The weather was just what the forecast had called for. There was not a cloud in the sky in New York City on Saturday morning. We had planned on just a day trip to Fire Island, but my lover and his girlfriend Francie were having so much fun smoking pot on the beach, that the two of them decided to shell out $350 for a room at the Ice Palace. I wanted to go back to the city at 5 p.m., just as we had planned. Bradley reminded me that Francie is rich and does not mind spending her inherited money on her friends and convinced me to stay the night.
“You go with her to see if they still have rooms. I’ll watch our things. I bet there are no vacancies. Junior Vasquez is playing at the club tonight,” I said while spreading a big glob of sun block on my freckled shoulders. Bradley wanted me to go with her to get the room. I knew better. If I had gone with Francie, she would have wanted to split the cost into three and asked me to pay my third.
Francie sensed my poverty. “I’ll pay for it all,” the skinny woman with long black hair offered while sitting topless in the sun next to us.”Do you want some of this?” she asked while handing me a tightly rolled piece of white paper, even though my hands were still a little wet and sandy from swimming and riding big waves all afternoon. I wanted to ask her if she wanted some of my man, but I kept my mouth shut and enjoyed the calming waters of the ocean in front of me and the free night stay in the gay resort town.
“How about one of these?” Francie asked while shaking a bottle that was not filled with lotion. I took a few and washed them down with a gulp of water that had warmed in a plastic bottle to almost boiling while in the sun. I had to. A Puerto Rican queen was flirting with Bradley and my thug lover was loving every minute of it.
The stranger threatening to fuck my man until his dick fell off had the nicest body. I did not have the energy to express my jealousy. Francie seemed more threatened by the stranger than I was. I was happy she was there to play the part of jealous spouse on my behalf. My ass has gotten so fat. It’s no fun running around in a bathing suit on a gay beach with an inseam more than 28 inches.
The pills helped to ease my concerns, but the evening was still ahead of us. Our impromptu vacation was going to be stressful, but now I had a good buzz and nothing really mattered for the moment.
I went into the water to cleanse myself
It felt like a baptism
The ocean is much colder here compared to Puerto Rico.
Fire Island swells are chilling
Until one gets wet all over
Then the pure energy consumes a swimming soul
The sea moves as a single living organism
Not like choppy tropical waters.
The bather repents to a crest
Sucks us up and spits us out on the sand whether we want it or not
Others were too tired to swim all day
But I did
I stayed in that water until my skin got wrinkles and my tits were rock hard
A woman who didn’t want to mess up her hair lost a blow up colorful ball to the ocean I was the only one in the visible Atlantic at the moment.
It was six, too late to be swimming
Caught it like a dolphin and brought it to her like a man
The lesbians and my lover cheered at the spectacle.
I was way out there in the sea
Had to swim hard to catch that ball
I was baptized.
We ate dinner at a pizzeria in the center of what was the business district of Cherry Grove. I offered to pay for the meal. It was the least I could do. Our Jewish friend just forked over almost $400 for a room. I was feeling generous myself.
I just realized that my modern lover and I have a sugar mommie and not a sugar daddy or a third partner– the best of all three worlds.
Francie was there for the fun. She’s older than I am. I bet she’s fifty. I wish I could tell her to watch out for my hung, Black thug lover, but it was already too late. Who knew they were fucking? I never would have guessed. But they told me, right there on the beach. It was cool. I respect Francie for being so honest. It felt wonderful knowing that Bradley did not want to be dishonest with me, even though I have always promised him an “open relationship” with no strings attached.
It was the first time I had to get to know his good friend. I hadn’t been to Fire Island in years and was loving every minute of it.
Cherry Grove is not much of a town. Its name is appropriate. There are no roads there, nor do traffic crosswalks disrupt the flow of the place. The entire island is a pedestrian walk-way. The lesbian isle is a peaceful village, despite all the ‘major attitude’, which is as abundant as the Monarch Butterflies on that island this time of year. Visitors do not have to be careful when crossing within crosswalks. Everyone tries hard to be nice on Fire Island. They step to the side to permit stoned, drunk fools to pass by. Townsfolk put away their New York City attitudes and pretend that life is a bowl of cherries.
