Category: Dispatches From The Moon


We recently submitted our third writing assignment for the Creative Nonfiction Workshop class I’m currently taking. I have taken a couple of old blog entries (you know the ones that you keep telling yourself to rewrite, because it could be better than it was, because there is something good hidden within the hastily written post) and fine tuned them into, I think, better stories. Almost all of the things I post on my blog are written in the blog editor — written quickly, often late at night, hastily proof-read, lazily edited. In many ways my blog acts as a journal of sorts — not quite the free-writing one does in a diary, but nothing of the well-toned writing that could be submitted for publication. This term has given me the opportunity to rework some old pieces, and, as an added challenge, to keep the writing to around 750-words (give or take 10%).

If you’ve followed me for any length of time, you’ll know that I often ramble on for awhile. So editing not only to fine tune the sentences and words, but to pare down, to make the story as focused as possible has been a good learning experience for me. And, I’ve posted the two previous workshop submissions, and now I offer the third. Some of you may remember this story from a few years ago. The original ‘journal/blog’ post was around 1,950 words. The new version is 826 words. (If you’re curious, you can read the original here).

Here is the new, slimmer essay:


There are two men walking down the long, sterile hallway of an old medical building. One man is weeping uncontrollably; his head is slumped on the second man’s shoulder. The second man has his arms around the first man, holding him up, supporting him as they walk; his face overflows with concern for the first man.

The two men are partners, lovers.

One has just found out that he’s HIV+.

It isn’t the man who’s crying.


A few weeks before the walk down the hallway is when this story begins: Christmas Day, 1988.

Ronn and I were celebrating our first Christmas together. The events of the afternoon and evening were erased from memory when the phone rang – it was Ronn’s sister, Theresa. Something was wrong. Ronn’s half of the conversation and his tears told me she was ill.

The call ended. Ronn’s tears became tears of deepest anguish: not tears that simply fall from the eyes; these were tears that welled-up deep in his soul, carved their way through his heart, then flooded out of his eyes. He was unable to speak. For nearly two hours I held him as he sobbed and gasped for air.

At last he spoke, “Theresa has AIDS.”


Two weeks later, we went to the City Health Clinic to get tested. The moment we arrived at the clinic, I knew my test would come back positive for HIV. A voice said “I’m HIV+.” Perhaps it was only a sound that rushed up from my chest to my brain and made a noise that seemed to say “I’m HIV+.” A specific image flashed in my mind: a glimpse of a sexual encounter I’d had a few months before I’d met Ronn. I don’t know why that specific image appeared in my mind — it wasn’t the only sexual encounter I’d had before meeting Ronn. There was nothing about the man that suggested he might have been infected. The vision was so sharp, clear, and real that, twenty-six years later, the image is still seared in my mind. Whether it was my body telling me, or my brain bracing itself for the worst, I’ll never know for certain.

A surreal calmness sheathed my thoughts for the two weeks we waited for our test results.


When we arrived for our test results appointment we were escorted into a small room. Other writers might tell of a stark room that foreshadowed the results, or tell of a bright room that contrasted with the grim news to come. I only remember that we both sat in a school desk. The nurse, also sitting in a desk, faced us.

The nurse looked at Ronn and said, “Your test has come back negative. You’re not infected.”

There was a long silence.

Finally he looked at me, and spoke the words I’d known I’d hear, “John, I’m sorry, but your test came back positive. You are infected with HIV.”

There was a loud gasp, and an even louder sob. So unexpected was the sob, I thought for a moment that it came from me. I realized it was Ronn. He sat there, slumped over, hands covering his face, sobbing, and his chest heaving. Because we were seated in desks, there wasn’t much I could do but reach over and hold onto his arm, squeezing it in reassurance.

The nurse sat quietly for a minute or two, and asked me “Are you doing okay?”

I nodded.

“Do you have any questions?”

I shook my head. I just wanted to leave. I wanted to get Ronn out of there.

We sat there for a few more minutes; the only sound was Ronn’s weeping.

