But how can an up and coming actor manage to hold onto his career and the man he loves in 1964?
Maybe he can’t…
August 21, 1964
One more guest arrived today; just in time for supper. That he is not an actor, producer or business man is obvious from his manners and physique. He is taller than the rest of us. Stronger. His shoulders are wide enough to carry the weight of the world. His legs are long; his arms powerful. He looks like he can either squeeze the breath out of a person from one hug alone or make them feel protected. His hair is the color of midnight, and so are his eyes. I never saw darker eyes than his… or more luscious lips. He reminds me of my favorite treat. His lips are plump as an apple, and his skin the color of the caramel I very much love to lick. I have met Latinos before, but none that can compare, or even come close to him in looks and charm.
When I first saw him my body temperature elevated so much I felt feverish. In a matter of seconds I went from feeling cool and collected to dizzy and weak. He said hello and the muscles in my stomach cramped… and lower… down there… I ached…
That was not normal, and because I had been out on the sun so much, I thought I was suffering from heat stroke.
His midnight eyes sought out mine and I could not breathe. I was not sweating, but I could feel my skin was flushed… probably red. He looked away and I felt confused… lost… He talked to some of the other men and I felt agitated. Then he got closer and my pulse got faster. He smiled at me and I felt disoriented… I could not remember where I was. By the time he shook my hand I was hallucinating… images of him picking me up and carrying me up the staircase would not leave me alone. And when he released my hand and turned to greet the next man all I wanted was to drag him out of the dining room and hide him somewhere safe… somewhere those sexual vultures could not get to him.
It was the strangest behavior I have exhibited in my entire life.
I thought about excusing myself, but I did not. Even though I had just met him, something inside me balked at the idea of being away from him, so I stayed. I dealt with my drumming heartbeat and pretended it did not skip a beat every time he glanced my way, and somehow I worked up enough nerve to ask him to sit next to me.
He did. He talked to me; smiled at me… He asked if he could keep me company tomorrow and I said yes. Absolutely. A thousand times yes.
A timid smile passed between us. A veiled but intense look… A brush of his fingers against mine under the table… That’s when I realized it was not the Florida sun that had so unexpectedly hit me, but a marvelous Cuban man who now has me under his spell.
His name is Manuel Guzman and I cannot wait to see him tomorrow.