‘Disco deserved a better name, a beautiful name because it was a beautiful art form. It made the consumer beautiful. The consumer was the star.’ Barry White
Costera Miguel Alemán, Acapulco. December. 1978.
In the rear-view mirror he watched her applying lipstick from a golden tube. Her cascade of dark hair and glowing bronzed skin was illuminated by the beams of passing cars. Dressed in plunging ivory with pieces of gold at her throat and neck, she glowed like a pearl in the shadowed interior of the car.
”Eyes on the road, I don’t want to die tonight.”
The driver winked at her.
“You are as beautiful as the magazine pages señorita, my wife has your pictures cut out and saved. She will never believe you have been in my car tonight.”
She smiled as the limo glided along the brightly lit boulevard towards Armando’s Le Club. She wound down the window and listened to the tropical night. The New York shoot had exhausted her, she felt as fragile as glass. She lit a cigarette, the sound of the match suddenly flaring like a shout in the night.
The road was oddly tranquil as she watched the car disappear, the palm trees overhead brushing the sky. The bay was awash with hotel lights. I have missed this… she murmured. A sudden explosion of sharply dressed party people seemed to appear from nowhere, carnival and louche. Someone waved, she nodded and turned to look toward the ocean, hearing its wash and swell in her mind. Holding a small white glass bottle she’d taken from her purse she pulled her hair to one side, exposing the back of her neck and scented her skin feeling her senses cool in the evening miasma. A fine mist for her hair, then throat and décolleté, her skin still slightly slick with oil from an afternoon of languid sunbathing and exquisite observation from behind the biggest sunglasses money could buy.
|Armando's Le Club|
The doorman nodded recognition. Once she was inside she felt like she had come home. She wondered how long she had been coming to Aramando Sotres’ club now, endless afternoons by the sparkling azure-tiled pool under an Acapulco sun that always seemed that little more Hollywood when she was here, glittered off the Moorish white walls and columns. The reflected heat and dense tropical foliage gave the place an eerie, dislocated feel like one of her endless photo-shoots in empty pools or abandoned zoos. Occasionally peacocks wandered poolside like overdressed visitors. She loved the emptiness of sun worship, the near-claustrophobia of stillness cut by the arrival of cocktails, gossip and sexy waiters.
| ÉL and ELLA|
Night time at Armando’s Le Club was dinner and serious dancing; dancing till dawn or until your feet gave out and then falling into the dawn light on the beach. That was one of the delirious truths about Armando’s; it ran from boulevard down to glorious beach. She smiled to her herself at memories of spinning out onto the sand, skin on fire from hours of music, laughter, collisions, kisses and sleeping under a cool rising sun. Sometimes diving into the ocean to shock away the night. She swirled her champagne around and around in her glass. It was nearly midnight. He was late.
A man came up quietly behind her and gently leaned into her neck.
“You smell of hot flowers. Come, dance with me.”
“I should bite you for making me wait so long. Where have you been?”
“Over there on the other side of the room, you see the girl in the emerald dress that sparkles like a snake? I danced a little with her, to watch you.”
She raised her hand as if to strike; he caught her wrist and inhaled her pulse point, licking softly at the surface of the skin.
“A trail of tanning oil…Sobranie…and…jasmine…”.
He pulled her to him, she inhaled all of him violently, a feral charge of sweat, leather and tobacco rose like smoke off his dark curling chest. The lights around them flashed off the stained glass windows and flickered like fever dream. They felt their bodies instantly react to that sliding electronic intro and the beginnings of glistening thunderous arpeggios… Ooh, it's so good, it's so good, it's so good, it's so good, it's so good… she looked to him through the strobing, rolling lights and the now heaving dance floor, everyone moving in their own sweat-tossed worlds to Donna Summer’s insistent pulsating vocals. I have come home…she said out loud, words swallowed by the music. He took her hands gently at first to find a rhythm; she realised Moroder sanctified their disco skin as their bodies flexed and curved in obeisance to the bassline. The smell of champagne and skin filled the floor.