A funny thing happened to me this weekend. There were friends with me, friends who made this funny thing possible, but I’m not going to mention them only because, well, this is the Internet, home of Google, Reddit, and TOE. Odds are you don’t know them, meaning my friends, and it would be presumptuous of me to assume that they wouldn’t mind if I told you about them. No hard feelings, please, I just don’t think they’d like that very much, or at least I have to assume that. Their loss.
Anyhow, this funny thing happened to me when the sun was strong, that’s the status quo here in Miami, especially as you move towards the ocean, strong sun directly above your head. Although I had a hat, the boy in me decided, after weighing the costs and benefits, of course, to take the hat off and tuck it neatly into a corner of the boat.
While I was at it, I took off my eyeglasses, which are in stitches, held together by the strategic placement of permanent glue and filaments of fiber. I also took off my bright yellow WVUM 90.5 t-shirt. To be safe, I wrapped my hat around my eyeglasses, and my shirt around my hat, then I jumped into the water, which was more than brackish.
We had anchored the boat in a part of the Intracoastal that ran about 15 feet deep. Directly south of me, on a baby’s footprint in Biscayne Bay, a golf course I had never seen. Normally, I’m not a swimmer, but this time the spirit of Gattaca somehow played its way into my muscles.
I remember flattening out, going from vertical and treading water, to horizontal and swimming with a capacious breath stroke. Each time after my legs scissor kicked, my praying hands reached out from my sternum and parted the waters. Forward I glided towards the golf course, a boy who kept from doing freestyle because he didn’t want to flood his ears.
The seawall was more difficult than the swim. Barnacles and algae made it impossible to find footing.
If I want to stand on the golf course, I thought, there’s only one way to get up there.
With determination, I gave my legs one last scissor kick to boost me high enough out of the water. Then I clawed desperately to the top.
From this hanging position, I was somehow able to do a real pull-up, fling one leg on top of the seawall, and alight on the manicured fairways.
It wasn’t until I stood like Superman – only instead of outer space behind me, the verdant green of a Miami golf course – that I realized my climb hurt me more than I had thought.
For lack of strength in my biceps and back muscles, I had to grind my elbows into the concrete and mash my stomach into the edge in order to find the leverage to fling not a leg, but a knee cap on top of the wall and then a knee, and then a foot and then, maybe, the rest of my leg and body.
I’ve never attempted the pommel horse, but based on the rug burns slashed across my elbow, stomach, and knee I’d say I’m unfit for that kind of sport, and for good reason – my childhood was nothing like the above image.
Now for the funny part. I stood on the edge of the fairway like Superman, hands on hips, feet shoulder width apart, and I stared at where I had come from. The boat. I scanned the condominiums on the other side of the bay. On the fourth floor of one, the glint of binoculars blinded me.
I looked at my feet, wriggled my TOEs, and admired the iguana basking next to me. A reptile, that’s how I felt, like a creature who cannot hold the internal temperature necessary for life without external assistance. The iguana and I depended on the sun for energy, without the sun we grew cold.
It was then that the iguana flicked its head inland, that’s why I flicked mine, and I saw the fuzz rolling towards me with their patriotic lights in intimidation mode. They had done well at creeping up silently, these sneaky pigs, one driving, the other riding bitch. But how else can two pigs sit in their pig car? One always has to ride bitch.
Just as spontaneously as I had decided to swim to the island, I decided to dive back into Biscayne Bay and breath stroke to the boat, perhaps under the illusion that these 15 foot waters were under International Law.
Only the iguana heard me say, in my best MF Doom voice, “Shittah.”
After about ten yards of swimming like Phelps, the loudspeaker came on, the cop car spoke, a modern-day Kit. I considered playing dolphin, arching my body underwater and swimming until I ran out of breath, then coming up for a brief gasp of air, deaf to the pig squeals, and plunging again into the freedom of the underworld. But such behavior might escalate the situation, so I calmly did my breath stroke, concentrating on perfect form.
I heard something about private property, about not climbing the seawall, and I raised my right arm in acknowledgment and nodded my head. I think I even gave them the thumbs-up just to let them know that it was all done in good humor, me escaping into the water like an ignorant and cowardly criminal.
With the patriotic lights still in intimidation mode, the fuzz rolled away across the fairways, making sure to avoid the delicate bent grass of the greens.
Back at the boat, I was enlightened. The island I swam to, all in the name of Gattaca, is called Indian Creek Village, a super private location. Although my friends did their best to communicate the degree of exclusiveness, Wikipedia does better. In 2000, Indian Creek had a population of 33 with a per capita income of $137,382. Since then, its population has grown to no less than 38.
But it’s not the wealth stats that impress me so much as it is the degree of security this island has. If security constitutes exclusiveness, Indian Creek Village might just be the most exclusive incorporated municipality in the United States. Per Wikipedia:
A unique characteristic of Indian Creek Island is the residents’ apparent obsession with security. The village is unique among similar-sized communities in having its own State of Florida sworn police force including its own 24/7 armed boat patrol around the island. Not only does “the ICVPSD operate the only 24 hours (a) day, 7 days a week marine patrol unit and it is often the only waterborne police force available on Biscayne Bay” but also the sworn force of 14 officers compared with the 38 residents reported in the 2004 census figures might make Indian Creek Village the most protected and secure incorporated municipality in the United States
1 sworn-in police officer for every 2.7 residents. Shittah. I’m just glad the boat patrol didn’t come and snatch my thrashed-seawall body out of these Indian Creek waters, which are far from being governed by International Law.
In a way, I’m kind of surprised at the missed opportunity to bring out their boat since Indian Creek Golf Club is, per Wikipedia, one of the oldest golf courses in Miami. As such, it’s not just exclusive like the village that surrounds it, but ultra-exclusive, and it was on their fairway that I stood like Superman, the glorious invader of rich people’s masturbatory landscape.