Saturday, August 19, 2006

Monster-sized post: Letters to D. (late Jan-late March 2006, starting less than a month following my diagnosis)

**** A very special man, Uncle D. I would have never gotten through those times without him. We switched to phone calls at some point, then I became involved with E., and our relationship didn't last long enough till the romantic involvement with P., which he had warned me about. THANK YOU D. whatever you're up to, I hope you're OK, & happy****

(1) 23 Jan 2006
Hi D
I will try to answer your questions at random. My name is not xxxx, my real name is embedded in this email address. I am just being careful, my name in a Dutch context would stand out.I study xxxxx. I am not as cheerful as my profile may seem, I mean, best foot forward and all that, stiff upper lip, you get the picture. I do wish for love and happiness though and making people feel good, especially special people. A profile more reflective of the current situation would probably look something like this: temporarily insomniac scared young woman, who's also had her doctors compare HIV to high blood pressure/cholesterol etc and been promised she could have normal life & kids, is "seeking solace" before heading back to the Netherlands from her own country, where she is getting treatment (tests tomorrow) while staying at her parents' house, because she knows (as she'd spent last week in the NL unsuccessfully trying to convince her BF not to break up with her) that despite reassurances and scientific advancements it will be bloody hard in the college town she lives in b/c everyone will look so carefree young and indulgent and she will wear the knowledge of her new status like an isulation bubble... - not quite as uplifing is it? oh and one more thing, there is no such things as a "social smoker" - it is only a transition between quitting and smoking that turns into a full-on habit as soon as you find out... Seriously though, it does help a little, I try to do what helps. I do have a vague memory of what it feels like to be cheerful & lively - from about 3 weeks ago, when I came home on holiday and thought hey it would be nice to do an HIV test since I'm so in love, I'll squeeze it in between the hairdresser's and the beauty parlour, oh, they called me to come into the hospital, that can't be good now can it???!!!!! they want to take my blood again, why is that doctor avoiding my eyes??? Well, I hope I did not conjure up painful recollections of your own diagnosis... I have to get to bed, it is past 1 a.m here in the Middle East and I have these tests tomorrow. It is really nice meeting real people online. I hope that your health is better than your post may have implied, I really do, so that you can reap the benefit of these meds. It should be. Thanks....

(2) 24 Jan 2006
You are a nut... It was after 1 a.m. Israel. Of xxxx descent. Have EU passport, live in EU. Lived in xxxx. Rest is my name, means xxxxx in Hebrew. 3x but immature in some aspects. CD4=90 already on meds. Gone years with it not knowing. ex-BF luckily OK. He is Dutch xxxx. That's a great book btw, top of the bestselling list in Israel for almost a year. I forgot to write that I like Almodovar a lot also. Took real good care in Asia, must've been someone from work years ago when the plague was new to the region. Did grow up in xxxx, total language immersion. I should not be revealing myself like that but you are a funny guy. I am not such a mystery woman anymore, but thanks for the cheering up in the morning. Gonna have that first social smoke before I drive to the hospital... have to run but nice hearing from you and glad to hear you are not as unhealthy as I inferred. Best,

(3) 24 Jan 2006
Hi D.,
Nice hearing from you! Because you are in xxxxx and are xxxx (and displaying my shallowness & exposure to popular American culture since birth more or less), I can't help but imagine you taking time off from xxxxx to write me on your mahogany desk, perhaps holding off all calls with your secretary. Then again [censured to protect D.'s privacy] Will try to address some of the topics you brought up. Drugs - am on combivir & stokrin. IL is medically advanced but nowhere near as much as the EU/US, this means that it takes at least a couple of years for new drugs to be entered into the system here, both in terms of health ministry approval and more importantly in terms of finance by NHS. So any new successful combination would not be within physical and financial reach unfortunately. Discretion - I have told people, parents, brother, some friends here and in NL. But I have reached the stage where there is no one else to tell within the small group of people that I trust and know. The people that I have told, upon being satisfied that I will not die anytime soon, want me to be the same as ever. That's a little bit hard. Being diagnosed brings up all sorts of fears from what is yet to come, not just the consequences of HIV but also all the other maladies and depressing things that the future might hold for me and others. It's not that I thought that human were immortal before, but now the theme has been painfully brought to my attention. So in this sense it is nice being referred to as a girl among girls, b/c for the last weeks I have felt like a lot of things, but not like a girl. I think it's something very hard to keep to one's self. Obviously it should not be shouted from the rooftops or off the internet, but when people who are close never know, that must be burdening. If they know, they can inform themselves and be reassured. I am not talking about people at risk of being infected though, that's a whole different arena too depressing to think about right now. Counts - my VL is low, only 20,000 before meds, so should be undetectable soon. I know I have the CD of an aids patient though... very strange. Asides from dengue fever I can't recall when I was even with a cold in the last decade. This is despite being surrounded by flueish people all over the place. When I flew to the NL last week the doctors were not pleased to say the least, they thought that the airplane would be cramped and poorly ventilated, and that I would spend time in smokey crowded pool halls and bars. They were right of course, but I am still fine. Not that I don't care about my health, but I do not care for isolation. They also warned me about strong drug side effects, vomiting etc, but I had none. Maybe I am just a tough old cronie. Maybe I am just lucky and there is a plot and a higher power is writing the script, I used to think that (in the same way that I still can't help thinking that any song on the radio is related to my state of affairs, a soundtrack to my life). In any case, being diagnosed is seriously messing with my naivete. Most of all it's a bloody challenge in a life already challenged. I didn't have it easy before (not a boo-hoo, mostly my fault or predisposition, but still) and now I have this to top it off. But maybe, just maybe it will all turn into an Oprah-like catharsis in the end... do you reckon that? How long have you known about yourself by the way? Perhaps you told me and I missed that, sorry then. And speaking of dispelling illusions, you might want to take note that 90% of blonds assist nature. Though I must say I pass it off pretty well as a fake, mostly due to light skin and premature graying. Don't have the xxxx buzzed in before you reply... I am leaving for a short meeting in the park with a fellow + from my hometown myself. Yours,

(4) 24 Jan 2006
Hi D.
Like you I really like languages and scripts but I haven't put mine to use so I lost them. I spoke Japanese when I lived in Japan & knew the kanas and some kanji and I was supposed to do my research in xxxx next year so would have learned some xxxxx, but that is off (although my supervisors don't know that yet), b/c xxxx would never grant a visa to a poz esp. any long term one. I would like to learn Arabic b/c it would be easy too, but we are so segregated over here and over in NL I am busy with my research which has too much to do with the theories my supervisors are enamoured with and too little to do with what I like. I like finding similarities btw languages and when I had my Afghan BF I found out we have a lot of words in common, through Arabic, even though we originate so far apart geographically. I wish I could be a field linguistic and record endangered languages but that is an area reserved for missionaries spreading the Word. I had one lesson of salsa once, one, but I loved it. Also one lesson of belly dance. I don't do anything too regularly, partly for financial reasons (you can see on the site I have stated what I earn), partly due to laziness and inconsistency. Sometimes I do yoga though or play pool, and I don't dance nearly as much in clubs as I used too, cos I'm getting old for that. It's amazing that you know all these languages. I spent a while in xxxx too and I loved it, I was an English teacher - what else could I be? Well in Japan I could have been a hostess I guess, but I wasn't. I have not been to many other parts of the world but I am sure I would love them too. Have you been to Burma? Isn't it incredible? Laos? Malasia? I have not been to India or Sri Lanka or China though, nor the Philippines or Indonesia. Shame really. It is just the best thing isn't it. Along with books and sex. Speaking of which, you really had me alarmed there for a moment when I saw that there was really an attachment, imagining some lurid webcam image [not that you seem the type, but as you have probably noticed my imagination often runs wild]. I'm glad I forced myself to see it though. I didn't know they had digicams back in the day ;0) I don't know anything about xxxx, unless you're referring to xxxx - but did you see on the news today how those British diplomats got caught spying in Russia with that monitoring device disguised as a stone? Loved it. What I really don't like though is the Fake NGO type. I have been to Pnom Penn 3 times. Oh it is kind of a torment to reminisce, b/c I have to be in Holland for the next 3.5 years. Although I am booked on a flight to BKK for 3 weeks from 1-21/3, but b/c of the whole ordeal I am not sure I can go, that the doctors will allow it, or that my supervisors will accept it after me missing a lot of work recently. But I suppose I can always pretend to be gravely ill & rushing home for emergency treatment. I didn't know there were different kinds of CD4 cells. That explains why I am alive and kicking. You're right some of these articles are horrid. Who wants to read about facial fat loss or any morbid stuff like that? But the most morbid thing I read was about bug chasers, people (well, let's cut the pc, gay men) who try to get it on purpose, advertizing for "bareback" partners. I just read it yesterday. Kind of left me flabbergusted, one of these moments when I realize how small I am & how big and strange the world is.I would love to send you a picture, but this is the internet, and I would become paranoid if I did, as I do not have one of myself under a canopy obscured by torrents of rain, but rather a clearer image. So in the meantime, just imagine I look like Golda Meir, the late King Abdallah of Saudi or any other Mid Eastern persona that strikes your fancy. Catch you later I hope, x (not xx, never heard of anybody called that)

(5) 24 Jan 2006
Hey D.,
Wow, are you sure you weren't a typist for xxxxx? I imagine the xxxx has already stormed out of the building, and a crisis has ensued. It is a fascinating & hilarious email, and the one about the hormones very very informing, thank you so much for it and I should do that test, but they never mentioned it, I will call and ask tomorrow if I can do it. But IL is behind as I told you. Even drug resistancy tests aren't used here until people do not respond to the drugs (by then it's too late duh). I wrote one too, a very sobering one about the world and how I see my prospects right now with the male population where I live (think small college town in the US, no difference). But it is too depressing, so I saved it and if I still feel the same tomorrow (it is almost 2 here in the levant) I will send it. Sending you a picture, in which I appear next to a real blonde, so that you can judge for yourself. But in reality, I look older and more sophisticated than that. In any case I lost weight since then, and I feel much older, although it was only 3 months ago. PS in that saved mail I wrote I completely understand why you don't tell. Your position is different than mine, your role that is. But is is a choice isn't it? A British minister recently admitted to being poz, and he is well over 60 I think. Would you keep every disease a secret? And why do you think that you are slowly dying? Maybe you are more medically informed than I am as the hormone email does imply. Anyway I am too tired to make informed decisions about what I write and send right now. Good night,

(6) 25 Jan 2006
Dear D., How are you getting on? I hope your results from today's tests will be encouraging. It is strange to think that on two sides of the ocean our counts are taken almost simultaneously. I hope they improve simultaneously too. And that you danced the night away in some dark xxxx music club. I was going to paste my depressive unsent message from last night, but I re-read your post and it cheered me up already. Negative thoughts will come and go, what can we do, just watch them like clouds in the sky, right? (not my own idea). Thanks a lot for the hormone check tip again. I called the ward and they said that if they get permission from my NHS to finance it when I am there Sunday, they will do it. They said they normally don't do it to non-menopausal women, but hey, why wait for the building to crumble, so to speak, when you can scaffold it beforehand. He he, what a tasteless analogy. I will try to get it privately if I fail. What else is new besides me becoming an insomniac, my supervisors are concerned about me and are finding out about paid sick leave and also reimbursing my flights home. They don't know what I have and I think that's very kind, though if I am put on sick leave now I might go crazy, or get on the first plane to Asia, travel insurance or not. I will try to do some work from now until the evening. Take that back I am going to take a nap. I am holding off booking my return ticket to NL on the pretext that I am waiting for my counts, but actually I am just tired right now of planning and plotting, and I fall back on my parents. But I know that I will get restless and book within a day or two, I just can't be passive like that.True, that worrying people somehow makes it worse. Also true about the men/women thing, that I have not heard of one man who told about it, asides from to a friend or two, while women just confess, not indiscriminately, but still. I think gays tell more about it, as they have already told that they are gay. That sounds like an interesting topic for a psychology dissertation - unfortunately not my field. I just figure it is an epidemic, a virus that mutated and got millions and millions caught up in it, in the same way as SARS/chicken flue (I still have the certificate proving I'm SARS-free from the Cambodian authorities stapled to my passport, having passed the rigid standard testing of paying 200 Baht to the official with long dirty fingernails and ruby rings). Anyway, it is out there, apparently very hard to avoid, for the simple fact that human nature is so fallible. So why should I be ashamed, I have friends who's chances of getting it were much higher, but luck run out. Then again only upon getting it I learned that it is not so much to do with promiscuity and one-nighters but with longer relationships, trust, naivete and lack of knowing, and I know that I might have done my share of spreading it unwittingly while I thought I was careful from others. In other words I have to let my two last long-term boyfriends know, and it will probably be through an anonymous call from a health ministry worker informing them they had been in contact with a carrier rather than a face to face conversation with me, because I find that I am too weak for that. And a stone's throw away from the glass house, the answer to your question about the fake-NGO. Not OXFAM people, but people who set up their own NGOs, let's say, an NGO focused on teachng drama to aids-orphans who have pressing need for clothes, shelter and food, or an NGO building mudhouses with volunteers that pay for the experience instead of hiring local unemployed professionals to do it, why, cos it's easy to recruite backpackers to play with cute kids, they can raise some funds at home, live in a nice apartment with a maid, and maybe even write a book about it one day. Even in IL/PL authority I used to know some. What I learned in the last years before I left IL is that nothing is what is seems like, probably to you very obvious, but that the good are not all that good, the bad are not purely bad, and no one is without interest. That sounds harsh... the road to hell is paved with good intentions and all that. But also there are just so many great people in the world, they are just unorganized and don't enforce their ideology on anyone. They just live and do mostly good things, at the very least they don't do any harm. Then there are the observers, like myself (not UN observers, that's something else). These are just chickens. They don't stand up to evil although they recognize it, and they don't do anything to improve it. Maybe there are similarities with UN observers then. One more thing about xxxx, they ask for tests results, a lot of countries do it, even the US & IL for residence permits. Some countries even won't accept a test result from overseas but have their own docs perform it. This is actually information I got from the US foreign office website. Finally, I beg to differ that I am regarded as a blond by the people around me, usually I have my hair down, and this was just a pic revealing the roots. But I am not heavy on the peroxide, that's true. There are plenty more things I could write, the thoughts are coming and going more like flights out of JFK than clouds at the moment, but I will wait and see how busy things are in the xxxx.

