June #24 : The Fleecing of Oprah - by Shawn Decker

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Table of Contents

Nowhere Else to Go

Great Escapes

Gotta Light?

The Great Sex Debate

Made in Japan

Clipped Wings

The Vinyl Solution

Into the Woods

Hazel's House

Open Windows

S.O.S.-June 1997

Mailbox-June 1997

Ad Lip

A Higher Standard

Just Not Like a Prayer

Who's Sore-y Now?

Say What-June 1997

Devil to Pay

Web of Cries

On Pins and Needles

Fatal Attraction

Cocktails for Kids

To B or Not to B

Pot Doc Stalked


Alexander the Great(ish)

POZ Picks-June 1997

Skin Traders

Absolutely Fabregas

Barbarians at the Gates

Borders on Madness

A Second Look

Painful Truths

Before the Revolution

Riding Bareback

The Fleecing of Oprah

Barrier Blues

Mixed and Matched

To Tell the Truth

The Borders of Health

Road Trip Grub Tips

Following Your HAART

TLC for Your Largest Organ

Art and Soul


Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle


Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV

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June 1997

The Fleecing of Oprah

by Shawn Decker

Long-distance lovers call on the queen of daytime

Ahh, love is in the air. Not just any old love either: "Positoid Love" in all its glory!

Yes, I am as smitten as a kitten on Ritalin. Everyone knows I am a cyberstud, floating around aimlessly on the Internet. So is it particularly shocking when I say I met this perfect gal through the computer? How about the fact that I am in Virginia, and Mariana (what a name!) lives in Brazil? Don't start raining on my parade already! Why should I settle for the best girl in Virginia when I can have the best girl in the whole world? I thought you'd see it my way.

Don't get me wrong: We are both aware of the uniqueness of our situation-part of the attraction is the total randomness. It's very romantic, if you ask me. We started off innocently enough as cyberpals, talking about this and that. She saw my homepage the first night we met in that chatroom of dreams. She was really interested in my thoughts-not only about HIV and my other "pets."

Love struck after about a month. Then we graduated to the phone. It was demais (Portuguese for awesome). She speaks English and I had three years of Spanish, so when I make a feeble attempt to speak her native language, it's usually a mutated combo of Spanish and Portuguese...Spanguese.

We talk on the phone at least once a week, and we email every day. It's not enough. We have come up with the perfect plan to meet in the flesh.

"Dear Oprah..."

We all agree Oprah has a soft spot the size of Texas, so how could she possibly ignore this one? This is a modern-day Romeo and Juliet. Forget Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes. This is real. Only now, instead of "modernizing" the story with handgun and rapping, we have HIV and cybersmooches. Yes, this is high-voltage romance. But to attain this goal, I have to do something unthinkable. I have to go against every grain of integrity in my body. I have to assume the role of "The Victim." Argh! Not only that, I have to be "The Innocent Victim."

"Dear Oprah, I got HIV and I wasn't even naughty!"

Nah. I couldn't go that route. It would be too easy and even cheesy. Plus my positoid pals would pummel me into submission! How can I proceed to victimize myself without selling out and losing too much self-respect, or taking the beating of a lifetime?

"Dear Oprah, in 1990 I met Depeche Mode through the Make-A-Wish Foundation. How did I know I'd be around seven years later, only to meet the girl of my dreams who just happens to live in Brazil? We need ya here..."

That's a good angle. It evokes sympathy, it goes for the heart. There's no way I can be denied if I play my hand just right. Can't you see it now? [Dream sequence:]

"You are about to meet a young man who has battled disease and misfortune since the day he was born..."

That's my intro. Mariana's would go like this:

"Some things in life rise above and beyond barriers set forth by society. You are about to meet an amazing young woman who loves this poor luckless bastard."

OK, Oprah is too sweet to refer to me openly as a "luckless bastard," but that is undoubtedly what would be going through the audience members' minds. The pity factor must be taken into account if I'm going to put myself in this kind of position.

Also, you know how they flash little titles beneath your face on those shows? You know, "Crystal: Slept with Dwight while carrying Rusty's child."

I wonder what mind would be.

"Shawn: Born with hemophilia." (This would be used for sure.)

"Shawn: Diagnosed with HIV at age 11." (Can't lose with that one either.)

"Shawn: Positoid stud who stalks girls on the net." (Too Jerry Springer-esque.)

"Shawn: Luckless bastard."

I don't care what the hell they call me, I just want to meet my sweet Mariana! Is that too much to ask for form a poor sickboy? Sure, we could meet right now on our own dime, but why not go for high drama/

By this point, many of you must realize I am not too proud to beg. I would even sail on to the set on a hang glider made of little red ribbons. Anything!

So, Oprah, if you are out there, make the call. Do what is right. Feel our love in your heart and you will see the ways of the positoid.

Mariana and I understand our relationship perfectly. We know long-distance love has suffered many casualties in the past, we have heard the horror stories, and we do not enter this blindly.

If things do not run smoothly, we plan to contact Montel.

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