Monday, December 29, 2003

Marts Birthday Outing

We got up this morning with the idea of getting ready for tonights outing for Marts birthday. It was actually yesterday and the original plan was to go out last night after he'd finished work. Then it was decided that seen as he was getting paid on the Tuesday that it made more sense to go out on Tuesday as we'd all have more money.

Anyway, he decided to go out with a couple of friends after work. We tried ringing him but kept getting no answer. I was starting to get a little worried as it was only a few weeks ago when he went missing and I was hoping not to have a repeat performance of that.

We go over to Petes to see if he's there. No signs. Pete tries to ring him and finally gets through. Works out that he's at some lads house near me. We get directions and go over to collect him. The original plan was that I was going to take Mart and Pete to Bury so they could cash their wage cheques and then we'd sort out getting ready for the nights bash.

When I heard the name of the street I knew where it was but needed clarification - it was a place name I'd not been near in years. I'm driving down the main road, Pete saying that they should be here somewhere. I spot them and go to turn into a side road. Mart is stood there with this very very nice chicken. I stop, Pete gets out. Mart bobs his head in and I wish him happy birthday. "You like my birthday present?" he asks and nods towards the chicken. "Mmm. Very nice." I say. "Is it OK if he comes with us?" I say that it is fine and they get in the back while Pete gets into the front. Mart does the introductions and the chicken has the name James.

"You've not been to collect your cheque yet." I say to Mart and point out to him that it won't be ready until after 1pm. We go back to mine. As I look in the rear view mirror to turn the car around - I needed to get back on the main road to go home - I took a look at James. Yes, he was very very nice. Too young for me, but gorgeous all the same. But there was something else I was seeing but couldn't put my finger on it.

I had to go upstairs for something and left them all downstairs. Mart followed me and said "He is, as well". I looked at him, a little confused. "James, he's HIV." Mart then told me about the blind date thing that went wrong but that he'd ended up with the better deal. It was then that what I'd seen in the rear view mirror became clear. I'd already got to know James enough to feel comfortable with him and told Mart that he'd know about me by the end of the night. The revised plan was that I'd pack what I needed for tonight, then we'd go and collect the cheques for Pete and Mart, then up to Bury to cash them, then over to Pete and Marts to get ready and go out. Oh, and did I mention that Mart also had to go home to get some ahem, 'happy pills' for the evening.

We got the cheques from work. Then began the drive to Bury. I've never been to Bury in my life before so it was a bit of an adventure getting there. We were going to do a bit of shopping in Bury - ya know, get a new frock for the night - but couldn't be arsed in the end so we came back to Manchester. James had to pick some things up from his as it became clear that we'd all end up at Pete's later that night. So the journey from Bury to Pete's went via James.

James lives with two other gay blokes. None of them were in, but the house was nice. I was introduced to Sally, the house dog - a tiny little Yorkshire Terrier. James went upstairs and changed his jeans to a pair of black trousers and came down with a fresh t-shirt and a long leather trench coat. We sat and talked for a while about this and that. Then James went to get his tablets. When he came back from the kitchen I saw the tray of them. I know I gulped inside but tried to put on a face that it was nothing. All I could think of was that that was going to be me in the future. Now over to Petes flat via somewhere to get some food - none of us had eaten - and some booze.

While Pete and Mart went to get some chips and drinks James and I stayed in the car. We chatted a little and I got to find out a couple of things about James as he did with me. We didn't speak about the HIV thing. I wasn't quite ready to come out just yet.

After about ten minutes Pete and Mart came back and we made our way over to the flat. Mart cornered me at some point just after we got in. "Well, what do you think?" "Yep, he's got Mothers approval!" I replied. Mart beamed and went running into the others. Then we started drinking. Mart still had to go to get tonights chemicals but had to wait for the supplier to come back from somewhere.

Pete, Mart and myself needed a bath before we got ready so it was decided that I would have the first bath as it always takes me longer to get ready. So I got in the bath and Mart went to get the chemicals. I think during this time James and Pete had a talk. James had apparently been a bit worried about his tablets being in the fridge and what we'd think. Pete had told him that he was with friends, that he knew what the tablets were and that it was OK. James had worked out that one of us was HIV (Mart had told him he knew someone who was) but he wasn't sure who. He knew it wasn't Mart, he knew it wasn't Pete so that it must have been me!! Pete confirmed that he was right and that I'd only found out recently. It seems that my face was one of shock and horror when I saw James' medicine tray.

Pete came into the bathroom to tell me that he'd worked it out and to ask which of the results was I missing. I told Pete it was the CD4 but that I'd got a Viral Load score. I started to shave and ended up cutting myself a little which always makes me panic at the moment. I have a problem with blood at the moment, a big problem in that it freaks me out a bit.

When I came out of the bathroom and sat with James and Pete, James reassured me not to worry when the first sets of figures are up and down and all over the place. That was a big help. I knew I was going to be able to talk to James and that we were really going to get on well.

Friday, December 26, 2003

Mart And I Alone.....

Mart and I ended up spending the night at a friend of his called Debbie. No alcohol involved - I'd been good all day and only had one glass of wine - but we got stoned at Debbies. Twatted really! We slept on the floor in the living room cuddled up with each other. There was nothing sexual and I know I appologised later for sticking my rock hard cock into his back during the night. He didn't appear to mind and said not to worry about it.

We got back to mine late afternoon and seen as I was picking Pete up from work at 8pm said that it was OK for him to stop. I'd done the alcohol shopping on Christmas Eve and not touched a drop yet. Mart agreed.

We spoke about a great number of things. Mart also revealed a family thing that he thought I was aware of. I've always known that Mart was emotionally strong, resiliant and resourceful but now I know why. And I actually think more of him because of it if that's at all possible!

I know that Mart is going to stand by me no matter what happens. Oh yes, the sexual near-misses between us came up and I also told him about the time that Kyle and I nearly ended up sleeping with each other summer before last. We agreed that if it ever did happen that, yes things might be a bit wierd between us for a few days, but we'd get over it and carry on with life. Though I did point out that it wasn't going to happen yet as I was off sex (yes I did say and mean that).