Looking at me, the nurse said, “Are you sure you’re okay? We’ve got counselors here if you’d like to talk to someone. I know it’s tough to process. We’d like to be sure that you’re doing okay before you leave.”

The words just came out: “Why are you asking me if I’m okay? Don’t I look okay? Don’t you think you should be worried about the one of us who doesn’t look like they’re doing ok? Do you have counseling for him?”

“I’m sorry. We don’t have any counselors here for the partners of HIV+ people. I can give you a list of support groups and therapists who would be willing to talk to Ronn.”

“What the fuck good are you then if you’re not able to help those who need it?”

“I’m sorry. We don’t usually… Maybe I can go see if one of the …”

“Forget it.” I stood up. I walked around my desk, and knelt down beside Ronn.

“Let’s go,” I said, softly, “Let’s get you home.”

I helped him out of the chair. His crying was so intense he could barely keep himself upright. He leaned against me. I put my arms around him, and, together, we made our way down the hall, to the car, and, finally, home.

Dispatches From The Moon: Three (2014 Version)

As I mentioned in a previous post, I’m using this time to revisit some old blog posts. This particular blog has been around for three years now, and the last year has been rather busy with school, as well as a bout of depression that has lasted for several months now, and has been tough to write though. I thought it would be a good time to revisit some of my earliest posts (when I was writing more), and edit them a bit (I tend to not proof-read; I just write and click ‘publish’).

In 2012, I started to write a series of posts under the heading “Dispatches From The Moon” (you can read about where the title came from here). The posts are about my life as an HIV+ person (almost 26 years now — I’ve lived more of my life with HIV than without). My main goal with these posts was to talk about what it was like learning to live with HIV, stories about life along the great HIV highway, and about some people I encountered on the journey. I didn’t get very far with this particular series, though I have notes and scribbles for some posts. Perhaps after the New Year, you’ll see some new posts. Might as well put the notes and scribbles to good use.

This post is the third dispatch. The posts aren’t a series per se — they aren’t in any sort of order; they’re just random essays about life with HIV.

Since Monday, December 1st is World AIDS Day, it seemed a good time to share this post.

The first two posts can be read here and here. The fourth post can be read here.


My life has been a series of demarcation lines designating the periods of my life with something from the the periods without something.

My brother, for example. I spent the first five years of my life as an only child. I spent the next nine years having a little brother. When he was nine, my brother left (sent back, actually) to go live with his birth mother and I was again an only child. I’ve been an only child for longer than I was a sibling.

Then there is my father. I lived the first fourteen years of my life with a father. I’ve spent the years since his death, in 1980, without him. I’ve lived most of my life as the child of a single parent.

Today marks yet another demarcation line: after today, I will have lived more of my life with HIV than I lived without it. I was a week from my twenty-third birthday when I learned that I was HIV-positive. Today is the anniversary of my test result.  I lived the first twenty-three years of my life without HIV, and, now, I’ve lived more of my life with HIV than without.

Tomorrow, I start the twenty-fifth year of my life as an HIV-positive person.

Happy Anniversary to me.

Back on that day, in 1989, I never imagined I’d be here, in 2013, writing about being a long-term HIV survivor. During the 1980s and early 1990s, there was little hope for long-term survival. One usually died, sooner, rather than later, of some horrible AIDS illness.

Back in those days, those of us dealing with HIV and AIDS, whether we were the person who was sick, or if we were a friend or loved one of someone who was infected, the future wasn’t measured in wistful thoughts of some future date.

Time was measured in moments.



At any moment one could go from being healthy, to being sick, to being dead.

During those dark days, once we came to terms with our illness (and, not everyone did come to terms with it), we tried to live a lifetime in each moment. We all knew, or had heard of someone, who was healthy one day, and then sick, and then dead within a matter of months. We all knew that our turn could arrive at any time with little warning.

