Archive for the ‘Love’ Category

In the Church they were holding communion. and of course being important people they had their reclinatorio which is a kneeling chair made of fine wood and covered in velvet, to kneel on. I was in the pew behind them with the rest of their family.  It seemed like they all where looking at me, wondering “What on earth is this prisoner doing with my parents?”  Of course I just kept praying and thinking “God let me be free of this nightmare,  I did not commit  any crime, why am I here?”

Now I need my 007

Now I need my 007

Wait a minute, did not commit any crime? Oh yes,  I had a half a roach in my pocket (it was not mine, it was my lovers, but nevertheless it was on my person) and seeds of Marijuana. It did not matter if I smoked it or not? I had them in my possession, but for 30 seeds, came on! Give me a break! It had been almost a month and a half and I was still a prisoner!

When the service was over, we walked over to the corner where there was a dinner place. The

rest of the family left, so the Licenciado, his wife and I sat down  in this restaurant “Maria’s” and between some food (glory be to God!), real food, we talked and I told them my story. They must have had a son who was on drugs or alcohol or something, because they were very sympathetic towards me and very gentle. I could read in her eyes tears wanting to come out, while he was concerned and gallantly containing his  emotions. Then he said I will try to help, and ask me don’t you have a lawyer?  Well, no and yes.. if you could give me permission to make some long distance calls to Caracas? I thought, maybe I can get someone to help me?…..

Smoking my dreams away

Smoking my dreams away

In  a few words, I understood that he would give me Monday the number of an abogado (Licenciado)  that was a very good friend of his– Lic. Lawyer Public Defender  Morales– to see if he could talk to the judge, they played golf together, to see about my case and when I would be going to court to finish this matter. The only thing I could say was GRACIAS, with tears in my eyes which I did not try to hide.

And when we were in the Cadillac,  I dared to ask if was also possible to allow me to use the phone with their permission to call my mother and my ex-husband? They said it would be OK.,  just that I have to ask his secretary for permission and not  to tell any other inmates,.

(I could spend many pages describing how moved they were  about my situation, but at the same time they could not show it, after all, I was their prisoner– yes, with some unheard of privileges).

They were holding back their laughter and smiles over this stupid incident, but the law is the law! They were so cute,  like seeing  that is exactly what they would havce been doing when they were younger, doing these crazy things that they never did, but would have  liked to have done!

Then when we got to the reten it was unusually quiet,  there were some men on the other side of the street, smoking and talking,  but my friendly cops were not there ,so  I went straight  to my hammock with my kitty and went to sleep with dreams of getting out of  Maracaibo and being back in the elegant parts of Caracas.

Read Full Post »

That Saturday, after gambling until very late, for a change I lost some of may Bolivares, maybe because?– no,  I  am sure,  that the reason I is, I was  getting tire of playing with these guys, they were bad players and did not even knew the rank of cards well. So I drank and drank until I drank almost the hole of a litter bottle of rum by myself. There were several of than,  Saturday’s nights were  like this, ( thats not a surprise to any of you readers that know me).

Ludmila has been whit Peter in scary situations like THE ONDA NUEVA festival

Whit Peter Graves in Onda Nueva Festival in Caracas we had to confront almost Jail whit the mafia union to hired there grow of cameraman, in Onda Nueva festival that the close I ever became in prison ” (before this )…………….

Sunday I was tired but very excited: “I’m going out, out,!” Even if just to go to a Church  that is not mine, (Roman Catholic and I am Eastern Orthodox, you understand the difference?)+ I will see the streets and places; I was thinking that today there was also chance to talk  with Dona Magdalena and her husband the Jefe of this place,  and who knows what else es he? and of course beside being an: lawyer, lets not forget that, so let’s acknowledge that,  in fact he the and has wife may will be my ticket to ride out of here.

They arrived in a new black Cadillac parking  in front of the detention house main doors, Charlie call me out, escorting me too the car: “portate bien” he whispered in my ear.  We wink to each other with an smile.

(God bless  Dona Magdalena and her husband and her husband, at  times I think in retrospect it may have been her nagging her husband to set me free; she became my angel).

