My Estellas & the Death of RomanceMonday, May 29, 2017
|Cornelia sitting on floor left, her mother Jeanette siting behind her.|
This theme has been in my head since I received a Facebook Messenger response from Cornelia a few weeks ago.
At age 74 almost 75 my romantic past (and by this I mean romance since I can remember it) has flickered past like a silent movie.
I guess it all began when I was around 8 and my parents took me to the Buenos Aires suburb of Anchorena. There I met a lovely little girl, serious and remote called Ysabel Opisso. All I can remember of her was that remoteness. She became my first Estella. It was in subsequent years but still in Buenos Aires when we read Great Expectations that the name Estella became part of my distant relationship with girls and women I admired.
It was Cornelia in Nueva Rosita, Coahuila who became a memorable Estell of mine in the back seat of a Buick Roadmaster sometime around 1958. I was in the back seat with her. Her mother Jeanette was driving to the US trough Eagle Pass, Texas to take her to a school in Uvalde. I was then to be driven to the San Antonio Greyhound bus station to take my Scenicruiser to Austin and to my boarding school St. Edward’s High School.
I remember absolutely nothing of anything we might have said in that back seat. She was as patrician as her mother (who was my mother’s best friend in her isolation in Nueva Rosita where she taught a few children (and me) whose parents worked at the American Smelting & Refining Company.
But I remember that she was an Estella and I had never forgotten her.
In the beginning of this century I was able to find her mother who was living in Eagle Pass and we had long conversations on early Skype. She told me that Cornelia had married a gentleman from those parts and now also lived in Eagle Pass.
Cornelia finally answered and was elated. But romances of the past are doomed to a stifling unease from the other party when they note my approach which seems strange to them.
I never let go of any women in my life except one. She was as old flame who was going to travel to see me during the 1968 Mexican Olympics. I had to reveal to her that I had just married my Rosemary.
What I want to assert here is that I love in some way all those women from my past.
This romantic balloon can burst particularly as I have imposed a rosy permanence that cannot withstand the progress of time.
Take for example my teenage flame from Austin. She was a cute very short cheerleader. I had two dates with her after agonizing a fear of an Estella rejection.
In 2011 I found her in business ( she owned a cheerleading supply company) in San Antonio. After my initial attempts of communication with her she must have found me to be strange. And that was it.
Until a couple of months ago when she requested to be my friend in Facebook. Wow was I excited at reliving that rose past. But no. It has been a steady disappointment for me as her postings were either about watching San Antonio Spurs games or postings of the altar of the church she attends on Sundays. Religion and basketball – that to me has ended somewhat (but not completely) whatever romance I had.
My next step, without unfriending her is to block her posts.
The death of romance it is.