There was hope. Not much. And not a hope that was full of certainty. It was more of a hopeful wish. A glimmer of a happy thought that maybe, just maybe, science would come up with something, anything. Perhaps, if we stayed healthy, or, if we got sick, if we could stay alive long enough, then perhaps science would be able to help us.

Some people I know never had hope. Never came to terms with their disease. They were angry, bitter. I have no proof, other than anecdote, but all of those men that I knew who lived in anger and bitterness, who were consumed with a hatred for the disease and the body that betrayed them: all those wonderful souls are long gone. When I can’t sleep at night and thoughts of the past wander through my mind, I wonder about those rage-filled souls I once knew, and wonder if it was their anger that carried them off.

I was angry for the first month or two. Then I was terrified. Not of death. Death has never scared me. It was the dying. Living through those early years of AIDS I’d seen and heard my share of stories of the horrible, painful dying of the infected. Some were lucky, in the sense that they were carried away quickly. But, as time moved on, science caught up a bit, keeping individuals alive through the first AIDS illness, through another, then another. I had friends who were sick, but alive, for a few years, rather than a few months, and I saw how they wasted away, frail, sickly, but alive. Many were grateful they were still alive. They terrified me though. I do not want to linger, to suffer for years; I would rather have quality of life, rather than quantity of life.

For the first few years of my infection, I, like most of us, figured I’d be dead within a couple of years. I was nearly twenty-three when I was diagnosed, and I never imagined, never believed I’d see thirty. I didn’t sit around, waiting to die. I didn’t dwell on death, nor did I wish for it (well, except for those periods when my depression would engulf me, and I’d spend hours wishing that death would take me. The depression was not a result of the HIV diagnosis. My depressions started when I was fifteen, predating the HIV.) I didn’t dwell on thoughts of my death, I just assumed, based on what was going on around me, that I would be a part of the carnage of AIDS, another number, another statistic, another panel on The AIDS Quilt.

Those days were spent trying to cram as much life into my moments as I could. I wasn’t rich or well-off financially, so I didn’t make it to all those far away places I wanted to visit before I died.  I’m not a big adventurer, so there were no mountains I felt the need to climb. I didn’t dream of skydiving or deep-sea diving. No, my list was simply a wish to spend as much time as I could with those I cared for.

Someone suggested I go back to school, finish my degree. I did. I got my two-year associates degree from the local community college. I worked full time in retail because retail stores are open seven days a week, so one can work full time and still have two days off during the week to take classes.  I worked 40 hours per week and took 15-18 credit hours each semester. When I wasn’t at work, I was home, doing chores and studying.

It all paid off. I graduated Magna Cum Laude.

I enrolled in a four-year college, ready to begin work on my Bachelor’s Degree, and then, probably a Master’s Degree.

Then in a moment of panic, I quit.

Why was I spending all this time working and going to school? Surely I was going to get sick soon, right?

Surely, after three years of good health, I was living on borrowed time. Many of the friends I’d made in the HIV+ support group were getting sicker. The funerals hadn’t stopped happening either. News of someone else’s death arrived with a mind-numbing frequency.

Shouldn’t my funeral be happing soon?

Sure, I still felt good, but I’d seen enough to know that could change in an instant.

So, why, then, was I spending every moment I had left working and studying. Shouldn’t I try to do something enjoyable with my remaining time?

I wasn’t giving up; I wasn’t sitting around waiting.

I was simply looking at what was going on around me. Hundreds of us were still dying each week, thousands of us were getting sicker and closer to death each day.

Surely thinking that my turn was coming soon was not an irrational thing to believe?

Turns out it was really irrational. Twenty-four years later: here I am.

I didn’t die.

Of all the people I knew from those days I think of as The Dark Ages, only three others, besides myself, are still here.


I make Four.

Four — out of every HIV+ person I knew, out of every AIDS patient I knew in The Dark Ages.

My forty-seventh birthday is next week. I never imagined, nor even dared hope, I’d live to see fifty. Yet, it seems, unexpected events notwithstanding, I’ll celebrate the big Five-Oh in 2016.

