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Author Topic: Happy Birthday, Stupid Virus  (Read 1900 times)

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Offline beaubrent

  • Member
  • Posts: 44
Happy Birthday, Stupid Virus
« on: April 09, 2008, 02:22:43 PM »

One cup of flour sat next to two eggs and a pile of chopped almonds. The crisp eight a.m. sunlight poured into the kitchen and bounced off of everything, making it the perfect day, the perfect time for my annual ritual.

Today is an important day. A sad day. A bright day. Everything must be right.

I greased the baking pan and sprinkled it with sugar. I browned the almonds in butter. I mixed the batter with brown sugar instead of white sugar. Although the components of my ritual have changed over the years, it remains mostly the same. When I finally poured it all in and popped it in the oven, I had twenty minutes exactly for the next phase of the ritual.

Today, as I have done six times before, I celebrate the anniversary of my HIV. Just like every year before, I do it to mark an important point in time, a certain respect I share for a worthy enemy. Each attention to detail - each fork placed perfectly next to the plate or getting the exact consistency of the gentle brown crust on the cake - represents the respect for detail I give to my virus. It helps me to remember that everything I do in my life is another way I fight this virus. Everything. Like eating a carrot. Going to the gym each day. Smiling in spite of it all. Continuing to do everything I thought I wouldn't be able to do in spite of it. Tickling someone. Loving. Being loved. Thanks to each year I've built up, the support of those around me, and the experience of all those Gay men before me I have an endless array of weapons in my expansive arsenal to give HIV the finger.

He came into the room and just sat down in front of me in that way doctors do that lets you know you're positive without them having to say it. I remember feeling like I wasn't there, but outside of my body, as if it wasn't us, but two actors playing out a scene long ago. This wasn't supposed to happen anymore. The memory is still as clear as ever.

I poured a cup of coffee and watched the steam rise, curl, and disappear into the air while I fumbled for the candles. I used to do this ritual at night. The darkness used to lend a somber mood to the whole affair, letting the candles better play their part of the ritual. Now I do it in the morning so that I can truly celebrate each new day I've been given and each new day I have.

It's done. The smell of almond fills the air when I open the oven. I carefully turn it over on a plate and it falls out easily. It's even better than last year. That makes me smile. It's oddly beautiful, a fitting symbol for an un-beautiful virus in sometimes beautiful people.

I will continue to celebrate each year I live in spite of HIV. I will make a cake, think about how far I have come, go further every year, and never stop remembering. Each candle represents another game point for me, another refusal to be beaten. Putting in six candles, I stop to remember every year. In time, the candles lit and the life I've lived will be so much I've done in spite of the virus that it will mean that I've won.

"And I will win," I say to nobody, smiling when I blow out the candles.

Happy Birthday, virus, you sonofabitch. Now your journey is getting harder and mine is getting easier. As each year passes, I know that I've learned what needs to be done to outlast you, but you still have no idea of what I'll come up with next as the newest way to kick your ass. I'm getting stronger and you're getting weaker.

Here's to another year, and another point for me.
When I found out I had HIV,

I woke up and started living.

Offline thunter34

  • Member
  • Posts: 7,361
  • His name is Carl.
Re: Happy Birthday, Stupid Virus
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2008, 03:11:26 PM »
I'd like a piece of that.
AIDS isn't for sissies.

Offline AndyArrow

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,196
Re: Happy Birthday, Stupid Virus
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2008, 04:39:32 PM »
I'll bet you'd like some of what he baked too.
It is not the arrival that matters.  It is the journey along the way. -- Michel Montaigne

Offline Ohio.POZ

  • Member
  • Posts: 7
Re: Happy Birthday, Stupid Virus
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2008, 10:16:20 PM »

You go boy...congrats on another year!

infected 11/07/04
diagnosed 02/19/05

date      cd4/cd4%/vl
3/2/05      493/26/14360
6/10/05      470/30/51140
10/24/05   414/27/18010
2/28/06      327/22/77000
4/27/06      368/20/72450
7/28/06      266/15/52155
9/22/06      226/15/30637
Started Atripla 11/9/06
12/13/06       366/18.3/716
1/24/07         528/?/<50
3/7/07           469/20.4/<50
9/10/07         392/22/<50
1/3/08           495/25/<50

Offline Oceanbeach

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,565
Re: Happy Birthday, Stupid Virus
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2008, 10:25:00 PM »
Hey Beau,

That was an inspiring story, thank you for sharing  ;D  Have the best day
(who would use his grandmothers lace table cloth, plastic forks and paper plates)  ;D

Offline 27years

  • Member
  • Posts: 145
  • What I did for love I will still do it for love
Re: Happy Birthday, Stupid Virus
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2008, 05:51:53 AM »
Happy celebration for achieving some important things in life and living another year with the virus, not an easy companion to have, but not an unmanageable one. Have a great day, enjoy the cake
Nobody dies a virgin life screws us all up

Offline germangirl

  • Member
  • Posts: 67
Re: Happy Birthday, Stupid Virus
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2008, 05:58:28 AM »
Great story.
And it seems as if you have accepted your cohabitant and handle it well. Have a good day. Germangirl
Eres el aire que respiro,
Eres el compania de mi soledad,
Eres el luz que me ilumina,
Eres el camino en la oseuidad.
Dedicated to my husband

My husband is positive, I am negative.

Offline mjmel

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,069
Re: Happy Birthday, Stupid Virus
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2008, 09:14:14 AM »
Cool ritual. Delightful person.


Offline bmancanfly

  • Member
  • Posts: 730
  • Medicare For All !
Re: Happy Birthday, Stupid Virus
« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2008, 10:38:42 AM »
Carpe Diem  !

Beautiful post, Beau.
"The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt."

 Bertrand Russell

Offline pozguy75

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,239
    • POZitively Speaking
Re: Happy Birthday, Stupid Virus
« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2008, 12:09:42 PM »
hey you!!

Happy...well, you know what it is!
Dx 2005


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