June 23, 1980
Despite my hopes to go back and see my grandmother the following Monday, I wasn’t able to. Iris who worked with me in the deli, had gone into labor a month early, and I had been asked to cover her shifts. I managed to call on Monday and let my grandmother know what was going on, and she understood, but I could hear the disappointment in her voice.
It was nice having to work so much, because it helped keep my mind from lingering on both my loneliness. It also left me so tired each day, that I slept without interruption which hadn’t happened since I got to Las Vegas.
This past two days, having been given some time off, I decided to go to Provincetown. Luckily, Hal and Ken had an availability, so I booked a room with them for Saturday night. They didn’t recognize my voice, and I think I had told them my name was Michael when I first met them, so Darren sounded unfamiliar to them.
When I arrived early on Saturday, they didn’t recognize me. I cannot blame them, I’m currently clean shaven, and must have nearly twenty pounds more than when they originally found me on their doorstep.
After a moment of talking, Ken recognized my voice which wasn’t nearly as hoarse or weak as it had been.
“Mike?” he asked with an unsure look in his eyes.
I nod. “Well, Darren. Michael’s my middle name, and I’m not sure why in the cold that day I said it was my name.”
He gave a knowing nod, and I assumed he thought I had been hiding my identity back then.
“Well, it’s nice to see you, and don’t take this the wrong way, but you look much better this time!”
I laugh and nod. “Well, you take a dive off a boat in the middle of January and see how you feel.”
“So, what’s fun to do around here?” I said putting my bag down.
“Are you looking for beach fun? Or sight seeing?”
“Sight seeing.” I wasn’t opposed to going to a beach filled with gay men, but I was opposed to going to the beach by myself. To me, it was something of a social activity, to do with a girlfriend, or a group, and it sounded terrible to do alone.
He gave me a small handful of brochures. Art museums, and light houses, and monuments. I took my bags up stairs, it was the same room as when I was there in January.
After a short nap (I was surprised at the 3 hour drive) I took a drive and saw where the Mayflower had first landed. To be honest, the drive was as nice as anything. Driving along the coast, and seeing it alive with summer and activity was beautiful.
I went back to the Inn after a while, and had dinner alone while reading, most of the guests were out, and Ken and Hal were busy for most of the meal, but afterwards Hal came over and sat down.
“Nicer during the summer, huh?” He said sitting across from me with a glass of water.
“Yeah, I mean it’s pretty in the winter, but I understand they hype with the sun out.” I finished my BLT.
“You traveling alone?” He had a suspicious single eyebrow arched.
“This place is more special with someone else.” He continued to sip his water.
“Yeah, my girlfriend is in Florida, but maybe I’ll bring her up here sometime.”
He nodded disbelievingly.
As I lay in bed Saturday night, one thing that I hadn’t accounted for was the other guests. It turned out, that men who weren’t able to have loud uninhibited sex in their homes, tended to do so while away on vacation in a safe spot. Throughout the night I heard seven separate encounters. The first time I thought about complaining because of the noise, but then I realized that I was the one acting out of the norm, and just tried to ignore it. Ultimately it was over by 2 am, and I was able to sleep until 10.
I missed breakfast, and I said goodbye to Hal and Ken. I had left them a twenty dollar bill in the room as tip.
I spent the rest of the day, driving and stopping when I saw something interesting, really taking my time. Prior to traveling back here, I hadn’t been to the Cape in a long time, since I was a small child, and it is nice.
This morning I woke up, and called my grandmother, and I’ll be leaving to go over and see her in a few minutes. I feel good in a way I haven’t for a while right now.