Thursday, October 20, 2016

Open Letters Series: E.N.

I threw my iPhone across the room as soon as I read it. I’m toxic, I know that about myself. I mangle even the semblance of your innocence. I’m terrible at this, I’m a deviant in the worst way. I made your head swim in a matter of moments and I wonder why I’m alone or why I can’t ever get a good woman to stay. I always have this crude fight with myself: my sexuality, my faith, my morality, and my heart. I scared you because my spirit is so out of sorts; ghosts of my upbringing and my environment appear repeatedly when I’m with you.

The thing is that text you sent me is right: we are better as friends. The problem now is we can’t be friends, we shot that notion down the moment I made my way inside you. We’re both scared to send that first text now, it’s too strange, too painful, too difficult. No one wants to look inside for the courage to lie to yourself, to lie and say you can move on from a difficult decision. Who wants to be face-to-face with someone that you expressed levels of gratitude for you may never feel again in your life? Who the fuck wants to feel that pain? 

The last time me and someone else decided to be greedy and hoard each other’s love we ended up creating an even bigger disaster for ourselves. Since then, I haven’t wanted a thing to do with greedy love. No matter how consumed I am, how deep the infatuation runs, or how stupefying the sex is I can’t do it again. It creates a horrendous pain in my soul, but it keeps me from destroying myself or you for that matter. So yes, we may never see eachother again.

I’m not okay with that; never seeing you again. It’s unfair that we were brought together to never see each other again. It’s unfair that we ultimately wasted each other's time. I know I may be painting this situation in black-and-white, but the grey areas are the most dangerous in love. Staying out of the grey areas will protect both of our hearts well into the future. Even if that means I’ll never see you again, embrace you again, kiss you again, or look you in your eyes and feel that electricity again. 

I’m not okay with never seeing you again, but I know it has to happen. I don’t regret one moment we spent together though. I’m so happy that you reminded me I could truly open myself back up to someone, and not hold back my emotions. If anything, I can take solace in knowing I was able to seriously put myself out there. I’m delighted I got to know you, even if it won’t continue into the future. Never seeing you again may be the worst feeling in the world, but it will give both of us happy futures. I wish you all the best, even though I’m pretty sure you got me sick. 

In loving appreciation,
Ethan Gaines

P.S. Don’t you dare duh me again, sweetie.

Friday, September 23, 2016


I am a citizen of the United States. I pay taxes every year to the Internal Revenue Service. I reside in the United States. I pledge allegiance to the flag. Sadly though my life doesn’t carry the same value in this country that some of my caucasian peers do. Because I’m a black man, I get labelled differently even by those sworn to protect me. I’m automatically “a bad dude” or “scary” just because of the color of my skin. I’m not saying every police officer in America is conditioned to be racist, but I am saying there is a culture in this country that leads to an inordinate amount of black people losing their lives to police.

The culture I’m talking about is the same culture that gives caucasians the audacity to tell black people that racism ended with the civil rights movement. That culture allows people to turn a blind eye to obvious racism occurring around them. It allows caucasian people to sleep at night because they can create every excuse under the sun for why someone who looks like me can get killed in situations they would survive. Ignoring racism around you is a component of white privilege, even if you aren’t a part of the group of racist individuals that exist in this country you can ignore it. 

The problem for African-Americans, blacks, or whatever you feel like labelling us is we can’t ignore it. We can’t ignore seeing innocent black people shot dead or beaten by police in the street on national television. It hurts. It pains every one of us deeply. It makes us angry. Which leads to another component of white privilege that allows a caucasian person to tell me I don’t have a plight even though they have never lived through any of my experiences. Well I’m here to say it: WHITE PEOPLE CANNOT TELL ME WHAT MY EXPERIENCES ARE. I know what I, my family, my ancestors, and my friends go through everyday that share my skin and my features. 

The worst part of all of this is the way white Americans are conditioned to be afraid of black people. Again, I’m not saying every white person in America is racist or even prejudiced but I am saying that culture exists in a much larger number than you can imagine. That culture is the one that has me followed in stores, or that locks the door when I walk by. That culture also has police automatically label blacks as criminals, as wrongdoers, as people who will harm them. So they shoot us without asking questions, or while we comply with their demands. This is the culture that allows a black man waiting with his stalled vehicle to end up getting shot dead, even while complying with demands he was given by the officers. 

It’s sad that we still struggle with this in 2016. It’s sad that all racism didn’t cease after the civil rights movement. It’s sad that my people still have to be angry enough to have to protest, or worse riot. It’s tragic that ending racism in America is a disruption of the status quo. Racism, either on purpose or inadvertently is considered normal in this country. The sad truth is like many times already in American history there will be some painful protest, unrest, and unhappiness until we can resolve more of our issues. With all this said, I only want the best for this entire nation and all the people who inhabit it, regardless of skin tones and facial features. It’s time for all of us to want that very same thing. 

Friday, September 2, 2016

Miami Stories Vol. 5 Part 1

It had been two months since I made my return to Charlotte.Taylor still had yet to answer a phone call or text message from me. Dani still tried to communicate with me through threatening text messages, and Erin slowly became my recurring houseguest. I decided to give up my debaucherous life in Miami and find an everyday job. I woke up on a Sunday morning to Erin laying next to me, she had just lit a fresh blunt. She passed it towards me as she gave me my morning greeting:

“Morning fathead.”

After I took my first pull I peered over at her and said:

“Damn you look good this morning. Especially when you pearl a blunt like this.”

She laughed as I passed her the blunt, then she rolled over to give me a kiss. I looked in her big brown eyes and started to cry. I shut my eyes to mask the tears but it was too late. All I could see in my head was Taylor and how I left her in Miami. Erin looked at me with loving conviction and asked:

“Are you okay?”

“I love you Erin. I love you so much.”

“Paul, I love you. Please just tell me you are okay.”

“Roo, I’m fine.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes. You want to eat brunch?”

“Hell yeah.”

I had already moved the majority of my things from Miami back to Charlotte, mostly my clothes and valuables. I also had all of Erin’s clothes I moved to Miami brought back. I climbed out of bed and walked toward my walk-in-closet, and Erin called out:

“Paul, why did you keep my clothes all this time?”

“I moved everything thinking you were coming to Miami with me. You never called after I moved, and I felt bad about just throwing them off the balcony into the bay. So I just kept them.”

“How thoughtful.”

I grabbed clothes off the racks in the closet: a white linen oxford shirt, bone-colored chinos, and a navy blue hopsack blazer. I typed a code into the security app on my phone and my mirror rose to reveal my wall of watches. I grabbed my Corum Admiral’s Cup 47 Legend off its winder, and wrapped it around my wrist. I spun around and walked out of the closet to see Erin standing in front of me in a pair of skinny jeans and a flannel shirt. Before I could even get a word out about how good she looked, she spoke up:

“Yes, I know I look good. You ready?” 

“Of course I am.”

“I’m driving”

We ran downstairs to her Jeep Wrangler sitting in my front yard. It was covered in its consistent coat of mud. I hopped through the doorless opening and sat in the tight seat. The crisp morning air felt good running over my skin as drove through the city. We pulled up in the valet circle in front of Vivace and hopped out to the ground. The valet, my stoner friend Justin, ran straight to us. We walked in straight past the hostess to the patio and grabbed a table.

From my seat I looked off the patio at joggers running by taking advantage of the weather. I still felt uneasy about enjoying a sunny brunch after leaving Taylor behind. I did my best to shake off the feeling as the waitress asked for our orders. I took advantage of the mimosa bar and opened up with the breakfast polenta. Erin had the same choice in drink and opened with the bruschetta. It was all very quaint and pretty but still left me looking at the world as if it were shrouded in darkness.

By the time we finished quietly eating the second course of brunch I had calmed myself again. The waitress dropped the tab on the table, and I quickly threw a $100 bill in the check holder. Erin rolled her eyes at my overtly generous tip and we both left the table. We walked through the restaurant to the valet circle where Erin’s Wrangler was parked directly in front of the door. Justin ran up with her keys and I handed him a $20 bill as I walked towards the Jeep. As I climbed in he thanked me then asked:

“Are you coming to pint night at Flying Saucer tomorrow?”

“Depends on when I leave work, I’ll let you know.”

“Well if you get off early, come by Nick’s”

“Will do!”

As I finished my last statement, Erin took off out of the driveway. I could see she was obviously upset with something, so I inquired:

“What the hell is wrong now?”

“Fuck you.”

“Oh my god, what did I do?”

“Why do you always do that?”


“Spend all that money for no reason. You just handed him $20 and all he did was move my Jeep six feet. You left the waitress a ridiculous tip, like who are you showing off for?”

“I’m not showing off. He parked your Jeep out front because of the fact I always tip well. The waitress is a single mother with two kids, I always tip her well because she does a good job. What the fuck is your problem?” 

“I don’t know.”

The rest of the drive was silent, Erin stared intensely at the road the entire way. We pulled up at the house and both hopped out and didn’t look at each other as we approached the front door. She stormed through the door and upstairs to my bedroom. I walked through the foyer to my office and grabbed my briefcase. As I walked back out, I shouted up the stairs:

“I’m going to the office, I’ll be back whenever.”

I walked outside to my garage, a detached, brick building with 8 garage bays. I walked inside and unlocked my key box, and grabbed the keys to my Volvo from inside. I walked down to black XC90 and opened the garage bay behind it. I opened the door and quickly threw my briefcase in the passenger seat. I reversed out of the garage and took off towards the city. I felt a monumental headache as I drove down I-85 to my office. I’ve always known Erin to be moody but I’d never seen her criticize my benevolence ever before. Before I could wrap my head around it, I was pulling up on my office park from Harris Blvd. I badged myself in at the gate and drove down into the parking garage. I grabbed my briefcase and headed into the building from the empty parking garage. As I approached the revolving doors, my phone began to ring, I pull it out to see 740-380-3942 on my screen. Who would be calling me from Ohio on a Sunday afternoon? I answered quizzically: 


“Hi is this Paul?”

