Sunday, September 20, 2009
Saturday, September 19, 2009
It has been a while since I have returned to Baguio.
Being assigned to accomplish a task in the province by my mother, I was asked to travel on my own, once again, to a city to the far north of Metro Manila. A city where the scent of pines is forced to marry with the billowing clouds of automobile exhaust. A city I would frequent years ago due to the nature of my work; this city could actually stand on its own, without bothering if it would have been compared to the Philippines' NCR itself. It could just simply stand there and operate coldly like it's climate.
The chill was a fantastic yet familiar feeling to my once easily irritated skin.
My trips coming up to Baguio, prior knowing I was positive, saw me being easily growing fungus on my dermis. This trip I recently had saw no complications in my dermis at all. True enough, my immune system has gained ground and it shows beautifully.
Having dispatched the assignments that I was tasked to do, I met a new friend whom, in my sneaky way of leading the conversation about the issue of HIV in the Philippines, without letting them have a hint that I'm one of them, informed me that the virus has already rooted itself in the City of Pines and there have been 19 recently reported cases therein. These citizens of the cold city found out about it not in Baguio itself but at the beach zone that was kissing the mountain's feet: La Union.
Gathering the information, I concluded that the stigma, too, is imminent and that there are probably much more infected people that are not aware and are probably spreading the virus in a way that it would soon be as massive as the fog that sweeps Baguio's hills.
With the conversation being swept here and there afterwards, we touched down on the topic of vivid dreams and right there and then, I remembered one of my closest friend's heads up about someone who does more than just fortune telling. I thought of verbs or adjectives for it: scrying, clairvoyance, future sight but he told me that she presents the most precise possibilities in point blank verbs that are easiest to understand and if not, would be further clarified by discussion. Confidentiality, of course, was part of the bargain as it cost five hundred bukols.
And oh did a lump fall on my head because I remembered this at the last evening of my trip. I was glad the oracle (with all due respect, I'd call her that instead of a fortune teller) for believe she is more than just a mere fortune teller with the way she executes her craft. She responded aptly, probably in both our convenience. Was she THAT clairvoyant?
Initially meeting her, we were interrupted by her younger brother who turned out to be a former ally/nemesis in one of my on line gaming campaigns when we set a record in Philippine Online Gaming History nearly three years ago.
A small world indeed and quite smaller, in a cramped way, when she shut the door of her reading chamber once she began to perform her craft.
She spoke of me in a way I would never have admitted myself. She read through me and put me in insigna that I may finally put my finger on tangible verbs to the storms and rainbows that abound within my viral cytoplasm. Shortly put, she told of things I knew but was never able to say and acknowledge and therefore was never able to process.
She saw how anger was intricately woven into my system and that it has been the drive that keeps me fighting and has also been the culprit that makes me fall-- all these in a case to case basis. Change? Difficult, for it is me. A trait, a characteristic and possibly a large part of my persona that makes me who I am. surprisingly to most, it would not be evident at first for it is subdued by my (as she read) intellect and somehow it has always been my saving grace in drawing the line between me and an angry barbarian who's running after someone who stole his club.
An intriguing prologue, it was. Though, of course, I was after something: answers, definitely. I openly told her about my situation and one of my questions was pinned down at how long I have to live. The answer was ridiculous:
"You'll have lived way much more than you have expected, and probably have enough time to spare..."
A cure is coming perhaps? Or is it the fight in me that would keep me running the extra mile in joining the Energizer Bunny and it's endless drumming.
I was born free, baptized Roman Catholic without my consent (as if I could say no back then) and finally ended up agnostic at the age of reason. And thus, for guidance, I seek it from our Creator's creation, this woman; a product of our Creator. So you can't vex me on that.
Eager? Anxious? What am I feeling now for the things I've learned about myself with her guidance? More of eager. Eager because, ultimately, my anger or wrath will soon be slated with results that will exact not vengeance but justice.
Ri~ght. It wasn't vengeance that need be sought. It was justice. And it happens to come in the right time and place so long as I keep my end of the bargain which is suffer, work and drama for it. Sounds fair? Actually, surprisngly to me, yes. I've come to the point where I don't really need a one up or more on someone to make myself feel satisfied for the day. Just work it and I'll be working it.
