5 pair of jeans, a few pair of shorts, very short swimming trunks, about 4 pairs of shoes, a few rolls of film, and this old Cannon Sureshot Supreme film camera I stole from my moms. Yup, we are about to embark on our 1st vacation as a couple. You know, the one that makes or breaks a relationship? Sure, she looks beautiful siting at Fabianes sipping coffee like true Brooklyn royalty but how beautiful will she look like when you are lost in another city with missing luggage and a stolen wallet? A couple of hours stuck on a flight over a 7 dollar beer with your years are popping while the Hindu siting on the other side of you rubs his bare feat are not going to be the ideal conditions for the required romance needed to lead to the Mile High club. I had my worries, she was a seasoned flier while I was better at walking then most people I know. To make matters even more complicated we were headed to South Beach Miami for the Winter Music Conference. The WMC is one of the biggest electronic and dance music gatherings ever and all of my friends will be there, giving this trip a Meet The Fockers feel. She packs heavy. I packed light. I carried everything. Here’s to a happy and healthy flight.
I’m always afraid when I get to the security gate of an airline. A few years ago while at the 1st Detroit Electronic Music Festival I Snuck into Canada on a ferry. While on the way back I was pulled over by TSA agent as my name came up on their criminal watch list. Didn’t help that I was almost done with my probation for a drug related misdemeanor. After they searched my body and scanned my fingerprints I was allowed to re-enter the United States. It was the worst boat ride ever as I kept having this conscious nightmare of the Detroit Police Department waiting to give me a night stick massage. But nothing. Just a minor warning and I was allowed to roam the city streets and commit more crimes. Buahahahahahaha. Just kidding. I saw Slum Village perform and pretended I was on Ecstasy so I could make out with the less ravey looking girls in attendance and photograph them under the watchful eye of my gracious Host. A host who probably really liked me up until my 7th random make-out session. Now when I think about it they should have locked me up in Canada. Shit that was douchey, like who does that? Oh, my point is I was scared when I boarded. Sorry.
“Located on Collins Avenue in the Art Deco District, the Aqua Hotel is centrally located to all Miami Beach attractions and activities.”
The Aqua Hotel
South Beach reminds me of bubble gun, very sticky, moist, and wet. The humidity stretches your nose you we need more to room breath in the thick air and the neon lights make your eyes dilate. It’s almost like Las Vegas but with a dimmer. All the people who work in the airport have the same amazing tan as the bums and Miami Sound Machine is written on everybody’s face. The natives are awkwardly nice due to the year round perfect weather brain-washing everyone into this cocaine induced bliss. You wake up with a margarita and sleep with a Vicodin in between sex and surgery. South beach has seen its share of beautiful people. Even the cashiers at the McDonald’s judge you. Kara’s New York black is dull against the pastels of our hotels facade. The Aqua Hotel looks nothing like the pictures we saw online. A body parking lot with a pool would have been a better description then the word “boutique”. Before we can receive our keys they charge us an extra 250 bucks for “incidentals” explaining that since this is WMC they expect some party related damages. I can no longer fight the future and refused to let something Expedia should have mentioned ruin our fun. I pay in folded 20’s and we make our way to our hotel room. I drop our bags on the cement grey concrete water stained floors. This is not going to be fun to walk around in bare footed. The room is immense in size and comes complete with a Sid killed Nancy vibe you’d only find in a seedy Chelsea motel. If the walls could talk it would probably re-enact any scene from the movie Scarface. Our flat screen is small and suspiciously from K-Mart. Someone might have wrestled an alligator in our kitchen. I look at Kara and try to read her face for some sort of approval but I’m only met with “eh”. I understand it as it’s not that bad. We have 5 nights to go in this “art deco” hotel. OK, let’s go get some Cuban coffee.
“Look at that murky ass pool…”
“Yeah, we wont be going in there…”
The night in Miami is as thick as the cuban coffee we brought walking down Collins Avenue. The buildings and hotels along Collins look like the equalizer settings on an old stereo as they expand and contract to the sound of dance music. House music all night long, say what? We’ve only been in South beach now for 30 minutes since I posted my “I’M IN MIA BITCH” prerequisite twitter. It’s Tuesday evening and I’m one of the first of many to arrive from NYC. No ones responded yet. I literally have no directions as to where this night will go. Frog won’t arrive until Friday. Fine, we’ll take it slow. We take out Cuban coffee and buttered bread from Davids Cafe to the beach. The humidity has blackened the sky and we can only see as far as the waves crashing on the sand. That even happens to a beat. Beads of sweat start to form on Kara’s face and she no longer looks like the Kara I know from NYC. she’s a Pilar or a Maria from downtown Miami. Her curves, softer. Her lips, fuller. My cool yet crazy corporate girlfriend was starting to look like my wild trophy Miami girlfriend. Fuck this beach, fuck this coffee. I go in for what will be first of many soap opera styled kisses. She wants to know what’s gotten into me. I want to get into her. I want dance. The rhythm has gotten me. We are in Miami.
