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That night, they joined Edurne’s husband George, her brother Unai, and his partner Eric in Times Square. Lights were everywhere. The large electronic billboards beamed down at them, advertising everything from cellular services to the latest shows and movies. Inhumanly large images of celebrities and cartoon characters filled their vision. An odd sculpture, like a gutted ship, its ribs almost like the legs of a giant spider emanating from the large form of a woman as its figurehead, sat in the middle of one of the little plazas. As Kepa watched it, the figure’s arms started moving. “Whoa!” he exclaimed. “It’s a robot!”
Unai laughed. “They always have something cool down here.”
Maite barely noticed. She was absorbed in the number of people that milled around them. “It’s almost like a fiesta, there are so many people!”
Buber’s Basque Story is a weekly serial. While it is a work of fiction, it has elements from both my own experiences and stories I’ve heard from various people. The characters, while in some cases inspired by real people, aren’t directly modeled on anyone in particular. I expect there will be inconsistencies and factual errors. I don’t know where it is going, and I’ll probably forget where it’s been. Why am I doing this? To give me an excuse and a deadline for some creative writing and because I thought people might enjoy it. Gozatu!
Edurne nodded. “Except, this goes on twenty-four hours a day, all year long. It never stops.” She sighed. “I can only take small doses. It’s just too much for me sometimes.”
Unai clapped her on the back. “I don’t know how you survived all of those fiestas back in the old country, sis,” he said with a laugh.
“That’s different,” replied Edurne with a smile. “Those had marcha! Family, friends… These…” she waved her hand indicating the crowds around them, “these are all tourists. It’s completely different.”
“It’s still pretty impressive,” said Maite.
“In it’s own way, I guess,” said Edurne.
As Kepa gawked at all of the signs seemingly floating above them, a young man approached him. Kepa’s friends watched as the young man said something to Kepa. Kepa put his hands up, shook his head as he took a step back, but the young man kept talking, his animated hands dancing in front of him as he looked back at Kepa’s friends, pointed at them, smiled, and said something else to Kepa. Soon, Kepa was handing him a twenty dollar bill. He came back to his friends holding a compact disc.
“What just happened?” he asked bewildered.
“I think you just contributed to that guy’s music career,” said Eric as everyone started laughing.
“We still have some time before the show,” said George. “I know a nice pub around the corner, just far enough from the square that there aren’t so many tourists. Let’s grab a drink.”
As they followed George, Maite found Kepa and slipped her arm around his. “What do you have there?” she asked.
Kepa shook his head. “I don’t know. He said it would impress the ladies. I don’t know why I bought it.”
“We’ll have to see if it works,” Maite teased him.
“Maybe later,” Kepa mumbled with a blush.
Maite gave him a big smile. “Maybe later.”