Well, father was gone. “If only!” The most powerful words in the dictionary and the smallest ones. If only there had been AA at that time in Venezuela If only we had known how to cope with the signs of the alcoholism that was eating up my father.
But soon dear Maria Luisa called, and work made me forget the pain I was going through. There were rehearsals for the new TV show we were putting on, the very next weekend! And there in the studio was the maestro Aldemara Romero, the conductor of the Sinfonica Venezuela. What an honor to meet him, he was such a great artist and a great person!
Well, life takes over and I must go on. An Italian friend Giovanni, a sports car racer, invited me to a “very different nightclub” to celebrate his birthday. Of course I would go- what time will you pick me up? Seven pm for cocktails, then dinner and the private club. After eating, we entered this crazy place with a floor show of men dressed as women! To my surprise, the customers were all couples, very elegantly dressed; even in the dim red lights you could see this was not a cheap place- it was well decorated and the show was great, especially this one very tall woman (I love tall people). She was very talented and during all her performance she didn’t take her eyes off of me.
Soon after there was a single beautiful pink rose sent too me, to our table, with a note: “Can I have the pleasure of sitting at your table?” And in another minute, a bottle of Dom Perignon champagne arrived at our table, and the waiter told us the “tall woman” would meet us at our table after she took off her costume and makeup. That seemed strange- why would she take off her makeup? What a surprise! A tall handsome, very refined man with great big green eyes (my favorite color, reminding me of that line, “aquellos ojos verdes de mirada serena”) approached. He introduced himself politely then took my hand very gently, kissed it, and asked me to dance. We danced for hours– the tango, the pasodoble, the mambo! We had a wonderful evening, into the early hours of the morning, when he took me in his convertible to watch the sunrise and take coffee at his mother’s house in the hills just outside of Caracas. We talked and talked, and then he drove me to my mother’s house and said goodnight.
I was still a young lady, and it was late (or early), but Caracas was very safe in the fifties. But one evening, coming home very late alone, a man was following me in a dangerous way. I told William and he said, well, you’re going to move in with me. We had already been in New York together, and now it seemed okay for me to live with him as long as he didn’t show himself at work or with friends- he was very married.
He agreed to this, and I now had to see how I could convince mother. She was not happy to hiere I was moving in with William, but she already knew. Galina had been spying on me, following me to ballet class and then telling mother all about William. So now I had to convince William to meet mother and ask her, where of course he lied by suggesting that we would get married “soon… one of these days.”
And I have to admit, it was the loveliest home I had every line in up to that point!