I am 32 years old and have never been on a proper vacation.  Not one that didn’t in some way involve my family or worse someone elses  family.  I am talking about one of those magical getaways you can only win on the Price is Right or Wheel of Fortune.  YOU HAVE WON A TRIP TO ARUBA!!!!  I have no idea where Aruba is, but I know I want to go there.  I long for a beach an umbrella a cocktail a Kitty Kelly novel and a half naked native waiting on me hand and foot.  Sounds pretty simple, a goal anyone could accomplish.  Two problems stand in my way.  Number one I hate to travel, number two being a proud member of the upper lower class I can’t really afford a fabulous vacation.  So a local getaway it must be.   Somewhere close,  and cheap,  and accessible by train as I don’t drive and my rickshaw is in the shop.  So I decide after 11 years in New York to break down and go to Fire Island.  Fire Island is like Coney Island to me.  Neither of these places evoke the island images in my mind like Gilligan’s or that stupid Island from Lost, and I am always looking for that elusive Island in the Stream.

The normally useless MTA offers a day package for 30 bucks which covers the train the taxi and the ferry there and back which is great cause I made a big pitcher of booze and have every intention of coming home drunk .  Taking my cue from the Barefoot Contessa herself I put together a wonderful picnic of salmon salad, roasted chicken thighs, fresh strawberries, and blueberry’s, a pitcher of white grape and lemonade with a pint of Vodka, who wouldn’t want that?  Here is where my inner Jew sprung forth and I decided rather than buy a beach umbrella I would fashion one out of a lost and found umbrella from the PIECES Bar and a shoot of bamboo from Fire Island and a little tape thus saving 5’s and 10’s of dollars.  This was to be my perfect little trips downfall.  In order to fit the umbrella in the bag I snapped off the handle creating a perfect jagged, rusty, spear like implement.

If you live on the east coast you understand that it’s the most inconvenient place on earth and something that would only take 20minutes by car can take up to 2 hours on the train.  So we were up at 7:30 to make sure we were on the 9:15 train to Sayville Long island which got in at 11:00 so we could catch the 11:30 ferry.  So from wake up to the Isle of Fire its 4 and a half hours of humid nyc commuting misery.

Once we get to Sayeville its beautiful breezy and stunning and reminds me of Amity Island from Jaws.  In fact everything feels so much like the movie Jaws right now I want to throw the loud asian gay with no chin sitting next to me off the ferry in hopes a great white shark will eat him and shut his damn trap.  Instead I cue up the Jaws Soundtrack (I have many film scores on my IPOD cause I am a dork) and listen to Promenade as the ferry pulls out and crosses the channel to the Fire Island.  We are surrounded by a flock of gays that would make Jerry Fallwell cry,  tan with popped collars and every single one of them is carrying a pure bred dog which they treat like Zsa Zsa on her death bed.  Gay people give gay people a bad name.

I must say that Fire Island is a beautiful calm and relaxing place, probably more relaxing if you are lucky enough to afford a share and stay most of the summer.  Much less relaxing when you know you have to head back on the 7:30 ferry.  You walk through a bamboo forest on elevated decks, and I can’t help but thank God I’m not tripping on mushrooms right now cause i would surely get lost and end up crying by the side of the road chewing on a stick of bamboo as if it were a sugar cane.  It’s a straight shot to the beach and on our way we each grab a stick of the aforementioned bamboo to fashion our beach umbrella’s.  We stroll down to the water and find a spot a with no children and lay out our spoils.

As Dan runs down to the water to pee in the ocean I start setting up our things.  First things first I take out my mangled umbrella and open it up plunging the ragged end into the fleshy part of the palm of my hand.  I can handle pain, pain is nothing to me.  I had an intense gall stone experience which was said to be more painful than childbirth and I took that pain like a pro.  Blood however makes me pass out almost instantly, not movie blood, real blood oozing (or in this case pumping) from my own body or the bodies of those around me.  I knew it was a deep cut because the fat in my hand is spilling out the sides like brains or tapioca pudding.

I yelled for Dan knowing I was seconds from losing conciseness.  He thought I was pointing out the little brown skittering birds darting this way and that.  I was not.  I passed out cold face first into the sand which tasted like shit, well actually i t tasted like sand, but was unpleasant none the less.  I threw up a couple of times when i regained consciousness and thought I bet Ina Garten and Jeffery have a much better time at the beach.  With an arm drenched in blood, fat oozing out of my hand, laden down with 50 pounds worth of beach gear we headed off to find a first aid kit.  Turns out there is no first aid available on the Isle of Fire.  The doctor’s hours are 1-2 and 4-5, this is the kind of job I dream of,  and we were told by everyone we ran into they’d be happy to contact the mainland and have me air lifted off.  Fun as that sounded, and believe meI wanted was a happy medium some hydrogen peroxide and some gauze, but a ride in a helicopter did sound fun.  I settled for a 10 dollar bottle of Rubbing Alcohol and an 8 dollar roll of gauze.  I looked around at the Island full of pretty much naked men, and looked at my bloody hand and decided I couldn’t stay at this place any longer.  We took the ferry back, and this is the song I listened to going back across the water…

and I cried…cause my hand really fucking hurt.  All in all a vacation to remember

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