Emily Collazo (EC) and Mary Caplan (MC)
MC: I brought him home, and my children were there. We all took care of him. I promised him I wouldn’t leave the room, so they used to bring me up sandwiches and things. And I found myself, like I did with my children, singing lullabies and I sang Tora Laura Laura to him one night and I was so off key and when I finished, I kissed his forehead and said, ‘I’m sorry, I know that wasn’t very good.’ And I never left him and then I had to go to the bathroom and when I came back, he wasn’t breathing and he was dead. I never knew how people were going to respond when I said, ‘Tom died’ ‘Oh what did he die of?’ ‘Oh, AIDS.’ ‘Oh, well, you know, maybe he should have died’ or ‘Maybe that’s God’s way.’ And one day I went into a card shop. And there was a gay young man and I was buying a sympathy card, and I said, ‘I take care of my brother’s friends. My brother—my brother died of AIDS, and I said it in a whisper. He said, ‘You don’t have to whisper . . . to me.’ And he came around the counter and he hugged me. And I didn’t know him, but I loved him.