AC Stories


My Life

“Hello. I’m Uncle Lee and I’m 82. I eat well, sleep well and live well. I feel blessed.
I always share my story with others. A girl cried after knowing my story when I visited Standard Chartered Bank, as the experience after infection was heartbreaking. I was interviewed by the Standard and I answered every single question. Nothing should be hid. Now, let me tell you my story, starting from my birth.
I was born in 1928 into a peasant family in Hunan. My dad died in 1931, three years after my birth. Since then, nine members of my family, in which four are sons including me, were raised by my mum. Then, we built eight houses, two for each son. To do that, we had to be very thrifty. Mum passed away when I was in my teens. Life was really hard after the Sino-Japanese War and China’s liberation . So, I went to Hong Kong on my own. I wrote to tell them only a few months later. I sent home the money I earned. I had been a hair stylist trainee, promoted from an odd-job worker to a hair stylist in seven or eight years. I worked until my retirement when I was over 70. Meanwhile, I earned enough to send my son to study in the U.S., where I have lived for a while. But I returned to Hong Kong a year later as I could not speak nor understand English. After working for a couple of years, I was diagnosed with the disease. Then I have received CSSA for 10 years.
After I got the disease, my children were not filial to me but I felt the love and concern from the society. I have just moved into a public housing unit, one year after the application. I’m very happy about this. Hong Kong is a blessed place. I’m really happy that I went to Hong Kong. But I’m 82 and much less energetic than before. I don’t know how long I can live. I just want to be healthy and to be blessed by God, and that’s all I want for the rest of my life.
~Uncle Lee~”

Family Love

I watched the movie "Aftershock" this morning with my parents and it was worth watching. The story was adapted from a novel of the same name. The story takes place in 1976 when the boy-girl twins, whose father was killed in the earthquake, were trapped under a slab of concrete. The mother could only save one and she chose the son. Her daughter was later saved and survived miraculously, subsequently raised by a military couple.

After the earthquake, the mother raised the boy on her own, feeling guilty towards her girl and missing her husband. Her son lost one arm but still worked very hard to improve the living conditions of his mother. The daughter felt hatred to her mother after many years and was under great pressure as an unmarried mum in society. The twins finally met again when joining rescuers in the Tangshan earthquake in 2008. The complex feelings that the daughter felt when reuniting with her mother after 32 years made me reflect on family love.

In the gay community in Hong Kong, friends seldom talk about their parents and many of them love to live alone. Some parents don’t even know the sexual orientation of their gay son. Homosexuality is really a complicated issue in traditional families. My parents were always “annoying” before the confirmation of my infection. But after that, they are reason why I can’t die.

What is “filial piety”?

I give my parents ten thousand dollars per month and buying them a new home next year.
I can’t give my parents much money but I gather with them in every festival.
I give my parents no money but I ask them none also because my life is really not good.
I talk with my parents on the phone every day and feel contented of listening to their voices.

There are different answers to everyone, and my version is I do not want them to have a hard time because of me.

Gay means I can’t carry on the family line.
Being unemployed means I can’t bring parents a rich life.
Infected with HIV means I don’t know whether I can be with my parents when they turn old.

My parents do not give me much pressure. The thing I can do is to meet them as often as I can. Dining at home, staying home watching TV, etc. Being with them, I can feel the family intimacy.

When’s the last time when you drag your mum’s hand?
When’s the last time when you drink with your dad?
Have you ever heard of your parents’ love story?
What are the stuff that your mum and dad like?

~Ching Long~”

An Introduction of Strangers Meeting by Chance

The storyteller gave himself a name, “the overseas worker”.

He said that it’s because he was really an overseas worker.

I bet this identity had another meaning to him.

This story began with this identity…

“The overseas worker” started in an indifferent tone. He had stayed and worked in Vietnam for more than a decade, and returned to Hong Kong after retirement in 2000. His infection with this disease was confirmed in a body check and a blood test. He was in total shock and failed to imagine this because no sympton was shown.

