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Jose Hernandez Diaz

The Summer I Was Good Friends With Salvador Dalí and Diego Maradona

I was having coffee with Salvador Dalí and Diego Maradona at a hippie coffee shop in Venice Beach one summer. Dalí insisted on having black tea. He said he “already is drugs” or something subversive. They both said I sounded American. “Well, I was born in America," I tell them. "But I’m Latino. Mexican American,” I say. I ask Dalí who his favorite soccer team is. “La Barcelona,” he says, as he examines the marigolds on the coffee table. I ask Maradona who is his favorite painter? “La Frida Kahlo,” he says.

After we finish our coffees, we walk along the Venice coast. Suddenly, Maradona dives into the ocean. He swims alongside a dolphin and a local surfer. Dalí and I laugh out loud. Later, we lay on the sand and watch the sunset. At the end of the night, the moon comes up like a seagull on a streetlamp. We go to a local bar called The Clam and talk politics and literature with local lady surfers. I tell them my name is Roberto Durán, former world champion. We have a good laugh as we drink our Mexican beers and dance the night away to cumbias.

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