As I stood in the nutrient-rich festival fields of Tampa, gazing up at the catwalk as Pitbull performed, I considered the ramifications of being Pitbull.

Pitbull has worries, but they are not the same as yours or mine. He projects a unique balance of confidence and vulnerability. The party is wild, and the party is his, but you’re surely invited. And you might want to take your shoes off, the flooring is probably very expensive.

Pitbull mentioned that he occasionally does prefer privacy when he’s about to...have sex with multiple people in a hotel, motel, or Holiday Inn, and that made good enough sense to me. It also made sense to all of the families in the audience in the fields screaming along to the song about Mount Olympusgrade debauchery in a place where you can use the Business Center to check your email without Pitbull looking over your shoulder. But you can hardly blame him; his curiosity for how normal people live their lives must know no bounds.

In fact, Pitbull’s most direct rubbing of elbows and beyond with the regular people of Earth likely happens solely in the hotels, motels, and Holiday Inns. Which leads me to the question I can’t seem to shake: Has Pitbull ever asked for the Wi-Fi code?

In his life. Has he ever had to? For an artist of his magnitude—for whom private planes and partitioned drivers are the modes of transportation, and a home fridge is likely stocked by an invisible hand—such a menial task might be as foreign to him as first-class airplane etiquette is to you or me. I can never remember whether I’m supposed to eat the warm towel at the beginning or the end of the flight, it’s humiliating.

But in the hotel, motel, or Holiday Inn, do you really think Pitbull will have his personal assistant along? It’s hard to imagine when you listen to the song. This is Pitbull’s “me time.” So maybe, just maybe, that’s his exception, the moment he transforms and scales down, like when Zeus became human (also to have sex with regular people). Even Pitbull must swallow his pride and call the front desk.

Hi there, yes, this is Pitbull in room 504. I was wondering if I could trouble you for the Wi-Fi code? Yes,, I’ve tried to log in with the last name and room number, but there are a few issues. The first should be obvious to you: I have no last name. And the second is that I’ve actually booked every room on the fifth floor, because I am wild but considerate and would hate for my sex partying to disturb anyone in the adjacent rooms. Great, thank you. Now, also, if I log in to my Netflix on this TV, is there a way to log out when I’m done? Half of Miami shares my ad-free Hulu these days, and I just have to start drawing the line somewhere. Yes, I’ll hold.

Pitbull listens to his own song as the hold music, and the world keeps on spinning. It may pain us to do so, but asking the unanswerable questions is an essential practice. To tug at the seams of the fabric of our existence, taking care to notice the fraying that may occur—that act can reinforce our joy in the bewildering unknown that is a necessary dance partner to being alive.

So each morning, before your coffee and before your phone, I recommend sitting up in bed, closing your eyes, and breathing in deep. Imagine Pitbull out in front of a hotel, motel, or Holiday Inn with three to 40 potential lovers at his side. Then imagine him fumbling for his wallet because the sliding glass door won’t open after 10 p.m. without scanning the room key. And he fumbles, and tries, first vertically, then horizontally, just as we all fumble and we all try.

These will be the myths we tell our grandchildren. These will be the fables that teach future generations how to rebuild the broken world. Humility is as essential as air, even right before a big, nasty party.

Thanks for reading CREEM. This article originally appeared in our Summer 2023 issue. If you prefer to read in print, grab a copy here and subscribe to never miss another one.



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