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PACK UP THE MOON AND DISMANTLE THE SUN


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"I'VE GOT HIV. Found out yesterday."

That's the message that greeted me when I opened my Facebook inbox last night.

It was from a friend, a close friend, someone I've been fueding with for some time. I'd even deleted his number. Ray - we'll call him Ray - started seeing this guy a few months ago. His first relationship in nearly three years. Bless, he's only 21. Just 21. It turns out the boyfriend tested positive this week, and they suddenly remembered that one time the condom split. And then Ray tested positive yesterday. Now, that's cruel, isn't it? That's just plain nasty. I could rationalise it if they'd been fucking bareback. That would make sense. "If only you'd used protection," I could say. But they did use protection, and it didn't work, 'cos it ain't 100% safe. And they were unlucky. "It's not a death sentence," I told him. "You know that don't you?" What a f**king stupid, cliched thing to say. Of course he knows it. It doesn't help. How could I really know what he's thinking, feeling? I don't. But what can I say? What do you say? I've never known anyone get the virus. It's always been something that's happened to other people. And Ray's right down the bottom of the list of people who I'd thought could get it. Ray? Nah, not Ray. He's smart, he's got his life together. He's not one of the many crazy homothugs I know. He's smart. He's safe. Except... that one time, when he wasn't safe.

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Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone, Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone, Silence the pianos and with muffled drum Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come. Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead, Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves, Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves. He was my North, my South, my East and West, My working week and my Sunday rest, My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song; I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong. The stars are not wanted now: put out every one; Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun; Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood. For nothing now can ever come to any good. W. H. Auden

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(Pictures: "Somebody lives with HIV. Nobody wants to play with him. Be like nobody." Mexico City Comission for Human Rights campaign.)

9 comments:

corvedacosta said...

I would think your life suddenly pauses in front of you and everything seems pointless. You begin to shake I guess and become nervous, hands and feet begin to sweat. I cannot imagine what the person goes through. For the individual to have opened up to you about it means there is hope. Today living with the virus is never a death sentence. More and more people are living healthy lives that in no way should encourage humans to give one chance of getting the virus. Stay protected and be pure by abstaining. It's a hard message to sell today! I was shocked reading that first line Boi.

Trojan Gayle said...

Hi Gargon,

I read post and I have been in a similar situation and i feel for you.

My good friend caught the virus 8 years ago. I was with him when he told me. I remember we just cried and cried. I was scared for him and I was scared for me. As like you, he was the last person you would ever expect to catch the virus and yet he did. There was nothing I felt I could say to take away the pain he must of been feeling. I always thought i could help my friends but here I was without anything I could say. So aIl i did was to hold him and cry.

Life for him since then has changed forever, nothing really has ever been the same. He has had scares when he was really ill and then there was the side effects of the medication he now has to take.

Our friendship has also gone from good to bad and now its back to good. He is in a much happier place and in a long term relationship.

Yes HIV is not a death sentence, but it is a death sentence to life as you once knew it. You can survive and live a good life, but it will never be the same.

You can never be too careful and even then that may not be enough.

Great post as always...

Eric Arvin said...

Heartrending...

thegayte-keeper said...

Every time I hear of another gay man getting this disease it makes me feel so sad...I surely hopes he has a STRONG network of persons that can be there for him...

Bend said...

Thanks Garcon for this... it s thoughtful remider. Altogether with the Auden I find this post very moving.
And I wish your friend well.

Sanya in España said...

Oh God. I think I know this person, too. I hope you're all OK.

Forbidden Light said...

There are no right answers...there's no remedy...

Just be available. Be available even when he pushes you away. Be available when the world does the same to him. Hopefully, he'll find consolation in your unconditional company...

I'm so sorry to hear this...

taylorSiluwé.com ..... said...

Very moving. Auden's poem takes me back to very sad time in my life, when I too thought nothing would come to any good.

Love Auden, 'cause he helped me through ....

Ricksta1987 said...

OK so it's nearly been a year since I was diagnosed and it's been the hardest 10 months of my life. I've been up and down throughout.

Ka-os of all people knows that I pushed people away. Why I pushed people away I don't know, cos they were the people that I needed most in my life for support.

I'm going on meds soon and it's something that I really didn't want to happen. I feel I'm too young for meds and the side effects, but I know it needs to be done.

Life for me has changed a lot. But the things that I'm doing to live a good life are things that people should be doing anyway whether HIV positive or not.

Thank you to those of you who have wished me well on here. It's been hard, but I think I can now see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I've made huge mistakes in the past year and I do hope it's not too late to make things right again.

 
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