Spoiler Alert: The Hero Dies by Ausiello Michael


Spoiler Alert: The Hero Dies by Ausiello Michael

Author:Ausiello, Michael
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Atria Books
Published: 2017-09-12T04:00:00+00:00


9.

Michael Ausiello

March 27, 2014 •

* * *

Kit completed his first three-day chemo cycle yesterday and will now recuperate at home for three weeks before Cycle 2 starts in late April. He’s doing fairly well on the side-effect front so far—there’s some light nausea, malaise and sleepiness but nothing too major. Kit’s background as a world-class napper has already come in VERY handy.

In an effort to keep Kit nourished and avoid any substantial chemo-related weight loss, I was plying my huzzzzzband with homemade, high-fat shakes, courtesy of the Magic Bullet blender my Maryland-based brother, David, and sister-in-law Pam had shipped to us as a wedding/get-well present.

My secret recipe included one eight-ounce bottle of vanilla-flavored Ensure, one cup of vanilla ice cream, a tablespoon of Skippy creamy peanut butter, a scoop of whey protein powder, and a drizzle of constipation-alleviating castor oil. All told about six hundred calories. Kit had been averaging two of these nutrient-rich shakes a day, followed by a dinner that consisted of whatever food he happened to be craving at that moment, usually ordered via New York’s foremost takeout app Seamless. (Depending on my mood or hunger level, I’d either piggyback on his order or grab a vegan cheeseburger from the health-food shop down the block.)

As Kit took a shower one morning, I whipped up Shake No. 1 of the day. I should mention that this was no ordinary day. For the first time since Kit started chemo more than two weeks ago, I was leaving him home alone for an extended period, to attend to some classified TVLine business: a special, intimate screening of HBO’s Ryan Murphy–shepherded TV adaptation of Larry Kramer’s AIDS opus The Normal Heart. I was scheduled to interview Murphy about his passion project the next week, and this viewing (slated to begin at noon at HBO’s midtown offices) would be my final opportunity to see the film before doing so. It was a big, buzzy piece of television with an all-star cast that included Julia Roberts, Mark Ruffalo, Matt Bomer, and Jim Parsons, and while I could have reassigned the screening/story to another member of my team, I’d been looking forward to covering this project from the moment it was announced. And, selfishly, I didn’t want The Lurker to rob me of the opportunity.

Plus, I’d been carrying roughly 25 percent of my typical TVLine workload—all from the comfort of my living room couch—since embarking on this cancer journey with Kit some six weeks ago, and maintaining ownership on a big story like this would go a long way toward making me feel like I hadn’t completely abandoned the site I’d launched three years ago.

Of course, the closer it got to show time, the more it started to hit me that I’d be spending my rare two-hour caregiver respite watching young gay men succumb to a debilitating terminal illness as their lovers helplessly looked on.

What in sadomasochistic hell had I been thinking?

As I began to consider the possibility of sending Matt Mitovich to the



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