Bro, my dad used to get his hair cut in the sotano of the Seybold Building. Sotano is Spanish for basement, bro, and if you can believe it, skyscrapers in Miami do have basements, dude. However, with Miami's liminal sea levels, i.e. most of Miami is three feet under sea level, most of the sotanos in South Florida are pool-side bars?
But, this was 1987, so te imaginas. Anyways, there used to be a barber shop in sotano of the Seybold, bro; tremendo barbershop with black diamond tiles on the floor and large windows, you know like a throwback barbershop except it wasn't throwback because this is the mid-80's. Anyways, my sister and I got into a fight, and that was the first time mi viejo threatened to make us drink each other's pee if we couldn't get along. Also, the barber my father had was gay because my father told me he was gay, but he seemed like all the other men in the sotano.
In Miami, siempre, the possibility of things is suuuuuuper finite, bro: por ejemplo, there is just so much pressure you can apply to a package of land in South Florida before it goes, kerplunk!, like a crisp particle board, dude, and you shoot to the other side. And, who knows if there is water under the water? Immense is the damp, te imaginas? Suuuper immense was the damp in that sotano, bro.
Musty, muddy, feral. The barbershop there was these three smells plus Barbicide, which sentineled the four stations in the basement barbershop. I probably got my hair cut there once or twice, but I bet the barber's been gone for more than 20 years. Ya hace tiempo, my Miami details, bro, are slurry and full of like opaque syrup, bro, things perhaps, that were never there, I am beginning to believe, are trying to be the forefront of an intense remembering?
Mi viejo dice the basement brota agua, it blossoms water at all times like some sacred Hindu river, or some Mesopotamian spring. Maybe, it's because there is a river under the sotano. Maybe, bro, the foundation has become so colloquial with the limestone that it has turned into petrified sand. Maybe, the Bay gets hungry after it moonlights as a nostalgist? Maybe, downtown Miami will finally just wash into the Atlantic like a spot of India ink bombarded by a droplet of green salt water?
Maybe the center won't hold for the residents of Seybold's sotano who have all recently been told that the city and administration are trying to figure out when they can re-open the sotano. They have been put on hold for close to 8 months, and no one is doing anything about it. My father says, bro, that the owners have every right to do what they want while the jewelers have the right to find other accommodations.
He also says that I should stop thinking with my heart--that my heart don't know shit about the world. And, he's right. Getting nostalgic about a place that the city has closed down for health reasons is just plain dumb, bro. But, this space, sooner than later will find itself being filled in with bureaucratic concrete and smoothed over.
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.