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, August 27, 2009

Hell on Wheels

It was a weekday. A workday. I went through my usual morning routine. This was going to be one of those regular days. I get up. I eat breakfast. I shower. I dress up. I leave for the trip to work. A trike and a jeep to the MRT station. As usual, a wave of people waiting at the door of the train, pushing, pushing, pushing, and eventually I’d get into the train whether I liked it or not. And then my supposedly regular day ended there.

The next thing I knew, I found myself sprawled on the floor of the MRT coach, with what seemed like thousands of feet rushing past me. I swear, I must’ve looked like Dyesebel without the fish tail. I wanted to cry, but I knew it would be fruitless. There’d be no one to console me or condole with me. I was pissed, of course. I pitied myself. But I found it funny noticing how those who got startled by my fall were staring at me, while those who were probably guilty of pushing me were looking the other way, trying to act like nothing had happened.

Okay, fine. I picked myself up off the floor. What else was I supposed to do? But I think I was only able to pick my physical self up. I may just have left my ego still battered and bruised where my body used to lie. What was everyone to think of a grown man stumbling his way into the MRT, getting intimate with the ground? What the hell. I didn’t know anyone there. And I probably wasn’t going to see any of these people again anyways. So I just walked away with whatever self-esteem I had left, and braced myself for the ride standing where I thought I would be safest.

I swear, during much of the MRT ride, my knees and arms were still trembling from what happened. I tried to feel if I suffered any scratches or bruises. But other than the dirt I had on my right hand, everything seemed alright. I did notice I had dirtied the hem of my pants so early in the morning, to think I decided to wear slacks today because I felt like dressing up a bit. And my shoes, I ruined my shoes. What used to be my only perfectly good pair of shoes, is now chipped and dingy, with its sole now starting to separate from the leather. Sigh. I need to have it fixed sometime soon.

Fortunately, I got to work with no other mishaps. But it wasn’t until I sat down at my desk that I was able to tune in to my body and realize that my finger hurt, and that I felt pain and swelling near my shin. I wasn’t limping or anything. It just hurt. I was just hoping I didn’t scrape it or anything. It just shouldn’t hurt more than my ego.

So what the hell am I supposed to do to avoid something like this again? I could opt to pass on the MRT and just go back to riding the bus every morning. Imagine the heaven of not having to share your own personal breathing space with at least ten people, comfortably sitting the whole way. But then I’d just be subjecting myself to the hands of fate and luck when it comes to EDSA traffic.

Or, assuming that most people are misinformed about HIV, I could just warn everyone around me beforehand that I had it. Maybe I could even feign a sneeze or a cough to just drive my point through. Just like one bad fart load. That should keep them away from me, right? Hmm, interesting.

Or I could actually use my HIV thing and claim disability so I could ride from the platform where only the pregnant, the elderly and the disabled are allowed, and in the special coach for women, children, the elderly, and the disabled. Very tempting.

Did you know that having HIV is actually considered a disability worthy of a monthly pension from the Social Security System? That is, if you’re ready to practically disclose and expose yourself. So I’m guessing, armed with a medical certificate, similar to or more worthy than what some women playing pregnant do, I should get some perks too. But then, the proud pusit in me says, Hey, I’m not that disabled. Plus, considering it’s usually the women who push the hardest and are the most ruthless at the MRT, this disability thing might not put me in a better position after all.

And without any apparent solution, I have no other choice. I could just be more careful next time.

So there, that’s how much of a jungle the MRT can be. Hell on wheels. So far, this has been my worst MRT experience yet. Was it traumatic? A bit, honestly. At least I didn’t feel the need to ice myself after. Plus I still found myself on the MRT the next day. So I guess it wasn’t bad enough to put this guy down permanently.

Let’s just look at the bright side. At least that day of mine couldn’t get any worse, right?


Ming Meows said...

poised ka naman debah. keri lang yan :)

Anonymous said...

I used to enjoy riding the MRT no matter how crowded and cramped up it got. I still have my fascination for train rides. There's something about it that exhilarates me. Not just because it's faster, but also for the fact that it has this certain sense of order. Even though in here train schedules aren't really strictly followed. Maybe on LRT2. But, the fact that there are stops and stations you board in and get out off, terminals and lines that it adheres to, somehow comforts me. Although, these days, I prefer riding the bus. Mostly because I'm scared, that I might catch a flu or some other thing because of our condition. I prefer to think of it as more of being prudent rather than scared actually hehehe

The Green Man said...

Hug nalang kita for comfort :-D Be extra careful next time and if they push... push them back twice as hard. Pag tinitigan ka ng masama... titigan mo din ng mas masama... if they start a fight... call security and exercise diplomacy.

rudeboy said...

It's a good thing you weren't trampled.

MkSurf8 said...

last time i rode MRT was 3 years ago. na trauma ata ako =( shet ang arte ko but yes i've never tried it since.

ingat ka na lang lagi! =)

danyhael said...

i assume that ws in North ave. station? if it is, i actually have a nice tip. try gma-kamuning station. less crowd.

BadPapiNYC said...

of all days i skipped your blog...
hugs my sweetyP.