Haven’t seen my friends for months. Everyone seems to be busy with whatever – work, lovelife, work, lovelife. One friend was too busy with his galaxy tab, probably tweeting every 5 minutes. But I was glad that they still made it to the mini-soiree that I organized. But I felt that me and my friends were already drifting apart. Sad noh? The friendship is still there, but not as close as before. But I was still happy that they made it to my party.
After the little soiree, I asked them if they want to join us clubbing somewhere in Makati but half of them were sick, while half of them needs to go home. Fine. But it was all good.
I met up with my other friends at the club. My best friend pulled me away from the crowd and had a small chit-chat with me.
Bes: Happy birthday bes!
Me: Hey, thanks for coming. Thought you won’t make it… again.
Bes: Fuck-off. But I need to go home soon. Happy birthday bes. You're 31 na!
Me: Yeah, need to gain a few more pounds though.
Bes: Huy, promise me ha. Be safe.
Bes: Yes. Be safe. A few friends of ours passed away already. I think it’s because of late HIV diagnosis. Remember “X” a couple of years ago, and “Y” last year. And just recently, “Z.”
Me: Yeah I know. Don’t worry bes. I’ll be safe. You don’t have to worry much about me. We still have a few more years. You know what, everything seems to get old na… like clubbing (trying to change the topic).
Bes: Oh yeah. Look at the crowd bes. OML (Oh My Lord). Kids.
Me: I know right.
I haven’t told my best friend about my status. He doesn’t need to know any time soon. All he needs to know is that I’m doing well, I’m healthy, I’m not a partee boy anymore, and my future is looking good. I got side tracked a few years back, but I'm back in my red ruby slippers walking the yellow brick road to Oz.
After a few more minutes, bes bid his goodbyes. We hugged and then left the club. After an hour or so, me and hubby left the club and went home.
The reason why I haven’t told my friends about my HIV status is because I am not ready yet. It will take a few more years I guess. HIV is a horrible disease. HIV is my new normal. My current state of mind is somewhat okay with my new normal and it took me some time before I fully accepted it. Michael Johnson has been the poster boy of HIV/AIDS but let me tell you this – Michael Johnson is a millionaire and he has full access to whatever he needs – private chefs, better meds, a nutritionist, stressless work. I am no Michael Johnson. I’m a working class hero. So yeah, living with HIV is a little difficult. What more if you’re a class E citizen? It is hard. But what keeps me sane these days is work and my relationships with people.
Anyhoo, another year older, another year wiser. Everything is looking good – career, relationships, health. But there is something missing, something that I just can’t put my finger on, something like butterflies in my stomach. Or maybe it’s just acid reflux.