My excitement is at its peak now. I’m bobbing and weaving in and out of the pink polo’s and off duty life guards cluttering Ocean Avenue. I check my phone. Nothing in my text messages or Twitter. Fuck it. I’ll just go ANYWHERE. I just want to dance I want to get out of my airplane outfit and put on something with less fabric and more color. I put my phone away as I decide my Black Berry can’t do anything useful for me. The minute I take my hands off my phone and out of my pocket I bump into 12th Planet in front of Wet Willies. You can call 12th one of the heavy bass champions of the world. Holy shit. Prayers answered. Let’s get wild.
“Yo kid!! We going to the White Room what’s good???
We are back at our Hotel. Everyone I know will be in downtown Miami. This will be the 1st of our many trips down the McArthur Causeway. A quick shower and outfit change .Whatever Kara is wearing I tell her to go without underwear, that we wont need it, and it’ll only get in the way. Huh? She slowly starting to get annoyed at my enthusiasm. She’s been to Miami a couple of times and doesn’t see the big deal. “You do this shit in NYC.” she tells me and I totally agree… but not like this. My eyes are as wide as Elijah Woods in Lord Of The Rings. I’m shaking like I’m in day 2 of my recovery from Heroin. I’m might as well be foaming out the mouth with anticipation.”Whatever”… she indulges me and leaves the panties behind. She stashes a bottle of Jack Daniel in her Alexander Wang camera bag and we walk out to a group of obnoxious Euro’s in the pool below us.
“Oh god people get in that water?”
“I guess so…”
The only way I can describe the next few nights is as such: Imagine holding a movie camera in the middle of a party that’s on a huge trampoline recording everyone and an earth quake hits for 6 hours. Everything is loud and out of control. No one’s drinking out of glasses preferring to drink straight out the bottle. No one is hiding in that bathroom stalls, everyone is very public. This is WMC 2010 Miami, you know what the fuck you came to do. Jess Jubilee plays AC Slaters “Calm Down” and you shake and rattle the DJ booth. The DJ booth. Armand Van Helden and Atrak play “ANYway” and you spill your drinking while flapping your arms like a flamingo. You can stop touching her, smelling her, pawning at her. She returns the affection by fucking you with her eyes and teasing you with her hair. You can’t finish another drink but you try. You gurgle directions to your cab driver to your hotel and are considerably overcharged.
And then you walk by your empty murky hotel pool.
I set the Budweiser by the end of the pool with my camera. She puts her hair in a high pony and slowly walks in the water. It’s heated and all I think is this is a germ pot used to cook tourist and self entitled locals. I light my cigarette and lean against the inside pool wall. She’s starts to purr like a cat and now I’m starting to purr like a weird mating ritual that belongs in a Broadway play. The sun is starting to rise. I kiss her once. Then again. Then drop the cigarette into the water as we start to go at each other like cannibals during a meat drought. The gentle water has now grown violent with our rampant splashing. Our nails digging into each other hard enough that we can feel but gentle enough as to not break skin. OMG we are doing it in this unattractive and murky pool. I try to capture as much as I can on camera but the timer is fucked. I’m so drunk and everything is spinning and the vertigo feels amazing. Soon we are at Showgirls level of intimacy. It’s like the universe stepped out for a beer and it’s just us. Alone. Great, no ones going to see Kara drown me and she’ll get away with murder. I’d remind her that I can’t swim but her lips keep trying to get inside my face. I’m holding on for dear life and how I have a boner while praying to God is beyond me. I find my rhythm. Mmmm.Yes.YES. Wooooo HOOOOOO!
And then I hear a plate crash.
One of the Euro’s from earlier is casually cleaning up the mess left by this comrades from earlier in the night. The table is just a few steps away from the pool, fuck, fuck, fuck. Was he even looking in our direction? Probably, and he probably didn’t care. We wrap ourselves up in our hotel towels and giggle our way back to our room. The embarrassment has squashed any need for me to ‘finish’ as it’s now impossible and I can’t stop laughing. We hug, we kiss, we pass out. I wake up to my very wet pillow and my damp dreadlocks smelling of chlorine. She wakes up wrapped in a towel and a bikini worsth a rape kit. We both don’t remember why. Our walk to get coffee and food is now a sheepish waddle as we walk along our 2nd floor balcony overlooking the pool. The Euro’s from last night are once again frolicking in that murky ass water. We both turn away in disgust. Then one of them spy’s us, alerts his friends, and we are received with a tremendous applause.
“Kara, what the hell are they yapping about?”
“Yeah I dunno, it must be that gross water…”
Then one of the Euro’s ask us if we’ll be using the pool again tonight while his boys make a weird mooing sound.
Que the awkward walk back to our hotel room with our shabby continental breakfast. And yes, we did go back into the pool that same night. Best.Trip. Ever.
(This is the only set I wish I would have heard while in Miami but couldn’t because we were shot from hanging out at P. Diddy’s house and refused to One More Day ourselves. A special shout out to Felix The House Cat and my good friend Dances With White Girls for that, totally super-sized our amazing vacation.)