I hit silent on the phone and texted Nick that I was too tired, to leave without me. I then noticed the smoke in my apartment as I laid back down to return to sleep. I had put a pizza in the oven when I got home, drunk and hungry. I never took the pizza out. I slept all night long on the couch while this pizza cooked to a solid black disc and filled my house with smoke. Amazingly, I neither burned down the house nor died from smoke inhalation. I turned the stove off and because I didn't want to deal with that mess right then and because I could see the sun outside my windows, the beach calling my name, I called Diego to say I would be right over, to please wait for me, please.
And so I was soon headed off to Fire Island, the location where a week and a half ago I was broken up with. I wanted to reclaim this space in some way, take its fond associations back from its most recent one. I didn't want my last memory here to be of a breakup. I had too many other amazing memories of Fire Island. I wanted this breakup to become just another memory that I could recall when thinking about all of the moments I had shared with various boys I have had romances with on this island. I bought a six pack of Coors Light and immediately jumped into the ocean when we hit the shore.
It was refreshing, rejuvenating, served in some ways as the shower I didn't have time to take that morning. The hangover and fatigue were eased by the cold water. I was feeling better and better. A beer was cracked and sunscreen was put on.
We soon ran into some other friends. We went to the Pines for the Invasion, which was a bad decision on my part to leave the beauty of the beach for some silly tea dance. We were there for a brief bit before wandering to Cherry Grove to eat. People split up. Some went to continue the drinking at a house party and some went to consume some actual food before drinking more. I went with the party seeking food - Jeff and Pacifico and this nice couple I met through them yesterday. I ate food with all of these pleasant homosexuals and drank water and more alcohol. A girl was vomiting next to us.
There was a lot more walking, of trying to get to this house party, and then of being told it was at capacity. We went back to this tea dance for a brief bit before these folks said they were headed back to Brooklyn.
I decided to join them. I was tired and ready to leave. I am so happy that I left with them because this nice couple had a car parked at the ferry and offered me the middle seat in back for a ride home. Clearly, I said yes to the ride. So I sat between Pacifico and Jeff on this uncomfortable seat and got to hear amazing 90s R&B song after song that I had forgotten about, forgotten how amazing the song was, how much joy these songs give me. The sky was doing beautiful things outside of the window as dusk was setting in, giant swirls of reds and oranges across a darkening sky, a preface to the fireworks to come. We started to spot them popping up at various points on the horizon, soaring twinkles of light stopped short by pops, falling back to the earth in an explosion of color. As we were driving through New York City, we got glimpses of the big fireworks show. We drove past groupings of families and friends gathered at particular spots on blocks, little high points, random intersections, spots with a view between buildings, wherever the sightlines led them. They were all looking westward, eyes all trained to the space over the Hudson River. There were the fireworks to look at, yes, but there were also all these sets of human eyes, old ones and young ones, all so full of joy and awe.