I can almost hear her innocent laughter as a child playing with Dodo. They were playing on the warm green grass under the blue sky in Cannes. Dodo was on her tummy and little Gloria was running around and bouncing on Dodo’s back. He said to his mother, “She was your mother.” She was exactly that to little Gloria. Little Gloria had Dodo all to herself. Everything else was taken care of; bills, household repairs, cooking, cleaning so Dodo could devote her complete attention to little Gloria. There were many pictures of them together.
“My surrogate father was my Grandmother Morgan who had moved in with us. She kind of took over and she was so crazy. She was really crazy.” Her son laughs and asks his mother, “Really, you actually think she was crazy?” “I really do think she was crazy.” she replied. “She was from Chile and she was very short and she talked constantly. She was obsessed with Napoleon and she based her personality a lot on Napoleon. She was like a force, if she decided she wanted something; she got it. She was plotting all the time and stirred up things. Then my mother fell in love with Prince Hojenlohe from Germany and that’s what really set my Grandmother Morgan off. She was really hysterical about the Germans.” The idea of her daughter taking little Gloria to live in a castle somewhere in Bavaria made her Grandmother Morgan apoplectic.
It was really the opposite with me when my grandmother came to visit and stay with us, she was the sane one, who would usually roll her eyes at me when Nick said something stupid because he was drunk or my mother was upset with Nick. I really did appreciate that my grandmother came often to visit us and I stayed as often as I could in Barranco. My grandmother was my Dodo.
If Grandmother Morgan was from Chile, she might have been Spanish? I’m Spanish. Little Gloria’s father died when he was forty five, due to cirrhosis of the liver brought on by countless brandy milk punches. Too much drinking in the state of mind avoiding and neglecting your real life and real purpose. Well, it turned out that Gloria’s Grandmother Morgan was plotting a lot of things and something very significant that would affect Gloria’s young life. There was turmoil in these machinations. Gloria could hear her Grandmother Morgan and Dodo whispering to each other, the shenanigans that would later take place. Little Gloria was afraid to sleep alone in the dark, so Dodo would stand in the bathroom with the light on until Gloria fell asleep.
With these kinds of family members the plot only thickens. There’s always one in the family. And for that matter there’s always one in the fairy tales and animated films. Take for example Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella or Harry Potter; it’s always the forces of good versus evil clashing together.
I think in my family it was Nick and he’s drinking fueled everything; including Janis’s fiery temper and anger. My mother was always mad. As I suppose Grandmother Morgan appeared to little Gloria. Certainly if little Gloria’s father Reginald had not died at forty five, little Gloria would have had a different fate. Watching a person drink their whole life is exhausting. It’s almost too much to ask, living with an alcoholic or a drug addicted person. These kinds of addictions infiltrate and shake the whole family’s foundation and spirits. Everything, good or bad is sucked into a vacuum of chaos. Gloria’s father, Reginald was an alcoholic like my stepfather and biological father.
If I’m to give Nick any credit he was a functional alcoholic. He had a great job and he always maintained a beautiful garden and was doing one thing or another outside making everything look beautiful and green. By no means was he lazy. Janis was a great cook and she would sew. I always remember her cleaning the windows every Spring. We would look through the Spiegel catalog together and order a special outfit for Easter Sunday. I’ll never forget the Palazzo jumpsuit I ordered in navy blue and polka dots. That was really something special to look forward to. Often when my grandmother stayed with us, she would love to make tortillas and ask me to spread them out with the rolling pin. She and my mother were fascinated with how fast I could roll out the tortillas; almost in perfect circles.
I know that what I write doesn’t go without being read or said, that’s a wonderful feeling. It’s always enough for all writers. Little Gloria talked about her mother’s life when they (her mother, little Gloria, and of course Dodo) returned back to Paris. She said her mother was young and full of life, justifying her mother’s neglectful absence from her daughter’s life. My mother was twenty two years old when I was born. She was young and beautiful like little Gloria’s mother. Beautiful women don’t stay alone for long, especially if they’re passionate for life. It’s almost as if they have this magic in their eyes, their ways, their allure. Oh how men flock to experience that kind of magic.
Gloria worshiped her mother’s beauty, she said, “I remember her going out in the evening beautifully dressed. Seeing her go down the hallway, kind of thing. She wanted to have a good time. She was just a baby. She said to me once when I was older, “You know when you were a baby you were so little I couldn’t bear to pick you up because I thought I might hurt you. We just never got together, so to speak.”
“The dazzling pageant of color is stunned with celebrities the famous Gloria arrives in her chariot as the sun goddess and they dance till dawn.”
It was a time of elegance in the very spotlight when being a part of the entertainment world was like another dimension of it’s own. All and everyone who had an infamous or famous name walked through those golden doors and took their rightful places . They were writers, actors, singers, entertainers, directors, producers, movers and shakers. All the prominent and accentuating glamour you could only hope for and she would dream of being a part of this…Gloria, little Gloria, Janis, and Lorie.
Plush fur’s covering their porcelain and ebony skin of many starlets. Diamonds dangling, shining and sparkling to those talented and flirting eyes. Suitors whispering into their ears and she smiling, confirming the words of a delicate craving. All a part of this insatiable nights of another dimension.
We all want to experience something truly exciting in our lives. Some of us have a way of making that happen whether we become famous or not. Do writers and actors live vicariously through their characters? Most do. It’s all relevant…all our lives…all our dreams..and they’re alive.
©Natalie Keshing Editor-in-Chief of NatsWritings.com or NatalieKeshing.com