“I guess I shoulda known
By the way you parked your car sideways
That it wouldn’t last
See you’re the kinda person
That believes in makin’ out once
Love ’em and leave ’em fast”
Little Red Corvette-Prince
Something people never ask me but may not have the words to ask is how did I get HIV, especially at a young age. I think when you get a disease there’s a perception that you must be “fast”, “a player” or a “hoe”. In my case I didn’t fit none of those categories. In fact when I first got it I was a quiet shy person who kept to myself. Most of that was because I had low self-esteem. I would walk with my head down to the ground and had a hard time looking people in the eyes when talking to them. It was a mix I believe of being a child victim of sexual abuse, being confused about my identitiy and the way I was raised by my mother.
My mother’s part was that at the time I had two other siblings and they knew their father’s name and where they lived. I didn’t. I never knew my father and each year she would give me a different name when I asked what his name was. One year he was in prison, the next he was dead and the following year he was living in Oklahoma. He must have treated her wrong and I had the misfortune of reminding her of him as she verbally abused me whenever she could. I truly at one point I thought my name was YoustupidmotherfuckerIwishInever had you Guess. But most people knew me as Aundaray.
In high school I was the class clown, as I learned it was easier to hide your pain by hiding behind jokes. People who knew me in high school saw the class clown but when the bell rang and I walked home from school I was this walking introverted beacon.
I walked the same way to and from school and always saw this red corvette. The only reason it stood out because it was such a bright red color. I lived a block from Selby?Dale which wasn’t like it is today with organic fruit stores and white people. back then it was a place where you went for your drug fix or to pick up a prostitute.So the clean color red stood out as everything around it was gritty. I figured it was coincidence but then I started to see it more and more when I was walking home from school. Although I don’t have proof I think one day he timed it so that he approached the corner as I was crossing. He said hello and complimented me on my clothes and from there it was a session of 20 questions. I don’t know what made me open myself to him but I think looking back when you don’t feel value and you have someone giving value to you, no matter how they look and their intentions, you grab on it like it’s a twenty dollar bill blowing down the street. We got to a point where he wanted to show me his record store. He had to had been in his mid twenties and like a lost puppy I agreed. His store was really a empty place where records probably once were. I knew in the back of mind what he wanted but again as a former person of sex abuse you sometimes have this perception that saying hello involved the giving of your body.
Sure enough it was what I thought and he made his move when we were alone. It was the first time for me. He was the first. Like my father I didn’t know his name. Afterward I never saw the car again as I guess he got what he wanted and I was relieved as I was scared about what happened. I felt guilty.
A few months passed and I got sick like a dog. It was weird as I had never been a person who ever got sick. Even when I didn’t want to go to school and would sleep with my head in the wintry window hoping to catch a cold but only ended up clearing my sinuses. So this sickness was weird as for a week I was in bed. Not long afterward I saw a story in the newspaper of the person who I had my first account with. He was in the St. Paul Pioneer Press and he was trying to rob a bank and in the process of being arrested he told the cops he would bite them as he had AIDS. In my naive thinking I was shocked more that he tried to rob a bank and didn’t focus on the AIDS comment as at that time I didn’t know how you could get it. I learned several years later how you can get it as I was diagnosed with it.
I knew who gave it to me as I had only one encounter and when they say it only takes one time it’s true.
I think when people ask why so many young people are getting infected today I can guarantee you that most of the times the person who infected them is at least ten years older than you. When you’re looking for that acceptance you give off a light that others can see and prey upon.That’s why i think it’s so important to nurture young people and give them that value because someone else with their own goals will.
I never knew his name but I did know two things.
He gave me AIDS and he drove a red corvette.
Prince was never so right.
Corrine Cochrane on Hurt/Hate/Heal Anonymous on Life’s Lesson with … gerard riveron on Christmas Wish Anonymous on Happy World AIDS Day Anonymous on Happy World AIDS Day