Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away, I met a guy who was only in town for the night. We kind of hit it off and exchanged phone numbers and email addresses. This guy turned out to have too much money and frequent flier miles, so he offered to meet me in South Beach one weekend so we could get to know each other better. I took various security precautions to ensure he wouldn’t leave me for dead, but I did not know this meant I was expected to, well, put out.
In honor of PEOTUS’s hands, his inauguration (I will be wearing black, in mourning for our country and general notions of sanity and goodness) and throwback Thursday , I bring you the story of tiny hands in South Beach.
Miami International Airport. There he is—tiny hands. Okay, he’s cute—short (with tiny hands—as I’ll discover later), but cute. I can handle this. We grab a cab and direct our driver to our hotel. “Second-best hotel in South Beach,” tiny hands says to me, as if I care. I nod and wonder aloud, “According to whom?”
Second Best Hotel in South Beach. We check in and find our room decorated in white; very sleek and very modern. I stare at the bed. THE bed. Just one. There’s also a couch…could I ask him to? Ah, forget it. I’ll get drunk and pass out and then I won’t have to deal.
Tantra. Very cool place. Diva recommended it specifically for the aphrodisiac menu. I tear into my entrée and wait for the aphrodisiac effect. Nothing. I gulp some more alcohol and look at tiny hands. Nope, still nothing. What is he babbling about? Oh yeah, something about the millions of trips he’s taken this year. And how he’s a really bad dancer. Thanks for the warning. What the hell? Now he’s text messaging his friend.
“This guy, who I’m talking to; he’s the one who recommended the hotel-second best in South Beach.”
I think about faking a heart attack so I can spend the weekend in the hospital.
Second Best Hotel in South Beach. We return from Tantra slightly buzzed. Well, I am. I’m also exhausted—it’s been a long day. I brush my teeth, change for bed and dive under the sheets.
“Good night! So very tired!” I say, and turn over. I wonder if tiny is a tiny bit disappointed, but then again, so was I when I realized how lame he is.
Lunch. Somehow, we’ve gotten turned around on the directions from the girl at the concierge desk. We’re walking; well, I am—and tiny hands is sort of shuffling and whining about his Adidas soccer slippers. They’re hurting his tender feet. Maybe that’s because (1) they’re brand new (2) they are supposed to be worn with socks and (3) tiny hands doesn’t play soccer.
Yet he’s insistent on finding this stupid restaurant. We pass roughly 6,000 sidewalk cafes and I’m about to gnaw my arm off when we finally choose one at random. We choose badly, as the waiter is so stoned he forgets about us. Which means I get hungrier and tiny hands gets chattier. This time I get to hear about his Saab and how it really punches on the highway. I watch some hot guys play volleyball and wonder if I could join them.
We’re walking back from lunch when tiny hands takes my hand. It’s all I can do not to snatch my palm out of his. Oh jeez. It’s so SMALL. And sweaty. Dude, is this guy really 13? What’s going ON here?
Beach. I’m lying in the sun, hoping that tiny hands will STOP talking. For just a minute. And if he does talk, please God, make it something interesting. But no. I have my nose in a novel and he asks, “What are you reading?” I answer without removing my eyes from the page.
“So, do you need me to help put lotion on your back?” he asks.
“No, I’m fine.” Reading.
Sweet silence for a few moments. Then, “Are you sure you don’t want to take your top off?”
Would it be more painful to kill him by dumping him in the ocean with raw meat tied to him, or perhaps by burying him in the sand and depositing birdseed on his head?
“So, have your boobs ever been in the sun?”
Raw meat. Sharks. Yesssss.
Finally he says he’s going swimming. As soon as he’s out of earshot I grab my phone.
“GIGI! Help! This guy is so not cool! I can’t stand him! I want to come home! Help!” She giggles and tries to reassure me. After all, I only have another 24 hours to go. Tiny hands unfortunately has not drowned, as he returns and lies down in his lounge chair. Finally, he’s quiet and I sneak a peek to see if he’s fallen asleep. If so, maybe I can grab my stuff and run…fast. I can’t tell what he’s doing behind the mirrored sunglasses. Yeah, mirrored. Don’t ask. So I decide to flip over. “Good idea,” he comments. Oh GOD. He’s still awake. And WHERE is the damn waiter? We’ve been out here for two hours and not a drop of alcohol. And tiny hands has a strict rule about not drinking until 5 p.m. Whatever.
Pool. Good. Pool = drinks and food. Tiny hands gets in the water and I grab another deck chair and a new magazine. Sweet Jesus—there’s a waitress, heading my way with a tray. it’s like she’s in slow motion as she hands me a deliciously cool vodka tonic, and I’m saying, “Yeah, just charge that to the room.” Tiny hands gets out of the pool to join me, drains his Heineken and says he’ll have a vodka tonic also.
“I usually have gin and tonic,” he tells me, while I wonder how long it would take me to drown myself.
I mutter, “Oh?” while focused on the magazine. I may even have it upside down.
“But I decided to try vodka tonic.”
“Why?” Do I look like I care, buddy?
“Because you’re drinking it; and well, because it sounded so light and refreshing that I wanted to try it.”
I grab my own cocktail and down it. He did not just say “light and refreshing,” did he? There should be a list of words straight men should not say—and “light and refreshing” should be on it. And why the hell does it matter what I’m drinking?
