Summer So Far…

Which is primarily going to be a pictorial as I don’t have anything deep to tell you right now…

I know it’s been a while since I’ve blogged. Handsome Dick Manitoba and I called a truce because I was kicking his ass we decided our arguing was putting too much pressure on his wife/my bff Zoe Hansen to continue arguing. She always worries that he’s going to offend me and I always assure her that everything he says offends me so worrying is pointless.

My job at PF came to a close in mid-June, and as expected I have spent some happy mornings on the couch, in my underwear, xbox controller in hand, dirty hair in a clip on top of my head.

In other words, Paradise. 

But with the extra time I feel obligated to get more diligent about writing, so my first foray back to the keyboard is this lame report on what I’ve been up to since last entry.

Truthfully, I had no idea how burnt I was on daytime work in a stressful environment until I stepped out, blinking and confused, into the sunlight. I have had maybe, maaybe, a sum total of 5 Mondays off since 2001, regardless of holidays or illness. So when Drew asked me on that Sunday night what I wanted to do on the first Monday of my new life, sooner than later to be filled with new schedules and new job possibilities, and without prior consciousness of desire, the words, “I want to go to the zoo.” popped out of my mouth.

So we went that Monday morning and it was a perfect day. The Bronx Zoo is lovely. The administrators are very conscious of conservation and animal welfare, so there is a comfort knowing that the animals are kept in environments as close to their natural habitat as possible. We found ourselves mere feet away from giant gorillas, snow leopards, giraffes, monkeys, seals, etc., and I felt renewed by the oxygen flowing from the trees and the exhilarating feel of being near so much beauty and anywhere other than a basement office. 

Almost immediately after arrival I dragged Drew to the black leopard in the Rainforest exhibit. I know it’s beyond corny, but I’ve always thought of the panther as my good luck symbol ever since, as a teenager, I went to see Cat People in the theater with a boy I was dating that I had just caught on the phone with another girl. I walked in feeling hurt and walked out two hours later fantasizing about eviscerating him feeling empowered and sure I would be fine on my own. Something about the high drama of watching a giant black cat made me feel whole and happy and more sure of myself.

We got to the panther as he (she?) slept lazily on his perch:

I felt blessed just to be near enough to see the spots and giant claws through the glass. Then as I stood there already feeling awed in the presence of greatness, he turned his head and looked directly at me, blinked once or twice, and then stayed looking at me until we walked off:

I took it as a sign from the Universe that all is on course, and felt elated and grateful for all of it: for this job change, for a boyfriend willing to escort me to the zoo, for a beautiful summer day, for the safety and well-being of this beautiful creature.

After that excursion, next up was a couple of days in Cape Cod with Drew’s mom and sister, just outside of P-Town, whereupon we were greeted with this sight upon arrival:

I’ve never been to Cape Cod or Provincetown and I fell in love. Gays, the ocean, and quaint historical New England cottages. What’s not to get excited about?

That is our friend Jaime, who moved from New York to P-Town a couple of years ago and hasn’t looked back since. He calls me Mary Haines and we spend a lot of time quoting “The Women” to one another while Drew rolls his eyes.

More eye-rolling: Drew’s sister bought herself a floatie, and he had to blow it up for her:

He wasn’t at all dramatic about it.

The second morning we were there we were greeted by this sight upon arising.

Our neighbors were in a tizzy because this little guy washed up on the beach:

My photo doesn’t do him justice. He was the cutest little thing you’ve ever seen. Like a puppy with flippers instead of legs, so not only is he adorable, he’s also heart-breakingly vulnerable on land..

We joined in the tizzy. Where was his mother? Why was he stuck on a well-traversed-by-humans beach? Was he injured? OH MY GOD, DO SOMETHING!!

Luckily one of our neighbors was a set of very beefy lesbian librarians. If the zombie apocalypse comes, I want to have manly lesbian librarians on my side. Those women HANDLE shit. They have got it UNDER CONTROL. They had already called marine rescue and remained on the beach to yell at anyone who tried to get too close. Any time people got near to take photos he flippered down to the edge of the water, and if he went in without his mother, he would be shark bait. His mother (we think) was spotted for a hot second wayyy out in the surf, but then she was gone.

And speaking of shark bait, this is going on in a different area of the Cape, because seal populations bring sharks:

I don’t get that excited about stuff like this because I’m not swimming with schools of seals, but Drew has a flair for the dramatic (see above photos) and he watched the news regularly for new shark sightings. I made Jaws jokes whenever the opportunity arose.

Anyway…the baby seal. Marine rescue came out and assessed that he was fine, no injuries, and announced that sometimes the mothers drop them off for a day. They put police tape up with a sign that threatened a $10,000 fine for tampering, and they left. And he sat there. And sat there. And sat there. All alone in the blazing 90 degree sun. It was torture to witness.

The day passed, the sun set. No mother. The tide rose, no mother. Finally we went to bed, wondering if the tide would eventually wash him out. Even if it didn’t, he had spent a full 24 hours without food or care. Fuck you, marine rescue! I wanted to put him in our tub. I’d already picked out a name–Beauregard. I envisioned hiking the beach to P-Town to get him a pink collar.

When we got up he was, as expected, gone. We spent half of the day sad until Drew’s mom heard from one of the other hotel guests that someone had seen him get very excited around 5 am and quickly flipper his way into the water, so the assumption was that his negligent mother finally showed up. I hoped that the report was true and felt sure it must have been witnessed by one of the librarians, who either stayed up all night or arose at dawn to assess the situation.

There was also a barbecue in at Mike’s house (Brooklyn, not P-Town):

Drew headlined the Revelation Records festival out in California:

(Photo by Nicole Kibert/ Gotta give credit where credit is due.)

And Chockie had to go to the groomers and get a haircut after a disastrous trip to the vet where they completely humiliated him by shaving his face and neck.



And that’s my unemployed summer so far.

Somewhere in between handing over my credit card to the vet and then the groomer, it dawned on me that the one thing my day job did provide was cold hard cash, and now I am fresh out of it. OOPSIE! So yes, there is that, unless I want to spend all my savings I have to act responsibly and wisely moving forward (i.e. get gainfully employed). But since I’ve always been responsible and had a job, this new experience feels interesting, and the downtime is, as expected, pretty frickin’ awesome.

I will try to use the extra time to make you proud with some writing progress (this entry clearly doesn’t count), and I hope this blog finds you all happy and healthy and enjoying your summer!

Author: Raffaele

Rock and roll juggernaut, writer, muse, animal lover, Cycle Slut from Hell, friend, lover, sister, daughter, nerd, fagwoman, Slytherin, killer queen.

One thought on “Summer So Far…”

  1. Living parallel lives… I'm sitting on an enormous porch in Warren, RI thinking about, well, what does an unemployed, soon to be homeless girl do? Go sailing! That's the answer today, same answer as yesterday. I'll follow your journey and keep you informed of mine. Big love. Deb


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