Friday, December 24, 2010

Nobody Ought to Be Alone On Christmas


This Christmas Eve, fate has decided that I should be alone. Completely and utterly alone. I have not shared a gift, a toast or a warm hug on Christmas Eve for the first time in my life. I am never one to shy away from the unconventional but this experience, though not entirely my own doing, is taking it a bit far.

I've known for weeks that this somewhat solemn night was coming and I have consoled myself with the fact that as of December 26th my holiday time with friends, food and family will be fast upon me. However it hasn't made the day that much easier. Christmas is meant to be a time for miracles and magic. I have gone about my day as any other. I woke up, did some tidying about the apartment, went to the gym, ate lunch and headed to work. All the while, various, magical, made - for - TV inspired scenarios of how the day could turn out ran through my mind. I imagined that:

A) I'd meet the real Santa Clause on a bustling mid - town street corner.

B) While at work I'd make late night reservations for a handsome hotel guest who would invite me along with him and we'd fall madly in love.

C) Through a series of comical mishaps, I'd find myself at a homeless shelter only to learn the true meaning of Christmas while caroling with charming raggedy orphans, urchins, wenches and meth heads.

Of course none of this happened. But somewhere in there lies a little bit of Christmas magic in and of itself. Christmas is a time of year where we are all children, excited about the impossible whether it be mysterious stars that guide us through the desert, fat men in red suits who deliver gifts in the middle of the night or babes that will be born and change the world. Even in this, my worst Christmas ever, I can still imagine, hope and believe.

This sense of wonder despite the circumstances, is something of a small miracle all on its own. While I am not likely to repeat this experience, I am glad for it nonetheless.

As soon as I finish this second glass of burgundy and take in a little Peter Billingsly, I'll hunker down in my bed and enjoy my Christmas slumber. Who knows? Maybe there will be some spirits that plan on visiting me...

Merry Christmas. Keep Dreaming.

All my love,
Dan

Thursday, December 9, 2010

FOR BIG HAIRY NIPS...


Dear Bghrynips,

Thank you for contacting me on Manhunt.net with your message titled "A Question".

Before we address your profound and ardent epistle, I must say, my sympathies are with you regarding your screen name. I'm sure the actual handle 'Bighairynips' was already taken. Bummer! Nonetheless you did a great job removing those vowels and thereby crafting yourself a moniker that's just as bizarre and only a little more lame than the actual 'Bighairynips'. Kudos! But I digress.

Let us begin. I really appreciate you first sharing your age with me (if not your face.) It takes a truly brave soul to admit to being a whole 52 years old. It also immediately informed me that you are probably a very wise man indeed and anything you say should be taken in the highest regard. You immediately qualified your age by telling me that you're a gay man who lived through the 80's and 90's. Good move in presuming I'd have difficulty recognizing which decades the past 52 years has covered.

You then followed these generous details with the piece de resistance - THE QUESTION!!! You asked how a young man of my age, at this point in time, could possibly get HIV??? Wow Bghrynips! The depth and perspicacity of your query has sent me reeling. Geez, I've never considered that before. I am soooooo fooooolish.

You were also so sweet (and not at all passive aggressive) in letting me know it was not necessary to respond. You did all of this with such a flair for intrigue and mystery by never revealing your face or name. Maybe I should hide my face pics too? Or maybe I should at least delete the part of my profile where I let my potential sexual partners know that I am in fact HIV+ ? Or... whoah... hold on there Bghrynips, maybe I should delete my profile altogether!!! I should stop trying to have any kind of sex and stay home feeling nothing but guilt, stupidity and shame!

THANKS BGHRYNIPS! I was actually feeling a little bit like a loser for logging on to manhunt.fart at all but a missive like that from a HIV negative sage such as yourself really turned things around!

*****

Seriously though dude, it's gestures such as yours that only help to enable the spread of this disease. I proclaim my HIV + status on such websites in an effort to live responsibly. It is pious, self righteous messages such as the one you passed on to me that lead HIV+ men to feelings of shame, guilt and depression. These are messages we do not expect of our gay brethren but of right wing, religious extremists. It is those feelings of despair and shame that push people into silence about their status and thereby perpetuate the spread of HIV. There's a reason they say Silence = Death. So the next time you feel so inclined to get something off of your big hairy nips, pause and reflect upon the potential impact of your actions. Because you might not be messaging me. You might be messaging someone less confident who may react to your "well intentioned" communique in a way that is destructive not only to himself but to those around him and most dangerously of all, to his sexual partners. If you wish to see AIDS disappear, if you wish to see a world filled with happy, healthy gay men choosing china patterns and sprinting towards City Hall for marriage certificates... then do us all a favor and...

shut...

the fuck...

up.

Love,
Dan

PS: "And that, Marjorie... just so you will know... and your children will someday know... is the night the lights went out in Geor-gia" - Julia Sugarbaker, Designing Women