Carolina, who always spoke with the smile of a gracious hostess, didn’t ask him to stay but said, “Do drive carefully, cariño.”
“Yes, yes, of course,” Enzo said, clasping his hands together as if to indicate he was wrapping things up. The lanky Roman who’d picked up his Spanish in Mexico smiled and said, “I’ll be fine. Don’t worry yourself, bella.” Then he did a little twist: “Maybe I’ll go dancing.”
“Ha,” Carolina said, raising her glass. If her husband had been home, they might have come along, she added.
“Yes,” Enzo said. “It is too bad. A pity your husband works much too much.” He gave me a furtive glance, which I didn’t appreciate for its implication.
Carolina brushed off any insinuation about Diego’s long absences or an “us” and instead said, “Watch out that you don’t run into the man with the sombrero!”
I’d never heard of the man with the sombrero. “Who is that?” I asked. Petra and Fernando both stopped their tidying up. It was like that game of Statues that I played with the kids from the block as a child. You move about until someone calls, “Statue!” You have to freeze; if you stir, you’re out. The two stopped for an instant before resuming their chores and then quickly exited.
“You’ve never heard of the man with the sombrero?” Carolina asked, as if the thought of my ignorance on the subject was ludicrous. She gave a little laugh. Carolina’s laugh sounded like what a purple hyacinth looked like, rows of fragrant little bells on a stem. It was disarming, and I immediately forgave her poking fun at me. Enzo didn’t have a sombrero on hand to perfectly illustrate but used his panama. Leaning against the wall, he imitated a drunk you might spot on the street. Thinking the man with the sombrero was meant to be a buffoon, I laughed.