My father moved to Martha's Vineyard while I was away at school. It wasn't remotely traumatic. It wasn't even a remote island. I started spending on average about three weeks of the year on the island. I felt like a Clinton.
But despite all my vast Martha's Vineyard experience, I'd never been to Nantucket. Sure, I'd drunk the Nectars, I'd recited the dirty limericks, but I'd never actually been there. I wasoverjoyed when, in April of 2001 I won a two nights stay at The Jared Coffin House, complete with round trip airfare for two from the Cape.
In July, I was hanging out with some jailbait who was crushing on me, and who I was...desperately trying not to crush back on (I barely made it...he was sooo cute/funny/smart/completely illegal), and he asked if he could come with me to the island. No. No. No. Hmmmmm...No. But it did remind me that I had to book the trip at some point. I was going to Seattle in August for the National Poetry Slam finals, and I was broker than an old pop culture reference, BUT I didn't want to go to Nantucket during the winter when it was all cold and desolate. So I called and made a reservation for September 14th. 2001.
September 11th, I was scheduled to do a poetry show in Portland Maine, with the only really Deaf Poet on Def Jam, Ayisha Knight. I was voicing all her poems, and she was signing all mine. We'd also interwoven our poetry into one long show. It would have kicked so much ass, but, you know the planes and the buildings and the dying happened, and it didn't look like the show was going to happen. We were also opening for Folk Implosion that night. Damnit.
After an awkward day of honing my ASL skills on the subject of terrorism, we drove back to Boston, where I was staying with Zuzu the Political Activist. That was fun. Really. I'm beingcompletely sincere. No, I mean it.
After a few hours of nonsensical ranting, I checked my e-mail.
Oh, right. Nantucket. Scott.
Scott was the one person who ever replied to my PlanetOut ad. He was 23 to my 24, a former fatty who was now borderline anorexic. We'd gone to a PJ Harvey concert together a week before, and had...hmmm...we had something that was almost fun. The concert was good. I discovered he lived on the Cape at the same time I had, yet we had never met. However, we knew about a billion people in common, including Kevin Fucken Harris, so we talked about them.
After out pseudo-date we sort of hugged, but not really, and he drove back to the Cape, while I was explaining to Zuzu why, despite our awkward first "date", I had invited him to Nantucket: "No other prospects."
Scott picked me up at the bus station (sexy, sexy), and drove to my mother's. The plan was to park his car at her house, take the cab to the airport, and be on our way. But nooooooooooooooooo, Scott wanted to meet my mother, and have her drive us to the airport. I love my mother, but she's CRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAZY, and more than a bit bitchy to my friends. Jennifer had suggested running her over with my car, my boss at Kookaburra Canyon would hide in the kitchen when my mother came to visit me at work, and Saint was more direct when he asked me "Dude, why is your mom such an insufferable bitch to me?" She had plotted to have Elvis killed before I figured out that that wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing. Why would I want to introduce her to someone I didn't particularly like, but wanted to have sex with in the near future?
I prepped him. My mom knew I was gay (she had nearly walked in on me and Elvis on more than the occasion), but we didn't talk about it. Talking about it involved crying. This is the woman who chastised me for voting in VT instead of MA. "Just think, if you'd voted here instead of Vermont, you could have changed things."
"What do you mean?" I asked her.
"You did vote for Bush, right?" No, she wasn't kidding.
My prep for Scott included just telling her we were friends from College (he was currently attending UMCL), and that we were going to get away from the 9/11 stuff.
"Actually," he confessed when we were in her house, "I met him on an online personals site. We're going for a romantic weekend." I was so going to kill him.