Provincetown III: Summer 2000 – 2005


Summer 2000- 2005

Randomly running into STUARD & THE WENDY’s on Commercial Street… Community!

New York is hosting the Pride Parade on the Last Sunday in June.
It isn’t called a March anymore.
It is a Parade.
A New Generation is Coming of Age.
For them, Gay is not so much an identity.
They have sex with a variety of Genders, and they do not think of themselves as “Gay” or “Straight,” particularly.
When they engage in Oral Sex, they do not count it as Sex.
Never underestimate what the President of the United States says,
and how it can affect a New Generation of Americans.
We must be very careful about whom we Vote into the Office of President,
if only for the Power and Influence of their Words,
And the Effect those Words have on our Children!
Thank Heavens that America has learned that Lesson now in the year 2000,
So that we shall not have to repeat it.

Heading to PTown
Which has become very much the Home of my Heart!
Maybe it’s the Sunlight!
I think it’s the Waves!

Technology has begun to take hold.
I have a Laptop, though, of course, I do not bring it with me when I come here.
This place is about the Ocean
And the Sunlight
And the sense of Community.

Handwriting is growing illegible, as Palm Pilots require a modified script
People are forgetting how to write!
People also seem to be forgetting how to read!
Will people also forget how to pray?
Well, I’ve spent three visits to Provincetown in the past month doing all three. Hallelujah!

A few French Maids dusting me off on Commercial Street

I am writing a lot.
There is something about this place that is Centering
In a way that unleashes one’s Voice.
Mostly I head out to the far end of Herring Cove Beach with a Journal or a Pad of Paper and my purple pen.
With and At and At One With the Ocean all Day,
Tasting the Salt Air,
Absorbing the Sunshine,
Taking in the Sky,
My mind making pictures out of the Clouds above
Reaching my hand up to touch them
And listening to the steady Crash and Spray of the Ocean Waves.
Each Wave occurs just once,
And I am Honored to experience its Life
And Welcome it into Mine.

I meet Angels on that Beach — it happens all the time.
I find myself in a conversation with someone that gets instantly so profound
And provides such insight
That I begin to look around, wondering if anyone else can see that person,
Or if it’s just me.
One who looks uncannily like DONNY OSMOND, appears next to me, and says
“It’s a Triangle!”
as he puts his thumbs and forefingers together to make a triangle in the air,
and explains to me that personal development is Physical, Mental, and Spiritual, indicating each side of the triangle he has bracketed in the air.
Another, late one evening,
walks down the beach with a ray of light following him, illuminating the evening sky with Every Step that he takes along the seashore.
He teaches me about Veganism, explaining that being clean is what Veganism is all about — and that is why he takes his shoes and his pants off everytime he enters his home — he points out that if you sat on a subway train, your pants are as dirty as your shoes…

I always feel that if God wants to get a Message to me, He knows where to find me.
I’ll be by His Ocean!

The WENDYs, Left, with various friends, and Me, on their Boat

The A&P on ShankPainter Road is now a Stop & Shop.
The Barbie Garden has been gone for years.
The Gentleman who cared for it got frustrated with the constant vandalism and eventually sold the Rose And Crown.
MICHELE is living in Seattle with her Partner, BRENDA.
WENDY and her new partner WENDY both live here, mostly on a boat.

The Decks at The Inn at the Moors

The Dunes is gone and the motel has been turned into some sort of Time Share/Weekly Rental Condos… something expensive.
The Moors has been torn down, and more desirable and expensive dual-level Town House Condos have been put up on that Land.
I like to stay at The Inn at the Moors, and sit out on the Deck.
I am 40 now.
I see the twenty-somethings walking from the beach and I know what they are thinking when they look up at me,
And I wonder if the forty-somethings knew back then the way I know now.
To Read More About those experiences, Click:  How I Spent My Twenties

Ageism within the Gay Community is, no doubt, not that different than what women face in the Straight Community.
I’ve no time to engage with that — Too Happy just to be Alive and in this Beautiful Place.
I no longer go to Tea Dance,
But when it ends at around 7pm,
All the Boys spill out in the Street.
They are all Shirtless.
They all go to the same gyms and do the same routine,
So they all have pretty much the same body.
They are mostly White.
They all have Tattoos.
I begin to notice that amidst this sea of Beautiful Young Torsos that mostly look alike,
They recognize one another by their tattoos.
One will notice the tattoo on the back of another and then call out to him, realizing it is someone he knows.
I am so grateful to have lived when we did it by the Color of one another’s Eyes.

