Falling In Love With A Dying Man by Rick Harmon
Rick was drawn to go out that night. Feeling it was time to start living again after a year of getting over a breakup. He ended up at the same bar as Doug. They were the only ones in the bar besides the bartender. Doug told Rick that he had just been diagnosed HIV positive and that he had just lost his mom, all within a two week period. He came down to Florida from Connecticut with $3,000 in his pocket and had gone to Orlando to drink, party and had plans to kill himself once his money was gone.
Once Rick found out that Dough had only $37 left, he took Dough home to prevent him from committing suicide. Rick just held him in his arms and watched him sleep, wonder what would have happened to this beautiful man had God not put them together.
Back then the stigma of the HIV/AIDS virus instilled fear in everyone. No knowing how it was spread and exactly how close you could be in the proximity with someone infected with this disease. Jobs were had to get, even housing was not readily available for those suffering with HIV/AIDS.
Problems with health issues and addictions made their relationship even more tense. Although it was difficult to deal with the tragedy of Doug’s illness, and his outrageous behavior made for a lot of lighthearted and hysterical moments.
It was a turbulent relationship with one being infected with the virus, and the other being affected by it. The love they built together was something that is still with Rick to this very day.
Cover art created by David Rule.