“Yes. Yes it is, who is this?”

“Paul, it’s Jack, Taylor’s father. Look, I don’t know how to say this but Taylor is…”

“Jack, what’s going on?”

“Taylor has passed away.”

“Are you in Miami?”


“I’m on my way.”

I immediately turned around towards the parking deck and hopped in my car. I opened up the NetJets app on my phone and set up a route to Opa-Locka. I peeled out of the garage in the big hybrid Volvo towards the airport. As I bounced in and out of traffic on I-85, I grabbed my phone and dialed Erin. She picked up in a groggy state:


“I’m about to get on a PJ to Miami. Taylor is dead.”


“I don’t know anything yet, her dad called me a few minutes ago. If you want to come with me you can.”

“Where are you?”

“I’ll be at Wilson Air Center in 20 minutes, meet me at the VIP lounge.”

I hung up the phone quickly as I continued to fly down the freeway. Before I knew it the Volvo silently pulled up outside the terminal. I checked in at the front desk and was escorted to the VIP lounge while the jet was being fueled. I asked the concierge to bring me a gin and pineapple from the bar. As I sank into the chair and sipped my drink, I watched the ground crews service the planes on the runway. I finished off my drink and as I began to ask the concierge for another a voice chimed in:

“Don’t give him another damn thing.”

Erin broke my trance with the shrillest version of her voice. She sat down next to me and grabbed my hand. I looked over at her and shook my head. I didn’t believe that she had the slightest idea of what was going through my head. We had about 3 more hours before my plane would be ready, so I dialed Taylor’s father, he picked up solemnly:


“Yes, Jack. Look I’m waiting for a plane to get down there, where are you guys?”

“We’re staying at the Four Seasons. Where are you coming from?”

“I’ve been in Charlotte on business. I’ll call you when I’m in Miami.”

“Alright. See you then.”

I hung up the phone and immediately asked for another drink. As the concierge brought over my gin and pineapple, Erin looked over into my eyes. I looked away and she tightly grasped my hand. I took a long sip of my drink and stared out of the windows. Erin finally spoke:

“Paul, I’m sorry about what I said to you earlier. It wasn’t fair at all. I’ve just felt like something has been distracting you lately. Don’t let me hurt you. Seriously.”

“Erin, I’m okay. I just need to get past this.”

I opened my briefcase and pulled out my laptop to distract myself with the work I should’ve been doing. Before long I saw my plane taxi up to the VIP ramp, a Gulfstream G450. If Erin was angry about the way I tipped, I’m sure she wouldn’t like what we were in store for. I could’ve just flown commercial but that would’ve wasted time I really didn’t have. I ignored the fact she was staring at me and the ridiculous nature of the plane we were flying. The concierge made her way towards us and I continued staring into my laptop. 

“Mr. Hargrove?”


“Your plane is ready for you to board.”
“Oh thank you.”

She was still staring at me and I was still avoiding her gaze as I grabbed her bags and walked out to the ramp. The flight attendant greeted me and grabbed the bags as I walked up the quick set of stairs to the plane. I sat down in the forward portion of the cabin in a rearward facing seat, Erin sat directly in front of me. I was avoiding conversation but Erin wasn’t having it. I sat and waited for us to taxi out to the runway. When we finally took off, Erin broke the silence.

“Why are we on a private jet that can carry 14 people, Paul?”

“Because this is the plane I have partial ownership of, Erin. Look, do you just think I just wake up and think of new ways to be wasteful? Because if you do you can fucking say it now. I didn’t wake up this morning for you to judge me dammit. I make the damn money and I spend it the way I want to. If you’d like I can have them turn us around and you can piss off back home.”

Erin sat and stared for a few seconds, then unbuckled her seat belt and lunged at me and punched my face. She sat back down and stared at me again. The flight attendant came into the cabin and I waved her away. I sat and gathered my thoughts as the plane continued to climb. We eventually came to our cruising altitude and Erin got up and moved to the rear of the plane. I asked the flight attendant for a bottle of whatever champagne was available and told her I didn’t need a glass. I didn’t know why Erin was lashing out, but it didn’t really matter at the time. I was too stuck on having to see Taylor’s family after the heartache I caused her.

An hour later we were making our approach into Opa-Locka and the flight attendant came out to collect the empty bottle from me. Erin was asleep on the couch in the rear when the flight attendant woke her and asked her to buckle her seat belt. She looked at me and immediately turned away when my eyes fixed on hers. We landed on the tarmac, and taxied over to the ramp where a SUV was waiting. Erin walked past me and straight out of the plane to the open door of the black Escalade idling on the ground. The flight attendant followed behind me with our things and loaded them in the back. I climbed in the back next to Erin and we took off towards my Condo.

I stared around at downtown Miami as we drove through as the sun slowly set. I turned back to Erin and broke the silence:

“Are you ready to stop being childish?”


“Are you ready to at least tell me what the fuck that was on the plane?”

“Look, I just don’t understand how you live. Plus, you’ve just been so distracted lately when you’re around me. I just thought you may have been with somebody else.”

“Really? I’m sorry you felt that way, I’ve been worried about things like today happening.”


“I haven’t spoke to Taylor since everything blew up down here. I was worried everyday that she was dead.”

I started to sob, and Erin grabbed my hand gently. I relaxed into the seat as we continued our journey to my second home. The brooding luxury SUV parked in the circle in front of the building and I carried our things to the elevator. The ride up was silent and somber, Erin laid her head on my shoulder as we rose to the 26th floor. I dragged our belongings down the hall to my condo. I entered the door and took in how it looked in complete darkness. I flipped on the lights and could see the thin layer of dust on everything. It was odd being in that space devoid of all the vibrance it used to hold. I walked over to the wall where I kept my car keys, and grabbed the set for my Porsche. I turned to Erin, firmly planted my feet and said:

“I’m going to go see her parents, I’ll back quick. Do you need anything?”

“No, I don’t need anything.”

“I had my assistant down here stock the fridge, so if you need anything it’s in there. Including a whole case of Guinness just for you.”

“How thoughtful.”

I started to walk through the door frame and Erin called out:



“Don’t do anything crazy, please.”

I turned and continued through the door. I walked quickly to the elevator, waited a few seconds and walked in. I grabbed the wall with the sudden feeling of death surrounding me. My heart fell knowing that the one person in my life I took serious pride in was dead. I grabbed my chest trying to wrench at the knot that had developed. As the elevator slowed I straightened myself up before I exited. I stumbled out into the garage and around the corner to my parking spots. I walked up to my Porsche, covered in a thick layer of dust, seemingly abandoned in its space. I opened the door and sat deep in the seat, and pressed the start button. As the exhaust spit out a unique howl I started crying again, my tears darkening the red leather in the interior. 

I had to face what was happening, so I backed out of my space and drove to the Four Seasons. The nighttime lights of Downtown Miami brought life to the white paint on my 911 GTS as I drove towards the cold reception ahead of me. The car let off a fine burble as I slowed to turn off of Brickell Ave. I pulled up to the valet stand, and quickly gave the valet my key as i hustled into the lobby. I stood in the modern, wood-lined lobby, pulled out my phone and called Jack:

“Hey, Jack. It’s Paul. I’m in the lobby.”

“Come up to room 1023.”

The phone call ended and I walked over to the lobby elevators. I rode up the elevator alone, with only the electric whirr to keep me company. My mind raced through all the possible outcomes of this meeting. I couldn’t honestly say if I cared about how she died as much as why she was dead. I feared it had something to do with me but I was so in the dark I had no clues. I stopped running through my thoughts when the elevator finally halted. I slowly made my way down the corridor step-by-step inching closer to the door of their corner suite. I gave a light knock, and the door opened after a few seconds. I was expecting a reach for a firm handshake from Jack, but received a large hug instead. Jack then greeted me warmly:

“Paul, I’m glad to see you’re okay. Please come in. You’ve met my wife, Ellie.”

“Yes of course, I'm glad to see you again.”

I gave her a generous hug, a warm embrace that didn’t sit well with my soul. We all sat in the living room of the suite. The window had a grand view of Biscayne Bay. I couldn't hold in my thoughts any longer. I finally turned to them and asked:

“Look, what happened?”

Jack responded:

“The police say it looks like Taylor took her own life.”

I fought the overwhelming grief to ask:

“Did they find a suicide note?”

“Yes. They have yet to tell us what it says though.”

“I haven't been able to get in touch with Taylor for some time now, when did they find her?”

“Apparently she had been dead in her apartment for weeks, so it's been difficult to investigate.”

“Look, Mr. Farnham thank you for talking to me about this, I'm sure this is a very hard time for the both of you. I want you to know I loved your daughter very much.”

“Thank you, Paul.”

I hugged both of them again and made my exit from the room. I walked the hallway with my hands on my head trying to fight any semblance of guilt I was feeling inside. I felt like the elevator was spinning as it travelled back down to the ground. I made it out into the lobby and collapsed in a chair under a large, pseudo-Asian statue. I began sobbing uncontrollably as I sat. One of the concierge walked over to me as I cried and asked:

“Sir are you going to be okay?”

“No. The one person I've loved the most on this earth is gone. She killed herself. It's all my fault. It's all my fault!”

“Sir, please calm down. You're going to be okay. You're going to be just fine.” 

