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At Peace
Mar 23, 2003

Exactly a week ago today, my doctor told me I was HIV+. He called me at the office at a time (9:30 a.m.) when I had forgotten I had taken an HIV test during my last physical.

Obviously, I was shocked, but I did not react to the news as I had people in my office. I thanked him for calling me, and continued with my meeting.

After my meeting, I called my ex-boyfriend (who I consider a great friend), and another good friend of mine. They both seemed shocked and devastated, but by the time I called them I was over the shock, and was very calmed.

I am 35 years old; I have been out of the (gay) closet since I was 23 since then, I have been having "safe" sex with all of my tricks, except steady boyfriends who I knew where HIV negative, but, sometime 2 years ago I gave up on safe sex. I WAS SICK OF IT. I was ready I had become envious of people who were positive, or simply dying or dead. I was tired of thinking about HIV EVERY FUCKING time I had sex. I was sick and tired of thinking of my dead friends being buried in front of me as their mothers weep on top of their caskets; of the fucking AIDS Quilt; of movies like And the Band Play On, Long Time Companion, and of bitter Larry Kramer, flamer Liberace, or talented Herb Ritts; or Madonnas crusade, or Elizabeth Taylors I dont know where or who I am, but I still care campaign.

Of course, I did not give in right way, but I started to take "calculating" risks with boyfriends/tricks. I always asked about their HIV statusknowing perfectly well that their answers were irrelevant, as I know people (men, gay men) do lie and/or dont know their own statushowever, asking the question was just a habitjust like saying no to drugs. But, sure enough, my time came. A fuck buddy, I had known for some time, did not know was HIV positive, subsequently, infecting me when he came in my ass (for the first time since we had met a year before). Yet, as of tonight, I dont blame him for anything, or feel guilty or angry or scared. I knew exactly what I was doing, and the risks I was taking, and the consequences of becoming infected. Yet, my friends who are HIV-positive are extremely angry with me for takingwhat they called"stupid" or "suicidal" risks. Of course, I listened to them as I always have, but still no guilt from me. My ex-boyfriend is coming to visit me from Argentina to make sure I am doing ok (the pure soul). He should know is useless, but it would be nice to see him.

Now, as I read this I think: Shit, I am fucking nuts I cant believe I am reading this, but YES, I am fully aware of what I am writing. I just want to go to sleepand never wake up. Boo Hoo, my dead friends would say. You just want pity. It sounds like I am feeling sorry for myself, but despite what my friends or family, or you think, I know in my heart I just want to take a nice shower, put some baby powder on my chest, and get in my pajamas, embrace my pillow, and go to sleep, and dream, dream, of climbing trees, of running hand-to-hand with my little sister when we were kids, and laughing for no reason, laughing of our dirty feet in a dusty park, of our messy hair, and/or dressing up in moms clothes, laughing, just laughing. I am looking forward to it. Ive wanted this for the longest time. Now I am so close to it. I dont believe in heaven. I dont believe in hell. I would, however, would like to believe in reincarnation like my friend Aarti, from India. Ahh, to be back as a butterfly, the one creature my dad, and brothers deemed as weak, ugly, and insignificant. I would LOVE to come back as a butterfly and fly directly into their noses, and then fly away to the forest, smell and feed from the flowers, and fly into the cemetery where flowers are laid for the departed. I would take care of the flowers and die with themand be reborn again, and again, and again. But, I know when I die I will just become dust, and go back to the earth, where in my heart I know I was not supposed to ever leave. As I read this, and laugh, and cry, I realize that for the past years I had given up on myself. i read it in my diaries. I feel it in my heart. I had wished for something that was not supposed to be. I kept daydreaming like a fool, but now I know that some people have a purpose in life. Mine was lost in the process. BUT, even though I had no purpose to be here, I am grateful to God that he showed me around. I know he will be with me in my heart. I know, he knows, I am writing this. I know he knew it would end like this. He knew this since before I was born. This is why I am not scared or bitter. This is the way it was supposed to end. I know he will be there as I take my last breath. I know he will also be there to comfort my love ones.