Well maintained wooden boardwalks stretch from edges of the sand on the southern shore to bamboo and reed infested swamps of the northern side of the island. Although its almost twenty-five miles long, Fire Island is less than a quarter of a mile wide.
The ferry comes from the main land– Long Island to Fire Island’s northern coast. If it were not for tiny houses made of faded wood and the few shops, hotels and restaurants that scatter the resort town, it would be easy to run from one side to the other in less than five minutes. That’s how the island was in the 1970’s before power dykes took over the place. There was lots of running room. Free gay stallions were the only ones treading the dunes of Fire Island back then– in search of nameless sex like tame deer that rummage through garbage cans at the summer homes of multi-millionaires in 2007.
Before Fire Island became the pill popping town of the new millennium, it was known for its wild gay sex. AIDS my very well have got its start on the island where swings once hung in the pine trees that grow like STD’s on the dunes.
The island has changed. Everything is cleaned up now. It’s safe for rich lesbians and heterosexuals to walk around without having to stumble upon a group of men in a circle jerk.
The Ice Palace is by far the largest building on the beach in 2007. Its structure is like the boardwalk and private homes. Almost everything man made is constructed of wood. Hardly anything is painted out there, but the Ice Palace is. It’s sky blue. The wind-worn wood of all the architecture is like a breath of fresh air to tired, stinky feet and beaten, pale white bodies with very little tan.
Despite its size, the Ice Palace compliments the landscape quite fashionably. The tourist trap offers an ambiance similar to an old wooden roller coaster at an amusement park. I was glad we were staying there.
Soon after stepping off the boat, the boardwalk leads into at least seven different directions. Straight ahead, the wooden walkway, no more than four feet wide, branches off to a ramp which leads to the entrance of the Ice Palace which has a heated swimming pool, a large disco and a connected motel with three floors of tiny rooms, some of which do not have air conditioning.
“If only there were no cars in the world– this is what it may feel like,” I said to Bradley and Francie while they fussed over what toppings to have on our pizza. I knew what the toppings were going to be– pepperoni and mushrooms. It’s my man’s favorite and we always get what he wants on the top. Unlike Francie, his fuck buddy, I know Bradley’s tastes. She is unfamiliar with how difficult it is to please him in places other than the bed. Although they fussed over every possible topping, I knew we were going to get what Bradley wanted.
I just watched her help him to decide on what to get on our pizza.
Life must be hell for a woman who must pay a bisexual for his love.
Although it was only supposed to be a day trip to the island, Francie brought along enough make-up and beauty aides to arm a battalion of drag queens. Bradley and I packed everything we wanted for the day inside a small backpack which I was ordered to carry around like a mule while he carried Francie’s large Duane Reade shopping bag because the handle broke just as we entered Penn Station. The large plastic sack was stuffed with beach towels, at least three bathing suits, and what I estimated to be no less than four changes of clothing. Francie had plans on staying overnight. It was obvious because of her baggage.
We were too late arriving in Penn Station to buy our tickets at the counter or in a vending machine. The next train to Sayville was departing in just six minutes. Francie pushed her way through the crowds, parting a sea of Long Islanders and Hamptons whores like a true Jewish American Princess. Bradley and I laughed at our pushy, bitchy friend as we effortlessly made our way to track 19 where the Babylon train was departing from.
“Thanks so much, guys for taking me today. I’ve been wanting to do this for so long, but I didn’t want to go out there all by myself. This means a lot to me,” Francie said while finding us a seat at the end of the car where three people could sit together and travel in comfort.
Francie was very nervous around people– pushing through those crowds had nothing to do with her nature of acting privileged. She was visibly shaking. I knew from my own experience of anxiety and panic attacks that she was not in a very good state. I tried to comfort her.
“Getting out to Fire Island is really not that difficult,” I said. “Thank heavens we made this train or we would have had to wait another half-hour for the next. You handled our lateness well, Francie.”
“Yes, it is easy,” she said while trembling. “I need to get accustomed to this. I’m thinking of buying or renting a place on Fire Island and living there all year long. Will you guys come live with me if I sell my place upstate and buy a house out on the island?”
