Thursday, April 13, 2023

As Usual

After our night out, Brando and I slept late, had breakfast, and hit the streets.  We went to the Teatro Municipal first thing and got tickets for the Russian Folk Ballet that night.  Then we visited various museums and galleries and cafes for the rest of the day.  This was more my style.  Brando had a good eye for color and design, but his tastes differed from mine.  Even in women, which seemed to work out well.  His tastes were a bit garish for me.  He liked things that stood out, grabbed your attention forcefully.  He liked women whose features were exaggerated.  If a woman's mouth was small, he would say, she can make it stand out with the application of lipstick. Bright.  Red.  The higher the heels, the better.  Venezuela was perfect for him.  

That night, we went to the Ballet, which was interesting but rather disappointing as we were in what Brando declared the most perfect acoustical room ever built.  The music for the Folk Ballet was canned.  But, you know. . . the Russian Folk Ballet is something to see, right?  

After the show, we stopped at a nearby bar.  It seemed to be a college hangout.  Brando, I thought, looked like someone searching for his daughter or granddaughter.  I thought he would want to leave, but you could never underestimate Brando's charisma.  Within moments, he had a group of friends, young men and women who were drawn in, perhaps even fascinated.  The fellows insisted on buying us drinks as Brando flirted with the girls shamelessly.  I, as usual, was a wallflower, grinning and nodding but saying little.  I had fallen for the bartender, though, perhaps the most attractive woman I had ever seen.  I could barely breathe when she looked my way.  

I nudged Brando.  

"Holy shit. . . I'm in love!"

Brando looked at her, but again, our tastes in most things differed which worked out fine.  He laughed and went back to talking with his new friends.  I stared.  I mooned.  She smiled.  I nudged Brando.  

"Jesus Christ. . . she smiled at me."

He looked at me as if something was wrong with me.  I was an irritant.  

"Ask her out," he barked.  

"Man. . . I can't even speak. . . ."

He called her over.  What the fuck, what the fuck. . . . 

He leaned over the bar and said something to her in Spanish.  She looked at me.  She grinned and shook her head.  Affirmative.  

"She said she'd go out with you," he said.  

"What?  What?  When?  Uh. . . . "

"You're such a pussy.  She said she would go out with you.  It's your date, not mine.  Jesus. . . ."

He laughed dismissively.  In a bit, the bartender came over.  Somehow, it was arranged.  She asked where I was staying.  She would come to the Hilton tomorrow afternoon.  We would go to lunch.  My head was spinning.  The room was tilting.  I don't remember much about the rest of the night.  

In the morning, I was sick.  

"Brando, how are you feeling?"


"Something's wrong with me.  I'm sick as shit.  Maybe it was something I ate."  

Brando showered and was ready for breakfast.  I said I couldn't.  I stayed in bed.  My stomach gurgled.  I was shivering.  I got no better as the afternoon approached, and when Brando came back, I told him I couldn't meet the bartender.  I was sick, I said, and I asked him to go downstairs to explain.  And there was that look of humor and disappointment in his eyes.  

"Sure, Bud.  I'll get you off the hook."

I couldn't believe my luck.  Why?  Why did I have to get sick now?

Brando didn't come back for a long while.  Did he decide to take the beautiful bartender to lunch?  Probably, I thought.  He would come back with a tale to torture me with.  

When he finally came back, I asked him what she said.  

"She didn't show, hombre.  I guess she must have had a better offer."  

I began to feel better.  I decided to get up and shower.  The shower sort of put me right.  By the time I got dressed, I was feeling hungry.  I started looking forward to dinner.  We had an early flight out in the morning.  I'd be fine.  

"I guess whatever I had has passed," I said.  

"Yea. . . I guess so," Brando smiled wryly.  "I guess so."  

1 comment:

  1. Skipped meeting your Red eh?

    Silly boy. Hey! Member me? You never wanted to meet me either and I’m definitely not drop dead gorgeous or anything. Must just not liked me dat much. 🙂

    Like the new pics I never saw. YOFL.