I wish they would shut up. Of course, it’s a death sentence. My life is over. I deserve this and I deserve to die with it.
“The medication is very effective now and you could be undetectable within a year if you take your medication as required and live a healthy lifestyle.”
How quickly can I get out of here? When will this end? I do not need to hear all this again. I know all the crap they have to say and none of it matters. I pissed my life away and now I am going to go out with a bang... like all my favorite rock stars.
“You will need to start your medications as soon as possible. Please take these pamphlets. It will provide you with the information you will need for counseling services, drug treatment programs, what to expect with medications, and other resources that you may find beneficial. The hospital has peer support groups if you need that also.”
Hang out with other people with HIV? Yeah, right. Fuck this. I just need to get out of here; I need to get high. How drunk can I get? Oh my God, I just want to ram my head into the wall. What will my family think? I do not want to tell my dad. He is dying and this is the last thing he needs to hear. How could I ever tell him how I got it? Oh God, what will I say to my mother? Now I really cannot hide that I am bisexual. Who did I get this from?
Oh God, was it that guy from Adam4Adam? I swear I did not remember seeing he was HIV positive, until after we hooked up. He did NOT tell me when I was there. I swear I did not remember seeing it on his profile until I tried to message him looking for more crystal, a few days after we hooked up. He didn’t deny it when I asked him about it. He said that he had told me he had HIV and was undetectable. Can I get HIV if someone is undetectable? Why does it feel like I got it from him...but it could have been anyone?
I never used condoms so it could have been ANYONE. What am I going to do? If I kill myself, it will rip my mom’s heart out. Maybe I can just die parting? No one would have to know I have HIV, but people do know I use drugs, maybe that is the best way?
“Sir, do you have any questions?”
I left the doctor’s office abruptly, determined to erase all of this from my memory. I deserve this and everything bad that is going to happen, I thought to myself. What is the quickest way to die? I went home, poured a glass of Tequila, and called my dealer.
I cut the fattest line of cocaine I had ever done...and then another. Minutes later I was high, but not enough; I needed more. I did not have a meth dealer, but I knew how to get free crystal on the gay sex apps. The cocaine made me horny, but it was not erasing my mind, so I got back on the sex apps hunting for PNP (party ‘n’ play), hoping to make this all go away.
Line after line of cocaine, the reality of my HIV diagnosis only became more clear and I could not find a hookup buddy for meth soon enough.
“What are you into?” he said.
Looking at PnP, love MMF, MM, group. Into everything really, when I am high.
“Bareback or condom?
Are you clean? I asked, out of habit but not really caring.
“Yes. Are you?”
My heart dropped in my stomach. Yeah, of course, I said, lying my soul away even more.
I had never been more nervous in my life. I knew now I was going to hell, there was no more doubt... I did not care anymore. I wanted to die and if it takes getting penetrated by a stranger to get high and make this go away, so be it.
Bowl after bowl, I smoked, stalling as much as possible. Masturbating next to him, but not letting him touch me. I told him I wasn’t high enough yet. The crystal finally began to hit me. I began to give him oral sex, but I got sick and ran to the bathroom to throw up. Instead of sobering up, I felt more high and even more sensitive to touch, all over. As geeked out horny as I was, even after throwing up, I asked him to leave. I gave him money for the drugs we used and bought the remainder he had with him.
After my stomach settled, my high got more intense and I became captivated with the porn on the TV screen. Masturbation was not going to do it. My sex demon had to be fed. There was no silencing the maddening screams in my brain while my hypersexed desires grew bolder.
I have to say I have HIV on here, right? Like, I have to tell them I have HIV?
I frantically searched the apps for anyone that showed any signs they may be into guys with HIV. I had heard about those looking for raw fun with HIV-positive partners...they were called poz chasers, or something like that.
I saw a few profiles that said they were on PREP. Although I had never heard of it, I wanted to see if this is what I was looking for, so I Googled it. Reading that it prevented others from getting HIV, I took that as my sign I could have sex. The guy who arrived was also tweaking and asked me if I slammed. Slammed...what the hell is that? After he explained it, I was scared but all I could do was to ask, “is the needle new?” He said yes and got me set up for my very first injection of meth. Slamming tina...the very thing that I had judged my daughter’s mom for, and there I was about to do it myself. That, and about to have sex with God knows how many random strangers.
