Oh, What a World

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That song was on a CD I was playing as Fernando and I drove home from Provincetown on Monday so now it’s stuck in my head. But it also feels appropriate to this blog posting.

I love Provincetown. There, I said it. I really do. Of all “places” I’ve blogged about, that one has been the most frequent (probably because I’ve gone there the most over past 2-3 years.

But whether in-season or not, it just is such a magical place. This time, it was obviously peak-season so the crowds were there and the festival atmosphere was great.

There were come complications getting there, though. We arrived at the car rental place at 9AM but two of their three computers were down and we ended up waiting outside in a long line for an hour before finally getting in to finally receive a car.

Consequently, we arrived in Provincetown an hour later than we had hoped. After the fiasco from last week (with our reservation at the Commons Guesthouse getting botched and having to start from scratch at the last minute) we were lucky to find a place.

Still, for $159/night, I did expect something a wee bit nicer. The room was on the 3rd floor of a typical weathered-shingle house. From what I could gather, it was originally the attic. The room was…at the most….10 feet by 10 feet. The full-size bed took up most of the room. The bathroom had a shower stall so small that when I dropped the soap, I couldn’t even bend over to pick it up (I had to squat and reach).

The ceiling also sloped along one wall – starting at about 2 feet above the floor! And the “waterview” was legitimate in that it directly faced the harbor (see photo above). However, the window was small (a former attic, after all) and it was off to the side so you could only really take advantage of it when entering or exiting the door.

Still, because the room was so small and because we had a kick-ass air-conditioner, the room was FREEZING (and I was in heaven).

OK – back to the fun stuff. We immediately dropped off our bags, gathered our swim gear and headed to Herring Cove Beach. Since it was so late in the day (2PM), we had no trouble finding parking. We walked the normal path along the beach – past the families, then the lesbians with kids, then the topless lesbians, then to the gay men, then to the clothing optional men.

I had been chatting for the past 6-10 months with some guy from Jamaica Plain (Frankie) and we agreed to call each other’s cellphones while down there to finally say hi in person since we were both there at the same time. After a few hours at the beach I looked to my right and noticed a gaggle of gays enjoying the beach. One of them looked like he could possibly be this guy – but I couldn’t tell since we were still probably 100 feet away.

His friends would periodically walk by Fernando and me to stroll around the shore. Finally, at around 5PM one of them walked over to me and said: “I’m Taffy. Is your name Karl?”. Just as I figured –  after 3 hours on the beach, the person to my right was, in fact, the person I was supposed to call later in the day. Small world. I wish I wasn’t so shy because we could have talked a lot longer otherwise.

Anyway, we lasted at the beach until nearly 7PM. The weather was comfortably cool and cloudy which prevented the humidity from being an issue.

We returned to the room, showered, then headed out to dinner at Bubala’s with Fred. Then we all just walked up and down Commercial Street taking in the sights (Lea Delaria was strolling the streets to drum up business for her show…as was Miss Richfield, Randy Roberts and Varla Jean Merman). As the evening went on, Fred returned to his condo rental and Fernando and I sat and people watched (and ran into Frankie and Taffy again) before also calling it a night.

On Sunday morning we headed out to grab breakfast at Bubula’s but they don’t serve breakfast anymore! Nor does Bayside Betsy’s. What’s up with that? There are almost no places for breakfast anymore. We settled on Enzo (which is also owned by Bubula’s) and got belgian waffles (same description as on the Bubula’s menu in previous summers). Unfortunately, the “fruit” on top consisted of 4 little blueberries, a strawberry cut in half and an orange sliver (Bubula’s used to actually come with a side bowl of fruit). Oh well.

After breakfast, we headed to the beach around 11AM and hung out with Fred all day. Around 4PM we noticed a man and two kids walking along the beach. Now, the part of the beach we were enjoying is what is known as the gay and clothing-optional section. It’s also about a mile’s walk from the nearest parking lot so kids in these parts are extremely rare.

