Later that evening Gabby needed to work a DJ gig. I stayed back to relax and took a stroll around her neighborhood in South Beach. I ended up on Espanola Way, a familiar little spot since I had come to visit Gabs a few times in the past. I sat down at a little street café and ordered myself a glass of wine and a delicious chocolate dessert. An older man passed by and said a pleasant, “Good evening” I responded back and he went on his way. A little while later as I was finishing up he passed by again and invited me to stop by his gallery a few doors down to share a bottle of wine. I politely said no but then something inside of me told me to go, so I went to join him.
His name was Alberto. He was an artist. He showed me his gallery of paintings that were of Hindu deities. They filled up the entire little room from floor to ceiling canvasses. They were quite special and very unique interpretations.
We sat outside on his patio and he poured us each a glass of wine. He proceeded to tell me his life story of traveling for love and art. He was from Argentina but lived most of his life in France with the love of his life and was still recovering from that heartbreak.
I didn’t say much but he could tell I was healing from a heartbreak myself. He listened to the little that I said about what I had been going through and he stopped me. He said, “Never say, ‘struggle’ instead say, ‘obstacle’” he went on, “Obstacles can be removed and you can move around them in many ways as well. Struggles take a hold of you and you can’t get free. Pay attention to your words, Phoebe.”
Alberto continued to shed light on life as I watched him talk, I thought how much it made feel like I was back in my front yard with Dad as a little girl when he would tell me how smart and beautiful I was and to never settle for anything less than what I wanted. I got lost in the daydream and Alberto brought me back with offering another glass of wine. I snapped back. I had to go meet Gabby. I stood up and gave him a big hug. He hugged back. It felt so familiar, his warmth and the intention. I thanked him for a lovely time and as I walked down the street he shouted, “Remember! If you need anything, I will be your parachute!” I waved and blew a kiss and whispered, “Thanks Dad.”