Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Pussy Montana

Our room with a view.

This is the corner of Cape Cod I have known since 1964. In the distance is the Provincetown Inn where my grandmother would stay each summer when she came to visit us. My mother the mixed media artist would insist we spend every August in Provincetown so she could paint and study with a local artist. It was a luxury I didn't appreciate until much later. In fact, for most of my Provincetown childhood I kept a calendar over my bed on which I would cross out the days each night before I went to sleep. Only 29 more.

Anyway my grandmother would fly from Newark to Boston and then brave the tiny Ptown-Boston plane to land in the dunes. We'd settle her in to a musty room at the Provincetown Inn and visit her each morning for breakfast. This was back when the Inn served breakfast in a beautiful sun-room, pancakes and waffles and french toast. We'd swim in the indoor pool alongside Marvin Hagler's boxing ring (now what was he doing spending all those summer in Ptown?). On rainy days we'd run from one end of the Inn to the other, back and forth all day long. There was a sauna and a spa and dinner theater.

To the right of the Provincetown Inn is the Red Inn. I always promised my mother I would get married at the Red Inn. Oops. Of course, it was she who wished to be married there. Drinks and dinner work well too, and involve far less planning.

To the right of the Red Inn, in weathered gray shingles, is the house my parents tried to buy sometime in the 1980's. It's a great sprawling beach house with a painter's studio and two floors each with walls of windows over looking the bay. They could have had it for $300k but someone got upset about a septic system and that was that.

To the right of the house-that-almost-was is a sliver of Marc Jacobs new massive expanse of private property. That's what's happening to Provincetown; beachfront property is being bought up by private parties who turn the entirety of a three, four or seven unit property into their own private compound.

The hill my mother used to take us to to pick blueberries is now peppered with condominiums. The Dairy Queen is an apartment complex. The aquarium to which I once delivered a hermit crab the size of a basketball is now a mall. There is a store called "Wa" that sells $650 wind-chimes and $1200 Buddhas.

Om.

Norman Mailer is gone.

Robert Motherwell is gone.

Stanley Kunitz is gone.

Still. There is land even a rich homo cannot develop. And Lucy and I saw whales off the shore at Herring Cove Beach and then in the harbor from our bedroom window. And Mary Oliver and her dog Percy remain.

We picked mussels off the breakwater. Rode bikes through town and bought presents for the children we left behind for 48 hours. Wondered endlessly how it is that some mammals remain in the water and others of us walk on dry land.

Back in the real world, children are being ripped from their mothers in Texas because of teen pregnancy? Because men have married more than one woman? Maybe there is something more sordid going on, but I can't help but recoil. If you can steal children from one group, why not another?

And poor old Miley Cyrus, sexualized by an entire industry and then punished for it.

Lucy says it's a slow news week, that's why Miley is big business. I say, just don't tell Betsy her 15 year old idol was photographed in a sheet with her parents blessing.

I suppose a parent's got to make a buck. But look out Billy Ray, there's a new girl in town and she's not wearing a sheet.

3 comments:

Sara said...

you almost make me want to go back to provincetown.

almost.

beautiful images. thank you.

well...except the cat. are ya trying to make her a whore?

Are You My Mothers said...

that's hoor, isn't it time she earned a living.

Sally Moon said...

Awww. I love Provincetown, too. We were there as a family one year on the Sunday before labor day, it was a hot hot place, my oldest was probably feeling all the energy and said" I Love Provincetown! It's so exciting!". She was ten. Went there two years ago and the vibe is very different. Did you feel that? Has it changed for you?