(7) 26 Jan 2006
Dear D.
I will keep my fingers crossed for your counts. I know a woman who is + for 20 years and diagnosed for 12, and she is currently off her meds for 2 years which means her counts are stable & good, so this means that people can sustain good counts even after taking medicine and quitting them I guess. I don't know anything about that experiment though. And why do you want to join it? I once almost joined a paid medical experiment in the NL, they pay up to 10000 Euro if you take a mix of contraceptives and anti-epilepsy drugs, and undergo various tests, but then I thought better of it, not wanting to put my health at risk. BTW completely unrelated, but it's amazing you learned Thai script. It's so bloody hard! Where did you learn it? I think it's even harder to use than Chinese with all those aspirated consonantes and tones, it is a very bizzare system, completly artificial. I don't think I will ask for the drug you recommended for the time being, but thanks. The reason is not necessarily the warning of a prolonged & painful erection side effect, but rather that I don't have a psychiatrist to prescribe anything and I don't want to take drugs to improve my mood. I want my mood to improve b/c my life is better and there are reasons to be happy, and I want to conquer anxiety myself or learn to live with it, or the best thing, which would be the cure, to have someone hug me and tell me it will be ok, which should help, but might be a lot harder to get than prescription drugs. I will take some homeopathy to calm me down and maybe hormones if I need to, as a lot of stress is cycle-related. But thank you anyway and I value and advice coming my way, esp. from your way. My dengue fever was not as dramatic. I got it on an island, and I was very sick for a few days. I thought it was malaria, but I was so sick I was unable to get myself to the clinic. High fever, headaches and near dellusions, and so weak it was hard to raise my head for a drink of water and going to the toilet was a project. Throughout, when I wasn't sleeping fitfully in pools of sweat of shivering with cold, I was reading Practical English Usage which is a grammar book, b/c I was preparing for an English teachers course in BKK, and so the whole thing - lying in a hut on stilts on top of a hill in the jungle and thinking I was going to die but not being able to care enough to do anything about it - is meshed in my mind with the rules for using the impersonal pronoun it, reflexives, compound nouns and the like.But after 4-5 days I was OK. I stayed very weak for a while though, but I got on and travelled by train to Penang, and I remember at the Malasian border they did real SARS tests at something like 5 a.m. for the whole train, and I was worried I'd be sent back or questioned if I still had a bit of fever, but they let me through. Then I went to KL and Singapore on the sleeper trains too. In Singapore I bought office-type clothes, b/c I was set on going to find work in Japan after the course and I knew they'd be too expensive there, and the sizes in BKK were too small. Then I flew back with Bangladesh Biman, my airline of choice, always about 48 hours late but incredibly cheap. By the time I was in BKK I didn't think about the dengue anymore.I had stayed in that hut a few more times, also when I came back from Japan. One time a huge snake slithered under the door and woke me up from sleep, it rose and lay across the latch so I couldn't do anything, and all I had was a sheet around me which I knew I had to use Indiana Jones style to capture the snake, but I was so scared I coudln't stop screaming, and it was so big and long I was worried it would bite me through the sheet, bite my face or neck or whatever, and the snake looked right pissed with the shouting, so I tuned it down into whimpering. I still don't know if snakes can hear. The windows were closed with mosquito nets and shutters as it was rainy season, and the whole thing is on stilts in the jungle as I mentioned, so jumping out of them naked was out of the question anyway. After an eternity the bored snake started moving along the wall, towards me, and I jumped on the latch as soon as its tail was off it and shot out. Later a local coaxed it out with a long bamboo pole. The only other time I had been that scared was when I was told to come in for a second HIV test. But the good thing about the snake ordeal was that as soon as I was out of the hut all I had to do was relax, and everything felt wonderful again, in fact much more wonderful than before (though I was always nervous afterwards sleeping in huts and seemed to have toads and rats in most of them), and I enjoyed the beauty of life when threat is gone. Which is what I can't say for now, as I wake up with that sinking feeling when I realize reality. I know I wasn't infected in Thailand, b/c I was extremely careful, I had told my poor Jewish Orthodox doctor everything I was up to and he thinks the same, though I am sure he would like to cover his ears and face the wall at times (but then again why is he working in the field of HIV infection?). I have a pretty good idea when and by whom I was infected. I also have a theory, maybe a morbid one, that people are usually infected when they make themselves vulnerable, in the sense that they are in love or something like that. I have been in love twice and the first time I got infected (& pregnant) and the second time was now when I found out. Which is also not a coincidence. Life has strange loops sometimes, periods mirror each other, deja vues come and go. You're entitled though to think I'm nuts or that this is new age crap. I'm also a firm believer in intuition. I have a ticket to go back to NL on 3/2 and might even have a better room lined up instead of my crappy current one, with internet, and if I live there it will be from March. No word about my sick leave yet so I am going about my business, I figure I can always take it later. There are a lot of places in my NL town where people dance and learn xxxx so I might give it a try...If you are up to it I will send you that depressive email, but only if I get a green light. I had a revelation last night but it has to do with the depressive email, and the fact that I met a positive guy who all but proposed to me after 1/2 hour (more about him in the depressive email). It went like this - I don't NEED anything. I definately want a lot of things, I miss them and am sad when I don't have them, but I don't need them to survive, and I don't need them to be myself. I am not sure if that revelation is good or bad yet, probably both. I was able to read some of your mails yesterday but I was so tired, I started to reply to one but after a couple of lines I felt so out of it I had to leave it for the morning. What do you do during the days? I mean in general, I don't expect you to disclose any sensitive information. Ciao for now,

(8) 26 Jan 2006
Hi D.,
I hope that you will be found suitable for scientific experimentation. It is very noble of you, esp. the commitment, and probabaly you are not afraid of needles (I often have to lie down for blood tests, thinking I will faint) or else it is also brave.The guy that I wrote you about is definately not in love with me, he is just looking for someone to marry or settle down with and is shooting in all directions. He told me he would move anywhere with the woman he would find. B/c I am also positive he sees me as a probable candidate, but this is where I had my insight re the needing things. I am not judging him, I realize he is in a crappy position, same as mine essentially. But he is definately not my type. Not that I have a type, but I do have anti-types. He says that he is only concentrating on that right now. Not finding a job, not even taking care of his health. In my depressive email quoted below, I can see some similarities with him. Mostly in the areas of fear and self loathing. Prepare for a whingy whine [quoting saved depressive email]:

Hey D.
I suppose my telling and you not relates exactly to our respective positions in life. You are a dad and a son to a father who is relaying on you. Me I am still just a daughter. And the other people I told are friends and my brother and sister in law. That's it. I see my parents age from home visit to another since living abroad and it's just a pinch in the heart (I am sure this is literal translation but you will know what I mean). And like I wrote before, finding out has made everybody and everything seem so vulnerable. I still rely on them so much though. Even for my meds. The sad thing for me instead of having my mum babysit her grandkid or any another normal parental grievience like that, she has to help me through medical beaurocracy. I am so afraid that I will end up as just the daughter. That I will not be normal. But do you really see yourself as slowly dying?? I have to tell you there was a pretty mature fellow today at the ward when I was tested, he was well over 60 for sure, maybe 70. I mean you haven't even started the medication yet. If I'm predicted to have normal life expectancy, surely yours will be longer than average... ;0) And you have your (I presume) name & pic on the internet, that's quite brave for someone who is closeted. But I do understand you totally. Knowing that my parents will age worrying about me and not knowing if I will have any sprogs to please them just weighs a ton. Just ask yourself if you had any other disease, say a much deadlier one, would you hide it from the people who love you? It would make it easier to realize what we are dealing with here in terms of stigma, even in the most advanced countries in the world (I mean xxxx & NL not IL obviously). I didn't write this before, although I was thinking about it, but your xxxx and xxxx comments put me in a completely different frame of mind. I went to meet another guy I met through one of these sites, he is from my hometown. The guy is back from years in the States and in total denial, not tested let alone treated, doesn't want to talk or think about it. He is even younger than me (not that I'm that young, but yeah, in some respects). There is nothing I can do to convince him. Ditto for my ex-BF Z, believe me I tried. He went into denial of even having ever loved me, saying it wasn't serious etc when I had emails from him up to the day I was diagnosed telling me to tell my parents he will always be with me, calling me his missus, saying he's proud of me & loves me to bits etc., and I had already changed my flight to spend more time with him (b/c I was supposed to be 2 weeks in Amsterdam for xxxx coming back), and we were both so happy about that, not to mention about moving in together. Such is the power of fear. I don't want to go into details, but he told me straight out on the phone a couple days after I was diagnosed, I will never have my x in your y, and that for him constitutes love, and he is certain that he will never be over the fear. I don't blame him, I would say it is the Muslim cultural background but that it maybe not even the whole explanation, probably the years he spend fleeing and in refugee camps in Pakistan and then alone in Africa before he got finally into Europe as an asylum seeker, and his isolation in Dutch society which is turning its back on the asylum seekers now, and the fact that he doesn't have a homeland to go back to. But you know what, other HIVers receive rejections all the time from people without any of these hardships in their past, so I take that back. I was not with him for long and that is the only thing that could be positive about the whole situation. Special maybe, but to him now mostly dirty and untouchable, a taboo if there ever was one. And I'm afraid that this is true for a lot more apparently more liberal people, although they might not be as upfront about it as he was, but fear preveils. At least he was honest about his feelings throughout. When I met him when I was over in NL for a week, disobeying doctors' orders with my miserable CD4 count (the docs said, had I not been diagnosed now, I would have become a serious AIDS case in a week or two. They keep refering me as one caught wandering close to the abyss), he tried all sorts of tests to see if he could get over his sexual repulsion of me, in which I didn't play much of a role. I mean, it was like I didn't even exist anymore, like I was cast in a role and only he could tell me what I need and that he can't give it to me. This is hard to explain without going into gross detail. I felt like one of these old burnt out whore shells I sometimes see on the highway, that you wonder who would be desperate and blind enough to pick up, and you imagine that anyone doing so would sober up and kick them out of the truck, maybe throwing some money at them to leave him alone, when before I felt all fuzzy and warm and brilliant. Whatever depressing thing I say about myself will also reflect on you obviously, so I will stop now. I think though that I am quick on my feet, quick to judge situations, assess damages, and the fact that 3 weeks later I am already in web sites seeking +s like me, although it is mighty strange cos most of them have nothing in common with me, attests to what I think my chances in the real world are, pretty, witty or not. It is not an inferiority complex I think, it is having my eyes opened. This is even disregarding the fact that in the college town where I live people are generally so young it is hard for me to date, so when I met my BF it was after 1.5 years of celibacy, and we were both early 30s & alien to the party animal majority in this town, and it was a great relief to find someone with whom I had "so much" in common. I have made contact with another poz who lives where I live in NL, a Dutch 40 year old guy, but see I don't relate to the Dutch. Sure I can pull off a conversation with just about anyone, and I am sure he will like me when he sees me in some way, but there is just so much seperating me & him, me & the guy in the park (although I feel for him) & yeah, me & you for sure. Well I will give everything and everybody a chance, within reason, because I am desperate/realistic, call it what you will. It's not that I think that hiv+ men are in any way inferior b/c of their status, it's that I think that I have lost my credentials with the neg ones. Maybe not with each and every one of them, but the process of finding one I would care for and then checking for that would be just too painful and maybe even impossible, considering where I live right now. Now that I have probably depressed you under the carpet I should remind you that you are in xxxx, poz heaven, whereas the xxxx, xxxx Netherlands where I live is a desert, it was not easy being older than Bridget Jones there even before, let alone after. Israel is much better dating-wise, but then you have all the prejudice that I am not willing to deal with, besides which I have stuff to do in the NL, I was there b/c I thought I was going places, going to xxxx, and when I finish my PhD go anywhere I want (it is about xxxx, so should have made me a potential asset to a lot of academic institutes) but now I am not. So what will I do? Follow inertia for a while. Try to quit smoking (foul habit) and keep fit. Try to stay on top of things mentally.You know being special can be a kind of a curse, and I'm not sure guys are looking for special women, not in the long run anyway. Wow this is a sobering mail, I am not sure I should send this. Maybe I should stick with the lighthearted flirtateous tone. Think we can get back to that? Let me save it and see, Nighty night, x

I just heard that the room I am interested in will be saved for me, so that is good. Ran out of cigarettes, kind of good. Screening that guy's calls, not so proud of it but what can I do. Being screened whenever I call my ex so I don't do it anymore cos it's like running into a brick wall with my eyes closed. But I am reading a great book though. It is a Hebrew original so I can't recommend it, but it's great. When books are that good I read them slowly, not wanting them to end and knowing they will soon anyway. It will be nice to go back to NL b/c of the gym, I do nada here although that infatuated guy has got me a free pass to his gym but I don't want to use it obviously. And a few days later I have to present, I am nominated for xxxx with 4 other candidates. That will be strange, a lot of mingling and smiling with people from the field, dressing up and acting confident. I would rather just run away to a hut on stilts, but I won't. Thanks for listening and unburdening me of the need to make a good impression,

(9) 26 Jan 2006
just had a thought that I should have titled that previous email fear & loathing & hope, for there is still some sprouting in between the rubble. Congratulations!!! I am very happy for you. MY CD4 won't pick up for months but other things - limphizts (sp??), white cells, hemoglobine (or is it the same?) are. VL is expected to go down to undetectable soon. Hormone panel will be taken probably on Sunday (here it is the first day of the work week). I am so happy for you, incidently CD4 is lower in the morning and rises in the evening so that you can consider it even higher actually. Yey!!

(10) 26 Jan 2006
Hey Doc
Thanks... I have seen the gynecologist before I even had the HIV test, there is nothing wrong with me. I was always careful you know... with my long term BFs, the ones that have to be notified now, I grilled them to death about their past, and otherwise I always used protection (also with them but not 100% of the time sadly). That's the irony of it. Except 8 years ago. And like I wrote I was celibate for quite a while. I knew a lot about diseases I thought. Always worried about getting warts and stuff like that that condoms are useless against, so I was always checked. See, I was the kind of person who wouldn't have a sip of beer out of a friend's glass for fear of getting mono. Silly old me. And I have been vaccinated against hepatitis b/c of all the traveling. I don't know which types but I imagine the types you can be vaccinated against. Now I am vaccinated against pneumonia & flue as well. But really STDs are the last things standing in my way. Since I was in my early 20s I was on the straight and narrow pretty much, and my last HIV test was the year I was most probably infected. But I had no idea. Well that's obvious isn't it. I didn't realize you were working. It must be quite distracting then. It's nice what you say about my writing. I always wanted to write a bestseller. But whenever I sat down to write it became autobiographical. The last and probably only complete story I wrote was, believe it or not, about AIDS, it was when I was 22 or so, before the infection. I had a dream that i was 17 and had a BF who was 26 and dying of it. It was no one I knew, a complete figment of my imagination. The dream ended when he was dying at home and I had stayed with him when the nurse left, and lay in bed with him, and I remeber how sad I was when I woke up, I sat down and immediately wrote the story, and it ended with the words "I found an animal from my own species, but I could not get as close to it as I had wanted. Even so I was grateful to God for having let it cross my path". Or something like that. I must have it buried somewhere. But how eerie is that, HIV wasn't even on my mind at the time, it was again a long period without sex. That's what I mean partly about the loops and intuition. I forgot about this story and only remebered it now when I went to NL after my BF, b/c I thought that him and I were similar animals, but we weren't. I will look at CD4/8 ratios... I certainly don't see my results, the docs just say if they improve or not. I feel told off, for some reason. But I had warned you, it was a depressive email. Later,

(11) 26 Jan 2006
How can you manage to write all of this while keeping your appointments with xxxxx?? I suppose you are no longer in danger of getting fired, so that's OK. I do value your advice and I value your compliments, and in general your emails put a huge grin on my face. I do feel like a fountain of words myself when I write to you. And I am online all the time with so many people anyway, but nothing of this scope. It was always interfering with my work since I have internet at the uni, but it has saved me, the internet I mean, so many times. I would never ever get through this without it. I have made so many contacts, not so many from the dating sites but also from internet forums, even a couple of negatives are writing me, a guy and a girl, the girl is an Israeli living in Holland and I know she will be a friend. I have befriended that Dutch guy, he is a nice guy, offered to decorate my new room when I move in, and I know already this isn't some sleazy scam. So it's great. And I feel positive in more ways than one. But nobody writes so much, types as fast, or makes so much sense or boggles my mind as you. I am just calling a friend whose mother is dying in the NL, b/c your posts also make me want to be a better friend to my friends, and generally more alive than I have been lately, or ever. Got his voicemail, back to email. I am also meeting a really good GF tomorrow, and my homeopath, who is the best in the country, and hopefully he will give me something to fix my soul, as he puts it. He is quite a character, could write a whole email about him to you, just as I could now babble on just about anything, I think we put each other into overdrive. You are right about the Dutch, of course there are great people there too as anywhere, but Dutch men tend/or seem to be I should say, b/c I am changing my perspectives on a lot of things and nothing is as it was from one day to the next, and like you said everything is open (it is open all the time, I no longer judge people in any way and I hook up with all sorts and this is a process that has been going on forever but more and more in the last years, and the diagnosis and breakup just threw me off track there, but now it is coming back stronger than ever, this freedom to be free) - anyway they seem a bit rigid, and you see I have this inferiority complex b/c I have tattoes that I don't like and some self inflicted scars, which represent something, if I may quote you, sordid and darker which I have put behind me a long time ago (and has nothing to do with the HIV, b/c the punishment never fits the crime does it), and I feel that "they", "the Dutch" are so clean-cut and wholesome and sporty etc etc. Not that I am not, but that this is their only dimension. Complete bollocks I know, but one has to speak the lie in order to recognize it. Anyway, before the drugs kick in and make me dizzy again. Believe me what happened with my BF was not steamy at all, quite the opposite, so you are not missing out on any chunky meat there, more like low grade salami or something like that. If anything I was the lion, and he was the pathetic crumb of meat. Ha ha, now God knows what you're imagining. No, come to think of it, neither of us were the lion. The guy who I think infected me I used to work with when I was new at my job (I worked for 5 years as a xxxx and xxxx for a xxxx), and I fell in love with him after he lent me his place when he went abroad. I never spoke to him, but he somehow knew I had housing problems (notice the loop/recurring theme) and approached me and offered to housesit for him for a fortnight. I knew he was very rich and extrovert but I didn't know anything about him, but while I was living there I snooped around of course, found family photos and such, and then I heard that his entire family was xxxxxxxxxxxxxx, so I felt so sorry for him, and when he came back I basically stayed there, it was again after a couple years' celibacy when I was new to a place and felt that i didn't fit in (loop), and he told me he loved me etc etc, and then asked to use another kind of contraceptive instead of the condom. It wasn't very efficient, but by the time I was pregnant he was already in xxxx with his new GF after dumping me b/c I "loved him too much", and then he came back to make sure I got rid of it and sort that out financially, and then I heard that he had gotten a lot of girls pregnant before and after me and that he boasted about that actually, and he was in general an insulting sociopath, but I was willing to take a lot of crap (this is no longer a theme, although I took some crap now after being diagnosed, but not in general). He is still in xxxx and has a website, so I could contact him. I did write him an email but I never sent it. It seems irrelevant and I am sure he will deny everything. I don't think he knew though. But who knows. But you know, mentioning a sordid dark tale to someone with an imagination such as mine is like dropping the soap in a jailhouse washroom. I hope you will pick it up. I had better end this perverse email which mixes all sorts of elements of pain and fun. I think in person I would not be what I appear in these emails, at least not in the beginning. First of all my accent would imitate yours as accents always stick to me, and you would feel as though I were xxxx (unless we were in xxxx). And I would not be anything like a Filipina or a Thai (they are gorgeous), not only physically but also I would probably close off and be all tense and philosophical and make random small talk, then again... ahhr you just make me want to uncover and tell things I have never told anybody, b/c you make all the misfitting pieces of my life make sense, but I will hold off on that for a while. You do make me remember olden times though, before I turned myself into an observer. Is it still raining over in xxxx? Ciao

