Saturday, 4 February 2017

Something Frivolous Because We Need It

I went for a walk this morning along the boardwalk at Miami Beach. It is really one of my absolute favourite ways to celebrate Shabbat. There is an ease about the place that makes me feel a bit closer to The Almighty. The smell of the ocean, the gentle breeze, the palm trees swaying...the homeless people sleeping on the sand. I am so often struck by the dichotomy of a place that is obviously dripping with beauty and wealth and yet is the landing spot for so many in need.  But...I digress.

There is also a strange intersection that occurs on the beach on Shabbat. The eruv (an urban area enclosed by a wire boundary that symbolically extends the private domain of Jewish households into public areas, permitting activities within it that are normally forbidden in public on the Sabbath.) which is visible from the boardwalk serves to protect the more observant and fully clothed Shomeir-Shabbas Jews from the partially naked sunbathers and tanned exercisers who run, walk, cycle, or generally just shpatzir (saunter) their way to and from South Beach. I usually chuckle at the absurdity of the situation and this morning was no exception. About the exact same time that I was considering the goofiness of naked women on the beach abutted right up against Orthodox women practicing tzniut, (modesty) it struck me that something interesting occurs as one briefly passes by others. Only a small segment of conversations are audible and they happen so quickly in that momentary interaction, that trying to glean the true meaning of any dialogue is an impossibility. I decided to record some of those fragments I overheard this morning and put them together into one continuous chat. I have separated out the individual fragments into lines. Each line is a different conversation.

They were at a bonfire.

In California, you've got to do this crazy outdoor stuff.

One of these things I got for Christmas you had to spit in it.

Porque no?

Porque los necesito para las niƱas.

I tell you this straight from the heart, not the head, the heart.

But it's amortized over five years.

I can't stand to be around him.

But we be jammin, yes?

Down boy! 

I only had a light lunch. I need more.

Oh la la. 

Do you really want to see THIS fucking flop around on the beach?

You look hot.

I'm heaving it's so humid.

Water, water.

We're gonna do it. Keep going.

 Can I go lower?

I swear that I didn't expect it to come out so 50-Shades/porn-like. I really thought that this would be an exercise in observing humanity rather than the verbal construction of a sex act. While my faith in humanity is somewhat restored (notice that not one of these snippets uses the words Trump, president, or fucking lunatic) and my Spanish is definitely improving, I am either really really bad at this eavesdropping thing or my mind is truly in the gutter. In any case, I'm pretty sure that this is how all those Harlequin romance authors got their starts.

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