I am exhausted from last night’s vigil. There was not a moment to be spared once the thoughts were recorded. My body is floating more than usual, still considering how and why I’ve come here. Such a magnificent bed in my hotel suite, yet I have done everything but sleep within the downy heaven of it. All of my accoutrements are safely organized and packed into the bag that has become my life. My fabulous mules from the night before hold a look of disbelief within their sequins. I must travel fast away from Spain. Though I love traveling abroad in Europe, this is not a time of man to be toyed with. I find that I have no control over the shifting of the threads.
My hopes were for an easy departure, but the radio and the sound of marching boots informed me otherwise around four o’ clock this morning. Franco’s Nationalist troops took Madrid without firing a shot, thus ending the thirty-two month long Spanish Civil War. Hitler and Mussolini have sent their congratulations, how comforting. I dare not use the telephone or telegraph to contact Therese, but I would be needing her help and that of the underground to make my way out of the country. My new friend, the starry-eyed valet, would be just the man to get word to her. I scratched the words only she would understand onto stationery I saved from The Watergate Hotel, then called for him, remembering the name on his tag was Paolo.
While waiting for the knock, I walked to the edge of the hardwood floor, but dared not step onto the balcony. My head shakes slowly from side to side, considering just three days earlier, I was warm amidst a living throng of a half million people in New York City. The Big Apple was the site of an anti-Hitler demonstration. Fiorello LaGuardia took the stage in Columbus Circle, condemning the Nazi
invasion of Czechoslovakia, saying: “My only purpose in being here is to take part with my fellow new Yorkers in this public protest
against the latest outrage in international affairs.”
“I shouldn’t have risked my soul to come here. ‘For the dead travel fast’, fuck is that Stoker?” spoken to the view of the occupied
“Coppolla should direct my life, I think. Tarantino talks too much.” That’s when I heard the rapping.
His eager feet were outside my door within five minutes. I took the dark man by the hand and pulled him into the room urgently. He knew not why he had been summoned, but he was certainly relishing that he was needed…and that I had requested him specifically.
“Sir, I have a favor to ask of you…”
“Madame, if you are frightened, I can assure you the hotel is…”
“Paolo, may I call you Paolo?’ I didn’t wait for his predictable agreement.
“Though I appreciate your kindness, believe me, none of us are secure.
Security will be thousands of days and millions of screams from now.”
He looked at me with confusion in his eyes. Before he could utteranother word, I explained myself.
“There is no time for inaction. I have called you here, because I watched you fall in love with me while you were carrying my luggage
yesterday, and I believe you will not harm me.”
He turned the same color red as my painted fingernails. Two steps closer, he grabbed me by both arms and proclaimed, “I would
“I am nothing more than a face you cannot place, fallen out of time. You aren’t meant to remember me. Please don’t ask me to explain at the moment, but will you help me?”
“You need do nothing, but ask. I would go to the end of the Earth for you.”
“Paolo, we are already at the end of the Earth, I only ask you get this, safely and unopened, to Pamplona.”
I placed the envelope gently into his hand, then my tongue wantonly into his mouth. He pressed me with his entire body against the door. I wanted to feel him, just in case we never existed again.