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Dec24

Dear Santa...

Monday, 24 December 2012 Author // Dave R Categories // Gay Men, Lifestyle, Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Population Specific , Dave R

Dave R writes...it’s not often you get enough low-down on Santa to make your wish-list a little more challenging for the old guy. This year may just be the chance you need but you’ll need to get to the end of the letter to find out why

Dear Santa...

Just thought I’d jot down a few wishes and hopes for under the tree this year and by the way. Thanks for reminding me that the virus is for life and not just for Christmas. Such a nice ironic touch all those years ago that it also came unwrapped (and to think that they still call it ‘the gift’)! Ah well, what’s done is done and you were only delivering someone else’s wish list after all.

You know. I’m not one to ask for much but having just seen the Glee Christmas episode, I was so full of joie de vivre (I’m sure you’ll understand that that’s meant to be slightly ironic!) I wondered if my old, childhood hero and favourite grown-up daddy could pull a few strings up there in the space between heaven and earth and maybe have a word with a few of the other gods and goddesses in the pantheon and grant me a few small wishes? I realise that you’ll have to get the Dollar god on your side (I know, even among the worshipped, ‘new money’ must be annoying!) but I’ve been a really good boy this year, I have! Well maybe there was that time in June and maybe...oh yes and in July and September and...aw shucks! You’ve got Sauron’s all-seeing eye up there as well, so I won’t get away with anything will I? However, you do know my intentions have always been good: problem is...spirit willing, flesh weak sort of thing eh!

So, to the messed up, train of thought, kind of list:

Peace

I suppose I could wish for peace on earth and joy to everyone but I’m sure you’d ask me if my parents were high as kites when they conceived me; so could we maybe have a little more peace in our schools, so that kids born like me can get an education without being driven to misery or suicide? Maybe then there’ll be less tragic incidences of misplaced anger being taken out on the wrong people. We don’t want any more victims in places that should be safe. A few less gadgets for the bullies and less guns in their daddies’ Christmas boxes might do the trick...only a suggestion. 

Brandy?

Now I’d leave you a bunch of carrots, some hot milk and cookies under the tree but I suspect at your age, the milk and cookies will turn your stomach and the carrots will have Rudolph farting ‘till New Year, so how about a bottle of Brandy? In return, maybe the elves could cast a glance over the books of the 1st world and tell our clueless politicians how we’re going to get out of a crisis that’s closing down our HIV support systems and supplying 3rd world, HIV kids with outdated and harmful drugs.

Surviving the Recession

If you could also drop a few ideas on how to survive the recession into our stockings, including tips to increase our self confidence enough to get the jobs we want, along with an ample supply of energy; we might just be able to avoid being up shit creek without a paddle! We know it’s the banks that caused it all and we know they’ve got governments by the short and curlies but maybe you could arrange a little fire and brimstone to even things out a bit (or is that someone else’s department?) You do know you’re a major contributor to negative capitalism yourself don’t you? People’s debts rise sky high at Christmas; even though you provide work for millions in Chinese toy factories. Please have a word in the right ears; we need a fairer system.

Stop jailing people

A major request next and one which you may not agree with but I know you’re an even-handed man and if you’re still confused, ask your husbear Claus. Please stop people with HIV being thrown into jail because the world is not balanced or safe enough yet for them to disclose their status. Nobody ever asked for HIV; nobody ever asked for the hatred that it can engender in our peers and nobody ever asked to be celibate for the rest of their lives either. We know when it’s safe to make love to us and we know what to do to make it safe for other people to do the same. So if our viral load is practically undetectable and we’re taking precautions on top of that; please teach the lawmakers that their hysteria, that takes away people’s freedoms for daring to have sex, is unfounded, unjust and inhuman. I do appreciate that’s a biggie and not exactly a gift request but maybe you can wrap up some pragmatic whispers and drop them in their ears while they’re sleeping?

