As Miami continues to succumb to greater and greater levels of mega-gentrification, it comes closer and closer to an impending and inevitable sea level rise. South beach continues to build up its sidewalks, but what will that do to prevent the imminent arrival of more powerful and more frequent super-hurricanes? It’s only a matter of time until the Caribbean is completely ravaged by hurricanes, and its citizens are forced to take refuge in Miami, along with a continuous stream of political refugees from South America. As it stands, Miami has the single greatest disparity between average income and the average cost of living…in the whole fucking country. But hey, we have amazing beaches and a few cool clubs, right?
What’re we doing here?
Does your family still reside here? And maybe some old high school friends? You never left, or maybe you’re one of us inbetweeners, just got back from college…a native outsider. Maybe you’re just starting to hone your creative craft, so you’d rather fuck up here before you might make a fool of yourself in NY or LA…or you think you’ll “stand out from the crowd”. Maybe you can’t stand the cold, but also can’t stand to live in a city that you can’t name drop, or that you don’t receive monthly affirmation via Top 40 airplay that you live in a “cool” city. Maybe you enjoy that saying you’re from Miami implies some sort of coolness, some sort of innate erotic intrigue. Less hardworking than NY and less glamorous than LA, but just as famous, a little more vibrant, and a lot more exotic.
What’re you missing?
Maybe you wish the food was a little cheaper, or that you didn’t need to drive at least 30 min to the next interesting neighborhood outside the Downtown area. Maybe you wish there was better public transportation. Maybe you wish every driver wasn’t suffering from intense heat aggression. Or maybe you wish you weren’t suffering from heat aggression? No wait, I know, you’re lonely. Unless you were lucky enough to grow up here, then go to FIU with friends, then stay here with your friends, you’re probably pretty lonely. A genuine mindfulness community is struggling to be born, the punk scene is fledglingly trying too hard, the quasi-hippie scene is burnt out, the queer scene is attention hungry, and, let’s face it, everyone else is basic as FUCK.* There are some nice people, and some interesting people, but not too many people who really understand you AND entertain you.
What do you do?
You get involved with a cool local blog, or brand, or art crew, event group. You go out, selectively, and allow yourself to be open to meeting cool people, but hold up a necessary protective field around you. You give love and attention, but stay wary of energy suckers. You don’t say too much, but also not too little. You don’t hide who you are, but you don’t broadcast everything. You go to work, make friends with your coworkers, keep a healthy and natural distance. You spend occasional family time. You exercise, do creative things, go to the beach, drink on the weekends, smoke occasionally, do some party favors on the rare occasion. You try your best to maintain a strong personal health practice, whether it’s made up of healthy food, sports, or yoga and meditation. You put out feelers….existential probes, emotional openers, spiritual insights, provocative questions, inappropriate yet funny-as-fuck quips. And then, you expect absolutely nothing. Nothing but your own personal growth.
What’re we really doing here?
Afraid of sounding crazy? Get the fuck over it. Something has pulled you here. Something has kept you here. Something dark and powerful lays dormant beneath the buzzing neon lights and sweaty late-night fucks of these streets. Something beautiful and important, something visionary. On the surface: diverse, ambitious, innovative, tropical, apocalyptic, utopic, dystopic. Will it ever wake? Will it ever erupt? Maybe not. Maybe we’re here to absorb as much as we can, through the dirt, through each others’ porous meat sacks. And then? Where to? Maybe somewhere physical…maybe not.
When the fuck do we get out?
Am I going to die here? Or am I literally weeks away from getting the fuck out and never coming back. Am I capable of deserting my family? Or leaving my job, or my friends? Will I make it somewhere else? Do I have a naive and self-destructive belief that any other city won’t have some of the same and some different mind-numbingly annoying ass problems? Maybe….maybe not. But you’re here right now, so make the most of it (obligatory positive ending).