BEFORE I DIE

????????????????????????????????????????????????????“Lights would guide you home

And ignite your path

And I will try, to fix you…”

Those are the words of the song I am listening to. It is Fix You by Coldplay, one of my favourite bands. The song is everything at this moment. It isn’t as though I am broken right now, but I feel as though I need to be fixed. My heart is beating, like I’m running from an angry homophobic mob, yet I’m wearing a calm face. I can’t afford to fall apart right now. Besides, my mum thinks she’s Batman, so I can’t give off any emotion to make her suspect something is wrong.

“And I will try… To fix you…” The song’s final words are followed by the soft thrum of a piano. I know it’s a piano because I have listened to the song thirteen times already. Then I look at the time and it is 2: 10 pm. My heartbeat increases. The lab scientist had asked me to come get my result by 2: 00 pm. I’m already dressed in the same clothes I wore to the lab yesterday. I put on my slippers and walk towards the door.

Mum: Bobby, where you dey go? Continue reading

I MET HIM ON CHRISTMAS DAY

g10I met him on Christmas day. One of those cold Harmattan days that has a certain sting and pleasantness about it. The kind of day that makes you believe that everything can be right with the world. The kind of weather that Femi Kuti sang about in his song, and one that also makes you wish you were doing what he sang about in the song, though not exactly in the way he prescribed.

It was another Christmas spent in the city. The city almost always becomes a ghost town during this period. It happens almost dramatically; first, there is a lot of frenetic and frantic activity, and then you go to sleep and wake up, and it’s like, “Where did everybody go?” You could do a drag race on the streets if you wanted to. The point of all this is that spending Christmas in the city is a boring affair. And in the days before social media became more widespread, it could be a real struggle just trying to get through the day without screaming out in frustration.

Christmas had become routine for me, the meal with all the trimmings, the cake, drinks, time with family… Yeah, so what else is new? I wanted more. Femi Kuti sort of knew what. Excitement! So I got up and left the house just to walk around in the street. Anything but spending another minute feeling like I was being consumed by a deep, dark void hovering above my head.

So there I was, walking on the road, and all of a sudden this guy on a motorcycle stopped by me and said, “Hi, how are you?” Continue reading

The Wish I Got For Christmas

singles 19So on the Third of November 2014, I finally tested positive.

I say ‘finally’ because since the first time I was tested as an HIV awareness advocate in my service year two years ago, I had always wondered and had been morbidly fascinated by what it’d be like having the virus. I had also always wanted to make friends with the HIV+ guys. Alas, they always ignored me. As I’ve always said; the point to empathy is being in the shoes actually. I have gotten my wish. The only regret I have about this situation is some ignoramus somewhere being quick to judge upon hearing I’m gay. Hell, some on here will be fast in calling me a “bloody arse whore”. Oh well…

As my doctor friend broke the news to me, my mind ran through all the partners I’ve had. Past and present. My last partner, who I stupidly trusted, evidently wasn’t trustworthy. I have asked him to go get tested as well, and I sincerely hope he turns out negative. I’ll know then that I have the barber to blame for this. I probably will be more confident in telling people I’m positive and quick to shut their yapping traps if they dare blame the shii on my being gay. However, if na positive…*bites forefinger* Continue reading

MY JOURNEY TO HELL AND ON THE WAY BACK

NARRATOR’s NOTE: I am no writer. I merely told my story, and Pink Panther turned them to words. For being able to transform my grief to words, I thank him. And for reading and empathizing, I thank you.

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g19My name is Dubem. And I am HIV Positive.

My telling of this story was prompted when a friend recently revealed to me that he’d just found out he was HIV Positive. He didn’t tell me because he knew I had the same status. (In fact, he was shocked when I told him I was positive too) He told me because he was confused, distraught and didn’t know anyone else to confide in. And so, I decided to tell my story, for him to know, for anyone else reading this to know, that with HIV, there’s struggle, there’s pain…and there’s also survival. Continue reading

JAMES’ JOURNAL (Entry 9)

Blog_KD JournalJuly 26

I went to get myself tested for HIV. I told some people this and was surprised when they said “Why?” By people I mean my gay friends and acquaintances. First of all, why not? Secondly, things may be worse than I thought when it comes to being responsible. The fact that there has to be a reason to go get yourself checked apart from the reason of “it’s a duty I owe to myself” is a bit appalling. Honestly I don’t think you need to have unprotected sex before you check for HIV. Or doesn’t anyone remember that you can get it in other ways besides sex? At least, do it once a year if you’re the most careful of people, because you can never be too sure.

However there was a reason I went to check. I had unprotected sex about three months ago, and a condom tore around that time. Honestly, the idea of “no condom” seemed exciting at the time, but the months of worry and anxiety that followed was not beans. I’d fall sick and begin to wonder, or I’d read all the HIV propaganda and my heart would beat fast. I don’t think a few minutes of pleasure is worth a few months of worry. I’m going to buy packs of durex as soon as I have extra money to waste… I don’t want excuses for next time. I normally avoid asking people I’m chatting with or interested in whether they use condoms because I think the talk of condoms and STIs is unsexy, but to avoid things getting out of hand, I’ll also have to start doing that. Better to cut things short before we reach the bedroom and testosterone clouds my judgment. Continue reading

BETTER SAFE THAN SORRY

safe sex ThailandHe lives in Abuja…I stay in Lagos. We met on a generic gay dating site.  He had an elusive profile and I had a picture of my bum on mine. The first thing I noticed was his age: 38. Older men have always appealed to me; (my first boyfriend was 45) and so we exchanged numbers and began chatting.

Our conversations were sexual, I would send him a picture of my bum in the middle of the day often unawares while he was at work, and he would send me one of his dick later that evening (which didn’t look too impressive to me). I should mention he was cute, in a cartoony way; He reminded me of Chicken Little. He was also married.

He had an ass fetish, and liked his men a bit on the chubby side, and so my pictures sent him on edge. He would literally call me at odd hours and go on and on about them. He had a nice Hausa accent, so I didn’t mind.

One day he told me he was in Lagos and wanted me to spend the night with him. It was a rainy night and was quite late. He was leaving for Abuja the following day, we had been chatting for a while now and had talked ourselves up to a frenzied anticipation. And so I went, in a taxi he would be paying for, apprehensive but expectant. The road was free, the night crisp and clear, the air cool and humid. Continue reading