Brokeback Key

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Miami and help keep the future of New Times free.

December 2001
Joe and Manny are holed up in a dimly lit city hall office. They've been spending long hours together, gazing out upon the forlorn landscape, daydreaming, smoking, cussing, trying to select a new city manager. Then one evening, after some drinking, Manny finally reveals something from inside.

Manny: Joe. I've got something I got to tell ya. Ya know, we've been spendin' a lot of time together. And I sure admire ya a whole lot. I want you.

Joe: What? Ya want me? Aw shucks, Manny. What the hell you talkin' about? You're kidding. You're crazy!


Joe Arriola

Manny: Naw, I'm serious, Joe. I been searchin' for the perfect partner. Someone tough, someone ballsy. Someone a little crazy. And all this time he's been right here in front of me.

Joe: Manny! You can't be serious!

Manny: I'm dead serious. I want you to be my city manager.

And soon, together, here on this key called Brokeback, they begin to shepherd the city's wayward flock. For a couple of years they run Miami just fine, but then they grow cocky and careless. Sometimes Joe gets emotional. Sometimes Manny distances himself. They grow apart.

Cut to: three years later. Joe, estranged from Manny for a while, is fishing with a smooth-talker named Hank.

Hank: I got a hankerin' to do a deal, Joe.

Joe: What kind?

Hank: You know this fire fee thing. It's a bitch of an unsatisfactory situation. What say we give a few folks five million dollars and I take two million dollars.

Joe: God, I wish I knew how to quit you.

Hank: Well why don't you?

Joe: You know I ain't queer.

Hank: Neither am I.

Cut to: late one December night in 2005. Joe and a crazy commish named Johnny slip Manny a big fat $53,000 pay raise. Then the press finds out.

Manny: I mean, if this thing, whatever it is, gets hold of us again, in the wrong place, at the wrong time, we're dead.

Joe: Oh God, Manny! What are you talking about? I can't believe you! You're just going to throw everything away?

Manny: You are too much for me, Joe, you sonofawhoreson bitch! I'm quittin' you.

Joe: Tell you what, we coulda had a good life together! Fuckin' real good life!

Cut to: three months later. A mob of angry taxpayers, armed with bats and pipes, chases Joe into a boat yard on Brokeback Key. They disappear behind a yacht. There are shouts, thuds, and screams, and then the mob scatters. Joe does not reappear. A vulture circles overhead.

Final cut to: Manny in bed asleep. Suddenly he sits up and cries, "No!" He opens his eyes wide, looks around the dark room, then sighs deeply. It was all just a bad dream. Or was it?

Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.