Sunday, June 13, 2004

Sand Dunes, Sunlight and Shady Trees...

Look Ma, No streetlamps and no combustion engines...Just the sound of my sneakers over boardwalk and sand. Fire Island, lovely in any weather, was resplendent on a cloudless day under the white hot sun. Forests of shady trees parallel expansive beach on the forty-mile barrier island. My erstwhile share hosts Chris and Anthony were kind enough to offer a well-needed scenery change. The Pines, as this upscale gay enclave is called, is a somewhat bizarre place. It's a rarified brew of well-heeled hedonism, party boys in various stages of the aging process, and well-toned flesh of every ethnic stripe. And the occasional quieter, older, early-to-bed-and-to-rise types like myself, enjoying the unspoiled nature and often-deserted walkways and beachscapes.

My hosts are gay, "log cabin" Republicans, and I watched them watch the sunset moments of Reagan's week-long last rites. I'm a moderate and open-minded Democrat, myself, so I exercised restraint and mostly listened. One particular guest was my favorite kind of conservative: the thinking, independent, non-knee-jerk kind that realizes that mulitple views each have their own truth, and is interested in exploring them. This quality is rare on both sides of the political spectrum, so many would rather argue and vent than think and explore. His personal story was also quite unusual, with a dogged optimism and sense-of-self unfazed by a cruel stroke of bad luck. Meeting him made me ponder a few bittersweet and disturbing realities, an unexpected and odd occurrence amid the staccato of the housemates' teasing banter and tacky but good-hearted smutiness.

For your viewing pleasure below, the beautiful deck facing the bay and a late-stage sunset. Above right we gather around Chris' delicious london broil and corncob feast on Saturday...

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