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Bonus Rounds

By River Huston

January 20, 2012

Every morning I feel so fortunate to wake up to another day. I have been calling this time of my life the "bonus rounds," and they are. I live by the sea in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, in an amazing house right on the ocean.

It is not for everyone because living here is not at all like taking a vacation here. It is a little rough and tumble. For instance, the other night as I slept I felt something warm and alive plop on my head in the dark. I slowly got up hoping it was not a tarantula. It turned out to be a confused bat (what happened to that sonar radar, bat?). I untangled said bat from my hair and then spent the next 15 minutes coaxing him out of my house. All in a day of living in the jungle where there are car-sized potholes and Kmart is the big shopping experience -- outside of the tourist center, which mainly peddles diamonds, rum and flowered muumuus.

Regardless, I have found myself an odd cast of characters to keep me entertained -- so much better than TV, and interactive as well! I paint at a non-profit gallery I run, sevenminusseven, and I write.

Recently I wrote a book, SEXED: Tales of a Textrix, which includes all the questions I received in 2010 and 2011 on sex, love and relationships along with the answers; and the last few days I have worked on getting all my poetry books on Amazon. That is what motivated me to write this blog: gratitude.

After reading my biographical poetry I am so grateful to have survived. Most people do not survive the kind of life I have led which included addiction, multiple rapes and assaults, homelessness, jail, depression, attempted suicide, AIDS, as well as another terminal bone marrow disease. The list goes on and as I read and edited my work, sometimes with tears remembering all the people I have lost over the past two decades, all I can think was how did I get so lucky? Some people called it blessed. I just feel it is a privilege to not just be alive, but have found some happiness and contentment in my life. There is very little I want, need or desire; wow, lucky me.

Here are some links to the poetry that chronicles my life. It will surely make you appreciate the day!

Wishing you all a great New Year. Be good to yourself and go for your dreams.

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See Also
More Personal Accounts of Women With HIV/AIDS

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A River Runs Through It

River Huston

River Huston

River Huston is an award-winning poet, journalist, performer and activist. She travels through the United States speaking on issues related to sexuality, communication, overcoming challenges and change. She has been featured on Good Morning America, Showtime, Nightline, CNN and ABC Up To The Minute. River has written three books of poetry as well as The Goddess: A Guide to Feminine Wisdom and A Positive Life: Portraits of Women Living With HIV. She wrote and performed a one-woman show, Sex, Cellulite and Large Farm Equipment: One Girls Guide to Living and Dying off off Broadway and is currently working on a second show, The Dominatrix Next Door. For more information about River you can go to

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Articles by River:

Sex, Cellulite and Large Farm Equipment: One Girl's Guide to Living and Dying (October 15, 2008)

I Feel Good! Attaining Survival Through Illness (March/April 2008)

Goddess in a Muumuu: AIDS Changes Sexual Self-Image (December 1999)

A Positive Life: Portraits of Women Living With HIV (October 1999)

Interviews With River:

White Women and HIV (April 1999)

A Brief Disclaimer:

The opinions expressed by's bloggers are entirely their own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of itself.