A Quick Escape, then Back to Reality

With decent weather predicted, Randy and I opted for a last minute trip to Provincetown for Labor Day. Sadly, it was our first (and only) trip there this year. As always, we had a great time. We made it an extended weekend by taking a vacation day on Friday and heading down to my parents’ place on Thursday after work (I kicked ass at Hands and feet, thank you very much).

On Friday, we met up with our friends, Ben and Sandy, who were renting a house in Orleans for the week. After some time at a chilly Skaket Beach, we went back and played Yahtzee (electronically, of course) after a tasty, but with slow service, Thai restaurant.

Then, on Saturday morning, we finally made it to Ptown. After lunch at the Patio Cafe with our friends we went off on our own for an afternoon at Herring Cove Beach. Following that, dinner at Cafe Heaven, then that night’s Miss Richfield 1981 show at the Paramount (front row/center!).

On Sunday we returned to Herring Cove and while heading back to town Randy spotted a fellow he went to undergraduate college with and hadn’t seen in 18 years (surprise! He’s gay). After dinner we decided to catch up with them for drinks at Joon Bar.

We had planned to go back to the beach yet again on Sunday, but instead spent the day walking up and down Commercial Street (where Randy bought various things to fit his newly svelte body: shoes, shorts, etc..). The next thing you know, it was approaching 5pm and the day was shot. Traffic looked horrible online so we popped back by my parent’s house and played Hands and Feet again (I won again…I was on a streak)!

By the time we left around 8:30pm there was no traffic at all and we made it back in record time.

All in all, a great weekend.

This past weekend we had friends over Friday night, and on Saturday went for a bike ride to Lexington Center for lunch, did required weekly shopping at Costco, and laid out on the roof deck for a few hours. At night, we saw Bridesmaids (which I enjoyed more than Randy – though he couldn’t stop laughing when they all got sick from the Brazilian food). On Sunday we went back up to the roof deck (which, radiates heat and was very warm despite high temps only in the 60’s), then went to see Contagion at the Somerville Theatre.

The movie was damn creepy…and it made me paranoid enough that I kept noticing Randy touching his face with his hands. Bad Randy. Bad, bad, Randy!

Finally, yesterday was the 10 year anniversary of 9/11. I watched a bit of the stuff on tv that morning, and DVR’d something on CBS last night (to watch later). As with most people, I remember that day quite vividly. I was in my office here at Harvard and noticed the internet was extremely slow. Shortly after that, my friend Regina called (she worked two floors below) and told me that we were under attack. It seemed too surreal, too Hollywood to be actually happening. I went downstairs and watched footage on a TV in a neighboring office. I tried calling my partner at the time, Matt, whose company was located on the 45th-50th floors of the Hancock Tower…Boston’s tallest…but kept getting directed immediately to voicemail. 

At that point – who knew how many other hijacked flights could be in the air? Besides, two of the hijacked planes came out of our city…we could only assume there were other terrorists either on the ground or in other planes. I hated the idea that Matt was up in that tower, but couldn’t reach him.

I ended up leaving work early – hearing about the plane in Pennsylvania while on the most crowded and chaotic commuter rail train I’d ever seen. It was terrifying – paranoia (and rumors) were flying around as people got updates from friends/family calling on their cell phones. Then they’d announce what they’d heard to everybody on board.  Some were even afraid the weight of the train with all those people was going to cause the bridge in Revere/Lynn to collapse.

I made it home safely, Matt showed up a few hours later (his building evacuated, but he had to stick around as the office manager). We were living in Salem at the time and walked two blocks to the harbor, sitting on Derby Wharf in creepy silence. There were no planes flying overhead, few cars, and even fewer people. It was a gorgeous day (weather wise)…how could something so horrible be happening when everything seemed so at peace?

Life returned to normal for both of us (fortunately, we didn’t know anybody affected). But as with the rest of the country, it served as a wake-up call to us. The event caused us  both to get cell phones for the first time. Never again did we want to be unreachable in the event of the unimaginable.

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