I Fell in Love With a Lizard in Miami

Mario Micallef ‘22

Eggplant Editor

It’s true. I did. His name was Rodrigo and he was terrific. More specifically he was an iguana. Oh, how I miss him so. I had just flown in. I had a 24 hour layover. It was about 6:30.  The sun was on the verge of setting. I was walking South Beach barefoot, with a 40 of Presidente beer in one hand and a Nicaraguan stogie in the other. That’s when I spotted him, sleeping with a pair of Ray-Ban’s on. It looked like he had been there all day. He was so tan. I thought maybe I could catch his eye, so I stuck my foot into the water and looked around. His tail began to wag. I threw my floral collared shirt onto the sand and dove into the water as warm as a bath. I got out and threw the shirt over my shoulder and out of the corner of my eye I saw him peeking out of his sunglasses. I called out, “I see you!” and awoke the next morning sipping coffee on his hotel terrace. We sat around, slept, and ate Cuban sandwiches the whole day at the beach. It was very warm and good.

At dinner, we ate fried plantains with rice and mojarra at Puerto Sagua. People danced in the street and we talked about them and made stories of their lives. A bar across town, under the Becknell monorail, beckoned us inside. The mint was very fresh and the rum was strong. Glasses piled up on the counter and we listened to Beny Moré serenade the night away. His forked tongue did a little flutter before each sip of his mojito. It was just so natural for us to talk and talk. We didn’t know how to stop talking. But the barmaid did and kicked us out just past 3 a.m. I didn’t want it to end ever, but I knew I had to leave. I carried him on my shoulder. As we rode the monorail home, he would point out regions of the city I had yet to traverse. His small talons clutched my shoulder when he got excited about traversing the city with me. In the morning, I said my goodbyes through tears and he said his through ultra violet vision. I will never forget him.

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