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2020-02-03 - 7:06 p.m.

Back in the day when my sister was still a teen and I was barely out of my teens, we had a sweet, gentle, funny guy friend who was clearly gay, but not yet owning it. He was and is a sweetheart and we love him. After 2 divorces from women... (he couldn't quite put his finger on the difficulty, but sis and I thought we might have an insight as to why it wasn't working out) he finally figured it out and started a new kind of life. We all moved our separate ways over the years and we lost track of our buddy. We have recently reconnected and he has been quite busy during these years that we were out of contact. He has buried both of his parents, he finally came out, went wild, contracted HIV, got on some good drug therapy and now it's barely detectable, he has found a true love, bought a home with him and is finally happy. He had a complicated upbringing with an un-loving family, an alcoholic dad, and an adopted sister who was always clearly favored over him. Plus, he had a great big secret. He struggled but eventually he found his happiness.

That shadow you may sense is the dreaded "other shoe" which has now dropped on our buddy. The best possible outcome doesn't seem too promising at this point, but who knows? It ain't over till it's over. His beloved partner got sick (not HIV related) just sick and dehydrated and he was in the hospital. After a number of days he ended up with necrotizing fasciitis and he is barely hanging by a thread even as we speak. They've had to remove some parts of him because of the spreading evil. He was in for his third surgery to remove dead tissue this morning. He doesn't know what is missing yet but it's going to be a terrible thing to find out about when he wakes up. He has lost a portion of every guy's favorite organ. A section of his urethra was necrotic and had to go. He has lost a butt cheek, part of his lower belly, and a piece of his penis. Our buddy says he loves him and doesn't care about these complications, he just wants him back. The doctor has said there can be reconstruction down the road, but he's got to live and get stable before those discussions are had.

Our friend has a funny personality normally and a couple of times during this horribleness he has let his humor come out, which is a good thing. He said he sits by his beloved's hospital bed and talks to him, tells him to fight... and says a few funny things like:"You are being ridiculous. I'm going to get on Grindr." And he has started calling him "OC" for "One Cheek". He's considering "Half-Ass" as a possible alternate nickname.

I hope and pray that he pulls through. It's been a few days of this critical illness where he could die any minute and that is so stressful. Our friend doesn't have a loving family member to comfort him. I am just hoping for the best. Pray, if you do that sort of thing...

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