This got the three of us talking (and griping) about how there are thousands of beaches along the east coast and why does this guy have to bring his kids to this particular one – making all of the nudists uncomfortable and cover up (I was not nude, I must add).

Well, the guy and his kids walked past us…but then turned around and plopped themselves down right next to us (I’m talking 10 feet away). To their credit, the father did ask if we’d mind (we said we wouldn’t).

As time went on, the father (Joey) ended up being rather funny and sweet (and crazy). He apparently broke up with his wife just a month ago after she dumped him for another man. Since he always knew he was gay, he took this as the opportunity to start over.

He moved to Statin Island and then decided to take his kids to Cape Cod for vacation. A childhood friend (gay) told him that while in Provincetown, he should get to the beach then walk to the left to find the family section. And that’s how this man ended up here with two kids. Apparently, his friend said “family” as in gay…not “family” as in, children.

Still, the kids weren’t bothered in the least. Surrounded by nude (or semi-nude) men, these kids played and frolicked and had a great time. Meanwhile, the father chatted up me and Fernando and tried to get us to go out with him that night (Fernando thinks he took a particular liking to me, but I’m not 100% sure).

As teh afternoon went on, the man kept telling his kids to grab me and drag me into the tidal basin so that he could cover me in mud. HMMM – maybe he did fancy me?.

Anyway, as they were preparing to leave around 6:30PM, Joey had his kids pose with us for pictures. Strange. Then he gave us big kisses and hugs (we knew him a total of 2 hours). They finally left and Fernando and I stuck around a short while longer before returning to town ourselves.

After the obligatory showers, we headed to at the Thai restaurant in town. Then we saw the Miss Richfield 1981 show at the Crown and Anchor (a blast, as always). Instead of going to Purgatory (as Fred did and as we instructed Joey to do), we sat on a rock on the side of the road and watched the crowds go by until almost 1AM.

Then we drove back on Monday afternoon, I went to work for 1/2 a day, and this trip is now a distant memory. However, so I don’t forget it, here are some photos (I never used my camera so these are from Fernando’s camera):


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Joey and his kids

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  1. Comment by karyn on July 18, 2006 10:47 am

    Yup. “Shy Karl”, that’s what we call you. “Karl the Shrinking Violet”. “Karl the Wallflower.” The list goes on!

    Glad you had such fun. You’re a prick for not calling me on my birthday though. ; ) Just teasing.

    Love the swim trunks. You look fantastic.

    And yes – anyone offers to slather me in mud, I am guessing they’re either a masseuse or they’re into me. (Mud Slathering not to be confused with MudSlinging which is another business altogether.)

  2. Comment by Lise on July 18, 2006 11:00 am

    You look like the epitome of the hot/cool gay guy on a beach calendar! And I mean that in a good way. 😉

  3. Comment by snarl on July 18, 2006 11:05 am

    UMMM -thanks? I’ve never taken compliments well….

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY, KARYN! But, I think it should be noted that you always made a big fuss of NOT letting me know the exact date of your birthday. You can’t accuse me of forgetting if you never spent so much effort hiding it from me for so long!

  4. Comment by chrispy on July 18, 2006 12:05 pm

    now thats an *OBLIGATORY CHEESECAKE SHOT* — and the new haircut looks good!

  5. Comment by karyn on July 18, 2006 1:50 pm

    Yeah, that would’ve washed at one point but then I gave up and told you. Jeeeeeeze….MATT remembered…. hmph! ; ) It’s been 21 years for crissakes – I think after the first four or five I just caved in , so come on, get the old grey matter crankin’! Hahaha….

  6. Comment by J.P. on July 18, 2006 2:16 pm

    Ooh! Haircut! 🙂 w00t!

    Very nice pics. Especially the one of you. I did notice the strategically placed water bottle to your left. Subtlety is always good when it comes to photography.

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