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ROLLING OVER SOBE WITHOUT A PLAN

There is something magical about letting life happen. Not having a set plan can take us to places in times and ways that we didn’t imagine. Be open. Be alert. Be alive!


A few hours ago as I was heading to the beach I came across a Deco Bike station. It actually remembered me and I nodded in acknowledgment… we’ve been having this friendly exchange for a while. Without saying so, I promised myself that maybe tonight we’ll have our date.


It’s already past 9pm and South Beach is like a blessed desert with waves caressing its shores. There are a few romantics still staring at the moon, hoping to learn secrets from the Universe. It has whispered into my ear tonight while I was at the full moon meditation and my spirit is alive and alert. Walking past the bikes, my feet are covered in wet rough sand and my flip-flops are in my hands, but my shoes are in the car… I don’t want to make any decision until I have them. I want reality to unfold naturally; in the meantime, I am entertaining alternatives.

One block before I reach the parking lot where my car is resting, the nanny calls me. The kids are fine and I breath in relief because she never contacts me at night. The lights are out on our block and they should be back by midnight. This is my sign! I’m supposed to stay out here. I’m excited like a little girl and I make sure to wipe off all the sand between my toes and behind my heels. I don’t want to be uncomfortable during my adventure. The station smiles at me knowingly when I arrive. I come close to it and pay attention to the instructions, our communication is simple and smooth… I pull out my bike quickly.

Ocean drive is vibrant even on a Wednesday night. I appreciate its energy and diversity. I love watching the laid-back locals, youths on their bikes and skateboards, and the curious tourists all dressed up to seduce and conquer. Or pass out. Anything is acceptable here. Everything is expected. I jump on my two-wheeler and I cruise through Lummus park with the ocean and the moon on my right and the bars, restaurants, flashy cars, and loud music to my left. The bright round moon, the blinking light from my handlebar, and the multiple colors of the nightlife guide my path.

Two girls are jogging and hogging the whole path so I “beep beep” them with my voice. One of them turns to tell me with a warm smile she likes my warning sound. I race ahead and the wind makes my hair take flight and flow freely in the warm breezy night. A black couple sitting quietly in beach clothes on the side catch my attention and I flash her a generous smile and holler a happy “hellooooo!!”. She immediately replies with love radiating from her space. It’s fabulous when I catch people by surprise and they forget to be guarded. A runner heads in the opposite direction as if he were floating on clouds, an ageless man is doing abs on the benches of the exercise area. I see a colorful playground with a toddler giggling and climbing some steps. He must know he’s spoiled and it’s past his bedtime. What a fun place to bring my children some afternoon…



I take the path onto the sidewalk on Ocean drive and stop in front of Mango’s Tropical Cafe. A smile sneaks in and possesses my lips as memories flood my brain. I interrupt a couple walking past me and they snap a picture of me with the rented bike and the bright colors of the bar behind me. An ideal moment to immortalize. I gently peddle along, streaming vivid memories of south beach nights. When I get to the Clevelander, my ram works extra hard because I’ve been there on multiple occasions.


I need speed. I head back to the park’s path and cruise energetically to feel my blood flow swiftly through my veins and my heart pump rhythmically against my chest. Confirmed, I am alive! As I turn at the Starbucks with the outside terrace, a family passes by on deco bikes and we exchange knowing looks. The mom appears seconds later, tagging behind and breathing deeply, she gazes up at me with lost eyes.


The pedestrians are dragging along and I jump onto the street, quickly looking in both directions. I stand to burst into a nice roll. Turning onto Collins, the traffic is faster and slightly more dangerous. People flash by, or maybe I do. Lincoln Road might be crowded so I turn onto 18th street and ride on the sidewalk. This area is full of restaurants and bars so I’m somewhat concerned that a drunk driver might run into me. Casa Tua is on my right and I imagine pulling into the valet parking with my car.


Then I reach the corner of Washington. Right in front of me is the New World Center and the energy reaches the other side of the street. I cross on the green light and a car starts honking at me. Why?! I’m not breaking any rules!! Then I see hands waving and lights flashing. “Hey, you!”, a car full of young guys is calling out to me. They’ve stopped momentarily. I wave at them carefree and continue on my way. www.decobike.com. An old film is playing on the wall of the fabulous new building by Frank Gehry. This reminds me of the movies in the park during NYC’s summer. People are sitting on the grass with friends or partners, enjoying each other’s company under a starry sky. A few policemen are standing there in crisp white shirts and I approach them when I manage to stand my bike.



