Saturday, September 07, 2013
a hole in the middle
The month was January. The year was 2006.
None of that is really important, but we writers like leading readers down paths that lead nowhere. Just like this tale.
The place was Miami Beach -- South Beach to be exact. Now, that is important. Because no matter what else you say about South Beach, its exotica fertilizes stories like this.
We were staying there for a couple of nights before sailing off on a cruise through the Caribbean. The "we" in that sentence includes my work friends, Roy and Larry; their wives, Nancy and Lynne; and Roy's sister, Marcia. And, of course, me.
After a long night of dinner and dancing, everybody headed back to our hotel. Except me. This was South Beach and I was going to have a good time.
The details of the night are a bit hazy. I remember meeting a group of people in one of the parks and watched the parade of eccentricities that gives the place its brand.
When I woke up the next morning (in my room), I started folding the black silk shirt I had worn the night before. And then stopped. The entire left side of the shirt was slit from top to bottom.
You all know I am not a drinker. And I gave up street knife fights long ago. That about eliminated the list of reasonable possibilities I could conjure up. I never did find out what had happened.
But, as a result of this wardrobe failure, I was a shirt short. There were no clothing stores open that Sunday morning. So, I sailed off on the Radiance and bought a replacement shirt in St. Thomas.
That is the same shirt I wore on my flight to Miami. When Roy and Nancy picked me up at the airport two weeks ago, my shirt looked as if the mad ripper of seven years ago had paid another visit. That is it at the top of this post.
I am now in Los Angeles. Waiting to get on an Alaska flight to Manzanillo on Sunday morning. But I have no new black silk shirt.
Considering my new country's love of elegance, I should be able to find a replacement on my trip to the highlands next week. If I cannot find one in San Miguel de Allende, the town should have its Santa Fe seal of approval revoked.
Or maybe I should just stay away from Florida when I dress like a backup singer for Gloria Estefan.