The homeless

Could you also arrange for someone to invite some homeless kids with HIV into their homes for Christmas? Okay, even in the best of all possible worlds, that probably won’t happen but maybe you can twist the church’s and the city council’s arms to open up their halls and provide a bit of tinsel, turkey and TLC?

Movie screenings 

Oh yes, would it also be possible to have a few screenings of ‘How to survive a plague’, played out in young LGBT people’s dreams. They might just get the message then and be a little more tolerant of their own, less fortunate kind and a bit more active in standing up for their rights! It really hurts to be called a troll by someone young enough to be your grandchild who still wants the world to be all pink and fluffy. In the words of Saint Ru: “If you can’t love yourself, how the Hell you gonna love someone else?” 

Keep the promise

An end to discrimination is probably out of reach but a word in leading politicians’ ears would be great if you could. Tell them that they should put their money where their election mouths were and at least keep their promises as far as LGBT issues go.

Gay marriage

Gay marriage...meh! I don’t really care what you do with that one but I guess people should at least have the right and it’s a Christmas gift in itself to see apoplectic church leaders and right wing politicians choking on their wishbones! 

The personals

Okay, now a few just for me. Can we have less media hype and hysteria please? Less whoopin’ and hollerin’ when a D-lister appears on the box and when Oprah and Ellen give stuff away, please make them aware that they are solely responsible for whipping up bare-assed greed in screaming Middle America. Enough already; put something in their mince pies to calm them down. Not only that but a little bromide in the coffees of all newspaper moguls might just make them tone down the headlines.

“Portly vicar fiddles with seventeen choirboys! Possible Aids infections! We demand justice for the nation!”

No, no, no more...that’s so 1987! Whatever happened to balanced reporting? The news is bad enough.

And another one; please could you invent a user-friendly, tattoo removal kit to show people the error of their ways? Have you ever seen tattoos on the over 50’s? 

And climate change – what’s up with that! Do you really want the polar factories to be flooded, especially now that the elves are unionized? Good move by the way, towards being an equal opportunity employer and shifting the operations to Shanghai!

By the way, something that really gets my goat and is also related to the media bosses mentioned in an early wish. In all the hysteria and witch hunting to track down paedophiles, could you please get the message across that ‘paedophile’ does not equal ‘gay or lesbian’? Joe public’s gay-hate switch is still immediately triggered when child abuse hits the headlines. As if we haven’t got enough stigmas to deal with! For that matter, young kids always deserve to be protected from sexual exposure and bullying, so more concrete, psychiatric help for those who can’t help themselves and then take away kids’ choices please!

Now I know that Christmas is a heap of baloney invented by the Christmas tree balls industry but the basic message is a no-brainer, so if you could grant just one of my wishes and make us all be just a little bit nicer to each other in 2013, I promise I’ll try to be a better boy next year. Oh and making my neuropathy so bad that I have no choice in the matter is not an option thank you very much!

Seasonal Greetings and I’ll try to believe,

Dave

P.S. I suppose a cure or vaccine for HIV is out of the question?

P.P.S.  According to that brilliant article in the Huffington Post, it looks as though your secret may be out. Someone told me you have a summer penthouse somewhere in Manhattan and profile yourself regularly on Grindr as ‘Polar bear with iceissues’ but it always seemed so unlikely! Well if it’s all true (and newspaper headlines are always true...right?) I promise I won’t out you to any kids or republicans I meet but hey...I’m just saying...nudge nudge...wishes are meant to be granted...okay!

P.P.P.S. If you have room on the sledge, could you slip me in Joe Manganiello, in nothing but a big red bow? If you’re cutting costs...forget about the bow.

 

About the Author

Dave R

Dave R

English but living since 1986 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. HIV+ since 2004 and a neuropathy patient since 2007. I've seen quite a bit, done quite a bit and bought quite a few t-shirts if you know what I mean; but all that baggage makes me what I am today: a better person I believe, despite it all.

You can find much more information about neuropathy and HIV on www.neuropathyandhiv.blogspot.com and  here on The Body, along with articles about other subjects.

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