" In this photo, I was before in jail but was only a theater play"

” In this photo, I was before in jail but was only a theater play”

I was  dressed with my indian black dress and I did my long hair  on a Grace Kelly bun twist, nice and simple but elegant, very light lipstick very presentable  for Church ,  of course I still had my make up with me, being a model, what do you expect? not overly made up, just very presentable as I said before  for Church.


I  notice that , I must say one thing,  that  in different civilisations women from tropical or latin countries tend to overdo their make up going to church, and the young dressed unprohibited for Church where I came from, of course that was my upbringing from my adored mama.

The smell of this new Cadillac reminded me of the good life, that I all of the sudden became too much, memories came back to my mind, my beloved William dancing in the private clubs, sunbathing in the Tamanaco pool, eating in great elegant restaurants, drinking out of crystal classes, real cloth napkins, etc,. men lighting may cigarettes, pulling my chair, opening the doors, where is all this gone? This was so rough, almost cruel, have to go back, I  miss it!.


Oh yes I missed that life, seeing my mother dress  up for Church,or going to a Russian Ball. All this was spinning  in my mind,  I felt  so weak in my present  nightmare. When is it going to be over?  I want get out of this situation and out of Maracaibo! It is a long and incredible story!

In Church on my knees I prayed and prayed and my tears just roll on by themselves; I could not stop them! Why  am I here?

There was an answer, but I did not know that yet, I was a alcoholic and I did no know at, and  that was that.

Read Full Post »

All was quiet again in the evening, everyone went to their homes. I did not see Senor Rodriguez or Senorita Pepita that day,  just the two cops, policemen sitting at the table and talking and drinking something.  I noticed they had a deck of cards and I thought: this is getting exciting, maybe I can win some money so I can get that  Wayuu dress I want. I have very few Bolívares, so I have to be very good, or they have to be very bad!

Ludmila before the arrest

Ludmila before the arrest

Ola Officer Pedro! He responded, Señora? Is Pepe okay? Sientese. Thank you,  I will.  Then came Carlos,   now there three card players with Juan there. I said, “So now we are four is good for playing poker no? “

Pepe agreed, “Si señora, you take the dice and tirelos to see who deals!”  Bueno, I picked up the dice and rolled them fast and I had the biggest number, double six, so I dealt the cards. Juan pulled a bottle of rum out of the bag he had with him (a mochila) and passed it around discretely, while Pepe made sure to give me a glass too.


An empty sardine can was our ashtray, and we smoked and played for hours  I was tired and nervous that  if I won too much they would get pissed off at me , so I said I was tired and needed to go to bed. I had made some extra Bolívares that I did no have before! Well, we sure did finish the bottle that night; and to my surprise they were very much the gentlemen and did not say nothing outrageous or crude, simply saying goodnight. Pepe only said, “Señora be prepared- that  there may be  lot of noise tonight, this is Saturday and there will be a lot of rum and aguardiente (these is the local cheap alcoholic beverage)  and ” muchos accidentes. ” I could only imagine what he meant, but I said, “I understand, okay?  Buenas noches,  gracias” and I went off the bed with my winnings.

Anatoly awaiting Ludmila in Canaima

Anatoly awaiting Ludmila in Canaima

But as soon I was sound asleep on my comfy  but dirty hammock, (have to wash it tomorrow),  the noise started up: drunk people with bandages still in:

after they were attended to by the medics; I don’t know what they were doing there, but they were making  lots of racket.

When it cooled off a little and everyone was back where  they were supposed  to be, Pepe knocked on my door and said,  “I have a surprise for you!” He handed me this little black bundle of fur– My kitten! “He was  right by the main street door, you want him?”   Si , si!   Back on my hammock I had the sweetest sleep in a long time,  with this little thing purring into my ears, it sounded just like a lullaby!!!!

And the week went in and out, and it was next Saturday. By then I hand a Wayee Indian black dress with the winnings of my gambling every night, a party accompanied always by rum or aguardiente or sometimes cheap vodka.

This is the third week in this reten (holding place jail), with some medical nurse por mainer things ,  the series once of course stay in hospitals, not here,.   After they  area will,  then they bring them here.