I sat for a few minutes attempting to pull myself together. I finally stood and walked out to the valet line. My Porsche was still sitting there waiting for me. The valet handed me my key and I gave him a $100 dollar bill from my pocket. 

The valet opened the door with a smile and I got in and took off. I headed north through downtown. The Porsche attracted more stares than I could ever imagine in a city full of every exotic car known to man. I crept through traffic looking to get away from everything I just heard. Trying to run away from my guilt and the shame of my terrible behavior, I kept pressing on. As I finally began to get comfortable, I received a phone call. It was Jack, I was so shocked I didn’t even want to pick up. I answered the phone in a quizzical tone:


“Paul, I just spoke to some detectives from Miami-Dade PD. Apparently Taylor was killed.”


“Paul, who would do this to our daughter?”

“I don’t know, but I will find out.”

“I’m so sorry to tell you this Paul. This is just terrible.”

“I’m sorry that this happened to your daughter. She was everything.”

I hung up the phone and immediately began to think of who would kill Taylor. As soon as I began to ponder, it hit me like a ton of bricks. I slammed on the brakes in the middle of Biscayne Blvd and came to a loud halt. It hit my brain like an anvil from the sky: Dani. The Civic behind me was blaring its horn as I snapped back to reality. I took off towards North Miami, this was the last straw. I immediately called Erin, she picked up in a hazy voice:

“Are you on your way back?”

“Erin, are you still in the condo?”

“Yeah. Whats going on?”

“Look, lock the door. Make sure to check all the rooms, don’t let anybody in until I get back.”

“Paul, what the fuck is going on?”

“Erin, I’ll be back soon.”

I hung up the phone as I continued speeding towards Dani’s apartment. I just knew she was responsible when I thought back to all the threats she texted me about destroying my life. The look in her eyes that night at the foot of my bed played over and over in my head. Why did she have to do this? Why did she have to take Taylor from the world?

The Porsche came to a screeching halt in front of the apartment building. I sat in the seat staring up at her apartment on the third floor. I reached over into the glove box and pulled out a pistol case containing my Beretta NEOS and turned off the car. I had no clue what I was about to walk into. I took in a deep breath and got out. My pace was brisk as I walked up to the pastel blue 60’s apartment building. I held my gun to my hip as I made my way up the stairs. Flight after flight my breathing hastened until I made it to the third floor. I peeked my head around the corner before running down the corridor to her apartment. I gave two light knocks on the door and stood back with my gun aimed directly at the middle of the door. I looked around as I counted to ten in my head. I hit the count of one I ran and kicked open the door.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Miami Stories Vol. 4

It was Friday, I haven't spoke to Tony or Taylor since the incident after The Fontainebleau. I'm not sure if anybody involved really knew what happened that night, everyone was drunk and I was definitely not careful. Taylor never answered my call the next day about brunch. I don’t know if she was embarrassed or angry, but she still wasn’t speaking to me. Every morning I wake up in anguish, knowing what I had caused. I would look out over Miami and only see the fresh misfortunes I created. But today, I decided I couldn’t take it anymore. 

I packed my quilted leather Chanel duffle bag and left the condo. I rode the elevator downstairs to the parking garage, and walked around the corner to my parking spaces. I walked past the Porsche, the Mercedes, and the little Estoril Blue 228i to my staid 1995 Volvo 850 Wagon. It was black with steel wheels with boring grey hubcaps, I threw my bag in the hatch and hopped in.

I headed out of town north on I-95, I set the cruise control to 80 miles an hour and turned the stereo up. The miles disappeared quickly as I drove up the eastern portion of Florida. All I could do is reflect on what I had done. All the justifications I made for my actions while I committed them slowly died as I bounded down the road. As I passed Daytona and looked over at the massive speedway from the freeway, I knew I had destroyed the mindset of two women I really tried to help. I feared Taylor would never trust a man for the rest of her life because of me. On top of everything else Dani was probably living in fear of what would happen to her the moment Tony found out about everything.

As I continued my northward bound away from the mess I created in Miami, I ran into the wall of afternoon traffic just south of Jacksonville. As I inched forward in traffic the Volvo began to stutter. As I kept creeping through traffic the temperature gauge began to spike. After a few more minutes in traffic I was on the side of the road calling AAA. After 45 minutes of waiting in the heat, the tow truck finally arrived. He checked to see if my North Carolina license plate was valid and pulled the black brick up onto the truck.

I had the tow truck driver drop me and the car at O’Steen Volvo, and he left with a wave and a honk of the horn. It was 6:45 and the service department was already closed for the evening. I walked inside the showroom and stopped in front of the white XC90 T8 Inscription parked directly in the middle. A salesman walked up to me and inquired:

“Ready to take it home?”

“Only if you have it in black.”

“I’m sure we have some really nice XC90’s in black.”

“No, I mean another T8 Inscription.”

“I think we just got one in earlier this week.”

“Well let’s go ahead and get paperwork going. I’ll give you my information for the OFAC.”


“Hold on, let me go get my bag out the car.”

I ran outside to the 850 and grabbed my duffle out of the hatch, and quickly ran back inside. I pulled 10 stacks of banded 100 dollar bills out of my bag and looked at the salesman:

“I should get change back from 100 grand right?”

The salesman stared at me then immediately went and grabbed his manager. His manager sat me down in an office and asked if I was trying to hem them up. I assured him I wasn’t a criminal but a man who needed to buy a car to continue his aimless trip. The manager obliged and went to get my paperwork. Shortly after 8:00 I hopped in my freshly detailed XC90 and continued my journey north on I-95 into Savannah. 

By 10:00 I had pulled up in front of The Brice, a simple 2 story Kimpton hotel dripping in style. I grabbed the first room that was available, went upstairs and dropped my bag inside the door. I immediately went back downstairs and took a walk around the block. I took in the old southern charm as I walked along the riverfront. I stepped through the small door that led into River Street Liquor and grabbed a pint of Tanqueray No. TEN, dropped 40 dollars at the register and went straight back to my hotel room. 

I walked across my suite to my bed and called the concierge to send me a bucket of ice. I grabbed my iPhone from my pocket and looked up the number of an old friend. The screen lit up and dialed up Erin, an old flame from many many years ago. She picked up the phone quietly and greeted me in her loose New Jersey accent:


“Hey, kangaroo.”

“Oh my god, Paul! How are you?”

“I’ve been better, hun.”

“What’s going on in Miami? Do I have to kick someone’s ass?”

“No, Erin. I just needed to hear your voice.”

“Oh shit. What happened with the girl down there?”

“I messed up. I messed up bad.”

“Oh no.”

“Remember when you called me a couple months ago and Dani was randomly in the background?”

“Paul, you didn’t.”

I choked on my words and tears streamed from my eyes as I retorted: 

“I never meant to hurt anyone.”

“Are you alone?”


“Where are you?”

At this point I was sobbing uncontrollably on the phone. She continued to ask me where I was, but I couldn’t get out a single word. She continued to inquire:

“Paul, please tell me you are okay. Please. I love you.”


“Yes, please say something!”

“I love you.”

“I know you do.”

“Are you in Charlotte?”

“Yeah. Why?”

“I’ll see you tomorrow.”

I hung up the phone and took the bottle of Tanqueray and turned it to my face. As midnight approached I was already in a drunken stupor stumbling around my room crying profusely. By 2:00 I was in the bed emitting a long snore that could wake the hardest of sleeper. I woke up the next morning as the sun crept into the room over my eyes. I grabbed my IWC Portuguese off the floor to see 10:07 on the dial. I rolled out of the bed and crawled to the bathroom and threw up the entire contents of my stomach in the toilet. I finally managed to stand up and hopped in the shower. I stared at the white tile wall and began to wonder why I brought Dani to Key West. I knew it as a mistake when it happened and I definitely saw it as one now. 

I continued to let the hot water run over my back as I replayed the deep sadness on Taylor’s face. I was so tired, my mind was destroyed. I made my way out of the shower to look in the mirror, I wanted nothing more than to be dead. I dragged myself out of the bathroom and found my bottle of gin on a nearby table. I discovered my glass from the night before and poured in the remaining liquor into it. I sipped my drink as I walked out to my courtyard balcony in my towel. I took many long sips as I soaked in the early morning warmth. 

An hour later I was on the road, headed back home to Charlotte. I was thinking about Erin, a woman I loved deeply, but left behind when I ran off to Miami. I didn’t have the heart to tell her I was leaving so abruptly to start over in Miami. The night I left I reminded her how her spirit filled a hole in my heart, and how I would always love her no matter what. I thought about all our loving moments as I drove through the outskirts of Columbia in tears.

I pulled myself up in the seat as I caught a glimpse of the Charlotte skyline peering back at me down the I-77 corridor. The big Volvo smoothly navigated through the traffic around me as I made my way to the home I left behind when I disappeared to Miami. I felt a large relief come over me as I turned onto Hopedale Avenue to see the large, brick structure I used to call home. The LED lighting lit my driveway into a bright path as I parked the XC90 behind the green Mustang convertible with flat tires in the driveway. As I made my way from the car to the house it was nice to see that landscapers were still doing a great job even in my absence. I opened up the door to a fresh smelling house and my mail stacked neatly, indication that the housekeeper had been in that week. 

I went upstairs to my bedroom and laid across my bed. I grabbed my phone from my pocket and called Erin:

“Hey Kangaroo.”

“Paul! I was worried you weren’t gonna call.”

“You remember how to get to my place?”


“Come over, I’m home.”

A few minutes later I sent a text message “The front door is open just come upstairs.” I burrowed deeper into my bed and started to doze off. I woke up a few minutes later to Erin snuggled up next to me in the bed. In a groggy state I whispered in her ear:

“Hey roo boo.”

“Hey sleepyhead.”

