Back in 1996, I was at a marketing meeting in Marbella, Spain. Working for the world’s largest sports company NIKE.
We were accommodated in a luxury hotel corresponding to our brand. Winners … The Goddess of Victory NIKE. That is what we thought ... Our evenings were filled with business conversations, lots of whiskey and delicacies. One night I wanted to smell the air of normal people, of the vanquished, and to touch the so-called hot Spanish atmosphere and Spanish character. To see hot, passionate Flamenco and to hear the rattling of castanets. Just a few blocks from our hotel, I found a small, slightly dark but cozy pub with the promising name "Esperanza".
I went in and sat at the table by the window. I wanted to watch the street and the passers-by, as well as the dancers, who would start in about an hour and a half. I did not want to miss anything. There was a couple at two tables, and at the third I saw a woman with black hair and a mask on her face. She was alone. Her profile was facing me. There was a glass of red wine in front of her.
I was dizzy with all sorts of thoughts. Bullfighting, wine, hot black eyes, lush legs, lips a la Sophie Marceau.
The waitress came and I asked her to bring me a glass of the same wine as the lady with the mask, pointing to her ... She smiled, perhaps surprised by my strange desire, but hurried away from me without saying anything else. Whether it was the aroma of the wine that was felt throughout the pub, or my inexplicable interest in the stranger at the table in the corner, but pointing to her wine, she clearly saw me, and despite her mask, I noticed her face tremble. I felt it. She must be from the program, I told myself, and sheis going to dance.
I remembered a story while drinking from one’s glass, that you would learn their secrets. It was too early to drink from her glass, but at least from the same wine.
The nimble waitress brought me the wine.
- ¡SALUD! - she told me in Spanish .
- The wine is from the bottle of the Lady with the Mask, even!
I was intrigued.
The lady with the Mask turned her head toward me, barely perceptible. It was enough to notice her amazing eyes. Only they could be seen. I had not even touched the glass of red Spanish wine with my lips, but it was already boiling inside me.
I took a sip and looked around the corner. My stranger had turned so that I could not see her. She took off her mask and drank too.
I was nervous ... Suddenly somewhere from the ceiling of "Esperanza", I heard quietly, very quietly the rhythm of a famous Spanish tango. I took another large sip of wine, draining my glass, and listened to the master guitar.
I waved to the waitress to pay her. She came and I paid her.
I glanced at the masked lady’s table. She was still with her back to me.
I had just reached the door, and suddenly a black mask and even blacker, passionate eyes prevented me from leaving.
-Señor, un Tango por favor? I came back. I stayed. "Esperanza" in Spanish meant "Hope", but also la "Illusion" - Illusion…?
I dreamed, I hoped, or was it an illusion???
© krassi 2021-11-17