I hardly knew this woman. What a nut case, she must be, I realized. Did she really think Bradley and I were going to move into a beach house with her, even if it were for free?
“That would be marvelous,” I said, although not sounding the least bit genuine in responding to her offer.
“Francie needs to get away from the rat race of the city,” my lover informed me.
“Don’t we all?”
“I’m serious as a heart attack guys. I don’t need to be in the city everyday and I can use the Long Island Railroad when I do. I think Bradley would love living on Fire Island, Charles.”
I realized that the woman who I had just met in a taxi on the way to Penn Station had already made promises to my lover– the kind that I could never financially fulfill. So I let her continue on with her possible plans of buying a house so that the three of us could live happily ever after in.
After we had dinner, we headed back to the room. I couldn’t wait to get a hot shower to wash away the sand covering every inch of my body, even the crack of my ass.
“I brought along some shampoo, would you like some,” Francie offered as I was just about to pull the sliding bathroom door shut and wash my hair with a free bar of hotel soap.
“Thank you so much. And conditioner too? Wow! Sometimes I wish I was like a woman,” I said while turning on the water so that it would warm up before I entered the glass enclosed stall shower.
I left the sliding wooden door cracked just enough so that Francie could get a glance at the size of my cock, if she so wished.
I was too tired to go out dancing. I just wanted to rest after my shower. My two roommates wanted to walk around a little and get outside of the tiny room without a television or radio. Francie, experiencing symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorder, rummaged through her bags for at least an hour searching for her cell phone. I used some of her Aloe lotion while she was looking under the bed for her phone. I didn’t even ask her if I could use some. I wanted not only that smooth sexy feel, but my skin was a little burned and dry and if she had been honest from the beginning and told me that I would be spending the night, I would have brought my own Niva in the white bottle.
I had that glow– the sunburn glow that only the rays on Fire Island offer. I was feeling sexy and wanted to tread the boardwalks with them, just to see how attractive I still am, despite the fact that some of the hair on my head has started turning white. My hair had lightened to a sandy brown by the end of the day. It seemed as if fifteen years had been removed from the appearance of my thirty-nine year old head.
She dumped everything from her two large bags on both beds, scattering her belongings all over the room. She was fucked- up. Who knows what those pills were she was taking, but she was lost in a maze of constant searching for things– tweaking in a sense. I was glad they wanted to go for a walk under a clear sky lit by an almost full moon. Francie’s paranoia was making me start to hallucinate. She was so nervous and was making me feel on the edge too.
I was remembering my dreams– the ones I’ve been having for the past month or so– the recurring unconscious hallucination where I wake up in eternal life, only to realize that I own a buddy booth café– a place where those in heaven can communicate with those in hell– the souls that have been left behind. The only way to reach loved ones in Hell is inside one of my buddy booths. It’s more of a nightmare than a dream in a sense. Business is booming. Gay men love working for me and get a kick out of having sex with straight people while they watch video screens, thinking they are making love to their wives or childhood sweethearts who are off in heaven. While Francie was looking for her phone under the bed, the memory of that dreamed returned. I hoped that I didn’t dream it again while spending the night on peaceful Fire Island.
As owner of the tabernacle in my dream, and the judge of who gets to enter into heaven, I have decided to make everyone, including straight people, have sex with my gay angels while making those long distance calls and prayers to the lost.
“Did you check the shorts you had on while at the beach?” I asked while lighting up a Newport and filling the tiny room with smoke. I needed to stop thinking about that dream I keep having. My dream world is starting to merge with reality again. All three of us smoked so I wasn’t concerned about anyone being able to breathe.
Francie found her phone just where I suggested she may.
The window to our guest room was left open and the blinds were pulled up so that the refreshing ocean air would fill the tiny room in which three people were staying. Francie decided to spend $50 to get into Fire Island’s Ice Palace Club to hear Junior Vasquez spin house tunes. It was the popular DJ’s birthday and it was suppose to be one hell of a party. Bradley and I decided to take a little nap.
