Saturday, May 21, 2016

unsent letter #5430: An Open Letter to the HIV Negatives I will Reject in the Future

Dear You,

I am issuing this apology because I know by the time I suddenly went dead in your radar, I haven't given you an explanation nor a clue about my sudden coldness and eventual disappearance in your life. You see I have a Ph.D. in slinking away through the night from a person whose attraction is too enormous for me, and what I only have for him are a couple of pennies and dimes.

But for you, yes you, you beautiful healthy HIV-negative you, I have nothing to offer you except the silent footfalls or the ominous clinking of the wind chimes upon your door frame or the last cryptic text message. And suddenly I'm gone. I am writing this to calm my nerves, to put up my defenses that what I did is right because I know I will be leaving you without any closure whatsoever. And I hope that by writing this, whether it reaches you or not, I may pat myself at the back for doing what's best.

At this point, you Sir and I may have gotten past our second date, or have had hundreds of text messages sent or have labored through phone calls lasting until the larks lift the dawn. It doesn't take a genius at this point that somewhere along the lines of our chuckles and hair scratching, the taming process has begun for the two of us. But suddenly I have left you. Not because you're too chatty for my introversion or your flawed (who is not?) or you don't come at par in some of my "Future Boyfriend" checklist. Sometimes, and on this occasion, it's just me.

Everybody stands to be rejected. So much so that it sometimes becomes the core of shame and lack of self-confidence. I have you to know though that for someone like me who's grappling with the love department, I would have not spent so much time with you if I don't like you. I do like you. But I guess, "we" cannot be a word in our dictionaries.

I have my ways of knowing if you want to enter into a relationship with someone like me, a person living with HIV. Of course, take it from me, I'm not going to drop that fact as soon as we start talking. But I assure you I'm extra-sensitive about your position about this health issue. I will listen closely and intently about how you perceive this reality and maybe I can know how you would deal someone like me who is a PLHIV.

Or, if you don't tell me outright, I will have to do it stealthily. I will resurrect names or scenarios to pick your brain out. Maybe I'd tell you (or have told you already) that I am having a dilemma about advising a friend who met a guy who's PLHIV. Maybe I will tell you that my friend likes this PLHIV guy but is afraid of a possible commitment. And somewhere between the lines of hope and fear, of wishing and denying, I will solicit from you a "false" advice which I can give my "friend."

I'm sorry if I have to do it covertly; that is the only way for me to have the purest form of your position about love and HIV, about entering into a relationship with a guy like me. And if I surmise that you fear into committing yourself with a PLHIV like me, what is there for me to hold onto.

I may have not given you the benefit of the doubt, I may have not heard you before I arrive to a decision, I may have banged my gavel one too quickly--because what are the possibilities that I could be your exception to the rule--but the lethal venom of truth cannot be made any gentler by the contortion or bargaining of truth itself. Truth, like bad news, comes boldly; no good timing is enough to prepare for it.

It is for this reason that I have to resort to self-preservation: to preserve you, to preserve me, to prevent us. I could not anymore offer an explanation for walking away because that would defeat my desire to keep my status under wraps. I will just walk away. In the middle of the night. From you. Without a word. The deadest of the night always cloaks whatever intention man has for another. Good or bad, the night remains amoral, conniving, therapeutic. But know in my heart of hearts, I could have wished for you and I. But my walls stand in the way.

I'm sorry if I have to reject you. I know how bloody rejection could be. A good soul tarnished with his crimson tide all over him and feel unworthy. Rejection never comes easily that it becomes the core of shame and lack of self-confidence. But it was not you that I rejected. It was us. If only things were different, I would have not thought twice. Why pile up the walls around me for someone who wants to knock on my door and offer a heap of his soul?

You will never understand why I rejected you when everything seemed to have blossomed. But know that if there were already tiny confessions or bare admissions like roses or petunias or fire trees blooming, they all still grow outside the fortress of my heart. My heart is a secret garden and all my histories built around me high walls. I do walk outside for the sun, to entertain you as a gardener, but my walls remain here to preserve you. My rejection is a self-preservation thing.

So take heed of this: if I reject you, it's not as if I can walk away without any limp or laceration. You are too good that your stars do not deserve an inch to be blackened out. My rejection will first hit you and it will furiously drive itself home to me with a booming thud in my heart.

So I'd rather take the pleasure of being the traitor, the Judas, the "pa-fall." I'd rather take the hit of furious words and never mumble a thing for whatever frustration or pain I may cause you. I'd rather take arrows than have you dragged into this black hole, which even sometimes I am finding it hard to climb out of. You have your light and I'd rather you keep it steadfast for the right person. I am not the right person, and only I know and will ever know that.

I wish you the best and the fittest of health with someone you can always turn to without reproach. Because the last thing I can do is to make you feel as if every kiss is a risk.

Your Could-Be