Saturday, October 2, 2010

Fire Island: More Deer Than Queer

Since Timmy & Bobby began renting their cottage at Fire Island's Cherry Grove nearly a decade ago, I've typically made my way out a number of times each summer to enjoy the sun, fun and more gay men than you can wrap around a candy cane.

For the uninitiated, the gay nabes of the Grove & Pines are a magical locale for queers: truly the only destination where we are the unequivocal majority, with liberty & justice for all. It's an enduring celebration for grown-ups whose lives haven't been hijacked by their needy offspring.

It's also bewitchingly rustic, with no access to motor vehicles. From the Long Island, N.Y., town of Sayville, the only accessible route is by ferry, where you are greeted by a grid of boardwalks, lined with humble cottages, a sprinkling of bars, hotels and ever-changing retailers. To call it shabby chic would overstate its "charm."

I was camped out in the Hamptons for the majority of last summer, so made it to Fire Island in 2009 only once, with Ayhan over Memorial Day weekend. This year, I literally caught the tailwind, as Timmy and I headed out Wednesday, joined by Bobby Friday evening before they closed down the house for the season Saturday. With the combo of our mid-week & post-Labor Day arrival, the Grove was desolate, literally inhabited by more deer than queers.

In all, a gentle, sweet, extended weekend... and an escape from the inner-city realities of unemployment, web news about the crappy economy, irritating pre-election clawing and my persistent online overindulgence. No internet! Imagine, a return to the simple life. I had no idea how much I needed it.Before Timmy & I reached the ferry, a stop for grub at Sayville's retro Modern Diner.Sayville... would you dare get your hair styled by a man named Boris?Beautiful blue sky as we boarded the ferry Wednesday afternoon.Timmy & Bobby's cottage in the Grove... no, wait, that's the Polish Embassy in Manhattan... Um...Yeah, that's more like it...Fairies on the ferry, bound for the Grove. Weather holding out beautifully!Gorgeous: a 1.75-liter bottle of gin just waiting for a straw.With the weather forecast looking shady for the next couple days, Timmy & meese made our way to the beach Wednesday afternoon for a kick in the sand and a stunning sunset.
Tea time! Or so we thought. Timmy & I walked through the soggy "meat rack," the forest between Fire Island's Grove and the Pines to reach Low Tea, only to find the Pines closed for business.Again, deer plentiful; no boyz to be found.On the way to tea, a tradition: "to-go" cups. Illegal? Oh, hush now...Mantra: "When I drink I steal." 'Nuf said.Back at the house... fond views...Cottage down the way... you get it, right? Bless your heart, if you need a definition, click here.Thursday... breezy, but the rain holds off. Timmy & meese spent the day counting down our top 40 songs for 3Q 2010 on the deck. Started at 1:30p and finished at 3a. Mercy, that was a lotta gin.We did take a break to attempt Low Tea again... This time it was open: for all of a bartender, a DJ, Tim & meese. Note inset photo from last Memorial Day... 500,000 hot, sweaty menz versus solitude. Not particularly amusing.Wind picked up... rains came... Friday was a quiet inside day, as the wind howled outside.Bobby arrived as the clouds broke...But it was an early night for meese....Even though I was terrified to try and sleep with presence of the three-foot-long praying mantis. I'm sorry, but this is not god's creature. Scary little monster. Bobby was kind enough to sweep him back outdoors, with love & care.
So proud... plaid overload, cool cats.
Friday nighty night...
Saturday morning closing of the house... So long ice, so long summer.Back to the city.And the wrap to a gorgeous getaway... Reality feels a little lighter & brighter.