(12) 27 Jan 2006 [exactly 1 month from my diagnosis]
Hi D., how are you?
Just woke up, 10.30 a.m. I didn't steer you away from sex, I steered myself - what's the point? I don't like to think about it esp. when I don't know when the next doze is coming & where from. For the same reason I avoid romantic movies, books etc. - even worse. See, a xxxx would start a whole correspondence about it for sure, but then you wouldn't never meet her for a few years, and finally when you would relocate with your international firm to where she was you'd find out she was married to a guy twice her age who pretty much mail-ordered her (true story but this is a xxxx friend of mine from xxxx building her little mansion in the xxxx now, and she has her reasons, so no judgement on my part b/c I am unable - and not too moral - to do such things myself; if you & I ever meet, we should go visit her in the xxxx. I have been v. bad in replying to emails and tending social contacts after diagnosed, as I felt like such a leper, but things are picking up now). I also have a dog, she is 18 but still doing well and stealing food from the cats although not hearing a thing and being 90% blind. She seems to be enjoying life still. I dropped a couple of hints in my last mail, I wonder if you noticed them, you must have... I don't wish these emails to become a one way confessional, I don't wish for a mirror reflecting what I am or a stepping stone in the brook, althought it's a very nice analogy, and it's a great bonus. I really would like to know more about whatever you are willing to tell me, and if you must talk about sex, so be it ;0) I can tell you straight out, when I was a kid (14-18) I was a kind of runaway and did a lot of desperate and very uninformed and quite dangerous things. It was not pretty, and I am not proud of it, although there were reasons, as there inevitably are (not my parents, my parents are great), but there were circumstances. Anyhow I snapped out of it. I was not addicted to anything, I am not the addictive type. Looking back it was not so much crazy as it was incredibely immature. Most of my friends' 20s looked like that. I was just way too young for all this dabbling, and I spent my 20s trying to make up for these years and make them over, but towards the end I started to gain my own independence and do my own thing and not care so much anymore.That's it in a nutshell, but I am not fessing up anymore until I hear about you, you're a xxxx, so you should recognize an ultimatum. Yours,

(13) 27 Jan 2006
I don't even know if my last email, titled "road trip", got sent. Did you get it? Anyway, after drinking tomato juice and eating meat balls (I always crave meat and detest sweet stuff, but never come up anemic) I can now write something. If you didn't get my previous message, in a nutshell, I took this really long drive North-East to meet this gay + guy, and it was a lot longer than I expected it to be, and he was lousy at giving directions too, but it was an interesting if very strange evening. More about this some other time maybe if I am more focused...You know with anybody else, I'd have asked them to use messenger by now, but somehow these long emails are more effective (especially with your faster than light typing speed), and I would never get such an email as the one about your family via messenger would I? I thought you made a heroic attempt to put your life in some kind of context for me. I have yet to imagine what kind of life yours is. Do you live alone or with your kids? How old are they? Do you have them from your xxx or xxx wife? What is it that you do? How long have you been xxxxx? The sordid tale of how you were infected.... Whose xxxx have you borrowed? - and other such questions spring to mind. I am sure you get my drift. It seems to me you covered a lot of ground, maybe with a therapist? then again this kind of analysis is so ingrained in xxxx culture (I think), that perhaps you never needed to see one. I liked what you said about the women, damaged in a particular way I think it was, in Hebrew we call it the scratch. Everyone has their particular scratch (and some unlucky individuals, perhaps some people would label me as one of them, i don't know/care too much right now, are just plain "scratched"). I guess you know what kind of scratch you are looking for, and are no longer avoiding it. That seems very mature - it should be seeing as you're xxxx, there must be some advantage, it would be terrible if people didn't grow up. I just felt like you went out of your way to give me some account that explains how you are, when I don't know yet how you are, but it seems awfully important. Now I feel sorry for you and I want to hug you, but not in a bad way, in a really good way. How can I explain, where is all my wit when I need it - I am really immature in some aspects, when it comes to feeling not thinking. OK, I can explain, not feel sorry for you like you have something wrong with you, compassion is the word, but it is a really big word, and yet I feel it. Don't worry, if it ever happened that I actually did hug you, I am sure all sorts of things would get in the way and compassion would make way for other things, or maybe not, maybe both can coexist under optimal conditions, that would be prima, as they say in Dutch. If I was a forest, you have just cleared a path, jai lawn, but I don't even think you intended to. I can give you a long family history to explain why that is, but not now. The outcome was good wasn't it - in the end, the outcome was good. So I will send this now, with a hug

(14) 27 Jan 2006
Hi D.
Hey D.
I can't sleep, I feel frozen, scared of too many things at the moment. My supervisor wrote me an email that it is freezing in the NL and that I have to make a poster for this stupid presentation. My landlord wrote me a stupid email "why are you leaving, what's wrong with my place?". He is such a dick. Rooms are really hard to come by over there, something about a socialistic apartment market. Anyway I am leaving for a place I haven't even seen, even though I heard that it's good and my own is pretty unbearable (another reason I was anxious to move in with my BF - the good thing is I hardly think of him, at least don't miss him nearly as much). This gay guy wants me to have his child. Of course I will not. But it was still scary. Not the idea, the encounter. He has legal permission to grow and smoke his own weed but taking a lot of ecstasy as well. We went to dinner and he had three whiskeys and he hardly touched his food although he was preaching at me to see a nutritionist throughout. He has facial wasting. Not that it's so awful, on him, but I don't want to have it, that's something I really really don't want to have. My doc told me my own meds don't cause it, but I am scared they won't be effective and I will have to switch to ones who do. My homeopath told me it's my karma always to have it hard in life. WTF?! He is always coming up with stuff like that, but he is the best in the country, also a regular MD not a quack. people wait for months to see him and pay through their nose, while he sees me for free (he considers me a challenge). The gay guy told me he doesn't understand how the doctors let me go abroad with a CD4 of 90, and I have no health insurance there at the moment, due to a general overhaul in the Dutch insurance system, I have to apply for one, and I don't know what/how to fill it in with regard to my condition. He says he thinks I should have stayed here at least 3-4 months. I am scared of my nosey roomates at the uni asking too many questions, and of feeling incredibly lonely when I come back. I am scared of flying again on the 3.40 a.m flight (bugger) when stoned on my meds, I am scared of the cold efficiancy of the Dutch and even of that nice Dutch guy, and this is only a list of the concrete things I am scared of, in the longer run, I have a lot more, that we already discussed... Anyway just writing this and having you to write it to makes it a little less scary. I mean, if I wrote it in a journal, it wouldn't be as helpful. Going to have a cigarette with a glass of milk.
PS you still haven't answered any of my questions. Just b/c I'm scared it doesn't mean I've forgotten ;0)

(15) 27 Jan 2006
It's 6.45, where did the night go? I couldn't sleep, couldn't even smoke, ended up working on my poster. Re-read the email I sent you titled "can't sleep", my most inarticulate yet, but hey I am not just a diamond in the rough. Silly pressures, nothing really, and I don't really care. I should have taken your advice and gone to sleep at midnight, but i stayed up and then it was too late, emailed my super, my workmate, ex-roommate, landlord, getting in touch with all the mundane details of life that I have to get back to in a week, this time next week I will be there, not for a week like last time but going back for real with all my defects.Talk about a whingey whine - I am sorry about that last one. Didn't even have the sense to draft it. Sorry but not ashamed, it is just a scratch. Hope I sleep now dammit. Later,

(16) 28 Jan 2006
You are sweet. I like your fury. I do believe my homeopath knows what he's doing medicine-wise, that's why I put up with it. I know that he cares for me too - has invested hours and hours in me. But yeah he has these jerkish remarks - that is why it's good to have you to put them in perspective. He treats a lot of people, and has experience with people on HIV meds. He told me he would give me something not to have side effects from the drugs, and I did not have any. Now I know that a lot of people don't, but most people do. See what I mean. He knows his profession, I think. But I definately have to mentally block him sometimes. It is not that I am letting him off the hook - it is my caculation of what I can take. Same as kissing my landlord's butt, I did do that (in an email), b/c in the longer run it works better and can benefit me more, call it the politics of the weak or survival of the meek, this is my strategy. Again, it is nice to have you ridicule my homeopath... a lot of hot shot doctors are like that, surgeons, fertilty experts, etc. I am sure I will bump into more, perhaps that is my karma...This morning I wrote you an email, when I woke up at 10, but I did not send it b/c it is the most unadulturated version of (part of) my life so far, and I have never put it in writing or told anyone, so it is saved for now. But what are you doing this weekend? I am working on my poster, it is 1/2 done, and my roommate at the uni, nosy xxxx girl but nice too, will have it printed, and my supervisor will present it for me at the conference in xxxx if I can't be arsed to go. For this I had to endure her speculations. She is certain that I got pregnant from my ex-BF and that he dumped me and that I am having an abortion (although not explicitly said) and I will let her speculate that, why not, seems like a better version from where I'm standing. As for psychiatric drugs, I am not against them for anybody else at all, but for me, I believe in hug power! Hugs,

(17) 28 Jan 2006
Dear D.
You are making me laugh - first laugh of the day, although my poor parents try their best. I am working on the poster, it is not about my PhD dissertation, it's about xxxx, and seriously, seriously boring stuff. The dissertation is boring also, but the xxxx was really a consideration of time and practicality, as I had only 9 months to do the whole MA. So you will not get it, well maybe - it is just so boring. Wait till I'm done OK. My dad just came in, took the car keys to go buy cigarettes. See I am a smokers' child, although I quit for 4 years before the recent period. My mum even smoked when she was pregnant with me. NL is also smokers' paradise, or hell. But I will do my best, no, that is lame, of course I will bloody quit but not now, do you want me to lose it altogether? Keep working, this mysterious work that you do selling second hand missiles to developing countries, or meeting attaches (but you wouldn't do that on a Saturday). I will keep working, will keep you posted to. Believe me whatever you did on that xxxx highway can't compete with my gory email from this morning. But is this a competition? Hope not. It is unlike you to use the term screwing a woman, probably b/c you got screwed. Which reminds me, in my jailhouse analogy, you dropped the soap not I (by mentioning a sordid tale, but I have sobered up and realized I have too many of my own). And no, my parents don't speak Yiddish, that is an old people's language, even their parents didn't speak it, although they understood it. It is a dying tongue. Till soon.

(18) 28 Jan 2006
Come off it, I have lots of them, and I do not bother to spell check. But you are the fastest typist on the planet. I just got this email from my workmate: titled "the problem"xxx, Why don't you tell me what is big problem you had? We are friends: I do want to know about it because I do not feel comfortable in this way.....I am unable to gather together the cues you gave me about your problem.... I will be happy if you share your problems with me, and not just nice days. (and, for sure, I am not going to share what you say with anyone else)....You know how terrible I feel without knowing anything about your problem....Loves & Hugs, x
I don't think so... what do you think? Isn't there too much poking about? I had better admit I was pregnant, something like, your guess was right, but it is too painful to talk about right now (then she will always want to talk about it, forever, and that will make me miserable too. She will especially talk about it within earshot of others, I know her.Honestly, what would you say? shall I say I have cancer, that shuts people right up. Maybe cancer of the uterus? would it be like opening my mouth to the devil. I want something that she will not want to discuss. Awaiting your opinion and expertise,

(19) 28 Jan 2006
No I don't remeber, probably had it millions of times but don't know the name. I love Thai food esp. in Thailand, I used to eat 10 times a day over there (like they all do). Did you have to remind me of that? I never mind what I eat in Asia, I eat raw meat and raw eggs and frogs and whatever, except the fried bugs. I used to think I have the stomach of steel. I know it's dangerous uncle D., I know.We are practically IMing now anyway, but I have to give up the computer soon. I will be back though. My parents are born here but my father's folks' were born in xxxx (father) and xxxx (mother) and my mum's were born in xxxx (mother) and xxxx(father). That is why I have a xxxx passport. I always wondered why xxxxx was nicknamed xxxx, he died when I was 1, it took years to find out his real name was Adolf. Kin khao leu??