I still hadn’t heard or seen a familiar face and to tell the true I really did not worried  or care I hand booze,  cigarettes , gambling and thats all I care at the moment.

Saturday  before they close the milk giving and all paper worked in all this accidentes , people either went home some and others not  ,The secretary Pepita came to my room, my I came on , of course,( is your  place I  thought to myself,) They worked until 11 in Saturdays and invited me to the office of Licenciado Rodriguez, which by now was familiar to me, with me almost being a working person here for free. “Si Senor, at your service,” I said.  “Please sit down. Are they treating you good?” So. of course Senor Licenciado si!”  I called you in,  for this reason; my wife asked me  to ask you if you would like to go to the Cathedral tomorrow, where? is  Sunday  and is going to be a good service? We would be happy to take you, in our custody of course.”  “Yes yes ( thank your God) yes  if that is possible?  I would love to go with your charming wife and yourself, Senor Licenciado!”

Read Full Post »

All the Guajira Indians wore these cover up dresses; so now I know why the Wayuu dress goes with this incredible heat and scenery!.

Waking up, on this bench, just as the people were starting to come and go, there were lots of cops and men with everyone looking busy and worried.

Now that confirmed my suspicion that this place was a sort of retencion place, half jail or halfway house  for people that have car accidents. Venezuela, like Mexico and most Latin countries, has Napoleonic law codes, which means, you are guilty until you proven innocent! Contrary to my beloved free country the USA. In Venezuela, if you have a car accident you go straight to this type of carcel!

That was why there were  so many men dressed in suit’s (lawyers) and some of this men were wounded with stitched and bandages and almost walk they just went in  the patio and lay down in pain,  mooing.

 I guess women had a different place, or may be they did not drive?

 I will never know and don’t really care!

Some how I managed to get breakfast a bread whit butter and coffee with milk, and after that I stood by the door of that big room that resembles almost a store, in there were two woman giving out containers of milk ,to each women that  walked on with a child I guess a container of 3 Kls. for each child?, with a paper on hand, mark with some code, and a date on it. So I asked, can I help and they were very happy to hear that, with a smile they said yes, came in here and just do what we do and  gave a big can of 3 kilos  of powdered milk to each señora with a paper.  yes very good, I will help, that was the easiest job I ever had and I loved it, it gave me a chance to speak a couple of words and forget about my situation.

Maybe I will call Peter Lawyford"

Maybe I will call Peter Lawyford”

But still, I had this empty space inside of me that only booze seemed to fill up, so the day went fast and easy, and when I realized I had free lunch given to me in the kitchen (a  bowl of soup made of bread and and egg), I thought it was so simply but delicious. Then it was siesta time , so I went back to my bench.  As I sit down ready to curl my body into the shape of the bench again, the cop Pedro (Pepe like everyone called him) said to me, pointing over to a corner room that had too big tall doors, “Go there,  there is a hammock es for your, your  can stay there, its the womens’ room.”  I walked over and there were of course no one there, but there was a hammock no so clean but large

.  As you will remember  I slept on one for a long time, in the Island of  Margarita, Porlamar where we lived before and with my fiance on long time ago.

As I opened the door, the first thing I see is a window and a small desk with a rattan chair and nada más. Well, I did not need anything, I had nothing with me anyway, though I would love to buy one of those dresses that the Indians wore. But I had no money, just a few bolivars, not enough for a dress. Maybe I can call someone to help! But what  would I say?  No , I can’t say I am in jail!  for what?, they would ask?.

To leie down and rest is what I need,  but I could not take myself from the window as the outdoor was so inviting and looking this window had no bars of iron on it,  would be so easy to get through and out of  this jail,  but then what? How am I going to get to the airport with no passport and no money? My ticket! Where is it? I don’t know, but they must still have it, so I should just stay, relax and think about nothing. You can call me a coward I guess, but today I call it smart move.

Standing by the window, I looked out at the road, and  a baby black little kitty was crossing the street. Meow meow! Like me, it was hungry and lost and lonesome! I went to Pedro who was sitting on his chair leaning against the wall, smoking a puro cigar and relaxing. “Senor senor, there is a baby kitten outside! The cars will kill it!” He just sat without moving and continued smoking, it’s O.K. not worried ma’am, so I went back to my hammock , but first I look through the window ,  to see the cat…  and the kitty was gone.

