Miami Mirror – True Reflections
~ 2 ~
landlord refused to fix the locks on the gates. He rents to anyone who has somemoney, preferably cash, no questions asked.
Yes, one can always move, and maybe buy some peace and quiet elsewhere, say, for$1,000 a month, if you are lucky. But then you may move and wind up having thesame or worse experience elsewhere, so sometimes you figure it is best to take astand. When I signed the lease, I thought the place was a move up for me, fromprevious prostitute-ridden, crack-head and drug-dealer infested quarters, then ownedby prominent developer Russell Galbut and operated by his relative David Muhlrad,directly across from the Delano Hotel on Collins Avenue. The landlord assured methat the premises were a quiet place to live. Little did I know that theapartment complex had been a public nuisance for over a decade.
The other illegal in the apartment below, named Juan, who spoke no English at all,had managed to get to his feet from the sidewalk where he had passed out. He wasswaying back and forth outside the apartment door, leering at the cops from a drunkenstupor. The two-year old boy in their care was inside the downstairs apartment now,still screaming bloody murder.I had called the police, in the wee hours of Monday morning just two weeks beforeChristmas, because of the screaming and loud music downstairs. When I came outsideand looked down, I saw Juan, unconscious, on his back on the sidewalk in front of thedownstairs apartment. The terrified little boy was running around in the dark,screaming; the other fellow, leaning against the wall of the building next door, lookedup at me with arms crossed and a hostile grimace. The gentuza look, I noted.“Where’s the mother of the baby?” one cop asked.“What? You going to arrest us, nigger?”“Hey, listen up. I asked you, where is the mother of the baby?”“You gonna arrest us nigger? What you going to do? Fuck you, nigger. You going toarrest us,” the belligerent man rambled on, and then began to walk away.“Come back here!” one cop ordered. He sat the man down on the sidewalk and cuffedhim, where the man continued to insult him.“Shut the fuck up!” the cop commanded. “Where is the mother of the baby?”The other officer had gone into the apartment through the open door, where the littleboy was crying hysterically. I could hear every word. He spoke in Spanish with Juan,who identified himself as the father of the boy.