(20) 28 Jan 2006
Yes I am sure I had that, remember the eggs, they become all shriveled up and overcooked, unless you're talking about the brown sweet egg, which I also like. It sounds amazing, but I am full of eggplant & pepper and tomato juice and meat balls (again). I miss Thai food, I can make sweet mango with sticky rice and coconct milk. I have Chinese 5 spices at home. I hate sweet food, but in Thai food I like it also. Except I don't like to add sugar to the food like they do. And I love chilly, I used to eat so much of it in all forms. But I prefer the dry salty eggs to the sweet ones. Or the bitter vegetables, you know the ones I mean, that sort of look like a cucamber with bumps on it and pointy ends. Actually I remeber a Thai egg that I really didn't like, the smelly one with pink color on the outside colored black on the inside, know what I mean? I wasnt crazy for bird's nest juice either. I did not like the rotten oisters in the som tam but I love som tam and laarb, and I learned to ask for som tam Thai dai which is without it. Even after being in Thailand for months on end, there was still so much to try. They are a food heaven really. I know China has more dishes, but I think it is much more spread out over there, and in Thailand you can get anything esp. in BKK. But every time I had Thai food outside of Thailand it wasn't even similar. It is a good tip I guess. Thank you. Cancer. It creeps me out to invent something like that though. He will never spread rumors about me. First he has no one to spread them to, second he is not like that, not like that at all. I am sure of it. I have been with some scum but I am not so blind as to make such a stupid choice. Yes I think he acted badly, but he would not hurt me like that ever. I will tell her I have a chronic illness and if she persists I will say it is the big C, but I don't like the idea at all, as HIV hardly makes us immune to the bastard. Tomorrow at 14 I get my results and have the hormone level test.You are distracting me from my correspondences, or maybe it is the poster. I finished it. It is far from perfect but I am not a perfectionist. Will probably proof it again sometime. I am reluctant to send it b/c it has my full name and uni (I am not with that department anymore though), but I will trust you. I have not been to xxxx but I heard it's a lovely place, too bad I don't study there, huge East Asian studies department also, and much much closer to Amsterdam. Too bad. I have been contacted by a negative Israeli guy, he saw something I posted on a forum, not an ad but a response to a guy who was diagnosed, that I tried to cheer up a bit. he seems really nice and everything, but I don't know what to do, he sent me his #, told me he was available anytime. Isn't that strange behavior? I can always call him from a blocked ID cell. But it is tiring getting to know all these people. He was nice though. And I am neglecting to chat with the nice Dutch man b/c of you. Not that I am laying any guilt - it is a fact. And the other poz israeli guy, x, called me, but I do not answer, tired of that, and last time I spoke to him his little nephews were shouting in the background "marry x, marry x!".I need a holiday, driving around yesterday (it is lush and green up North not desert at all) I really felt that. But from now on I will live in front of the computer, writing my xxxx. At least I can get back to the gym before resembling a question mark. When I sit all day I just want to kick something. OK, taking a break. La gon,

(21) 28 Jan 2006
Me neither, not even the one you sent!I know more Arabic and even Russian than Yiddish... I used to think that Gewald means God and it took being in Germany to know it means violence, and that Shwartze Haye means black animals (referred to dark skinned individuals) so now my Bisale (yiddish/Beichje(Dutch)/Bisschen(Deutsch) Yiddish can only be improved by living in the NL. Knock yourself out with my poster, you might want to print it and reserve for partcularly sleepless nights - btw tell me if anything comes out scrambled or reversed, b/c the Hebrew-enabled windows is always pulling tricks like that. Yours,

(22) 28 Jan 2006
How is that for evoking guilt and shutting her up? did I overdo it? think about it - I am only 2 weeks late coming back as it is! At least I'll have an excuse for not taking breaks with her anymore - I have to live every minute to the full - but it could start a chain reaction of whispering. "x,I have a serious chronic illness that can be life threatening, and I don't know yet how long I will live and what my life will look like. I am getting treated with strong chemical medication and I do not want to take sick leave if I can help it but I will probabaly spend a lot of time away and take it at some point. B/c of the reactions to the drugs I can't be sure how I will be. Hopefully they can conquor the disease but it is too early to know and I don't want to think about it, b/c I am not used to being ill. I did not break up with Z b/c of this but b/c we were moving too fast and there was a lot of stress, as you recall he wasn't sure about moving in with me, and it just didn't work out, although he is a nice guy. It also has to do with his Muslim background and my Jewish one which is a big problem in Israel. He will remain a nice memory and I wish him the best. B/c the treatment I am getting takes a lot of time to work and goes through many cycles, and b/c the disease can go into remission and come back, I decided to continue life as normal and see what I will do. I have an open ticket to return home at any time if something happens, and also I have to return anyway shortly for tests and evaluation of my condition.I do not want people to know b/c I don't want them to feel sorry for me and I don't want to think about it, b/c I know it can take years, and it scares me to think of the future very much. I hope you understand better now...Yours, x"
I will make some - mangoes I mean, you can get the sweet ones in IL but not NL, I don't know about xxxx (like those dry sour green mangoes they eat in TH too - they have a thing for unripened fruit) but one day I will make you some if I (sniff, look away) make it, or perhaps you can smuggle some with you when you visit me on my death bed in xxxx

(23) 28 Jan 2006
I have to go, I am shaped like a chair now. Just took meds. But I liked that I wrote that I don't know how long I will live or what my life will look like - who does?! It will scare her though. She is not fat at all. She is married to a beautiful guy and I don't know why she needs to have her nose up my arse like this, but never mind I am just grumpy and bitter. Will save this email and send it tomorrow. Uncle D., I will make you sticky rice mangoes if you teach me to xxxx. Not if - will make them anyway, but it would be nice to learn. Off I go and I hope to sleep tonight, enjoy the rest of the day and my thrilling poster. Yours affectionatly,

(24) 28 Jan 2006
you don't have to explain what mangosteens are! and I like that sour fruit that you have to peel with a knife, with a soft center, that makes your mouth dry, it is faded brown orange on the out with a hard peel and pinkish white in the middle, not all fruit vendors have it, and some have it pickled, than it is green, it is the size of a lare orange but more pudgy than round. know what I mean?I have to get of this chair... I have to...

(25) 28 Jan 2006
I'm outta here, and IMing is inevitable methinks.

(26) 29 Jan 2006
Dear D.
How are you? sent you an email this morning with your questions answered in the body of your own email, in case you thought it was an empty message. It is 18 here but I am tired, drained. Think I will take a nap. It has again dawned on me how soon I am returning. I got my results today, my CD4 went from 77(!!! it was not 90, it was 77, I saw it in writing - as I asked for a print) to 133, so almost double in a month of treatment. And, my VL went from 20,000 which was already low for such a miserable CD4 to 600. Six hundred. My CD8/CD4 ratio is now 0.4. I have no idea how good/bad that is.I was euphoric, esp. that they told me that I can go to Thailand if I wish in March. But now my euporia has evaporated and I will drained. I did not send that reply to my roomate, it's none of her business, and I got a menacing email from my bastard landlord, and... nothing in particular really, just the idea that a month ago I was so in love and had so much to look forward to, and now I am being thrilled at CD4 and VL results is hard to come to grips with. I don't know if the fact that I have not experienced much stability in life and esp. not in recent years makes it easier or more difficult to cope with all this. My doc also told me that one of my meds, stokrin, will cause insomnia esp. at the beginning, so I am glad I didn't take it upon myself to commit to participating in the competition, and might send my super with the poster instead. Sleep, sleep is a kind of a cure right? The weather here has been so balmy and spring like and in NL under zero with snow, another thing I don't look forward to, but it's the loneliness I worry about the most, b/c I was lonely even before (which is why I hooked up so quickly with my ex). I gave my IL exes' numbers to the doc and they will be contacted by the health minsitry. It is a horrible way to hear about it, but I am not brave enough to do it myself. I am also worried about having infected the BF I had in Thailand, nothing much can be done about it now. We did use protection and I was v.careful not to get it from him but not the other way around, if you catch my drift, and he has been ill a lot this year with fever. It could be other things as well, but if its HIV then I have sentenced him to death. Kind of a grim email... let's see what you make of it. Hope you're enjoying your weekend and your kai and khai,

(27) 29 Jan 2006
Dear D.
I am 3x not 3y. I know the site says otherwise, just a little trick I learned working in xxxx, change one year and no one suspects it's you. Probably over-paranoid (if there is such a thing).I spent hours now chatting to 2 guys, simultaneously, I am worn out. Really nice people though (as far as I can tell), but I would have loved to spend that energy on emailing you. Anyway it is spent. But I did not get to nap so I am just draining from the bottom now if you know what I mean. But what did you do today?My BA is xxxx, xxxxx and xxxx. useful stuff LOL (see the chatting effect). I started also with xxxx, but dropped out. Shame I hear you think. I was infected 1st year of studies incidently, I was also working nights and so I took xx years instead of xx. Then I traveled alone in xxxx for a while and my then BF joined me, we came back and I started working in a xxxx and then I took off after he dumped me and that was it, my 20s in a nutshell. I will tell you the rest when I see you, or send that email festering away in my drafts. Let me take a small break from this screen, not b/c I wasn't looking forward to seeing your mail at all, just cos I'm knackered. yours

(28) 29 Jan 2006
Everything about you?! Pah! I don't even know what you job is... I know very little about you D. only what you choose to hand out in small measured doses very once in a while.I asked my docs again, they think I have been carrying this for a long long time, longer than Thailand for sure (which was in 2002-2004). 8-10 years is their estimate and so I know exactly who it is. He is celibate, the Thai guy I mean. It is just not as you imagine. I don't blame you b/c I have an lively imagination and jump to comculsions & create images in my mind myself, and I know you imagine one of those beach boys, or someone going around the brothels, or someone with a mia noi, but it is not so. I wished he weren't, I do not wish for him to remain loyal to me at all, but I know what he is up to, I care a lot for this guy - not enough, or in a different way, than to spend my life with him but I know what is going on with him. It is real friendship love with no interests just kinship. It can happen you know, I have only experienced it when neither side has any claims. Of course that can't be satisfying in the long run, it can only be what it is. A lot of your comments are spot on, of course. Like about my childhood. I do know all that, I don't live it, it's in the far hidden past but I know what happened, I was there. So don't think for a minute I am calling you stereotyped. It happens to the best of us. Ah I am tired, too little exercise, too much computer time, and too little lust... for life. Back in NL my hours will be completely different until I (hopefully!!!) get the new room with the internet, but I will do my best to keep pestering you, consider yourself warned. That buried email is all about my tattooes but I will save it for if you ever want to meet me, then I will send it and you will know the worst about me, and then you can decide. Just like you don't want me to think you are an old goat, whatever that means, I don't want you to see my darkest side, but then again I do, but only if I know you will accept it, and I am not sure that you will, so that's it for now. Thanks for being out there uncle D from xxx, that means a lot - I am surprised how much really. Till soon,

(29) 29 Jan 2006
Hi D.
I want it, I need it, why isn't it coming? I know why, my doc told me today it's the drugs and it will improve. He said I could take tranquilizers in the meantime (I have a small stash, from my dad). But I don't want to, I think I will get hooked on them quickly, and have to take more & more, and anyway I am not so crazy as in the beginning, then I took a few just to escape the horror, but I stopped. I don't drink, I mean I drink here and there but I am not heavy and with the meds more than 1-2 glasses is enough & anyway that isn't strong enough to put me to sleep, but I also know the effect of alcohol on me, the more I drink the earlier I wake and the poorer my sleep. So there is uncle D., but soon I will not be able to do that either, until I get the new place (there there is also a TV, which now I don't have). I can read great books at least without one, I'll go finish the one I'm reading now.
What is your job? I am curious. Of course, I have googled you, but I still don't know for sure.
My super liked my poster, I am glad I did it, took myself off the hook, even though it would have been nice to be there sedating the audience in person.
Your emails are nice, you know that? You are getting nicer by the day. Because of you I have a craving for brown sweet khai now that I can't shake, red and green chillies in black fish sauce, and plain rice, with one of those cold curries, oh man, I can almost taste it. Maybe I will have to go to Thailand after all - I meant the docs said it is not dangerous for me to travel btw, not that I can/will travel. Should I feign sickness and get out there? I would have to explain coming back all tanned though... well not deep tanned I don't do that anymore, but 3 weeks in the hot season in Thailand would have an effect. It would be awsome. My flight is through IL btw, it is the cheapest but takes almost 24 hours (as it bypasses all the Muslim countries as well), but I can't stop here unless I pay extra. Not fun.... I hate flying - not afraid at all, just hate the cramped seating and the musty air. Want to meet me there? I just realized now it is durian season also!! love the thing. You know of course you can have it with sticky rice like the mango. Maybe I am just hungry that's why no sleep. Were you sleepless when you found out you status? Actually you told me you are sleepless quite a lot anyway due to work and personal stress. What does it mean actually, personal stress, that's a rather impersonal expression come to think of it, like something one would say to the boss to excuse tardiness.
OK, I'll stop badgering you. Have a nice week, keep smiling on the inside,

(30) 30 Jan 2006
I think it is a classic place for you to operate, then again you would have to compete with the Dutch on their turf. And thanks for enriching my vocabulary with some new words: xxx (even sounds Dutch), xxxx .... that would be so useful if I wrote a xxxx thriller, "xxxxxxxx" [too bad I have to delete a witty sentence here but I value his privacy]. Something like that anyway. So I did find it before, you are right, but I though naah, that has to be someone else, b/c I thought you were still some kind of xxxx. I honestly thought that xxxx was your xxxx (of course, I am lazy, I could easily find if it is an xxxxx or not; but I am not like you to cruise the web looking for obscure Yiddish jokes and Jewish name origins - incidently you are abolutely right about the identity erasure immigrants to IL underwent and it is a big issue here), and that you deal 2nd hand arms - but I don't know if xxxx does that, Israeli businessmen do that all over the place. I haven't watched that much TV in recent years, so my imagination in that regard is failing. I had to tell my landlord I am leaving, I heard from the guy leaving my new room that it's great [crikey! that was P.!!!; I can't help getting excited and getting ahead of myself here], and now I am (unecessarily anxiously, but I always need to have all ends tied, which makes life tiring) waiting for final confirmation that I have it, although the lady in charge said that I can and even from earlier, but I want to have it in writing, in an email. I am like that when I want things to really work out. I read somewhere that happiness used to be this huge thing we hope to have when we are young and when we are older it is this tiny fragile speck that we wish to preserve - not that this is happiness, but that's where anxiety stems from. Here is a link to my new place - I am not jinxing myself am I - you would think what is the big deal, I mean it's just money and renting out a place, but things like that are so difficult in NL, exactly the opposite as in Asia and even London and places like that, where only money talks. xxxxxx as you will see it is some kind of hotel really, which is fine with my b/c I like hotels and serviced apartments. But I also like to have a decent place, a home of course, out of my league though at the mo. Speaking of links, here is one to my PhD project: xxxxxxx We have something in common, we are both bored by our work... I will not be offline permanently, just not in the same hours, and only from my work for a while. I will not have internet in the comfort of my own home is what I meant. But I stay late at work most of the time, also I have classes at 20 some nights. I come in as late as I want to as well, often at 11-12 - it decreases the time with my roommates. That makes me sound a recluse. I do have a good friend there, R., a xxxx guy. We are both kind of outsiders, and older than the rest. Then I have my friend C., whose cutie pie kid you saw with me in the picture. She has two more kids all kodak ad cute and a beautiful house she is now changing and a nice husband with motorbikers and boats, and she is only xx years older than me, but we are good friends despite the enormous difference in lifestyle, and she has helped me so much, esp. with this thing, to cope with it when I came over for a week and my BF turned his back on me - or rather alternated between turning his knob on me (pardon my French but you said screw once and sometimes it is just fitting) and his back on me - anyway she was there, a really good friend. Don't read this at work - you have to work, xxxx and all that - I don't want to stand in the way. Actually it would be too late at this stage - OK don't reply from work. I took a long nap,

(31) 30 Jan 2006
The hotel will have internet. But having looked at the link again I am not sure it's the place anymore, as their rates are way higher than what I would pay. Anyway my place is operated by the same company, I think it is adjacent, ad the current tenant wrote me of the view, which is essentialy the same. Sorry for misleading you. If you ever visit me though, you can stay there ;0), since I will have a flatmate after all (xxxx PhD). I am anxiously (that seems to be a key word) waiting for word from the lady in charge, I will call and bug her tomorrow if not. And also tomorrow I take the hormone test, pick up my plane ticket, and some homeopathic medicine and have lunch with my best friend here, a xxxx guy. All this to avoid talking about today, in which I did F all, mostly sleeping, and reading, and recharging. Do you remeber the negative guy who wrote me, I did not call him after all, and he emailed me again, I wish I could paste it but it's in Hebrew, something about sticking by me through thick and thin and always being there with a loving hug, admiring my immense courage etc. I then replied warily that I think it strange that having a virus makes me so desirable, just as I find it strange to be rejected b/c of this. This started a more balanced correspondence, currently I am helping him confront his drug induced panic attacks. I was supposed to meet the gay guy today, but I opted out. he is not as thorougly corrupt as you made him up to be, but then I represented one dimension of him (CD4 wise, he has picked himself up to a level higher than you and I combined, and he does work out and mind his eating, and he does work for a living and dates, he is not dying soon). But I like your colorful descriptions, you have something of the bestselling author in you too, and he is not so important so I didn't interject. So today, what did I do besides eating and sleeping - I composed a long email to you in my head about my family, as a retribution to yours, and I only smoked two cigarettes, I am finding them increasingly vile. Oh and I went for a walk, that was the most athletic activity I did in weeks (asides from when in NL), besides bar excercises on the kitchen counter and getting jiggy with it with MTV Base when my parents are not here (but my mum is retired and mostly is). My brother lives in xxxx, he is married and xxxx years younger than me, a xxxx leaving tomorrow xxxxx, most definately the better offspring. Google xxxxx and you will reach his site, if you're interested. My PhD was only intersting b/c it would have taken me to Asia. But now where would I go, maybe Belgium. It's funny how you can bear a grudge against the Flems - nothing against them, b/c I have not been involved with them enough to build a grudge. Had you lived in NL I'm sure you'd see some of the things that I do (not explicitly) complain about. Everyone does. the Dutch are entirely different overseas. then again there are good things too - but I wasn't yet screwed out of xxxx Euros. I'm glad to see you back on the sexual wagon btw, I was worried there for a bit. Ciao bello

(32) 30 Jan 2006 [title: American Splendor]
Have you seen it? What a great movie, just watching it taped now.Enjoy your big mac and fries ;0)

(33) 30 Jan 2006
That was a joke. I know you aren't supersized. I'll get back to it - it's so good. Keep toiling away

(34) 30 Jan 2006
Food for thought.American splendor indeed.

