And I loved her. With my gruesome limits and my laughable limitations, I used to sing to her a convoluted medley of Paul McCartney songs. At home, her mom fed her tons of tunes from Sinatra and The Carpenters, while showing off a particular snapshot she took with Karen on one of her last concerts, days before the California singer died. Fact is she gave me innumerable reasons to live. Waiting for her in street corners, we both knew looking for down-to-earth nitty-gritty meat-and-potato restaurants was an exercise that tested the limits of my patience… until it became  the backbone of my daily routine. I was so thin and angry. She was so beautiful and hungry. Diet? No diet. We devoured life like a sugar-cake. Coffee and cream to please the lady with enough-sugar-to-make-the-spoon-stand-free for complacent me. Little did I know diabetes would be waiting for me at the end of the tunnel. Slashed. Stabbed in the back by the silent killer, it would be preposterous to argue that the malady caught me by surprise. But of course, back then we were both young, careless, clueless and intrepid. She was damn gorgeous, I was there… there for her, there with a bundle of muscles and a huge mountain of hair. Studying Sociology was, for both of us, a waste of time, a total waste of energy, an unsympathetic way to buy time, some trivial time, a congested exit in a freeway full of slaves. Her convictions took her from Sociology to Psychology, very much against her father’s will. I did my best to support her. The guy was the owner of an Advertising Agency. Looking for the numbers, the masses, he preferred his daughter to be focused in Marketing and Statistics. Sociology’s meat-and-potatoes. The devious softness of Psychology, in my juvenile opinion, teamed better with the nature of her skin: Undaunted, collected, embedded in the perfect charisma of the pearl. Wholeheartedly attached to the final Janis Joplin screams, she had the album cover framed over the top of her bed. Her hips were wide. Her ass was massive and tight and the two melons under her bra acted like guns in a Western movie: Hey Pilgrim, hands up. In front of her appetite, her big girl charm and her grandiose shapes, I felt completely flabbergasted. Silently, I declared to myself: Lost in her, is the best possible way to live, to die, to reach for the stars. Unconditional, our love would last forever. She had her dad against us. And my parents… well, my parents were too busy to introduce their son into their part of town. The day she rebelled and joined the extreme left, I joined the comrades and began avidly reading Trotsky, Gramsci… Done with sports columns. Just the scores on TV, and a few scattered games very much against her will. Was the Party strong enough to dissipate our love? No. We were invincible. We were together, rain or shine, regardless of what Moscow considered acceptable for a couple like ours in those iron-curtain days.

The night the police tangled up with us, we were seriously thinking about marriage. During the months in jail, the separation was the hardest part of the punishment. Her father moved and removed heavens and earths, until he got her out of the hole. Inside, desperately  waiting my turn, I only saw her image planted in my forehead: An old sassy bikini picture we took on that exceptional weekend by the sea. Once I was liberated, the first thing was to smell the back of her neck. Perfume? Yes, Comrade. Short hair. Make-up and a brand new dress. Her father had convinced her, with her mother’s decisive intervention, to pose for an up-and-coming fashion magazine. That had been mom’s aspiration from day one. For the Carpenters lady, I was a handsome brute… a first rough step in the boyfriends’ ladder. So girl, forget about that mongrel. Time will replace that broken heart. Dad -lovely-aftershave-and-Ralph-Lauren-Polo- considered me a good-hearted good-for-nothing. Thank you Sir. I hardly shaved.

From front cover to the big posters on the street corners we used to date, I followed her shooting-star progression to the top of the photo modeling profession. Personally, my lazy bones lost track of her. Milano. London. New York. I returned to watching complete football games. Even the Comrades forgot where I lived. Yes, still with my parents in their own part of town.

One September morning, around her birthday, a loud telephone ring scared me to death. It was  the nearby hospital. From her death bed at the Emergency room, she said she wanted to see me for the last time. Bitter, dumb and mean-spirited, I insensitively refused to grant her that good-for-nothing final desire. The following day, in the tabloids, I read about her anticipated demise. Cause of death?… The usual. Main disorder?…

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