To Die, To Sleep: a story by Leland Dirks

My friend Leland Dirks posted this story in a book group on Facebook. I was riveted to every word, and as it unfolded, I had to blink away the tears to keep reading. Yet I had to continue. I’m sharing it with you because of the many ways it personally touched me,  because of the many people I’ve known who have been on that bridge, and because of the few who did not return.

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To Die, To Sleep

A bitterly cold night in January, 1977. Boulder, Colorado. Home to the best party school in the United States, according to Playboy magazine—and they ought to know. The 1960s had left their mark on the town, which some called the Berkeley of the Rockies. Beautiful girls, handsome guys, so many perfect smiles.

The smiles hid ugly ghosts—rapes, drug overdoses, and abuse. Some of the abuse bruised bodies, some bruised souls. Some of the smiles hid secrets—secrets so terrible that lives could be destroyed. There was a lot of talk about freedom and civil rights and Gay Liberation in the 1970s, but just a whisper of the word “homosexual” could destroy a career and stop a life. What would Mom and Dad say?

Read the rest here. Please share.