This morning I’m going to have my blood tested for the human immunodeficiency virus. I’m taking the AIDS test, and I’m sure I’m gonna flunk. I walk into the Bob Hope Clinic in Hollywood, California. Bob himself is not there with a golf club wisecracking about his birdies and hookers. Oh God, Samantha – I did her without a rubber. “Hi Samantha, how’s it goin’…? Excellent… Me? I’m great. Oh by the way I have HIV, and so do you probably. Okay, have a nice life then.” Little vicious mutant warriors hellbent on pillaging my immune system, laying waste to my holy grounds, ravaging my virgins, savaging my knights, and beheading my King. Lori – sucked my unprotected dick. You can’t get it from fellatio, if you’re the fellatee, right? Or is that toilet seats? Wasting away in a hospital bed, a pariah with tubes stuck in every hole, no friends, no family, nobody wants to look at my concentration camp skinny, weeping sore-covered ass. When he died he weighed thirty-five pounds. Janet – condom broke. Snap. Oops. Me and Magic Johnson. Brad Davis. Keith Haring. The Wall of Shame gets a new 8 x 10 hung on it every day. Sophia – We did it about a thousand times without even a shred of protection. Maybe there is a God. Maybe there is a Heaven. And a Hell. And Satan. Maybe that’s where I’m going. Straight to Hell. And what about Arlene? Miss Prim and Proper, Miss I only did it with five people, only one of them just happened to be some lunatic love healer who boffed his way through Africa and Bangkok where everyone’s infected, I mean she had a ton of sex with this rampant loon, nary a condom in sight, shit-filled sperm flying willy nilly.
I jump out of my skin.
I’m sitting here and my skin is over there, crawling.
My name sounds like a death sentence.
The Nurse sits me down and starts taking my blood pressure while she does her spiel, like some tour guide escorting me through the Museum of Horrible Deaths. HIV is a virus, she explains. The tests are not legally conclusive. A negative can be a positive and a positive can be a negative. Then why the hell am I putting myself through all this shit? my brain screams to me. The virus can take a long time incubating. A person can be a carrier for years without even knowing it. The incubation period can last as long as ten years. O dear God, I’m an incubator. A warm vessel growing deadly viruses inside me, infecting everything I touch, every time I breathe it’s a deathbreath. I’m cold and hot at the same time now. I can barely sit here. Every infected fiber wants to run.
I sign a stack of papers. I flop sweat. She ties me off. I heave a huge sick-filled sigh. She puts on her latex gloves. Because of my deadly infectious blood. One of the fingers on her gloves rip. She laughs. It’s not funny, but she laughs. I’m not laughing. Nobody else is laughing except her and she stops too quick.
This is not a good sign.
“This may hurt,” she says.
You know whenever anybody tells you that, what they really mean is-
“This is really going to hurt a lot.”
Sure enough, a sharp pain pricks me as she plunges the needle rudely into my plump infected vein. The thick red oil oozes sickly into the syringe. Are they there? The little mutants. I wish they were colored. Black maybe. So you could see them. Pick them out like cyanide sprinkles. The vial is full. She labels is and starts it on its way to the lab. The sealing of my doom. She is very careful to throw away the needle dripping with my poison blood.
That’s it. I’m through with sex.