(35) 30 Jan 2006
Finished the movie, I can send you the tape if you want and (still) have a video player. I took my meds early today in preparation for the 3 a.m flight on Thus (b/c I have to check in at 1 and I would be out of it if I took them at the usual time). So I don't know how long I will stick around tonight, depends on my insomnia. I was going to complain that you make 3x sound almost underaged when I got thrown off the mark by your innuendo. Now I need to be distracted. I would think about baseball if I knew anything about it at all. This is really unfair to a woman in my condition. I just implored my parents not to smoke that last pre-bedtime cigarette and they relented (parents - good distraction). I really want to quit, I know I won't be completely done with them now (why not? I guess b/c there is still a lot of stress, but there will always be stress right?). I don't enjoy it at all anymore and that's a sure sign of addiction. I smoked 4 today (2 more since I wrote you first), and lit up a couple more but put them out, in fact I only smoked one till the end in total. It is almost like I am on one of those smoking cessation meds (meds, smoking - also good distractions, they should work). OK, I have to try reverse psychology. I will force myself to think only about sex now. It will probably bore me and I will find myself thinking about my PhD project and team sports in no time.

(36) 30 Jan 2006
That is a sad image. No home runs for them. See you tomorrow I hope - that will mean I have gone to sleep dreaming innocently of flowers and butterflies, er xxxx and xxxx, ahh whatever.

(37) 30 Jan 2006
Thanks D.,
You have almost distracted me... seriously though, I have a lot of ground to cover. I was not happy before the HIV (asides from being in love for a short while), and so I feel like I need to re-evaluate my whole life. I won't be one of these people who go back to everyday life, b/c there is none. But this will not be solved overnight. I know you say the wisest things - then I repeat them rephrased to other +ers, impressing the hell out of them and feeling like a guru - but it takes a while for all of it to sink in, if at all. No, that's not true. You are making a huge difference. I am surprised how much, considering this is just the internet and so on. But still... I want to be happy, that's it. Is it so much to ask, and is HIV going to take me there? Maybe he was right about my karma, not karma in the sense of fate, but some route - I did not yet write that long autobiographical mail to you, but I think you have an idea anyway.Thank you for being out there,

(38) 31 Jan 2006
Dear D.,
How are you? I am tired, did not sleep that well and went to take the hormone panel today as well as another count (didn't need it, but they said might as well use every blood taking for that). There was a very young woman there getting her confirmation test and afterwards I saw her crying with her man in the hall, felt awful for them. Going to take a nap now, and caved in and picked up some (semi-herbal) sleeping tablets from the doc for tonight. Oh, oh! Almost forgot to write this - I heard it's all good with the new place, that I will have a contract & key waiting by the end of Feb.!!! I think champagne is in order. I wrote my work-roomate a rather stern email, and got a reply that she prefectly respects my decision to keep my info to myself. Anyway I reply again in the body of your message below:
--- On Mon 01/30, D. wrote:

Subject: Re: tricks of the mind
You are a very sweet woman, x - not necessarily, I choose to be sweet to you b/c you are to me. Sweet - I don't like sweet stuff anyway. Even fruit are sweet enough, often too sweet like oranges. Anyway, sweet or not, I just reciprocate. I told you that I have a dark side, not an evil side but a grim murky one to be sure. I am not proud of it, but I can't deny it.

You are doing all of the right things and thinking in the right way. I'm not doing much, just babbling. - huh? and what am I doing that you're not doing?

It only sounds wise because for some of this I've been there, and I have learned a little. Pretty soon you will know more than I and then I will be in a more ordinary light. - I do not see you through pink glasses, you make me sound like an infatuated teenager. I know you are a grumpy disillusioned horny old goat. I just like it.

Still, I can teach you xxxx and you can't say that for every guy you meet. - well actually I could have learned xxxx from a number of guys but I choose you Sensei.

Your quack was wrong about your karma but I know what you mean. I think you will look back on it and find you are right about it. You will be happier and more mellow about things that used to drive you crazy. Send me another picture of you smiling when you get a chance. You have a great smile. - Thanks... see picture attached. I look a tad less wholesome now but it is just several months old, from my graduation in Sep. When will I see an unaccessorized non foggy image of you I wonder?

(39) 31 Jan 2006
Hi D.,
Am leaving Thus on the 03.40 a.m flight - remember I already bitched about it...I meant that I added more text into yours as attached at the bottom of mine. I am off for a walk, should take a while. Have a great day,

(40) 31 Jan 2006
Today I feel grateful. I thought that you give me a lot of legitimacy to express my negative feelings, and so I should express that as well. I went on a long contemplative walk. I only smoked 1 & 1/3 cigarettes today (although I know I should quit completly to be on the safe side). It is not just the relaxation that comes with sorting out the apartment thing. It is something a lot deeper. Coming into the ward and seeing that couple crying and realizing that this is all somehow behind me, and also realizing, not for the first time, but starting to fully realize how awfully lucky I had been to be diagnosed with a CD4 of 77, and how differently things could have turned out had I not taken that test exactly a month ago. I feel even lucky to have discovered it at such a late stage - except for my poor boyfriends, one of which I hated cos he cheated on me in despicable ways, yet I do not wish anything like that on him, of course not. I was spared the anxiety of waiting for my counts to drop, and the knowledge that the chronic fatigue I had in my university years (I used to fall asleep in every single lecture, every one, and I blamed working nights and partying, but sometimes I thought it was chronic fatigue syndrom of hormonal imbalance, but I didn't think they could be solved and so I just lived with it) is realted to the virus. And I was able to do everything I had done until now, sometimes ignorance is bliss isn't it? Not that I recommend not getting checked to anybody.My mum told me that her & my dad will give me an apartment they bought in xxxx, it is a 2 room place and renting it out bring xxx$ a month, so it is a big big back for me, knowing I would have a great place to live if I come back (this is the last year of mortgage payments), and knowing I could rent it out and move somewhere where that money counts for something, or just use it to supplement my income, or use it to pay a mortgage somewhere else. My brother and his wife also have a place. I have no illusions that I could ever buy a place or even a car in Israel, b/c my generation is generally unable to as things have changed drastically. I am just so grateful and blessed to have such wonderful parents.I used to think I could end up homeless, but now I know what it means to have a family. B/c I was raised by my grandparents and then they let me go very suddenly b/c my grandma got cancer, and actually I never saw her again, and b/c I spent my teens with a host family and later cohabiting with several much older men (& that's why I told you the punishment never fits the crime), I thought there was no hope for me. But my parents changed so much, and I changed also, and they are wonderful people, they always were, they were just helpless, b/c of their own backgrounds, but they loved us and they did their best - remember what I wrote you once, in the end, the outcome was good. I am so afraid for their health, but what can I do? When I am at home I always drink and smoke with them (my brother doesn't, he was always very strong and stubborn and did his own thing, and he saw me get into drugs and come out changed at the other end, although I was not addicted but still messed up, that's thankfully long gone out of my system), but now I don't drink b/c of the meds, and I smoke a lot less. Kind of a confusing email, just saying I love my imperfect wonderful family, and my flawed crazy life. Ciao for now,

(41) 31 Jan 2006
Isn't it strange, whenever I compose an email to you there is one already waiting.Did you think I was ticked off that you didn't remember when I fly, oh dear, I am not like that at all. I am just in a reflective mood all day. Not at all,

(42) 31 Jan 2006
It's not there, I still have no idea what you look like!Otherwise a great slideshow. Thanks....

(43) 31 Jan 2006
Thanks, D. I am speechless, no one has ever sent me their history before. I am new to this exhanging pics biz as it is. Looks like a great life

(44) 31 Jan 2006
You make yourself sound like one of these hill tribe types, with an opium pipe hanging out of their bettle nut stained mouth! I actually think you look handsomer older, or maybe just cameras are better ;0)I did not expect such a bombardment of photos I must admit. That esspresso must have been extra strong. It's great though. And stop talking about my kids... that stresses me out. 1 would be enough. I am considered on the wrong side of the hill here you know. I am tired tonight cos taking the meds so early, so I think I will retire to my quarters earlier than usual. Hasta luego

(45) 1 Feb 2006
Hi D.
How are you? I had a lovely long natural sleep last night, woke up at 06.00 and checked emails, then collapsed back into bed and horny dreams. I have to copy and paste your mails into one and respond, b/c you brought up so many things I can't keep track of them. It might be annoying for you to re-read your posts, but that makes for more of a dialogue dontcha think? For your convenience I colored my own responses blue so that you don't have to seperate my own words from yours or read everything you wrote. Let me just say in response to the last one, you are right that in NL I will have less time on my hands, but I plan to be good to myself, and just like I am not committing to presenting (and actually I made an appointment with the student psychologists that day, so I already know I won't go to the xxxx), I don't plan to overstress myself with work. I will have less internet access though until I move, or rather be more limited in access time.Also about your pics, I really like the recent ones (the one with the xxxx & xxxx is funny, I can't really explain why... I think b/c I feel as though I have seen it many times before, although I haven't), and in the last one you are standing with your xxxx at a xxxx, I would like to think that's symbolic, but then again I still think that radio playlists are picked according to my moods and recent exploits.
So here goes: There must be something in me that is priest like, you seem so comfortable telling me such intimate things. I am touched and, if you know how I mean this, feel honored by you. - I don't think what I told you can be quantified as more than what you've told me, to be honest, & correct me if I'm wrong. As for the priest, so long as it's not a Catholic one...You certainly are doing well with the cigarettes. Really with everything. You are truly amazing. I just clammed up when I found out, and tried to hide my feelings. I did get myself into a clinic with counseling right away, so it's not like I didn't talk to anyone, but I certainly was not able to open myself up much, or deal directly with any of it other than the immediate health issue. And it has taken me many years of fitful contemplation, and yes (to answer a question you raised - "fitful contemplation" - I like that expression. I know what you mean, I would not contemplate as much if I wasn't forced to, and it does happen in fits some mails ago) several therapy sessions with someone very clever and experienced, for me to see very much of myself in a clear way. When I was your age I had only an inkling of what was driving me to do the things that I did (and do) and it has been a long struggle to understand it. I wish I had figured out in my 20s and 30s what you have. It would have saved me a huge amount of pain and agony in my life. But you already had much more of a life than I did, as the pictures attest, so it is only natural that when people do things, and a lot of them, they will do some wrong, while chronic observers may have more of a clue about life, but not much of it ultimately So when I say to you that you are ahead of me, I mean that, and I know it to be true. Not ahead for sure, maybe keeping up a closer chase than you imagine, but certainly not ahead, for sure [we are both so sure of ourselves]. And I also know that not many people have your ability to understand these things or to deal with them in any kind of a healthy way. You are special that way. Er, thanks dude. And think of the way you have been able to come to terms what happened to you within your family, and to be able to make your way back into a close relationship with your parents, and how important that is to them as well as to you. You have said a lot about the events of your youth, even if you have used few words to do it, and I know that your parents must be full of remorse and sorrow over the way they did things and the decisions that they made [me too, absolutely], and your coming to terms with that and allowing them into your life despite everything, I know has made a great difference in their own lives. Few people would be able to do this in the way that you have, if they could do it at all. I am thinking in a separate thought that it is fortunate for you too that you have such great parents and you did things when you did, as having a supportive family at such a terrible moment in your life is a gift to you for the way you were able to get close to them again [very true, and you are a superfast thinker as well]. I'm just speaking plainly about it, but it's not easy to find the right words to talk about it. Someday you can tell me about the odyssey you hint at [I will, but not as a priest. I will show you mine if you show me yours, and not that I am implying they are similar, the scratches I mean]. I'm kind of envious of those older guys you cohabited with (such a cold, dreary word - I hope it wasn't as bad as it sounds) - not that I would want to be any of them, and I wonder if any of them ever thought about how lucky they were [they may have thought they were lucky, but not in the way that you mean. And of course you wouldn't be envious, as I was a total fuckup, and they were much bigger ones than me. There is no point in regretting anything though is there? If you look for poison, you will find it. If you look for remedy, you will - hopefully! - find that too]. OK on to the next one...No, you didn't seem annoyed. But I thought I ought to explain my forgetfulness, or rather excuse it. You know guys like to make excuses for ther lapses, instead of just saying "pardon me" or "sorry". - I had no idea actually, but you always like to tell me what guys are like and what guys do uncle D. It's too bad you weren't there to guide me along, I might've made some much wiser choices. And I am only half kidding here.
I forgot to say about the apartment, that being a parent I know how important it was for your parents that they were able to do something like that for you, and that you could accept that from them in a gracious and loving way. It's important that you continue to let them express themselves in this way to help them heal themselves and to allow them to be the parents that they always wanted to be, if you see what I mean. In a way it is your duty as their child to accept such things. And for you, it is terrific, as you say, especially at this moment. I hope you can keep it and never let it go. - I think you are referring to the moment not the apartment. I have been close to my parents for several years now, it was a process and that's why it was "easy" (never easy, but not so unimaginably difficult as many people seem to find it) to tell them about the HIV. They are honestly great people though so it is not so difficult to love them.You deserve a big hug. A great big one. (I give great hugs by the way, and on demand for my friends, so don't feel shy about demanding them.) - can I book one or reserve it for later? Do you make deliveries?
I've got a bunch of random thoughts running through my head, among them an image of Daffy Duck, one my childhood heroes, whose favorite comment for just about everything was "despicable" (see the attached, for example). I love the attachment, and it reminds me of American Splendor (the movie that is), which I would be happy to mail you if you tell me you still own the primitive viewing device that will enable you to watch it This is because you had mentioned that one of your exes had cheated in "despicable" ways. Which made me wonder, as a guy, how a woman looks at cheating, and which ways aren't despicable. I guess to a guy there is cheating and not cheating, and all cheating is equally despicable if he is caught at it and feels guilty, and it's not despicable if he isn't caught or doesn't feel guilty if he is. But obviously women don't look at it this way. Women distinguish between despicable cheating and non-despicable teaching. So what I was going to ask was for a few generic examples of each, just to get a better handle on how this works. I"m trying to do this in a non-nosy way, but of course what I am really wondering as a man is what was so despicable about it, and as a XXXX, did you get your revenge? As a XXXXX, revenge is much more important than some perceived degree of despicability. I did my bit of cheating, not on this BF but on the previous one, considering that it was only 2 years with him and my longest relationship. But despicable to me is not admitting to it and dumping an unsuspecting (b/c you keep bombing her with gifts and romantic text messages and calls etc) GF for a new one without telling her the reason, making her feel it is b/c she is cold or likes to sleep in a seperate bed (in the adjacent room I might add) on occasion. And then emailing her for months not saying anything about being with the new one, telling her how much you miss her, that you see her image in every corner blah blah blah, and then re-appearing with 30th birthday wishes, not mentioning again that you have married the woman you dumped her for. That for me is despicable, as even cheating should be done with a minimal amount of class, and not as a total wuss. Overall I am pretty monogamous though, but like I said I have cheated, so maybe I am in no position to judge. And now that I think of it, I know you won't do it but I'd love to get the link to the website of that - yes - despicable boyfriend of yours in XXXX. One day. He is the kind of guy for whom Daffy Duck reserved his favorite epithet. Don't forget though that as with a lot of despicable people, the revenge has already occured before there was something to avenge, in other words, you have to be seriously damaged to cause serious damage, and this guy's XXXXX. And finally, I still marvel at your native speaker command of English, which must be a grand pain in the ass to learn for someone whose mother tongue is totally unrelated to it. It's actually known that competent non native speakers achieve a higher level than natives, and today stardard English is making way for World Englishes, and that's also why you have all these highly successful English authors who are not NSs, and it also explains why Indians in particular seem to be so very articulate and use such intricate phrases and presumptous words, doesn't it honorable sir? It's amazing. What kind of English accent to you have? Is it some sort of standard European English accent or a London accent or North Country or what? Where did you go to school in England and how long were you there? Were you with your brother in xxxx? - I was there xx-xx with my family, obviously. I don't have an accent, now it is kind of North American-EU mix, in England it would turn British in no time, depending on who I spoke with (Cockney with a Londoner, Mancurian in Manchester etc), and with you I would sound xxxxx I'm afraid. xxxxx is kind of the default anyway, though not heavy (think Canadian), b/c of all the media exposure. See what I mean about random thoughts? They are not so random. They all have a central theme, let's see if you can think what it is.... ;0) I have to get back to work, but feel free to respond immediately. Just kidding. It really was a delicious long sleep.
And a final one....
I was cleaning out my old messages from the site, and saw that we have only been corresponding for about a day or two more than a week. I was surprised as it seems like I've known you longer than that. We have been pretty intense, and I'm glad it didn't scare you (or me) off. Me too, really glad. Incidently, you seem to have a lot of success with the site if you need to clean out your mailbox every week or so! I only had a response from you and a couple other people, and it has dwindled to a halt. Maybe it's the location, or the fact that I don't have a picture, or my being a woman... not that I could handle many more correspondents at the moment. We will be more like normal people when you are back to your routine and trying to keep your head above water at work. I think. Time will tell, but what would normal people do in our shoes I wonder? perhaps I should find some and ask them.
I have to go to lunch, so I will send this without a spellcheck, and wish you a lovely day

