Worlds & Time

Saturday, July 07, 2007

I Am Really Uncomfortable

When, or more accurately if, you see this post, you can be sure that it wasn't written on the listed date. It will either have been moved forward or backward to mask where and when I am and who the other person involved is.

I met this guy at work, and he seemed like a nice enough guy. We didn't really get to know each other right away, but a few weeks ago I had an opportunity to spend some time with him outside of the normal course of my job and so I did. I've always been too quite and shy, and I'm always talking about how I need to get out more.

So I ended up going over to his house and we watched a movie. He was just so amazingly nice although I wasn't all that physically attracted to him at first. Still, last week I went back again and we played video games, watched another movie, and talked until 3 a.m. about the stuff that two gay guys talk about until 3 a.m.

The next day I was thinking about it, and I decided I like him. Maybe not enough for a serious relationship, but definitely enough for some fooling around. Cause, let's face it, I don't have nearly enough sex.

So I mention this to him the next time and he's sort of happy and strangely muted at the same time. I knew that he liked me, but his previous relationships were all long term committed relationships (the shortest that I knew of was 1 1/2 years), and I wasn't sure he was the kind of guy that would be up for fooling around outside of a dating relationship. He basically told me that he had to consider it.

Yesterday, I went over again. We watched another movie, we played some video games, and after that it was about midnight but I still didn't want to leave so we went out to eat, came back, and watched another movie, during the ending of which we started making out. Okay, this seemed to be a consent. He was interested, he was willing to fool around without a relationship, and great, I really wanted it to happen.

Then he pulls away from me and tells me that he's HIV positive.

My first reaction was just confusion. I couldn't figure out if I'd heard him correctly but when I played it over and over in my head that's what he said. Straight out and clearly. So then I couldn't figure out what my reaction should be. There's this gut reaction when you've been swapping spit with someone with a communicative incurable disease to just run, but I couldn't do that. He shouldn't have to deal with my irrational fear.

Besides, I know this disease and letting my fear get the best of me is pointless. If I could catch it from kissing him, which is highly unlikely anyway, then the damage it done. I'll get a test in a few weeks, and another at the 3 month mark when the antibodies would have shown up.

So, at this point I'm quickly weighing massive amounts of probabilities in my head. What factors influence seroconversion? Do I have any cuts in my mouth or on my skin? Does he? How much exposure have I had and is there anything that I can do to further limit my chances of transmission?

Somewhere, something deep inside my head calculated the risk of protected sex with him despite the fact that I knew he was HIV positive.

I didn't have sex with him though. Thankfully something in my head was working properly. I didn't run either, which would have been something that I would have beaten myself up over later. I mean, he told me, and that's something that I have to respect. I can't imagine how hard it is to admit that you're HIV positive to a guy you like.

We sat around and talked about it, about how it happened, how he found out about it, and what it meant to his life. The thing that he was most scarred of was infecting someone else, and I can understand that. After all, one of the worst "sins" that can be committed in my own little personal version of secular humanism is harming others.

Eventually I told him that we'd still be friends, that I was coming back next week to play more video games, and that I was happy that he'd told me. Then I went home, and spent three hours shaking in my chair, freaking out which trying to take my mind off what had happened. Even now, the day afterward, my chest is painfully tight and my stomach is churning.

I don't think that I'm infected. I don't think so, and I hope so. If I was religious, I'd even pray so. I can't convince my body of that though.

Update: I took a few weeks for my stomach to settle down. At this point, whether I have had sex with this guy depends on what your definition of "is" is. Yeah, you all know that reference.

Safe? Absolutely. As safe as I can possibly be, but eventually when it came down to it I decided that I like him more than I'm afraid of him. That sort of freaks me out, but it's an undeniable compulsion as well.

Update: I got my test results back. I'm negative, which is a relief, but my body still isn't catching up to my intellectual awareness. I've got a headache. Where I am with him, though, I don't know. I think he's terrified more of the fact that I'd be willing to see him when I know he's positive, and I'm not sure he wants to see me any more.

This is a tough one, but this is the end of the story.

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1 Comments:

  • I am happy he told you beforehand. One of my friends had a guy tell him afterwards, and this was years ago, when it was even more difficult to be even remotely rational about it.

    My friend ended up drinking himself out of college and having panic attacks though he turned out to be negative. You handled the situation much better than I would have.

    By OpenID glitterandlube, at 7:06 PM  

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