Decò, ep. 3–The Earl Society and a Critical Mass

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It wasn’t long before Decò took on the lifestyle of the hipsters. He soon drank PBR instead of mojitos. He reluctantly traded his designer clothes at the local clothing exchange and his wardrobe transformed into something tighter and more plaid. There was money left and with it Decò bought a fixed gear bicycle. He even grew a little moustache.

Being accepted into the neighborhood was merited. Everyone agreed with his fundamental maxim of working hard. It was absolutely essential to work hard. Oh, yes—we all work hard, they proclaimed as they danced the night away at flash house parties, baked cupcakes to sell at special gatherings thrown in abandoned warehouses, cooked and ate delectable French cuisine at special Motown brunches held in coffee shops, occupied dirty stairwells to read each other’s poetry, while constantly blogging and tweeting about the whole thing, of course.

Decò worked so hard in Wynwood he was soon noticed by the most hip of all the hipsters; those who knew the secrets of the philanthropic foundation, The Earl Society.  These wise, hip men, all with multiple degrees in numerous disciplines, absolutely loved Decò’s work ethic and ethos. They applauded his desire and noticed his talent. With welcomed arms, they schooled him on the ancient and super-secret art of grant writing and schmoozing. The path towards the Holy Grail was revealed to Deco: an Earl Society grant. With an Earl Society grant, the hard-working Decò could earn the much deserved philanthropic help needed to work as hard as he needed to work. Decò was thrilled with the news and quickly hired someone to write the grant proposal, since he was too busy implementing the schmoozing part of the plan.

An Earl Society grant could not come at a more opportunistic time for Decò since his student loan payments could no longer be placed on deferment, and with every week, the eminent threat of having to pay them loomed over him, like a humid summer storm.

Rather than think about such a banal concept, Decò rode bike. It was the time when many from Wynwood ventured downtown to partake in a one-hundred percent spontaneous community bike ride that occurred the last Friday of every month at seven o’clock sharp. The ride, a disorganized yet orderly statement promoting the sustainability of biking over oil consuming, greenhouse gas producing, road-hogging cars, figured to be a hoot! What a great time to schmooze, thought Decò—and also to demonstrate to the community the peaceful and subdued nature of biking. Decò romantically let himself fancy that perhaps his dear Chichi [shee-shee] would be in attendance, if she was not too busy shopping at one of the many County of Dade malls.

The bike gathering turned out to be a little happening of only about six-thousand people. Of course the event adhered to its clock-work consistent spontaneity. Therefore it warranted no need for police permission or escort. Beforehand, Decò tried to schmooze but the task turned difficult as all the hipsters were glued to their smartphones, simultaneously updating Facebook statuses by checking in at the spontaneously organized event, while including a message along the lines of ‘get off your computer, technology sucks, ride bike now.’

Over a huge roar from the spontaneously gathered crowd the cyclists began the sunset bike jaunt through the eagerly awaiting Miami streets. What a gathering, so sustainable and just—there were bikers of every ethnicity, gender (there are more genders than one may imagine in the County of Dade), age, and socio-economic background. They calmly moved through the city in an organized and peaceful manner, blowing through every red light and stop sign and intersection they encountered, taking up only a forty-two block stretch of busy rush-hour roads, kindly corking automobiles filled with exhausted corporate-sponsored regular old family men and women trying to get home from a long week of work. The peaceful and subdued bikers clogged the traffic for only fifty-four minutes per city block, using gentle and basically superfluous phrases of compassion: “Fucking wait, goddamn it. I said wait!” “Can’t you see we’re coming through you gas guzzling swine!!” and “What are you going to do? Huh? Hit us?  What? Do something. Go ahead!!” and with compassion they banged on the front of cars, often denting the hoods of these foolish motorists trying to get home from work.

Decò absolutely loved the gathering. The sea of flannel and denim seemed filled with opportunity to practice the art of schmooze and with every hard-working pedal he knew with conviction that his eco-footprint was in fact definitely shrinking. As the critical bike mass moved along the narrow and ill-lit streets, Decò thought of how he could write a screenplay about the event, or maybe even a short story, or in the least an ode, of which everyone in Wynwood would adore.

They soon moved through parts of town Decò had never seen, neighborhoods filled with such poverty and destitution Decò wondered where he was exactly. These massive housing projects, deplorable and overcrowded, did not exist in South Beach or even Wynwood. It confused him to see such miserable conditions. And the people of these areas, whilst some threw rocks at the bikers and yelled the street name of their hood with pride and dignity, others welcomed and cheered the critical mass bike movement along as if it were an organized marathon.

Again, young and hard-at-work Decò was filled with bursting and brilliant ideas of creativity, of sharing with the world through the arts all the inequality, social injustice and obvious laziness that existed in America. He would parallel the work ethic he knew so well with the obvious laziness of a character lost in poverty. He, and only himself, could reflect through the lens of art all that can be achieved in America, a dream not as dead as it appeared. What an idea!  Then, while deep in thought, Decò rather absentmindedly clipped wheels with a biker and fell. Luckily it was only Decò who fell, rather than a domino of bikes, but it all happened extremely fast. Cries of “heads up” and “rider down, rider down” filled the night air as Decò flew over his handlebars and landed on the rough pothole filled pavement. He remembered little as he was run over by countless compassionate bikers, none of whom decided to stop. Decò blacked out about three minutes into the fifty-two minutes of being absolutely plummeted by every conscientious bike rider in the city. When he came to, his bike was gone, as well as his cellphone and wallet; in fact, someone was removing his shoes and the flannel shirt off his back. Decò heard one thing before being kicked in the head, back into unconsciousness. “Welcome to Allapattah, meng!”

 


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