On a Friday morning, I sat in a court room waiting for my name to be called.
It took exactly 9 minutes to dissolve almost 6 years of marriage and a relationship that lasted over a decade. 9 minutes.
It was done!
The next day, I promptly and impulsively boarded a plane to destination anywhere. I used finalizing my divorce as an excuse to travel (and do anything else I needed an excuse for), so I headed to Ft. Lauderdale.
I got off the plane and headed directly to the beach. It’s sort of a ritual for me to go walk on the beach the minute I arrive to my destination. I took off my shoes and put my toes in the sand. It was a little after 10am and the water felt great.
The next day as I was lounging on the beach a guy that looked like he spent a lot of time on the beach and in the gym approached me.
“Mmmm, mami, let me ask you something.”
I looked up and noticed his small stature. Apparently all his time in the gym couldn’t overcome his vertical challenge. He hovered above me an unintimidating 5 feet and 4 inches from the ground.
“Do you have a man? Because if I was your man I wouldn’t leave you alone on the beach like this.”
At first I thought this was just your average attempted bad line from someone that would quickly disappear once they realized I wasn’t interested. Not so. This guy was on a mission.
“You are the most beautiful woman out here, and I see a lot of women. Mmmm. I mean I just can’t help myself. You know I’m half Dominican and half Puerto Rican so it’s in my blood.”
Wow. He’s laying it on thick. At this point I was convinced he was trying to sell me something, and I’m almost certain whatever it was would involve an STD.
I have found that something about me makes people keep talking even when I don’t give them much of a reason to, and they tend to feel uninhibited about sharing the most personal details about themselves.
Within minutes Mr. Domini-Rican was sharing with me how he was an exotic dancer and also provided massage services. He explained to me how the elite in Ft. Lauderdale enjoyed his private services. He even boasted that his affluent gay clientele were among his best paying and most satisfied customers.
This revelation still didn’t stop him from explaining to me the things that he could do for me. Me being such a rare beauty and all.
Since we had spent so much time together, I figured I’d ask him to take a picture of me. Then I asked him about what I was really interested in.
“Do you know anywhere around here I can go dance salsa?”
Of course he drew a blank but assured me his background qualified him to be my private dance partner. He gave me his number just in case I changed my mind about needing entertainment later on.
Eventually I did get a recommendation for a place to go dancing, so that night I headed out on the streets of Ft. Lauderdale in search of salsa.
I quickly learned he wouldn’t be the last persistent Latino I would run into that weekend.