POSK: Janet

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POSK (People Of St Kilda)

Janet

“It hadn’t been too long into the relationship when a difficult situation raised its head. I had developed a burning sensation when going to the lavatory and feared the worst. I’d never had a sexually transmitted disease before. It had always been my worst nightmare. Like many, I’d misguidedly considered myself immune, something that happened to other people. Dirty people. It was the same attitude I’d had to car accidents, believing I was untouchable on the road. My awakening happened abruptly when I created a small pile up on Barkly St whilst texting. Injuries were minimal, but the insurance and litigation implications were enough to trigger some deep introspection and reevaluations – in fact I only use my phone at traffic lights nowadays. But my cavalier attitude towards sex remained, contraception deemed surplus to requirements. Then the burning. As the doctor perused my test results I felt like I was in the dock – judgement day. Would the sentence be severe? Turns out it was. Herpes is incurable, a lifelong affliction that comes and goes with the fickleness of a cats allegiances, although with more of a roar than a meow. To say the conversation with my ex was difficult would be an understatement. I rehearsed the encounter like I was auditioning for Hamlet, creating a maze-like grid of conversational avenues that would diffuse the embarrassment whilst cleverly reveal who’d instigated the virus. I had a deafening drum roll in my mind leading up to the showdown, fizzing with scenarios. But once my BF had decoded my stuttering opening statement he promptly admitted to having Herpes, as casually as mentioning I’d received a parcel. His ex GF had it, and he must have carried it without showing symptoms. Ironically, we’ve become closer for it. The eternal nature of the virus has morphed into a stronger bond. A strange romance, bloomed from an STI, unbreakable as the virus itself.”

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