Posts Tagged ‘Cape Cod


Fragments from a bar on Cape Cod

Once upon a time I used to just write. Let the words flow from my fingers regardless of sense or form or even merit. The words themselves were the purpose. There was little correction and if there was, it was crossing out. I wrote by the line. My thoughts conforming to the shape and width and style of the page and the pen.
Now, there are pixels and lines that never end. I never have to cram a word into an unanticipatedly short space before the edge of the page. Never mind margins. Margins are for people who give a fuck. Not writers.
But constraints can be creative. Constraints can be what spurs us to creativity.
So, I start typing. Writing words just for the sake of it. Not caring what people think. Or at least trying not to. Not too much.
There are so many things I want to write about and yet when I sit down in front of my computer the ideas seem truant. The really good ones are hiding in the bathroom sneaking a cigarette.
My nose runs. I have a cold I find inconvenient.
But then aren’t all colds inconvenient?
I have things I want to do. Socialization. I need to charge my battery. Yet even the long practiced art of making small talk with strangers properly eludes me. I see my opportunity and the words somehow come out wrong. I’m planted at the bar. I’m ready and in need. Yet, my mouth fails me.
Cape Cod, Hyannis at the Sam Diego’s back bar. I know these people, more or less. And I’m from this place. Of this place even, in my own way. But I don’t think I belong here. I have no earthly idea why I keep coming back to this place. I always forget how weird Cape Cod is in the middle of the winter. Not that it changes.
There used to be a gay bar here. For years and years. Now closed.
Why? Did all the gay people leave? Did they get rights and integrate? Where the fuck did my people go?
I’m relatively sure there must be some gay and Trans and just even weird old punks. But where the fuck do they go??? Even the very few places that where here when I was are gone and don’t seem to have been replaced.
There’s not even a decent independent coffee shop I can find. Just bars. With basically the same sorts of people in them.
Good gods. So why am I here? What am I waiting for?
Take a break to scan Facefuck. Click a buzzbait link and immediately click away when I come to my senses. Try to focus on the words before me. Write instead of feeding more good hours to the clickbait beast.
But again, what to write about?
I could write about anything, my fingers flying across the touchscreen keyboard. So what to do, what to do.
Maybe I should start my story.
It begins with pain. My earliest memory is of waking up my mom in the middle of the night. I have a hernia. She tries to make me laugh, because that’s all she can think of to do, to make me feel better. The laughter is pain, the pain brings tears. The tears mix with laughter and love.
A pattern is set for my life.



“Provincetown and the Devil”

As any of my regular readers might know, I grew up on Cape Cod. My father was a fisherman, for a time he even had his own commercial fishing boat and dragged for scallops out in Buzzards Bay.

Growing up down Cape, I’ve always been fascinated by the sea and by stories of Olde Cape Cod.
As a result of this, my intimate, long-steeped ties to the people and places of Cape Cod, my own experience of Provincetown is somewhat different from those in the LGBTQ community who think of it solely as a gay resort destination. I remember hanging out there as a Punk Teenager and being fascinated by the juxtaposition of “Here and Queer” gay people and “Salty Old Fishermen”.

This story I came across recently in a book called, “A Treasury Of New England Folklore”, published in MCMXLVII (Arabic numerals being apparently too new-fangled for the good Yankee editors.), aptly combines both perspectives on old P-Town. And it goes a long way to show how little the town has changed in it’s spirit!

It’s a tale of Olde Cape Cod called…

“Provincetown and the Devil”

PROVINCETOWN from it’s earliest days has been freer, richer in life than it’s neighbors. Back in 1727 Truro asked to be severed from Provincetown because of the goings-on there. Provincetown gloried in this separation and laughed to itself. Truro sitting discreetly in the folds of her moors looked down her nose at Provincetown and still does. The Cape early wrote, in legend, it’s opinion of the folk on Land’s End.
Captain Jeremiah Snaggs lived up the Cape and he did not die in the odor of sanctity. The story is he tried to escape the devil by various devices. He dodged the devil in Barnstable, he eluded him in a hollow tree in Orleans, he escaped from him in Wellfleet by putting a jack-o-lantern which looked like him in a tree, but in Provincetown the devil caught up with him.
“Well,” said Captain Jeremiah, “you caught me fair and squar’. Whar do we go from here?”
“Go?” Said the devil. “Nowhar. Ain’t we to Provincetown?”

Yep. Hasn’t changed a bit!


Deep Fried Fear at The Cape Cod Mall.

Nothing quite so instills me with fear than The Cape Cod Mall.

The sense memory, reminder of childhood fear combined with the ever-present Out-Transwoman reactions.

Stirred into a cocktail of deep fried and fish battered fear.

So what in the name of whatever Gods happen to hold sway in this part of the universe am I doing here?

Every time I come back to the Cape, I repeat the same pattern.

Drive down Main Street.

Visit an old home.

Drive by only.  Never get out.

And walk through The Cape Cod Mall.

I hope that I will spot someone I know/knew.

Although I almost never do.

All the people I knew are grown and gone or quite simply know better than to spend any more time at The Mall than is absolutely necessary.

But still I go.

Soak in the sickly-sweet and artificial, terror infused ambience.

Remind myself to slow my pace.


As if I am not bothered in the least.

When I can take no more, I leave.

And typically I will head to Sam Diego’s.

Same idea.

An order of nostalgia with a nice stiff drink.

And maybe I’ll see someone I know/knew.

Sometimes I do.

Usually I don’t.

But I do get to hear that accent.

That particular working-class accent.

So homey and dangerous at the same time.

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