By Terrence McCoy
By Allie Conti
By Chuck Strouse
By Scott Fishman
By Terrence McCoy
By Ryan Yousefi
By Ciara LaVelle, Kat Bein, Carolina Del Busto, and Liz Tracy
By Pepe Billete
Approaching the UM Convocation Center, Santa spies two young women sitting on the rear of a late model Buick inside the Metrorail parking lot. "I don't know about you, but I'm going to try and get me some young clean pussy tonight," he says. "Yo, what up baby doll?" Santa says, strolling over to the ladies.
"Y'all want a beer?" Santa says.
"Sure," replies Amy, a heavyset fair-skinned curly-haired blonde.
Theresa, a petite strawberry blonde with her hair pulled back in a ponytail, doesn't say anything. Santa hands two bottles of Heineken to the women. Amy pops the cap and starts chugging away. Theresa just puts her bottle down on the trunk of the car.
"Yo, woman," Santa snaps. "I just gave you a beer. You ain't going to drink it?"
"I don't drink," Theresa replies.
"Then give me back that beer," Santa snarls. "What the fuck you taking the beer for if you're not gonna drink it?"
"I was going to give it to her," Theresa replies, pointing a finger at Amy.
"Fuck that shit!" Santa yells, snatching the green lizard back.
"See, this is why I hate coming to Miami!" Theresa screams, looking at her pal in disbelief. The two girls get up and leave.
"You can't let little bitches like that run game on ya," Santa lectures. "Fuck that. Let's go. I want to see Jacki-O. That is one fine little black bitch."
Once inside, Santa leaps over the side railing separating the upper level seats from the front of the stage and the VIP section. He ends up in front of a security guard. Santa hugs the short black man. "Whassup dog!" Santa hollers. The guard lets him stay. Within minutes Miami rapper Jacki-O and her posse take the stage. The crowd goes wild. Santa goes apeshit. He starts bouncing around, putting his arms around the security guard, chanting Jacki-O's name.
By the time Miami rapper Pitbull finishes his set, Santa has broken through another security barrier so he can shake hands with rap star Ludacris, who is mingling with fans in the VIP section. "Yo, Luda!" Santa screams as he waves to the Atlanta recording artist, who stops to shake hands with Santa. Security arrives and escorts Santa back to his designated seat.
When the Ghetto Boys finish their set, Santa is ready to roll. On the way home, he drops by a dope hole near NW Seventh Avenue. A lone man talking on a cell phone stands outside a house secured by a chain-link fence more than six feet tall. Santa enters the property and greets the guy on the cell phone with a loud: "Yo! Yo!" The man chastises Santa. "Hey man, don't be yelling like that! Keep that shit down!" Santa just nods affirmatively and goes in the house. He buys four nickel bags and leaves.
Later, after smoking his dope, Santa finds himself reflecting about his place in society. "I should be dead after losing my spleen and getting stabbed last year," he says as he drinks a sixteen-ounce can of Colt 45. "But God said it wasn't my time. He still has me here for some reason. So now I just try to do to others as I want done to me. I help people out without expecting anything in return."
Out here, alone, with no place in regular society, Santa finds it difficult to accept that he is just another bum in the eyes of the police and others. "When I got stabbed and got the shit kicked out of me, the cops didn't do a damn thing," Santa says somberly. "Why? Because I'm fucking homeless. I never saw a detective. I don't matter. I don't exist. I'm like the fucking prostitutes around here. You never see anything written about them when they turn up dead. If I was a faggot living on Miami Beach, then I would have legions of cops working the case. It would be all over the papers."
A rail-thin woman in a pair of shorts and a shirt with matching blue stripe patterns makes her way into Santa's lot. It's Marie, a former Winn-Dixie cashier who lives in an apartment off NE 80th Street. Marie met Santa shortly after he moved into the area. "She was one of my first friends," Santa recalls. "She let me use her bathroom to take showers. If I was hungry, she would cook me Southern food: collard greens, chitlins, corn bread, and all that good stuff."
Marie walks over to Santa to relay some bad news. Marie began losing her voice about a month ago. She is so hoarse she can barely make a sound. It turns out Marie has been diagnosed with throat cancer. The news hits Santa hard. He throws his hands up as his eyes well with tears.
"What you want honey?" he asks her. "Do you want some beer?"
"Yeah," she responds softly.
"Okay, I got some money," Santa says. "I'll get you some beer."
She smiles and closes her eyes. "It's all we can do, right?" Santa tells her before grabbing her and hugging her tightly. "Oh baby, baby, baby, baby. I love you so much," he says between sobs.