Thursday, October 29, 2009


I feel like it is every gay boy's rite of passage to, at some point, believe they are dying of AIDS. My coming of age came last week when I ran around campus thinking I was dying and said goodbye to everybody I've ever met.

On Monday morning, I brush my teeth, look in the mirror, and wonder if I should take my mom's advice and get a nose job. As I spit out the toothpaste, I find that there is blood in it. My first impulse is to try and remember if I bit my tongue in my sleep or if I tried to bite a hot guy's ass last night. I call my friend Tall Brunette J.Crew and this is how the conversation goes.

Me: Good morning. I am dying of AIDS.
Her: It's 2pm. Why do you say that.
Me: I am bleeding from my gums.
Her: Are you brushing too hard?
Me: No, it's aids.
Her: Or it's gingivitis...
Me: That is disgusting.

Later in the afternoon, I sit on my bed and use every bit of emotional strength I have to regret those two random hookups. Those freaks probably had AIDS and now I am dying.

The next day, I wake up with an intense fever, a sore throat, and a strange feeling of nausea everytime somebody mentions vaginas (the last symptom is not abnormal). But this occurrence, along with the bleeding gums is too much of a coincidence for me.

I walk to the health center and go straight to the front desk, demanding to know where the HIV testing lab is. Every head in the room immediately turns to look at me. Obviously, they've never met a gay whore before. I smile and wave. No pictures please.

Inside the lab, a 20-something African immigrant tells me he is going to administer my test. At least, I think that is what he said. I cannot understand a single word coming out of his mouth. I am not optimistic about this situation and I try to remember where the nearest emergency exit is. But before I know it, he is walking towards me with a needle and crazy eyes. I try to turn my head slightly so I can read the name embroidered on his breast pocket just in case a lawsuit become necessary in the future.

When I come back the next day, I do not need to ask the front desk where the HIV testing lab is. I proceed there on my own. People watching me assume I am a regular at the HIV testing lab. Obviously, they've never met a gay whore before. I smile and wave. I will be signing autographs later.

There is a new doctor in the lab. He motions for me to come in. He tells me to close the door. Which I immediately interpret as an indication that I am positive and dying. He tells me I am HIV negative. Which I immediately interpret as an indication that I am negative, but still dead on the inside.

As I leave the health center, I get a text from Tall Blonde Alcoholic, "Did you go to the health center yet? Are you alright?"

I suppose for the time being, I am.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Salisbury, A Conclusion

After he had cried quietly in our arms for a few minutes, I stood him up to look into his brown eyes and see if he was ok. Average-Brown Quarter Asian motioned for us to all go back inside. I had been looking for the perfect chance to get rid of her so that Tall Blonde Alcoholic and I could get naked and make love on a bed of acorns so I told her that she should go in because it was getting cold and the people inside probably missed her. I would stay with Tall Blonde Alcoholic until his tears dried.

I wasn't wearing shoes since Tall Blonde Alcoholic had dragged me outside so abruptly. I motioned for him to follow me, all the while the acorns and the twigs on the ground poked at my feet, forcing me to tip-toe carefully across the backyard.

As we made our way towards a dark and secluded corner where our secrets could be contained, each painful step felt like an indication to turn around. He would be the first person I have ever told. (Keep in mind, I never told the ex-roommate who I've been screwing for about a year. In that situation, my homosexuality was just implied.) I never pictured doing this in Salisbury. I never imagined doing it just to make somebody else feel better. When we got to a good spot, Tall Blonde Alcoholic was pacing nervously. I told him to sit down, not knowing fully what I was going to do or say.

I sat on the ground, my back supported by the tire of an old truck. He sat next to me and started crying again. He kept repeating, "I can't believe I just did that. I feel like I'm going to throw up." I looked at him and realized I would do anything for him. And I really didn't want him to throw up on me. So amid the chaos, with a voice that was shaking from the cold and the nerves, I managed to mutter, "Hey, it's fine. I am gay too."

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Over the River and Through the Hood

On Sunday night I am feeling particularly desperate and lonely. And the question of how far I will go for love is answered, literally.

Average Blonde Creepy found me on Manhunt a few weeks ago and had been aggressively courting me with the same message every few days for the past month. Always, "what sup," as the subject line and nothing in the main message. I was extremely concerned about why he placed the "s" where he did, when simply moving it to the other side of the space would make his subject line grammatically correct (assuming the use of an apostrophe). I also wondered if this man was really only capable of that one thought, "what sup," and if this was the true mark of a criminally insane man.

But Sundays are made for people like me to take their chances with the criminally insane. So when Average Blonde Creepy messaged, "what sup," I responded, "no tmuch."

Without wasting any time on the pretense that he cares about my personality, he asked if I wanted to "come over to his place." I responded by asking, "what would we do?" like there was any question. He said, "we can chill in my hot tub," and I said that was fine, "as long as I can get back in time for Desperate Housewives."

When I asked where he lived, he said, "_________." And though his location was annoyingly distant, I thought about how far Moses walked to get where he needed to go / I had nothing better to do. So I hopped onto the university shuttle to _______ ____ Station and took the _____ line to Chinatown where I switched onto the ______ line to ________ __ Station. In the process, crossing a river, entering another state, and finally arriving at what seemed like the set of The Wire.

So as I tried to position my backpack in a way that would shield me from stray bullets and judgmental eyes, I wandered around feeling shocked that I had agreed to do this, hopeful that this man would be decent looking/smelling/weighing, and confused as to which direction was north. But deep down, I had already regretted coming to this place at the end of the world and concluded that this must be the beginning of the end for me.

As soon as I got through the door of his house, this __ year old of a man immediately began showing me all of the things that make him important and relevant like the security piece that gets him into the White House and his autographed copy of "The Audacity of Hope Yadda Yadda Vom." He also talked about all the homework he had to do and how much he disliked math.

A rare glimmer of literacy emerged when he mentioned having to read a chapter from The Scarlet Letter. And though I had read the book my freshman year of high school, and though this guy was __ years old, I respected him for a brief, shining moment. That is, until he suddenly pushed me onto his bed and began furiously making out with me. And while I didn't stop him, I wondered deeply how we went from discussing the important themes of a Nathaniel Hawthorne novel to sucking face with my jeans around my ankles.

And as he continued to press his face against mine, I realized that no matter how far I traveled, I would still be starved for love. And pretty soon, starved for oxygen.