A few hours passed and I slipped into a dream state. The air felt so good blowing in the window and despite the music that was thumping in the distance, I could still hear crickets chirp outside.
I hadn’t slept so hard in such a long time. My slumber was disturbed by Francie around 3 a.m.– “Where is my money?” I heard her ask while searching through her bag. I pretended to be sleeping.
“I need twenty more bucks to get into the club,” she cried.
I knew Bradley could hear her too, but he also was knocked–out from too much sun, sand and party favors. There was no way in hell I was going to give her a $20. She shook my hairy leg dangling from the edge of the bed. “Charles have you seen my money?” She asked.“Why the fuck would I have your money? Wasn’t Bradley carrying around your cash in his shorts? ‘B’, wake-up and give her some more money,” I ordered.“I don’t have any. You are out, Francie,” he mumbled. “Oh, never mind, I found some,” our friend who was way too high for my comfort yelled as she slammed the door and headed down the motel walkway in the direction of the club.“Crazy bitch,” I said while opening the door to let a little more air inside. It was incredibly warm for a September night. I could hear the music while tucked away in the bed. There was no need for me to spend $50 just to get into a club filled with nothing but lesbians and sissies. My party days are over. I’m an old queen now. There is no reason for me to try and pretend to want to dance and jump around like I’m twenty- something. Those days are over.I was happy to be getting some much needed rest. Bradley was snoring. I was content knowing that he was next to me and not out on the dunes, chasing around gay men for blow jobs like a lot of my ex-lovers would have done if spending the night on Fire Island.I noticed Francie walking past the room—her long black hair was flying in the breeze. She was in a rush and didn’t realize she passed our room. There was someone following close behind her. He also passed the door. I started laughing. I woke Bradley up. “What’s so funny?” He asked.“Did you see that bitch just fly past the door like a witch on a broom? What the fuck is she on, Bradley? I want some.”Francie brought back a friend she met in the club who wanted to use our bathroom. He didn’t have to pee, that I knew. I rubbed my eyes and watched a handsome Spanish dude enter out bathroom and slide the door shut.“He said his name is Felix,” Francie explained. “He’s straight. Isn’t he cute?”I pulled the blanket up to my chest, as if I had large breasts that were exposed to the stranger in our room.Felix was more refreshing than the ocean air at night. All afternoon while on the beach, I was force fed views of pretty boys in tight bathing suits, swishing across the sand like beach balls blowing in the wind. With the exception of my own lover, lesbians in cut-off jeans were the closest things to manhood that I had the opportunity to check out all day on the beach. Felix came out of the bathroom with a white t-shirt sticking out of his back pocket and he had washed his face with water but didn’t bother drying it off with one of our towels. He reeked of butch.I sensed that Bradley was turned on by the stranger that our roommate had lured back to the room. Francie gave us a look of mission accomplished. She seemed proud of her ability to find a straight guy at a gay club who was obviously less than half her age. She reminded me of a cat that caught a mouse and brought it into the house, offering its owners a gift of the hunt. He wasted no time in telling us that he was into women and that he wanted some time alone in the room with Francie.
“I’m with these guys,” Francie said. “We’re only here to have a good time and dance. I’m really not looking for that.”
Felix was too young to understand that he was being turned down. Bradley was too closeted to understand the difference between a straight guy and a gay guy. Francie was so fucked up. I don’t think she knew where she was. I stayed wrapped in my blanket, hoping that all four of us would find ourselves in an old-fashioned fire-island orgy.
There was a knock at the door. It was another straight man. Francie let him in, obviously not too concerned about being the only girl in a room full of men. The stranger didn’t know any of us. He saw a light on and decided to join the party. He bragged about the high he was experiencing on “crystal” and pulled a plastic bag from his wallet. I felt sorry for him. He was so young and his eyes so large and he already was addicted to a drug for which I hear there is no real recovery from.
He told us about using it—how he “really does not have a problem” and that he only takes it from time to time to “party and have a good time”. He left as soon as he learned that none of us were interested in joining him on his joy ride but before he did, he made it a point to let us know that he was not gay either—just there on the island to party with the cool gay people.