We went out to collect Pete who was suprised at having Mart in the car but he was happy that we were both there. My family, separated, but finally back together! Mart and I hit the vodka bottle very heavily that night when we got back and Pete hit the whisky. Then later, I cooked for the three of us. I was seriously pissed! But we were all hungry.

Thursday, December 25, 2003

Merry Christmas...?

We're going to my Mums today. Pete has to work later. I'm still feeling emotional and don't really want to be there without Pete. I've got an invitation from Mart to go and see him at his parents which I think I might just take him up on.

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Charting My Progress

I've decided I'm going to keep a record of my results when I get them. Not quite sure how I'll do it but I want to include them in my diary. They'll make much more sense when I get the CD4 but that will have to wait. Being honest, at the moment I don't know what will be good and what will be bad!

Still taking each moment as it comes...

Now It Hits Home

We decided to go out last night. After doing the Christmas shopping - yes, in one day!!!

It had been a relief to get yesterday over with and to finally get some results. I'd said to Pete as we went back to the car at the hospital that I felt silly for the way I'd been earlier in the day. He told me it was understandable and that there really was nothing to worry about.

Everything was going brilliantly. We'd been sat in Churchills for hours drinking and talking and having a good laugh. Then we decided to go next door to 'Queer'. We got a drink, sat down and then reality hit home. I got very upset and very emotional. The fact that I'd got the start of my first set of results made me realise that this was now a very serious game and one that I couldn't get out of. Pete calmed me down and mopped up the tears and said "I know we've only just bought these drinks but it's shit in here and you need livening up!" And with that we went back to Churchills!

Monday, December 22, 2003

The Results...

You know when days get better as they go on? Today, so far has been one of those days.

We were just about to leave this morning when the Postman arrived. I finally got a cheque through for some work I'd done during the year. So I was stood in the lounge cheque in one hand and car keys in the other. Pete was near the front door going on with himself. I just flung the keys and cheque on a chair and burried my face in my hands. "What you done that for?" he asked. I explained that was 'cos I was flapping and aggitated. "Come on," he said, "everything is going to be OK. It's going to be good news." I told him I surely hoped so. So we got out of the house and into the car.

I didn't feel like driving but seen as we had to go to town after the hospital and then to Walkden to get some other prezzies later it did make sense. The car park at the hospital is multistory. They don't usually bother me but today I nearly smashed the front end of the car whilst parking, sorry Gloria (that's my car!). Luckily, she has rubber strips at the front and I was only crawling into the bay. It just felt worse than it was. I got out of the car and flapping again not only about banging Gloria but everything including trying to get the ticket for the car park into my wallet and then into my bag. "Do you want me to hold on to that?" Pete asked. "No!" I think I shouted without meaning to. More calmly, "no, I'll hold on to it that way I know I've got it."

Even though I had an appointment it took a long time for me to be seen. Pete kept saying that it wasn't good enough and that it was really inefficient. I told him that it only seemed inefficient because he didn't know the system, when you know the system you can see it works. His going on with himself was not helping me in the slightest. While we waited I saw someone leave with their head in their hands. I knew the Christmas present that he'd just received and really felt for him.

Eventually I was called. Today was the day I would meet Margaret, my Consultant. She's really nice and the kind of person who I know is going to be able to make me do the things I really don't want to. She's only a small young lady but I already know I don't want to get on her bad side!

We chatted for a bit and she looked through my file - it looked a lot fatter than last time I saw it - to clarify some points. Then she told me about what the process was going to be: that we'd look through the results and take it from there.

Medically I'm in great shape! People say that I've got a good physical shape but it is nice to know that I got medical reports that say that inside is just as good. Apparently I've had Hepatitus B and got over it naturally and the same with Glandular Fever! Then it came to the big two results: CD4 and Viral Load.

I didn't have any CD4 results. Margaret rang up the laboratories to check that the figures just hadn't been forgotten to be sent, but they weren't there. I explained that it could have something to do with me going into shock when Simon took my samples and that there wasn't enough blood available. This seemed to be OK with Margaret, but she said that I would need to give samples today to get this tracking underway. Oh joy! Just what I didn't want to have to do today!

My Viral Load was recorded as 22,400 which Margaret said was good. Though she countered that by saying that when it reached 50,000 we'd start talking medicines.

She asked me if I had had any HIV symptoms, then stopped herself by saying that I wouldn't really know! We then started the physical examination and I removed my top. Margaret noticed a rash in the middle of my chest. I'd had it off and on for many years and I told her that it was a yeast type infection. "I can give you some cream for that" she said matter-of-factly. I held my shaking arms out for her and she examined my hands and felt inside my arm pits. She also listened to my breathing and did the 'tappy' thing with the stethoscope.

Then she looked inside my mouth. "Nice bit of thrush there at the side of your mouth" she said. "Oh, i thought it was just the cold had split them, happens every year". She gave me a look as if to say 'honey, I know what I'm looking at!' "I'll give you some tablets for that as well." My eyes were examined and I was told they were good. Not a formal sight-test type examination but just looking that there were no obvious medical abnormalities.

I put my clothes back on and we sat to talk again. She told me that it looked like the HIV was starting to get a hold of my body but at the moment all we could do was monitor it. "Flu jab." I was going to ask you about whether that was a good idea. "Yes it is, do you want it?" Yep I'll take it! She gave me a prescription to take to Pharmacy and said I'd need to see the nurse for more blood and to get the flu jab but to make an appointment to see her again in about two weeks. I thanked her and left.

Back in the waiting room I caught up with Pete. "I need to go to Pharmacy" I said as I went past. Evetually he caught up with the idea that he was to come with me. "Well, what did she say?" "I'll tell you in a minute. I need to get these from Pharmacy and I need a fag and something to eat!!"

We dropped the prescription off at Pharmacy - 30 minute minimum wait! - and then went outside for a smoke. I explained about the rash on my chest and that I'd got cream for it and that the sides of my mouth were thrush. He also commented that I get that every year so I told him that she knows what she's looking for! I also explained about the missing CD4 results and that I had to go back to give more blood for that and also for the flu jab. We'd both been hoping for an in-and-out visit but this was proving to be much more than that. "Welcome to my world!" I told him!

