The next book is different from all the rest. Here’s how it came to be:
When I returned to the U.S. after the fall of Saigon, I had a severe case of Post-Traumatic Stress Injury (PTSI). I knew I needed to focus my attention away from myself on people who needed my help. By the 1980s, the AIDS epidemic was raging. The disease was invariably fatal, and we didn’t know how it was transmitted. People were terrified. Men were dying on the street because no one would go near them, let alone help them. I knew that if I volunteered to take care these men, I’d run the risk of contracting AIDS. Risking my life wasn’t new to me, thanks to my time in combat. So I volunteered to help fatally ill men die.
Over the next five years, I cared for seven men who died of AIDS. We eventually learned that the disease was transmitted by the transfer of bodily fluids, so I was safe. Granted, I did once stab myself by accident with a hypodermic needle I had used to inject one of my patients, but I never came down with the disease.
I was so moved by my experience that I wrote a novel about a straight man caring for a gay man dying of AIDS, No-Accounts. The author Juris Jurjevics had the following to say about the book: “Tom Glenn lived his novel seven time as a volunteer assisting HIV infected men to die. This is fiction taken from life written by a hero who accompanied the terminally ill as far as any mortal could, devoting himself body and soul to their comfort and helping them make their exit with dignity. It is one man’s story of committing unconditionally to another.”
2 thoughts on “No-Accounts”
You’re. a good and compassionate man Tom.. Can’t wait to meet you.. Btw … We left this morning ( Tuesday ) .. for Maryland. So will be seeing you very soon.. We are driving, and in no hurry, but we will be there in Maryland maybe Sunday… pray for safe travels, and put on the coffee pot ! 😆
Great, Pauletta, but be aware that I have lots of commitments, so let me know as far in advance as possible when we might get together. For example, I’ll be selling books at a street festival on Sunday the 2nd and again on Saturday, the 8th. And I have an appointment for my annual physical on Wednesday, the 5th. Let’s find a time when you and Don and I can share snacks and drinks, weather permitting, on my deck.