The streets are teeming. Tourists, teenagers, queers, bears, dykes, strollers, gay dads, delivery trucks, bicycles, runners, ice cream eating shoppers, drag queens doing errands. The townies are muttering already, August-itis in July. Everyone is secretly pleased at how good business is this year (the shock of the 2008 crash is wearing off – even though more of us are unemployed than ever) but publicly complaining about noisy parties and crowds at the beach.
And yet, thanks to the national seashore and deliberate conservation, it feels private and calm (thank you Teddy). On my run this morning I saw a deer and three other runners. The fishing boats were out, but no cars and just a few stragglers walking dogs on the beach.
There is grace in this place for me. The way it absorbs so much. I have an archive of experiences at each corner. Here is the house that Susan and Fran rented – the palace we called it, it was so grand and we were so young and poor. There is the place Kate and I had a tryst in the early years of our on and off affair. The jetty with all our dreams and promises made as we walked, the beach fires and rituals of release we have held, the many memorial services in the Church, the old restaurant where we broke up once upon a time. Here is the room in which Eric died so suddenly, and the funeral parlor where we found the only rabbi on the cape to do the service. That’s the building in which I wrote virtual equality, when I rented a room from Roslyn and Phyllis- and now Phyllis has passed on. And the first room I ever rented in Provincetown, at Gabriel’s is still there, renovated a few times now, but probably just as thin-walled and filled with longing.
Is it home I feel here? A difficult concept for me, but this feels the closest of any of the places I have called home.