I was up at the crack of dawn watching the beautiful sunrise come over the ocean from my penthouse porch, standing with a cup of Joe in my hand, sipping it gingerly out of my "Grumpy" mug since it's right out of the coffeemaker and very hot. The fake/sweet taste of Splenda covers the flavour of those bitter beans, the hint of milk makes it a shade lighter than black. The sun comes up over the horizon and begins to blind me. There's not a cloud in the sky, for miles and miles and this portends quite a bright, intense, day. The portents are good. And accurate. I watched "Good Morning America". It's full of news about the growing California fires and breast cancer. Seems our First Lady is on a mission to raise awareness of that horrible disease throughout the world. It's an honorable mission and I do applaud her efforts. The cynic in me seems to want to rear it's ugly head and say it's all a diversion as her husband, our national idiot, gears up and begins laying the ground-work to attack yet another foreign land. Iran, this time. It's gonna happen. Watch. I'm always right. It doesn't take away from her mission, though. I like when our First Ladies take it upon themselves to do something other than redecorate the first manse. Although I am thinking that maybe these people would rather get rid of the cancer called America which invaded their lands before they worry about the cancer lurking in their bodies.
Just a thought. The fires, although tragically spectacular, don't really gain my sympathies. If you are rich enough to live in that pricey neighborhood, you most likely have the insurance to cover this. And somehow, some way, my taxes will be paying for your new fabulousoceanside, fire-prone mansions in the future so, collect your belongings and tell me your story from the middle-school gymnasium about how you barely made it out alive from the firestorm, clutching your dog/photo albums/children and then ring your architect and begin to rebuild once the fires have burned themselves out. I'll sit on my porch, drinking my coffee and squinting into the morning sun, thank you very much, counting my lucky star that is burning my skin while the fires are burning your homes.
I packed up my things and cleaned myself up and off I went to the Art of Flowers to update the Cafe and see if my "dinner date" was still on for that evening with Becky. It was. As I was on the computer, Chase instant messaged me, apologizing for not getting back to me the day before but, although I am sending sentence after sentence, hearing that little "briiinggg" sound each time when I hit the "enter" button on the keyboard, he's ignoring me. Finally he tells me he's in the middle of a conference call with IMPORTANT PEOPLE. What. Ever. I tell him I'll stop by, which was true but, I really hate being ignored in a conversation, even if it's online, and it was a good way to close the window to him and get on with my life. Hanging up without being rude. I make my leave of the flower shop and begin my usual wandering although this time, I think that maybe I should have done something about this big, bright, sun-thingy in the sky. The temperature was warming up rapidly and, as I said, there wasn't a cloud to be found in the big blue bright skies over Absecon Island. I trundled on, thinking I'll just stick to shadows whenever I can. I'll be fine. I bee-line my way to Ballys Casino and The Pretzel Factory. It's now nine in the morning and they just opened which means, fresh, hot-out-of-the-oven, soft, warm, delicious, salty, slathered in spicy mustard pretzels! Three for a dollar. I give the company four quarters, I put four more in the tip jar. I may be poor but, it's a small price to pay for this delicious manna, this sustenance from the gods of the people from small Germanic countries that first baked this heavenly breaded treat. The sun's rays beat down upon me as I wandered through the shoobies along the boardwalk, my skin is taking in a lethal dose of alphabet soup, UVthis, UVthat, A, D and whatever else these particles of light and warmth give us unprotected humans. I don't think about it, I am too busy making my way back to the Tropicana, my fingertips and tongue burning with the heat of hot pretzels as my skin slowly burns with the heat of the sun. By the time I get to the Trop, I have devoured them. Oh well, I guess I can't offer one to Chase, as I intended. No, I didn't intend. They were mine, all mine! I stand there making small-talk with the shop girl, although she's well above the age to be accurately called a "girl" at this point. She's professional, nice, and apologetic as she hangs up the phone and informs me that Chase is now meeting with the Monday morning suits and he'll have to get back to me sometime later in the day. Okay, I guess that's fair since I blew him off on the computer. I am there to bug him about the job offer, I really want to see what it's about. And the idea of having health insurance again is making me consider taking a casino job. I ring my step-mother and make plans to meet her at her home around noon for lunch and I go back home to the penthouse. It's become ungodly hot out on the boardwalk and my Eddie Bauer shoulder-bag has given me an odd shaped sweat stain across my chest and back. I remind myself that it's almost Halloween, late October. I should be enjoying a cup of spiced tea and cinnamon sticks, wearing a light jacket and sweater, not sweating like it's late August and thinking about jumping into the Atlantic to cool off! I pull myself together, watch "The View", Barbara is moderating because Whoopie has a little cold, and the Wiggles are on. I think to myself that Chunkie will definitely be watching this today, when it airs out west. He's a closet Wiggles fan. Well, not so closet. I don't get the attraction. Yes, they prance around like most of my friends and they have a character called "Captain Feathersword" forchrissakes but, if I want to watch a bunch of queens, I'll go to the bar. Noon comes and I meet Sally and we jump on a jitney and go to the Irish Pub for lunch. They have GREAT food there and it's cheap-as-hell (soup and sandwich, two dollars)! Sally and I used to go there all the time for lunch, back in the day. My gods, that was nearly twenty years ago,now that I think about it! We sat out back, outside, out of the sun. I ordered a Guinness and the lovely young waitress asked me for identification. I was LOVING that! I told her not to gasp too loudly when she does the calculation and after she gave my I.D. a look, she hugged and kissed me, telling me how fabulous I am and unbelievable I look. All this over being twenty-nine years old, go figure! I ask her how old she was. Twenty. Bitch! We ordered our food and half way through eating, this woman approaches the table, calling my name. It took me a second to recognize her. The hair was darker than I remembered. It's Donna, my former landlord when I lived in Ventnor on Richards Avenue. She pulled up a chair and we began to talk. Of course, her first question was, "How's Joe?". She's asking about my ex. "It's been that long!", I tell her, "Joe and I broke up seven years ago!" She's shocked. She tells me what everyone tells me. "I thought you guys would be together forever". So did I.
