Sunday, October 3, 2010

Chained in Change

Metanoia , a religious term I was introduced to when I studied in one Catholic school. It’s a Greek term which literally means ‘change of heart.’ This is usually accompanied by a life-altering experience - similar to the agnostic Saul’s conversion –becoming the pious Paul when his sight was brought back by a man of God.  

In my opinion, a person would change his ways only when faced with a majorly crucial event such as being grazed by a bullet, the unexpected demise of a beloved or simply put, when faced with one’s mortality. Smokers cease nicotine-inhale after learning of a lung complication. It is a reason why I think the senile frequent the church more than the youth. It is through this logic that I’m left to wonder how my life has changed since I found out I’m HIV-positive.

Life before was pretty hectic. I was juggling school and work. Whatever meager time I have left, I hang out with friends and did my thing –performing, that is. Sure, I get some shuteye – in the office lounge, in between LRT and MRT rides (while standing!) and during my classes. I ate when possible, gulped paltry portions of food during office lunchtime so I can get the essential zzzs.

Now I wouldn’t say that I had myself banged by every hot-blooded Pinoy when the urge came (did I just reveal too much?) but I had to admit that my sex batting average borders on just plain hedonistic. Prophylactics then were something the dominant one insisted because, frankly, I didn’t really mind. I mean, a few millimeters (or the lack of it) between skin doesn’t really make much of a difference right? I’m the proverbial pleaser – always service with a smirk. *wink

HIV was a thing that happened to other people -something that brushed my superego in moments of random mulling. It was something briefly entertained after the rough and thoughtless orgy of good-looking guys, only to be just as hastily disregarded by the stronger id.

Two years ago, I took the test that every gay guy aspires to fail. No one really expects to ace it in the first try but unfortunately I did – with a cheerfully low CD4 count to boot.  So yeah I went through the five stages of grief from denial to acceptance (well okay sometimes I go back to bargaining part.) At which point, I realized some drastic lifestyle change is inevitable – unless of course I prefer to expire with the horrendous TB and meningitis.

And so lifestyle overhaul it is: eating more fiber from fruits and vegetables, taking supplements for the immune system, working out 3-4 times a week, getting the recommended dose of doze, avoiding alcoholics and managing stress.

Now as I sit back and ponder, I realize that other than these minor alterations, I realized that nothing much has changed. Did I encounter a Paul-like conversion – becoming less promiscuous and more monastic? Do I feel closer to the Higher Being or am I better person now than I was before? Answer.. no.

While I live healthy and more responsibly, I’m still the same person I was a few years ago. True, my immune system has been compromised but my mortality hasn’t.  i'm still existing with the same issues and enjoying the same pleasures - HIV didn't change that. Maybe a bullet graze will bring about my metanoia. But cross our fingers that it won’t come to that.

"Change is inevitable - except from a vending machine." 

Sunday, September 26, 2010

First Draft

I have nothing to write. I’ve mulled over the content of this blog for weeks now and is without an idea what to do with it. The title itself took more than a few hours to create and I’ve yet to be satisfied with it.

The purpose of this blog eludes me. Should it be a journal of my personal observation of daily living and inane trivia of my existence? Should I post something socially relevant to inform the esteemed readers? Or write of something risqué to capture the imagination?

I want to write an exciting entry that will create an impact resonating throughout the entire blogosphere. I want an entry that would make readers return and comment on this epic read. I want to inspire budding writers and simply get my writing groove back on.

So here’s my first entry. It might not resonate, might not collect comments or it might not inspire . But I’m getting my writing groove back on, just you wait.

"By writing much, one learns to write well." -Robert Southey