There is no going back now, I am ready to go until I die.
Within seconds of the demon juice entering my veins, I knew whatever sanity I had left was gone. I couldn’t reenact what was happening on that porn fast enough. My vision hyper-focused on the POV penetration happening on the screen; this one guy was not enough, I needed more. As he penetrated me, I was on apps searching for more guys. Only glancing up occasionally to see what was happening on the porn, or to take a hit of poppers.
Multiple guys and one married couple came over that night and we went into the early hours of the morning. Bowl after bowl of meth was smoked. My mouth was chewed rotten; my tongue cut up from biting it so much, I could no longer swallow. I started fading in and out like the light switch was flicking on and off.
What have I done with my life?
As I started fading into a slow miserable death, watching my house guests leave, I was praying my mother would never see me like this when they found my body. I knew I was going to die. I knew this was it, my life was over. I cried out to God, “Please God, please do not let my mother find me like this!”
I woke up the next day, feeling like a decaying carcass. How didn’t I die last night? I needed to get up. I couldn't move, my body was too weak. My heart started beating out of my chest, but I was frozen. My legs were not doing what I was telling them to. I started to panic. I thought for sure I was going to die the night before...but this was worse than death.
I called 911 and asked them to send someone to my place immediately. I was scared to tell them I had been using meth for over 24 hours. I was scared to say I had HIV. I was scared I might be dead before anyone arrived. I was scared. I am not who everyone thinks I am. I am sure not the kid my mother used to be proud of. Was she ever really proud of me? She doesn't even know me, I don’t even know me, no one knows me.
The ambulance arrived and took me to the hospital. I was certain I was dying this time as I drifted out again. When I woke up, I had all kinds of tubes and wires hooked up to me. While I felt groggy, I was able to move. When the doctor came in, I was told that I had dehydrated my body severely from the drug use and put myself in serious danger. Worse yet, they told me I could go home shortly after I finished the IV fluids.
God, what am I going to do? I cannot go on like this. I cannot live like this anymore or I will die. I cannot go out like this, God.
I started thinking about my oldest daughter, and the twins.
God, I cannot let people be right about me. I have to change this. I do not want my kids to find out I died a junkie. I must do better. Help me!
The next few days were hell, emotionally. After the third day, I started to come around, mentally.
I can be a better man; I can turn this around. As I started to feel more normal, I knew I needed to tell my mother about having HIV. I was terrified of what she would say, and I did not want to answer questions about my sexuality. I called a doctor friend of mine first and told him about my news; his reaction gave me peace.
“It is not a death sentence. In fact, you will probably die of another STD or disease before you die of HIV”.
“Gee, thanks, bro,” I replied.
Later, I mustered up the courage to tell my mother. To my surprise, she was kind, loving, and more supportive than I could have ever asked for her to be. She did have a few questions which I answered as truthfully as I felt led to...and that was about 80 percent honest. For the next few months, I cleaned up my act, stopped drinking, stopped doing drugs, and started getting stronger mentally and physically.
Going back to the doctor months later for a follow-up test to see where my HIV load was at, I discovered that my new healthy lifestyle was paying off as I was now undetectable. Now knowing that I could not give HIV to anyone else, I felt free again. I felt as if I had beaten HIV. I was on top of the world and finally feeling myself again.
I went home after sharing the good news with my family and then out of nowhere...that old familiar voice...
“Josh, you are clean now. Let’s go have some fun.”
I tried to shut ‘It’ up. The more I tried to distract myself, there ‘It’ was, replaying all my old favorite images in my mind; visions of all the fun we had together. Just then I got a text from a number that looked familiar, but I was not sure who it was. As soon as I opened up the text it was a pic of his penis and in the message, it said, “I got some new fire, wanna play?”
Without a second thought, I answered, Yes. Are you hosting or do you want to come here?
“Come here, I am with some buddies you will like.”
Have enough for me to buy also? I asked.
“Yup, come over.”
The excitement raced throughout my entire body and nearly had me shaking in anticipation. It had been so long since I last got high. I could not wait a moment longer to feel the rush hit me as I took that first hit in months.
I took an extra HIV pill thinking it may help, packed up my sex bag with lube, dildos, poppers, penis rings, and I sped over to get my fix.
Next Episodic “Cheater”