A Top Ten List

(Because I'm usually a nicer person)

by Corey Saucier

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Photo by C. Saucier

I am emotionally, physically, spiritually, and mentally spent. So let’s keep it light. No long, lyrical extended metaphors this month. No highly stylized short stories about death, and dying, and love, and heartbreak….There has been enough of that—and I’m sure there will be plenty more; because life, in all of its madness and sadness and grace, stops for no one; not even for someone as pretty as me. (We must always call ourselves pretty—I haven’t bathed in a while, and you don’t want to smell my breath, and my eyes are beyond bloodshot, but in print…I am never anything but “pretty.”) So in honor of all the literary things this article will not be this month. I offer you a list of things I am done with—we’ll get back to the thought provoking opinion pieces next month (Maybe….You’ll get what I give you! My mom just died. That’s a pretty ironclad excuse.)

THINGS I AM UNEQUIVOCALLY DONE WITH: (or just want to complain about for a while)

5. Paying for stuff.
Things are way too expensive! And why isn’t it free, anyway?! It’s greedy and unfair and creates huge socio-economic disparities. Supermarkets and restaurants throw away enough food in one day to feed the whole world three times over (this fact is completely made up and un-researched, but sounds about right). The same underwear that cost $45 in the gay part of town, you can order from China for $3 and the shipping is free! (Because shipping is just another imaginary thing they make us pay for, and I, for one, am tired of paying for things!)

4. Conversations about race, class, and socio-economic inequality.
I no longer discuss race with White people. Just let that sit with you for a while…Stop. Nope! Not yet. Sit with it….Okay this is why. I am Black. And I am no more insightful than the next guy, so pretending that White people somehow don’t know what harm they are doing is a fallacy. They live in the same universe—have the same American history of lynching, murder, and slavery—and yet, they are constantly denying that racism exists! The fact that I have to argue that “Black Lives Matter” is a testament to a (certain) White person’s willingness to be complicit in our destruction. Now I know that sounds very “othering,” and accusatory, but remember my mother just died….And any compassionate person would give me a pass. (I’m going to milk that for a while)

3. Monogamy.
I was miserable when I was faithfully seeking a “one true love.” As a certified slut, I am happier, healthier, and nicer to people. Much nicer! (Wink wink.) #SlutsUnite

2. Eating meat.
I saw a documentary (What the Health) that freaked me out. So now I don’t eat things that die or cry. (Did I mention that my mom just died? I’m a bit emotional at the moment. ) Send Prayers and Hugs.

1. Discussing HIV with people on the Internet.
Okay. So I know that is a little ironic since this is an HIV magazine…and it’s also highly likely that you are reading this on the Internet. And I will not quit fighting stigma and ignorance in my community, but nonetheless, I am so over it! The internet is full of people who think that someone else is supposed to protect them from a disease that we all know exists. I DON’T GET IT!! We’ve known for thirty years what fluids carry the virus (Google it.) We know all the stats about condoms, PrEP, PEP, and Treatment as Prevention (Google it.) We all know that most HIV tests have a thing called a “window period,” which means that even if a person is technicaly negative, there is still a period of three to six months that cannot be accounted for so a negative is never really a NEGATIVE unless you stay celibate (Google it.) We know that all sex contains some form of risk, even if undetectable folks are 99.9 percent safe. And by the time you are thirteen you should have learned that you SHOULD NEVER TRUST ANYONE and no one is going to save you!! And yet most Internet trolls still think it’s the HIV-positive person’s responsibility to keep the negative person “safe.” That’s crazy!! What magic spell are we supposed to use to do that!? I’m in control of my body, and you are in control of yours! PERIOD. And before you write some comment in the “comments” about how your partner cheated. Just remember: I DON’T CARE. My mom died holding my hand last week, and I am overcome with grief.

I was supposed to do a “Top 10 List”…but I only got around to five. Deal with it. I’m going back to bed.

Love and Light.


Corey Saucier is an artist and writer living in Los Angeles. He is a Lambda Literary Fellow in Fiction and Non-Fiction and is currently penning his first novel. His musings and wanderings on Love, Life, and Nonsense can be found at www.justwords.tumblr.com.

  • lisbette

    This is great. I’m pretty, too! Ohmygod so pretty. For years I’ve wondered why water & electricity aren’t free. They belong to us all!

    I pay too often, even though I question charges like shipping. So, yeah! The unchecked capitalism has gotten our nation to this sorry point.

    A couple years after I tested positive, a doctor– IN THE SAME PRACTICE as the gyno who tested me– took me to task for basically having HIV. I believe I was supposed to tell the reception desk or something?! She wasn’t even my doctor, not even that one day!

    Cannot recall my words, but without raising my voice, I put her to shame. Which I never do. But Jesus would’ve, in this case, too.

    His potent Love to you.