I'm back in Manila now. I'll miss those 10 hour long sleeps that can actually have further 30 to 45 minute snoozes. These slumbers begin and end with the same and non moving position. If sleep is a blessing, sleep in the City of Pines (especially in my house there) is a bona fide miracle! And it's not gonna happen again to me till I get back up there. *GROAN*
I've gained further information about the virus and how it has affected Baguio. I've gained new friends, including the oracle. And ultimately, a blessing in disguise, I'm spiritually and clairvoyantly assured.
Anger going away? Nope, not at all. I wouldn't be stubbornly getting well if not for that drive. Even if she called it a double edged sword, I'd rather have that than nothing.
Should I be expecting something? Oh, not at all. Expectation is the road to ruin, therefore, what I'm going to do is put all of what I've heard at the back of my head, continue what I'm doing and if anything simliar to what I've learned happens, then... I've to see her again.
Friday, September 11, 2009
That was my very first CD4 count when I found out I was positive.
How could it have been that low when my body was as strong as a horse? Though I recall having minor itches but that's all.
Like it's said about HIV, the virus feeds on your CD4 cells, therefore weakening your immune system. At 238, I was 39 points away to becoming a person with AIDS.
I couldn't ask back then because the shock was already too much. It made me go out to the quadrangle of RITM, look up to the sky and wait for an answer to pop out of the clouds. I was helpless. No sound logic could make me cope at all during those moments.
I just simply had shut up and breathe till I calmed down, back then, because more than 6 months ago, the jargons and terms used by people who have it and the people who deal with them were barely assimilated into my vocabulary.
I calmed down because of what they said: "Don't worry, it's time you took the ARV."
ARV. Anti retro viral drugs. It's not a total cure, but in a nut shell, it works like an anti biotic which you have to take on time, religiously, if you want to keep the viral load in your body down and your CD4 cells to go up. The problem here is, anti biotics kill the virus that makes you sick, ARV cannot penetrate through to your marrow to kill the dormant viri so all it could do is kill the ones that are prancing around like faeiries on Jaeger bombs in your blood, hence it's not a total cure. If you fail to be consistent with the ARV, the virus will develop an immunity to the drug and you will have to go try another cocktail combination again.
Think it's easy adjusting to a very toxic drug?
The trial periods for ARV combinations are not easy; there are chances wherein you could get fevers, burning sensations, rashes and other complications that I didn't want to hear about. I got hit with the fever and I almost passed out in a mall during that time. My sweat was cold, I was clammy all over, it felt like the animus was leaving my body and it was getting dark and grey at the blurry sides of my vision.
I couldn't take paracetamol anymore. There are medicines that normal people take that you can no longer take when you are on ARV. At that point, I was told by the doctor that I should take fluids, rest, fruits, vitamins and PRAYERS.
Wow, prayers. Indeed, that was hell. But the operating word is now 'was'.
The period's long over now with my body fully adjusted to the Lamivudine/Zidovudine and Nevirapine combination (my ARV cocktail). My CD4 count has risen to 380 and my immune system is up again. The itches on my skin are gone and I just have to continue taking my meds on time as if it were a legally signed contract with the Grim Reaper.
But why 238 righ away? How come so low?
They estimated that I would have had it 4 to 5 years already being that my CD4 count was already that low.
4 to 5 years? That means... How many did I infect without me knowing?
I recall within those 4 to 5 years, my wild side would've made Steve-O and the cast of MTV's Wild Boys and Jack Ass look like a bunch of Carmelite Nuns.
No doubt about it, I could have infected someone already. So what do I do? I didn't mean it back then. Really.
Right now, what I'm focusing on is fortifying myself from within and working my way outward. Seriously, theatrics aside, this is just me. I'm not the hottest piece of gay meat in Metro Manila (but I'm not the ugliest for sure!) so it made me think (as the competitive sports enhusiast that I am): someone out there could be planting more than I am without them knowing it.
They could just be out there screwing someone silly and planting doom. Jeez, why the sudden sprite of concern going on?
Closing my eyes before I wrote this, I thought to myself: that middle aged man from Ayala Heights wasn't joking-- we are destroying ourselves without us knowing it. And true enough or possibly, knock on wood, even worse, mysterious deaths will come sweeping the country within 5 to 10 years.
I think he was pertaining to those who have it, are spreading it around, and won't check at all and will only find out when it's too late. The pattern could be the same with those whom they have infected. It'll just be like a domino of a grand necrological scale.