As I didn't want to go into shock again I told him that before we went back I needed to have a coffee and something to eat. We got the drinks and sandwiches and went back down to the department and ate them in the waiting room. There was still a wait for a nurse. At one point Pete starting going on again about the wait "If you wanna go, then just go!" I snapped. He appologised and went out to another fag and to collect my Prescription.

I was seen by the nurse who took my blood originally - wish I could remember her name. I said to Pete as I was following her "She's lovely, she is!" and she blushed as we went into the consulting room. They'd run out of the flu jab so she said I could come back tomorrow for it and that I didn't need an appointment, just explain at reception when I came back.

I got ready for the blood thing. I was really brave this time. I couldn't watch her put the pipe in but I could watch her collecting the blood. I told her I was going to be brave now and watch what she was doing. She giggled. I said that I was going to have to get used to it sooner or later so why not start now? We're about the same age I gather and we had a brief chat about things when she'd finished. She reminded me that counselling was available but to take it when I needed it. An open invitation and wouldn't be revoked.

Finally. Everything attended to. It was 2pm and time for the shopping!!!

The Big Day

Well, today is the day I get my first set of results. I'm shaking, flapping, getting ratty, emotional, confused. You name it! Again, probably every emotion you can think of is being experienced in a split second. It this were the cause of drugs, it's every excuse to give them up to avoid this kind of come down.

Pete's with me and that is kind of a help and hinderance. I said he could come to the hospital with me and he has promised to support me going through this. Also, it is Christmas and what with everything else, yep, you guessed right, nothing has been bought whatsoever. So that's going to have to be done today.

Saturday, December 20, 2003

I'm Back!

Well, an eventful week. I'm absolutely shattered.

Durham was freezing - just like last year. Though the sun was shining when the train pulled in. It's a beautiful city to see from the train as the train line is high in the hills above the town.

Then the training in Liverpool. Session went well. We had a very basic group - we were teaching Active Server Pages to complete newbies - but they all got through it and learned something. Quite fortunate really as my head was off with the fairies most of the time.

It is strange. I didn't think about 'it' at all in Durham. Probably because I was cold and the cold does make me pretty tired anyway. You know, I've been having sex with men for about half my life (started when I was 13) and have been so lucky not to catch anything. Then, BANG!! Wow, what a change it makes to the way you think about things.

Preoccupied. I think that's what it is more than anything else. Certainly I'm shitting bricks about the results from my baselines. I get them on Monday. I've not done anything about Christmas yet. Subconsciously, I think I'm waiting to get Monday out of the way. 'Cos Christmas might be cancelled if Monday is a bad day. I'm being paranoid, I know, and it's a trait that's not me.

Somethings, however, don't change. I've got to run a mobile phone charger over to Arsehole at work then I feel like finding some sex....

Monday, December 15, 2003

Old & Wise

As far as my eyes can see
There are shadows approaching me
And to those I left behind
I wanted you to know
You've always shared my deepest houghts
You follow where I go
And oh when I'm old and wise
Bitter words mean little too me
Autumn winds will blow right through me
And someday in the mists of time
When they ask me if I knew you
I'd smile and say you were a friend of mine
And the sadness would be lifted from my eyes
Oh when I'm old and wise

As far as my eyes can see
There are shadows surrounding me
And to those I leave behind
I want you all to know
You've always shared my darkest hours
I'll miss you when I go
And oh, when I'm old and wise
Heavy words that tossed and blew me
Like autumn winds will blow right through me
And someday in the mists of time
When they ask you if you knew me
Remember that you were a friend of mine
As the final curtain falls before my eyes
Oh when I'm old and wise

As far as my eyes can see

Old & Wise [Eye In The Sky : The Alan Parsons Project]

A Quiet Week? Yeah, Right!

You know, I hate this time of year. Hate it for a number of reasons: one, it gets far too cold for me; two, you can guarantee I'm gonna go down with a cold or the flu before (and during) New Year; three, I loathe christmas shopping (the shopping's fine, it's the doing it with the other mad wankers that's the problem); and, four, Work just seems to get crazy at this time of year.

Last December I spent the grand total of five days in the office. Five days out of the entire month. Some might say that was a bargin but then they don't know how my work load works - yup typical exponential rising curve. Fortunately, this year it's just this week. THE ENTIRE FUCKING WEEK. Today I leave for a conference in Durham (nice place, but blue legs have never done anything for me!). Back tomorrow, then away again Wednesday morning for three days training.

And then, guess what. I then have to sort out my Christmas shopping!

Friday, December 12, 2003

Day 15 In The Homeboi Household...

... and the Homeboi decides to go cottaging! Don't ask me why, but I'm gonna need to face sex at some point. And soon. Christ I was soooo cock hungry last night. Saw an old shag while I was out and did all the best come-on, but I was talking to an old friend and he escaped with a right mingin piece.

Back to the cottaging. Tried one local one, and there were just two old mingers who didn't do anything for me. One in particular I'd seen before and I'm afraid he just makes my skin crawl. So went to the local market. Not been to that one in years!

Just sat in a cubicle - was truthfuly dying for a shit - and started playing with myself whena head pops over the wall. Nice mixed race scouser (by the sounds). He asked me to let him in. And I did. Gave a pretty good blowjob and I was just getting into it when a head pops over the other wall. Cute scally type. But there was also a lot of noise and it freaked me a bit. When it quietened down Scouser stands on the bog and looks over the wall at Cute Scally. He invites me to stand up and look too. It's a bit high for me. He was VERY CUTE. Not a big cock but he was pounding away on it. I decide to leave as I'm still a bit freaked.

