“Maybe we’ll see him here. Most people come out at the interval, especially after all the clapping and cheering for good old ‘Satchmo’.”
My good friend, Mike, laughed. “There’ll be bound to be more than a few dry throats, just like ours.”
“Wait! There he is…” and from great heights, my heart swooped immediately to the depths of despair. “He..he’s with another woman! A blonde. And she’s small and very curvy. Ohhh – wha-a-a-t??” Tears filled my eyes and I’m not sure if they were more for anger or sorrow. I only know the pulse from my heart was thundering in my ears and I think I felt faint.
“Thought you said he’d bought the tickets planning to take you to this show?”
I nodded stupidly. “And when he knew I’d had this long-promised, so-called ‘date’ with you, he said he’d get a mate to go along with him.” I glared across the great marble stairway to the mezzanine balcony on the other side, as though he could see me. But with head bent, he was far too engaged in close conversation with the uhrr… lady friend (?) to notice anything (or anyone) else. “Yes well-ll-ll… some mate, hey? I thought he meant one of his male ‘mates’ – not this – this – blonde bimbo.”
And though the other half of the program focused on stirring Latin and Mexican music by the currently much-loved Trini Lopez, my outrage never really lessened. Even his famous rendition of ‘La Bamba’ couldn’t appease me. Every beat of the music seemed to echo the words of my pain – ‘but you said you loved me’.
The next time I saw him I reminded him of those words – AND confronted him with what I’d seen with my own eyes – his ‘up close and personal’ attention to someone else. I expected all kinds of protestations and puny alibis – but I never expected him to burst out laughing!
“THAT ‘blonde bimbo’, as you call her – AND her husband – are amongst my parents’ best friends. Like many other Danes, they spent their first weeks in Australia in the little flat out the back – just until he found work and a house that suited them. We ALL became good friends.” He wagged his finger in front of my face, like a teacher chastising a naughty child. And I began to blush as he continued, “Her husband is sailing in this fantastic boat he built himself in their backyard. He’s in a race to Port Lincoln and back, and she was only too happy to fill in a few lonely hours by meeting me here at the theatre and buying your ticket when she heard you couldn’t go with me.”
Around about this point, he kissed me thoroughly to ensure I had no lingering doubts. “As if I could ever love anyone else but you, my Twissie.”
He was right. He never has… and I have a suspicion that won’t change after 55 years.