The Mysterious Dancer – Excerpt from Call to My Soul – Dancing the Path to True Love

…Occasionally Steve and Alice would give parties, Flamenco fiestas that lasted all night. Flamenco artists from all over the Bay area would come, drinking, eating, dancing, singing, and playing guitar until dawn. I lived for these fiestas, for the high that followed being in non-stop, group Flamenco land. Living with Freddie kept me in the Flamenco flow, but the parties took it to a new level. Some would last three days.

One night, Jenny whispered to me, “You have to stay up until four in the morning to see this one guy dance. He only dances then, and he is really good. He is also really cute.” So the next night we both made plans to watch together, and sure enough, as the night stretched toward dawn and many people left, a handsome, young, dark haired man arose to dance to the guitars that played unfailingly, the soul of the music growing with the length of the night. I found out much later, that the dancer, Roberto, who also became a singer, was too shy to dance earlier, which is why he waited until fewer people were awake, to get up his courage to dance. But at that time, to Jenny and me, he just seemed mysterious and otherworldly as well as very good. 

©2022  Marianna Mejia 

And Then There Was Freddie – Excerpt from Call to My Soul – Dancing the Path to True Love

Freddie’s exotic looks came from his Filipino, Mexican Indian, Spanish, French and German background. His five-foot ten frame was long and thin and strong. His mind was curious and competent. In 1948, when Freddie was nine years old, his mother had put him and his older sister Dorothy in a Flamenco dance class. “She loved Rudolph Valentino,” Freddie told me later, “but she couldn’t find a Tango class, so she figured Flamenco was good enough. It would do.” 

Because Freddie was very shy and felt uncomfortable dancing, he asked Ramón, his teacher, if he could play guitar instead. “Yes,” Ramón told him, “when you get a guitar.” But Freddie’s widowed mother had very little money and couldn’t afford to buy him a guitar. Freddie’s father had died when Freddie was six years old, and his proud, struggling mother worked hard to take care of her family. 

… However, the fates must have already had a path for Freddie. A short while later, a neighbor boy spent the night at Freddie’s house and peed in the bed. The little boy felt so bad that he gave Freddie his guitar. And so, at nine years old, Freddie began a lifetime as a Flamenco guitarist. …Flamenco had grabbed Freddie’s soul, as it later would mine. 

©2022  Marianna Mejia 

We are Finally Together – Excerpt from Call to My Soul – Dancing the Path to True Love

Freddie and I walked hand in hand when we hauled the garbage cans down to the street each week. Afterwards we would sit on Mama’s bench, first kissing her tree and saying, “Hello Mama,” and then simply breathing and looking at the sparkling lights above the distant ocean, under the stars of the night air. We often smoked a joint together, sitting on that wooden bench, amazed at how romantic it had become to take out the garbage. Each time we did this weekly ritual, we gave thanks for being together in this paradise. Joy flowed through us and we seemed to expand into the universe. “Thank you spirits,” I said, “for giving me this true love. For giving us this true love.” 

©2022  Marianna Mejia 

Electricity – Excerpt from Call to My Soul – Dancing the Path to True Love

My senses felt fed. Freddie, the cute Flamenco guitarist, was sitting nearby, taking a break from playing music, and he offered to rub my feet at the same time his friend was rubbing my neck and shoulders. I accepted, naturally. When Freddie’s musician hands touched my feet, electricity immediately connected our flesh, causing an involuntary tremor through my body. But I made myself relax, breathing and luxuriating in the many sensations, erotically held together by the music. The fire flickered and danced with the overhead lights and my body surrendered in ecstasy. The smell of the burning wood mingled with incense, hashish and forest. The stars outside flickered and a sense of serene peace wafted over us.

         Suddenly the power failed and the lights went out. Everything stopped. Freddie took my hand and, in a trance, without thought or talk, we walked into the night outside through the curtained door. Somewhere in the dark, on the other side of a haybale, we came together in a ferocious and consuming passion that overtook us, making love in the dirt and weeds. When we strolled in after the lights came back on, we must have both had twigs and hay in our hair. And we must have glowed.

©2022  Marianna Mejia 

One Good Looking Man Among Them – Excerpt from Meeting Freddie –Dancing the Path to True Love

So, in spite of being married and having a young son, I still looked at the musicians to see who was “cute,” perhaps secretly hoping for a Prince Charming to sweep me away. I did not think about fate or leaving my husband.

On a star-filled night during my first year at music camp, as I sat by the fire watching a Flamenco performance, I thought to myself, for no particular reason, “There’s only one good looking man among them all.” Freddie Mejia, the one some people thought looked like a pirate, played Flamenco guitar to melt your heart. His black curly hair bushed out long to the shoulders of his Renaissance style, fuchsia shirt. Its patterned fabric with the puffy sleeves was covered by a vest that reminded me of an Oriental rug, giving him an exotic Gypsy look. Freddie’s deep brown eyes concentrated on his guitar while his flying right-hand fingers made impossibly beautiful melodies, with chords formed by his long, agile left-hand fingers. His smile lit the world. I only noticed him, that first year, a passing thought that flew out into the night with the breeze.

© 2022. Marianna Mejia