I felt like a dead octopus that the tide had dragged from the sea and let out to dry on a beach with no waves.The world has changed so much since I’ve last partied. When we were all zoned out on ‘X’ we were friendly and liked rubbing each other.The new line of party drugs seemed to have made everyone into a bi-sexual.
Fire Island was nothing like I had remembered. I recall the island as a place where a straight man would never want to hang out in, but obviously, it was the drugs that was turning the once gay male island into a paradise for heterosexuals who are as confused about their own identity as Senator Larry Craig.
He too flirted at Francie as he left the room, letting everyone know that he’s not one of those queers.She made it clear to him as she shut the door that she was not interested in sex with anyone, unless, “Charles and Bradley, do it with us,” she giggled.The two men were confused. I wasn’t. I was falling in love with my new sugar mommy and my bi-sexual lover had found the world he has been looking for. After our uninvited guests left the room, Francie cuddled up to me on a small twin bed near the window. She reminded me of my cat Link. Her slender body felt natural against mine. I had no sexual attraction to her, but her body was cool and her nakedness against my warm, sunburned flesh felt refreshing. I hoped that she would calm down a little and get some rest. She needed some of my energy. She was weak. I willfully shared some with her. I made her feel calm again. She knew she was safe next to me and my lover.It had to be at least 4 a.m., but I was too tired to get up to find a clock or watch. I wanted to sleep some more. She was resting, finally. I could feel her breath, Bradley was on the other bed, sleeping hard too. The air kept filling the room and replacing what we had exhaled with oxygen, fresh from the tide of warm waters from a September sea.“Charles, are you coming to the club with us?” My roommates asked. I did not have the energy to wake- up and tell them to go on without me. I was having that reoccurring dream again and didn’t want to arise just yet– the slate quarry, a sky with no sun, the trailer park full of FEMA trailers that have been converted to sex dens that I rent out on an hourly basis to my angels– the men that work for me during the battle of Armageddon. I hate being the boss, but someone’s got to do it!In reality, there was nothing for me there on Fire Island– I’m too old for this life. The Chelsea- type that populate Fire Island simply are not what I’m into, sexually. My dick does not get hard for them and I found no reason why to get up at 5 a.m. just to dance with them. There is nothing I can do to change my attraction to gangstas and thugs. I just wanted to sleep more and keep dreaming. That side of life is so much more appealing to me–.the imagination– the place where eternal life is realized.A fire alarm sounded soon after my friends left the hotel room. The sirens nearly scared me straight. I rushed onto the balcony to be sure the Ice Palace was not on fire. Employees ran upon wooden porches with flashlights and checked each of the rooms to be sure that there was not an actual emergency. There is a voluntary fire department in both Cherry Grove and the Pines. Louder sirens that are used to summon locals who serve as volunteer firemen cried far off in the distance. A lesbian couple in room 213 stepped out of their tiny room to investigate the drama. They looked to me for an answer.“What the fuck?” I asked them while rubbing heavy sleep from my face. “Is there any peace on earth?” I asked. They laughed and appreciated my nonchalance. Two floors below on Fire Island boardwalks, queens and dykes continued to make their way to the club and acted as if the hotel alarms were part of the club music.“Go back to your rooms,” a Black queer yelled from below. “Someone pulled the fire alarm by mistake,” he informed.
I went back inside and tossed myself onto the bed, assuming my lover and lady friend would return from the club, but they didn’t. I drifted back to sleep only to be disturbed again by a man with a deep voice who was tapping on the window.
“Yo! You better check on your girl,” he said. I opened the door to see who it was that was checking me out through the window while I was sleeping on the bed. He was gone. Where was Bradley? It was almost daylight. Was he out on the dunes having nameless, anonymous sex? For a moment I was jealous. I decided to wait there on my bed with the door open, knowing that it would be only a matter of time before someone came by looking for a quickie. With Bradley and Francie gone, this was my big chance to be a Fire Island tramp like I was in my youth.
Before I finished my first cigarette and sprawling my half naked body strategically across the mattress, my roommates walked into the room.
“What a whore!” Francie said, noticing me on the bed with the hotel room door hanging wide open.
To be continued…