I’m not ungrateful. I’m quite thankful that I’ve survived long enough to care for my mom in her Golden Years.

I’m not angry.

I’m not bitter.

What I am is lost. I feel as if I’ve shown up for the party on the wrong date.  Or, perhaps, it’s as if I’ve shown up for the wrong party.  I wasn’t supposed to be here past thirty.  Surely, I wouldn’t live until 40?  Now I’m at a party where I know no one, nor know what the party is for.

Life as we knew it, when we were all living on the moon, seemed to tell me that a long life was not in my future, I never planned for one. I spent the healthy moments of those years trying to be as Alive as I could be. Why plan and save for a future I’d probably never see?

Slowly, each year that passed brought a new drug, a new chance to put off the ravages of AIDS for a few more years.

Science has given me a future.

And I have no plan for it.

I chose to live like I was dying, and, damn if that didn’t work out well.

All my peers finished college, started a career, maybe have a few dollars set aside. And, good for them!

Me? I’ve got a two-year college degree which isn’t worth much. I have no career, nor many career skills. I don’t have a bank account, much less money in one.

I’m nearly fifty, and it seems I may have to worry about things like retirement and financial planning.

I wish to say again that I’m not angry or bitter. Not at myself. Not at my peers who’ve proceeded down the path of life in the normal way. I made choices based on what the information of the time was telling me. Why be angry that Science came along and kept me from dying a decade ago? I’m glad to be here.

Here. Just lost.

I’m a man, in a soon to be forty-seven year old body, feeling like a kid just out of high school who is wondering what he wants to be when he grows up.

Melancholy is perhaps my word for today.

I miss those years when I felt so alive because I thought I was dying.

I miss those years, those first twenty-three years when I had no idea what HIV was.

I look at the road ahead of me and realize I’ve not got all the hiking gear I need to make the journey a little easier.

Mostly, I’m melancholy because I miss all those people I knew who died much too young.

You’re gone, but not forgotten.

Dispatches From The Moon: It Was Twenty Years Ago Today

Red RibbonThose of you who’ve been actively following along will know that I’ve been cleaning up my old blogs, and reposting old posts that I think are worth keeping.  Well, I’ve also been cleaning out some old files and drawers, finding notes, scribbles, half-written stories, as well as some old typewritten journal pages.

This post is from one of those old typewritten journal pages.  It was written exactly twenty years ago, the date on the bottom reads August 29, 1993.  It’s an interesting glimpse at my mental state during a period of my life that was pretty rough.

Some background on the piece:  I was twenty-seven, I’d been HIV+ for five years (which, at that time, was a very long time to be infected and reasonably healthy).  I’d been dealing with some HIV meds that were particularly brutal — some of the newer meds aren’t quite so toxic, but, in the early days of the epidemic, the drugs, and dosages were hell.  They left people anemic, with uncontrollable diarrhea, nausea (many people struggled just to keep the pills down).  They left you weak, tired, and ripped away most of your hope.  The regimen I was on was particularly tough, and, besides creating physical problems, the drugs created problems at work — I was so ill from the drugs that I was missing time at work, and the days I did make it to work, I couldn’t work for more than a few hours at a time; it created a tough environment for those I worked with, who had to pick up the slack, and created additional stress for me as I was constantly being warned about my attendance, and threatened with being fired for missing work.

In those years, I had many conversations with fellow inhabitants on the moon, and we wondered if the drugs were worth it — was feeling that miserable worth the extra time it might give you?  The discussions were about the quality versus quantity of life.

I’m not sure any of us had an answer, though most of us stuck with the meds, and a few of us are still here, all these years later.

At the bottom of the page, you’ll find a link to an explanation of the series title, a series I started to chronicle life as an HIV+ person — not just the triumphs (like still being alive), but also the misery and hell of those early days, when no one knew if we’d live much longer.