I reached my arm around her body as she curled up closer. I could feel her waiting for me to talk, but I was enjoying the silence with her more than she could ever understand. Fed up with waiting for me to speak, Erin rolled over and faced me. Her brown eyes focused in on mine, dragging the words from my mouth:

“I fucked up. I fucked up everything. I was happy, then I fucked it up.” 

“What happened?”

“I’ve been fucking Dani for the last 8 months and Taylor caught us.”

“Holy shit, I thought you only did that once!”

Her face said it all. I broke all the basic confines of friendship repeatedly and there was no way I could repair it. Assuredly, she came back:

“You can’t beat yourself up over this.”

“I took that girl’s innocence for no good reason. I removed all the trust she ever felt for anybody because I was being selfish. I did that. What right do I have to fuck up her life like that?”

“Wait how did you and Dani end up cheating with each other anyway? Did you do that?”

“No. It all started because I was trying to be nice after Tony cheated on her and we ended up fucking. I’ve tried to break it off multiple times but she ends up having some level of psychotic breakdown every time. I’m sick.”

“Have you had anything that wasn’t alcohol the past couple of days?”

I rolled over in the bed to avoid the question. I felt her focus still locked in on me. I shifted my body away from hers in the bed. She punched me in the back and said:

“Come on, get up. Let’s see what depressing batchelor food you have in your freezer…”

As I stumbled down the steps behind Erin, I murmured:

“Yeah, I don’t know if the housekeeper left anything in the fridge at all.”

“Dammit. So what should we do now?”

“Let me go back up and grab my wallet, we’re going out.”

“Yeah, but I’m driving.”

“Fine, you still know how to drive stick? Cause the only thing down there with gas is the 944.”

“Wait, why we can’t just take my Jeep?”

“No, I refuse to ride in a doorless vehicle tonight.”

“Whatever. By the way, did you get a new car?”

I yelled back down the stairs from my bedroom:

“Yeah, I bought it on the way here.”

“You know normal people buy souvenirs on trips, not a new car.”

As Erin launched my red 944 Turbo down the street towards uptown, I sat in the passenger seat trying to figure out what drink I was to order at dinner. We pulled up at the valet station of the Hyatt Place hotel and headed to the elevator up to the 21st floor. We walked out into Fahrenheit, Chef Rocco Whalen’s gift to the Charlotte restaurant scene. I tried to break off to the bar before the hostess could greet us, but Erin grabbed my arm and pulled me back over. We decided on patio seating and quickly made our way outside. Before the waitress could ask I requested my drink:

“I’ll have a Tanqueray and pineapple please.”

Erin followed up with:

“Please get him a water too.”

“Make that two Tanqueray and pineapples please.”

I let Erin berate me for a few minutes about my destructive behavior, it didn’t really matter because drunk me was sitting back taking a look at her. The air was crisp and warm, with a light breeze to complement it. I kept studying how she looked over the top of my menu. As soon as I felt myself become distracted, our waitress came back with our drinks. I thanked the waitress and immediately tipped my drink into my mouth. Erin rolled her eyes and asked:

“Why are you doing this?”


“Drinking like a fucking lunatic.”

“Because this is the only way I can wake up and live with myself right now.”

“Oh please, stop it. Don’t make yourself a victim here, you continuously put your dick in someone for 8 months that wasn’t your girlfriend. That’s a decision, a choice, a fucking selection-”

“Okay! I get it. Look I am not making myself the victim here. I actually feel bad about the choices I made. Honestly, I fucked myself by trying to appease too many people.”

“Classic you, trying to help everybody but yourself. When are you going to learn, Paul?”

“When I figure out how to not build the happiness of others on my own misfortune.” 

As I finished my statement the waitress came and asked for our orders. I ordered the Wagyu skirt steak, and Erin followed up with the Ahi tuna. The waitress walked away and I sat there staring off at the skyline. I could tell she was staring a hole in my skull, but I couldn’t acknowledge her after making such a statement. Why I made that statement was Erin ended up deciding to date one of my friends as everything in my life imploded two years ago. Even though she could see I was ignoring her, Erin broke the silence:

“I made the decision to date Will while I was in a terrible place. It wasn't to spite or hurt you.”

I turned back towards her and snapped:

“Erin, it's the fact you never told me. If you were just honest this wouldn't have happened this way. I don't have dirt on my hands, you do.”

“You were just so unhappy. I didn't know what to tell you.”


“I only left you like that because I thought I couldn't make you happy. I thought you forgot what joy was.”

“Fuck that. You left me because you didn't want to help me. Just like everyone else.”

“Paul, I'm sorry. I really am. I never meant to hurt you.”

She started sobbing uncontrollably, and I grabbed my drink and swallowed all of it. I sat back in the chair and relaxed my position. I looked Erin in her eyes and softly said:

“Could you imagine how I felt that night? I stood there and poured my heart out to you, then I realized what happened. When he walked out of your bathroom, I almost fainted. It was the last straw. Why do you think I haven't been back here in so long? I have that to remember as my last moments in this town. But honestly after so much time to reflect on it all, I'm happy for you. Will too. I'm happy for you.”

“I don't care what anybody says, you're a goddamn saint, Paul.”

“Nah, I just love you.”

She started to sob again. As began to reach over to wipe away her tears, she spoke:

“Me and Will aren't together anymore.”


I don't remember much else from dinner, other than my steak being delicious, and how many more times our waitress brought me a drink. We ate quietly and left with heavy hearts. Erin drove me back home in my 80’s Porsche. After we arrived we stood in the driveway waiting for the other person to speak. Erin started to walk towards her Jeep and I halted her with my words:

“Where do you think you're going?”

“Home... I guess?”

“You think you're gonna leave me here like this? The least you can do is not leave me alone.”

“Okay, I'll spend the night here. You better not do that drunk snoring thing though.”

“I finally went and got my nose fixed.”

We walked back into my dark, lonely Cotswold home. As I stumbled through the doorframe with Erin in tow, I realized how awful everything would look from the outside. I dragged her up the stairs by her hand to my bedroom. She kicked her shoes to the corner of the room as I headed to the bathroom to catch a visual of how intoxicated I was. When I walked back into my bedroom, she had already managed to strip down to her underwear and enter my bed. I stripped myself of any limiting garments and joined her. We laid there face-to-face in the bed, I brought my face to hers, and she leaned her lips into mine. The moment our lips touched, I heard Dani’s voice:

“So you can be with her, but not me?”

Me and Erin point our gaze at the foot of the bed where she stood, visibly disturbed and crying. I replied to her ludicrous question with a question:

“Why the fuck are you here?”

“You didn’t think your girlfriend would tell Tony what happened?”

“Why. The. Fuck. Are. You. Here? It’s a simple question.”

“I knew you would go back home. You’re a coward.”

“No, you psychotic bitch, I came here to get further away from you. Yet again somehow you again manage to make all of your problems my own. Just let me be.”

“You fucked me like-”

“I’ve fucked a lot of people. I don’t know how many times I have had to tell you since you started this whole thing with me, I do not love you. Especially now that you have this notion you can trap me into being with you. You lost Tony and you never had me. You played yourself. Now leave my house.”

“Where am I supposed to go? I can’t go back to Miami, Tony will kill me.”

Erin finally chimed in:

“That’s not his problem. Or mine really, so why don’t you leave?”

“Who asked you, bitch?”

The tension in the room was thick, and I had no way to truly diffuse the situation. So I continued with the truth:

“Dani, you cheated on your boyfriend. I didn’t ask you to do it, you chose to with no promise of being loved. Go home, leave me alone, and think about how you ended up here. Now me and my friend here are going to bed, you can show yourself out.”

To my amazement, teary-eyed Dani backed her way out of the door and down the steps. I heard the front door shut, and finally collapsed back into the bed. I looked over at Erin and explained:

“See? This is the bullshit that happens to me when I try to be kind.” 

“This is exactly why you can’t just randomly have sex with just any girl. She may react rationally, or she’ll act like the dumb bitch that was just standing over us, or somewhere in between. Don’t be stupid.”

“I’m drunk, can we go to sleep and talk about it in the morning?”

Erin climbed out of bed and stood over me, then began to seductively remove her underwear. She finally replied to my question:

“No. We can’t wait until the morning, I wanna talk to you all about it right now.”

“Well come on over and talk to me.”

She straddled me and rocked her hips against my body as she kissed my lips again. I opened my liquor-crossed eyes as she kissed her way down my chest then pulled at the waistband of my underwear with her teeth. I lifted my hips and helped her remove them. She climbed back over me, grabbed my member, and guided it inside. I focused my drunken eyes into hers as she rode me with a deep passion displayed on her face. We romped around the room moving to any suitable surface to make love on. We ended up back on the bed, me on top of her whispering all of the things I missed about her as she yelled whatever words her mind could materialize. I came and immediately laid on the bed with a relieved sigh and drifted off into a deep, alcohol-fueled sleep. 

I woke up the next morning to Erin slumbering in my bed and warm sunlight peeking in the windows. My head was throbbing, and the air in the room was chilly. I reached for my phone on the nightstand to catch the time. It was 11:36 and I hadn’t received a single phone call or text from anyone. It was unusual to wake up this late on a Sunday morning, even after drinking myself into a coma. I knew this was the beginning of something new for me and everyone else involved. 

I rolled out of my bed and tip-toed across the floor to my bathroom. I stood in front of the mirror in the barely lit room and took a look at myself. I didn’t like who I saw in that mirror, but decided that it was too late to change. I started a hot shower to clean the harsh realities off my body. I stood below the shower head as the water ran through my hair all the way to my feet. It felt like a black ooze was coming off my skin and settling into a puddle around my feet. I flinched as I felt Erin’s breasts touch my back and I snapped back into reality. She reached her arms around me and stood on her toes to whisper in my ear:

“I’m ready to stay in love with you for good.”