“Hello! What playing?”, I ask him.


He say’s the name and tells me that’s Beyonce up there. Now I recognize her, she looks young and stunning. I can’t retain the name of the movie, it’s definitely not recent and I haven’t seen.



“Do you know where I can dock my bike?”, I ask him. He wants to be helpful and points at the other end of the park. The thirty minutes I’ve paid for are almost up and I don’t want to be charged extra.


Walking back to my bike I wonder if I should stay to watch it and enjoy the free event. “I’m sorry. How far along is it? I ask the same man with a sheepish grin. “Sorry to ask so many questions”, I add.


“It will end in about fifteen or twenty minutes”, he says generously. Too late for me to enjoy the film. Time to go.


I cross the park and decide to head over to visit my friend who works in one of the stores. On my way, I see a tent full of tables with Jewish people ending dinner. I take a shortcut though an alley and wonder how I will react if someone approaches me. I brake hard in front of the store and push the door open. “Hi Bess!!!”, I say to her in an excited voice. She squints trying to figure out who it is and I yell back it’s me. “I’ll be right back!!”, I say. Across the street, there’s a docking station and suddenly I am on my two feet again. My face is flushed when I walk in and I feel as happy as an innocent child at a birthday party eating cake and candy. I stay for a while catching up with her. With a big hug, I am off again thrilled I have to rent another bike to get back to my car.


This time I take Lincoln Road because it’s late and the foot traffic has thinned. A woman on tall nude heels is struggling. She stops to massage her right foot while her partner gives her a hand for stability. He asks if she wants to sit for a while. Why do we women expose ourselves to such vain sacrifices? I beep beep past them. A waiter comes out and I make eye contact to let him know I’ve seen him. As he reaches the other side, I tell him he’s safe and he flashes a warm smile. The light switches exactly the second I approach the street and I observe the approaching taxi warily. I was getting ready to do an abrupt stop, just for the fun or it. Vroom vroom, goes my bike with my voiceover. I smile in delight. I reach the end patiently without hurting anyone or getting cursed.


A gang on skateboards appears out of nowhere and they are headed in my direction. So I ride with them for several blocks. There is one girl in the pack and I feel some kind of admiration for her. One of them has a long pole and is pushing himself with it. Like a gondolier! They are wild and free. I know how absolutely divine that feelingis. The street is mine now. Ocean drive is tipsy and I’m giddy with the joy of freedom; we get along. A group of people stare at the motorcycles that are roaring in the corner looking for a place to park and be admired.


He’s standing behind the machine to print out the parking tickets. Half of his body is exposed and I see he’s leaning against it. I understand what he’s doing. “You can’t pee here! You have to use a public bathroom!”, I say with a serious disapproving face. In a thick German accent, he says “I’m just taking a picture!”. I give him a pat on his shoulder and give out a big healthy laugh to accompany my own prank. “I know, I saw your camera. I’m just joking”, I say while he starts to laugh amused I caught him of guard.


I keep on peddling on the sidewalk and I see the unmistakable walk of two men soaked in alcohol. My bike slows down and the light is still flashing intermittently. Why not? “Please pull over! Pull over to your right and show me your ID!”, my voice comes out authoritative and thick. They slow down and stop, taking their time to turn around. Their faces are flushed bright red and their eyes are glazed. After a few eternal seconds, they realize I’m not in uniform. I smile and move on. No games with drunk men. “Be safe. Don’t drive”, I tell them lightly. “Hey! Where are you going?”, one of them shouts out to me. “What’s your name? Where’s your ID?!”, he saying with a wavering voice. He’s still shaken from my warning. While I keep on riding away from them into the night I stick out my left leg and left arm. Then my right arm and right leg. “I’m sober!!”, I yell back proud to be so goofy on a drink of water. I speed away to stay safe.


Approaching the bike station, I see a couple reading the instructions and I’m excited for them. I say goodbye to my two-wheeler and dock it; I know I’ll be back. The moon is shining high above in the sky. It’s time to come back down to earth. There’s my car… please take me home!


I’m still on a roll. : )

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