Friday, April 28, 2006

The Ranks of the Free; Walking the Walk

You know it is much better to be able to speak from experience sometimes, to walk the walk as it were. Like other bloggers in this space, I have advocated safe sex and getting tested for HIV. You owe it to yourself and your partners to know your status if you have been or are active.

Back in December on World AIDS Day, I toyed with the idea of getting myself tested although I had not engaged in any high risk activities in years. Recently, I decided to become active again, so after a few encounters that led to quick lessons on STD's, I decided to take the full range of tests. There is no feeling in the world like hearing that you tested negative for HIV. I went on and had the test for syphillis as well since they were taking blood. Everything is looking good.I can assure you that I will sleep peacefully tonight. And so, I say to you who have not been tested, "JOIN THE RANKS WHO SLEEP PEACEFULLY. GET TESTED."

Meanwhile, here is a HIV knowledge test for you from the National HIV Testing Resources of the Centers for Disease Control.
Shem hotep.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Gas War

Sent: Tuesday, April 11, 2006 2:33 PM
Subject: Someone's Gas War RecommendationSubject: GAS WAR
GAS WAR - an idea that WILL work
This was originally sent by a retired Coca Cola executive. It came from one of his engineer buddies who retired from Halliburton. It ' s worth your consideration.
Join the resistance!!!! I hear we are going to hit close to $4.00 a gallon by next summer and it might go higher!! Want gasoline prices to come down? We need to take some intelligent, united action. Phillip Hollsworth offered this good idea.
This makes MUCH MORE SENSE than the "don't buy gas on a certain day" campaign that was going around last April or May! The oil companies just laughed at that because they knew we wouldn't continue to "hurt" ourselves by refusing to buy gas. It was more of an inconvenience to us than it was a problem for them.
BUT, whoever thought of this idea, has come up with a plan that can really work. Please read on and join with us! By now you're probably thinking gasoline priced at about $1.50 is super cheap. Me too! It is currently $2.79 for regular unleaded in my town. Now that the oil companies and the OPEC nations have conditioned us to think that the cost of a gallon of gas is CHEAP at $1.50 - $1.75, we need to take aggressive action to teach them that BUYERS control the marketplace..... not sellers. With the price of gasoline going up more each day, we consumers need to take action. The only way we are going to see the price of gas come down is if we hit someone in the pocketbook by not purchasing their gas! And, we can do that WITHOUT hurting ourselves. How? Since we all rely on our cars, we can't just stop buying gas. But we CAN have an impact on gas prices if we all act together to force a price war.
Here's the idea:
For the rest of this year, DON'T purchase ANY gasoline from the two biggest companies (which now are one), EXXON and MOBIL. If they a re not selling any gas, they will be inclined to reduce their prices. If they reduce their prices, the other companies will have to follow suit.
I'll bet you didn't think you and I had that much potential, did you?
Acting together we can make a difference. If this makes sense to you, please pass this message on. I suggest that we not buy from EXXON/MOBIL UNTIL THEY LOWER THEIR PRICES TO THE $1.30 RANGE AND KEEP THEM DOWN.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

March 7, 2005/2006

I have been away from my usual routine blogging for a while. Some of you noticed, others assumed it is just the way blogging goes. I remember another blogger telling me that older guys like me who are just discovering ourselves are like adolescents. That is so true. I was on a roll, having fun with no real attachments beyond some very close friends. Enjoying a few physical pleasures with no real commitment. Letting guys know that LTR was not in my plans. Well, the best laid plans of mice and men often go astray.

March 7th was the one year anniversary of the death of someone who was very close to me. My life changed dramatically in 2005, because for the first time in 53 years, I truly felt alone and adrift. Then I happened onto gay novels, began meeting some novelists (go pre-order COVENANT by Rashid Darden, if you haven't already). From there it was meeting people, going to my first gay clubs, bars, dialoguing with some really good guys, and keeping my spirit/heart protected against getting to involved with anyone.

That is until March 7, 2006. Then I met J. He worked in an establishment that I frequented near my home, and I had seen him off and on for several months there. On this day, I placed myself in a position where I could at least talk to him. No plans other than a quick conversation. That conversation led to a meeting at my place that very night. He let me know that he was leaving the country at the end of March to return to his ex- with whom he felt a spiritual bond. That was cool with me.

But then the unexpected happened. I started caring more than he or I could afford. The die was cast and there was no changing of hisplans. I should have stepped away, but for some reason, I couldn't. We spent as much time together and he could afford and I could get from him. I think now that 'long term' or 'short term' is irrelevant, and that what is more important is the word 'relationship.' We had that indeed. I began to dread the approach of his departure date. I had never been in a male/male relationship beyond a few hours, and this was so totally new to me.
Well, what is worse is that we agreed to have a farewell time together on last Monday night. I rushed home to get ready for what I knew was our final date. He didn't answer his phone when I called at the agreed upon time. I fell asleep, woke up, went to his apt., but got no answer. The place was dark and looked as though he had moved out early. No good bye. Just gone.

So here I am. Older and wiser with an incredible experience. I knew from day one that it was limited to 3 weeks. I just didn't expect it to end the way that it did, but no one ever does. I have read and heard about the experiences of others who went through the same thing. I know I am not the first nor will I be the last. But, the end of innocence and adolescence has come.

Shem hotep.