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Miami Stories Vol. 3

I leaned myself from my chair to sign all the highlighted lines. I was sitting in front of my favorite finance manager at Mercedes-Benz of Coral Gables, signing paperwork for my new S65 Coupe. As I gave up my final signature my phone began to ring. On the other end of the phone was Dani, Tony’s girlfriend for about the last month. She got my number a couple weeks back from Tyler. Our first conversation was long and existential, sparked by how intensely her boyfriend annoyed both of us. Today though, she called me out of the blue to see if I was busy. I replied:

“Well I’m just getting ready to pick up my new car over at Mercedes, what’s going on?”

“Nothing, I’m over at Merrick Park and I just wanted to hang out with somebody.”

I could detect an air of depression in her voice. As weird as the phone call was, I decided to be sympathetic and see what was wrong. We agreed to meet at Yard House for a quick lunch. I wanted to call Tony and ask what the hell was going on, even though that wouldn’t go well for anybody involved. After receiving my keys from the delivery specialist, I placed my blazer in the back seat and hopped in and waited as the V12 turned over to emit a deep howl. I let out a gleeful squeal as I peeled out of the dealer’s parking garage towards Ponce De Leon Blvd to meet with Dani. 

As the large coupe idled down the road towards Coral Gables, passers-by stared as the matte white paint and black wheels rolled by. I rubbed my hands over all the porcelain leather in the interior. Things were good for me, some recent financial windfalls helped me add another car and spend some more time enjoying myself. It was just the second whole week of spring, and I was ready to dive headfirst into whatever it had to offer. Before Dani called I had plans to thunder down to Key West and stay at a friend's vacation house, yet I couldn’t help but find out what was going on in her world.

The valet cautiously grabbed my key after I alerted him to the fact I just bought it. I walked over to the restaurant to find Dani awaiting my arrival. She was standing there aloof, in a simple pastel blue dress. She ran up to me with a smile and gave me a tight, lingering hug. We sat outside on the palm tree shaded patio. I ordered a glass of a good Malbec and she ordered a Corona. As our server walked away I could see Dani’s face drop into a pitiful pout. 

“Dani, what's going on?”

“Can I ask you a question?”

“Of course.”

“Look, can you promise me this conversation won't go back to Tony?”

“Have any of our conversations ever gone back to him?”

“Okay... Be honest, has Tony been cheating on me?”

“That I know of, no.”

Of course I was lying, I knew he just had sex with one of our friends two nights before. There was no way in hell I was going to tell a fragile young woman like her the truth. She was still visibly on the verge of tears when she asked me again:

“Are you sure? Because he accidently texted me this the other night.”

She shoved her phone in my face showing me the message he sent, most likely intended for me. It was plain to see, a shot of a mutual friend Brittany laid across her bed naked with a message following it: “Look what she sent me after the other night.” I pretended I wasn’t trying to stare at Brittany’s pussy on the screen in my face. I sternly replied:

“I’m not really sure what that is. If any of this happened it was outside of my knowledge. You need to calm down and not lose your mind over this.”


Her yelling turned the gaze of the entire patio towards us. I motioned for her to relax, and then she looked me directly in the eyes and said:

“I refuse to be treated like this by anyone. Why would he do this to me?”

“I don’t really even know what he did, neither do you-”

“Paul, I’m not stupid. I know what that message means. You know-”

“I get it. I’m just saying don’t jump to the deepest end of this situation.”

“Fuck that!”

“Look why did you call me to do this? This has nothing to do with me. I only came here because I was worried about you, not to speculate on what your boyfriend has been doing behind your back.” 

“I’m sorry, I just need somebody to talk to about all of this. I don’t have very many friends here.”

“Look, I was headed down to the Keys for a couple days, and after polluting myself with this shit I’d rather not drive all the way down there alone.”

She looked up at me with her entire face alight as she accepted my offer with a nod. Our drinks came and we directed our conversation shifted to a lighter tone. She then asked about my new car:

“So what did you buy? I didn’t see you when you pulled up in the valet line.”

“A S65 Coupe.”

“Wait, what’s that?”

“It’s a giant two-door car with a retarded engine.”

“Sounds rad.”

As we hit the hotter stretch of the afternoon it was time to leave. I handed the valet my ticket and waited with Dani. A couple standing nearby also sat waiting. Right as I began to start small talk by going into detail about the Mercedes, a BMW M6 Gran Coupe rolled up to the curb. Just as the valet opened the passenger door, my car arrived. The couple stopped in their tracks as Dani hopped in the passenger seat and I closed the door. I strutted to the other side of the car, hopped in and took off with a quick hint of tire squeal. Dade County disappeared behind us as we floated down the Reagan Turnpike. I could see her rubbing all the leather surfaces in the interior as the long white coupe ate up the miles. Dani leaned over in the seat and stared at the everglades whizzing by. Softly, she asked:

“Do you like alligators?”


“Do you like alligators?”

“I guess they’re cool, I’ve never put that much thought into them.”

“How did you become friends with Tony?”

“He wrecked his car in front of a party I was at.”


“He wrecked his E30 into a fence outside of a house I was at. It was gonna take way too long to get him to the hospital via ambulance, so I took him.”

What I didn’t tell her was Tony was driving completely drunk and racing another car when the accident happened. I could feel Dani staring a hole in the side of my head. So I decided to keep elaborating:

“After he got out of the hospital, he got my number from a mutual friend and called me cause I had someone tow his car to my old house. I didn’t want the cops to take it. He came over to look at his car and get the keys and we had a a few drinks and it ended up turning into him inviting 75 people to my house for a giant party. Long story short, we’ve been friends ever since.”

The sun was setting as we flew down the Overseas Highway past the naval air base. We were almost at our destination: my friend Demitri’s new house nestled right on the edge of Key West. Dani held my hand as we turned off the highway into Key Haven. The car slowly lumbered over the roughly paved streets leading us further into the neighborhood. I I closed my hand tighter with hers as we got ever closer. Finally we pulled up on it, a monstrous two story, new construction, tropical plantation styled home. We pulled through the open gate and parked on the brick courtyard out front.

Demitri came running out the door, shirtless, in a pair of boardshorts to greet us. He skipped towards me and flamboyantly flung his arms around my body. He peered over my shoulder and saw Dani get out of the car behind me. He ran over to her and gave her a tight hug, then turned to me and said:

“You didn’t tell me you had an adorable girlfriend coming with you!”

“You didn’t tell me how big this fucking house is.”

I’ll take a moment here to tell you who Demitri is and why I’m staying at his house. He used to date a good friend of mine, Nate. Now, Nate and him had been separated for a decent amount of time and Demitri moved to Florida shortly after I did. What I didn’t know until a few weeks before was Demitri’s sugar daddy had bought him a house in Key West. He begged me to come stay from the moment he moved in, hence the trip down from Miami in the middle of the week.

I watched Dani from behind as she walked up the stairs into the house, I’d never really paid much attention to how she looked. Inside we were greeted by normal seaside home pastel hues and nautical themes. We sat at the giant wet bar next to the kitchen and drank cocktails as quick as Demitri could pour them. As I sipped on my sixth Tanqueray and pineapple, Dani grabbed my open hand again and held it tight. She gently rubbed my locked hand with her thumb as I continued to make conversation with Demitri:

“So what are you doing down here anyway?”



“Internet cam shows mostly, I’m getting ready to launch my own website soon too thanks to Chris.”

“Chris is Chicago sugar daddy right?”

“Yeah! He’s like super proud of what I’m doing.”

I managed to glide past any talk of gay porn for another hour, and Demitri led me and Dani up to the guest room he prepared for us. Dani had a concerned look in her eyes as she realized there was only one bed in the room. Demitri showed us the attached bathroom and the balcony off the back of the house. He left us there on the balcony with a good night and disappeared out of the room. Me and Dani sat in the chairs on the balcony and stared as the moon reflected off the shadowy waters of the gulf. I finally broke the silence for both of us:

“Look I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to bring you here like this.”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean he assumed you came with me as a romantic companion. I’ll go sleep on the couch downstairs.”

“No I want you to sleep with me. I really need someone with me right now. You’ve made me feel so much better today.”

“What about Tony-”

“Fuck Tony. If he cared I wouldn’t be here right now.”

She was right. I got up from the chair and went inside. I could feel a deep wrenching inside of me, everything about what was happening was wrong. How could I ruin the trust between me and one of my best friends because I was trying to help someone? What made everything even worse was I invited her to all of this. After pacing the room for minutes I walked back out to the balcony. Dani was leaned against the railing looking out at the water. I walked up from behind her and her voice cracked as she said:

“Why have you been so good to me?”

“Because it’s the right thing to do.”

“Why won’t he do this?”

“Because that’s not the type of man he is. You knew this already though.”

“Do you love me?”

“I don't know you, Dani. I don't think you know you. You're way more intelligent than this. Tony loves you, he's just a piece of shit. I hate to say that but it's true. You can't rely on him to feel good about yourself.”

She turned towards me and softly kissed my lips. I stared at her in the eyes, then grabbed the back of her neck with my hands and kissed her once more. We pulled away from each other and she looked at me with elation in her eyes. She grabbed my hand and led me inside to the bed. 

As we approached, I spun her around and threw her down on the bed. I crawled over her and pulled her dress up over her head. I kissed her pale flesh from her neck, then between her soft breasts as I gently massaged them with my hands. I made my way between her legs and listened to her squeal as I licked and sucked on her clit. Her hands pulled at my hair as I continued to give her pussy my undivided attention. I felt her body convulse and her legs shake as she let out heavy screams. I pulled her hips towards me as her back began to arch I kept going until her body relaxed and she let out a deep gasp. 