Hotel Room Patio. Three vodka tonics later, we’re waiting for dinner. Well, that’s what I’m doing. If I can just keep him out of the room, maybe he won’t try and make out with me. I keep running to the bar to get more vodka tonics, while tiny hands babbles about everything from his cable modem to his mom’s boyfriends when he was growing up to condo fees for the new place he wants to buy in Georgetown. Oh—and don’t forget—this is the SECOND best hotel in Miami beach. THE SECOND BEST. I resist the urge to scream “SHUT UP!” and smile and sip my cocktail instead.
I’m getting out of the shower—door locked—when I hear my cell phone ringing. It’s Diva. “What are you doing?” she asks.
“Hiding in the bathroom,” I hiss.
“Oh no,” she replies, laughing. “That can’t be good.”
“I can’t wait to get the hell out of here,” I tell her. I hang up with Diva and make up songs about how much I hate tiny hands. Yup, the alcohol is helping.
Some Restaurant. Tiny hands and I can’t agree on wine so we order by the glass. I’ve lost track of how much I’ve had. I just know that as soon as he gets up to go to the bathroom, there’s a guy facing me from across the room who shakes his head sadly at me. I start laughing and mouth, “He’s that bad?” He shrugs and makes a motion to slit his throat. I’m convulsing with giggles when tiny hands returns to the table.
“What, are you flirting with someone?” he says. He looks enraged but still…tiny and lame.
I giggle some more, take a gulp of wine and nod. “Yup! He’s cracking me up!” Tiny hands looks wildly around the restaurant but Heckler has fallen smoothly into conversation with his table. I try and catch his eye but he’s a master—until tiny hands stumbles to the bathroom again. Then Heckler starts up again. He’s clearly indicating that he thinks tiny hands is a loser and he can’t understand what I’m doing with him. I shrug. Dude, I don’t have any answers either. More wine.
Outside Some Restaurant. I realize tiny hands also has a Tiny Alcohol Tolerance. And boy are those tiny hands moving fast over my ass. The night has turned windy and I decide if we’re going to Lario’s to dance I’ll need my sweater. Tiny hands and I start walking toward our hotel. And his hands feel permanently affixed to my ass, despite my constant protests.
“Seriously, tiny, stop touching me,” I keep saying, and he babbles about being drunk and how that prevents him from listening, apparently. I tell him I don’t care. Lario’s is out of the question as he has become too drunk to function. Damn those light and refreshing vodka tonics!
Then he says to me, “You got me drunk. You should expect this.” My annoyance quickly transforms to revulsion. I got him drunk? So I could take advantage of him? WTF is he saying?
Quick, think. Okay, we’ll buy liquor. Maybe people from the club at the hotel will drunkenly wander to our patio, and as long as I have people around, he won’t be able to molest me. I drag the Octopus into a liquor store. I’ll put his drunk ass to bed and party with some cool people. He’s all over me—still. “BACK the FUCK OFF,” I snarl, as I’m purchasing a bottle of vodka.
Second Best Hotel in Miami. Back in the room, he heads for the sliding glass door as I grab my sweater. He’s smoking a cigarette and apologizing for being so forward. “I jus…I jus…needed a lil’ nicotine,” he slurs. Outside, I sit in the chair opposite him, longing to be on the crowded dance floor. It’s just…a few steps away…
“Yeah, nicotine will fix your problem, all right,” I spit.
“I promise to stop hitting on you,” he says, getting to his feet and putting a hand on my shoulder.
“Yeah, see, with that hand on my shoulder, you’re already breaking a rule,” I tell him. “THE ONE THAT SAYS STOP TOUCHING ME.”
It appears my party plan won’t work, as I realize at some point I’ll have to sleep in the same bed with mr. handsy. I toy with the idea of running off the patio, finding a group of people and hanging with them all night. But at some point I have to return to this damn room. Tiny hands is smoking another cigarette and complimenting himself on ashing into the water bottle.
“I’m not very comfortable here,” I announce, standing up. “I think it’s time for me to go.”
“Thas’ ridiculous,” tiny hands exclaims, looking up at me and then quickly back the cigarette to see if he’s succeeded in getting the ash into the bottle again. “Where you goin’?”
“Somewhere else,” I tell him and go quickly into the bathroom, gathering shampoo, conditioner, makeup and toothbrush in an armful. I dump them in my case while he struggles toward the bed.
“Awww, come on,” he mutters, patting the bed beside him. “We’ll jus’ sleep. Really. No touching. Sleep nice.”
“Nope. Don’t believe you,” I respond brightly, throwing clothes into my bag at lightning speed. Freedom never seemed so sweet.
“Please? Jus’ siddown. Jus’ sit and talk to me.”
“I don’t think so,” I reply, and hoist my bag to my shoulder. “I’m outta here. Have a nice night!”
I flee before he can stumble after me and grab yet another body part with his tiny hands. In the lobby, I ask the desk clerk where I can grab a room for the night; she directs me to a hotel down the street. I walk through the streets of Miami with a duffel bag over one shoulder, wondering what the hell he’s doing now. My cell phone rings. Oh. That’s what he’s doing.
I ignore his call, check into a new hotel, and have a fabulous Sunday in Miami. Alone.