Monday, December 21, 2015

Dade County Chronicles (12.21.15)

I'm back in Miami for two weeks. A high school friend suggested I started listing things as Dade Country Chronicles. Why not? This is just from today....

In an old warehouse on a dead-end street in miami, I walk into a narrow, cluttered office with a giant box. The room is crammed with electronics. No place for a staff, but it's okay because this is a one-man operation. An old Caribbean man in a faded guayabera has a plate of curry rice and meatballs. I put the box down and ask 'can you fix a record player?' The room has a few other record players pushed against the wall, some have dust on them, maybe the owners never came back to pick them up. Apparently he's one of the last repairmen. I'll call him. I leave the turntable so he can start his lunch. He puts the metallic box on a saffron cushion and goes back to his plate.

I drive past CB Smith. It was a park on the edge of a receding swamp in Pembroke Pines. Mosquitos, flooding, and sauna-level heat were a part of the atmosphere that made you feel like you were going to drive over an alligator at the gate. Now there's a mall across the street and a hospital. It's belted in by shopping plazas and a fancy school on the other sides. The swamp is gone. Everything is sleek, bright, antiseptic, and disaffected. In short, it's heinous and suburban. I won a few tennis tournaments in this park. I move past the nostalgia. No one cares about the beauty of loose ends.

This evening I am in a Miami mansion by the bay. The room is filled with physicians and pharmacists and there's a spread of holiday food. Everyone is here for a winter solstice fire burning ritual. A Venezuelan pagan/pharmacist leads us through the fire. Why are we doing this? Because Florida! I write down the obstacles from this past year on a sheet of paper. Then I burn them in a marble fireplace. I write down the expectations for next year and I burn them in the same fire. And the winter solstice is complete. Russian cake is served and I look out the window past the pool and out toward the bay. Tea is served and physicians start filing out to their cars. After two cups I drive home. Green lights all the way. 

No comments: