Sites and Sounds of Miami

The feelings of car inadequacy have passed. I have come to accept the fact that I drive a Subaru in the land of BMWs, a station wagon in the world of SUVs. I can live with this. In the past semester, however, I have seen some things that have put it over the top.

As I drove to class recently, holding up traffic by actually obeying the 30 mph speed limit was a small bus. At first I was sympathetic. A bus full of kids, short-bus kids no less, a responsible driver driving slowly, blah, blah, blah. Then I began to think: it is 6:00 p.m. What are they doing out at this hour?

I looked at the bus more closely. Although it was painted the traditional yellow, I saw strange lettering on the sides, and a big orange comic strip bubble filled the glass of the emergency window. Definite safety hazard.

I looked closer and read: “Have you taken your dog to our doggie playland daycare yet?”

I was following a yellow school bus full of canines being dropped off at home by the bus driver after a day of games, play groups and personal massage therapists.

I don’t have a personal massage therapist.

Later, while shopping for Armani pants at the thrift store, located, oddly enough, in the same building as the police station where they host the “Weed and Seed” Program in a Miami ghetto, I ran into a gaggle of gay boys preparing for a fiesta in Alabama. I’m minding my own business, thinking how good I feel that my purchase of a $5.95 DKNY sweater will benefit the Jewish Home for the Aged, when one of the guys sauntered up my aisle in an Abercrombie and Fitch t-shirt, cargo shorts and white pumps.

The Cuban lady working there told him, “Jou hab great legs.”

“I played football,” he said.

Under his arm, cradled like a pigskin, were the clothes he had stolen from his compadre, who was at that moment penguining around the store, all 6’3″ of him, in a “frumpy” (his word) black dress, barefoot.

This friend was having a hard time finding shoes to complete his ensemble.

You know what they say about guys with big feet: just can’t find a good pair of used stilettos anywhere.

And there’s more. One Saturday, I stepped out of the bathroom stall at Tu Tu Tango, and two bleached blonde flamenco dancers in yellow and gold-sequined costumes were putting on lipstick. Two mirrors. Two flamenco dancers. No, wait, that makes four flamenco dancers. Who’s counting anyway?

Next day, I’m minding my own business again (there seems to be a lot of that going on, huh?), checking out the yellow Lambourghini parked on Ocean Drive right in front of Johnny Rockets, when I spot another flamenco dancer. A male flamenco dancer in a midriff-baring costume, clapping his castenetas and twirling down the sidewalk at two in the afternoon.

Are stress and homesickness inducing hallucinations or is it mass hysteria in Miami? You be the judge.

Angie Henderson is a graduate student in the School of International Studies.