“Oh well, I thought,  just as will how would I fed him (  there’s milk)!  jajajaj,  but he is gone, lastima!, it would been a nice companion!, and talking to myself, I  said just relax Ludmila, God will help him, as he did help you, , as he has done so far, yes?.

The sky was so  blue, the heat very high and the  clouds they look like cotton….


Read Full Post »

The  big door opened and I move my head slowly in; then my body followed, half with  fear and half curiosity and with a  weird air of hope. “Pase, pase, Señora,” a voice came out from this  large mahogany desk  behind which a gentleman stood up, stretching his hand to me, “Welcome… please sit down.” This  nice old colonial-style room with expensive-looking antique furniture; the room had a high ceiling,   and this short good looking older men was directing all has attention to  me. He seemed to be saying to himself, “What am I going to do with this young Lady?” Curiosity seized my soul, so firmly and quickly I went up to this man and shook his outstretched hand, saying, “Como esta Ud. Senor?” (in Spanish of course). In so many words he made me welcome, after this initial formality that I knew so well. I asked, ” Where am I? and how long will I be here? ”  “Oh, that depends on your Lawyer,” he assured me. (I did not know I had one! I never met him,  but I did not want to question my situation and was satisfied with being here and not their in that “pocilga”).  Leaving his office, he said, “Just sit on the bench back there. If any news comes, my secretary Senorita Pepita will let you know…” I could only say “Gracias Senor Rodriguez”

At home writing my life, it seems like a movie

At home writing my life, it seems like a movie

No one stopped me from walking around, looking and inspecting this cazona. I was kind of free, and it felt great,  walking around looking hoping to get same rum or aguardiente, anything to calm the insanity going on in my head. I found the  location of the  kitchen, or what  suppose to be a sort of kitchen? I kept walking on to  this big  room like a storeroom, a gigantic space piled high with boxes of what  looked like powder milked and more boxes and people behind the counter going through papers. The secretary of senor Rodriguez was  giving instructions  which I did not understand clearly , and towards the front of the room toward the street was a long counter separating the room in half. A long counter so that the people  entering  from the street couldn’t reach the boxes  on  the other side. Then I went walking toward what looked like the patio I had seen when I walked in. But now I could see clearly there were many men in there:  Why?  I thought I understood why they were there,? but I don’t know why I was here at all ???.

So I went back to my bench and soon it was closing time. Everybody was going home but  a couple more policemen arrived, maybe 4 or 5; one or two of them went to the patio where the men prisoners  were, and one went to the front doors looking and closing them better. Two of them sat by a table not far from my bench. I wanted to sleep, so after yawning and  saying goodnight, I said to them “I wish I could have a drink of something strong? my nerves are going to explode!”,  Pedro said, “We’ll see,” so I just had a glass of water.

Me now, Painting writing living to which I am getting costume to it

Me now, Painting writing living to which I am getting costume to it

I was still shaking a little, because there weren’t  any women there that I could see, except the old lady  in the corner at La bodega de la esquina.  The front door was half open with the policia talking to the one standing  in the street. I finally closed my eyes and in no time I felt someone standing in front of me , I opened my eyes in fear and there was Pepe with that crocodile smile, picara, passing into my hands a flask of rum and a package of cigarettes, I asked, ” Cuanto le debo?” but he replied , nada (nothing);,

God bless this guy, I’ll never forget him.

I drank up all that little bottle of rum and lay down again on the bench in a fetal position, with whatever I had as a pillow and went to sleep feeling okay: God had not forgotten about me.

Snoring in a sound sleep,  I was brutally awakened by the screaming siren of a police car, and through the  big central door came a few more drunk men covered in bruises.  My God,  they must have been beaten by the policemen! I did not move, I just lay there watching them all go straight into that patio where all those other men were…

Let’s get back to that dream whatever it was! Anything would be better than this..

