Las Olas, Dusk

It is a specific image: Las Olas Boulevard headed west from the beaches at dusk, the trees along the median just lit, their trunks ringed in white strands of tiny bright bulbs, the European starlings taking to the air, black against the deepening blue of the sky. The high rises and bank building rise up just behind, and the shops and classy restaurants entice the tourists speaking French, Portuguese, German.

I mismatch. I live not too far away, but with no money in my pockets, the fine cigars and fair trade gifts can’t tempt me. I admire them as the fancy “open” placards on doors flip faces, “closed.” I walk on to the park, the trees glowing from below, blue to green to warm amber, through the rainbow, creating ghosts from shadow, the park emptying of passers-by.

I am mistaken for a bum with my scrap scarf and fingerless gloves, though they were $5 leftovers from a designer boutique. It shows that they are seasons out of date. My planned scruffiness has no place in the face of this affluence. I wonder if anyone really belongs, behind the cracking façades of liquid money. The empty store fronts as I close on Andrews give it the lie.

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