Are We There Yet?


We’re driving to Crystal River to visit some family friends, and my parents pull in at a bakery to buy gifts – pane rustico for Bianca, pastries for Tommy. It’s 97 degrees out. My mother puts on the Mutefish CD I brought her from Dublin and we head down Dale Mabry. We’re barely out of Tampa before my father starts.

Roberto: Isa.

Isa: What?

Roberto: Give me the pane rustico. I want to put it on the dashboard so it will be warm by the time we give it to Bianca.

He places the bread on the dashboard.

Isa: That won’t work, and it will just make it hard to see while you’re driving. It’s going to slide everywhere.

She takes the pane rustico off the dashboard, and tosses it in the backseat, next to me.

Roberto: Isa.

Isa: What?

Roberto: Give me the pane rustico.

Isa: No!

Roberto: Isa. Give me the stupid pane rustico.

Isa: Dammit. Stop it!

Roberto: I want to cook it. I want it to be warm.

Isa: It’s already cooked! Do you pretend it’s going to get warm like in an oven?

Roberto: E.

E: I am not getting involved in this. You two work it out.

Isa: Yes, yes, you’re smart. Don’t succumb to him.

Roberto: E.

E: No, dad.

Roberto: Just give me the stupid pane rustico! Cazzo!

Isa: Fine! Here’s the stupid pane rustico. Cazzo!

She takes the pane rustico and slams it on the dashboard.

Roberto: Thank you. Was that so difficult?

Isa: Yes.

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