I picked her up from the bed and carried her, giggling and kicking out to the balcony. I instructed her to look at the moon as I came from behind and made my way inside of her. She grabbed the railing and yelled expletives from a wide open mouth. I held her breasts as I whispered in her ear about what her walls made me feel. The sound of ocean waves mixed with her moans as we continued into the night. 

I woke up the next morning to the sound of the surf crashing against the rocks outside. Dani was laying next to me nude and snoring. I got up and grabbed my iPhone off the floor. I saw a missed call from Taylor so I proceeded out to the balcony to call her back. The phone rang twice before she greeted me:

“Nine is kinda late for you to be waking up on a Wednesday.”

“Good morning to you too, dear.”

“What have you been up to?’

‘I’m in Key West at Demitri’s for a couple days, what are you doing?”

“Key West, that sounds nice.”

“It was a last minute thing I did. I’m leaving tomorrow, we should have dinner or something.”

“Yeah, I couldn’t go anyway cause I’m in the middle of this stupid group project for this political economics class.”

“I miss you.”

“I miss you too. I gotta go I’m pulling up on campus late for class.”

“I love you Taylor.”

“I love you too.”

I sat back in the chair and looked out over the perfect view of the gulf, the sea breeze whistled through my beard. I looked down at Demitri’s dock where he his Sea Ray yacht was moored. A monstrosity almost the size of the house, it felt like the perfect nighttime relaxation spot. As I schemed up my evening plans, Dani came out from the room and sat next to me on the balcony. She looked at me with a loving gleam in her eyes. I realized very quickly I had made a mistake of epic proportions the night before. The smart thing to do right now would be get in the car and immediately head back to Miami and never speak on any of this ever again. But for some reason smart wasn’t satisfying to me at this point. So I turned to her and asked:

“Did you sleep well?”

“Yeah, did you?”

“Of course.”

“Hey, so I realized something…”


“I don’t have any clothes or any of my things.”

“We’ll go solve that in a bit. It smells like Demitri is cooking breakfast downstairs, we can go after that.” 

“Hopefully he’s just making breakfast and not some weird gay porn.”

I went back inside and changed into a pair of straight-leg jeans and a linen oxford shirt. I dragged a wrinkly-but-dressed Dani downstairs, where we found Demitri in the kitchen. The kitchen was a big gourmet affair with granite countertops and appliances with big Wolf and Sub-Zero branding attached to them. We stood in the doorway as my consistently-shirtless friend cooked bacon and filmed himself doing it for Snapchat. I finally interrupted the vapid moment:

“Is that your porn Snapchat or the one I follow?”

We all chucked as Demitri shooed us over to the breakfast nook where the table was full of champagne, fresh juices, fresh fruit, danishes, and eggs. Demitri sauntered over with a plate of bacon and sat down to feast with us. As I prepared a mimosa I quipped:

“So Demitri, you move all the way down here and no boyfriend?”

“I didn’t realize an area full of bright colors and sunshine could still be so unfriendly to gays.”

“Really? I wouldn’t have guessed that at all.”

“Well, young gays don’t have it easy here. The old guys can afford to stay on the down low. Honestly in Key West it's mostly old gays anyway. Where you are up in Miami, that's where all the action is.”   


As I bit through a crispy piece of bacon I looked across at Dani, beaming and full of laughter. I paid close attention to the features of her flat, mostly featureless face. Her small grey eyes with full, low-arching eyebrows above them. Her long, thin nose flowed down to her small set of lips and tidy chin. Her face matched her somewhat milquetoast demeanour amongst a group of people. Demitri and me conversated past her about missing Charlotte, and all the things we did back home. I went on about how I left my motorcycles and other toys back at my old home. Demitri brought us down to his garage and showed where all his porn money was going.

On one side was a black Dodge Charger Hellcat on custom 22” Vossen wheels. He went on about all the modifications he had done, as we walked over to the other side of the garage where all his motorcycles sat. Ducati, Kawasaki, Harley-Davidson, and Triumph all sat there in various stages of modification. Demitri then motioned for me to follow him outside.

I followed him over to the other half of the driveway where I stopped in front of a pleasant surprise. Demitri knew what my favorite cars in the world were, but this one took the cake. It was a beautiful, original 2001 BMW 750iL in Impala Brown Metallic. I nearly fainted when he told me it only had six thousand miles. I went from faint to ecstatic when he handed me the key and told me to go have fun. I opened the passenger door and waved for Dani to get in and shut the door behind her. I looked over at Demitri as I bounced around to the driver’s door and gave him an approving nod.

We sped off towards the heart of Key West, the V12 whirring as we went along. We stopped on Duval Street where I parked the 750 on the curb. As we started to walk down the street, Dani nervously asked:

“So what are we doing?”

“You said you needed clothes, so I’m getting you clothes.”

“Wait what?”

“You’re welcome.”

“Thank you. Look, this is really nice and everything but I’m not sure about what we did last night.”

“What do you mean?”

“We have to- um, talk about what we did.” 

“We had sex.”

“Yeah, and I enjoyed it.”

“You’re welcome, again.”

She giggled and we continued walking down the block. We eventually came to the conclusion that not speaking about what happened was the best course of action. After a quick stop at Banana Republic and a few boutiques Dani was dressed and ready for anything. By the time her shopping came to a stop it was three o'clock and we both were tired and hungry. I suggested we go around the corner to El Siboney. 

The restaurant was just off the street nestled between residences, you would probably miss it if you weren’t looking for it. I managed to park the brown Bimmer right in front of the small brick building, it fit in alongside the old 90’s Benzes and Cadillacs. The dining room was filled with simple tables under a low ceiling. As we sat down to the light sounds of Cuban music playing, the waitress asked for our drinks I ordered us a pitcher of sangria. As I sat back in my chair to send a text message Dani stopped and asked:

“You’ve been sending an awful lot of texts since we left the house.”

“Just following up on some things back home.”


What I was really doing was texting Demitri to get his yacht ready for me and Dani to go take a nighttime ride. While me and her were eating our Cubano dinner, Demitri made sure there was enough diesel to get me and her around for a pleasant ride. We had our fill of chicken, rice, beans, and plantains together. We spent most of dinner downing the refreshing sangria and going on about random party fouls and mishaps that occurred at my place. When we stumbled out of the restaurant it was late and the sun was fading over the island. 

The lengthy, brown BMW rolled softly into the driveway and came to a halt next to my Mercedes. I grabbed all of her shopping from the trunk and led her inside. We walked in the front door to a quiet house. I dropped the bags at the front door and pulled Dani through the house all the way to the back through the yard and down the long jetty that lead us to Demitri’s boat. Dani stopped midway and inquired:

“What are we doing?”

“Going for a ride.”

“On that?”

“Yes… it’ll be fun.”

“I guess.”

I continued dragging her down the jetty to the yacht, a 65 footer with a flying bridge. It appeared much more imposing in size until we reached the end. I held her hand as she stepped down onto the teak rear deck. We walked up the stairs into the salon where were greeted by a cheerful Demitri. We all sat on the couch as Demitri poured margaritas from a pitcher, and settled in. After a few minutes he made his way up to the upper bridge and set off from the dock.

Me and Dani sat back and I explained what was happening:

“Demitri is taking us out for a ride in the Gulf.”


“Because not using this big ass yacht for its intended purpose is tragic.”

I woke up the next morning out on the water me and her down in the forward berth. The windows were emitting a shimmering light reflected from the ocean water. I wiped my eyes as I looked over at her and realized the true danger I created. All the alcohol from the night before couldn’t break the soberness I experienced in that moment. I grabbed my phone from the floor then crawled slowly out from the bed and went upstairs to find a lounging Demitri drinking a mug of coffee.

“Where did that coffee come from?”

“My ass.”

“Well hopefully it can brew another batch.”

“What’s wrong?”

I walked over to the galley and poured a mug of hot coffee, then replied:

“Look, the girl I came here with is my best friend’s girlfriend.”

“Oh no.”

“Yeah, I fucked up.”

“Plus I have a girlfriend in Miami too. They know each other.”

Demitri nodded his head as I continued to tell him all the details. By the time I finished my cup of coffee, I had told him everything there was to know. He patted me on the shoulder and asked me:

“Do you love her?”


“Your girlfriend?”

“Yes, very much so.”

“Do you love Dani?”


“Then you need to tell them both the truth or you will never outlive it.”

“I’ll be right back.”

I walked to the forward deck and grabbed my cell phone and dialed up Taylor. She answered in a hazy tone:


“Hey dear.”

“Paul? What’s up?”

“I need to tell you something.”

“Look, I made a mistake…”

“What are you talking about?”

“I messed up-”

“Paul, please just tell me what ever it is that you were going to say.”

“I told my parents we were going to come up and see them next month.”


I couldn’t do it, I wussed out of telling Taylor the truth because I still couldn’t handle the truth myself. I walked back into the salon where Dani and Demitri were sipping on coffee and avoiding eye contact. Demitri went up to the bridge to point us back towards shore. I sat silently and looked out at the sea as we made our way back in from the gulf. Dani broke the silence:

“Do you love me?”

“Dani, I already answered that question.”

“So are we gonna talk about any of what’s hap-”



“WHAT? Did you just threaten me?”

“What if I did?”

“Do you want me to tell Tony?”

“Do you?”

“Fuck, you can not do this to me. I don’t need this on me. I have enough to worry about.”

“Let’s not act like you didn’t like it. Don’t act like this wasn’t fun for you.”

