My father, a known womanizer and sexist, would always tell me how Gloria was the love of his life.
I remember admiring her since I was a chibolita. I remember thinking she was so beautiful, and sophisticated, and such a good dancer. I remember thinking how cool it was that she lived in Los Estados Unidos, a magical far away place.
She was not a blonde and she spoke a funny Spanish. I wanted to be her. I remember her tragic bus accident and her loving fans sticking by her. I remember “Desde la Oscuridad” lifting my spirit when my dad was no where to be found. I remember her face better than my mother’s.
I get now that he never loved Gloria.
He loved knowing that someone else felt like he felt. He missed his homeland. He left his peace in a little town called Pimentel. He left my mom, myself and my brothers in Lima. He drank his heart away to “90 millas”.
Now he’s gone, mom’s gone and Gloria is still here, desde la oscuridad, lifting my spirit.
Claudia Aita Costa is a Limeña mother trying to live closer to the land in Oklahoma.