And cmon, you don't have to be hot or cute to get laid. You just need to be horny! It's that simple! Just turn out the lights and you can let your dreams and fantasies get of!
Speaking of dreams, I've dreamt of this, I think my dreams had somethign to do with this. I can't really put it vividly here because some of my friends know my dreams as I've shared it with them because I have had dreams that are so vivid and I actually remember them still. It just involved a lot of people dying around me.
All this thinking plus the multiplication table that they have in figures about infectoids infecting others and so on and so forth. We're talking auto genocide like they said.
5 years: that's how long I've had it at most.
5 years: that's how long it'll take for those who do not know to die.
So for how long?
How long before the entire country realizes that it's really here in front of our faces? And by realizing, how long before they accept? And by accepting, how long will it take before they act upon it?
Healing myself, I sit here in front of the screen, with but pieces of a bleak future for a lot of people, in my head.
I am lucky that I know and I am able to buy myself time with this drug.
What about the others who don't know?
For how long?
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
An emotional review and a reminder of direction.
A few days ago I was reminded by a very close confidant of the fall that happened more than five years ago.
This fall resulted into making me a total oposite of who I was back then.
It began when our eyes met June 10, 2004 at NUVO Greenbelt 2. I was wearing a red shirt, 3/4 pants and Addidas sneakers while he was wearing his black collared shirt, slacks and leather shoes. From that point on, I can still remember every detail at the back of my head and masochistically savor every nightmare it gave me after he broke up with me months after.
I did things that I was shocked to do because I knew I'd never do them. I did it for him. For us. I would give him the world and more. For us.
But that's what I thought.
Fast forward 2 years after, it was a long battle within. It was epic as I thought I had given a ghostly close to it 2 years after but then it came that reality would intervene once more to reveal that his decision to leave me was not just because he couldn't go on with the distance, it was someone else and it was all summing up into the flames in my eyes as we were on a car chase in Roxas boulevard. A car chase that meant 'STOP!' when all that my already dying heart screamed 'GO!'
I remembered vividly. Like a dying animal being skinned for commerce, I lay there defeated, with my eyes open to see and remember my predators, and promising myself that the world I wanted to give him was less than the amount my heart needed for it to be whole once more.
Something about me didn't let me close my eyes. It made me stare and look at every detail that brought me the pain. Even the person who introduced the new guy to him is a target in my thoughts: someday, I'm going to drive something blunt and jagged, drenched in my own venomous blood, down his chest and let him feel a tiny fraction of the pain that has taken a life of its own in me. I see this person, still old, desperate, honeysuckled for his money and his drugs and incredibly still facially challenged. He'll die soon, and it'd be an utter disappointment if not by my hand.
All these are but tiny droplets of a cosmic molotov cocktail that is carefully sealed and saved for some special individuals. But as for now, I am recovering very well . Where my wrath knows no bounds, my body does not. I have incurred the virus as prize for dragging down countless hopefuls to the level of being bitter and jaded simply because the world was not enough for my pain.
Like I have pondered earlier, this virus is a double edged blade which I can use to protect and destroy. In the new chapter of my life, I have already thought of a lighter side wherein I will find those who need help and somehow give them the courage to face the truth and live with the virus-- to experience, first hand, the glory of survival. That's not far from now. However I've unfinished business. I have to give in return, to him and to those who are deserving, a slice of the abyssal endeavor that has reminded me of the necessity of wrath and the alternative use for fire. Him, five years ago and that God damned old faggot bastard who introduced the other.
And now, I stand somewhat on the road to recovery and I am reminded by a friend's dramatic, syrup laden slag of a heart ache and another friend's amusing plight into a choking tunnel of love, that's gotten him all wishy washy; these remind me of the principal root of all this Hell fire. Him. Them. They will all pay.
But while I'm fessing up for the creme de la creme a la coup de grace: kudos as my CD 4 count has gone up by 142 points from a scary 238 to a luscious 380! I'll have to put on this sweet little venetian mask that says: "I'm a peaceful little sheep of Little Bo Peep and I couldn't even hurt a fly if I try~".
I lo~ve working inconspicuously. It's so double o sevenly sexy!!!
Calling me deranged?
It's a hobby.
And the good news?
And the better news?
I'm going to deliver.
And the best news?
*giggle even more*
*SNAPS FOR EVERYONE* (except for those two dog shit pricks)~