As I came out of the cubicle, so did Cute Scally. So I go over to the urinal. So does Cute Scally. Scouser appears and joins us with another. We start working our woods. Cute Scally, who's next to me reaches out and grabs my dick and starts to pound it. He looks deep into my eyes, they're very nice eyes, and I could see he was only very young, probably about 19 or 20. I actually wanted him to suck me, but I don't think he would. Scouser came and so released Cute Scally's dick. Cute Scally went back to his own meat and I did to mine. He started thrashing it about and I have to admit it was turning me on greatly. I came very shortly and I knew he would soon. But I had to leave before he blew his load. Pity.

I always thought that cottage was shit. Now I know better. Especially if Cute Scally's around!


Just got off the phone from Pete. He's been ringing around trying to locate Mart. Very important that we find him as he goes full-time at work today. Tried the Hospital. No luck. Tried to ring his ex, (Wanker), but the line was dead - he changed his number. Tried ringing work they'd not seen him. And his bag, that he needs for work was still at Kyles. Then he rang Kyle and guess who was there. Yep, Mart. Thank FUCK for that. Don't know all the details about where he's been yet, but apparently he fell off the stage at Churchills and banged himself. Now he's got a thick lip. I'm gonna be bloody furious next time I see him, but it wont last for long. I'm just so relieved he's turned up.

As For Me...

And as for me...

...well I've been a bit strange since Wednesday. I suppose you'd call it depressed. Went to the library and found a book about viruses and read the section on HIV and AIDS [the modern-day plague]. It was written a few years back, and yes it did frighten me a little. There was lots of dread in it, some history which was good, and some science that may have helped. I've got something like cancer but which I caught like a virus. Maybe that will mean something someday.

What I read mentioned that HIV was a retrovirus - still got to sort out what one of those is - but it put it into a context that was upfront and unbiased. It mentioned how they determined that it wasn't a derrivation of something they already knew - apparently in the early days it was linked with one or both of the first known human retrovirii. I also learned that it has properties of common fatal virii like smallpox but also the characteristics of cancer. Don't know if this makes me feel any better. Maybe it's a psychological thing of trying to make things less serious than they really are. Can't say whether it's worked or not.

Later on, still feeling depressed, I did a search on Google for 'Living with HIV' and it led me to the UK Coalition site. There was a like for 'newly diagnosed' so I followed it. Much of the stuff I already knew but it was nice to hear (see) it. I also found their discussion forum. Much of it revolved around medication and set the willies up me a bit but it was nice to know I wasn't alone. It was nice to know that what I'm feeling in myself is not unusual.

Pete said last night that he thought he was getting used to the idea of me being Positive. Honestly, I don't know if I am myself. Sometimes I can be fine about it, and then I just feel really low. But then it's only been a fortnight, hasn't it? I know it's still the same me in here - I keep telling myself that - and I know I can't lie to myself, but I feel so different and inside I keep shaking. I'm convincing myself it's psychological, but I'm staring to not believe myself.

Maybe so of the things [horror(?) stories] I read on the Coalition site are getting to me, but I'm petrified of getting the results of my baselines. What if my CD4's are low? What if my viral load is too high? What then? I keep telling myself that I had a life before I was positive, and before I knew I was positive and that I'm going to have a life now, but somehow it doesn't always convince me. I'm not the paranoid type, by any stroke, but I am worried. I think the shakes I think I'm having are just symptomatic of the worry. It's a new part of my life and something that I've never encountered before and it takes a bit of getting used to.

Simon warned me that too much information too soon could scare the shit out of me. I hope he's right. I know he's right, bit it doesn't change how I feel.

On a plus point, it was karaoke in Churchills tonight and I went out. Yes I sang, and I did do Emma Bunton's 'Maybe'. Told Mick I'd do it 'if he fancied a laugh'. Well, Mick's always up for a gag. and he knows that if I say I'm doing it for a laugh I'll actually make a pretty good job of it [Sammantha Mumba's Gotta Tell You for one!]. Well, reports I got back said it was excellent even though I was pissed and thought it was pretty crap myself. Goes to show a lot, I think. Proves that there's a lot that I want to do, and that I want to do well, if not for me, but for those I'm going to leave behind.

Oh yes, there's going to be a legacy. I'm going to be a hard act to follow!

And Now I'm Scared

Yes. I'm worried. Maybe this shows that I always put other people before myself. And excuse the the phrasing but I'm a little bit pissed - so the tyyping is not as it should be.

Mart went out last night,well, the night before last really, with Kyle. Aparently Kyle slapped him 'because he was hysterical' over some thing. Pete tried ringing him on his mobile this (yesterday) morning and got through to a woman who said she'd boutght the mobile last night outside the Union. I've just tried to ring Pete (he's now got a land line) on the phone and mobile, and got no reponse. Just rang Kyle and he's heard nothing. Now I'm really worried about him.

Mart is my little baby. Yes, I know about the feelings I have for him now, but still he's my little baby. I was one who showed him that life could be good in Manchester, he met a complete arsehole (Alan) and now he's dissapeared. Yes, I fear for his life. Mart can get himself in to some scrapes. He's been in the City less than twelve months but we've always known where he is.

Please let nothign have happened to him. Yes I love him in a way that I know I shouldn't, but that doesn't stop me caring for his well being. Does it?

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Incomplete Without You

Tried to tell you
But words got in the way
Can't express what I had to say

Tried to find you
To make you realize
But explanations won't change your mind

How can the moments pass
How can a day seem like forever
How can a lifetime last so long?
Suddenly you're all alone
Wondering where all the years have gone
It's been so long, so long, so long
My life is incomplete without you

Incomplete without you
My life is incomplete without you
Incomplete without you

Some remember
Some live to forget
I can't erase what I don't regret
Time goes by
My heart won't let me hide
Thoughts I've tried so hard to disguise

How can the moments pass
How can a day seem like forever
How can a lifetime last so long?
Suddenly you're all alone
Wondering where all the years have gone
It's been so long, so long, so long
My life is incomplete without you

Incomplete without you
Incomplete without you
My life is incomplete without you
Incomplete without you

Can't stop thinkin' about you baby
It's been so long
Can't go livin' without you baby
Since you've been gone
Can't stop thinkin' about you baby
It's been so long
Can't go livin' without you baby
Since you've been gone

How can the moments pass
How can a day seem like forever
How can a lifetime last so long?
Suddenly you're all alone
Wondering where all the years have gone
It's been so long, so long, so long
My life is incomplete without you

Incomplete without you
My life is incomplete without you
Incomplete without you

A sun without a sky
Hello without goodbye
A night without a day
Now there's nothing left to say

A sun without a sky
Hello without goodbye
A dog without a bone
A house with someone home

Incomplete Without You [Get In Touch With Yourself : Swing Out Sister]

OK. So Who's Nicked The World?

