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  • Writer's pictureelise

Chapter 9 - I am from Miami...

The friend answers, “Miami.” The most beautiful man answers in a ridiculously sexy accent, ‘Yes, I am from Miami.” I look him dead in the eyes, “No you’re not…where are you FROM?” “Oh,” he says, “Cuba.” I melt. I throw in the white towel, I surrender. How did he just go from a perfect ten to a perfect ten plus? Cuba, I thought. Oh wow, how exotic. I start scanning my Rolodex of friends in my head to see if I have any friends from Cuba…? None, I have officially no friends from Cuba, but I do have a friend of Cuban decent and she will be getting a phone call about this soon. I’ll be honest, I didn’t know a lot about Cuba, except the normal things, like a bit about their government, the complicated issues they have with the US, the fact that they make a coffee that can keep me wired for 3 days and that they produce GORGEOUS people. When I was in college I studied in Spain and I fell in love with the culture. It was rich and vibrant with fabulous holidays and a relaxed lifestyle. The food was savory and every meal was cherished and enjoyed for hours. The language was intoxicating, the topography was dreamy and the people were magical. Perhaps Spain was my first love, and well this stranger, might be my second. All I wanted him to do was to talk more. Anything, he could talk about anything, I wanted to hear that accent for hours. I wanted to speak Spanish with him and see if I could muster up what I’d learned 18 years prior. I wanted him to tell me all about Cuba from the Cuban perspective. I wanted to know when he got to the U.S. and how. I wanted to know where his family lived and if he got to see them often. I had a million questions. And while I’m thinking of everything I want to ask him, the friend asks where we are from? ‘Philadelphia.’ Trying to keep it short and sweet, I thought, there’s no need to expand upon that - it is what it is - moving on. We're talking and dreaming about Cuba right now!! So to keep the conversation rolling in the direction I wanted it, I looked at the beautiful man and asked, “Would you take a picture of me with my friends please?” Without missing a beat the friend (not the beautiful man) says, “Yes, of course I will.” At this point the A/C is on full blast and we’re all wearing our jackets - THREE.JEAN.JACKETS. 3 girls, 3 jean jackets, not embarrassing at all. (insert thick sarcasm here) We rolled with it and said it’s our band name - ‘Three Jean Jackets.’ It just rolls right off the tongue. The friend takes the picture. The beautiful man is watching. I know he’s watching so I make the prettiest smile I can while trying to be cool as I can as Jean Jacket #2 of 3. He hands my phone back to me. I inspect the pictures. ‘No good. Terrible, in fact. These must be re-taken.’ I look at the beautiful man, ‘Will you try?’ He takes our picture (it’s also not good yet not his fault, the lighting was bad, the angles were rough). I took one look at the picture, paused for dramatic effect, looked up at him and said...“It’s PERFECT!” In my mind, the next sentence was, 'you're perfect, we're perfect, let's do this!)

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Caren Osrin Gittleman
Caren Osrin Gittleman
Jan 17, 2022

Elise, I just came from your latest post and read Chapters 11, 10, and now 9. If you look at the lighting in this photo, (you mentioned in the chapter I read before this that you think your Grandma orchestrated this), I do too. There is a heavenly/angelic light surrounding you in that photo that "he" took.....coincidence? I think not!!!

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