I share this post because it’s about as raw as it can get, emotionally.  It’s not a fine, polished piece of writing (I’ve changed nothing about it, except a couple of spelling errors).  It’s a journal entry, written, as most journal entires are, as a stream-of-conscious piece of writing.  So, it might be a bit redundant, not very polished, and, you’ll find it rather emotional.  But, I think I want to share it anyway.



I’m twenty-seven and I’m going crazy.  There is a bright side though.  Since I know that I’m going crazy, the really means I’m not, since crazy people are totally oblivious to the fact.  I suppose I should do much rejoicing, being as I’m probably not crazy, but somehow, much rejoicing seems way beyond my capabilities.  Maybe it would be better to be truly crazy, that way I could be oblivious, and I would not hurt so much inside.

I’m too young to be crazy, aren’t I?  I mean, craziness is like Alzheimer’s , or brittle bones, or hardening of the arteries; something that only happens when you pass a certain age.  Perhaps by being born, I passed that “certain age.”  Age has nothing to do with crazy, like AIDS has nothing to do with being gay.  Age and gayness just put one at higher risk.

Okay.  So I’m not too young to be crazy.  But, I’m not crazy.  So, what does that make me?  I wish I knew.  Maybe I’m just losing control.

I think that it it — losing control.  Losing control of my life, of my thoughts, of my emotions.  I’m a basket case, a nuthead, a fruitcake.  My life seems uncertain; my thoughts no longer my own; my emotions unstable.  Why?  And why should it bother me?

I’ve always been in control. Everything I’ve ever dealt with has been on my own.  I’ve been my own best-friend, my own support system, my own shoulder to cry on.  And I’ve always been strong.  Yet, I am at a point where I no longer know how to be strong.  And that scares me.  One of the few things in my life I always thought I could be sure of has been yanked out from under me.

And why do I need to be strong?  Why should I care?  Because I’m afraid that the end of my life is two steps closer than it used to be.  I’m scared.  My nights are filled with sheet-drenching sweats, my bowels seem to have taken on a life of their own.  I tire easily, and want to do nothing other than sleep.  I’m scared.

I study my face in the mirror, searching for signs.  What signs?  I do not know, but would recognize them if they were there.  I look at the veins in my arms and hands — veins that would be so easy to slice open if I ever so desired.  I pretend to be Superman with x-ray vision, gazing into my veins with hatred at something so tiny I cannot see, something tiny yet deadly.  I stare at this microscopic virus racing through my veins, and curse it with every ounce of strength I have, hoping that the curses will make it shrivel up and die.  But that will not happen.  I’m scared.

I’m losing control, and I’m fucking scared.  I want to crawl under the bed, and never come out.  I want to be locked in a room with a chair and a window — simply sit on the chair and watch the sun come up, travel across the sky, only to set again, leaving me alone in the darkness.  Only in the darkness can I not see the veins, and not be reminded that the timer of my life is running faster towards the buzzer.  Total isolation.

I have no desire to leave my house. I do not want to see or talk with anyone.  How can I be interested in the trivialities of their lives, while mine is crumbling before my eyes? How can I smile and laugh, when I have only fear inside me?  I simply want to be left alone.  Besides, being alone eliminates the possibility of trite words, because people are afraid of saying what they really feel.  being alone means I do not have to smile when I do not feel like it, or be happy just because people don’t like to see other people when they’re feeling down.  I only want to be alone, where I’ll feel safe and unafraid.

When I wake up in the night, covered in sweat, I pray to God to let me die.  But that will not happen.  God doesn’t take away your life just because you wish it.  Nor will I do anything to make my life end sooner than it’s supposed to … yet.  Even though part of me wants to die, my heart doesn’t seem to be ready to go.  Besides, I have this disease that may make me ill for a long time before I die, and ending my life would mean that no one suffered along with me.  That sounds selfish, but that is how I feel.  If I’m going to suffer, I want everyone in my life to suffer along with me.  No easy outs for anyone.

