Bleeder by Shelby Smoak

By Shelby Smoak

I am Caucasian, 5 foot 11, have sandy brown hair, blue eyes, and am a young slip of bone. and i'm on the health center.

A coming-of-age memoir for contemporary instances, Bleeder is the exceptionally compelling story of writer Shelby Smoak. A hemophiliac, Smoak found he have been contaminated with HIV in the course of a blood transfusion in the beginning of his university profession. This devastating and destabilizing information led Smoak to determine his international from a completely new viewpoint, one during which life-threatening sickness was once eternally simply round the nook. Set within the Nineteen Nineties alongside the North Carolina coast, Bleeder traces Smoak’s quest for romance in a global that feels more and more risky, and regardless of a destiny that feels more and more doubtful. From the bed room to the working room, and from one sanatorium to the following, Smoak seeks out wish and higher well-being. Winner of a PEN American middle award for writers dwelling with HIV, Smoak, whose paintings has seemed in different journals and magazines, constructs this unforgettable tale of existence and love opposed to insurmountable problems in breathtaking, tightly drawn prose.

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Title. 1'5720092—dc23 [B]2012029287 Book design by Scribe Inc. com Michigan State University Press is a member of the Green Press Initiative and is committed to developing and encouraging ecologically responsible publishing practices. org. org To my fellow hemophiliacs and HIV sufferers At the end of my suffering there was a door. —LOUISE GLÜCK CONTENTS Blood A Man in Hiding The Regular Ana Sandwich Interlude College Throwing Hope Away The Split Summer 21 The Pine Cone Did It Lungs Ears Yachts Sunset upon the Heart The Handbook to Dating with HIV My Lolita Chase Manhattan Owns Me Ankles The Depressing Effect of Numbers Loose Lips The Unicorn Winter Is the Cruelest Season Cocktails Recovery The Open Door Acknowledgments BLOOD I AM CAUCASIAN, FIVE FOOT ELEVEN, HAVE SANDY BROWN HAIR, BLUE eyes, and am a tender slip of bone.

There was such power and consequence in my decision and I knew it, and I knew, too, that fate was a fragile notion. William reaches across the seat, rests his hand on my leg. “You’ll get through this,” he says over the caterwaul of angry horns snarled in hot traffic. ” I tell him that I am scared, that I don’t know who I should blame, that I can’t understand why it happened to me, that I don’t know what I am supposed to do. ” “I know. There’s nothing to say . . ” He wheels the car past the Pavilion, turns, turns again, and we ride on the last road before ocean.

She scribbles on her yellow memo pad, pauses, and looks at me with dark eyes that catch a flicker of sunlight from the window. “And what about your HIV? ” Like a victim. Like a man before the firing squad. “I can’t imagine what that has done to you,” she says. ” Yes I am. “We have groups here at the hospital that meet and help one another cope with this, and there are hemophiliacs just like you who come. Perhaps it would do you some good to talk about this with one of them. ” No. Not really. ” she continues.

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