In his memoir Hidden: Reflections on Gay Life, AIDS, and Spiritual Desire, Richard Giannone, emeritus professor at Fordham, writes about his mother’s slow decline and his care for her in her final days. Central to the story is Giannone’s long-time partner Frank. After Giannone’s mother’s death, as Giannone begins immediately to care for his aging sister, he becomes more keenly aware of all the way his life is intertwined with his partner’s. For instance:
When Frank and I returned early evening that Saturday to our apartment in the Village, I was still shaken. By 2003 Frank had been with me for twenty-two years. Our partnership was repeatedly tested in the fire of social defiance and in the emergency room with family members and each other. Characteristically, Frank spoke not a word. He put down the bags with clean laundry, pulled me against him, and held me tight. Frank’s grip was so firm that his Parkinson’s got his arms wedged hugging me. We were caught, locked, immovable. We laughed. The sinews of our attached muscles held the love that bound us through the tight spot with Marie [Giannone’s sister].
I was home. I was in my faithful friend and partner’s shelter.
I chose this except almost at random. Virtually every chapter is filled with similarly tender moments of quiet intimacy.