Grew Up… abandoned by his mother at a young age. Growing up in 1950s America, Richard was extremely affected by his mother’s abandonment. He was raised by his coarse father and it made for a difficult childhood.
Living… in New York with AIDS. Richard is just about at the end of his tether. He has battled the disease for years, but has just about given up on life.
Profession… poet. He is critically acclaimed and has just won the Carruthers prize, which is a lifetime award for achievement in poetry. Despite this, he cares very little about the prize and openly mocks everything about his professional career. His medication makes him practically senile, and although he scarcely knows what is really going on, he can pull himself together enough to communicate his overwhelming regret to his oldest friend, Clarissa.
Interests… happy memories and spending time with Clarissa whom he calls “Mrs. D” after the novel Mrs. Dalloway, which, he insists, so closely resembles Clarissa’s life, and his own.
Relationship Status… single. Richard’s longest relationship was with Louis, his lover who, in some ways, took Richard away from Clarissa. There was a time, long ago, in the 60s, when Richard and Clarissa might have ended up together permanently, but they both agreed that a life together would have been torrential and could only end in heartbreak.
Challenge… dying with grace. Richard has no illusions about the state of his health. He barely leaves his apartment, and has been completely drained by the virus. He is cold, unhappy, and in a drug-induced haze, so all he wants is to die with some kind of dignity intact.
Personality… clever, sarcastic, cynical. Richard hears voices in his head now, and his sanity is hanging by a dangling thread. He is grateful for Clarissa’s near-daily visits. They can talk about their past, and remember better times together. Richard was once full of life and at the top of his craft. Now, all he has are his medically twisted memories.
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