Tomorrow May Be Too Late by Thomas Marino
Tomorrow May Be Too Late is a heartfelt memoir of a young gay man’s coming-of-age in the late 1980s. It’s a gritty, account, focusing on Thomas Marino’s intense love affair with a man who left devastation in his wake. It’s the story of how our hero grappled with the reality of his situation, and came within a hair’s breadth of letting it ruin his life ~ before eventually coming to terms with what had happened, and finally accepting this period as one of the great learning experiences of a lifetime. Today he can look back on that time with warmth and, yes, even pride. Whatever he did wrong, the experience ultimately left him a better homosexual and a better human being, who now understands mature love ~ but also knows the incredible highs and abysmal depths that an honest, deep, true love can drive a man to.
Memoirs are often a touchy subject to review since an author is opening their life and experience for critique. The characters involved are either real or based on real people and thus subject to flaws and mistakes that fictional characters can avoid. Tomorrow May Be Too Late is even more difficult to review with its soul baring honesty, painful mistakes, and agonizing choices. Yet while the author is baring his past mistakes for all, the intensity of love and poignant honesty evoke a riveting story. How can anyone judge a young man for poor choices when the author himself looks back on that time with love, pride, and warmth? This honest and thought provoking story will cause most readers to rethink about their past.
A disastrous relationship becomes a defining time in a young gay man’s life as Tom meets Tom. The story focuses on the author’s life in his early twenties, telling of a retail banker by day and exotic stripper by night. The flow of cash, alcohol, and easy hookups indulge a decadent lifestyle of the late 1980s. Tom is coming off a divorce and just beginning to explore his homosexual desires. A chance meeting at a club hooks Tom up with Tom. The instant chemistry becomes something deeper as an immature young man has his ego and self worth wrapped up in the love of his older partner. The relationship from there is told in an intensely honest and forthright manner. Sparing no punches for his own actions and others, Tom explains how he becomes involved in a physically violent, financially disastrous relationship. Each step on the path to failure is highlighted with Tom’s action and inaction, offering no villains and no innocents.
The reader rides along with Tom each step of the way from the beginning to the painful end as the young man struggles with a deep, unending need to be loved and his search for the perfect partner. As any person in their early twenties, flush with money and freedom, mistakes will be made and sometimes horrific consequences. Thankfully the telling doesn’t offer excuses but reasons. The intense love and dynamic sexual relationship is an essential component as to why and how this relationship became what it did. Also important is understanding the flawed personalities of the men involved, which gives a glimpse into a life defining relationship. Portions of the book are painful to read. Gifted with experience and the distance of a reader, we can see the mistakes happening with neon signs but must watch as the men barrel ahead, clinging to their passionate love.
As Tomorrow is a memoir, it’s slightly self indulgent. There are long club scenes and dance scenes, recalling warm memories of time past. There is an active effort to show as many facets as possible so the reader can really understand why the year shown happened as it did. Some of these explanations are lengthy and redundant. There are whole sections that can be skimmed without detriment to the point of the story, especially the repeated stripping jobs. Yet I can easily see the author’s young self within the pages, reminiscing about a wild and memorable time and thus easily forgive the rambling pages of unimportant detail. Instead I can appreciate the time and intense, overwhelming, consuming emotion of first love, so vibrant in all its detail. The narrative picks up about half way, becoming engaging and absorbing. At one point, I picked up the book intending to read a chapter and ended staying up half the night, unable to put it down.
Tomorrow shows the depiction of an unhealthy, obsessive relationship that turns into an important landmark in the scheme of Marino’s life. His unfailing honesty and intense emotion is translated in gritty, descriptive prose. Although surprised that after everything, the author looks back on that relationship with mostly positive thoughts, this memoir is a vibrant story about the mistakes of youth and strength of character. I hope others can enjoy it as I did.
Get it HERE!