“No. I’m not talking about this anymore. When we get back to Miami I will act like it never happened.”


We made it back to shore, where I promptly thanked Demitri for his hospitality and grabbed me and Dani’s belongings. I told Demitri I’d come back soon, as I took my seat in the Mercedes. We hit the road in a hurry, making record time. I made it to the front of Dani’s North Miami apartment in less than 3 hours. I gently parked the S65 on the curb, where Dani broke the silence we had kept the entire trip:

“Thanks, time for me to go not be cared about again.”

“Be grateful for the break. It won’t happen again.”


I called Taylor, who had just got back to her apartment from class. I invited myself over for conversation. I arrived at her apartment 20 minutes later, and softly knocked on the door. Taylor came to the door in a simple black bra and pink boy shorts. I voiced my elation for her choice of clothing:

“Well aren’t you just delightful to look at?”

“I’m hot.”

“You didn’t have to tell me that.”

“No, my air is broken.”

I chuckled as she pulled me through the doorframe into her apartment. I walked inside to the sound of top 40 hits playing on the Sonos system. Nothing seemed out of place or wrong with the day she was having as I sat on the couch next to her. She resumed the conversation:

“So how was Key West?”

“It was quiet. I needed that.”

“Meet anybody special while you were down there?”

“Demitri bought a 750. The one I’ve always wanted. Brown. I might have to go find one too.”

“Okay, I gave you an opportunity to tell the truth. I was trying to be civil.”


She pulled out her phone and pointed the screen in my face. On the screen was Dani’s Snapchat story from the previous day. It went from a selfie of Dani in the passenger seat of the BMW to a view of the gulf from the back of Demitri’s house. I could feel Taylor’s breathing elevate as she swiped through the videos she saved from the day before. Before I could get the words together, she started:

“Tell me why she was in Key West with you.”

“It wasn’t like that at all. I didn’t say anything to you about it for this exact reason. She called me right before I was leaving for the trip. Tony cheated on her and she confronted me about it, just like this. So I let her come to Key West with me to let go.”

“Shit. Does Tony know?”

“He doesn’t even know she found out about him. He doesn’t need to know, understood?”


After minutes of conversation I decided to go home for some rest. I kissed Taylor and as I turned to exit, she stopped me and asked:

“Paul, you won’t ever lie to me again, right?”

“I promise.”

The very next morning I was sitting in an tidy office at Bradford Marine in Fort Lauderdale. The salesman was showing me pictures of a newly-constructed Warren 120 foot yacht on his computer screen. I pulled in a deep sip from my coffee and promptly sat it down to grab my buzzing phone in my pocket. It was Dani, I decided to ignore the call. I resumed my conversation with the salesman about interior options for an oversized yacht I could barely afford. As I finally settled on a nickel finish on all the bathroom fixtures, Dani called again. I answered the call in an exasperated tone:

“Hello, Dani.”

“Where are you?”

“You have a habit of calling me when I’m in the middle of buying a new vehicle I don’t need.”

“Tony isn’t going to be in town until tonight, and I’d love to see you-”

“Bye Dani.”
I hung up the phone. As the salesman continued to chatter about the ash wood flooring, I got a restless feeling in my body. I pulled out my phone and sent a message to Dani: “I’ll be over in a hour. Be ready.”


Monday, July 11, 2016

Oh The Games I Play

Remember when we were young and I used to tell you all my dreams? Remember late at night us sitting on the floor of your bedroom, trying our best to figure out what we were? Remember all the times you felt the need to tell me to be safe? Remember all the funerals I would leave town for, how worried you were about what could happen? Remember who you were when we first met? Do you even remember me?

I’ve always imagined the words I’d say to you now after all these years. I hold this childish hope that we could just talk about everything that happened. That we could talk about how you felt and what went wrong. I imagine seeing your goofy smile again, a window emitting light from your bright soul into a dark world. I’m sorry for my darkness encroaching upon your beautiful life like night setting upon a spring day. I always imagined you could forgive me.

I don’t think I ever knew what you needed. I think I did a good job keeping up with what you wanted. Maybe it was because I was always thinking. When we used to think together beautiful things came from our minds. Even when we would fuck we spill out our thoughts on life and love. I don’t know where our thoughts went astray, but they lost all their beauty. Maybe it was because you began to think like me.

For all it’s worth, I could still say I love you, even though I don’t trust you. For all it’s worth, we had good times together. For all it’s worth, I never meant to ever put you in harm’s way. For all it’s worth, I take the blame for everything that has happened to us. For all it’s worth, you can blame everything on me.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Miami Stories Vol. 2

The light played off the matte pearl white paint on my S65 AMG Coupe as we came speeding down the I-195 Causeway towards South Beach. Taylor and I were late getting ready for the Diplo set at LIV with our friends. Tony and Dani were already in a suite on the 8th floor getting drunk waiting for us to arrive. We had just arrived back in Miami from a short vacation in the midwest. I went to visit Taylor’s hometown Chillicothe, Ohio and of course to meet her parents. 

It’s been well over a year since I woke up to her half-naked on my couch. I would call it more of a strong friendship than a relationship. We haven’t even spoke about her moving in with me, yet a large number of nights are spent together somewhere. Her parents were more understanding than I expected for midwestern parents who found out their daughter they sent off to college has been running around with a 25-year-old hotshot entrepreneur. She still living in her off-campus apartment made things easier honestly, I couldn’t see us talking to each other after some of the things that have occurred throughout the year.

Never mind that now, we finally inched our way into the valet line at the hotel. The coked-out party hoppers and wannabe rave babies from all over South Florida were filing in early this evening. My white gold Daytona displayed 7:34 as I handed the valet the key fob, and we entered the lobby. After shuffling through the gathered crowds in the lobby we finally grabbed an elevator and headed up, Taylor grabbed my hand and blurted through her smile:

“I’m still surprised you went home with me. I didn’t think you would be so excited to run around in a small town after being here so long.”

“I didn’t grow up here, you know.” 

“You still grew up in a much bigger town than Chillicothe.”

“I’ll agree with that. It still wasn't anything compared to Miami.”

We stepped off the elevator and ran to room 618 and banged on the door. Tony slowly opened the door, obviously staggering as he greeted me with a tight, drunken hug. I didn’t realize that Tony picked out an entire multi-room suite to use for one night, I guess he was looking much farther ahead than I was. It wasn’t even dark yet and a line of Corona bottles measurable in feet sat on tables around the room. The first thing I can think of is to ask for my liquor:

“Where’s my Hennessy?”

I grabbed my favorite means of inebriation: a 750ml bottle of Hennessy V.S. sitting in a pail of ice. On a night like this one I never used a glass, my drinks came straight from the bottle. My friends all stared in awe as I put the bottle to my lips and tipped my head back. After ten seconds of repeated gulping I finally brought my head back level and started breathing again with a large gasp. The door was going to open for the show in about an hour and I wanted to be cross eyed by the time I sat down in our VIP booth. 

This is a good time to tell you why we were in a hotel room even though I live 15 minutes away. Tony actually lived in Homestead which means his choices of transportation to and from Miami Beach were limited to drunk driving. So usually after he finished his construction jobs on Friday afternoon he grabbed a hotel room in Miami and stays until he has to work on Monday. Most of Friday evening and all of Saturday he spent in a state of near blackout drunk, with him spending Sunday trying his best to snap back to reality. 

Inebriated me on the other hand went out to the balcony to grab some beautiful South Florida sea air. I looked out at the beautiful resort-style courtyard and pool downstairs. The pool was full to the brim with supple, young, and talentless women. The low-level drug dealers flowed around them flaunting short-term wealth and palming their asses. I drew in a deep breath as I slipped into a higher level of inebriation. As I took a more relaxed position on the balcony in a chair I felt a set of hands come over my shoulders and rest on my chest.

“Well hello, Taylor.”


I looked up and realized that the hands belonged to Dani; also known as the girl whose innocence Tony was destroying at that time. She pulled her arms back from my shoulders and took a seat next to me. We settled into a hard gaze deep into our opposing eyes as the sun began to set on the horizon. I finally opened my mouth to break the oddly romantic silence:

“I’m not sure what the fuck we’re doing right now, but I ain’t letting it happen.”

“I’m just trying to enjoy the silence.”

“Do it without looking me in my eyes.”

She pulled herself out of her chair and brought her face to mine, and angrily muttered:

“Make me.”

“Don’t be childish. I can’t keep doing this to my best friend. I’m not the guy who fucks everything with no regard for people’s feelings. You know damn well you won’t break up with Tony-”

“What about Taylor? You gonna break up with her? Or are you gonna keep her out of your apartment because you’re scared one day she’ll find me there?”

“Fuck off, you started all of this. I’ve tried to stay away from you for the good of my relationship, but I can’t fucking go anywhere without you popping up.”

Just as her face began to turn red, Tony staggered onto the balcony. He stared blankly for a minute, mumbled incoherently and walked back into the room. We both sat back down and settled into an intense staring match. Our silence was blanketed in the soft noise of Miami nightlife. I finally broke the intensity of the dilemma when I muttered:

“You just want to go to my place? Tony is gonna be blacked-out in the floor in the next 15 minutes and I know Taylor didn’t even want to go to the show.”

“And what do you plan on us doing when we get there?”

“Don’t ask questions like that.”

“You mean questions like how are you going to get rid of your girlfriend?”

“She never planned on staying with me tonight anyway, she has homework to do.”

“Wait, were you planning this shit the whole time?”

“Again, don’t ask me questions like that.” 

Taylor finally made her way out to the balcony to find me. Dani and I both put on nervous front in an attempt to mask our conversation. I don’t know if it was me just being drunk, but I could feel the bottom half of my face settle into a mischievous smirk. She just quickly notified us of her impending departure and asked if we needed help scooping Tony off the floor. I walked her back through the door into the room and gave her a kiss.