In front of me, he looked like a healthy old man. The only thing was that the medication he took every day made his cheek hollow, his tanned face appearing skinnier. This matched well with the indifference he showed. He said it was the side effect of the medicine and described that as fat transfer, meaning “fats going to places they don’t belong to”.

Most patients taking this medicine show spectacular physical appearance – an emaciated and hollow cheek and a big belly at the same time. Many patients refuse to take this medicine because they worried about being recognized as a patient due to the obvious features. However, this “overseas worker” showed no concern at all. The indifference puzzled me as it departed a long way from my expectation.

What did you think when you were found infected?

“It was unbelievable since I had been healthy and no symptom was shown. I could only accept the fact after the diagnosis. This was my fate afterall. We can only follow our destiny as there is no way to change it.”

To many people, this gap cannot be traversed. How can you overcome it single-handedly?

“I have already lived to this age. Fate cannot be changed anyway. The only thing that we can do is to follow their fate. This is not the most difficult time to me.”

What had he experienced in the past several decades that he becomes such obedient to to his tough, not fearing of difficulties in lives?

~Fanny~”

“He” and I

“He” occupies a special position in my heart forever.

Do I hate him? No. Do I still love him? Maybe. Although he has been married.

And he only knew he was infected until I told him. Who could have known three months later, I would meet a girl, the only female I met in the supporting group, and knew that she was also infected by him?
Actually, I hate myself more. I hate my stupidity that I have to pay for it for the rest of my life.

To me, hating a person is pathetic and wastes a lot of energy. I chose to look forward. And since I still hold complex feelings to him, I would rather not to meet him. He is not of any help anyway. Facing him is like facing my own fatuity and mistakes. That’s heartbreaking.

But all these have passed away. Many people are not willing to face their own mistakes but to me, no one is as wise as a saint is. Who makes no mistake? Just like students of Zheng Sheng College and Gillian Chung. I think what is crucial is to face the mistakes frankly and learn from them. That’s really the most important.

~Little V~”
 

Eddie

 

“The reporter was a bit nervous since it was the first time of meeting a person living with HIV. When the door opened, here came Eddie. He was different from the impression of people living with HIV in the reporter’s mind.

Eddie was slim, wearing a pair of glasses, hair dyed in brown. He was wearing a slightly baggy knit shirt and a pair of plain, deep-colored pants, which bring out the dark red checked furry ankle boots. The uniqueness of the boots showed that they were not local goods. The reporter asked and found out that they were from Britain.

His fashion sense came from years of fashion design experience. Eddie, aged 39, was a fashion designer before infection with HIV. He went to the hospital for a body check due to illness in 2008, and was diagnosed with HIV due to unsafe sex in early years.

Infected with very serious pneumonia, he was very week that his weight plunged. He was hospitalized for eight to nine months intermittently. He received “cocktail” treatment after the hospitalization and took regular medication twice a day.

He gave up his fashion design career and became a volunteer in different HIV organisations. He mostly assisted the promotion and prevention of the disease.By sharing his experiences of the illness, he aims to deepen the public’s understanding of the people living with HIV to reduce the misunderstanding and improve acceptance.

Eddie had the aura of a “melancholy boy” with a tender look. He loves literature and arts, and enjoys reading and listening to music. He is a loyal fan of Anita Mui and Leslie Cheung. He carries his medicines with a small bag that comes with an Anita’s accessories and he treasures it.

He also enjoys going to the movies. His life was associated with movies since his secondary school days when he went to the film festivals. He recalled the time he saw the publications of the Film Festival in the Art Center when he was in junior secondary school. That was the first time he got to know homosexual films, confirming his sexual orientation. The four flexuous love stories in his life were all related to movies.

Speaking of love, his eyes became unfocused, as if he was living the four past love stories…

~The reporter~”