Read Full Post »

The black van head raced along at great speed. “Where are they taking me? Oh I know,  to the American Consulate, of course!  That’s why he didn’t speak to me this morning when I shouted at him  through  the iron bars in jail.  Or maybe even straight to the Aeropuerto de Maracaibo? ”  I was feeling a little better thinking that as soon I get to Caracas to change planes  I will call William in San Francisco,  and tell him I am having a great time seeing Maracaibo! I would love to stay in the same hotel where we stayed! Sweet memories: we danced in the disco club until the wee hours of the morning. But I have to go to Canaima too, my brother is waiting for me. William’s memories are haunting me, and my love for him after all  those years still makes my heart jump!


Guajiara India woman in a every day dress and I had one too

Guajiara India woman in a every day dress and I had one too

All this made me feel nostalgic suddenly, and I was not very happy about Tad abandoning me. What a coward with a capital C!….. William would never do that–

or would he? I  will tell him how much I still really love him, no matter how many lovers or husbands I have had over the years!

The van kept moving, I think we went  past the aeropuerto. “Now where are we going?” I dared to ask, but no answer. I need to open these dark windows to see, but of course they were sealed,  so I could only see a little bit, from where the driver and his companion looked through their big window, which of course was  not tinted.  I really would like to see and get some air, it’s an inferno in here! The temperature must be over 100F and the air conditioner does not reach back here. But I just shut up and said nothing at all. The AC seems to work only in the front cabin,  far away, separated  by bars. Of course the windows were sealed and the bars were locked.

Now I realized I was the only one in the baucan (van) wherever it was, with these two jailers, and they were staring at me, which did not look very good to me! “Oh not, not that, my dear God. They’re not going to do something like rape me!”

Finally they stopped the van and the doors were open and these two guys stepped out and closed the doors-what now?  I guessed they were buying cigarettes   liquor, rum,  and then they would take me to a remote place, rape me and may be even kill me. and no one would ever find me, oh dear God please help me!

They took their time in the store,  in the mean time I could try to sea where we were., It just looked like the street of a colonial old style suburb, but I could only see half of the store. I couldn’t see the whole picture because of the way the windows were blacked out, with my nerves on fire and my mind spinning thinking of hundreds of scenarios, none of than very good! but at least I had the faith that always took me through life unharmed. My thoughts were interrupted by the guards getting back in the van and shouting “Vamonos!”  I yelled at one of them, “What’s going on? ” No answer.

After what seemed an eternity, I heard voices and another car and lots of commotion going on, but I couldn’t see from my seat. I was still handcuffed. Then the van came to a stop, voices and cars noises, and finally they opened the side door that gave me access to get out, “Out,” one of the jailers said, “out! afuera!”

It was a nice street  in a very old colonial area, the sky was blue and clear with fluffy clouds dancing to a soft breeze and the temperature over 100 F, but I did not care!

At least I could breathe fresh air, not the putrefying odor of that jail! There was a big corner house,  very old Spanish style,  with those old windows I liked so much and some big wooden doors; it was painted a  blue grayish color with white borders all around the entire house. There were women with children coming out of the right far door, and from the center door there were men in suits, looked like lawyers, going in and out.

Through the left door they escorted me, we went inside to a big sala with a beautiful old wooden desk with lots of papers piled up, and many people coming and going, so I stood there while some policemen (regular police) came in and took their handguns off me.

. My guards pointed to a long bench down the room and left me, saying “Stay there.” So I sat there, immobile, I dared not move or even ask where the bathroom was. This was okay, I thought. The interior of this mansion was very elegant, a good place to be in its day.

I could see through an open door. There was a large inside patio with rooms around the square, and men sitting and talking. Some were shaving, talking, or drinking coffee. Oh I really wanted something to drink! They all looked like regular people. I felt like God was smiling down and I just sat and enjoyed the comings and goings of so many different people. What a welcome distraction! On the far end of the room, opposite me, there was what looked like a very private office. Only a few people went in. I could hear telephones ringing everywhere, but behind doors that were closed all the time.

