Here in gorgeous Provincetown, three days after the summer solstice, I walk out the jetty at the far west end of town. I have started many walks here in all kinds of weather, often with a burdened mind. Most days by the return, I cannot imagine what bothered me. It is as if I have left the problem for an outgoing tide.
Everyone has her healing place. I find faith in the changing sameness of the tides. Who could believe that old bleached, beached rowboat will float in a few hours? And then be beached again? It was not until two weeks after 9.11, one late September afternoon, when I swam in the warm shallow pools at the end of the jetty, that I felt some relief, a chance that I might return to my body.
Despite this glorious day, I am troubled. I take a breath and step out onto the first huge uneven rocks warmed from the day, lichen-covered. The chlorophyll in the reeds is in overdrive. I think I can hear it. The sun on the water blinds. The gulls and ducks dive and bob. The swallows skim for bugs. The breeze kicks up. The tadpoles dart in the rippled shadows. The crabs scurry diagonally against the tide.
But this day as I return with one final sigh off my rocky walk, I still carry my worry with me. I feel for the Gulf residents watching their beloved coast, their healing place – birds, water, reeds – get tarred and choked. I cannot imagine their sadness.
This summer I walk this glorious tumble of rocks for them.
Just washed ashore from the RSVP cruise, and should have my land legs back any day now. I need a Dramamine to go to the Duane Reade.
I met up with my 2,200 mateys on the Eurodam in Curacao last Tuesday and they were in crazy good form. They had already had a sail away theme party, a Valentines party and when I arrived they were in Carnival Masquerade mode. You should have seen the two Avatars! These guys don’t mess around. They plan for two or three costume changes a day. I was unable to ask them how big their luggage was, due to silly double entendre problems.
When they weren’t party planning, the guests were entertained by the dynamic duo of Amy and Freddy, the Guys Who Would be Divas, and the comedy stylings of Paul Williams and Danny McWilliams. In honor of my comedy cohorts, I changed my name to Esther Williams. The RSVP staff was endlessly accommodating.
We arrived Saturday morning in Ft. Lauderdale and I deshipped, or whatever it’s called, and went to the gorgeous Atlantic Resort Hotel, one of the big sponsors of many local LGBT events. After I checked in, I ran right into the concierge who I knew when he owned a beautiful shop in Ptown. When I went for a walk to see if I could, I ran into the retired postmaster from Ptown. I had lunch that day with four friends from Ptown. It was old homo week.
That night I performed to a wonderful sold out house at The Amaturo Theatre in the Broward Center for the Performing Arts. It was the last night of their big and getting bigger ten day ArtsUnited Festival. Under the stewardship of Keith Clark, ArtsUnited brings LGBT culture – writers, artists, film-makers, musicians, comics – to Florida. Every visiting artist, especially those from wintry northern latitudes, want to stay extra days.
But next day, I left and drove to Ft. Meyers for a show at the Carefree Clubhouse. Again, more friendly faces from Ptown! Has anyone checked the live videocam feed from Commercial Street to see if anyone is left in Ptown? It was great to be in that community of women. Many are retired and are having a blast there – canoeing, volunteering, painting, writing, swimming, being the much visited favorite auntie. None of them can figure out how they had time to work. What I enjoy most is how well they take care of each other.
Back in NYC, snow expected this afternoon. Back to Polartec.