So did I.
We chat about everything, everyone. Most of the people she asks about have died over the past seven years. It's never comfortable to inform someone that particular information. We talk some more, promise to keep in touch and then Sally and I make our way down the boardwalk to see the Sands rubble and meet up with Miss Patti. I get stopped by someone from Deja Vu insistent that I come work there. I exchange numbers and they walk away. Sally hasn't seen Miss Patti since shortly after her gastric bypass surgery so, she's shocked at how little my Miss Pooh is now. Although Sally said she'd never forget Patti's face, even though it's on someone else's body now. Sally went home and I took Patti down the boards to the Taj Mahal Casino/Hotel. She hasn't seen it since they remodeled and she was shocked at the renovations. I am still shocked and I only worked there for four years. Patti did fifteen years in that house, looking at the same tacky faux-Indian-from-India decorations. It's actually very nice looking now. We wandered around, bumping into Chase, of all people. He was making deliveries to his shop along the "Spice Road", the collection of restaurants and stores upstairs at the Taj. He said he'll ring me up. I am still waiting. I walked Patti to the jitney stop so she could go to work and I make my way along Pacific Avenue back home, staying out of the sun as much as possible because, I could feel my skin turning red. I knew I was going to get sunburned. This sucks.
As I pass Trump Plaza, I decide to stop and see Lance at Evo Restaurant. He's there, surprisingly, and I order a Ketel One filthy dirty martini and we chat about the upcoming opening of the club. I am getting excited about the prospect. I sit looking at the cutewaitstaff while Lance is busy doing manager things when I get a phone call, it's Joey G. He's at the new club, helping install the lights. I have nothing to do so, I tell him to come get me and I'll help out. He had his new puppy, Princess, with him who "found her voice". Her name is now Princess Bark-a-Lot. She barked at everything, and nothing. I believe she just liked the sound of her voice, ringing in my ears. She's a beautiful dog, though. A Weimaraner. Steel gray with blue eyes. Beautiful. We stopped by to see Miss Tene, she was out shopping, again and then we made our way back to the club. Luckily I was there, we needed to reset the lights to accommodate me when I am performing otherwise, I'd be in the dark. Yes, there are those that would prefer that. Bite me. The owner came in (it just hit me that I need to come up with a cute nickname for him soon) and I told him my needs for my dressing room. It'd better be ready by Sunday! 'Nuff said! There wasn't much to do after that so Joey drove me home.
Back in the penthouse, I give myself a once over, watch the early edition of the local news and decide to change. I grabbed a button-down shirt and ironed it, slathered myself with skin lotion because I am now a lobster. When the sun goes down, the colourcomes out! I got changed, made myself a cock...tail, watched Star Trek: Voyager and then walked over to the flower shop to get Becky and go to dinner. She was closing the shop, shutting off the computers and such, and then her husband drove us over to The Wonder Bar and Sunset Lounge for dinner. We met a friend of her's there, Joanne, and bellied up to the bar, ordering drinks and then food. The food there is amazing! I got the flounder Franchise, and it was HEAVENLY! Becky had the eggplant parmigiana and Joanne had the filet on toast points. Everything was delicious and I was quite satisfied. Joanne works for the M.A.O. (that's the Miss America Organization, to you) and she and I gossiped about all the girls. That was fun. It seems my friend, Kate Shindel, former Miss America, was a real bitch backstage! Good for her. And my favourite, Carolyn Sapp, was the only girl that Joanne thought was going to win from the outset. She said she never guesses who's going to win beforehand but, that year, she knew Carolyn would win the crown. I was in homosexual heaven, drinking martinis and chatting all about the Miss Americas with two fabulous women in a bar with great food! Sadly, the day had to end and we said our good-byes, Joanne picked up the bill for dinner, THANK YOU, DAHLING! She gave Becky a ride home and I wandered, for one last time that day, back to the penthouse, collapsing on my bed in a satisified heap.
I slept, deeply, until this morning. That felt real good! The sunburn, not so much
I am a life long resident of this little island on the east coast of New Jersey and I am the walking representation of Atlantic City. Which doesn't say much for the city. I'm a professional party guest.