Wednesday, April 29, 2009


We trekked up to Ada Books, an adorable matchbook sized store in Providence, in our rental, the three of us: Bobby, M and me. This was Bobby territory. He'd gone to school here. His sister was waiting. Friends were excited to see him after so long. And we were thrilled too. One super gift from the East Coast tour: Knowing Bobby.

We practically ejected from the car in front of the store, as we'd been pushing it time-wise. And Bobby went in like a rock star, shaking hands, getting hugs. His sister -- I knew right away, her Cubanness preceeded her! -- was all proud smiles.

And we began. I went first, did my ten minutes, then gave the floor over to Bobby. But he hadn't gotten his rhythm yet when his brother-in-law, who'd been sitting second row center, got up and signaled to Bobby's sister. They quietly stepped outside as Bobby continued.

Then we heard the thump.

From there on, it was chaos: Bobby's brother-in-law had fainted, his weight had crashed against the store's door. Ambulances, firetrucks, paramedics.

Bobby's sister asked if we could drive him to the hospital. We said yes and went to get Bobby, dealing with everyone inside. He had a local friend, someone who knew where he was going on, who'd already volunteered. Bobby was pale, his hands fluttering.

We walked back to the car with him to get his bag.

"Oh, I almost forgot," he said, rummaging in his luggage. "I'm a romantic, a sentimentalist."

He pulled out a bottle of bubbly. It was from New Mexico, his home state, one of M's fave places.

"For your anniversary," he said.

We were celebrating our first one that weekend.

We couldn't believe the sweetness of the gesture. We couldn't believe he'd remember in the midst of such frenzy.

We hugged him and sent him on his way, glad to have him in our lives, and set off, back to New York.

Bobby's brother-in-law, as it turns out, is just fine. It was a scary moment but, honest, nothing. (Thank god!)

And we had our romantic dinner, a little music with the Afro-Cuban All-Stars later, and an extra day in New York thanks to storms that canceled flights to California.

So we saw "Monsters v. Aliens."

And we drank Bobby's brew.

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