Spent last night at Petes. It was going cold as I was driving over last night. It was starting to freeze over a bit as we went out for tea about 8.30.

He lives in a tower block and when we woke this morning (about 6.30), looked out of the window on to, well, NOTHING!!!

Yep, winter is definately here. Thick, heavy fog. He lives near a river, so when there's fog it's usually thick. I live near railway lines and mine was definately thicker this morning. It's now 10.35am and there's still fog about.

I hate driving in fog and it's too fucking cold.

Monday, December 08, 2003

Breaking News - Lemons are Good

HIV And Lemons: Sour But Safe, Lemon juice puts squeeze on Aids
and Sugar and PLWHA.

Just goes to show you: fuck the greens, yellow could be the future. [and no comments about water sports. Phurlease!!!]


Not written much over the weekend. Was invited to stay at Kyle's boyfriends place over the weekend. Pete was working and Kyle's bf was out of the country on business so we decided that instead of being alone over the weekend that I could go down there. There was also the opportunity to do some christmas shopping at the local town. Mart had never been and so I took him along.

The house is in the middle of the country and is luxurious to say the least. Set in its own grounds and miles from anywhere. I was born an brought up in the city so I could never live in a place like that, but it is really nice to get away for a while. Mart was full of awe when he saw the house. There's like a bend in the road, or a break in the hedges and you can see the house quite clearly. "We're going there?" he questioned with a dropped jaw as I drove down this narrow lane. "Yup" I replied. "Wow!"

We arrived about 1.30 and decided that we'd have a brew, settle in, and then go and get some shopping (along with some alcohol for later). It only took about 30 minutes to get to town and it was heaving. Kyle wanted to get something for his boyf while we were out. He'd only just really started walking again properly so after he'd got what he wanted (he already knew what and where) he asked if he could pick it up during the week as he would have difficulty carrying the present with the crutches.

We went to the main shopping area. To be honest, it was too busy and we didn't spend that long there. I was worried about Kyle getting knocked, and he was getting aggitated about the same. Also I was starting to panic a bit about all the people. I'm getting better at dealing with people but this was becoming a bit too much for me. It would probably have been OK if we'd have been in Manchester, but this place was unfamiliar was starting to get to me. So we decided to cut the shopping trip a bit short, go to a supermarket to get tea and the drink for later.

Fortunately we'd parked in the car park of the supermarket so it would be simple to get from supermarket to car to go home. On the way there we passed a church with posters and signs all round it. Mart asked me if I'd found God. "Look, the only way I'm gonna find God, at the moment, is if he comes over me in a fucking cottage!" I laughed back. I'm not religious, and have no strong views on it, but I do realise that some people need something to believe in.

We got the food (chicken) and drink (vodka) and headed back to the car. We left town and got lost! Well, the light was going. I didn't have much of a clue about what the right direction was and Kyle had always been driven by his boyfriend. We eventually got back about 8.45pm after what seemed like an eternity of motorway driving.

"Now it's time to paaaarrrtttttyyyyy!!!!" Kyle chorused after we got in. The house is in its own grounds so we knew we could make as much noise as we wanted and not bother anyone. Mart spoke about riding the horses naked and bareback. I told him it was too fucking cold out there but there was nothing to stop us getting naked in the house. "You know, why change the habit of a Saturday?" We all laughed. Kyle and I have had this things about losing our clothes when we get drunk for a while and it's started to rub off on Mart though he's painfully coy about his body. "I can imagine it later, you know," I said, "'Oi Mart, bring yer arse over here, me cock's getting cold!'" Well, another of my lines that going to do the rounds for a good long while.

Well the music played and the drink flowed and the dancing started. The music got louder and more drink flowed. We ended up getting topless, but that was all. Then in the laughing and joking it happened. I started necking with Mart. It's happened before, but that was drug induced. This was just on alcohol. I mean we really started snogging. Kyle came back from the toilet and just looked at us shaking his head. We stopped, noticed him looking and started laughing. More drink, more dancing and talking.

We went into the kitched to have a fag. Kyle stopped me before we got there. "You're gonna get hurt. You know this." I knew it was naughty and that I shouldn't be doing it. Until the last time, Mart was just a very good and very close friend. I'd never ever considered him in that way. Neither of us had. But we both knew it would happen again, and that it was likely to go further. "Give him a blowjob, or somethin', if you have to and leave it. But just be careful." I gave him my best puppy dog eyes. This was something I think we both needed to get out of our systems.

At buggery-bollocks o'clock we decided it was time for bed. We were all pretty wasted. We'd spent an hour sat down watching music TV - the first time we'd all been sat all evening. Kyle suggested it would make more sense if we all slept upstairs in the same bed. Well, it was a huge bed, could easily sleep five. So up we went. I always sleep naked, so got undressed and got into bed. Mart kept his shorts on but said that they'd be off in a bit. Guess what, we started necking again. Kyle had been in the en-suite putting his pyjamas on. He stood at the end of the bed and said "Oi. We'll have less of that. I think I'm sleeping in the middle."

Both Mart and I said he was no fun anymore. And then when he got in between us we both rolled into him and started to pretend to molest him. "Gerroff! Gerroff me!!" We all exchanged good night kisses (apart from Mart and I, and I think we'd already done that) and cuddled up together.

We all woke about the same time the following afternoon. "I think we need a brew." Kyle said and got out of bed. Mart and I rolled together after he'd gone and kissed. He's a pretty good kisser, actually, I remembered that from last time. We went downstairs and sat in the kitchen all a bit worse for last night.

