I have been going to the Seybold since about the fifth grade. You see, my father, a jeweler in the building, would take my sister and I to the Seybold because it was cheaper than camp. We had tried the camp summer before and truth be told it was as harrowing as going to work with my father all day. Plus, it was always the same campers at summer camp whereas when we went with my father to work there was no telling who we were going to be forced to say hi to. And, my father let my sister and I play with as much boiling wax that our epidermises could withstand; we would sit at his "molds" table and push the nozzle on the kettle and out would come super hot wax, green or blue, dripping down our eager hands, and the first to say "ow" or any variation thereof would lose and have to hang their heads in shame the rest of the day. My sister always beat me at this game because she was as hard as seven-year-old-nails are straight.
On days we went to work with him, my father would drive to the Dadeland Mall or South Miami station and just take the MetroRail into Government Center. It's a two block walk from Government Center to the Seybold, and in those two blocks you will have to traverse several homeless encampments, the steps of the Federal Court House and several disgruntled parking lots. Right where we used to turn left on Flagler, we used to run into the homeless guy my dad called, Pajarito (little bird). Pajarito was or still is a homeless scamp in downtown Miami, so he wears the typical raiments of the homeless, like parkas in the dead of summer; his beard looked like a dirty asterisk, overgrown with blurriness, and I forget whether he ever wore shoes: it might have been he used to wear newspaper slippers but his pathology was not violent, his demeanor was kind of Chaplinesque. So, pajarito would be under a tree, chewing on a sprig or mulling an idea without the aid of his teeth, and this bald Latino man with two kids in tow would just appear out of nowhere and greet the man like a super distant cousin, talk to him for a minute, tops, and just keep pushing towards the Seybold.
Every morning my father lingered to talk to Pajarito, my sister and I, preternaturally frightened by a homeless dude, would walk ahead and wait, indecorously with arms akimbo (mostly my sister). Their body language displayed a negotiation or solemn entreat, where my dad would point his upturned hand at Pajarito and Pajarito would listen with his head half-cocked. My f ather always gave Pajarito money, the denominations unknown to us, as we were out of focus, but there was always an exchange, and as my father would catch up to us, Pajarito would be looking down Flagler toward Seybold, hidden by the corner but peeking on his tiptoes. According to my father, Pajarito has made deposits to my dad's business account. If I am not mistake these deposits were a way for my father to fuck with the bank's tellers. Could you imagine a homeless guy walking into your bank and making a deposit into a business account with less than ten grand in it? I am pretty sure this was my father's idea of practical joke. And, if you think about it, especially if you take into consideration that he probably gave him less than $50 to deposit, it at least seems plausible.
A Spanglish blog dedicated to the works, ruminations, and mongrel pyrotechnics of Yago S. Cura, an Argentine-American poet, translator, publisher & futbol cretin. Yago publishes Hinchas de Poesia, an online literary journal, & is the sole proprietor of Hinchas Press.