Back to Blood - By Tom Wolfe


The story before you leans heavily upon the generosity of Miami mayor Manny Diaz, who introduced the writer to a whole hall full of people on Day One… Chief of Police John Timoney, born in Dublin, the consummate Irish Cop in the history of New York, Philadelphia, and Miami, sent him off on a Miami Marine Patrol Safe Boat run right away, then took the covers off an otherwise invisible Miami complete with aperçus. Aperçus this Irish cop knows. After all, on the night shift he’s a Dostoyevsky scholar… Oscar and Cecile Betancourt Corral, two hard-charging Miami journalists, gave him the come-on-down wave in the first place—then confronted anyone, anywhere, anytime (with the deft assistance of Mariana Betancourt)… Augusto Lopez and Suzanne Stewart introduced him to the great Haitian anthropologist Louis Herns Marcelin… Barth Green, the famous neurosurgeon who devotes much of his time to Haitians in Haiti, led him to Little Haiti in Miami… and to his colleague Roberto Heros… Paul George, the historian, took him on his much-heralded grand tour… Katrin Theodoli, Miami’s maker of yachts that look like X-15s and don’t so much set sail as lift off, put him on the maiden liftoff of her latest looks-like-a-rocket yacht… Lee Zara told him some stories… and they turned out to be true!… Teacher Maria Goldstein enabled him to get the inside story of one of the wildest incidents in the history of public education in Miami… Elizabeth Thompson, the painter, knew things about the Lives of the Artists in Miami he couldn’t have done without… It wasn’t part of the job description, but Christina Verigan turned out to be a medium, a mind reader, a scholar, and a teacher… Not to mention Herbert Rosenfeld, ace Miami social geographer… Daphne Angulo, peerless portraitist of Young Miami from high-class to Low-Rent… Joey and Thea Goldman, developers and engines of the Wynwood art district, Miami’s equivalent of New York’s Chelsea… Ann Louise Bardach, the authority for anything concerning Cuba fidelista and the Havana-Miami nexus today… as well as Peter Smolyanski, Ken Treister, Jim Trotter, Mischa, Cadillac, Bob Adelman, Javier Perez, Janet Ney, George Gomez, Robert Gewanter, Larry Pierre, Counselor Eddie Hayes, Alberto Mesa, and Gene Tinney… and one other guardian angel of the new in town. You know who you are.


We een Mee-AH-mee Now



You… edit my life… You are my wife, my Mac the Knife—the witticism here being that he may edit one of the half-dozen-or-so most important newspapers in the United States, the Miami Herald, but she is the one who edits him. She… edits… him. Last week he totally forgot to call the dean, the one with the rehabilitated harelip, at their son Fiver’s boarding school, Hotchkiss, and Mac, his wife, his Mac the Knife, was justifiably put out about it… but then he had sort-of-sung this little rhyme of his to the tune of “You Light Up My Life.” You… edit my life… You are my wife, my Mac the Knife—and it made her smile in spite of herself, and the smile dissolved the mood, which was I’m fed up with you and your trifling ways. Could it possibly work again—now? Did he dare give it another shot?

At the moment Mac was in command, behind the wheel of her beloved and ludicrously cramped brand-new Mitsubishi Green Elf hybrid, a chic and morally enlightened vehicle just now, trolling the solid rows of cars parked side by side, wing-mirror to wing-mirror, out back of this month’s Miami nightspot of the century, Balzac’s, just off Mary Brickell Village, vainly hunting for a space. She was driving her car. She was put out this time—yes, justifiably once more—because this time his trifling ways had made them terribly late leaving for Balzac’s, and so she insisted on driving to that coolest of hot spots in her Green Elf. If he drove his BMW, they would never get there, because he was such a slow and maddeningly cautious driver… and he wondered if she really meant timid and unmanly. In any case, she took over the man’s role, and the Elf flew to Balzac’s like a bat, and here they were, and Mac was not happy.

Ten feet above the restaurant’s entrance was a huge Lexan disc, six feet in diameter and eighteen inches thick, embedded with a bust of Honoré de Balzac “appropriated”—as the artists today call artistic theft—from the famous daguerreotype by the one-name photographer Nadar. Balzac’s eyes had been turned to look straight into the customer’s and his lips had been turned