I know it's going to happen between me and Mart. It is inevitable. It's not just me wanting it either. To be honest, I don't even know whether if it had've happened whether I'd have been able to do anything. Sex has been the last thing on my mind so far. Last time there were 'complications' though we knew that it could well have got, ahem, interesting last time.


Friday, December 05, 2003

Erm...? Just don't ask...

"Spunk! Spunk! Glorious Spunk!
Nothing quite like it, it's wonderful gunk.
So follow me, follow, right up your hollow.
And there you can swallow my glorious spunk!"

"You Can Call Me A Bastard Now!!!"


I've just got back from the Hospital and had my first batch of 'routine' tests. These are the 'baselines' and will be what everything in the future is compared against.

Met again with Simon, my Clinician. He asked me how I'd been. So I told him about life so far and that telling my closest has helped me understand my own reactions, but that I was still working at understanding myself. He said that that made sense. He reminded me that there was no rush and that I didn't have to tell anyone, but he could tell I was in much better spirit that last week.

After a brief chat he asked me if I'd read anything so I said I'd tried to but after a while its just words on a page or screen. Told him about one website I visited, can't remember which one now where it was just "Whoa!!! OVERLOAD OVERLOAD". He laughed in agreement. There's a lot of stuff out there about treatments and drugs but very little about how you feel. The drugs are something that may come later, it's not definite when, but how you get your head around it all is very overlooked.

Anyway. The baseline samples. FUCK ME WITH RAGGED TRAM LINE!!!!! I knew they were after blood, but Simon must have pulled out at least 12 vials in preparation. I told him of my fear of needles and that I'll probably be OK if I don't see what's going on. Everything had previously been done to my right arm and no one had ever attacked my left - and that was Simon's target. I explained about how the doctor fucked my veins up with the very first test I had done, that I was stingy with blood and had narrow veins with very thin walls and that last time I was there the nurse had not gone for the obvious one, due to what I'd said.

Simon pointed out that they usually go for the non-dominant arm due to the amount of blood needed. He did explain what each vial was for but I can't remember now. But he did now choose a smaller needle - with a pipe on it? - as he said that might be better for me.

Up went my sleeve. On went the strap. I looked away and Simon sunk the needle in. How can I explain it? Like trying to shove a rolling pin up your dick but in the middle of your arm! It didn't hurt so much as was fucking uncomfortable. Then it happened. I started to get hot. Get dizzy. Spots before my eyes. In this situation you have to say something. Apparently he could see the colour draining from me. I asked for some water. He got me some. I couldn't even see in the cup. I was trying to breath deeply and steadily. "Think of your last holiday, or something nice." he said. "I think I need the toilet." I was sweating (you name it and I was wet there!) and my stomach was saying 'time to empty'. He got a paper towel to mop my brow then handed it to me. It went over my mouth, just to stop any accidents.

"You're slowing down." he said, refering to the amount of blood coming from my arm. "I said I was stingy." I replied. I looked round and saw the half full vial on my arm. "we're not gonna get anything more from that." So he disconnected, removed the works and disposed of them. I was still shaky and somewhere around Mercury at the time.

He stroked my hand and said I'd done well. "You still want the loo?". "No, I think I'm OK" and he told me to just stay there while I came back to normal. It took a few minutes, quite a number of deep breaths and a mopping of everywhere that I could.

I'm going to have to get used to that. Simon said, though, that I must have a drink and something to eat before I come for things like that. Apparently it's the body's natural way of preventing excess blood loss.

"You can call me all the bastards you want now!" he smiled. "No," I said, "I'm not going to do that. I just told I was stingy with it." Then he directed me towards the pile of vials. Hey, was I impressed. There were only two that he'd not been able to attach. Most of the blood was going to check my general medical health but some of it was for CD4 and Viral Load tests. I'll write these at another point (like when I get my results on 22nd Dec).

I'm glad to be home, had a well needed cup of coffee (now need another one!) just waiting for my left arm to come back to normality. God it feels heavy, and just don't mention door handles...

Today's The Day

I'm so glad of Pete's result yesterday. I knew that if it hadn't come back clear we'd have been out last night, or at least been drinking stupidly at home.

Today I've got a big day at work - trying to get a system that died yesterday afternoon that had been croaking all week back up - and later I go back to the hospital for more tests including my 'Baselines'. I can just imagine it in the future.... last time we looked at your blood work there was a high concentration of vodka, you've obviously not been out as much this month!

Despite having a mortal fear of needles and injections I'm in good spirits. I know I'm not exactly going to enjoy the experience but it's now a fact of life. A fact of my life, at any rate.

A thought to leave you with: Is this the beginning of the end, or just the end of the beginning?

Thursday, December 04, 2003

Arsehole Gets Tested

Pete's tests came back clear. I'm so relieved, but I think he's got a touch of 'survivor guilt'. Having said that, could I cope with him coming back positive?

Erm... Not just yet.

My Head Hurts...

Oooo. She's not a well woman today.

We decided to go out last night. Just for a while.... 1am we got back home.

I got back from work, Pete was there. He'd had a call from Kyle and Mart saying they were in town and did we fancy meeting them. I thought about it. I did fancy going out, but I didn't fancy it. I did want to, but then again I didn't. I'm getting better at social interaction but it's still hard and I know its all completely irrational.

Pete was starting to get a bit jumpy about him being tested today, so I knew the best thing would be to distract him and make him enjoy the evening. He wanted to a have a quiet drink with just him and me. But I pointed out that if he went on one while we were out there was no way I could cope with him and it would send me off and things would get pretty bad between us. I'd much prefer to go out with Kyle and Mart as "in company it means you've got to be on your best behaviour and so have I". He understood and so we got ready and went out.

Sounds a bit like 'the last supper' but I really did enjoy myself. Kyle had a bit of a boogie (not easy when one of your legs doesn't work properly) and I was really impressed and pleased at that. Mart and I did our usual 'erotic dancing' and flirting. We had a scream. All of us ended up dancing to "The Time Of My Life", you know, that Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes song. Think it was used on the soundtrack to Dirty Dancing (or some big 80's movie). I broke down a bit. Pete saw I was starting to fail, I was biting my lip, trying to sing along and it just wasn't working. He beckond me over and hugged me. I was crying because I was so happy.

