A blast from the past

So here is a story I wrote in 2003. I wrote it to get a rise out of a girl in my class. We were all supposed to say something interesting about ourselves, when we met in our first day. I don’t remember what I said, but I do remember what she said.

“Hi my name is ______, and Jesus is my best friend.” I was so shocked by it, that I wanted to write something she might find offensive. Little did I know I would be out done later that semester by someone who wrote about a incestuous gay bestial rape scene. Yeah…mine is pretty tame compared to that.



“So, Ryan…It’s you’re first time. Well, I want you to know that we’re all here to help one another, so if you don’t feel like talking the first day, that’s okay. A lot of us didn’t talk our first time. You’ve come on a rather interesting night though We’ll be continuing the conversation we had last week. Karla was telling us about Morgan last time. Have there been any new developments since then?”

I couldn’t fucking believe I came to this group. I knew this is exactly what it was going to be like. A bunch of empty shells trying to scrape what little was left of themselves out in front of people, hoping for just one ounce of pity. I didn’t want anyone to feel for me. I didn’t need a fucking hug or a spiritual group prayer with two vegan lesbians accompanying us all on their guitars. I didn’t want to feel like I used to. I didn’t want to reminisce, and I especially didn’t want to listen to Karla bare her bleeding soul about how Morgan had ruined her forever. I didn’t even know Karla; I didn’t know anyone. That’s why I hate coming to these things. They never give me what I want.

I wanted to feel nothing. That’s really what I wanted. I didn’t want to feel anything, let alone everything all over again.   I wanted to be numb, to have every sense in me flushed from what was left of my body.

“Well you know Karla, one of the first things we teach each other here is forgiveness. Forgiveness promotes a certain amount of release. I’m sure each and every one of us knows the relief we get when we forgive. No more carrying around all that bottled up hostility.” And then there was Chris. Chris was the leader of our group. I hadn’t been in the room for more than three seconds before he bounced his perky self over to me introduced himself to me while pointing at his name tag. People like Chris were even worse than Karla. They are the ones that only listen to make themselves feel better about their own lives. Chris was just as sick as any of the rest of us.  He knew it, but instead of being real like he told everyone else to, he hid it from even himself. His face had slowly fused with the mask of the big smile and upbeat tone, while the words to every 12 step pamphlet spilled out from his lips. Over the years of pain, every trace of personality had seeped out, only to be replaced by the superficial cordiality which locked him within a prison of polite manners.

“Ryan, would you like to share your story?” Of course not, what kind of a masochist do you take me for?

“Well…I” I hate how my brain censors what I think from what I say.

“It’s okay if you don’t. There’s no pressure here. It’s just that some us find it relieving to talk finally talk about it.” If there’s no pressure why the fuck did you ask the new guy?

“No, that’s okay. Maybe it might be nice to talk about it. I’m just not very sure where to start.” That little shit! I’m not about to be known as the one who refused to share. No pressure my ass!

“Well, why don’t you tell us how you got sick.” He said leaning in to hear, his mouth beginning to drool at the sounds of fresh meat.

I closed my eyes for a moment. My mind flashed to so many images; the doctors, the bathroom, the club, and then I saw it. I saw the bed and my ears rung out with his voice.

“Are you coming or not?” He’d said it so sweetly that night, and yet every time I hear it in my head it gets more distorted, more tainted by the pain. The inflections of the whisper become more serpentine every time I hear it in my head, but I remember at one time I found it the most seductive thing anyone had ever said to me.

Those words were my last chance, and for a few seconds my feet began to move towards the door. I stopped. I looked forward, frozen in my tracks, noticing the moonlight filtering through the blinds, his silver silhouette filling my eyes. He opened his arms to me, and slowly I went to him. As I walked closer, the soft sound of my clothes hitting the floor filled the room. He folded me into him as I slowly slid beneath the soft sheets. We lay there for a moment, the silence burning my ears, forcing me to breathe in heavily, inhaling his essence, which has never left me.  I felt his breath on the back of my neck as I exhaled. Slowly the warm air blew harder and harder until his lips slowly pressed themselves into me. I brought his hand to my face as his other began exploring my body. He followed the trail to what he wanted, the one thing we both knew would satisfy him. I rolled to face him, and our lips met as he pulled my body closer to him. Finally our bodies came together, and we were one. I was finally experiencing what I had spent what seemed like my whole life waiting for. My body finally feeling in reality the sensations my imagination had haunted me with night after night in my fantasies. My body was on fire. It felt like every cell in my body was celebrating love, and yet it was nothing like I’d imagined it would be. It was cheap, and empty.  The love I’d envisioned was replace by the lust of this man who I barely knew.  I wanted stop.

“I love you” he whispered, softly killing my resistance. He kissed me again, and, before I knew it, I was lost. The “me” I’d spent a lifetime becoming was no more. That night I reveled in not having to be me anymore. I didn’t have the baggage of my entire life weighing me down. It was the ecstasy of being numb and alive.

For weeks I thought about him, felt him and only him. I was still new, still lusting in my world of no pain.  From new years to Valentines Day I felt the best I’ve ever felt in my entire life.

“Excuse me sir. Would you please follow me?” It was the last day of my new life. The last time I’d smile as I followed her down the long white hall, so happy and eager to be there.

“If you’ll wait right here, Dr. Allen will be with you in just a moment.”

“Dr. Allen? No, I’m not here to see a doctor!” I yelled after her as she shut the door.

I wish I had spent forever relishing the next few moments. They were the last few moments given to me before I knew, and I wasted them assuming it was just a mix up. After a few minutes Dr. Allen did indeed come through the door. He sat down facing me and pulled out a piece of paper from his folder.

“You’re Ryan Sanders?” he asked.

“Yes, I’m sorry sir. There appears to be a mix up. I’m just here to give blood.” I explained to him

“Yes, you gave last month as well correct?”

“Yeah. I give every month. I’m a universal donor… O negative.” I’d always been proud that my blood could save anyone.

“Oh? Well Ryan…we thank you very much for all that you’ve given us, but last month something was wrong. You’re blood showed up positive when we scanned it for HIV.”

“What?” It couldn’t be true.

“I’m afraid we’ve run the test multiple times, and it indicated you have been infected with the HIV virus Mr. Sanders. Now, I know of some very good places you can go to seek treatment, as well as the names of several groups that provide counseling and other things for people with HIV…” He trailed off in my mind, telling me all about the virus I’d heard about for years.  The numb feeling quickly drained from my body as I began to shake with fear.

That night I couldn’t do anything.  I lay next to the toilet vomiting and spitting, trying to get this fucking thing out of me, but it’s stayed.  Now I think I can feel it inside of me. I feel it instead of the fucking demon who fucked me on the millennium, and he’s dead now.  It had eaten him from with, and now it was slowly devouring me the same way.

I looked up and saw the faces of the group. Their eyes all fixed on me, and I realized I had told them. I had been telling them the entire time I sat there remembering it, and their eyes made me wish for death even more: the looks of relief that my story was worse than theirs from half of them and the stares of similar stories reflected back at me in others. I could see the faces of their infectors in their eyes: the ones that they’d loved, the ones that had loved them, and the ones that had hurt them.  They were all there. I had stopped speaking, and finally I just lowered my head.

“Ryan, it’s all right. Thank you for sharing that with us.” Chris said, with the murmur of two dozen thank you’s underneath. Chris had gotten just what he wanted, and I was still left feeling exactly what I had so desired to escape except that for the first time in two years I felt something else. As the meeting ended with a group hug, the eyes I had so desired to escape had changed. The looks weren’t of pity, or sadness, it was something different, something I couldn’t figure out.


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