I'm a little slow today. I just switched to Sanka. So...have a heart?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Oh, and also:

I found this story to be relatively touching and thought provoking, making Heath Ledger's death seem less like the loss of a character in "Ten Things I Hate About You," and more like the premature death of a rising star.

It's a great article. Except the end where it suddenly veers into almost a tawdry Hollywood-Gossip Rag...


I went for a stroll this evening, and I had a total epiphany. Like, mind-blowing.

I was wandering around, and it dawned on me, that my neighborhood is an absolute hellhole. It's a city, so that's to be expected, I guess, and it's definitely better than many neighborhoods on the beach, but if I in my mind, thought of my neighborhood as my immediate neighborhood, and not as the entire Miami Beach Area as a whole, I'd start getting mighty depressed. Because I live in a hellhole.

Now, don't get me wrong, my place is fucking kick-ass. (Except for the neighbors who smoke endless cigarettes that, for some reason, waft out of my medicine cabinet...and who occasionally beat each other to a pulp while screaming "FUCKING WHORE!" (Remember the Sweyn and Ted Pardo story I told?) ) My place is kick-ass, my view is kick ass. My location is fairly kick-ass. That's about it. My building, from the back, is actually really, super cute. From the front, it looks like a rusty tenement building. (Although, better than MANY I had looked at on the Beach.) It's on a flight path to Miami (I always fly over it when I fly home) and it's on a bus route; a rutted, busy road. There is a traffic light nearly right outside my window. Did you know that scooters and jet skis make the same amount of noise? Just different types of the same amount of noise.

When I leave my rusty tenenment building, I pass the leaking fire hydrant and step over the choked gutters, to the broken pavement on the other side of the street where, although the pavement is, literally, in shards, and I have to walk past the Laundry n' Garbage Room Combination on the corner of the street, which I'm sure is a real pleasure to visit during the summer, (actually, I know it is, I've just either become accustomed to the smell of hot trash and low-tide that South Beach wafts, or it's been too cool and relatively too dry to kick up the funk) still, despite all those charming attributes, at least the far side has less dog poop... I stepped in dog poop in flip flops yesterday. It got into my flip flops.

Although I handled the incident very well and very maturely, and very butchly I did toss those flip flops. I didn't like those flip flops very much anyway.

I walk through a canyon of 40-55 year old apartment buildings that have teemed with so many forms of life through their existence, if those walls could talk, they would have some pretty fucking gnarly stories. Some awesome, some heart-wrenching, some just plain weird...

Hell, I don't even want to know the things that I'm sure took place in my joint.

Past barking dogs and suspicious puddles and water trickling through green mold.

Objectively, I just realized how... dirty... and how... awful my neighborhood (and most of Miami) is. And I've simply... BECOME ACCUSTOMED to it! I'm not even surprised that three-inch long roaches regularly die inside the flourescent-light drop ceiling in the lobby of my building. I just wonder when they'll be cleaned out. Santiago does a really good job at least keeping the building's "EWWWWWWWWW" factor to a minimum. They're usually gone in a day or two.

But on the corner, Lincoln Road ends, and there's a view of Downtown Miami rising over and reflecting on the water. Out my window, I see manatees grazing and dolphins rolling around.
I came home from my walk, and passed a girl in a gold-lamee sundress and brown and white rabbit mukluks walking a large white and brown boxer, as a red convertible Mercedes CL whizzed past me. As I rolled up to my lobby, a guy with an effeminate Spanish accent was belting Kelly Clarkson (terribly!) in a shower somewhere.

I mean, it's a hellhole, and if you had asked me when I started college whether I could ever imagine myself living on a smelly block with poor people and elderly shut-ins, and co-dependent abusive homosexuals and that other gay guy I liked better when he drove a BMW because now that he drives a white Jeep, it's like the one thing that made him remotely cute is gone... especially because his dog smells, so that's like a major negative factor...

I would have told you "absolutely not."

But despite the hot garbage and the fact that my rear windshield foggs up with salt film a day after being washed, and despite the sirens and rattling hot water heaters and that asshole who blasted "IT'S THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR" at all hours of the day and night intermittently for three days around New Year's Day, out his windows, despite all that...

It's my hellhole. And it's home.