Billy boards the bus to San Francisco General and thinks of Tony.
They belong to a community of martyrs.
Their suffering is an expression of love.
This is how Tony explains his illness and what he needs to believe.
Billy is Bette Davis in “Jezebel”.
He is on a canoe with Tony; they drift slowly toward quarantine.
The dramatics such lovers plan; a symphonic swell of tension as Tony raises his right hand
(as bony as an old man’s) and let’s it drop.
Tony props himself up on a pillow when Billy arrives.
His eyes are two points of light in a tunnel.
Billy is as anti-septic as a nun.
He wears black as a repellent.
His is a vitamin rich life-style.
Tablets so potent that viruses flee when he swallows.
His bloodstream is an embattled river in which a
conquered enemy flails and drowns.
Tony raises his right hand and lets it drop.
Billy cries when he feels for a pulse and finds it.
The dying drags on and only morphine will let Tony rest.
This struggle for death is now a way of life.
(c) Rob Goldstein 2015, All Rights Reserved