five minutes in miami

2 August 2012 § Leave a comment

“Your confidence betrays you,” I said to a girl holding a large, silver Fendi bag.

“What?” Her facial expression matched her tone. Annoyance. Confusion.

She had looked smart enough standing there, waiting for something to happen. We’d locked eyes once or twice, which hadn’t come to much, so I strode over to talk to her.

She was beautiful in a way unlike her surroundings. Her soft brown hair, pulled into a pony tail, was not the bleached-blond of her South Florida counterparts. She seemed contemplative – good posture, well-fitting clothes (mostly denim, which I forgave her for immediately, mostly because I enjoyed looking at her Librarian/Natalie Portman eyes).

Her feet I don’t remember well, likely because she was tall. Model tall. Perhaps I didn’t want to see flats because her height, if it challenged my lanky 6’4″, might have intimidated me, and I had no wish to see spikes because I’d spared her two-thousand-dollar purse in my assessment of her character, and had concluded that she was not one to try to be something she wasn’t, like tall, or a model.

My mind was reeling. What had I said to her? Was it so far off from ‘hello’ that I had thrown her off, or had she not heard me? Should I start over?

I lifted my fedora off my forehead in a slow panic. A smile crept over my futurewrinkled face, that wide shit-eating grin I usually saved for hitching rides on country roads. It was nervous energy, and more often than not meant that I was fucked. Not in the good way. (How nice that would have been, to skip the inconvenient formalities of ‘who are you’ and ‘who would you like to be’ and ‘why aren’t you that already’ and just explore the luscious curves she hid under all that denim, to surf her orgasmic waves on an island in the South Pacific instead of treading water in a Miami mall, wanting to either flee, or clarify my intentions.)

Someone of lesser character might have backtracked, to be sure. They would have stumbled over a few words to reach a less-humiliating exit from the situation. However in my confidence I remained silent, and waited for the girl to make the next move.

“Um,” she started, long having dismissed my existence in her world now and forever, “I’m just waiting.”

For whom? I thought. But only the first world coughed its way out of my throat. She gave no reply. in my mind the angel with whom I’d locked eyes was gone, vanished, perhaps into the Fendi. I took her reciprocated silence as a sign that I was no longer welcome south of the Tropic of Cancer, let alone trying to mingle with her meridians.

A year crept through my backyard in Alaska before I thought of Natalie Portman again. Like any wilderness adventurer in the depths of winter, I was cruising facebook with a glass of wine one night when I found one of those Friends I’d met once (the ex-boyfriend of a middle school buddy’s ex-girlfriend, if you know what I mean) and never communicated with again.

Said ex-boyfriend, in short, was a photographer based in Florida, and occasionally put his work up on his page. It was decent photography, done by someone who had only recently graduated to Professional. There were wedding shots, portraits of plastic surgeons, girls in bikinis, and one series with a quasi-Gothic atmosphere featuring a girl who had obviously never listened to Evanescence.

Just as I poured a second glass of pinot (backhanded and blind, just like Adam Sandler in Spanglish), there she was, lodged between a ballerina and a biker chick: Fendi girl posed in an orange two-piece on a front porch. Italian sun shined onto the vineleaves behind her head, and her hips, free of the designer jean debacle, swerved lovely through the photo like mirrored plumes of cigarettes smoke.

Her eyes didn’t look so thoughtful on the internet. Perhaps because I’d found her out – her contemplation was as deep as a puddle, I’d concluded. And aside from her voluptuous, juicy body, she didn’t come off as a model either. No, Miss Fendi fell somewhere else; it was as if she was the difference between a librarian, kind and intelligent, and the facade of Natalie, film star and recipient of young men’s masturbatory thoughts since Star Wars’ revival a decade ago.

No, Fendi wasn’t the one that got away, She would have had to get me first, and I would have had none of that.


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