PROVINCE TOWN – It’s Friday. Outside a light rain. Nothing too serious. Cozy inside. There are six Dyer House B&B guests quietly chatting. Intimate sharings. Tinted slightly with Bostonian accents. Pleasing intonations. Ever so faintly in our shared breakfast background Edith Piaf’s voice enchants. Just ever so. Somehow bridging lost distances for me. Nearly forgotten time.
LaVie En Rose. Life in rose colors.
Hosts and life partners, Brandon Quesnell and Steven Katsurinis have prepared a five-star gourmet breakfast selection. Brandon studied at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. His cinnamon rolls melt magically into ones sense of well being. Their Lithuanian exchange student Brahos provides visual perfection. He prepares the sparkling nearby pool.
I compliment Brahos. “You’re exceptional eye candy.” He smiles. “Eye candy? What does that mean in American?” he asks. “It simply means you’re nice to look at.” He nods, exits gracefully. The poetry of youth.
This is my second visit. Sixteen years ago following retirement I stayed for a month at the Ice House with then BTL editor Cheryl Zupan. This go-around I’ve driven 950 miles, minutes short of 16 hours, with friends Ron Miotke and Gordon Price. Three years ago they were married here. This is their tenth holding-hands visit..
I thought I’d remember sights, restaurants, landmarks. Not so. I got lost walking Commercial Street, somehow winding up exhausted and surprised once more at Ice House. Turns out it’s just a block or two away. (So far I’ve walked over 30 miles, taken four pedicabs rides, taken the hour-long trolley and half-hour dunes tours.)
Trolley tour guide LuAnne, a lively, well informed, non-stop source of fascinating knowledge of P’Town history – beginning with the 101 pilgrims arriving in 1620 – says there are 5,000 to 10,000 tourists on weekends. “During the third week in August Carnival time 2012, we had 85,000. People abandon their cars in our narrow streets, and celebrated the week away.
LuAnne, a 25-year resident, has driven trolley 18 of those years – “maybe four-a-day trips, about 15,000 total, with 100,000 throat lozenges. She says there are about 3000 year-around residents. (Gladys, another year-around P’Towner and Art Dunes Tour guide, says “maybe 30 percent of that number is LGBT.) LuAnne’s definitive blog, The Year Rounder’s Guide to Provincetown, may be accessed at http://www.ptownyeararround.com.
Friday still. Exactly at noon, the sky clears. The sun shines. I’m now bench sitting at historic Town Hall. I watch happy children being face painted. I can hear a would-be folk singer singing in irritating nasal twangs. (For whatever reason of unemployment, these sing-for-your-suffer are many.) And I lose count of same-sex couples securely holding hands.
I watch the grand cavalcade of P’Town vacationers by categories: Partner pairings. T-shirt designs. Nationalities. Languages overheard. Best suntans. In-shape and outta-shape bodies. Most beautiful legs and manicured feet. (I’ve yet to put on my walking shorts.) Bicyclists daring traffic. Seemingly, wonderfully, intently non stop.
Eye candy is multi-layered Whitman’s Sampler. I’m wishing I were five decades younger. Just as I start feeling a trifle, oh well, wistful about my aging gay life, a passerby’s dog on a leash stops in front of me and Wally jumps onto my lap. He wags joyfully. An unexpected one-on-one welcoming!