A guy from Mexico contracted HIV. We had condomless sex. I remember this well. Some four years after our hook-up he contacted me because of Luv ’til it Hurts. He wanted to catch up. He wanted to know when I contracted HIV. He needed to dispel an idea that maybe he had carried HIV since the night of our lovemaking. I needed to react with annoyance. I did not. I needed to allow this. Also. It seemed. I had allowed it before in fact. This inquisition into memory and desire and night and sex and lovemaking. It was in a graveyard, a detail I should probably leave out.
My longtime partner in NYC is a black man. He contracted HIV since we broke up. I think I have to register this.
I contracted HIV in São Paulo, therefore I could not have passed it to the Mexican guy … on a timeline this does not add up. My former partner told me of his status because of Luv and seeing it online.
When I first contracted HIV I was with someone living with HIV. I needed to blame many things including the world itself. I blamed him. I tried to do it gently. I blamed him and he let me. Maybe he felt he needed to do that just as I needed to hear my Mexican friend in his quest for understanding. Maybe we do this. Maybe we torture ourselves, but maybe we won’t have to do that for much longer.
Maybe I can say I’m sorry for blaming in a different way. Maybe I can try to understand something new that says thank you. Maybe that will hurt and seem unassociated. Maybe it has to. Maybe that’s lovemaking.