And now the conclusion to my night out on the town with the boys after dark...
"Please tell me that you were going to tell one of us that you were HIV positive before he decided to touch your penis." I said in the driest tone.
"I was, but touching and feeling on my dick doesn't really give you HIV." He replied.
"Well just a second ago you were on some, I've had all STD's, so all it takes is one feel or touch to get herpes, scabies, or genital warts, so what's really the deal?" I asked him back.
Tre's face was blank. I just saved his life. Then all of a sudden he wanted to get uncomfortable with being in the situation that we equally took part in making...But I didn't go as far as to touching his dick. I was glad that he was honest, I was glad that he probably did have every intention on telling us his status if it came to that. He was cool about it.
"So do you know who you got it from?"
"Yeah." He said in the same tone that he carried all night, calm...
"So do you two still talk? Do you think he purposely gave it to you?"
"I think he did. We're cordial. That's as far as it goes." He replied.
"Do you feel at all cursed?" I asked him back.
"Yes and no sometimes, but it is what it is."
He answered every question that I had. I thought about what his life must have been like. Being black, being gay, and having HIV. What his life was like before HIV was apart of his life. I imagined him being fine, gorgeous, charming. Sticking his dick in everything that moved. The kinda of guy that wouldn't have made me feel less than because of my weight. He was one who enjoyed life-but soon learned what life was with a gray cloud over it. Could my life be like this? Would I change who I was (am) if I was HIV positive? How would people view me? What would I do? Would I kill myself? Who would I tell?
As silence bounced off the leather in my car, the moon lit the dark street, and eyes wide open with thought. The clocked moved and it was 4 a.m. The hour of the tricks, thieves, and crackheads.
"Can we be friends he asked me?"
"Sure...There is nothing wrong with that." I said.
He gave me his number and explained to me how lonely his life was. How he thought that I was a cool person...I haven't called him. I don't think I will.
The burden of life is sometimes heavier than explanation.
He'll remain a constant, vivid reality in my mind. Forever etched in a place where I'll often visit-reminding me always to think before I act.
Only 36 hours will tell what will happen after the club next time....