He looked out over the shirtless, muscled, tanned men and realised that right here, on this disco floor, there was such a concentration of fashion, slimming, money, bleaching, plastic surgery, psychotherapy – and all for naught. In a few years they’d all be old walruses, and in a few more, dead.

When the black thing was at its worst, when the illicit cocktails and the ten-mile runs stopped working, I would feel numb as if dead to the world. I moved unconsciously, with heavy limbs, like a zombie from a horror film. I felt a pain so fierce and persistent deep inside me, I was tempted to take the chopping knife in the kitchen and cut the black thing out I would lie on my bed staring at the ceiling thinking about that knife and using all my limited powers of self-control to stop myself from going downstairs to get it.

Like the weather or bonds between lovers, transformations can never be predicted. All energy transmutes one day or another, in one way or another. Either in its form or composition, or in its position or disposition.

THE NAKED HEART

From womb to tomb,
There came and went –
Only you.
Poor or rich,
You will die with
Only you.
All the wealth you harvest
In the living,
Will go to others when you are dead.
But the true test of a lion of God –
Is to keep giving with your own hands,
Before you rest in your final bed.

Being HIV positive doesn’t necessarily mean that you are going to die before each and every person who is HIV negative.

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