I do not know how to let go.  That is what scares me most.  I am hanging on to my self-control by a tiny strand of silk, and I know that I have to let go first, before it lets go of me.  But how?  How do I let people do the supporting of me when I only know how to support myself?  How do I cry on someone’s shoulder, when the only shoulder I’ve cried on is my own?  I need to learn, need to let go.  But how?

I’m not crazy.  I know that.  But that is how I feel.  My mind has trouble staying focused on even the simplest of things.  Maybe it would be better if I were crazy.  Then I would not know, would not hurt, would not be scared.  If I were crazy, everything would seem so much better.  Maybe I should go cut off an ear.



Dispatches From The Moon is an ongoing series of my nearly 25-years as an HIV+ person.  For a brief introduction to the series, and the explanation of the series title, read the short post here.)

Cleaning Up The Old Blogs: Carols And Farts

(Cleaning Up The Old Blogs is a series of posts that are part of an effort to condense my collection of old blog posts, from three other separate blogs, into one place, keeping only my favorite posts. These are the original posts, with very few minor (mostly grammar, punctuation, clarity) changes.   This is a post, from my old, LiveJournal blog.  Original publication date: October 18, 2004.)


Cleaning Up


I’m reposting this particular old post now, in honor of my good blogging buddy, Elyse, who, after much prodding (pun, perhaps, intended) from me and a few others, shared her own fart story.  Not only did I help convince her to write her tale, I also had to go and reblog it, so I feel I owe it to her to share my own story.



Ok. I’ll get it out of the way now: I’m a freak.

Here it is, only mid-October, and I’ve started listening to holiday music. Christmas music in October?! (I can hear the gasps of horror)

And, say I: why not?  There is no written law about the proper time to play and listen to Christmas music.

Granted, there are only 14 Christmas songs, which I suppose is half of the irritation factor for many people. But, still…there’s something fun about it. It’s always happy. Ok, so there’s “Blue Christmas”, but mostly, it’s music about family, about home, about love and joy; and, even though I’m horribly non-religious, the King Is Born Today stuff makes me smile. And, I found a web radio station that plays holiday music all the time. I’ll admit, Christmas music all the time might be a bit much, even for me. But, for the next two months at least, it will be some happy music.

I could use some happy music my life right now.

I’ve been on this new HIV medication for six months now, and every day is a fucking struggle.

Every morning, as I’m getting the pills out of the bottle, as I’m filling up a glass of water, as I’m swallowing the damn things, I keep saying to myself “This is for the best. These will keep me alive.” If taking these pills were like taking a couple of aspirin, I’d have no problem with it. I’m not a big pill person, meaning, I am not one of those people who believes pills are the answer to all of life’s ills. I’m not going to take a pill to lose 5 pounds, or any other silly little thing that you can fix yourself, with maybe a little work. I’d take a pill for my blood pressure if I couldn’t first control it with diet and exercise — the pill would be the last option, not the first. Same with cholesterol.

Too bad it’s not the same way for HIV. I can do some things to help my immune system stay healthier, but, ultimately, this little virus that has invaded my body is the Ultimate Commander of my immune system. It decides when it’s going to slow down or speed up it’s attack. I have no control over it, other than the medication. And, even the pills aren’t in complete control — they’re more like speedbumps in the bloodstream. They discourage the virus, make it tough to do the things it needs to do to replicate itself, but, the virus, like all living things, has a strong survival instinct. So, it can only be slowed down for so long, before it begins to mutate itself and become resistant to the drugs. So, really, the drugs are just a time-extension device, a way of keeping me alive longer, until, hopefully, a cure is found.

So here I am, every morning, and every evening, swallowing a couple pills that are keeping me alive, though they have the glorious side effect of  making me feel like shit all the time.

Oh joy!

I always thought that pills were supposed to make you feel better, not worse.

There’s obviously not a big market for these kinds of drugs on the party-circuit. “Hey man. I got these here little HIV pills. Pop two of these before you have to go somewhere, and I guarantee you’ll feel like you’ve been hit by a ton of bricks, and that you’ll feel like shitting your guts out the whole time you’re out.” Yeah, I can make a fortune selling these on the street.

