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Solitary Soldier

Solitary Soldier


I'm exhausted, I don't care as much, daylight pisses me off, and my gummy bears don't taste as good as they used to. Despite my efforts at optimism, prayer, and actively using available resources, I'm not doing well. My sparkle is faded, my blessings are measured, my patience is limited'and did I mention that my gummy bears don't taste as good? I'm in a fog. Like it is for a soldier who is journeying to a battle that he thought he was completely prepared for, the terrain is unfamiliar, the mist is thick, and he is dangerously cut off from the tools that once guided him. Poetic prose put aside: This treatment is kicking my ass! I'm nine weeks into my hepatitis C treatment and nine years into my HIV treatment, but I'll take the nine years over the nine weeks any day! It's not that the new regimen is hard per se. It's nothing compared to the hospitalizations, lesions, weight loss, fatigue, and shame that I had to overcome when first battling AIDS. And in truth, physically I just feel a slight nausea and loss of appetite. The difference is that the ribavirin and interferon seem to have disconnected me from my source, from my core, from the magic of my spark. And I was warned! It seems it's just the nature of the beast. I was even placed on Wellbutrin (a mood elevator) to help counteract the effects, but something is still not right. In case you haven't noticed from regularly reading this column, I tend to see the world through rose-colored glasses. In fact, pink is my favorite color. My gold-rimmed glass of sparkling champagne is always three-quarters full, and my silver linings come only in Tiffany boxes. Even when I was deathbed-bound'receiving blood transfusions while infections ravaged my system and my mother cried at the foot of my bed'there was still a spiritual center that I could turn to that would bring about an inner peace that fortified my soul. All of that is gone! And without it I have no tools. So what happens when you are brought again to your knees but this time the prayers don't come so freely? What happens when the blessings I once counted on are not so easily earned? Who will I be when I am just like everyone else and my favor is taken away? Do I pout, stomp, and slam the door? Do I scream 'Fuck you!' and run away? Am I really that spoiled'happy only when things go my way? I want it fixed! I want it done now! And I want my gummy bears to taste good again! But I also want to be better than that. I want to be more than the most popular girl in school, more than a rich-daddy's boy, and more than the guy who sees the world as beautiful but only when the world is beautiful. I want to be Slumdog Millionaire'the child who laughs even when he's covered in shit. I want to be Million Dollar Baby'the fighter who fights the fight (even though there's a tragic end). I want to be the guy with one left foot'who finds the capacity to glorify life, even when life has given him nothing. I want to know that I am made of more than just a pretty pink veneer and that I'm strong enough to hold the fort when God is needed elsewhere. Saucier is a writer, blogger, and performance artist based in Los Angeles. Find more of his writing online via our website.

30 Years of Out100Out / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff and Wayne Brady

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