(46) 01 Feb 2006
Hi D.
I don't know if this is the result of taking my meds so early, but I feel floored with depression tonight. I can't stand my life in the NL, and when I look at life here I can't either, and when I think about Japan, well, that was exciting but as soon as the challenges were over incredibly lonely too. I guess I am just really crap at maintaining relationships, although I do have a handful of friends here and there. Which reminds me, that when I told my homeopath I have HIV and that my BF broke up with me, he visibly paled (I know he cares for me actually) and said something like, "all your relationships were always destroyed. Now also this one". I tried hard to fight for it though. I'm ashamed so say I called him a few times this week as well, but I guess he screened my calls. Not so much b/c I miss him (I don't miss him I miss how I felt and the good times) but b/c I suppose I am trying to artificially maintain relationships the way my homeopath said. I have to say when I saw your pics with all the family and friends and hints of a completely full and active and overflowing life, I was envious. I suppose everyone's albums look like that. The strange thing is that the morning I got my test I spent time looking at my albums, as though I was summing it up, as though I knew things were going to change. I told you once that I felt life is going in loops, I haven't thought about those seedy years in years, my teenage years, mostly b/c I was so lonely, and my 20s looked so much better, but somehow they have evaporated too after my BF cheated on me (see my previous email) and I left, and I did all these things on my own and felt resilient and strong for that, but also alone. And now the NL. Not the most cheerful of places, but I will hang in there. Another thing I want to say, I know you're a busy guy and I guess it suddenly dawned on you how much time you spend emailing me instead of doing more productive stuff, even in the arena of online dating, and that's alright I guess, your emails did make me a lot happier and filled me with a sense of purpose and energy for a while, I hope they keep coming, but if you're done with the challenge of figuring out who and why and you need to move on, just do it. I am not in my xxs and don't live in xxxx, so what can I do?
All the best to you,

(47) 01 Feb 2006
I guess you can explain your life pretty much by an inner struggle between the xxxx & the xxxx in you.I do feel crap (physically). It is the 1st time the meds are making me nautious.

(48) 01 Feb 2006
It is also the first time I have noticed them (crinkles). I blame your posts and the grins they spread on my face

(49) [title: sleeping pill] 01 Feb 2006
Took one. Sorry about sounding depressed. My need for a shoulder surpassed my need to shine for a bit. Will be off to bed shortly & you had better get on with xxxxx that xxxx

(50) 01 Feb 2006
I did not get depressed b/c you didn't write... I got depressed b/c of the normal people comment at the end of your correspondence last night, and b/c the NL is depressing, and b/c of the meds. You have to tell me your plan of breaking out of the loops by spring, maybe I can follow it. Maybe I can write a self help guide, "how to break the loops and re-emerge in spring". I will steal your ideas, and turn them into something Oprah will love. Then it's full speed ahead to fame and fortune. Yes, I think I've nailed it. No more problems then.

(51) 01 Feb 2006
I think we read the same book.But all my BFs loved me, at least they all said so, and with the last one I was supposed to live, and with the previous 2 I did live, and they acted like it (I'm talking about the normal ones, asides from cheating and breakups). So it can't be that I choose unavailable people, b/c they were always just as interested as me in the beginning, and initiated everything, and tried their best. No, it must be the karma thing. That makes more sense.But that's not going to be solved tonight is it? Anyway my nausea is gone and sleeping pill kicking in, so I will bid you adieu for now. And as for staying away from you uncle D., that's hardly a choice, just as the continents didn't choose to seperate millions of years ago.

(52) 02 Feb 2006
Hi D., how are you?
I haven't left yet, my flight is tonight, but I was preparing by taking my meds earlier and earlier, b/c I have to be at the airport around midnight for the security checks. I have about a backpack full of medicine for 3-4 months, I hope I don't get asked any embarassing questions. Anyway, that might have been a mistake, with the meds I mean. I did fall asleep nicely with the sleeping pill (and woke up feeling like my brain had turned into cotton candy, fluffy and sticky), but I am still natious. I don't know how you could volunteer knowingly for something that will make you feel like this - it ain't a pretty feeling. I suppose it's psychosomatic though, as why would this appear now, when I had been taking the meds for a month? Then again it could have something to do with my homeopathic medicine from Friday, as my homeaopath always likes to say "if I fix your soul, the symptoms will go to your body", & vice versa (I can hear you gritting your teeth & muttering angrily under your breath). But if that were the case, than my soul should feel like a summer's day shouldn't it? I had a strange dream, dreams are awfully boring when you tell them to someone else, but as the screen bears everything I will narrate it: I was back at the uni in the office I share with xxxx and xxxx, both of whom are married (xxxx also with kid), and found that it had turned into a bomb shelter like the one under every house in IL, cement walls and all. The walls were painted royal blue like some kind of open landscape, but very vulgar and with primary colors. I had some argument with xxxx, b/c she wanted me to join her for a smoke and one of her endless gossip sessions, and I told her I really must pay attention to my work and can't leave my desk. She left angrily and I remained alone. I thought how unfair it was that she & xxxx have their desks under big open windows, while mine was below a small crevice in the wall, like those things in castles you shoot arrows from, and also covered in glass that I couldn't open. Then I saw that there was another window, not as good as theirs but better than that peep hole, on my left hand side. My desk was not right under it though, and too heavy to move. Then I dreamt about fields and fields of tulips (that must've been the view outside, with huge open skies the wall paintings were trying to imitate), but very quiet, no bees or insects or any life whatsoever, somehow I knew that there was no life in this endless scenery but the tulips, and that they were not planted by anyone, or will ever be picked. It was like there was nothing, but the tulips and me and the big open blue sky. What do you make of it? If I had to guess I would say it has to do with your analysis of my relationships, which depressed me I must admit (I was already depressed though), b/c I didn't/don't see it in quite the same way. I could give you examples to the contrary, but I already remind myself of an old drama queen looking back at her glory (i.e pre-30s, pre-HIV) days. In the end is doesn't matter, as that is all water under a bridge I can't even spot from my rear view mirror anymore. Hmm, you said no apologies. Spring in the NL really is gorgeous, as it is in the rest of Europe, that picture doesn't do it justice actually. Last year March was very cold still and snowy, but April is usually a good bet. Keep your eyes on the global forecasts. I don't think I will go to Thailand in March, as I am just moving and there are courses I should be taking if I don't want it all to go to waste, and some kind of life to try and build. I'll let you know how it goes - probably be at the internet cafe sooner than later this weekend... Fijn dag, tot straks

(53) 02 Feb 2006
Hi D. Don't be hard on yourself... ok? please...Your dream analysis really moved me, you have crinkled my face many times but this is the first time I have a few tears squeezing out of the crinkles & rolling down my cheeks b/c of you... Man you are a special person, although you insist that you are so common and blase, and maybe if I was just a secretary in your office or something like that I would think so myself, I have no idea how you are in everyday life. And, although being so juvenile in your opinion, I have known literally thousands of people (although I am very bad at keeping in touch and getting close to people), so I know what I am talking about here. ahhhreeemppphhh - this is about the sound that I can imagine if I want to express my feelings right now. Sometimes words are just useless aren't they, but we can't do without them.

[his analysis of my dream: I think this dream is fairly simple and straightforward and just a representation of your current mixed feelings about things and perhaps your lingering lack of faith that you can hope again for something better. The office space is your life, which to you is something like a prison - you feel trapped and you see other people having an opening to a beautiful sunny world but you see your opening as small and closed. Then you find another window which, while not quite as nice as those open to other people, gives you hope that there is also a better life for you. And what you see is better - but the life on the other side of it, while pretty and attractive, is sterile. To me what this means is you are fighting for a future (the fight with xxxx who represents your old life - she wants to do the same old repetitive thing, you want to get on with things and move forward) but you are afraid to hope for too much - it seems to look pretty good, but you don't dare to hope for too much and you fear there may be no one in it and that it will be, in effect, empty. To me this is what this dream really was - it was your mind coming to the conclusion that you have indeed stepped forward, and that you do have a future, but that your mind is still afraid to have confidence in what your new world will be like - it has some remaining doubts and fears that can only be answered as you push out through the window. Does that make sense? ]

(54) 02 Feb 2006
Well, I salute you already, and I am sure that there is a clause in your contract allowing you to opt out if things get out of hand with either your side effects or the VL, right? right?! B/c otherwise I will report them for violating the Helsinky treatise or something.You wrote that my society is a "society where most people work together for the common good in an emergency" - maybe, not sure it is like than anymore, in fact in my own lifetime, or at least since I have an awareness. There are good people who care and there are a lot of selfish bastards, some would say I am one of them too, I am certainly not the patriotic type (and they are a bunch of extremist head cases anyway, see that photo you emailed me).What are you up to today?

(55) 02 Feb 2006
Since you once asked for them, my hormone panel results are back:LH 4.57 MIU/MLFSH 2.39 MIU/MLEstradiol 17-Beta 55.6 PG/MLProgesterone <0.20>White Girls, after rejecting Hotel Rwanda for fear of increasing our depressions, and he asked me to go to a rock concert on Thus., so it's not all about shedding tears - in fact the problem is I am usually cheerful next to everybody and even when I'm not there is something entertaining and verbal in it. I rarely cry, and crying - I mean with real tears - is a real indulgence). Yes I miss my ex, it is just so damn close and it was just so good until it got frigging awful. I will keep your advice in mind, not that I haven't followed it already, in fact the result of finding out was some kind of desperate randiness I guess people on their deathbeds experience, drooling on their nurses and all that. Having written this I am embarassed to call now. Anyway, I don't know what will happen. My supervisor reacted like a prick but I will give him the benefit of the doubt that this is the best he could've come up with right now... at least I have it all out in the open. I am what I am and they have to deal with it. Pushing me and making me even more sleepless and feeling even more isolated isn't going to get me or him very far. C. was furious with him, and there was no other view I could take really. I could become all serious and settle down to life in the Dutch suburbs in a few months, at least until my tattoes (or rather, what they signify) will be revealed. I could become lightheaded and promiscous, but I don't see myself taking that route. Either seem kind of imaginary right now, and most of all distractions from the helplessness and depression I feel which seem to be the real unelying emotion.I have to run before I'll be late on my meds, but it was lovely to talk to you, as usual. Tot morgen dann ik hope (till tomorrow hopefully)

(67) 07 Feb 2006
Dear D.
Thanks for your kind words, and the songs. I did not listen yet but I will soon. Just back in with a message from my super telling me he wants me to submit an academic article to some obscure boring-ass journal by xxxx. Great. But first things first: I did sleep quite well last night, I woke up early and, er, increased my endorphine levels. Then I went to work, dropped my new insurance by the personnel dept., and hopefully, I will be insured within a week or so. Then I saw my super's email, gritted my teeth, and called the nice man from two doors down the hall to help me translate the instructions of writing from Dutch to English. I am alone in the room today. Now, about my super, it is not the same guy. I have two: a xxxxx, which is the most important chief, and a xxxx with whom I meet regularly. These are the only people I work with. Originally, I did plan to tell my xxxx, b/c he is a very kind man, and I trust him, and he has a lot of power here too. I did not plan to tell the other, but he called me to come to his room yesterday, kissed me 3 times on my cheeks and asked me straight out what is wrong with me, so it was either lie quickly on the spot or come out with it and be done. Now, he is not the kind of manipulative bastard you describe, but he is one of these men who never grow up, and I detest that. That was the reason I didn't want to tell him in the first place. He was "very understanding", just going thru the motions, and he did send me an email today saying how much he admires my strength and optimism blah blah, but I can tell insincere BS and I can smell forced-immaturity [that's when people think at xxxx it's really cool to be the life of the party, flirting constantly (but not very daringly or imaginatively) with 20 year old students and forcing themselves to never grow up and get down and dirty with real life] from a mile away. It's all good and well for him with his nice house, nice salary, small town life, boyish figure and cute GF that weighs half of me and a third of him. Maybe I am being too harsh, I think this is the first time you hear me angry... anyway his name is xxxxx, and since then I have been calling him xxxxx in my heart (talk about immaturity huh?). I will have him sorted eventually, I am just pissed off right now. I do plan on asking for that paid leave from my xxxxx, I will produce the deathly boring article, and I am seriously thinking of taking my vacation afterwards, provided my health allows. You ask me about my tattooes - I can send you that saved email from ages ago but it will be sad and hard and I don't know if you will look at me the same again, so consider that. I have to go bullshit my way thru academia but I will be back. Big hug and thanks,

(68) 07 Feb 2006
Thanks.... I makes me even more keen to get outta here though, somewhere far and hot with sweet alcoholic drinks and a bit of a sunburn. xo

(69) 07 Feb 2006
You know D., the flipside of this whole tearwrenching story is that I do get to meet a bunch of great people (some more than others), and live my life in what seems to take a free-er direction. I am pasting an email I got from the gay guy (you know the one who is semi-self destrcutive, but also fun loving, as we never have the full pic do we? - thank God! even what I wrote you just now about my xxxx is demagogic. I know that, but right now I don't care. You will see the volcano stop fuming in a while though, if the volcano has her way, at least partially, in this desert landscape of life).

Hi darling
First to say you are doing well by limiting your internet access from work, as, regardless of your paranoia, it is after all a place of work and we should respect this. Also, even if you are paranoid, it doesn't mean you are not being hunted :-)) I am very glad to hear you are doing well and gettingyour life back on track. It's good! it's important for the soul. About telling or not or when and to whom, well, thisis definitely the $ 1,000,000 question. It's an issue that does not have a straight answer and has to be re-assesed and re-evaluated on a per-case basis. I call it "the relevance test". i.e. Is it relevant totell that certain person at that specific time and place about your serostatus, and what purpose it serves. This is a real issue and very relevant to me as well. If you want I will be happy to continue discussion on this matter. Do however keep in mind that people sometimes do feel something is slightly off. People are not stupid (well, actually most people are stupid but some aren't) :-)) Anywhoos, wrote you a bunch already so bye bye for nowand do accept a virtual complementary aloha cocktail :-)

-see what I mean? not as great as you, but there are some good people out there. Not all the witty ones are as good in person, and not all the good ones are funny, and all have their immense problems, but anyway, this is just my small reflection instead of turning to some seriously boring crap. PS I am sure C. would like you too - she likes the idea of you already!