“I hate you couldn’t go to the show tonight.”

“It’s alright, I’d rather not fail this class right now. Plus, I wouldn’t want to get in the way of your fun.”

“What did that mean?”

“Nothing, I’ll see you later.”

“Love you.”

Taylor made her way out of the door quietly to the Uber awaiting her downstairs. I had the horrid feeling I upset her but before I could settle into reflection Dani walked in. We put Tony on the loveseat and waited for car service back to my condo. We sat together on the couch and reminisced about the first time we spent time together out in the Keys. We quietly left the room as Tony slumbered and hopped in the waiting Escalade outside. 

As we cruised away from the beach on the I-195 Causeway Dani grabbed my hand and gently rested her head on my shoulder. She started telling me about a dream she had where Tony found out about our infidelities. I was in good spirits still so I asked her to elaborate:

“So what did he do when he found out?”

“He didn’t care honestly. You know, I think he’s been fucking other girls anyway. I’m starting to feel like he’s gonna get drunk one night and break up with me.”

“What are you gonna do then?”

“I don’t know. I mean me and him aren’t tied together financially or anything. I’d keep going along like normal I guess.”

“I rather not imagine that happening.”

“Me either.”

It was silent as we pulled up on my condo building. We strolled passed the doorman hand in hand on our way to the elevator. My mind drifted to how Taylor left earlier at the hotel. The sorrow on her face was still with me even as I held Dani’s hand. I peered around inside the condo before laying my blazer over the back of the couch. I led Dani down the hallway to the bedroom, and pulled her shirt over her head and threw her to the bed. 

As she lay there, I climbed over her and gingerly pressed my lips to hers. Just as went to kiss her again I heard footsteps approach from the hallway. I look up to see Taylor looking directly at my face. I sat in silence and stared with Dani shaking next to me. Taylor stood with her face fixed in an unwavering scowl and finally uttered these words:

“This is what you've been doing?”

“How did you get in my house?”

“Look, I get that we never titled our relationship but even you know this isn't right.”

“It all just happened.”

“I can see why, her breasts are gorgeous.”

Finally Dani broke her silence:

“Look, this my fault. Honestly. I pushed myself on him and wouldn't let it stop after he gave in.”

Taylor looked at me and asked:

“Do you love her?”

“No. I just couldn't let Tony keep doing what he does and not make her feel at ease. It got out of control but I really never saw this happening.”

Dani squirmed further down the bed as we all just stared around the room. There was really nothing more to be said. It was the eventual end of all the fun that had occurred and I wouldn't be too bright if I believed it would last forever. I motioned for Dani to leave the room. She turned as she went through the door frame, her eyes were cold and sorrowful. 

Taylor sat next to me and laid her head on my shoulder. She began to sob and asked:

“Why would you do this?”

“Because I'm a bad person.”

“That's not true.”

“Look, this all started because I was worried about her and was too stupid to stop it from happening.”

“Why did I have to find out like this?”

“Because I didn't want to hurt anyone.”

“I'm not even sure if I'm really hurt by learning all this. I just can't believe you'd lie this long.”

“I did it for you. Tomorrow we will get together and have a meal. I'll tell you everything that happened. Okay?”


I kissed her forehead and gave her a soft goodnight. I walked behind her down the hallway, making sure not to acknowledge Dani as we passed. She didn't look back after walking out the door. I shut the door gently and turned around to a crying Dani. She wouldn’t lift her gaze from the floor as I walked towards her. I kissed her cheek and muttered in her ear:

“Go home. Get some rest. You’ll feel better about this in the morning.”

“I’m sorry.”

“Neither of us have anything to be sorry about. We tried to fill our holes with eachother- wait, that  came out completely wrong.”

We both chuckled and turned towards the windows and looked out at the dark water. She wrapped her arms around me and said:

“I’m not ready to leave you.”

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Miami Stories Vol. 1

I woke up to the muted patter of rain outside my window. It was a humid, tropical rain that morning. I made my way out of bed and walked out to the living room. There was a dark grey blanket over Biscayne Bay as I looked out over the water. The view of Miami from a 26th floor condo is breathtaking regardless of weather. I walked towards the couch trying to recollect the prior night. As I approached to sit on the couch, there she was, slumbering angelically. That’s of course assuming angels snore softly with one breast out of their bra. As tired as I was, I decided not to wake her up. I was hoping she would wake up at least remembering where you are. 

I pushed the liquor bottles and cups out of the way on my counter and grabbed some orange juice from the fridge. I found an unopened bottle of Mo√ęt on the counter, and promptly loosened the cork over the sink. A good mimosa and some eggs will definitely help remedy the party from the night before. I don’t even understand why I had the party in the first place, yesterday was no special occasion. I guess I needed an excuse to get drunk. Nevermind all of that, I have to at least figure out what all happened. First call has to be Tony, he has been on a much more sober track recently.


“Damn you’re not awake yet?”

“It’s… 9:36 on a Sunday fucking morning, did you really expect me to be awake?”

“Good point... Hey, quick question who is this bitch passed out on my couch with no clothes on?”

I took a sip from my mimosa as he answered:

“I don’t know, it might be that girl Tyler invited over. Let me ask him. TYLER!!!”

“Man fuck that you know Tyler ain’t up. Are we doing lunch later? I’m a little worn.”

“I guess.”

“Greenstreet at like 2:00 sound good?”


“Aight, peace”

Screw the eggs, I was in desperate need of a long shower to wash off the previous night’s shame. I made my way back down the tile-floored hallway to my bedroom, each cold step less sticky than the one before. I pulled off my robe and enjoyed the warm water from my shower heads. I looked through the glass back wall of the shower, and looked out over downtown. I rested my head on the glass and tried my best act like my house wasn’t a swirl of drug activity and high profile posturing. I exited the shower, walking past the lines of coke still on my counter and immediately passed back out in my bed for a refreshing nap.

As I came back to consciousness, I roll over to another face in my bed. I quickly realise the face belongs to the girl from my couch earlier in the morning. Being that I just woke up, calm was my only way to react. I gently prodded her until her eyes crept open.

“Being that I don’t know you, I really need to know why you’re in my bed.”

“Sorry, I fell asleep during the party. I woke up on the couch earlier and didn’t know if anyone was here. I saw you in bed and didn’t want to wake you…”

“Where exactly did the idea of climbing right into my bed with me come up.”

“I got sleepy, I guess it felt like the only safe place to be in the house.”

“You know it would’ve been just as safe to get on your phone and get an Uber to pick you up.”

“I can’t find my phone, I think I left it in my friend’s car that brought me last night.”

“Who brought you?”

“Some guy named Tony.”


We laid in the bed for a while and talked. I found out Tony met her on Tinder and brought her to my house for what really wasn’t supposed to be a party. Tony then left with another girl he invited and left her there to drink herself into a coma. Classic Tony. Her name was Taylor and she was a junior at Florida State. She continued to tell about how she moved here from Ohio and about all the fun she’s had here. I looked at my phone and realised it was 1:00 I looked over and stopped her mid-sentence:

“Well I was going to meet Tony for lunch in about an hour, you could see If he still has your phone. Plus you look like you could use a meal right now.”

“Sure. Problem is I can’t find my shirt and I’m sure I wouldn’t be invited into any restaurant in a ripped bra.”

“Go down the hallway to your left and the first door on the right is a closet that should have something that fits you.”


“They’re leftovers from my exes. Don’t judge. There is a shower on the other side of that room also.”

After she left the room I get up and called up Tony:

“You stupid fuck, you were the one who left this girl here last night on my fucking couch.”

“Dude, what?”

“This girl you brought here last here last night and left without any of her things who is still in my house.”

“Oh damn! The girl off TInder?”

“Yes, one of them, you idiot. Don’t worry she’s coming with me to lunch, please look and see if her phone and shit is in your car.”

“Yeah bro, I’ll see you in a little bit.”

“Whatever, fool.”

I walked out of my room, buttoning my cuffs as I stepped down the hallway. I see her leaning against the back of the couch draped in a white Ralph Lauren oxford, and a pair of black skinny jeans. In actual clothes I actually began to pay attention to how she looked: a thin face with large, green eyes draped by long amber hair. Her build was average minus her full C-Cup breasts. But that was no matter, I was tired and in desperate need of nourishment and a good drink.

“Let’s roll.”

A pop came from the exhaust as my 911 GTS slowed in traffic on Bayshore Drive. She still seemed to be in shock we were rolling down a street in a car that cost more than her all four semesters of her tuition. To me I was nothing more than a small fish rolling around in a sea of even more ridiculous cars owned by the elderly or the newly rich. That didn’t really matter to me right now, I’m riding around a damp Miami with a random, vibrant young lady in my car. I approach Greenstreet Cafe I can already see Tony’s bright orange 335i from the road.

Tony comes running out of the restaurant in a pair of boardshorts and a tank top with Tyler equally as underdressed behind him. 

“That party was crazy last night dude!”

“It wasn’t supposed to be a party you dunce. Do you have this nice young lady’s phone, Tony?”

“I totally forgot her stuff was in my car dude.” 

He handed her a black Michael Kors purse and she immediately reached in and pulled out her rose gold iPhone 6 Plus and checked her Twitter. I was too tired or hungry to make a quip about anything that was happening at the moment. She put the phone in the pocket of her borrowed jeans and grabbed my hand. Before I could react I was already being pulled towards the doors. As we came inside from the overcast day I could feel her looking up at my face smiling as my hand settled around hers. Whatever was happening I was fine with it. It was just another day of being a citizen in Miami, Florida.