January 13, 2011
My parents have gotten my letter with the enclosed pictures of our vacation in the Dominical Republic, which I have mailed at a strategic moment before Christmas. In the recent times, whenever I send some mail to my parents in Russia, I feel like a dog who forgot where she buried her favourite bone – I feel worried and uncertain. Did the bone really exist, or did I just make it up in my mind? Please don’t think that I send letters with a simple toss into the mailbox. Of course not. I stopped that act of childish naivety a long time ago. It ended when we saw a concert by Cesaria Evora in Toronto.
My faraway singing heroine, Cesaria Evora, once decided to give a concert in Toronto. I found out about it, and thought it would be great if we all went together. To say that the tickets were expensive would be to say nothing. The price seemed astronomical.
When we arrived at the concert, I realized that it was a fantastic joy, which I was going to share with my family. Even the audience seemed unlike the people you bump into every day. I think you know what I’m talking about – the atmosphere was electric.
Finally, Cesaria appeared on the stage. She was, of course, barefoot, and wearing a simple dark dress. She seemed a little tired. I thought about how she usually gives very sad interviews.
Then she started to sing. Her powerful voice washed us away into the ocean, where we found ourselves drowning.
In front of me, there was a girl with a perfectly put-together flamenco-type hairstyle, and she had a fresh red rose in her hair. The rose smelled so sweet.
At one point, Cesaria made a pause. I could feel with my whole being that she was going to perform “Besame Mucho”. I couldn’t hold it in, and so I squeaked – “ Cesaria, Besame Mucho!” And she began to sing it.
I decided to relate that whole magical experience in a letter to my parents. It was a letter that they never received. Ever since that day, I only send special-order mail, and even that gets carried away by the wind every once in a while.