Tea Dance, back when we looked into each other’s Eyes. And wore shirts.

The Music of the Summer for me doesn’t change much.
CRIS WILLIAMSON has been in that cannon the whole time:

Keeley’s Kites has long since closed and KEELEY and STEVE are back in California.
The Lovely House with the white porch is now an upscale Nautical Housewares store… something expensive.
The bank of PayPhones in front is no longer in use, and soon, all the payphones are removed.
JUDE has opened a Kite Shop of her own down on the Beach called Outer Cape Kites.
She tells me that the LandLord of the old shop wanted nearly three times the rent that she is paying for her new space.
The HallMark Card Shop is soon to go the way of the PayPhones.
The World is Changing, and we are not immune to that here.

I stop in and ask JUDE How the Day is Going… This is her response.

When I first came to this town, and worked in the Kite Shop,
There was a Huge Beautiful Tree out front.
DUFFY was a caricaturist who rented space on the porch.

In fact, My Partner and I own a Square Inch of PTown

Every Square Inch of Provincetown is available for a price!

He was a talented man, with a large belly.
The tree eventually died, and DUFFY was hired to turn the tree stump into a Mermaid Bench.
With mesh wire and cement, he created a Mermaid as a back for the Bench, covering the TreeStump with cement as well.
It happened to be one of the hottest weeks of one of the hottest summers!
JUDE shouted from the doorway over and over again in her broad Boston Accent, “DUFFY, get inside! You’re gonna’ have a Heart Attack!”
“Drink some water or somethin’, will ya’!?”
To this day, everytime I walk by that Cement Mermaid Bench, I can hear JUDE’s voice in my head, and I see DUFFY sweating furiously, and working so passionately on a project that will become a part of the town landscape forever.

I spot a flyer on the Bulletin Board at the gym warning all Gay Men that Federal Marshalls are going undercover at Herring Cove Beach and people are getting busted for Nude SunBathing and Sex in the Dunes.
It is the Pre-FaceBook Way of getting the word out to everyone you know.
That seems incongruous to this Town that I know and Love.

Close to Halloween in PTown, and Yes, He is Wearing the Chair, walking around as a seated Mortitia Adams, and standing up for this Picture.

I am Partnered now and My Partner brings me here on a surprise trip in the late Autumn, along with two Friends — a Lesbian Couple.
We stay at Angel’s Landing, not far from Now Voyager Bookstore.
I discover that the last Weekend in October… That Beach is Cold!
I have been here in Late September before, but never in Late October!
Brrrrr, Sir!

On Herring Cove Beach in our Winter Jackets

A New Coffee Place named JOE opens in a small little space in the West End.
The Coffee is good
And Coffee Culture has overtaken the US.
StarBucks is no longer just a West Coast Thing.
I Thank Heaven that PTown doesn’t let in Chain Stores or Franchises.
How did that BEN & JERRY’s get there, again?

Some places in PTown have just always been there
Lands End Hardware
Adams Pharmacy
Tips For Tops’N
The Portugese Bakery
Spiritus Pizza
The BoatSlip
The Lobster Pot
Marine Specialties, Inc…
So many before me saw those places come into existence…

But many places started out after I was already here:
Bubbala’s By the Bay…
Café Heaven
Life is Good
Paws and Whiskers
Puzzle Me This…
Norma Glamp’s
The STEVE KATZ Gallery
Café Edwige
The Purple Feather…
So Many after me will think those places have just always been there…

Town Hall and the PTown Library are undergoing renovations.
I am sad, because like so many others, I have listened to countless concerts playing Town Hall by standing just outside of the side doors or windows and peering in…
Whalers Wharf Burns down and is rebuilt as a more Commercial Structure.
It contains a multiplex Cinema.
The Old Movie House closes and is reinvented as The Art House for Live Stage Performances.
JUDE has been attacked by a man on the Beach, while flying her Kite,
in a Bias Crime
resulting in a Back Injury
from which she never completely recovers.

Herring Cove Beach in Late October. Brrrrr, Sir!

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  1. This is incredibly moving, Arnold – full of joy, loss, love, longing and the sweetness of good memories.


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