As Valentine’s Day nears, it’s high time that Angelica have a night on the town with an intelligent, good-looking, manly man. But the only guy in my immediate vicinity who even remotely fits that profile is my doctor. He’s probably the most intelligent and considerate man I’ve ever met. He’s pretty friggin’ hot too. But ethics prevent the two of us from crossing that line. Actually, I should clarify just a bit: His ethics prevent him from crossing that line. And I guess I’m being kind of presumptuous. I’m presumptuous not because I’m assuming he would date me if he could, but because he’s gay.
Anyway, I was complaining to my hottie doc during a recent checkup about my sickly love life. Out of my mouth came the unspeakable: “Do you know any straight guys with HIV who I could date?” (Yes, it’s come to that.) But I figured who better to ask than the man I trust most with my life? I mean, the man knows my genetic makeup, for God’s sake. He understands my warped sense of humor and my passion for life and has seen me naked. Talking about sex is also part of our medical relationship. Surely, he must know one man in the city with HIV—that criterion is important to me—who would merit a date.
Turns out he did know a guy with HIV who was looking to date, a patient of his, but my doctor wasn’t sure he could handle me. But I was assured that we’d make a good match, since we both have similar New Jersey Italian backgrounds and a raucous sense of humor. What’s more, this candidate actually had a job, atypical of many of the men I’ve dated recently. (I wanted to ask Doc if he had seen the man naked too and for a reconnaissance report, but I restrained myself.) My doctor, my hero, my matchmaker had someone in mind just for me! Perfect, right?
“Donald,” as we’ll call him, phoned me a few days later. He sounded nice and sane and was, in fact, very funny. We agreed to meet for dinner. He said he would wait for me at the bar and would be the guy wearing the orange wig, big clown shoes and red nose. “Wow,” I thought—”this guy’s gonna be a riot.”
When I got to the restaurant, I was nervous but also determined that however he looked, I would lower my expectations and keep an open mind. My doctor had prescribed this guy, so he must be right for me. I turned around, and there he stood, a little shorter than I expected, but he certainly wasn’t a clown. The date started out well enough, and the conversation began to flow. But after a while, I couldn’t help but ask myself, “Why in God’s name did my doctor think that this guy would be right for me?” He was obviously a sweet, caring man, but he talked incessantly about his mother and three sisters. And I didn’t like his tiny rib cage or his long, spindly fingers. Was there anything really wrong with him? Absolutely not. But maybe I was more concerned about getting a physical clue of what my doctor thought was right for me than I was about seeing this person for who he really was. Donald called a few times, but our relationship pretty much ended where it began, over chardonnay at that restaurant bar. During my next visit, my doctor asked me how the date had gone. I just told him to listen to my heart and see whether he could prescribe something to make it beat a little stronger.