POZLife: Life from the Infected and Effected point of veiw.

HIV Comes To Mayberry

Posted by pozlife on July 12, 2006

I was born and raised in North Carolina , the home of the Andy Griffith show and yes some of the places are real. Mount Pilot is Pilot Mountain, Raleigh,Siler City , Winston Salem, Charlotte and Greensboro are indeed real places . Pork-chop sandwiches are better than you would ever believe and barefoot walks to the fishin hole abound. I live in the bonnies where I was raised, about 45 minutes from Greensboro. An hour and 15 minutes from Raleigh and 2 hours from Charlotte , I am about 45 minutes from Asheboro the home of the state zoo.

I moved away for many years , looking for the gay Shangri-la as it were. After I found out that I was HIV POZ ,I just went wild. I just knew that death was not just knocking on my door ,it was tearing it from its very hinges. So I gloried in all that was gay , moved to a big city ( Atlanta ) and made sure that everyone knew that I was fun both standing and on my back. If I was gonna go it was gonna be as bright star turning supernova.

Having lived a life in Satan’s parlor for the last few years , I was ready to hit the big city. My lover of over 15 years had died . It was not the fact that he died but how he died. When he and I first started our off and on love affair , I was 16 and he was 30, I come from a home with a distant father and I like older men, plus he was built like a truck and ready to fuck. This was in the 70’s and we had good times I was young ..looked much younger and we both kind of did what we wanted. As years went by we slowed down and started to just see and be with each other. When AIDS hit we both got tested and were both negative. We had a long talk and we both agreed that if we fooled around with others it would be safe and we would not use condoms with each other, I will save you the trouble ..I was a dumb fuck.

In 1994 I got a call one day at work from Moses Cone hospital, my lover was in the hospital. It was April the 6th my moms birthday ( at one point I made a mistake and said he pass on her birthday ..sorry…pot was kickin’ in )..I arrived to see him talking to a doctor that he apparently knew very well. As the doctor turned to me I could see it all over his face. I left the room and his doctor emerged , he had no idea until that very afternoon that Mike had a lover and he had been seeing him for over 2 years ! I went with him straight down to the clinic and had the first of many blood draws….We talked and I found out that Mikes parents knew as well , but their small town would just not hear of an AIDS stricken man in their midst. They later told me they didn’t like to talk about it and they could not have kept Mike in their home if he became ill for long periods of time. I was just going to be their nurse and fuck me if I got sick…I deserved it. They once told me the reason they never felt bad is because we met in a bar and I said well the church bathrooms were just not as active anymore. I have to say I hate them…

Mike died on April the 18th , his service was held on the 20th. My doctor ( Mikes old one and still mine to this very day ) had put a rush on my tests, I think my Tcells were 225 and my viral load was about 800,000 . For a long time I was a walking basket case. Mom and Dad did all they could, but I knew I was going to be they next soylent green and that was that. The next year and a half brought more news of Mikes rampant wanderings, one night I was awakened at 2 AM by a drunk child ( he was 15 ) who rode into town on his bike to get a blow job from my dead lover! I had to travel a lot for my job and after mike died, it all came out. It turns out he was more into how young I looked , not the person I was……I think he was a pedophile! I to this day am haunted by why I never saw this before, I thought he shaved me because he thought the act of shaving me was erotic, it turns out it was the no pubes ! I found out all about the sex parties, the nights spent at bookstores. I actually had one guy tell me that my lover was the hottest piece of ass he had ever had and then went on to tell me a story about how Mike bottomed for 18 men at a party one night….bareback. Most of the stories that I have heard are ones of bareback sex.

So I moved to the big peach, I needed to get a little juice out of live , but all I got was the pit. After a little over a year in Atlanta , I had lost down to about 130 lbs and on this 5’11” frame it was telling. The strange thing was I had to beat the guys off with a stick at the bars! I had only been home a few times , even when I was living in Greensboro I made rare and infrequent tips home. In my mind at that time , gay and country could not walk hand in hand. Mom and Dad told me they did not want to watch me kill myself , my HIV doctor told me if things did not change I would be dead in less than a year . This was 1997 , I knew that it was true, but I did not care.

Then I had an epiphany ,I deiced that I wanted to live. Now every small southern town has it eccentrics and a few well know gay men ( Gomer get me some gas and check the lube while you are at it ). I think lesbians have it better , good ol’ boys can relate to them ( well maybe not Tina Brandon ). I got some land beside Mom and Dad , built a house and moved back to Mayberry.

I do not hide my sexuality or my HIV status and most people treat me like everyone else , I have roots here and I try to treat people with respect. I look like my Dad , be that good or bad. So most people know who I am , even if they don’t know me. Would I walk down main street in a tutu singing “its raining men” , no but I wouldn’t do that in a big city either. I have always been a guy who hated those queer saying and actions, I like to be seen as a man first, my sexuality is not foremost in my actions. If I called a gay friend girl or Miss. Thing…..well lets just say they would rush me to the nearest hospital, because something would be wrong.

I had one encounter the woman who has been cutting my hair for years, one day just right out of the blue asked me what HIV meds I was on. She and I had never talked about HIV, I took it in stride and informed her as best as I could about HIV/AIDs. As we talked I realized that this was a good thing, she was open to the conversation and ask intelligent questions. Any gossip in town finds its way to her chair , so I wanted to be as informative as I could be.

The only drawback of being here is I have to go to Greensboro for my Doctor , I do have a local doctor that sees me in case of an emergency. My Greensboro doctor is the head of infectious disease at Moses Cone ( a teaching hospital ). Last week was my blood draw ( about two weeks before my appointment) , as I sat down I noticed the cute gay couple waiting for their appointment. That is what hurts, I would love to be in a relationship. As Mayberry opens up its secrets to me, I become more positive that it may happen, maybe I need to hang around at Floyd’s barber shop more often……

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One Response to “HIV Comes To Mayberry”

  1. Itay said

    I am amazed at the bravery you have. I too am from NC…Franklin, NC a very small town of 2600 people and nobody ever leaves and the ones who do are odd.

    I had to suffer since I was the lonew Jewish family and the fact that my parents were willing to provide alcohol to anyone but they have to leave the keys.

    Anyway….i left after highschool and went back only three times in 8 years. I learned that I was POZ and had AIDS! I went home thinking i was going to die…and of course my parents had the great idea of inviting my friends to talk to me.

    I was 6’5″ 190 lbs when i left 8 year earlier…now I was a mere 120 lbs and ghostly white with a yellow tinge from teh jaundice.

    That visit mad me determine I would live if only to avoid death at ANGEL COMMUNITY Hospital!

    Id love to hear from you. write me back at theguyitay@gmail.com

    Lot of love and hope that you are enjoying life!

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