While the fall season doesn’t officially begin until this upcoming Saturday, I have accepted that my favorite season, summer…is over. Normally, when summer ends I am melancholy for a few days because I am saying goodbye to so many things that I love so much. Gone are the long days, iced coffee, weekends that seem to last forever and the hardest part of saying goodbye to summer is the beach time out on Fire Island.
This past week all I could do to get me through was knowing I would be off on Friday and that I would be on the beach for one last hoorah before closing the doors to summer. When I got to Penn Station and bought my ticket with eager anticipation looking up at the train board to tell me which track would be taking me to the beach, I got kind of sad because it would be the last time doing this for another year. I quickly snapped out of my state of sadness because no matter what, I knew that the next few days ahead were going to be amazing regardless of summer ending. I actually took the train by myself which I was actually glad for. It gave me time to think that it was only seven days prior that I was seeing Madonna at Yankee Stadium and here I was on a train heading to my beach house. The only word I could think about at that time was: APPRECIATION. I have so many things to be grateful for and how many people can actually say that they have these wonderful experiences to be a part of. By the time the ferry dropped my ass off at the harbor, I was ready for whatever the weekend was going to present itself with.
My housemate was already there greeting me with a hug and a sip of his cocktail. Dropped my stuff off, costume change and quick bite at my house before we were heading back to town to see what kind of trouble we could cause. It was a Thursday night, most people had to work and we were the only two housemates there that night. When we walked into the bar there were only about five people and that included my friend and I plus the bartender. It was ok. That didn’t stop us from making conversation with the patrons around us. After a few drinks, we decided to head back to the house, we didn’t want to peak too soon for the weekend was just starting. After some deep talk by the ocean, we called it a night and knew that for the rest of the weekend that would be the earliest we would be going to bed.
Friday morning, I was the first to wake up. I tend to take this time to have that morning coffee, read my book and then take a nice long run along the beach. This morning was no different, except I pushed myself harder on my run. I wanted to take full advantage that it was only 10 am on a Friday morning. I wasn’t thinking about work, how I was going to be rent or if I was ever going to go on another date again. It was me, the sand, the ocean and no one else. I was the only one. It was a great run and I just felt like I was Stella Getting Her Groove Back. The rest of the day, there was not one cloud in the sky, it felt like it was 80 degrees by the pool and I did nothing but relax and eagerly await for the rest of the crew to make their appearances.
That night after a joint dinner at our house and another costume change; we all headed back to town for some serious dancing. I couldn’t believe how many of us were out there that weekend. All our sister houses aligned this final weekend and my cheeks were hurting from smiling so much from the giddiness I was having that all of us were out there dancing. There was a part in the night where I had wished that Mr. B. was there but I had a feeling he was going to be coming out the next day for he was still trying to find a sitter for the boy. After many cocktails later and losing all sorts of track of time, I stumbled home with a housemate and passed out.
Saturday, once again, I was the first to wake up and hit the sand for another run. This time, I was moving a tad slower and I believe the sweat that I was producing was nothing but pure vodka but I was glad to have it leave my body. Earlier in the week, we all had decided that all our sister houses would have an afternoon pool party at our house. The point of this gathering was twofold and the first reason was the bigger reason and that was that this is the final weekend and the second was that we wanted to do a big photo shoot with us all wearing white shirts and the another photo of us all wearing a colored shirt. Usually with these grand productions, we are all too hammered to even pull it together so I was curious to see if this photo shoot would actually even happen.
All my house mates were in full work mode with getting the house cleaned, booze and ice runs and making sure the pool deck was presentable. By the time 2 pm rolled around, most of the friends were arriving and after that…it was show time. Mother Nature gave us a huge smile on Saturday, another glorious day of no clouds, warm temperatures and a nice beach breeze. Before most of the guests arrived I did get a message from Mr. B. saying he is unable to attend due to not being able to find a sitter. He said that this upcoming week would be great to get together for a dinner. While I was disappointed; I knew what was up ahead and I shouldn’t let anything get me down.
I have no idea what the time was but I would say by mid-afternoon the party was in full effect. Everyone was in conversations, drinks in hand, people in the pool and the music was at full blast. I did my best to make sure I had certain moment of observing how much fun everyone was having and just how lucky we all are. I wasn’t at all prepared for the thought that I came across as I was looking at everyone smiling and that was, I really am ready for this next great relationship with someone. I freely admit that it has been years since I met a guy that I actually miss look forward to seeing and can’t get enough of. I looked around at the party at all my friends and most of them are truly in love with their partners. You can see it in their faces, their body language toward each other and the fact that no matter how drunk they get; they are still looking out for the person they just love so much.