I sat and sat until around 4 pm (there was a big clock in the wall, very visible to all) . There were typewriters click clack clicking and the constant sound of a busy office. I thought, This big old casona must have been very expensive, maybe it belonged to some hacendados, a rich Spanish or Venezuelan family, maybe some big oil money from the black gold!

What A difference in dresses before and now

What A difference in dresses before and now

The private door to that big office came open and a very pleasant pretty young lady looked at me and said politely, “Please follow me!” What now!

Read Full Post »

Book Scans Two0002

“Yes , I guess, yes , but you cannot leave this office or go outside. You must just stay in that corner, so  no one will see you , but I must put you back inside there at 5 am because the other jailer is coming to relieve  me and I would not be back until this evening. Hopefully you will be O.K.”.. What did she meant by hopefully? Well I couldn’t think,  I  just sat on the floor and tried to rest between her desk and the corner wall,  away from the rotten, broken door left open all the time. So I could hear the noises of the giant square cell outside and the women cursing and laughing and screaming at each other with words that I had never heard before (and I heard plenty of curse words since childhood!. They even expelled me from one school that my sister tried to put me in, because those was the first words I learned when we arrived in Venezuela). O my dear God, Help me!…. but the night went by amazingly fast.

5 am: “hey, let’s go, let’s go!” My jailer walked  out only couple of meters from where we were, and I was following her very hesitantly.  Then she opened that giant iron gate door, pushing the women away and telling them to back off. “Go in!”  In there? “Go!”  and she almost pushed me. I was carrying my poetry book of Khalil Gibran against my chest, clutching it for dear life, when they all  surrounded me and I barely get to the first bed I saw and just sat there, with them all around me. One of them was walking towards us screaming “Let her breath mariconas!” They just backed off a little, and this one came up and grabbed my book. ” What is this?”  I humbly but forcefully said, “That is dried flowers that I picked up hitchhiking from Mexico to here.” “What?” Ha ha ha ha!” All of them laughed,  but she just stood there and said too the others, “let her be.”  Looking at my book she said, “This is not Spanish,” and  I said, “No it is Ingles.”  “And your read Ingles?” she asked?  “Yes, si”

The cockroaches were still flying everywhere, it was getting later, and the morning wanted to come in,  even into this pocilga, pigsty. The smell was horrendous and the rats, well,  they could not care less for these humans. I put my feet under me in yoga position  and  did not move. One of them brought a beat up steel cup (very dirty in my opinion)  with water, and saying  “Drink this and relax you are going  to be okay.” “what?”, “The men are gone.” What did she meet by saying the men are gone?  Oh my God!

Tad picking Tomatoes through our trip

Tad picking Tomatoes through our trip

After a while, I don’t know how long. some jailers brought in coffee that tasted like pee water, and I had a chance to say “Please may I  speak to an officer?” Yes,  one was just here. “Si,  please can I call again the American Consulate?” No need,  the officer said, “they called last night and someone from the Consulado will be here this morning.”  “What time can I ask?” “Who knows? later…”


So I went back  to  my bunk, and they all still were  there sitting on my bunk, all talking at the same time, and many if not all of them were scratching their heads. My head was spinning, because I was powerless over the situation for the first time in my life. All I could think was, a drink would be very welcome now, to soothe this pain!”

There  were some ugly faces and there were some sweet faces, and faces  with cuts through their cheeks, some women with one eye,  some limping, some had their arm in a cast– but they all had lice in their hair! Oh God!  No!  I have  long hair, it  was in a ponytail, I thought,  I  must roll my hair around my head,  to not get these  lice or hair mites!

The hours went by miserably, slowly, and very disgusting, but I will not go into that at this point, everything I seen in their,  I will leave it for my book…

About noon the American Consul arrived, but he did not even speak to me. They just went straight to some office, with several people, and I could barely see them through the iron gate. In  about 15 minutes or so, no more, they left without me. Why? I was about to cry or scream or do something crazy, when the head jailer came in with two others and opened the gate and said “Follow me, Ludmila Millman.” That was my last name from my marriage to Jack.  Oh God, what now? I could not believe hearing my own name. So now I am out? (wishful thinking!). There was a police car and a black van, and the Jefe said “Get in!”

My dear God,  what’s now?

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »