By Chuck Strouse
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After she departs, I approach the man and ask what she was saying.
"I'm not sure," he says. "Something about Jesus."
8:31 p.m.: Chris is a pudgy but good-looking 40-year-old whose entire face squints when he smiles. Down from D.C., he's escaping all the "inauguration craziness" while keeping true to his New Year's resolution of "detoxing" by ordering a third Scotch. He takes an instant liking to me and asks if my boobs are real.
222 14th St.
Miami Beach, FL 33139
Category: Bars and Clubs
Region: Out of Town
"Great," he says. "Can you do me a favor? See that guy in the gray sweater? I can't tell if he's gay or straight. Could you walk by him with your cleavage out and see how he responds?"
Why not? I walk by and flirtatiously smile.
"How'd it go?" Chris asks when I return.
Not so well. Gray Sweater smiled back.
"Ah," Chris says. "I've got a boyfriend anyway, and although Sweater Man is cute, he's not totally my type."
"I like men who are hairy or chubby or have full beards."
"Exactly. That's why I prefer straight porn over gay porn. The guys in gay porn are too muscular and well groomed. I like my men more... realistic.
10:59 p.m.: As the Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Give It Away" sounds throughout the bar, a girl in a green T-shirt emblazoned with a picture of a monkey begins to jump. And jump. And trip, crashing into some empty stools.
11:14 p.m.: Enter Xanadu — a 31-year-old "modern-day Robin Hood" (AKA a lawyer) with curly hair, a goatee, and a shirt unbuttoned just enough to divulge his manly mass of "gay repellent" (AKA chest hair). He reveals that his goal for the year is to swim in every fancy pool on South Beach, then he tells his Deuce anecdote: "It was a few years ago, when I was about 27. It was really early in the morning, this place was about to close, and the only other people in the bar were two blond women who had no intention of shattering stereotypes about Budweiser bikini posters from the '80s."
What follows is a choppy narrative that ends with a threesome. "And when I woke up in the morning, the two of them were on their cell phones, talking to their kids..."
12:06 a.m.: The music stops, but green monkey girl is still jumping.
1:42 a.m.: Fully loaded, I head to the bathroom one last time. As I swing open the door, an innocent girl with a short bob and a Tiffany chain around her neck looks at me with wide eyes.
"I'm sorry," I say. "Did I hit you with the door?"
"No," she says, tilting her head toward the single stall's door. "There's a guy and a girl in there doing something really weird... What do you think it is?"
I hear a loud sniff.
"Oh," I laugh, "they're just doing coke."
She's originally from Michigan, she says. I welcome her to Miami.
"So, are they, like, doing lines on the toilet or something?"
"Nah, those sound more like key bumps to me."
"What's a key bump?"
1:58 a.m.: Another morning glory: A pink-haired girl says, "I have a really naive friend who saw someone shooting up in the bathroom. She assumed the girl was a diabetic and started talking to her about vitamins and sugar-free desserts. The junkie stopped her and said, 'I'm not a diabetic; I'm a fucking heroin addict.'"
2:02 a.m.: Eager to tame my buzz, I head out for some pizza. On my way, I pass Mansion (1235 Washington Ave., Miami Beach), where there's a swarm of popped collars, hair gel, and Coach purses.
There's not a single crackhead or flying lizard.
But the entrance fee is $20.
What the deuce?