Friday, July 23, 2010

A Legend in His Own Mind-26

September, 1983

Dear Lázaro,

The vanished wanted daughter is invisible no more. Bambi has made an appearance. And she has decided that she wants me. Regardless of my orientation. It seems that she's basically a lesbian but says that I am the perfect combination of masculinity and femininity. I have both territories covered. I never knew I was Prince.

Anyway, she’s been stuck to me like white on rice. She even joined my aerobics classes. My students have dubbed her Miss Piggy. Let me tell you, the moniker fits.

She calls me every night to scold me for not looking at her in class. She says I individually point out the faults of every other student except hers. The truth is I can't look at her without breaking into spasmodic laughter. When my glance happens to meet hers, she starts picking up her blonde hair, whiting out her eyes and rolling her tongue in little oval strokes around her puckered lips. It's like Little Orphan Annie does Dallas.

So she calls me in the middle of the night to announce that she's holding a bottle of Seconal in her hand and that it's looking pretty good to her.

She's driving me crazy. Thank God Pablo is there to calm me down. Pablo is the theatre manager. He came from the Mariel boatlift and barely speaks English. With my lousy Spanish you can imagine our conversations. But we find other ways to communicate.

It seems that he was in his last year of veterinary school at the University of Havana when the government found out he was gay and kicked him out. His career shattered and his life in ruins, he decided to join the mass exodus.

He's made his interest known to me and I can't say that I don't reciprocate. He has jet-black wavy hair and ebony eyes that just pierce your soul. Of course, Coca-Cola colored skin. He's sweet and tender and makes me laugh, even though I usually don't understand the jokes.

We actually made love on stage one night. After everybody had left, he turned on the blue gels, took me up on stage and said that while I am dancing up here, he would fantasize that he could take me in his arms and move with me that way. We tango-ed our way into total ecstasy.

The problem is that he's too ashamed of being gay. I really can't identify with that. Never went through that "woe is me" phase. And I certainly never lived in a country where you were abused the way he was. I tried to understand his position but I guess my militant heart wasn't into it.

The day he told me that if he could change he would, did it for me. I personally don't think anyone can change their sexuality but hell, if I lived a life of misery like he did I certainly would try to make any kind of adjustment that I could to better my existence. He wouldn't listen to me about gay pride and our gay history. He said he accepted his “weakness” and that was that.

That certainly was that. Although one evening we made love for the entire night and how often does a man like that come along in a lifetime? I still couldn't continue. He was a very honest man and I couldn't lead him on just because he had incredible stamina. He deserved more than what I was willing to give.

Aside from our opposing views on homosexuality, there was also the ghetto-ization. I'm an American of Spanish descent. I am not a Latin American immigrant who grew up over there. I will not spend the rest of my life speaking Spanish and listening to Walter Mercado broadcasts and watching Iris Chacón TV shows.

Don't get me wrong Lázaro, I love salsa music but I'm not ready for Spanish only parties and subtitled films. I mean could you submerge yourself into Irene's French culture all the way?

He did try to warn me that he receives death threats for Bambi practically every day at the theatre. He was worried that one day at a disco, in the middle of the Tango Hustle dip, the bullet that was meant for her would find me instead.

You think this is a good reason to tell her to leave me alone?

She confronted me in the dressing room to ask me if I thought her father was gay. She says she knew that he and her mother were not sleeping together. I didn't know what to say. Didn't she know that story that everybody was telling? And why was she asking me to find out? How was I supposed to find out? Who was I? Closet buster?

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