I swear, Fire Island has become even scarier than usual, and it’s all thanks to the frickin’–everybody now–recession.
First of all, the old days of catered affairs in Pines beachfront houses, with waiters dabbing your mouth with cloth napkins is ovah. My friends who used to invite me to such things now rent out their house for the big weekends, understandably trying to scare up some extra dough. So you find yourself seeking out any poolside hotel nightclub where they sell dollar hot dogs and cheap soda.
Swarms of other people do the same, since practically everyone has turned into a daytripper, no one wanting to spring for an actual share, even one weekend a month! As a result, on July 4th, there were so many hundreds of people standing in line for the morning ferry that we had to wait an extra hour for the next one. Then all the same sad freaks came back by nightfall–and in between, I somehow got stuck paying three-fucking-50 for a stinky cup of regular coffee, served in the shitty pizza place on the dock! They know they’ve got you by the balls!
But I’ll still go back because I love being with the gays and the diseased deer–and I’d be distraught if I had missed “the Invasion,” whereby overdressed drag queens pile off a boat onto the dock as you realize, “That one’s Bea Arthur! That one’s an 80-year-old marigold! And I’m glad to be gay!”
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 9, 2009