My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Julio is a social worker. In 1992 he meets Linley, a male prostitute/drug user and offers him clean needles and condoms. He expects Linley to die in the rough down-and-out life he’s living, but that doesn’t stop him from caring for the young man. When Linley disappears Julio believes him to be dead and moves on with his life the best he can. 2012 rolls around. Julio’s broken up with his partner and is now the single father of their adopted son. Sitting on a park bench, he suddenly sees a ghost from his past…
Harm Reduction is a lovely story, short but sweet. Split between 1992 and present day, this touching tale recounts Julio’s first contact with Linley and his lingering feelings in the present. It’s written with a lot of care and attention to detail. Linley really feels like a fragile, at-risk youth and Julio the kind of man who’s too honorable and honest to take advantage of someone young and in need.
I felt a pang of joy in my heart when I reached the end, the resolution is just so satisfying. I think we’ve all known somebody in our lives that we were scared for at some point. If only real life was this kind to its characters, the world would be a much better place.