This fourth novel by the author of (among others) Latin Jazz (1989) and Havana Thursdays (1995) intends to be a Cuban-American Seize the Day as it presents the cultural and psychological crisis that grips Xavier Cuevas, a former soccer star who has become a successful Miami insurance salesman. Married to a beautiful American woman, and awkwardly poised between two cultures, to neither of which he feels he belongs, Xavier succumbs to work pressures and unreliable business partners and the probable collapse of his marriage, undergoes a ``cleansing'' at the hands of a Cuban conjure woman, and, heeding the advice of a ``spirit'' that invades his consciousness, ends up in the Florida Keys fantasizing that he'll ``swim home.'' The story is flimsy, lacking tension, and the facts of Xavier's life are recited without much flair; it's hard to care for him, or even believe he's real. Xavier keeps getting stuck in traffic (this is a metaphor, folks). But the novel is pedestrian.