A YEAR WITHOUT LOVEPablo is a writer and is HIV positive. When he learns that he will probably die within a year he starts to write a diary. The object of the exercise is not so much to create a piece of literature as to try to define his personal status quo. Pablo wants his diary to describe, like a compass, all the different directions in which his disease and his struggle for control over his body has led him.
Pablos task is also bound up with the desire to ease his suffering not just the physical suffering, but also the emotional aspects of his malaise. For this reason Pablo sets off in search of the love of his life or at least a man who can show him lifes rich bounty just one more time. He places adverts in the personal columns and starts to scour Buenos Aires gay scene, cruising the porn cinemas and all the usual pick-up spots.
Pablo lives with his aunt, a slightly confused woman who shares both his love of literature and the esoteric. However, their life together is by no means easy. Although Pablo earns a living teaching French, he doesnt earn nearly enough to meet the cost of either their daily requirements or his medication. Pablos father supports him financially; once a month they meet in a restaurant where Pablo receives a cheque and the usual dose of his fathers chit chat about his job.
Pablo experiments with a number of different therapies: he swallows anti-viral medicines and homeopathic remedies, tries all manner of diets and magic rituals. In a bid to discipline his body he decides to set about taming the monster he feels lurks within. Sex is also a way of reassuring himself that he is still alive; but it is not until he falls in with some people that introduce him to certain sado-masochistic practices that he truly begins to understand the relationship between pain and desire