(70) 07 Feb 2006
I asked my xxxx (the nice distinguished one not the disappointing one) for the xxxx and also to get the other off my back, so that will be underway soon (my application/meeting with the xxxx that is). He asked me really nicely to go to dinner at their place and even though I was sulking I think I will end up there after all, so off to the gym early before that transpires. So in case I am not back at the computer on time, hope you're having a great day xxxx lots of xxxx from the comfort of your home, with xxxx playing in the background.
Talk to you soon I hope,

(71) 08 Feb 2006
Hi D.,
It is awful, but I didn't look any better at that age! Dinner was very good last night, good atmosphere, and today my xxxx is xxxx for me. I talked to xxxx again and he seems more understanding and regretful, I guess I was really harsh, they are all human at the end of the day & very much so, it's just that I was feeling so cornered so bared my teeth. I will have a bit of work lined up but they will lay off some of it, and Mon I have an appointment with the xxxx, will show him the letter from my IL doctors one about my status, and hopefully receive xxxx. Ahhhr but now they called about some problem with the xxxx, some beaurocratic mixup, typical! I have to email the xxxx to see if he will see me or not. Bugger. As for Thailand, I do want to go... but it's awfully soon. There is a the chicken in my flapping it's wings you see. I don't want to look bad in front of them either, and I am just starting a Dutch course. I will try to postpone those tix I guess, so far I haven't been contacted by the agency. Weights - some machines and some free weights for my arms. But I don't feel as exhilirated with weights as I did when I was doing the aerobic stuff, in fact I find them tiring, and every time I have to increase the weights for the impact. I basically do my whole body more or less except from the knees down b/c that part is already very strong from all the walking and jogging. I don't know the names of all the muscle groups but I go through about hald the machines in the gym. Today I will go again only for aerobic machines and after go to my favorite haridresser here - actually the only one - the xxxx hairdresser, thank God for the various immigrants, they save this country. I have to start my day - it is almost 12 and I start with lunch and then at 14.45 have a meeting with the psychologist xxxx. I will write more later. Do not beat yourself over oversleeping as it is better than undersleeping - I was awake from 04.00 till 07.00 and then collapsed until 10, although I fell asleep as soon as I hit the floor (don't have a bed you see...). Ciao for now, jouw vriendin

(72) 08 Feb 2006
I am glad you liked that song... Just out of the gym where I did mostly aerobic stuff. Hairdresser tomorrow - can't be bothered, freezing cold here. I feel a strange mixture of anger and sadness - I don't think talking to a psychologist was a good idea. They are useless aren't they? Venting to a friend is always better, but not a friend that just makes all your troubles look even bigger by feeling immensly sorry for you. I think that's why I have been avoiding almost all my home friends. I seem to only be able to communicate with you really. How bizzare is that. It's not that I don't talk to other people, it's just that it's no good. Gonna hit that shower. I didn't ask the poz guy to use his bath - thought that would be too much, we are talking about A DUTCH at the end of the day.... Hope you're in better spirits than me, I really do.

(73) 11 Feb 2006
That's a really good one!!! so absolutely true! The attachments were funny as well. I hope your stomache is better. I was so low last night.... I ended up texting my ex and he called me back compalining that I woke him up. I was so stunned (by the complaint, and by him calling back as he never does, and in general) that I started to cry. He asked me about me, he really wants me to end up with someone, obviously. He said that he loved me (I did not say that I loved him, but he knows how much I did) and that he has never made love (he actually used this term) to anyone like me. Heard that one before. Great load of good it does me now. But he hang up on me, I mean he ended it, told me to go to sleep. I tried, and I didn't sleep much, I dreamt that my parents were informed they were HIV positive. We went to the ward & the doctors were surprised, but not as surprised as they should be. It seemed that it could be passed in non- sexual ways after all. In short, horrible night (but nice evening going out, except the 'in a bubble" feeling). I am unable to stay here longer than one year, maybe less. Unable. I can't stand the remoteness and isolation in this condition.So I spent the day with E who was very kind. I did not tell him about last night, but we ate and watched a yucky DVD (Hitch - sickly romantic in a way that makes Meg Ryan movies look hardcore), and he is very nice to me, which I do not intend to abuse. It is fucking lonely. Have to go - will email more tomorrow. And please, don't categorize me as too hot to handle or whatever. Maybe that's a compliment, but I am just so tired and basically a miserable not so young human being with HIV in a small remote place. Hugs to ya,

(74) 12 Feb 2006
Dear D.
Miss you today. Thanks for your nice email. My office is always closed on the weekend, but I go to an internet shop near my house. It is also a call shop, so I was going to call you, but I see that you're away so I won't try. Oh there is just so much to explain.... the people I went out with I hardly know, so how could I sleep at their place. Not to mention that the xxxx guy[that ws P.!!] (whom i see again Tue) is living in as dreary conditions as me, and I don't think bunking down in a single bed in a shared apartment next to a drunk man would be very soothing, esp. as sex is out of the question. But thanks for the idea... R. also lives in the same condition. The only one I could sleep at's is E really, since he has this huge house with spare rooms all to himself. But then I don't go out with him, only stay in - this generalization refers to a week & 2 days of being back. You are right that I know only a short time, I found out on 27/12 in fact, so not even 2 months. I wanted to tell you that the horrid novel I was reading, Ghosts of Manila, has turned suddenly & inexplicably very very good. It's as though one editor died and was replaced by another, that's the only explanation I can find for it. It really makes me want to get out there again, although it is very gruesome and gritty. I have not been to the Phils but enough of SEA and a bit of experience with Filipinos to be able to imagine it, an attractive hellhole (Manila at least). Of course when I am healthy and in love I can handle such place. At least healthy as far as I know... imagine I would have been diagnosed in the normal circumstances a couple years after like most people, I would never have ventured to these places. Which reminds me, there was this xxxx guy I was writing to, he is also a xxxx citizen contracted out to do all sorts of xxxx jobs, anyway he was very warm in his emails, and then in the last one he mentioned that he had tried to have a kid with his wife (who infected him), knowing she had HIV, and they split up b/c of her drug problems. Well I wrote him an email, and also asked - apologizing if it was rude but he seemed to have implied it already - if he knew that she had it. I mean it sounded like the guy didn't take precautions. Well I got back a few lines, "have a nice life", something like that. He basically wrote that he doesn't want to think about it. People are strange aren't they? Before that he was so warm, too warm in fact (that makes me suspicious). I am sorry to be depressive in some of my posts, it's nice being considered hot I suppose - better than the alternative! are there only the two extremes though? and isn't it inevitable that any degree of hotness will slide down the continuum sooner or later? - although I am not used to it - I mean I am practically invisible here in the NL - but I figure I shouldn't try to hide my ups and downs. Do let me know if you think otherwise okay? Hope you have a great cultural Sunday. I was in xxxx once you know, & I remember the area around xxxx as very nice, and wishing I could be an adult and lived there. Ha the days when I yeared to be an adult and stand on my own. I won't get into that now... I was 14 and a year later I did live on my own, kind of, but I could have never imagined it. Sunday night is really the worse of the week here. Sometimes I think I am off my head wanting to stay here another year (I mean I have 6 months till the end of this one, the trial year, and with the xxxx it will be a year). Unless something very drastic and surprising happens, I plan to royally disappoint and drop out D. I am not staying in the Dutch boonies until I am xx years old, no way. Went to yoga today and during the relaxation bit at the end fell very briefly asleep and dreamt of my ex's face, smiling and crinkling. Woke up so - I don't know how to even describe it - I just went quietly and gathered my stuff and left the gym. My mind plays horrible tricks on me sometimes. I know him & I were not meant to be in any case, but I can't help feeling this raw pain sometimes. Maybe I seek it unknowingly. I was thinking why I find E so unattractive - he looks middle aged, but not middle aged distinguished, just pudgy and over the hill in little boys' clothes - horrible description but I will leave it b/c that's how I preceive him and if I am to ever change this perception I had better acknowldege it, don't you think? - and my ex so adorable - asides from the obvious hot young xxxx guy bit. Putting that aside I think that you are right and that I am a bit of a pain addict. But I am learning to enjoy the warmth and I hope it will not go away by the time I get used to it, b/c I am one of these people that never feels safe & secure and the few times that I did I always, always got screwed over in a very painful way, if not by the guy himself then by some cruel trick of destiny. Don't get depressed from me ok? I just tell it like it is and I am glad I have someone to tell it to. Uncle D. or my friend or whatever. Have a great Sunday & week,

(75) 13 Feb 2006
I just read about it, it was a massive one - you are in xxxx aren't you?somehow I would love a proper snow here instead of this drizzly endless cold with a few flakes of snow.I don't have a digicam, so the pics'll have to wait. I have a mobile camera, but I am taking my new mobile to the shop tomorrow b/c I can't figure it out myself and the instructions are in Dutch, so maybe I will ask the guy there to take one of me. You will just have to hold your horses there, I am sorry. Just into work, xxxx isn't here for a week, and I tell ya it is really like the room is cleared of some stagnent fumes, you know, not obviously toxic but something that would kill you in the long run. It's gonna be a busy week. I will write more later though. I am glad you miss me - thanks!

(76) 13 Feb 2006
is where the slaves used to run to and once they crossed it they were emancipated. So I am not such an ignorasmus as you may think, although I admit to not knowing Wagner from Vivaldi... I am a bit pissed b/c my request to change rooms at work and move with a quiet xxxx girl has been denied and I am stuck here with the increasignly annoying xxxx and a xxxx woman which I like but is terribly loud. I think I had better go to the gym and let some of that steam out before it erupts in a crying fit or something - not that this is any reason for one, but it doens't take much to trigger it this time of the month. I have to fly home at the end of April for meds & checkups. I would love to come to xxxx and the thing that would be ideal is rent a car and make some kind of roadtrip (come to think of it, this is xxxx, you already have a car). Thing is with flying home and courses here I am not sure how much time off I can afford as I am beginning a terribly boring xxxx course this xxxx and have my Dutch as well (and if you miss more than a few classes you will not be passed which could get me in trouble as xxxx pays for my courses). But, if you manage to come across the dough around April, what I could do is combine that trip with the one to Israel and then no one will know what I am up to. It will have to be after I obtain my meds of course otherwise you will have a terminally ill patient on your hands and will have no choice but to abandon me at the nearest public hospital and make a fast getaway. That is a crazy idea - I mean coming to xxxx. But hey why not? I mean really why not? Gotta go in a few, maybe I will catch you later. Yours

(77) 13 Feb 2006
Hey D.,
Good luck with your xxxx and I hope that they see that your xxxx is the best around and the only thing suitable for their xxxx.I was just at the gym and came back to the office b/c I wanted to call E & don't have my new mobile yet so out of credit. He is also having job interviews this week (remeber I told you he was sacked from his job) and I really wish that he gets something b/c he is not the kind of man that can survive not working, I think. Well most men aren't but a lot of my friends and me too went thru periods of unemployment. I really care about him you see. I did not tell him that I am going out with the xxxx guy [that was P.!!] (on Valentine's no less - but I do not keep track of such dates, in Israel it is not celebrated), as I am not "going out" with him, so why should I tell him. Anyway I think he sees me as a kind of buddy or little sister type. I know I know it is never 100%, but that's the impression I get. Of course I could be completely off the mark. BTW if you imagine the xxxx guy as some kind of hot xxxx lover (which reminds me I never got to listen to that xxxx song you sent me on Sat b/c I was not home - will listen tomorrow - but I did get hit on by a black xxxx instructor at the internet cafe when emailing you last night), it is not so. He is more like the xxxx and is as xxxxx. He is a funny guy though, always laughing and in a good mood, which makes me wonder, how will he react if/when the truth about me is revealed. But there is still time for all that, right. Well what can I say but wish you happy Valentine's, that you get over your headache (is is stress related?), and that you xxxx... I am keeping my fingers crossed for you despite that being a pagan Christian custom, and I will be watching from the aisles holding my breath with my maids fanning my sweaty brow until you let me know the outcome! Really. Well I do have a sweaty brow, haven't yet showered after the gym.

(78) 14 Feb 2006
Dear D.
Not true! I am eating a supermarket meal out of a container in front on my screen at the office as I only meet him at 9. As much as I like this optimistic cheerleader image you paint of me, it is just not so.... I am not looking for many suitors anyway, I am looking for real love & some peace and quiet and then I fell on my face. I told you already I am something less cuter and rather grittier than you imagine... honestly. But thank you for your VD wishes and hugs and kisses back to ya. I was awake half the night therefore I came in late and was quiet destroyed and overworked (though alone in my office thank God), that's why I didn't yet have time to write, and have just finished a 2 hour Dutch class. I had my parents send me some pics to send you but they didn't come out right. As for your xxxx, great pics - I like the xxxx. This is pretty much how my student house operated last year, all year, but at the age of xx I was quite tired of it. Hell, at 20 I was quite tired of it. Not that it isn't fun once in a while and not that I would ever look down on people who enjoy it - au contraire, I envy their innocence and capacity for fun. It is b/c of this nature of higher education though that I didn't pusrue my Phd in xxxx. I figured it was better here, despite the overall age gap, than there. I don't know if I was right or not, but anyway thing've truned out so differently with my diagnosis there is no use pondering it.The link I sent you was just the news story of Dick Cheney shooting his friend, with some photo of Dick showing off an at NRA convention - I am sure you are more familiar with this story than me anyhows. Enjoy your evening and kill your headache. Yours truely

(79) 15 Feb 2006 [describing a pre-disclosure date with P]
I won't stall as I see it is really killing you. We were done by midnight. I walked home alone. We went to the xxxx whcih is basically paying for a movie and not knowing what it is - it was an utterly crap totally shameless movie with Wesely Snipes (a kind of low gradedness seal isn't he) & some dumbass star who looks like an underwear catalogue model (it was called Chaos), ripping off every cliche line and frame from every shitty 80s action B movie and late night police drama you ever saw - really a classic in a sense as it could have been a perfect parody, only it wasn't. Wish we could have seen it together. But we had a real silent giggle over it making dumb faces at each other imitating the action on screen & binging on popcorn and some strange choclate snacks as well as drinking beer, which is normal in theatres here. And then I want home w/out as much as a kiss (he asked me out again for Fri) but I could not sleep for the life of me. I ate, I came twice, I read my book which is fast becoming some sort of masterpiece, I can't believe how my opinion of it changed, how it has actually changed, it is in the last 1/4 and I do not want it to end ever - I would love to send it to you or maybe you could just order it from amazon (I think it would be cheap, I bought a hardback copy for 2 Euro, almost brand new, as I think most readers never persevere through the awful first 1/4 or 1/3) - I took photos of myself with my mobile camera, and I just could not sleep until maybe 5 a.m., this is when I was already awake from 01-04 the night before. I was thinking so much, this book that I am reading makes me think a lot as truely great literature does, not about it's subject matter (and yes I do find that mother-daughter thing you sent me shallow and cathartic in a daytime talkshow way, but maybe there is more than this surface). I really wanted to talk to you cos I was thinking so many things. BTW I don't think I pay for incoming calls on my mobile as far as I know... I can't remeber what I was thinking, and I was too destroyed to write it down, but one thought is stuck with me, why I always have different people to fulfill different aspects of my life and why these aspects never converge in one person (and there have been literally 100s, maybe 1000s, of people, passing thru my life with no stability). It is not only b/c people are different from each other, I think it's b/c I assign roles to people. I think I will choose the Dutch guy. I think this is part of growing up, this whole crazy journey. But I will try to choose on my terms (assuming he wants me of course). I will try to still go ahead with Asia (not in one long stay but with several sprees - this is my plot providing I get the xxxx). I can't choose the xxxx anymore, not b/c he is not great or fun (he can be a friend), but b/c I need to be taken care of, not with money, but in a deeper sense. I need a home to depart from, something which I may have never really had. It is not the HIV that makes this necessary, but it brings my more pressing needs to the forefront. Tell me watcha think. That I should get some sleep and quit talking rubbish no doubt...
ps if VD is also venreal disease is DVD a deadly one?

(80) 15 Feb 2006
Hi D.
I hope I didn't piss u off or anything. I am so tired. still at work (duh). I went to see the doc, he said I push myself wayy to hard and gave me the letter for the personnel office. I want to go to the gym, but I am just trashed. Want to get some kind of excercise though. I did work today, and guess what my request to move to a room at work with a quiet xxxx girl was accepted, although it will be temporary. And having told my xxxx work roomie about it (xxxx is away the whole week due to her eye infection), it turns out xxxx's distractions and childishness were an issue much longer than before I came here. First, my other roomie also suffers, and secondly, apparently last year people were so annoyed with her the complained to xxxx and vetoed sharing a room with her (which is why she is sharing with us). Fancy that. I thought it was just me - turns out the girl who flat out refused to share with xxxx has also told my roommate the same thing, she thought it was her, blamed herself for encouraging her and making wrong judgement calls, etc. Well I am so tired I know I'm making dozens of typos, but don't care. I wrote my xxxx an email and was stunned to see how many of them I overlooked later. Oh well it will just show him not to push me over the edge I guess. I am holding my horses here w/ the men, or elsewhere for that matter. What can I do but throw myself at people's feet? nada. so it is not an option. Or maybe it is all in my mind. You know I am not keeping in touch with anybody but you, none of my home buddies nor my overseas friends have had a line from me, nor me from them, since the premature and blissfuly unaware New Year's wishes I sent them. I can't be bothered to write anyone else. Hope you are not silent b/c the xxxxx!!!! Let me know k?

