Living in Wynwood was not easy for Decò. He resided on the ground floor for the first time since living in Miami, renting a small studio space in the back of an art gallery (The Montenegro-Duran-Rodriguez-De-la-Garcia-Suarez-Rosenberg Collection). Gone were the basic condo amenities that were supposed to come with the city, such as central air-conditioning, flat screen televisions, doormen, a concierge, multiple in-house restaurants, jacuzzis, steam rooms, and of course an elevated view of the ocean. In its place, for Decò, now were cockroaches, homeless men of color and destitution, as well as diseased chickens, stray dogs and cats, and worst of all, the neighborhood was completely over-run by a type of cretin Decò had only heard about but never encountered in the safety net of his high-rise condo: hipsters.
Hipsters loomed everywhere. They invaded Wynwood, pushing the most destitute and handicapped homeless person even further west into the city’s dark and lonely streets. These skinny barbarians raided the neighborhood on bicycles, twirling long moustaches. They wore jeans so short their genitals were known to flap in the wind; in addition, their flannel shirts sometimes doubled as picnic blankets in public spaces. These hipsters opened location after location of hipster haven; galleries and studios and working lofts and hair salons and co-operatives and faux-universities and coffee shops and independent movie houses where they all drank PBR and plotted how they alone would define and shape the current Zeitgeist of all that which is art, film, music, theater and literature too. These hipsters came in the form of painters, welders, visual artists, poets, filmmakers, comedians, record shop owners, musicians and seamstresses. And these hipsters were mean. They rejected Decò’s attempts at introduction with a haughty Hmph! and a sharp roll of the eye and worst of all always a twirl of their moustaches.
Decò did not understand why the hipsters should reject him. Did he not work hard? Did he not know a thing or two about the affairs of art and culture? Was it because he came from the beach? Was it because he looked different and shaved and wore nice designer clothes? Even the hipsters in the very gallery he lived behind, The Montenegro-Duran-Rodriguez-De-la-Garcia-Suarez-Rosenberg Collection, had no love for Decò, and it depressed him to the hilt. Decò would often sit in a chair, outside, under a banyan tree, and stare into the tropical night. From a distance he could see his old condo building and he sometimes stared so hard he tried to imagine his exact unit and past life. He missed Chichi [shee-shee] and his wonderful car and the beach. He would’ve composed a novel or at least a screenplay about the whole affair, but instead at night he took to smoking cigarettes and drinking mojitos.
If it weren’t for his mentor DuPont, who knows?
DuPont was a creative writing professor and one of the hardest working men Decò knew. The earnest DuPont was not only a working novelist but one of the best-read scholars and academics of his time. DuPont composed novels, short stories, screenplays and countless texts while simultaneously judging Fiction contests, conducting numerous writing workshops, reviewing the latest publications, and overseeing the theses of several graduate advisees. DuPont was of French-Canadian descent, originally hailing from Massachusetts – – he was considered one of the best Southern writers of his generation. Fortunately for Decò, DuPont took a liking to the young writer – perhaps DuPont empathized with Decò’s $400,000 student loan debt and felt a moral obligation to keep in touch; nonetheless, DuPont’s work ethic and accessibility were assets Decò admired and depended on — and he often texted DuPont, for advice. As busy as ever, DuPont never ignored his young protégé.
When Decò complained about losing his South Beach life, DuPont responded: The end of one chapter leads to the start of another.
Filled with self-loathing, Decò hopelessly wondered what came next. DuPont tried to comfort him: A writer embarks on every task knowing not what to do. Character is destiny. After every text DuPont concluded with the same epilogue, without fail: Work hard.
DuPont was always too busy working to tell young Decò any of this in person, but if needed, the role model resided only a text away. And DuPont’s guidance did indeed cheer Decò up, for Decò intuited things would improve, and they did, when least expected. It was at this time someone at The Montenegro-Duran-Rodriguez-De-la-Garcia-Suarez-Rosenberg Collection learned of Decò’s Master of Fine Arts in Poetry, and with the craft particularly in vogue, instantaneously Decò was welcomed with open arms by the legion of hipsters in Wynwood.