Hollinghurst 

I have read the end of The Swimming Pool Library already. After reading his The Line of Beauty I was afraid it might end badly too. Especially about HIV. I remembered reading his commentary where he says he wanted to touch the topic of the disease in TLOB because he had not done it before. But I wanted to be sure.

When I look at the last year, I came across HIV in The Line of Beauty, Breaking the Surface (Greg Louganis’ autobiography) and the The Normal Heart. Was it all a coincidence? A forewarning? I’m afraid to read anything serious anymore. I’m not reading that award winning book on cancer. Call me superstitious. I was skimming through The Normal Heart yesterday and even the make up pulled me down.

He started the medicines last week. It made him itchy all over with acute acidity. The itching has got better now but the other thing continues to wake him up in the night. The doctor told him that these meds might cause rashes in future. He also showed him pictures of patients who have that typical skin we associate with AIDS patients- with spots and moles. We had seen one such guy at the Red Cross, the first day that we were hunting for some/any help. Looking at him had scared us terribly. We had turned back and out of the place. That is when we called the HIV Foundation. How horrible that day was. It was cloudy so the awful sun wasn’t there. Even in a foreign country we were ashamed standing in front of the RC HIV clinic-will someone associate us with HIV? Hopefully we look healthy enough. When I think of that day I want to be with him. He alone in that country, dealing with it all. How thankful we were when the doctor from the foundation came to receive us at the busy market place, we were not able to find the Foundation. He had cried a bit when talking to the doctor. 

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