Chapter 24 …

who is this and what's he looking at ...

Last week we introduced two new characters, Leo and Mark, and we’ll probably meet some others as the story unfolds. I mention this because our tale will be following a couple of different paths in the weeks ahead before we finish up around the end of the year and I turn my full-time attention to more important things.

Now that Jimmy and Jeff are living together again, we’ll be spending some time seeing how their relationship develops after seven years apart as well as what role AIDS will play in all of that. My guess is that it’ll play a pretty central role in everything that happens between them. However that may be, Leo and Mark will weave in and out of this part of the story as well.

Separately, we’ll also follow Jeff’s efforts to get something done on Capitol Hill about AIDS. That may be less interesting to some because it’s a political tale in many ways and I imagine most of us have had our fill of politics this year.

And yet, hard as it may be to believe, there was a time when politicians in Washington actually did try to get something accomplished that would benefit the public. If nothing else, the nostalgia may be good for you.

I realize things could be confusing at times as we move from one story-line to another, but I’ll do my best to keep them connected somehow. If I don’t always succeed, at least you’ll have had fair warning.

In any event, to recap, Jimmy moved back into the Capitol Hill townhouse he had shared with Jeff years earlier In last week’s chapter. They spent their first evening together in separate bedrooms, but after some dancing around the next evening it was agreed they would share the same bed as they had when they were living together before.

Jimmy insisted on keeping a separate bathroom, however, in order to minimize the risk to Jeff that might come from shaving and sharing toiletries.

Before going to bed that second evening, Jeff explained he would be up early on Saturday morning to fulfill his obligations at the Metropolitan Youth Center, about which we learned more.

When Jeff got to the Center the next morning, he was met by a young boy named Leo who turned out to be a runaway. The boy explained that a friend who had been helping him out since arriving in Washington had been arrested for selling pot in the early morning hours.

Leo had been told the Center might be able to help and that was why he was there. Jeff questioned the boy about his friend, an eighteen year old named Mark Collier, and found out that thirteen year old Leo considered Mark his boyfriend. At Mark’s suggestion, however, the two were apparently not having sex.

After discussing things Jeff agreed to try to locate Mark while Leo rested in one of the rooms available at the Center. Jeff was eventually successful in doing so. While Leo slept, Jeff also talked to his supervisor and one of the Center’s pro bono lawyers. Together they came up with a plan to get Mark out of jail and to help Leo and Mark once that happened..

When his shift ended, Jeff woke Leo up and explained everything that happened overnight and the proposal he intended to make to Mark. If Mark would agree to participate in a diversion program run by the Center, the police would free Mark to Jeff’s custody.

In turn Jeff would permit Leo and Mark to use his basement rental unit until other living arrangements could be made for them.

While Mark and Leo considered the proposal, the lawyer and Jeff discussed the case. Mark’s lawyer was skeptical about the whole thing. Even Jeff seemed to harbor some doubts.

That’s where tonight’s chapter, which I’ve now posted, picks up. Having made my final edits, I’m beginning to wonder whether I’ve gotten too far down into the weeds in the last portion of the chapter.

One of the downsides of doing research is that authors feel compelled to share a lot of the detail they’ve discovered with readers. As I mentioned above, I want to develop how Jeff goes about the task of getting something done in Congress about AIDS.

But if you find things too confusing, please feel free to let me know that via your comments or an email. You won’t hurt my feelings.

Boo hoo hoo . . . Kit weeps in anticipation of criticism 🙂

You should also feel free to ask any questions you have or raise any points you’d like clarified after reading the chapter. I’ll do my best to clear up any confusion I’ve created.


4 thoughts on “Chapter 24 …

  1. Hey Kit,

    I haven’t been commenting, not because I haven’t been reading, not because I haven’t been “enjoying” it, and not because I haven’t wanted to. But, the story recently has been so powerful that it drains me and hurts me and exhausts me.

    I love the story Kit, but I start each chapter recently with trepidation.


    1. Thanks for the comment, Tim. I appreciate it; and yeah, honestly, I’m looking forward to the story being over for several reasons, but one would certainly be that it’s still emotionally draining for me whenever I edit a chapter. And I edit them more than once every week.

      Some of the upcoming chapters will be easier, some harder, in the weeks ahead. But I think you’ll remember the story by the time we finish up.

      In any event, the story makes the AIDS walk more meaningful for me. It was definitely a bit nippy this morning, but I think Jimmy and Jeff would have been proud of me.

    1. Oh, that’s okay, Tim. I raised a respectable amount of money and wasn’t really looking for readers to support me. In any event, AIDS Walk is just one day a year. You can contribute to many worthwhile groups involved in helping those with HIV and AIDS 365 days a year.

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