Before dealing with Heather, I had to deal with Tye.
I’ve texted Ryan last week to wish him a happy birthday, and he apologized for Tye’s aggressive behavior. I expressed my desire to discreetly be able to still see him every once in a while without his knowledge, and he said he’d be willing to make it work because he valued me.
My twisted plan consisted of infecting Tye with HIV through Ryan’s blood. The idea seems too far-fetched at first, but I was insistent on making it work.
Over the course of our friendship, I’ve often seen Ryan miss or even purposely avoid taking his HIV medication because of various side effects. He mainly complained about severe fatigue and tiredness the medication had caused which prevented him from having the necessary energy to practice his job as a go-go dancer. He also mentioned something I found quite interesting about his viral load; he said even while on a steady medication regimen, his viral load would often fluctuate from undetectable to detectable without any reason. His doctor warned him that he’d be putting himself at risk by not adhering to his treatment which could easily cause the HIV to multiply and for the virus to mutate and produce a drug-resistant HIV which would result in the treatment’s failure. I’m not sure how low his CD4 count is now, but I’m assuming it’s moderately low, probably around 200-300 due to his unstable treatment regimen. I also know Tye isn’t on any antiretroviral medication because it’s expensive and that the only way they’ve erred on the side of caution is by strictly practicing protected sex.
Last week, Tye had to leave for Dallas for a few days for a family emergency. It was ideal to invite Ryan over the day he was gone. We had lunch then headed over to my place.
Upon our arrival, I was eager to get him wasted so I plied him with beer while we watched TV. I watched him closely for signs of change in his behavior and waited for the flood of alcohol to take its ride into his bloodstream. Once it did and he started to lose consciousness, I dragged him to my bedroom and put him in my bed. I grabbed the needle, tube and hand sanitizer and started the procedure; I used a non-defective needle secured in a holder and inserted it into the blood collection tube. I traced his veins with my index finger and inserted the needle in one of them and started drawing blood. Once I reached the recessed line on the needle holder, I released the vacuum.
One thing people don’t understand about positive gay men is how isolated and unwanted those can feel. They’re scrutinized and discriminated against daily which makes it hard for them to find meaningful relationships with healthy individuals who, reasonably enough, wouldn’t easily consider being with someone who suffers from the disease. That kind of marginalization can sometimes lead to severe depression and suicide. When I look at Tye and Ryan’s relationship, I can distinguish the fact Ryan has given Tye the upper hand because of his authoritarian personality, but mainly because his boyfriend’s healthy and he’s not. Ryan is okay with being submissive and controlled strictly because he’s afraid Tye might leave him. Revenge aside, the whole idea behind my grievous act was for Tye to inherit and share Ryan’s suffering; that way they’d both be equals and he won’t have to feel so alone. Unfortunately, I can predict that won’t be the case. Part of Tye’s confidence lies in the fact he’s made it through most of his life without contracting one of the deadliest diseases in history, and I can’t wait to see how he’ll respond to the news once he gets infected too.
Ryan had absolutely no clue about what I did or what I was about to do to his boyfriend. When Tye came back, I familiarized myself with his routine by stalking him as he made his way to work each day. He’d show up at 7 A.M. and leave by 8 P.M.
Around 8 P.M on Wednesday, I made my way to the hardware store and waited for Tye’s shift to be over. He left approximately half an hour later after my arrival and walked over to the parking lot. It was dark outside, the only light source coming from the LED lights located around the area. I was covered in black clothing from heard to toe, and even wore gloves and a ski mask. I anxiously I waited for the right moment to strike. When he got to his car and stopped to withdraw his keys, I stealthily ran, swung my right arm and hit him with knockout force across the side of his face. Blood splattered from his mouth and nostrils as his face hit the top of his car before totally collapsing on the ground. I looked to make sure no one was around before punching him again. I then spilled the entire content of Ryan’s blood in his mouth, took out his wallet from his pants to make the whole incident seem like a burglary before disappearing instantly afterwards.
I felt victorious committing a crime and getting away with it. However, it also caused me to feel alienated. The idea of hurting someone who’s been hostile towards me simply didn’t seem to clash with my instincts or motivations, both which wouldn’t have existed in the first place had Tye had been nicer to me. I did absolutely nothing to deserve such hatred from him. Honestly, I think he was envious of the unique connection me and Ryan had, and that made him extremely jealous and insecure. To him, I was a walking threat to their relationship. It all comes down to the way he perceives himself; he always seemed uncomfortable in his own skin even though he constantly tried to come off as upstanding. If he was confident enough in himself and in Ryan, he wouldn’t have had a problem with me. Ryan is the kind of person you can blindly trust; he doesn’t drift. When I impulsively tried to kiss him, he backed off and maintained a strict boundary to our friendship without making things awkward. He’s honest and trustworthy; rare qualities Tye had failed to see and appreciate, and so he doesn’t deserve him. I might not deserve him either, but that’s okay. This isn’t about me and Ryan, it’s about me and Tye and the hostile environment he constantly created every time the three of us were around each other. He needed to face the consequences for brutally messing with someone like me.
The morning after the assault, Ryan reached out to me to inform me about what had happened. I rushed to the hospital and thankfully Tye was asleep when I got there. The police suspects the incident to be a robbery because his wallet was missing. There were no witnesses on sight. For a moment, I didn’t think I even did it. It wasn’t denial because I knew I did, but the nature of the incident was so disturbing my mind didn’t want to acknowledge it was responsible for it; it was almost as if it was thoroughly convinced itself it wasn’t guilty; that the hands that attacked Tye weren’t mine.
Checking out of my own self during tough and overwhelming circumstances isn’t new to me. There’s an amnesiac wall within me that separates my two halves. It serves as some sort of coping mechanism that often helps me get through tumultuous and hectic events. Unfortunately, it also makes me lose my sense of right and wrong.