(81) 17 Feb 2006
Hey D.
Sorry I did not write yesterday. I am a bit overwhelmed now with some of my issues. Please, let's not write anymore about the disgusting people that infected us. I do not google the guy, and the reason I know his site is b/c he xxxx of the work of xxxx, who was also a bastard (concealed as a sweet thing for a while), who cheated on me like I wrote you. But I do not intend to have this poison seep back into my life just b/c I have discovered the reprecussions for him were even more far fetching than I knew. I have to deal with a lot of beaurocratic and money issues here and they scare the hell out of me. But I think that this is also a masquerade of some of my much larger fears. Anyway I am hanging on, sometimes by what seems like a thread. I think you should stop generating self hate and start some self acceptance at your age. You're over xx man and not a teenage model, so get over it. My experience whenever I work out = I gain weight. That's just how it works, we become hungrier. There are a few real anorexics working out in my gym who seem to be apt to die at any moment, some extremely buff and hot looking minoroty guys who work out most of the day, most days, but otherwise everyone is carrying some extra baggage. I know that when I just sit around I do lose weight, so this is a kind of paradox. Now, I need to tell you something about me. Despite all the shit I have eaten, and all the dark things I've seen and done (which is why I was freaked out by your talk of predators etc., and I did not find your infection story embarassing, I found it downright terrifying. I find that woman & the whole scene so even without the HIV angle. I don't have to justify and say that I am not ultra conservative. I am not and do not find everything to do with sex scary at all, but some things yes) - anyway, I really am looking for emphasizing the positive sides of life, no pun intended. I really am looking for love and friendship (preferably combined) and respect for myself and others and more or less clean cut adventure. I do not want you to categorize me as some sort of woman or another, dependent or messed up or whatever, just as I don't want people to categorize me as an HIV case with all that entails. I hope you see what I mean. That both of us have nowhere to go, nothing to explore but in our minds now, challenging the stories that we have been telling ourselves over the years, not disputing the facts but making sure they do not happen again. I hope you understand what I am getting at. Gotta go, will write more later, and stop pinching your fat.

(82) 17 Feb 2006
Hey D.
I spent the whole day running from one office to another, making phone calls and appointments about housing, and dealing with beaurocracy. Now I am exauhsted, but still waiting in the office for a call from one apartment owner and maybe an email from you, and then will prob. go home, change and go to the gym, and then I go out to meet the xxxx guy [that was P.!!]. Thank you for calling me that night for so long. Actually we were just talking about money when the line was cut off, and I imagined that this call has gone over the red line of your bills or something... really I don't know why it happened. I had to take a sleeping pill afterwards, and it was awful waking up from it. The gay guy has written me re. sleeping pills that they do not put one to real sleep just switch us off like a computer, and that is so true. I always feel so miserable and vulnerable after taking one. Even worse than I feel after drinking. It doesn't take a lot of booze to make me feel lousy the next day, not physically, I am not talking about a hangover, but emotionally. Kind of hard to explain really. I hope soon I will have my own place with internet, then I will make a landline also and buy these cheap international calling cards so that I can reciprocate your calls. I am hungry. But off to the gym. the last week I have been eating choclate and stuff that I do not normally eat (I do not count calories at all but refrain from processesed sugar and wheat, but it is hard in NL and harder still when I am busy and tired. Excuses excuses). D. I hope once again you're not mad at me for being frank in my previous email. BTW that xxxx guy has changed his mind about me I think, he has written me again as though he hasn't wished me good luck and a pleasant life the last time. Perhaps he is confusing me with someone else, or had a change of heart. I didn't have time to reply.I should do this and that - I won't tell you all the things that I should be doing, just try to focus on what I do that is way better than nothing. I haven't studied at all today and won't Mon b/c dealing with apartement issues, but that's alright isn't it....Miss you,

(83) 19 Feb 2006
Hi D.,
How are you? I went to the library for some emailing en route to the gym. Did you get those lost mails in the end? And how is your weekend? Mine is difficult. It was a good night out when you called, I was dead tired at first but ended up staying till 6 with P. the xxxx guy and a young xxxx guy, I don't remeber his name, eating disgusting Egyptian food at 6 in the morning. Then I slept till 12, woke up down and low (I should not drink - I did not have more than 2.5 beers but I shouldn't have even them and stayed up so late and eaten that foul food), and basically walked around the town depressed, trying out clothes at the end of winter sales and not buying them, got to my gym only to remeber that it was closed. Then I went to Es house, watched a couple DVDs with him, had some great Mexican food that he made, cried and got my first hug since you know when... not including the horny-terrified hugs of my ex which I should have done without. But I was still low all evening, feeling so worthless, I can't even describe this feeling to you. I read your link there about the side effects which made me feel even worse - not to complain b/c it is good that you inform me. I don't mean it like that... Was home around 1 and collapsed in bed. The xxxx guy wanted to jog with me but I replied to his call and he hasn't gotten back, anyway I think I am better off alone in the gym right now somehow. It is all a bit much. Monday I go to look at some places with a real estate agent which should be really pricey despite still being shared (esp. inlcuding the one month rent comission), then in the evening to see some guy's place which is much more reasonable and also I get to live completely on my own but too far from the center where everything is, so I don't think I should take it. Also I emailed the xxxx asking for a letter for the "urgency committee" of the housing corporations here (don't ask, it is the achilles heel of a socalistic economy and I am right under it along with any foreigners/newcomers). I don't hold much hope for that but I owe it to myself to try. I should call my mum and consult with her on all this housing crap really, not bother you. Asides from my hair, my skin is also breaking out. That happened before already. It is either really dry, even I get exema, or breaks out - some serious shit going on with my body no doubt. I have not been taking proper care of myself the last weeks, and smoking a lot the last couple days, so I really feel it. I got depressed over the xxxx guy actually, he was so young and hot, and smart (doing PhD in xxxx), and he walked me home and seemed really interested, and the disrepancy between the truth and the image just go too big for me to handle, it was just too much. When I was trying to shop I tried on all these nice clothes and thought, who the hell am I trying to fool, it's all rotten underneath, this is pathetic... I couldn't help it, I still had the alcohol in my system (very little in fact, but it transforms into some kind of poison I feel, or maybe this is just a lame excuse for poisoning myself with my thoughts). This email is all me me me, sorry about that. Hope to hear from you soon & have a lovely Sunday. Hug Power

(84) 20 Feb 2006
Dear D.
First of all, my phone broke down (I dropped it). My new number is xxxx.Not just the phone, also our kitchen tap as well as the heating and hot water system isn't working, when it is less than zero and expected to snow over the next days!! Luckily E will put me up for the night, I might even get a hot bath out of it. Last night I was so miserable, sleeping on the freezing mattress, covered in everything I could find, waking up (if indeed I had slept) stiff like a corpse. But not to complain, and despite tons of housing related stress and running around with greedy estate agents, I have been doing well, aside from the occasional zit. I decided really not to drink anymore unless it is one glass of something. I had a date with P. the xxxx last night which was brilliant. I don't know why whenever I'm with him we always laugh nonstop, so this could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship (it was the same in the beginning with R., we were always goofing around). I ended up telling him about my status. He was perfect about it, I mean almost too perfect. He asked all the right and intelligent questions, he was just as serious and just as lighthearted as I'd have wanted him to be (this is from a xx year old man who was playing badmington in the freezing outdoors with me at midnight half an hour earlier), and he asked me out again... But he still didn't lay a finger on me, so I dunno. He is not gay I know that for a fact, but he has told me he has never been in love although he had several relationships. And today X the xxxx has written, he is, ok, he is pretty hot, but not in the slick xxxx way that you describe, more in the young guy who doesn't get to talk to many women way (studies xxxx remember?), but I met him through P., so I think it will be just jogging. I need someone I can trust, it not just about velvet skin and big brown eyes and ahhhh stop Dragonette stop. My God why did I even leave Israel, it is full of guys like that, but in Israel they are nasty for the most part, at least to me, and they have a whole different look in their eyes, one that says "blow me under the table baby" - well not all of them but quite a few.... I will write more later, I am just so tired I can't look at the screen let alone individual words. I am too tired to relocate to my new office, but xxxx who is consumed with some serious health problems of her own (basically she is falling apart as well as her husband and I pray to God it is not contagious, although I finally have my health insurance policy, but still I have enough beaurcracy on my hands) is awfully quiet, so we are both just working, unless I am writing uncle D. or feeling inexplicable tingles.I will choose P., if he will have me... btw I was wrong about the xxxx poz, he has written an apology, a nice one, maybe I will copy & paste it for a second op, but now I am too consumed and I don't want to flaunt my good vibes too much. He is a cool guy too, what is it with these HIV people - I think I know the answer actually. My best guy friend from Israel has just written about how the scene changed him after years of not daring to approach women. I think what is happening to me is the reverse, the HIV is taking a lot of the pressure off, and I can just be myself with people, it is hard to explain really. It's not like I don't worry about being perfect, it's just I know I don't have a chance at it and so I don't even try, and since I can't, despite what you wrote, realistically imagine having sex or even a lesser kind of physical contact, I guess I just relate to people as such which makes it all better, as my expectations are very low, although my yearnings are brimming over even more than usual. And thank you for all the lovely words you sent when I was away from the screen, and for accepting me and seeing me in such a warm light. I am afraid sometimes that E will think I am using him to get ahead in NL, sometimes I want to hug him but I am afraid of how little I have to give and that he will think I am throwing crumbs at him and become bitter... Guess I am used to being alone too long, always alone even when I was with somebody, and this whole new thing of getting close to people is well, new to me. But better than I could have imagined. More later, Yours

(85) 20 Feb 2006
I forgot to mention that I liked very much the fact that you worry about me, and not that i would try to make you worry on purpose. It is very nice, I have not met that many caretakers in my life esp. not of the genuine kind. So feel free to fret away... Hugs

(86) 21 Feb 2006
Hi D.
I need to speak to you, something terrible has happened. I will try to call your mobile. Don't worry everything is OK with the people here and me but something bad has happened.

*** The last email related to me being harassed by some headcase from my very distant past, who googled me.
There are no emails for a while - at this point me & D. moved almost exclusively to phone calls, and there were some problems with our email servers.
In the meantime I found and secured the awsome place I live it, which was a sheer miracle, and started sleeping with E., went out with P. just as a friend. They didn't know about each other, and I assumed that P. wasn't intersted in me as a woman at all, because of my status. I also started getting emails from my last ex Z. who had dumped me on diagnosis***

(87) 15 Mar 2006
Dear D.
I am sorry to hear you are still unwell. Of course I am still so happy with the flat, but this morning as I was walking to the city hall to register my new address, before I even had a bit to eat/sip to drink, and in the bitter cold, guess who transpired in front of me on his bike - that's right my last ex Z. R. says I am paranoid but I think it's hardly a coincidence. We exchanged a few words and he was smiling with his gorgeous face and circuling me like a shark, and he commented on my face - I have pimples as a side effect from the drugs, but really nothing terrible, I know it myself. It is like he is again trying to make something less of me so he can stop thinking about me or something.The audacity of his coming to my place unannounced several times in the past weeks (I wasn't there) when he had last left me standing there naked after he took off my clothes. OK I understand he was shellshocked from the HIV thing but what is he doing now. He asked me where I was going, to which I replied like a little girl that I am going to buy shampoo & then to the city hall & then work, and I asked him why wasn't he at work (it was about 40 min late for him). And then he said he won't keep delaying me, to which I replied OK go to work, and that's how it ended. I had tears streaming freely down my face, and I have been besides myself all day. I am just back from the gym and asked E. to sleep at his, as a friend, no sex I said, b/c I do not want to be alone in my place tonight. I also called C. & had a long chat but that didn't help. Anyway I have to be off to meet E., maybe I can check emails later there. I hope you feel better, talk to you soon - & when I have my new place I will get the cheap calls &/or skype so you won't be the only one calling, promise. Your friend Dragonette

(88) 16 Mar 2006
ugh! gross! i am waiting for your answer. What about xxxx btw? Gotta work, unfortunately. I was not able to spend the night alone. Write soon,

(89) 17 Mar 2006
How are you? Hopefully better. Sorry I had no time to write. I really haven't been myself. though who knows what myself is. I went to the gym. I was thinking a lot about our conversation last night and re-read your email and felt empowered. I really did feel over him [my ex Z], but at the same time such an emptiness since seeing him. & I know this is all projection etc and the real power is within me, of course I know that. I do not know if he is consciously trying to make me chase him again b/c he misses the attention, but I do know that this is somehow all wrong.I have been eating a lot lately and I have put on weight. I don't sit in front of the TV with a bag of potato chips (no TV; don't eat real junk), but anyway I have been eating too much. I blame the cold, the working out which makes me eat more in the long run, and more than both, the emptiness that I feel. Meeting Z. has just intensified it.The only good thing that happened today, asides from a lame workout, was going to the apartment again, I paid the girl for the flooring (that's the way it is in this country), as well as two gas heaters, blinds, a gas range & fridge. I forgot to pay her for a heater in the bathroom. She will probabaly ask me for it when we officially meet with the estate agent on the 31st. The apartment was huge, a lot bigger than I remebered even. I can't believe I will have such a place. I will have to buy tons of furniture and set it up... spending a lot of money, but that's the way it is, adult life. I could end up spending 4 years in that apartment, though the thought freaks me out. If I ever get a BF he could move in with me, it is so big it can accomodate 2 easily. Now, like E., I will live in a huge space on my own. But at least it doesn't cost more than a room usually costs... the furniture will though. I will really have to try to keep it cheap, but it's such a lovely place it is a shame to have ugly furniture. I will need to have lots of guests to make it all worthwhile. I coul'd've gone out with P. and his friends but it is absolutely freezing out & I just ate 2 pepper steaks, half a can of beans, and a deep plate of Dutch pea soup (with sausage). And I know that going out like that doesn't agree with me anymore, regardless of drinking or not. Tomorrow I go to a movie with P. and R. But still I feel so bloody lonely. My conversations with E. are lame, I sometimes an't stand him, and all I do is foolishly long for Z. to call me. Of course he doesn't. In the best case scenario, he has re-evaluated after meeting me and has come to the conclusion that it is immoral to lead me on like this. In the worse, he just isn't bothered, his interest run out of steam or whatever. So, it will be bed & a book. Strange, been ages since I did that without work in the morning, and tomorrow another day in this dreary little town, have to go to the library to print something, it is full of hot young chicks in hip huggers straight off the tanning beds (extremely popular here), and of course, no HIV. The gym is kinda similar really.I am getting bored with it. I am constantly getting fitter and stronger, but also fatter, and I asked the girl in the apartment for a cigarette, which I smoked without feeling it almost, despite the fact that I only smoke every week or two now. If you are still with me, apologies for this mood, and hope yours is better. xo

(90) 27 Mar 2006
Good. Well I have been a fuckup, and yesterday totally self destructed, and woke up feeling ill today. Spring is here all of a very sudden. I find it immensly hard to accept that I am with E., in some form or another, and that I love him in some form or another.I want to switch from combivir to truvada. I am very glad that you are OK amigo!!

**** And that was it. He disappeared on me. I started fooling around with P., and ended up cutting off E. completely under the pretext of feeling cheated. I went home for spring. D. had health problems. We may have communicated a few times more but it dwindled to a halt. I moved to my awsome new place. I went home, 3 excruciating weeks in April that kind of mirrored the current period. I socialized a lot at home and kept working on my body, I came back tan and lean, looking way better than now. P. decided he was up for it after all, though not without reservations and slidebacks, and we had sex for the first time and became a couple. The months until the summer whizzed by; I broke my arm, so was unable to take my solo planned vacation, and that solved a lot of conflicts for me. I am still completely uncertain about the future. Any progess I make is doubtlessly non-linear, but it is an awsome, exhilirating journey****

No comments: