Then she was nowhere to be found.  Until a year and a half  later. During one of my sojourns in Mexico City I read in the local newspaper that Donna Summer was going to perform for several nights at the roof top bar Stellaris of the  Hotel Fiesta Palace (now Fiesta Americana). I somehow was able to penetrate through her entourage  and get through to her. It was a hurried conversation, but she invited me to her show that night, which I  attended with Lina Quesada, a casual acquaintance. We got to talk after the show –  sitting in her dressing room and watching her remove her makeup and get ready for whatever after-show activities the local promoters had planned. We reminisced of our Munich days and exchanged contact details, and promised to see each other when we both got back home. She had now moved to Los Angeles and I was living in Santa Barbara, a scant hundred miles (160 km) north along the coast. I am not sure if we ever talked again, even with her private number, it became almost impossible to cut through her publicist and whoever asking annoying questions.  On that night of  May 27, 1977, I wrote in my journal: Went to see Donna. She has changed – obviously, but was about the same as far as our friendship was concerned, except that it isn’t that easy to reach her.

Beyond that, I would read about  her now and then. At times I would almost be tempted to get in touch with her, but just the thought of having to deal with the multiple barbed fences that surrounded her, I never tried to reach her again. Probably, the way I thought must have been – how big and how unreachable she had become. I could see her, but couldn’t touch. Must be why they are called stars. And yet, it was always a good feeling to know that her heart on which I had rested my head and heard it beating, was still beating somewhere in the world. I felt an incredible void on that afternoon of May 17, 2012 and do right now as I write this, to think that heart is no longer beating.

© Haresh Shah 2013

Illustration: Jordan Rutherford

Next Friday, May 8, 2013

DECISIONS, DECISIONS

When I first started this blog, I already had about a dozen entries fully written, if not edited. So far they have all followed some sort of logical sequence. Now I have about six of them mostly completed, I am not sure which one of them should go next. Well, it will be as much of a surprise to me as it would be to you. Stay tuned for my first SURPRISE entry.

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