When Lázaro de la Caridad Zulueta Soa traveled to a distant city to receive Babalú-Ayé Lucumí, his new wife did not want to be excluded. Nor did she want to be implicated in the ceremony. So she timed her flight to arrive just after the awán, when there would be little danger of the oricha still mounting her husband or his ritual family.
On the day of the itá, Lázaro had a terrible stomach—he was anxious to learn what Babalú had in store for him. Again his wife did not want to be left out or too involved. Thinking (naïvely) that a little distance would keep her out of harm’s way, she sat in the next room and read a bestselling novel, as the diviner read the shells:
Afrá said that everything sweet turns sour, and Babalú-Ayé said that marriage is a palace with two doors, the true one and the false one.
But Lázaro’s wife did not get to hear those messages. In a little more than a year, the bitterness of a false marriage had become intolerable: Lázaro, Afrá, and Babalú-Ayé moved out.