Sunday, December 21, 2008

Picture of the house

The Big Move - Results

2 more days and Scott and I move into the new home. We finished packing 8 PODS with very little help from anyone. He and I will be packing and moving the rest of the house ourselves. A friend of his is lending us his truck so we don't have to spend any money on a rental. It may take a few loads back and forth but we have from the 23rd to the 31st to do it in. Scott's birthday is the 28th and he invited around 150 people to help unload the PODS and enjoy a feast to celebrate the move and the birthday. So far only around 15 people will be able to attend. Most people responded that they were out of town, had guests themselves or were too busy. It's just that time of year. I do not reccomend moving in December!

We still have to clean this place too. We have painted a little, started on cleaning the carpets, doing small repairs and making the place look better than when we moved in. We have to leave the new stove we bought a year ago and some cabinets behind. The landlady sure is coming out ahead on this one. She probably will try to keep the deposit after we move too. She is just a nasty person!

I know most of you who read this blog are fascinated with my entries about my past. Some of it has been very difficult to write about. Especially the past couple of entries and some of the upcoming ones. Like a preview in a movie the next half of my life will uncover more abuse with alcohol and drugs, poverty, depression, suicide, deaths, recovery, success, prejudice, happiness and more. There have been occasions where I thought I should leave some things out. Do I really want everyone to know everything about me? I keep telling myself that the truth needs to be told and not to care what others think about me. I have lived this long and have survived worst things than someone disliking me for who I am.

My Life: Ron went into the office to get his results of the HIV test. In my mind I knew he would come out positive and that I would too once it was my turn. I waited. I waited longer. It seemed like an eternity. I was told that there was a counselor who was with the doctor to discuss the impact of being positive should that be the result. Ron was in there longer than anyone. When he finally came out I could see that he was crying.

Ron was HIV+ and he was my lover. I didn't know what to tell him except that it wasn't a surprise to me. That sounds so cold but that's all I could think of. I didn't have a cure and I had seen what happens to those who were infected. I had read Stephen King's "The Stand" and just like Captain Trips, people were dying. I wanted to be a survivor and hoped that I was immune. Deep down, I knew I wasn't.

It was my turn to see the doctor. I went into the office knowing the answer and came out of the office in less than 5 minutes. I didn't want Ron to be alone for too long and I didn't want people to know my results. While I was in the office the doctor pulled my sheet and told me that I was HIV+ and asked me if I wanted to talk about it. I said no and left. No tears, no emotions, nothing. I wasn't afraid and I wanted to be strong for Ron.

During my late teen years I always told people I wouldn't live to be 35. Here I was at the age of 29 and I was told I was going to die. The whole town I lived in was going to die. It was the apocalypse and I wasn't immune. The best I could do was help raise money for the cure. Teach others that you couldn't get AIDS from using the same utensils or bathrooms from those infected. It was going to be a long and tough road. There was already prejudice against gays and now there was even more. Being gay with HIV was like being a southern black in the 1940's & 50's. People everywhere hated us.

After Ron and I were tested, our relationship began to decline. He was angry and depressed all the time. I was trying to be optimistic. We both continued to drink heavily. Cocaine use was becoming an everyday occurrence. Within a month, Ron and I were through. He would come to the bar and yell at me in front of customers. He'd call me names and treat me like crap. Finally he just moved out of our house and left me. Here I was, alone again...

Love & Peace,


Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Fundraiser & The Test

Just a quick update on what's going on now. The house is coming along and our move in date is December 24, 2008. To see pictures you should visit Scott's blog. We are very busy trying to finish packing up our belongings so it will be a smooth move.

The play I am in is on hiatus for a month so I get a break from that. I don't think I will ever take such a small role again. Just can't stand all the waiting around.

My Life: So here I am 28 years old and the news is all gay people are going to die of AIDS. Some people were afraid to be around those who were infected. They thought you could get AIDS from silverware or using the same towel etc. It seemed that the government had known about what was happening years before it got as bad as it did. Ronald Reagan, in my eyes, was a murderer!

Since I was still working at the bar I decided that we needed to raise money for research and help those with HIV & AIDS. I personally went to each and every business I could walk to and asked for donations of items, money or services. I got people in the bar to donate time to clean homes, cook or do what they could. After getting all of the donations I advertised that the bar was going to hold a benefit night and everyone started selling tickets. Everything I had collected was going to be raffled off in one night and all the monies would go to the local AIDS foundation (which had no money since they were new in town). In the meantime you didn't know who would be next to die.

The night of the benefit was the busiest night the bar had had in years! It was standing room only and thousands of dollars worth of tickets had been sold. I was the MC and it was one of my most proud moments in life. Every penny was given to the AIDS center. Here I was, 29 years old, feeling I was going to die and I wasn't afraid.

I made sure that everyone knew what AIDS was and how it was contracted. I handed out condoms in the bar. I did everything I could. More people were dying. It seemed to be a hopeless cause. None of us knew who would be next and the only way to be tested was to go to San Francisco to find out. The small office in town didn't have the equipment to test us. Then we found out that the big branch from SF was coming to town and offering us all free testing. I asked my partner Ron if he wanted to get tested and he said yes.

I remember telling Ron that I felt it was a waste of time for me because I knew deep down inside that I had the HIV virus, but I would get tested anyway. The line was long that day and no one would know the results for 2 weeks after. You would go in and they would give you a number and then take blood. No names, just numbers. It made you feel like you should be ashamed of who you were and afraid that if someone found out that you were HIV+ or had AIDS that you would me shunned and possibly be beaten and murdered.

It was a long 2 weeks for Ron and I. He was very afraid, like most everyone who took the test. I just kept busy. Business at the bar was failing. Tips were low and I was almost broke. I had no idea what was going to happen to the gay community. Some places went out of business and some owners has died. Gurneville was becoming a gay ghost town. The day arrived to get the test results and their we were back in line. I recall trying to learn to Rap some tune about it while waiting. Rom wasn't amused. Rap was the new big fad then.

People would go into the little office and one of two things would happen. They would either come back out within a minute and be smiling or would stay in there what seemed like eternity and would come out crying. It was obvious who had the virus and who didn't. Ron was called in first...

I really have a lot of work to do and will get back to this later.

Love & Peace,