We tried to count how much we'd had to drink. Oh dear. Apparently I was putting back cans of Red Stripe like prohibition was coming in tomorrow. That explains why I feel lousy this morning. Some things are not going to change. Just hope that hang overs are not going to be recurrent things...

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

From The Left-side...

"I'm crossing that bridge with lessons I've learned.
Playing with fire and not getting burnt.
And I may not know what you're going through,
But time is the space between me and you.
And there is a light through the window.
Hold on, say 'Yes' while people say 'No'.
'Cos life carries on."

From Prayer For The Dying [Seal : Seal]


Tuesday, December 02, 2003

The Hunt For Weed

Eventually we all made it back into the living room. Mart and Kyle started texting around looking to see where they could get some weed from. What is it about vodka and weed? Just a nice combination? We all felt the need for something to chill us out and try and bring some normality back to the proceedings. Kyle located a supply, and I knew that I would be going round with him to get it. I didn't mind. A walk would clear my head and I'd not seen Paul in ages anyway.

Mart couldn't understand how calm I was being and kept saying that if it had been him he'd be all over the place. He said something, that I unfortunately can't remember. It was so sweet and nice that I gave him a big big hug, a kiss, and then I started to cry. But only a little bit. I am worried about all this, but I need the support of my family. Together, we're strong. Probably when they all know and are comfortable [if that's possible, I don't know] is when I'll fall apart. When I'll properly cry for myself.

Anyway, the time came for Kyle and me to go to Pauls to get the weed. We didn't speak about it much on the way. But Kyle did happen to drop into the conversation that Paul was also HIV+. "I remember you suspecting that ages ago, but never knew you'd got to the bottom of it.". Kyle's response was a definate "don't ask, don't know" look.

"Mmmmm. You're looking good. Going for the scally look are we?" he chimed when he saw me. "Well, I try" i flirted back. I'd taken an instant liking to Paul when I first met him. Nothing sexual, though he is pretty fit, but a really nice guy. Very caring, very open and with a wicked sense of humour. Paul had been out earlier in the evening and as usually happens he came back with a houseful. One of that houseful I didn't expect to meet was a lad called Mark. Now Mark had been introduced to me by another friend on my birthday last year when we went out to a club. He tried chatting me up back then, but after a day of d&d it wasn't really working. Bless. Up popped a spliff - like from nowhere! Well, when it's on offer it is rude to refuse. Paul offered us a drink. For both of us it was vodka and red bull as "some selfish bastard, such as me, has just finished the lager!!" Paul made these and brought them in.

Mark sat on the floor next to me and we got talking about shit. He was trying to flirt with me and I don't know if it was working or not. The giveaway was "you've been here before? Oh, just I'd show you to the toilet if you needed to go." like two seconds after sitting down! I kept hopping from conversations with Kyle and Paul and Mark. This was nice. The situation was normal.

Then came another spliff and this was huge and like a fucking cone. Boy was it strong. Had a bit and then passed it round. Paul notices that mine and Kyle's glasses were empty. "Mark, get everyone a drink. And while you're there check on the chips." It seems clear that Mark's intentions were not entirely honorable as the amount of vodka in the next drink had more than trippled - it was like fuckin rocket fuel. My body told me that I was completely pissed now and that I should be getting back to Pete shortly. We made our excuses and left to come back.

When we got back to Pete's he was in a strop because we'd been gone a long time (two hours is not that long, is it?). This caused friction with everyone. I sat down and he was still going on with himself. Some of it directed at me, some of it directed at Kyle. The option of explaining, however, was not offered. He was doing my head in and I couldn't take it. I'd only just taken my coat off but I put it back on and walked towards the front door. "Where are you going?" he asked. "Home" i replied sharply. And so I went. He left with me. However, I had to go back as I'd left my keys in the bedroom. Take two...

Long story short. Basically I got as far as the bus stop outside the block. We came back inside and sat on the landing. I tried to explain to him why I wanted to go home. He said that he had been worried and that was what caused his outburst. "Fine, I said. I've no problem with you being worried. I do have a problem with you having a go at me because you're worried. Look, if you're like this now what are you going to be like later on? I'm still here and I'm still living. Let me live my life." He conceeded that he'd been an arsehole and I told him that I wouldn't accept that from him. I didn't accept it before and I sure as shit wasn't taking it now.

Never Judge A Book By Its Cover

Last night was hard work. Pete and Mart had been on the piss most of the day - vodka and cherryade - so they were both pretty far gone by the time I got there. Well I got there late. I was supposed to be at Petes between 6 and 6.30 but last night I also had to get the vodka before I got there. That in itself wasn't too bad apart from ASDA having the remedial class working the checkouts. Then I got stuck in town trying to get past the fucking Manchester Evening News Arena. Can't believe it took me 30 minutes just to get round a bleeding corner.

Finally parked up about 7.10. Mart was in the flat on his own as Pete 'was worried' and had gone to the call box to ring me. I went into the kitchen to put the coke in the fridge and Mart followed. I already knew that he'd put two and two together, but we had a hug and he said it means nothing. It's still you and I still love you just the same. I was genuinely touched. He apologised for being 'a little pissed' but also said that that wasn't the drink talking, he really meant it.

Pete arrived back shortly. I wish he'd realise that he can't take vodka in the same way I can. He gets too pissed too quickly on it. He was going to do my head in before the end of the night. Shortly after arrived Kyle. And I'd still not sat down. Pete dropped an absolute clanger: offering Kyle a vodka and claiming he was going to need it. Well, this instantly got his starting to worrry about what was really going on. I followed Pete into the kitchen and told him I was not impressed and that he better go and diffuse the situation he'd just caused. To be fair, he did. Though I made it clear I was not too happy. Some of it was his own stress about having to go through tonight but I told him that I play it my way or he's not involved in it at all. Also told him that he'd better calm down and chill out as it was making it harder for me.

