Yes, I'm gay. I probably was since the day I was born. On my 21st birthday, I sort of had my debut. I came out to my parents. A little drama from mom, and some indifference from dad. An above-average coming out. Almost perfect.

Nine years later, two weeks before my 30th birthday, I found out... I'M HIV POSITIVE.

And so my story begins... I'm BACK IN THE CLOSET.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

House, Not Home

It was Wednesday night. I had spent ten hours at the office, making money to pay the bills. I took an hour-long bus ride home, standing in the aisle the whole way. Instead of taking a tricycle in, I took the ten-minute walk home, meaning to save fifteen pesos, which could buy me two cups of rice for lunch the next day. And all this for what?

I walked into the house, and changed from my work clothes. I hadn’t even eaten dinner, or sat down at all, when my mom started bombarding me with things she needed me to do. Things that weren’t really urgent. Things that could wait till I at least sat down.

Peace and quiet helps an introvert like me recover from a long day. And it was clear she didn’t care enough to give it to me. So I raised my talk-to-the-hand hand to shush her, and went on to have my dinner.

Then it started. She started sighing, and clutching her stomach in alleged pain. She told me that if I’d come home one day and she wasn’t there, I’d probably find her in the hospital. Then she asked me if I had medicines. Mylanta. I shook my head.

And what did I do after all this? Absolutely nothing. It was happening again. She was acting up again. Craving for attention. The attention that’s been lacking since her favorite son left the country. The same attention I was deprived of since childhood.

She’d done this before, lying in bed, claiming she “almost had a stroke”. Complaining that half her body was numb. I’m not stupid. You don’t almost have a stroke. It’s either you do, or you don’t. That time, I turned my back for two minutes, and the next thing I know, she was out of bed, all dressed up, ready to go to the mall. Retrogression at its finest. Imagine how my eyes rolled.

So this time around, I was already in The-Boy-Who-Cried-Wolf mode. I was eating dinner, not giving her even a glance. I had my eyes glued to the television and was letting everything from her go in one ear and out the other.

Hospital? I don’t know what psychic powers she used to see that coming. I knew she was acting when she asked me if I had medicines. I never stocked medicines and she knows it. At least not until I started on ARVs, and that she doesn’t know. And of all medicines, Mylanta? What for? Gas? Indigestion? Hell.

I admit I was so tempted to shoot her bad act down by telling her, “I have HIV, and you’re complaining about gas?” But like always, I just put my poker face on and kept quiet, making sure I locked myself in my room as quickly as possible, safe from the attention-starved monster. It reminded me why she doesn’t deserve to know I have HIV. Because she doesn’t really care.

In times like these, I usually call my sister. Because no one else would believe my story. Because only she knows my mom and the craziness she’s capable of.

Good thing she was home, and I was able to vent. We share the same wavelength, and vent as we do to each other, we never fail to find humor in all the insanity that life throws at us. By the end of it all, I was laughing again, smiling again.

I slept soundly through the night, and rushed through my morning routine so I could leave for work and escape any residual craziness at the house. Yes. This is my house, but it is not home. My room is my home. My bed is my home. My friends are my home. My sister is my home. My solitude is my home.

8 comments:

E said...

...home is where the heart is LOLZ!

Hmmm...i don't know about you and your mom but i know deep down in some level you do love her...right?hehehehehe pero i think that would've made her shut up...you telling her that your poz hahahaha!

Don't worry friend, there things to look forward to :) we're about to change things...save the cheer leader, save the world...-korny!

PinoyPoz said...

hehehe... thanks e! what more can i say to that? rah, rah, rah, sis, boom, bah?! :-)

Kiks said...

Things like this happen, BITC.

I don't know for myself since I have not been living with family ever since I moved out years and years ago.

But I know how it feels. And yes, sometimes, but hopefully all the time, others become our home.

PinoyPoz said...

yep. everyone needs a home, and for some of us, we find it in unusual places. :-) thanks kiks.

BLACKPOOL said...

hmmmm shes still your mother you can have all your friends but only one mother. in due time youll be in each others arms......

i know you love her and i envy you because you still have a mother....

thonnibg said...

I`m glad to hear you`ve smiled again:)
I just wish your mom was nicer to you and realized what a brave son she has!

Hugz

onestrangeboy said...

Have you ever asked yourself why your mom is like that? What things she went through when she was younger that made her that way?

I have a borderline delusional, fanatically religious mother and she never fails to blow my fuse daily. My dad, who's separated from her, had to house me in a separate place for 3 years just to keep me from going insane. But when I found out through careful investigation why she's like that, I learned to accept her pains and they way she compensates for them.

PinoyPoz said...

i've asked myself a million times. i've discussed it with my sister a million times, too. we've concluded it's beyond any logical or scientific explanation. hehehe. good for you, strangeboy...