Today while lumbering up Brickell Avenue, a pale sweaty thing in dark clothes with a thinning bob of humidity-frazzled hair, I noticed–as one will sometimes notice–that a very fit and attractive woman dressed in form-fitting professional clothes was talking into a microphone on the front steps of a stately building. Meanwhile a barrel-chested man with a wispy beard and a professional-grade camera was crouched in front of her, filming. Light-reflecting panels were erected on tripods around her, and another woman, behind the cameraman, was filming the whole thing with her phone. Probably for social media.
Not just filming the woman with the mic, but her surroundings.
And I know it sounds arrogant, at a glance, to say that she settled her phone on me, and kept filming as I walked a few yards up the sidewalk, maybe ten yards away, but I’m sure that the reason she was filming me has nothing to do with lust or intrigue so much as, “Wow” (this is me in her head), “fuck. Look at that guy.”
I’m only thirty but, now and then, I’ll see something happen around me that seems very Miami. Very chic. Sexy. This past Saturday, for instance, while walking to Batch for a beer at like 7:30 p.m., a party bus was parked in my neighborhood, picking up a bunch of young people from a humble house. They were dressed entirely in white, young men looking willowy, spry, muscular while the women, effortlessly slim or buxom in a way that cocks its brow at gravity and says “I think not”.
And I just felt old.
But, at the same time, it was kinda nice, because I knew that if I was 22 years old, walking on this street at 7:30 on a Saturday night, I’d be looking at this party bus, at these contemporaries boarding it in their finery and embarking on a good time, and I would have felt pointedly omitted from something. Would’ve thought, “Fuck me and my stupid booklife, look at those people, getting out on a Saturday night, fucking around, meeting people, having fun.”
Looking at these young(er) people, from the lofty perch of my 30s, I smiled, and thought fondly of certain escapades from when I was younger. I felt grateful to’ve had the escapades that I had. But I did not for a second wish that I was in their shoes. Nothing short of bodily penetration seems to me less desirable than dressing in color-coded uniformity with a bunch of 22-year-olds, climbing onto a renovated school bus, and trolling South Beach for a succession of $14 rack-vodka cocktails, served to me in plastic cups from bartenders who shout, while I work up the courage to approach some slightly-older woman with whom I have nothing in common and ask her if she, uh, is also a fan, of, umm…Jimmy Carter.
Am I thrilled to’ve been caught in this woman’s recording today? As the cretinous Brickell Avenue Daywalker I surely looked like?
Do I hate it?