I had to do this sooner rather than later and well before we all got too pissed. Kyle's had a problem with his leg - silly accident - and hasn't been able to walk for about three months. Last time I saw him I was a little worried about the muscle wastage on his bad leg. He's been doing physio and trying to walk a little. He can manage without sticks, for a short time. I was really proud of him. Plus, now he's a bit more mobile the muscles are starting to fatten up and strengthen so his leg is beginning to look like a leg.

I sat on the floor in front of him and compared both his legs and told him how impressed I was. Always a show off, he got up, got one of his sticks, fed it between his legs and started a little dance to a chorus of 'I've got a little something for ya!'. It was hillarious.

When he sat down and I stopped laughing I told him that I had a little something for him as well. 'An apology'. 'What you apologising for?' Kyle asked. 'For lying to you on Saturday.' He looked confused. Mart knew and Pete knew what was coming. I think I'd told him about the initial test and the cock up over the phone, but I had to repeat it for Mart's benefit.

"You know how you said 'well thank god it isn't that' well, erm... it is. I'm HIV positive." To say that the colour drained from his face would be an understatement. You could see the shock beginning to form. He slid off the couch on to the floor and gave me a big hug. Mart joined us. We were there like that for about 5 minutes. When he got back up and sat down, I looked at him. He was dazed. Mart was dazed. I asked Kyle if he could describe what he was feeling and thinking. He looked me straight in the eye and said 'no, I can't'. I went 'I know. try multiplying it by about 20,000.' The look on his face was just, this can't be happening.

"It was important for me to tell you. You know me, I'm not the kind of person who takes risks. Sometimes it looks like I'm taking a risk but you know that it's always calculated. I need you to know. If I can get this, anyone can." At this point it sunk in with a thud with Mart and I could see him begin to well up. "I've always thought I've been safe. But I really need you girls to really think about how safe is careful." It was too much for Mart and he flew out of the room to the bedroom.

I suppose I misjudged Kyle completely. I thought it would be him who reacted in the way that Mart had. Maybe he still will when it's sunk in. He's always been good in a crisis and things like this make him strong. I had a bit of a chat with Kyle about it all, the tests to come and everything I knew at this moment in time. But I was beginning to worry for Mart. I made my excuses and went to find him.

He was sat on the bed. Crying heavily. "Hey, baby. Don't cry. It's going to be alright." I said as I sat next to him and cuddled him. He put his arms around me and his head on my shoulder. "But I'm the one who's supposed to be supporting you. God, you're so brave." "No," I went, "I've just had a little longer to think about this than you." "Why is it everyone I love and care for something bad happens?" he blubbed. I couldn't answer that one. But thanked him when he said he would always be there for me. I've always thought of Mart as my little baby and I've got a very soft spot for him. I think I'm the first person he's gotten to know so closely with HIV and that's why it's hit so hard. He was shaking like a leaf in my arms so I held my hand out in front of us. 'Look. I'm shaking as well. We're gonna get through this'.

Monday, December 01, 2003


Firstly, no thought today. Woke up with nothing specific on my mind apart from getting to work. I know I thought I wanted some time off, but I was feeling strong enough to go in. So I did. Having said that I did have a real bad case of insomnia last night. We both did, actually. Went down stairs, had a fag (or two) and a glass of milk and said to Pete "I hate this insomnia. I could really do without it." I got up 'cos my mind was racing away over everything and nothing. I was stuck trying to piece together when I was actually infected. If I can possible get a handle on that, I might be able to work out how. Just a possibility, and I'm making no promises.

Pete has decided to go for test as well. His will be on Thursday morning and he'll get the results later on that day. I felt compelled to ask him whether he was sure he wanted to know the results so quickly, and pointed out that no matter how prepared you think you are for the bad result it's no where near enough. I'm not expecting anything bad, but then I wasn't expecting anything bad for myself so let's just say I'm not expecting. He said he was sure and that he'd thought about it himself. So I guess my mood is going to be 'preoccupied' on Thursday.

He's trying to help me I know, but he needs to realise that I have to do somethings for myself. After all, it's my condition and I have to play it in the way I feel fit to. I'm going round to his tonight to tell some of my 'family'. I have mixed feelings, but I owe it to them to be honest - especially as I told a bare-faced lie about it to one of them on Saturday. The problem is that Pete has a friend who, I know will get to know eventually, but my first priorty is my family and I don't class him as family, and Pete was thinking how he could 'get rid of him'. [God, that sounds terrible]. I basically said that all he needs to tell him is that I need to have a private word with the others, if anything that even he isn't supposed to be there, but that there are circumstances which mean I've called the meeting [gee, don't it sound grand!] at his and not at mine. We'll see...

We got on to the topic of boxes of rubber gloves. I joked that at least I know what to buy people for christmas now. Steve, my manager, got nearly everyone book tokens or something like that last year. Don't know if gloves is an improvement or not. As we were going into town Pete commented that I'd been quite happy and playful over the weekend, and I suppose for the most part I have. "Something like this, even at this stage, really puts things into perspective. Makes you realise that some important things aren't quite as important." I've had to completely re-look at my whole value-judgement thingy. And true, I either laugh and make a joke over things or I'm gonna ball out at them. I know the choice I'd rather take.

Tonight is going to be a difficult one. One member of my extended family has always looked up to both Pete and I. When we first split up he was the one most devastated. He's still not happy that we're apart but it helps that he knows, understands, and for the most part, agrees with my reasons. In someways I went from parent to sister with him overnight. He confides in me, and I've already confided some big things with him. But nothing as big as this. Oh, I'm not looking forward to this. I don't know what to say, I don't know how to start. I'll think of something. It's big bottle of vodka time and I better get a shift on.

Oh, and by the way, 'Happy World Aids Day'. Sorry, bit of a crummy salutation, but I wanted to mark it. May we all have fond memories of those who have gone and are going before us. Pete said something really sweet this morning when he found out what day it was (apart from saying that tonight was a little apt) "It's World Aids Day today, but I'm not concerned I don't have a ribbon for you. You've not got AIDS, you've got HIV." Absolutely! And long may I be here to thank him for that sweet thought.