Want to know how I cope with troublesome things? I just ignore them. Not the best way to cope with my problems, but it’s worked for me the past twenty-two years of my life.
For a while, I thought disclosing my status to people I care about (and trust) would help me deal with being positive because it’s like a constant feedback loop of emotions because they start crying and then I get upset and then more crying and then OH MY GOD SO MANY FEELINGS AND EMOTIONS.
But then I ran out of people I felt comfortable disclosing to.
So I ignored it for the most part.
Well, I’m not being completely delusional and pretending I don’t have HIV. I go see my doctor. I take my meds every night. It’s become a part of my daily routine. But beyond the snap of the pill box, the quick toss in my mouth and the gulps of water, I don’t think about it.
Then I come across something like this.
“Odd Blood: Serodiscordancy, or, Life With an HIV-Positive Partner.” Hauntingly well-written and completely gut-wrenching because hell, this my life. Or rather, could be my life. Except for the fact that I’m single. And don’t live in Texas (THANK YOU JESUS).
Reading this article stirred up all the emotions that I try so carefully not to rile up. Because my love life, or lack thereof, is a subject that I most studiously avoid thinking about. Because what’s the point?
But I’m 22 year old and I’ve never had a boyfriend. I’ve been kissed, I’ve kissed. I’ve been fucked, I’ve fucked. But I’ve never had any relationship beyond the “Hey, what’s up? I’m horny” texts and messages of the gay hookup world.
Yes, I know it’s my fault because I never really put myself out there, and I’m painfully shy when it comes to meeting and talking to people I find attractive. Also, I’m pretty sure I have no idea how to flirt. I can’t do small-talk because that’s just awkward, and I’m the type of person who lives life trying to avoid awkward situations as best as I can.
And now the HIV complicates things. Because now the potential dating pool has been stratified further into HIV-positive and HIV-negative, in addition to the completely-unattainable’s and okay-maybe-there’s-a-chance’s and the HELL-NO’s.
If I was to go on a date with an HIV-negative person, well, that first conversation would be AWKWARD. Because the first thing I’ll need to mention is my status (and how the hell do I bring THAT up?) And the other guy could very likely have a negative reaction because let’s face it, there remains a ton of stigma against those who are HIV-positive and a lot of ignorance about HIV in general.
I’m being silly. There are more important things to worry about.
But one of my biggest fears is that I end up being one of those old, lonely gay men who never found that person.
And that would really suck balls.