After years of therapy and anti-depressants, I am certain that since I was a teenager and discovered I was different, I did not want to live past 50. Not even 40. I live now in W, DC, and I know the probability of getting killed during at terrorist attack is greater than dying from HIV. BUT, I know in my heart that getting infected, and dying of HIV was the only solution for me. My love ones will deal with this better as if Id kill myself. I KNOW. I have seen my friends die over the years. Why cause any more pain to my parents when they had no control of my destiny? Do I feel sorry for myself? ABSOLUTELY NOT. All I know is that if I die of AIDS (or a terrorist attack, or car accident) it will be easier for them to deal with it. No need for them to know how miserable I have been since I am 5-years old. Perhaps if I die I can go back to be 5 years old again. What would have happened if I never met Herman? It doesnt matter anymore. I want to die. I want to go to sleep. I dont want them to know what this pain feels like. I want them to think that I died in peace. I have been wishing this since I realized I was damaged. I have lived enough. I see what is out there (in the gay community). NOTHING FOR ME. I cant relate to them, and they cannot relate to me. We have tried. I caused my boyfriends pain, and they have caused me pain. I still dream of something or someone who does not exist. I dont know who they are, and I dont who I am. All I know is that what Ive always wished to love since I was a kid does not exist.

I thought coming out would mean happiness, but I was so wrong. I had no idea that in the community being over 21 was old; that looks were the most important thing to get a boyfriend; that being Latino meant to have a cute accent, but no brains; that in order to be loved I was supposed to pretend I was somebody else; that drugs were part of the A-crowd and fabulous; that I was supposed to share my boyfriend to a third person, that at the end I was supposed to die alone regardless. Straight people may not be as normal as they seem to be, but where in the FUCK are the normal gay men. Most of us gay men are miserablewhether they want to admit it or notI have lived in L.A., DC. I have friends in S Fco., Miami, NYC, Europe, Latin America, and we are all FUCKED UP.

There is no doubt in my mind that there are 10 of gay men, and perhaps 25 of lesbians who have a traditional family, content life. I dont give a shit what the extremist in the gay community say, MOST OF US ARE FUCKED UP!!! And I can just hear them, [nagging voice here] Straight people are as unhappy, too, BUT, why can I remembered more happy, content, satisfied straight people than gay people? WHY, FUCKING EXTREMISTS LIKE QUEER-NATION 's MEMBERS BITTER OR DEAD? Where are the traditional gay people? Republican gay people? Jesus christ! Even Jesus probably laughs about them. WHERE IN THE FUCK ARE YOU NORMAL PEOPLE? I subscribe to HRC, the Advocate, OUT, Genre, and even the lesbians publications, but it is all bullshit. It is all about money, swimsuits, and circuit parties. MY ONLY HOPE is that in the years to come, as younger people come out, they will finally say that THERE IS NO GAY COMMUNITY, but just content, happy, traditionalnormalgay people.

I have taken care of friends who have died of AIDS in the 90's, and I know of friends who are currently struggling with HIV, yet I am at peace with my new status, and I am looking forward to dying.

Yes, I am insane, ungrateful, and/or stupid, but I am at a peace. No more pretending I am not here. No more pretending it is normal to get fucked when all I wanted was a friend like me. No more fucking pretending I am who the fags in charge want me to be; no more closing my eyes and pretend. Why dont I just finish my miserable life, some may say. And the only pittiful answer is that I couldn't kill myself because of my love ones. Because I know what pain is. It is the last thing I want to do to my mother, sister, brothers, and friends. I have close relatives who have been killed during a civil war, and relatives who have killed themselves, and others who have died of natural causes. I know that it was more comforting to buried the relatives who had been killed or died of natural causes than to the ones who killed themselves. So, now that I am HIV positive I am looking forward to dying. Ive known this for some time. Ever since I realized that I would never recover from what my therapist called "childhood trauma". What do they fucking know? All they want is their money. I am so exhausted. I still feel like I am a 5-year old living in El Salvador, jumping over dead bodies, and being fucked by older boys. Relatives and friends tell me I am so smart and talented, but they don't realize that I have been dead for so many years. Now, that I have been diagnosed with HIV I am so at peace. I just want to go to sleep. I am finally going to sleep.

Thank God I am going to sleep.

Thanks for reading this bullshit.

Antonio

Response from Dr. Wohl

I post this without reply because I have none and so that the words you took the time to write reaches the readers you intended - including yourself. DW



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