My mom has always been a woman of letters and a litterateur. She also likes to quiz me as well as other people on all things cultural. On any given day (during our daily phone conversation – yes, I call my mami everyday) she will quiz me with the intensity of a debate team coach.
The other day she asked me if I knew who Porfirio Rubirosa was and the name certainly rung a bell. When she started describing him – I remembered he was a character in The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz. I was surprised to learn he was a real person although I shouldn’t have been since I know the book is packed with historical references.
My mom then says “do some research on him, print it out and bring it to me because I want to learn more. That man looked like Marcello Mastroianni. No, he looked like your father.” My father, really? Interesting.
Rubirosa was “linked romantically to Dolores Del Rio, Marilyn Monroe, Ava Gardner, Rita Hayworth, Soraya Esfandiary, Veronica Lake, Kim Novak, and Eva Peron.”
Anyway, I’ve bought my mother La breve y maravillosa vida de Óscar Wao so she can continue her uh, hum “studies.”