Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Brace yourself and brave it.


The winter music conference is lurking around the corner. 3 weeks away. Waiting. The thought of it: the hot moon and expensive drinks, staying up forever, never eating, drinking too much and all the pills. The pills. The pills and hotel rooms. Music and trying to impress people. Being charming. Confident. Deadened. Godless. Shaking everybody’s hand. Saying I’ll call them. Losing my cell phone in a cab and cursing. Smoking cigarettes and staring at pretty girls with big asses. Again and again and again. It turns my stomach, just the thought.

I have to go this year, more than any other year that I’ve gone. I've gone almost every year since 2001. They have all been a good time, except the one when we went to war. That one was gloomy, we stayed inside most of the time, watching the news and old movies. Last year is loosely documented on this blog. It was one of the better ones, if I recall correctly. But my memory isn’t what it used to be.

Miami isn’t like Hollywood. It isn’t like New York. It’s definitely not like San Francisco. It’s a city and it’s big and there are a lot of tall buildings and fast talking people, but everything feels stolen, it doesn’t feel like it belongs. Its too modern, but dated at the same time. The history there feels short. Like it’s just now forming its language. The only thing of it that interest me is its pornography, other than that it’s culturally confused. I guess that makes it pretty American when I put it that way. Oh well. It’s where the conference is held every year.

I remember the first year I went it seemed the whole city had its hand in my pocket. My friend who was starting a record label flew me down and paid for my hotel. He was still high on dot com money then, but those days are long gone. Anyway, he booked a hotel way up on 66th and Collins, thinking that anywhere on Collins was the heart of the city. He was wrong; we were miles away from the action. Since the public transportation system in Miami seemed like an ill advised adventure waiting to happen, we were taking cabs everywhere we went. And I swear, no cab ride was less than $30. By the time I reached $250 in taxi fares alone, I started to get suspicious. But what could I do, I was at the mercy of circumstance. Take me for a ride, I’ll pay for it. Hell, I’ll tip you too, what do I have to lose but time?

I was loaded down with drugs. Meth. Coke. Mushrooms. Ecstasy. I’d played the part of mule because I could. Airport laws where much more relaxed at the time. Everybody wanted to have a good time. It was the new millennium. We were still children. The well hadn’t run dry yet. You couldn’t even walk on the sidewalks it was so packed. My neck almost broke from all the ass I stretched to see. The women were beautiful. Their curves: explosive. Every sunrise seemed like he best there ever was. As if things could get no better. And I went at it as if I never would again. It was like that, like everything was at the very end. Like we were having a last hurrah.

Of course, we weren’t, because here we are.

Anyway, the parties that year were at inventive places. I went to a ghetto tech party at a strip club. That was fun. I threw down a few dollars and let a bored blond gyrate her hips in my face. No one really showed up, but I had a good time nonetheless. There was a party at a Denny’s diner that started at 4am. The lights were brutal, fluorescents on maximum. Yet they still had a full DJ set up and played deep Chicago House at a high, almost awkward volume. It was weird, a packed dance floor perforated with two top tables and people eating eggs. Oh yeah, we all got a free Grand Slam Breakfast, which was pretty bonus. And people were dancing hard. Like they partied at diners every weekend. Under those bright lights at that strange hour. It was crazy. It was too much. The whole thing seemed historic.

At some point I had been up for two days and it was the middle of the afternoon and I was bored as hell. My friend had retired to the hotel for some alone time. I was pretending I was busy but had finally run out of lies. So I'm at this park in the middle of everything but far from my anywhere to go. With nothing left to do, I figure I'm gonna get into some dirt, so start rifling through the local rags for whores in the area. I finally get the line of one that’s not to far from where I'm at, so I hop in a taxi and go to meet her. She lived pretty close to where I was, in a residential district on the edges of south beach. Of course the cab fare was still $35.

When she opened the door she had a robe on. She was sort of older, and wasn’t thin, with a look on her face that said,” get it over with.” I think she was Cuban but I don’t know because I didn’t ask. Her skin was brown, that’s all I could tell you. I gave her the money up front, plus tip. Her room was clean but smelled of cigarettes. The furniture was simple and strangly absent of design. I was wound up and ready but played it patient. In the end it was hardly worth it, over in 5 minutes and she didn’t even ask me my name. The money would have been better spent buying drinks for some girl at a bar. That old amphetamine pervert had cheated me again.

I wonder if this year will be similar. My palms are sweating just thinking about it.

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:gray matters: by jkg is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at downtownalleys.blogspot.com.