed? Maybe he was too preoccupied about how to digest the entire endeavor of being possitive... or maybe he just didn't see me at all. Maybe the lighting on top of me wasn't very flattering, and I should have moved near the window where the sun rays could hit me for that, oh so sought for prom queen glow.
Anyway, within a few moments after bickering about the unfair lighting, his eyes zero in on me and I utter the name which only I knew I called him. A nick name made from his first given name that sounded very Filipino.
There it was. That same moreno chinito smile that added to the happiness of Happy Feet, the movie that we watched in our first and last date in 2006. It was a sight for sore eyes.
We started talking immediately like it was no one's business. With all due respect, however, to his partner, I was formally introduced and I made it clear that we were just catching up with the good old times. His partner, gracefully, reciprocates accordingly.
So how long have you been this way? Who do you think gave it to you? Really? Needle in a haystack too?! So how did it feel at first? Who in your family knows? What did he think when you found out you were?
The Q&A portion just kept rolling and the entire room was busy with pusits interacting with each other. Jokingly, in drama, seriously, even with business, stories, Aling Dionisia and Manny Pacquiao topics, shopping, family or just simply things and topics to pass the time it was as human as it can be.
Hey, we still are. We're just... sun kissed (?) hahahahaha~
Anyway, I had to bounce to Alabang Town Centre for a moment because my sister in law who lives in Alabang Village, who happens to be a doctor, wanted to see me and check on my condition.
My sister in law has always been fond of me for my wise cracks and my gab and the way I was just so in synch and yet so different from the rough yet adorable boys in our clan. All the boys in our clan, even though we look profound, are green jokers and trash talkers at heart. As grounded as can be and as 'kenkoy' as we could get, all the boys, including me, have that thing going on.
Seeing that my skin is still in great condition and pretty much hasn't changed, except that my hair grew longer, she felt great as I explained to her my condition and that I was in good hands under the care of the folks in RITM.
We chatted for about an hour and a half in Coffee Bean at ATC. On my way back to the car park, there was this  tall (taller than me, I'm 5'8 he was around 5'10 Eeeek~) and hot dude (I think he was a kid, and I was right, he was 23) went up to me and gave me his card, asking if I could get in touch with him soon for a movie...
(Gusto kaya nya magkasakit? hahahahaha~)
Shit, diba? I love Alabang! I'm gonna buy a place to live in na there.
Anyway, after parking the car at RITM and walking towards the unit in the quadrangle, I saw a group of fruities accross and one of them was familiar.
A very powerful flashback rushed in my mind.
Last December, our fag hag made a request for her birthday, as she knew she was about to leave for USA at the turn of the year. Her very words were, quoted in Filipino:
"Guys, magpa check na kayo, madami na ang possitive na umiikot ikot dito sa Manila at madami din sa kanila ay hindi alam na ganun ang kanilang kalagayan."
<"Guys, have yourself checked, a lot are already possitive and prancing around Manila, a lot of them not knowing that they are and they're spreading it around.">
And with her request, our collective feelings were all of mixed aspects and polairites. There was fear, there was confusion, there was sloth, there was pride, there was even wrath at the fact that why did such a virus existed.
And there I stood accross the quadrangle. One of the same people who was with me that night, during December 2008, heeding the message of our fag hag elder, was standing right before me, accross the garden. We ran to each other accross the garden and hugged. He is a brother of mine now and even the company he was with were all familiar to me. I even knew their names and they were surprised that I had such a good memory to know all their names. I was shocked myself because I'm not good with names.
It was a moment that I would keep in my heart forever.
I knew in my heart, I was not alone and true enough, no man is an island.
But now, meeting him again there, even my ex date and noticing something about everyone in that place; everyone has this quality of maturity that cannot be bested by most. True, the quality of gold increases as it passes through the most searing fires.
I feel less lonely now. Focus was already strong yet stronger it grows. My place, I now know. My direction, I now smile at with open arms.
It's like meeting again in aother place and another time, far from the world we once knew as that of the normies.
We're vampires na ba? Wizards? Nah... sun kissed maybe? hahahaha