And, if that’s not enough, there’s all the other fun side effects from prolonged use. Between the first go-round of drugs a few years ago, and this round, they’ve pretty much ruined my stomach. They irritate my stomach so much that most food bothers me, they’ve given me severe refulx, severe heartburn, that even with the max dosage of a perscription acid-reducer, I still get doubled over by heartburn and stomach cramps from acid. Really, the stomach acid pills are working:  I don’t feel like my stomach is going to burn through my skin any more. So that’s a big relief.

Then there’s my personal favorite side effect: gas. Excess stomach gas. We’re not just talking a few extra bubbles. We’re talking bubble machine kinds of bubbles. We’re talking belches, not burps. We’re talking belches that register on the richter scale.

And farts.

Lots and lots of them.

Gut-wrencheing ones.

The kind that you’d be mortified if anyone ever heard you let one rip.

Between the noise and the smell, even the cats often leave the room. It can really hurt your feelings when an animal that can lick clean it’s own stinky ass leaves the room on account of your stinky ass, glaring at you as it leaves the room, as if you’ve just committed the most heinous of acts.

Most days I feel like one of those big Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons. I’m afraid that one of these days someone is going to bump into me, and I’m just going to explode.

And normal bowel movements? What the hell is that?? I feel like just strapping a can to my ass so I don’t have to spend so much time in the bathroom. And, working is such a joy. I mean, how much can you really fart at work? How much gas can you hold in at a time before you start feeling your chest hurt? Can you really spend alot of time in a bathroom at work? And, then there’s the joy of working at a place that only has public restrooms. I know some people have no hangups about them, but, alas, not me. Sorry. Just can’t fart when there are strangers in the bathroom. Though, to be honest, at least in a public bathroom, no one knows who smelled up the place — with employee only restrooms your fellow employees spend the rest of the day walking around, looking at each other, wondering if the other is the culprit who stunk up the whole bathroom and break room.  If there was a way to convert flatulence into a useable fuel sorce, I could make a couple thou a day. And, it’s cheap for me to produce, just costs me the $25 a month co-pay. There’s just something about your digestive system being out of whack, no matter how good the rest of your feels, when your stomach or bowels act up, it makes the rest of you feel bad too.

The past few months I’ve been having a tough time getting out of bed in the a.m. I used to just get out of bed when the alarm went off. For awhile I was changing the time of the alarm every time it went off (I have an old-fashioned alarm clock, with hands, not digial displays). So, I move the little alarm hand around, reset it for a few minutes later, and snooze. But, it was making me late. So, now I set the alarm for an hour earlier, so I can snooze and brace myself for the day. I realized that the reason I was doing this was because for that little period of time, laying there, half dozing, half awake, is the best I feel all day. Once I get up and get moving, it just gets worse. So, now, my hour in the morning is my little bit of heaven. It lets me know that I am ok, that as bad as it can get during the day, I’m still here. I’ve been healthy, and more importantly, alive, for a lot longer than I thought I would be. Almost 16 years so far. So, that little interlude of peace and physical wellbeing in the morning is what gets me through the stupid drugs during the day.

And, of course, that’s just the immediate side-effects. Long term, no one knows. I’ve got a friend who developed ostioperosis from one of them. And, it’s still a bit early for me to tell yet, but, they often make your blood-pressure go up, they often make you diabetic, they often send your cholesterol through the roof. So, that’s something else to think about. But, not something I’m going to think about tonite. Tonite, I’m ready to think about going to bed. It’s been a long evening, my stomach had been on fire all night, the cats abandoned me an hour or so ago (fortunately the candles burning keep the smell from lingering… although, I fear that one day I’m gonna let one rip with the candle buring… and BOOM!). So, I’m going to take my fussy stomach, and my stinky ass and go to bed. Because the sooner I go to bed, the sooner I can enjoy my peaceful hour of feeling well in the morning, before starting it all over again tomorrow.