Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Much to be Thankful For

     Life has been so good these past few years that I seem to have lost track of this blog. The truth is I have been putting all my energy into writing screenplays, and have been seeing some interest from producers and managers. Nothing has been optioned as of yet, but I vow to write on. I use the word 'vow' purposefully because I've married my writing.
     After 10 years of dates, 10 years of sitting at restaurant tables that did more to alienate than anything else, I realized I wasn't going to find that someone to settle down with. A lot of the guys couldn't get past my HIV. But there were also a few who were all right with it. I even dated a few guys who were also HIV+. Chemistry can be so elusive.  But it was this one final dinner that made me understand what a colossal joke life could be. I had met him online, and we took to each other right away. After 2 dates, I decided to tell him. We were sitting in a Chinese restaurant when he suddenly, inexplicably, went off into a tirade against HIV+ guys and how they all needed to die. Part of me was mortified. But another part of me was laughing uncontrollably, thinking: it's a good thing I didn't tell him about my status before he decided to lose it completely. The dinner ended. He said he was looking forward to seeing me again after his business trip to Asia. Shortly thereafter I e-mailed him and told him I was HIV+, and that we probably wouldn't be seeing each other any time soon. To his credit, he apologized and cried over the phone to me. I told him not to worry about anything. Earlier this summer, after about 2 years, I saw him on the street in Hell's Kitchen. He was with some other guy. They looked happy. I was happy.
     As miserable as that last date was, sitting at that small table in that Chinese restaurant, it was infinitely better than all those times I'd be sitting and waiting to be seen by the doctor. For the last decade I've had to see my doctors 9 times a year. 4 times for blood work, 4 times for discussing results and once for a psychological exam. Waiting rooms are like isolation chambers. Even the one at the clinic I go to for all my medical work. It's pretty obvious that everyone sitting there is also HIV+, but no one ever wants to make eye contact. Making eye contact would be to expose the truth. Anyway, it's my yearly psych exam that ironically keeps me going in life--it forces me to be positive and happy. I never got so much as a C in school, so there's no way I'm ever going to fail a psych exam!
     Truthfully, I'd be lying if I didn't say that HIV hasn't turned me a little cuckoo. A writer is nothing if not someone who talks to himself. Constantly. Perhaps that's why I've come back to this blog again. I've gotten a little too comfortable sitting at my desk, talking to my characters, getting inside their heads, forgetting that there's a world just outside my window. I've turned into a homebody! Me, the guy who used to love to travel the world, and learn foreign languages and meet people at parties. I smile as I write this: I've discovered TV. I'm watching American Horror Story this season and loving it. I watched every episode of Korea's Next Top Model, Cycle 4. (It puts Tyra's show to shame.) I've discovered YouTube! Who knew there was so much interesting stuff to be seen? And of course I have my subscriptions to The New Yorker and Wired. I rediscovered my love for Somerset Maugham. On my nightstand is David Byrne's How Music Works. 
     Where do I go from here? When you're in your head, and in your room so much of the time, floating in an ocean of words, where is it that you drift off to next? I wonder.


ButchCountry said...

Good to see your writing here again, wonderful post I found it thought provoking and have hopes that you will come back to this blog to write and share more.

J.T. said...

Thanks so much ButchCountry. I will write if you come back to visit. :-)

ButchCountry said...

it's a deal! I have you on my blog list so I can wander over and read your wonderful writings as soon as you post them :)

Joey said...

welcome back!