He had done hardly any gigs for years. Gigs brought back too many memories of a time when he'd been full of hope and full of energy, when drugs hadn't been a health disaster, when he recovered from a hangover in a couple of hours. When he hadn't got the virus. After he'd got the results of the test back, for a while he'd contemplated killing himself. It had all seemed pointless—all the adulation, the fame, the screaming fans—if it led to this. But he'd met Jonathan, at one of the clinics he'd been bullied into attending. Jonathan was much sicker than he was, but he showed no self pity, no depression, no grief. In the last week of Jonathan's life, Tom had spent every day and practically every night next to Jonathan's bed, holding his hand, singing old Tom Falloway and other songs to him, softly so that the other AIDS patients weren't kept awake. In his last lucid moments before he slipped into the death coma, Jonathan said to him, “Will you live, Tom? For me? I'll go easier if I know you're going to.” Unable to speak, his tears dripping onto Jonathon's hand, Tom had nodded.
After that he'd stopped doing gigs, except for AIDS-related concerts, which he always did for free. There were posters in the pub for AIDS awareness, for safe sex, for condoms. In The Lord Grey, there were free condoms. Everyone knew that, and the staff were told that if they saw two guys getting amorous they were to hand them out.
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