Synopsis by Sandra Brennan
When a talented, heterosexual Los Angeles pianist is diagnosed with AIDS, he abruptly spurns family and friends and withdraws into a safe, thick-walled cocoon of embittered loneliness, telling no one that he is going to die. His hopelessness, self-imposed exile and refusal to go the hospital for treatment does nothing to slow the progression of his illness. One day he is brooding in a coffee shop when an impoverished African American woman turns up to hustle him into buying her coffee. He obliges, and as the two outcasts talk, he suddenly loses consciousness. She gets him to the hospital and remains beside him until he awakens. Thus begins a tentative and tender (but not overly sentimental) friendship in which both learn to trust again as they share painful past episodes and their tentative future dreams. Though he never tells her so, the woman realizes that the pianist is dying and so provides him with subtle support. He too helps her deal with her two increasingly unruly teenage boys, one of whom has already become a small-time crook.
stranger, AIDS, friendship, loneliness, piano, terminal-illness