Saturday, June 20, 2009

Catch Up

I cannot keep up with my own life. It's a good thing, I think. Once upon a time, things were so mundane and relatively slow-paced -- perhaps because I refused to attend eighty percent of my classes in college and then for a good while after that refused to actually work a job -- that I was able to weave delicious yarn from even the most untellable tales.

And now, as my life becomes a luscious tale the likes of which the producers of Limetime Originals would literally salivate over, and each delectable detail tosses itself on the pile, I find myself utterly incapable of keeping pace.

I will, nonetheless, try. And pictures will help.

When I last left off, I'd just met long-lost family members all of whom with I'm quite taken. The following weekend, I was headed to Miami.

I left on a Thursday afternoon, and a small contingent of coworkers saw me off at the front door as though it was the bon voyage ritual for a cruise. T-Rex had me to the airport with plenty of time to get through security and then calm down my relatives by phone before taking flight.

My flight was unspectacular. The smell of babies, an unprovactive in-flight feature ("Bolt"), a flaming flight attendance, and a loudmouthed woman who -- having spotted my iPhone earlier on -- insisted I read her the live scores of the Celtics game when we landed, as though I was her subordinate. She had trouble getting her luggage down as we unboarded the plane, and though I had to shove my junk up against her ass to escape, I slipped past her just the same, and made my way off into the winding depths of Miami International.

I confirmed my survival to various family members as I tugged my bag along, and was delighted to see, for what was the first but, with any luck, not the last time in my life, a well-dressed chauffeur holding up a sign with my name on it in bold letters. I like fancy perks.

We didn't talk much, which was fine. I dislike forced conversation with people who cut hair or drive you somewhere or whatnot. I was his last job of the night, so I just nestled into the leathery smell of the towncar and let him work his transportational magic, weaving me down highways named after dolphins and shells, through the surprisingly quiet downtown streets and, at last, over a small bridge onto Brickell Key, where we passed the Courvoisier -- there was a building named that -- on the way to my destination, the Mandarin Oriental Miami.

Doors were opened, bags were carried, I lifted nary a finger but to hand over a credit card for my room account. By the time I reached the room, which was lovely, it was relatively late in the evening. So I walked around naked on my balcony for a bit before raiding the minibar.

The next morning I walked to South Beach, originally intending only to get the lay of the land down. But the virbant blue-green waters were irresistable, so I picked up some sunscreen and slathered it on as I walked to a nice spot of beach where I tossed off my shoes, wrapped my wallet in a plastic bag that came with the sunscreen, stuffed it into my pocket, and walked out into the crystal waters.

"I am a genius," I thought to myself, until a wave came along and I realized my wallet was no longer in my pocket.

Lucky for me, I was not far from the designated gay section of South Beach, and once I'd told one person I needed help finding a lost wallet, the waters were soon filled with tenacious twinks and determined daddies. I have always depended upon the kindness of strangers. No results, though, and just as I was about to give up, head back to the hotel, and call to cancel my cards, a gorgeous girl called to me from the shore. "Is this it?"

It was.

And so I had regained my wallet, dry and safe and warm, from the untold clutches of the warm Atlantic. "Just leave it on the beach," she instructed me, "no one steals anything here." All right then.

Having gotten as much excitement as I could handle out of that incident, I spent the rest of my time determined to do nothing but truly relax. Lucky for me, a friend in Los Angeles who was aware of my trip had attempted to have champagne sent to my room upon my arrival. The hotel had bungled the request, and when I chatted with him later that day, he had the hotel rectify the problem by sending up the amenity that evening. And so I eased back into true relaxation with a sparkling rose and chocolate covered strawberries, nude but for the hotel robe on my balcony, taking in the quiet lap of Brickell Bay against my little man-made island.

I dined at the hotel restaurant -- Azul -- a few times, enjoying spectacular foie gras, a trio of Colorado lamb preparations, sticky rice creme brulee, exceptional cheese plates, and a number of decent-to-phenomenal whites and sparklings. I accidentally walked through the filming of a movie, and signed waivers so that they could use the footage. And, tossing back margaritas and a Cuban sandwich on Miami beach, was photographed by a couple of girls who seduced me into it by reaching over the rails that separated the restaurant from the sidewalk to scratch the back of my head.

I took in the Cincinnatti Reds at the Florida Marlins. I love baseball more than most people, but I confess, by the thirteenth inning of anemic offensive displays put forth by two teams about which I care minimally, I was "all set."

It was a good trip. Arriving early, once again, at the airport for my return flight, I decided to gamble on airport sushi, which honestly wasn't so bad. I was hit on by some girls from Virginia who'd spent their week in the Keys, and then got drunk before my flight while being chatted up by a British national who claimed to have a house in Turkey and a job photographing whales aboard an oil ship in the Caribbean. It was a mistake for him to explain the details of his life so proudly; I returned fire with a more humble spin to my settings, and suddenly, the drinks were on him.

I came home with a good tan and a clear head -- save for the lingering effects of the booze -- feeling healthy and sly. The Miami Hat had been broken in, and yay, for it was good.

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