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Lois in P-town

Lois in P-town

September 14. Rainy. We have cereal with Dave before settingt off for Provincetown. I try calling Betty McEvoy, since this is her birthday -- thinking we could even stop by and say hello on our way past Weymouth. But her number has been changed and the new one is unlisted. I throw our suitcases into the back of the pickup and we start off.

Here is Lois in the garden of the Lamplighter, the bed and breakfast we stayed at in Provincetown. When I first met Lois at a contra dance in 1992 she looked so beautiful to me I felt as though I were drugged or in a dream. I knew she was almost my age, but when she smiled she looked sixteen to me. Does she look any older than that to you?

Lois in The Lamplighter's garden

      Around noon I pull off the highway for gas at Plymouth. Lois wants see Plymouth Rock. We get out of the car in the drizzle and she is amazed (as I was when I first saw it at sixteen or so) at how puny the rock is, but takes a photo of it anyway, just to prove she was here. We think we'll come back tomorrow or the next day to visit Plimoth Plantation, which Carrie and Dave seem to think is more impressive than Williamsburg.
      When we've crossed the bridge onto the Cape I turn onto Route 2. Off to the left we see the Pairpoint glass manufactory, with a sign saying continuous glass-blowing demonstrations. I have not seen glass-blowers at work since I was a child, when we saw one during a Saturday's trek out to Rockville or some such distant place. Lois is eager to see it too.
      The blowers are down on the floor below, and we watch as one of them makes a cobalt-blue bottle and another a glass whale. I buy her one of the cobalt-blue bottles and we get back on the road to P-town.

The Lamplighter

Lois took this photo of The Lamplighter, the bed and breakfast we stayed in a couple of nights. She loved the place. We had a second-floor room with a wonderful view.

      While driving, I can't help remembering a recurrent dream I've been having the past few years. A dream of going back to Provincetown, taking the bus back maybe, coming into town, finding it changed -- higher buildings, rowhouse condos. And of coming to the Fine Arts Work Center again and seeing Roger and others. Feeling lost and displaced....
      But when we get to P-town nothing seems changed. I go down Pearl street past the Fine Arts Work Center and down to the Bull Ring Wharf, where I lived the first winter I spent in Provincetown fifteen years ago. It would be a nice place to spend the night, but nobody answers the doorbell.
      We drive aimlessly towards the west end of town, looking for a motel, and on the way pass a bed and breakfast called the Lamplighter, which Lois likes the looks of. She goes in to check it out and says she loves it. We take a room with a view of the harbor, and she seems very happy.

Lois on Commercial street near the town hall.

Lois downtown with horse and carriage

      After taking the room we walk into town, looking for a place to eat. Not much seems changed. The famous Marine Specialties store is still there. Lois follows me in and we spend an hour or so looking at all the wonderful, often useless, merchandise.
      By the time we come out again I'm famished. The last time we were at Riva's I was telling Lois how lovely it would be to dine with her in Provincetown, looking out at the water. But there doesn't seem to be any such place in Provincetown. The only place we find near the water doesn't seem inviting, so we go back to a place called the Post Office Cafe, which has a sign in the window listing scallops and linguini among the daily specials.
      After we're seated it's a long wait to get our orders taken and a long wait for the food to come, and there are heavy smokers at the next table. At the table beyond that, three lean, mustached men in black teeshirts or leather are flirting with each other. Nothing wrong with that, but the waiters are surly and impolite. And the food, when it comes, isn't very good.
      But afterwards, heading back to the Lamplighter a little before ten with our arms around each other, we are feeling very happy.

our view

This is the view from our window in the morning. Lois stayed behind to write in her diary and take photos while I went to visit Roger Skillings and Heidi Jon Schmidt.

      The next day, Lois stays in the room to write in her diary while I visit Roger and Heidi and see their tiny baby, Marisa Rose. At one, after returning to the room, Lois and I head out to walk in the dunes. We get a couple of loaves of bread and some cheese and sliced turkey at the A&P. It is rather cool out. We drive down to Head of the Meadow beach in Truro and eat our lunch there on a dune overlooking the ocean. Then back to Provincetown and Race Point. Stop near the coastguard house and walk down onto the beach together. We amble along for some distance, looking at the bright stones glistening along the water's edge.

Lois at Race Point

Lois on the beach. The hat is a little guatemalan thing we bought at a stand in downtown Boston. Lost a day or two later, maybe on the Martha's Vineyard ferry.

      I think it'd be nice to head up into the dunes, but the grass is sharp and cutting, so we don't go very far. We put down a blanket and sit down a bit among the grasses awhile before getting up and going on towards the lighthouse, which is groaning with ear-numbing loudness. From there we strike out overland along a jeep trail towards where we left the car. Lois's feet are becoming blistered and it is slow progress through the sand.

Lois in the dunes

      I'm starving again, a condition that happens with appalling regularity, when we get back to our room. We walk into town and find a szechwan restaurant on Commercial street that has very good food and a nice atmosphere. Afterwards we continue down Commercial, meaning to go to Marine Specialties again to buy the things we were going to buy last night. But instead we wind up in the Buck a Book store and buy about ten books apiece.
      Lois goes down the street for some coffee while I am finishing with my own purchases, and I meet her down there. It is late now and we walk back to our room carrying our bags of books.
      We fall asleep in each other's arms. Tomorrow we will go to Martha's Vineyard.

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Copyright 1999 T. N. R. Rogers. All rights reserved. Last revised 14 aug 99.