Struck by Writing
I think most of us who spend the least bit of time reading blogs have encountered some that have captivated our attention and our imagination more than others. Of course, it could be argued that all blogs to which we return with any regularity have that effect; otherwise, we wouldn’t go back to them. But sometimes, there’s something more: the narrative attracts you differently or you’d really like to meet the author. Or both. For whatever reason. And in the past month, I discovered two blogs for which I’ve felt that strong attraction.
I won’t link to the first one; however, I will say I ended up spending a few nights in a row reading her back entries and felt exactly as one feels when picking up a book and being unable to set it aside. It’s the blog of a woman whose husband left (but has since returned), and in the time he was away, she had, to put it lightly, a very busy sex life. I think what fascinated me about her tales (and tails) is how she was completely unapologetic about her appetite and what she’d insist on picking from the menu (i.e., younger, exotic men with above-average appendage). What struck me the most, though, is how such behaviour by a woman still comes across as unusual, yet that thought wouldn’t necessarily come to my mind if these accounts were from a gay man. This is not to say that all gay men or even most gay men fuck like bunnies; rather, it’s simply because they are men, if they behave like she did, it wouldn’t seem unusual. That’s how deep the double standard is: women who fuck a lot with multiple partners are sluts, but men who do the same thing are studs.
The second blog, which I added to my “aMMusing Friends” list, is by a guy my age in Toronto who has been HIV+ for more than 20 years. Now I won’t be coy with you; I admit that I think he’s a total hottie and not much twisting of my rubber arm would be required to…… However, it’s not this fact that draws me to his blog. (Or maybe should I say, for the sake of honesty, that it’s not just this fact.) It’s because of many other things, which I can sum up to his having lived a life that is completely foreign to me. He’s one of those hotties who used to be a circuit boy addicted to crystal meth, but he’s given it all up in the last year and a half.
I think that, aside from the fact I’m physically a pretty ordinary joe, what has kept my hedonistic streak in check is that I’m a chickenshit. I know myself to have an addictive personality; consequently, I’ve had no interest in trying hard drugs because I feared myself more than the drugs themselves. Similarly, I came out just as the media was talking about an outbreak of “gay cancer,” which eventually became known as HIV/AIDS, so even though I was just a teenager back then, my cautious nature kicked in and I found out what I needed to do and not do. I have since been in several serodiscordant relationships and, happily, I’m still fine. And I get angry with “neg” guys who figure that “what they need to do” is to judge “pos” guys and treat them as lepers. Don’t get me wrong: I don’t put pos guys on a pedestal, but I don’t put neg guys on one, either. I reserve the pedestal for other virtues.
But coming back to that Toronto guy, what I enjoy is the authenticity of what he has to say. Now remember, I’m the chickenshit. The drug-avoiding scardy cat. As such, I can’t understand what would lurr someone to try meth. But an entry like this one gives me a better idea.
Living with HIV for over twenty years can get to be a bit of a drag. I get tired of being tired. Tina was always there for me. She knew how to pick up my spirits and forget about the trials and tribulations of everyday life.
No, that doesn’t absolve that Toronto guy. But it’s not about sinning and then seeking redemption. It’s about understanding what drives some people’s decision to help them cope through life, because it’s difficult to maintain a positive attitude all the time. Even if you’re a hottie like that Toronto guy.