After we finished cleaning the house and the maid left, Jack was out at the pool relaxing and I lay down on the living room couch reading. First I lit that big fireplace full of pine trees and pieces of firewood; the smell was glorious and the fire was roaring. The house looked so clean and pretty, I was happy and proud of all the work we had done for the New Years party.
Out of nowhere came the sound of Santa Ana winds blowing in, a nice warm wind that we sometimes get when LA is cold in the winter. Usually, the Santa Ana winds are welcome because of that warmth; anyone who has lived in L.A. knows that moment when the sun goes down and it becomes another climate. The temperature drops drastically, from cold to very cold.
Since it was getting to be a beautiful sunset, with the sun going down and the cold night just beginning, it seemed like a perfect time to light the fireplace. I did, and went back to the couch to look at the fireplace roar with stars like sparks, the Christmas tree glittering and the smell of pine through the house: it was just beautiful, sensually romantic.
I was just about to call Jack in to have a drink with me, as I heard him scream “FIRE!” Most ranch-style homes at that time had a roof made of wood shingles. Then I smelled smoke and saw Jack running to save the little animals that I was raising. To my horror I realized we were caught in the fire- it only took seconds, but I did not notice that I was walking over hot coals to save the little birds in their cages on our big table. In no time everything was gone, the roof of the whole mansion collapsed, the wood panels in my office were in flames, making it impossible to save all of my work and modeling and acting pictures in my office. The firemen arrived soon, but too late save some things except some of my boxes of my pictures in the garage and a few other things.
Almost everything in the house was burned or was damaged by water, but thanks to God a few things were saved. Jose was not home at the time, he was out bicycling somewhere, and when he arrived later that night, we were sitting on the floor by the dirty pool full of ashes. Burnt pieces of shingles from the roof where falling down everywhere, but when Jose arrived we finished up safeguarding the animals as well as we could.
Much later, we went to a hotel, the three of us exhausted not only from the sadness and shock but from the physical work. I was just not there or anywhere, really, I guess you can say I was in a state of shock. But it was already getting to be morning and soon Jack was on the phone calling the Insurance Companies and taking care of business. Jose was still asleep, we were all in this one big room, so I proceeded to ordered my breakfast of champions (it should be called breakfast of losers instead!) a double bloody Mary! No one else wanted one, but of course I did.
Later that day Jose and I took some white pills, a few qualudes, and we went to see my greatest house I ever had, now completely destroyed. For sure I did not understand my life, I was just a selfish brat, like “:what Lola wants, Lola gets,” that was me.
Needless to say that party never happened instead it was dinner for 2 in our room, because the insurance wouldn’t pay for 3 people in a restaurant! So Jose had to remain incognito.