Several hours later, we were all changed into our white shirts and getting ready for our close-ups. I didn’t realize how professional this shot was going to be until a friend of ours brought his tripod all the way from the city for this picture. To get a bunch of drunken queens to focus is a hard thing to do, put a camera in front of them and suddenly everyone becomes Cindy Crawford. The white shirt shoot was a huge success, fast forward to another shoot where we were all in color shirts and back to the party we went. We were all treated to two of our friends giving us their best drag queen performances which ended with the queens jumping into our pool with their wigs, dresses and heels on. It was the perfect ending to the party. The sun was setting and the sky was such an intense pink that most guests stayed a little longer just to enjoy the moment. Finally, after cleaning up the house, it was time for yet another costume change and back into town for dancing and more dancing. We arrived at our sister house after the dancing and that is when we went from dancing queens to queens that hang out at the bar, The Monster. There was a white piano, some music sheets and before you know it we are all singing songs by Billy Joel, Barbara Streisand and the tear jerker song, The Rainbow Connection by the piano. It was again a complete and utter blur as to what time it was that we all got home but suffice to say it was worth it.
Yesterday, the last day at the beach house, I couldn’t do a run. I was tapped out. But we did wake up to a pool that losing all the water. We all realized that one of the drag queens who jumped into the pool after her performance managed to step in the pool with her heels on and punctured holes. So, who knows if we will get our deposit back but the party was worth it. As we all had coffee and talked about the highlights from the past couple of days. Like every other house on Fire Island, those Sunday mornings are usually spent recapping or having your housemates fill in the blanks that you have forgotten or don’t even remember. Finally it was our last brunch by the ocean, so we all did a small version of our Thanksgiving and what we all said what we were thankful for. I got the crazy idea to leave on the 3:50 pm ferry and once again, it was a glorious day as far as weather went and I had nothing to come home to. All my friends convinced me to take the 7:50 pm ferry back to the city instead. So, seeing that I had several hours to kill before the ferry, it was the perfect idea to begin drinking margaritas. By the time 7:50 rolled around, I never made that ferry and I was also in no real condition to be traveling. So, instead, I continued to eat, drink and be merry with my friends and ended up staying the final night on the beach.
This morning, I was woken up by a friend who was just coming home at 5 am telling me to get up, get ready for I still needed to shower, pack and catch a 6:20 am ferry in order to be back into the city in time for work. Let me tell you folks something, 5 am, Monday morning and trying to catch a ferry that leaves at 6:20 in the morning is not a cute scene by any means. No coffee in sight, the air is brisk and your body is adjusting to the fact that the sun is coming up and there is no snooze button on that sun coming up. I think I barely said three words to my friend as we rode the ferry and the train back to Manhattan. I couldn’t even process how I was able to accomplish this commute but by the time we arrived into Penn Station, I had said goodbye to summer.
Instead of taking the subway up to my office, I decided to walk with my luggage. There was a chill in the air and not a hint of humidity. I saw my first person wearing a scarf and while there was not a cloud in the sky you could tell in the air that the season had shifted from summer to fall. I embraced it, turned my music onto some Stevie Nicks and let her lyrics guide me into the work day.
For those that live in New York, it is rare that you will find a New Yorker that says they don’t like the fall season. Everyone enjoys those few weeks that we get where the weather is cool but not freezing, you can get away with not having to wear many layers and we all look forward to debuting our fall fashions. The walks in Central Park where the leaves change, you are drinking hot chocolate and people watching are my personal favorite but it is also a reminder that the holidays are just around the corner, which again, is another pro to the fall season.
So, with the past weekend behind me, I officially say goodbye to summer and hello to fall. As I look back on the dating aspect of my life this past spring and summer it really wasn’t all that bad. In the spring there was the Teacher that I dated who was rather nice minus the Virgin Mary picture above his bed and the fact that I broke out in hives when I was introduced to his family. And then there was Mr. Architect and we all know how that ended…with a Birthday Bomb. So there you have it, I have lived to tell and learn from these experiences.
Seasons are a lot like life, you can’t predict them and you never know what you are going to get out of them but one thing is for sure, we always look forward to what is on the horizon.
- Posted in: Uncategorized