Thursday, July 26, 2012

Thursday, July 19, 2012


"Magenta. That’s what I call it when I get that way. All kinds of feelings tumbling all over themselves. You know, you’re not quite blue, ‘cause you’re not really sad. And although you’re a little bit jealous you wouldn’t say you’re green with envy. And every now and then you realize you’re kinda scared, but you would hardly call yourself yella’. I hate that feeling! I just hate it. and I hate the color magenta. That’s why I named it that, Magenta."
 - Blanche Devereaux

I did two things today. I got a haircut and then I got my first-ever-in-my-life prescription for HIV medication. One of these things has made me feel rull rull magenta. And yeah, I'm not quite blue about it, not like depressed or anything. I'm a little bit "Why me?" but not exactly envious of those who are not HIV positive or don't need HIV medication. I have some nerves and concerns but I'm not "yella" (Oh Blanche!). So yes, I'm just kinda angsty, twisty, a bit gloomy, ya know...magenta.

I've been HIV positive for over 7 years now and I am just starting medication. HIV is a very mysterious disease and I’ve yet to really experience any of the physical effects of the disease. I mostly wasn't taking medication because I am physically healthy. But there is a part of me that is afraid to go on meds because that means, I’m sick. It’s a little reminder every day that I am infected and need treatment. It's a new stage of acceptance I guess.

I go to the doctor four times a year for labs in which they test my blood to see how all of my cells are doing and to see how much of the virus is in my blood. I go in one week before my actual appointment. They draw the blood and then I wait a week for the results. I hate that week. I think of these as my Seasonique weeks. Ya know that birth control pill where you only get your raging intense period 4 times a year? Yeah. It’s like that. Blood and all.  After the blood is drawn I spend the rest of the week wondering, what if this is it? What if this is the round of labs where I find out I’m unhealthy? Where I find out I’m sick?? Where I find out that my T-cells have plummeted and my viral lode has exploded??? And I am scared of it. All of this causes a certain amount of anxiety that I have to combat every day.

...So I'm a bit over this frustration.

There is another reason I have decided to start swallowing a pill every day. I WANT A FUCKING BOYFRIEND! Ok. not really, but yeah, kind of.  Turns out that being on medication, having a low to non existent viral load makes you much more marketable. Being able to bandy about the phrase "Undetectable" on your on line dating  / gay butt sex hook up profile basically adds 4 inches to your cock size. Despite the fact that you might not feel any different, being undetectable makes you seem healthier and more attractive and less toxic to both positive and negative guys alike. I can't tell you how many times I've had negative guys ask me on line if I am on medication. But that is another topic for another time.

The whole situation is magenta. Which I think is a really great metaphor for my relationship to HIV in general. HIV has never been red for me. It's never been volatile or dangerous. It's never been green in any emotional color. I've never become ill from it. Nor do I resent those that are not positive.  My times of yellow, fear, worry are past me. I'm not particularly blue about being positive. Each day I work past shame and guilt and I work very very very hard at not being depressed.  It's silent. It's secret. It's a big 'what if'.  It's awkward. It's a stigma. It's off center. It's tough to bring up. It's not easily understood. It's not well articulated.  It's angsty. It's moody. It's contemplative. It's magenta. And that is all it is. And all it hopefully ever will be... magenta.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Has True Blood Lost Its Bite?

I'm more than a little concerned about this season of True Blood. Something is missing. It seems that True Blood has lost it's bite. 4 episodes in and I have to wonder, where is the danger? This season's tag line is "Everything is at stake". Plot-wise this is true. I suppose. I don't know if it's any stakier than past seasons but yeah every character is heavily embroiled in some kind of southern fried supernatural trauma. But, I don't feel anything is at stake for me, the viewer. Not in comparison to seasons past. Word on the street is that Alan Ball will be leaving his show - runner duties for the next season. Part of me wonders if he hasn't already checked out

What Alan Ball has always done so terrifyingly well is to tap into our innermost, visceral places. In simpler terms, gurl knows how to portray how fucked up we can be. Six Feet Under still reigns (for me at least) as the greatest television show that has ever existed. In Six Feet Under, Ball balanced mortality with sexual exploration and angst. David's coming out in between embalming sessions and wakes, Brenda's sexual addiction (not to mention the weird ass tension between her and her own brother), Nate's womanizing and the seemingly frigid matriarch Ruth may have had more lovers than anyone else on the show.

Thematically, True Blood is a fun house mirror of Six Feet Under. It's life vs. death (or un-death in this case) wrapped up in a whole lot of sex, blood and leather pants.  True Blood is a show about desire... excessive desire. Like really, deep, dark, twisted desire. Although the incest on True Blood isn't nearly as unnerving as on Six Feet Under. I mean what's a little incest between vampires? And there is a little incest this season. But that is exactly the problem with this season. The most taboo element is neither here nor there and merely a characteristic rather than a storyline. 

True Blood has always engaged the viewer by presenting danger that excited us and that tempted us. Even when we knew it was bad for the characters in the end, didn't we all want to try V? Don't we all want to dabble in a little witchcraft? Didn't Maryann's cake and dirt eating fueled orgies seem kind of awesome? At least at the beginning? Don't we all want to have sex with Eric - a Vampire who could quite possibly suck all the blood out of us as we dig our fingers into his well formed cum drains? And most of all, don't we all more than sorta kinda want to be Vampires???

But that's all missing this season. The allure, the danger, the hurts so good -  it's just not there. It's all plot, swift action and rather disconnected or unsurprising sex. Bill and Eric and their "Vamps of Hazard" storyline is abysmal and SPOILER ALERT, Tara as a Vampire is not really all that different than Tara as a human.
She still hates Vamps and herself, now just a little more than usual. It looks like Sookie might be headed towards my favorite place in the world (Alcide's arms) but let's face it, that's about as dangerous as Ross and Rachel.  

Oh sure there's the sociopolitical commentary / parable but without the danger, well, I'd rather just watch re-runs of The West Wing. C'mon Alan Ball, give us some V. Give us some sex. Give us some  sex on V. Make us feel dirty again.