Now We Are Five
“I’m glad that you’re the one calling me with this.”
John’s comment takes me aback. It’s an unexpected, almost tender, confession from a twenty-year-old young man whom I’ve called with some good news and some not-so-good news.
“The good news is that your HIV test is negative,” I tell him. “You do not have AIDS. But the not-so-good news is that you tested positive for chlamydia, another sexually transmitted infection.”
I want to give him a moment to let this sink in, but he jumps in anxiously: “Can you treat it?”
“Yes, we can treat it. It’s easy to treat. It’s curable.”
“And I’ll be okay?”
“Yes, you’ll be fine. Once we treat it, the infection will be gone.”
I hear the sigh of relief.
We discuss where he might have picked up this infection–not entirely clear–and to whom he might have passed it along, also unclear.
That’s when he offers up his comment: “I’m glad that you’re the one calling me with this.” Not quite a compliment, not quite an intimacy, and yet a little of both.
I’ve cared for John episodically since his teens. During this week’s visit, he discussed his recent, unsuccessful, attempt to support …