Memoirs of a Mid-Year Christmas, gurl.
I was sitting in the middle of a group of lesbians on the ferry while I applied sunblock. We were all heading to the Cherry Grove part of Fire Island where I would meet up with some of my friends, but I allowed myself to imagine that I was on my way to a casting call for the “The Real L Word”. I took a minute to savor everything about this moment as I snuck in a head pat on a nearby Chihuahua when it’s owner turned her head. Life has been beautiful for me recently. Sitting on the boat, I closed my eyes and allowed myself to feel all of my senses come alive. The wind was giving me Beyoncé hair and I could feel the sun warming my skin. I went back to a similar moment last year when I was sitting alone on top of a volcano in Nicaragua and I found myself connect with the earth for the first time in a long time. I slowed my breathing to coincide with the wind gusts and I visualized myself pulling loving energy through my crown and then down each chakra. I spent the boat ride in silence, just living in the moment with an intense gratitude all while visualizing the same.
As the ferry was docking, I couldn’t help but laugh out loud. As is completely typical of my life, all of my serious moments are immediately followed by the reality that I am, in fact, Katy and this absurd life I have been given never fails to amaze me. I exit the ferry under rainbow flags while two swans swam along side me as I walked down the pier. I waved at my friends and yelled “hey, bitches!” three times before they could hear me over the flute music that was being played for my arrival about ten feet to the left of me. I had arrived in my paradise.
Fire Island is nothing short of perfect. Beautiful beaches, nude men, gardens full of creepy doll heads. We walked along the guest houses as I started visualizing my potential retirement plans. I could see the place where I would gossip with all of the sassy geriatrics while we throw shade at the youngsters. I could see us all lined up in rocking chairs on the pool deck while our helper monkeys fetched us our cocktails. “You call that dancing!” I would say as I cued the music. My arthritis will have restricted my ability to twerk, but it won’t stop me from schooling them in vogueing. I caught myself mumbling to myself “move over Betty White” as we chose a spot in the sand for our picnic.
As we poured our first pre-noon cocktails over ice, we ate cookies my friend flew in from his mother. As the powdered sugar got on our chins from the snowball cookies, it dawned on us that we were celebrating Christmas in July together. We spent a good while discussing Santa’s inevitable retirement to Boca Raton and we wondered about the fate of the elves. We laughed together for hours until I dropped my glass full of fruit and vodka. There before me was what I thought was a hallucination. I worried about telling the others until I knew for sure what I was seeing. I pointed my finger down the beach and yelled “it’s Rudolph!” as cookie crumbs were launched out of my mouth. Approaching us was an adolescent buck, who had walked right up to us looking for the Christmas cookies. My mind could not compute what I was seeing.I felt the little child inside me do back flips as my faith in Santa became re-ignited. Lymes disease be damned, I could not walk away from this deer. I had seen monkeys, dogs, horses and donkeys on a beach, but a deer on a New York beach was way out of the realm of what I thought to be possible. This deer, I felt, was there to deliver a message to me. After careful deliberation, I drunkenly concluded that he was telling me: “bitch, you’re gonna be late for the drag show!” This deer was the reality alarm clock I needed to get me to become re-acquainted with the time of day. I wrapped myself with a sarong and we hustled to the Ice Palace for some afternoon drag queens as was fated by the stars and Santa, himself.
Immediately, I was embraced by a group of deaf lesbians. As is truth in many languages, I only retain a few choice phrases to use in prime opportunities. I signed to them that my sign-name was “Brooklyn k” and that my “boyfriend was in jail”. They all laughed and let me stand in the front for a better view of the show. Performing in front of me was Logan Hardcore, aka the drag queen featured in my kitchen. She was no less than seven feet tall and quite terrible at lip singing. I pulled up a picture I had on my phone of the painting that was hanging in my kitchen to show my new friends. A colleague of mine had inner-officed me a giant print of a photograph he took of Logan Hardcore taken sometime in the 90’s. This piece is the first thing you see when you walk in my apartment. “Um, what is that?” my landlord would ask when he comes in to change a light bulb. The joke has always been that I had really no idea who this queen was, that was until that day when Rudolph delivered me a July Christmas present. As my ass was being handled by deaf lesbians, I watched in envy as this queen performed the very routine I practice in my bedroom almost daily. That envy was quickly set aside as I remembered that I would have my own show here when I am in my 80’s.
After a waterfront dinner, I changed into my night time dancing outfit so we could get in a few minutes of shimmying before the ferry came to bring us back to reality. I pulled on my rainbow leg warmers and plumped my eyelashes. I could feel the pulse of the dance floor calling to me, so I ran to clear my way through the crowd to the stage where I belong. It wasn’t long before I was dancing in the middle of a group of boys and then ultimately sandwiched between two shirtless hotties. It didn’t matter at the time if they were gay or straight. It also didn’t seem to matter that they were likely 22 as Iggy Azalea was our cultural equalizer that night. One guy turned around from his grinding-on-my-hip pose and started making out with me in a moment I am sure he will describe to his therapist as “confusing”. I’ve been told many times that I am the gay man’s exception as I am pretty close to being a gay man myself. I touch his cheek to reassure him that I would be leaving soon and things would go back to normal for him. He shook his head and asked me “why are you even single?” Saved by the horn of our ferry, I laughed and jumped off of the stage for the mad dash for the late ride back to the city. I turned around for my parting sassy blown kiss as he stood dumbfounded under the strobe light.
Back on the boat, I sat again in silence while I communicated with the endless stars that I never get to see in the city. I reflected on the question I had been asked. Why am I single? I get asked this question a lot, mostly by one of my assigned Jewish mothers. The last time someone asked me this was by a group of men who came up to me on Pennsylvania transit while I was dressed up as a sock monkey. At the time, I was struggling in my seat to find the most comfortable way to sit on a tail. I had to explain to them that I was coming from Philadelphia’s only dance party for gay Furries, while wondering why that seemed to attract them to me. I did not have a good answer for their question as to why I am single then, and neither did I that night on Fire Island.
So, why am I single? I searched my heart for an honest answer. I thought back to the few times that I could have married someone. I thought back to all the reasons I have broken up with people. I thought back to all the times I have had my heart broken. Memories and lessons flooded my brain. I realized that I have been in a relationship for the past 3 years. A relationship with myself. I have worked on my issues and learned to love myself. I have learned how to fight through my fears and how to be the best person I can be. I have dated every color of the rainbow. I learned how to accept people for who they really are. I learned how to work through a fear of abandonment. I got therapy and addressed my insomnia. I faced my darkness and laughed my way into the light. I learned that good isn’t good enough. Love alone isn’t good enough.
I guess the answer is that I am not really single. I don’t have a void in my life because I am not married. Children smell funny and are not in my immediate plans. I have love all around me. I have friends who I am convinced are the best people in the world. I have a sister who keeps it real with me. I have future Fire Island pool boys to look forward to. Most importantly, I have myself. I really can’t wait for the day that I have a partner for this ride. But, that person has to be really special. They need to love everything about me, sequins and all. Who knows, maybe Rudolph has a big package on his way for me come December. 😉