Sunday, October 24, 2010

Discovering Long Island - Part 1

We drove and drove and drove, and reached the Hyatt Regency Long Island At Wind Watch Golf Club in Unpronounceable, New York (Hauppauge, if you must know) early in the afternoon, intent on further adventure. We gnashed our teeth on discovering that it would cost us $11.95/day per device to get on line, and resolved not be played for a chump. We headed toward the south shore of the Island and discovered that it’s dismal and grotty, as far from picturesque as the two Portlands are, or even the two Perths. There are prostitutes — some of them hideously pockmarked, others crossdressed, but lavishly five-o’clock-shadowed beneath their foundation — and pickpockets, opium addicts and scoundrels on nearly every corner, persons of color, persons of deficient morality and hygiene, the dregs of humanity.

We headed back inland, intent on finding a Starbucks at which we could get on line for the price of a frappucino or two, but agreed that by the time we found one and bought the beverage, we’d probably have agreed that it made sense to give the bloodsuckers at Hyatt what they wanted. I got on, and searched for local restaurants, and discovered that one called Mama Sbarro’s, apparently nothing to do with the national Sbarro’s chain, had received a lot of stars. ‘Twas there we headed after we had bathed and gotten all dolled up.

I shuddered when I saw the place, as there were vinyl checkerboard tablecloths on the tables, and no candles. Claire is very sensitive to light when she dines; if it’s too bright, her palate becomes desensitized. We ordered a gorgonzola salad and a Grandmother’s pizza, and both were so delicious that Claire barely mentioned the lighting. We headed back to the Hyatt Regency Long Island At Wind Watch Golf Club reeking of garlic, and I changed into my bathing costume, noting with horror as I did so that my meager pectoral muscles have begun to sag most unattractively, and that there are gelatinous rolls of ghastly flab around my midsection.

I nonetheless went down to the indoor swimming pool with Claire, and there dogpaddled back and forth a few times; since my shoulder replacement surgery in 1995, I have been unable to swim conventionally. I got out and dried off, and we stared daggers at the throat of an even more corpulent man than I, reading the New York Times in the spa. He showed no inclination to make himself scarce, so I tried to forget about his cooties, as Claire had forgotten the brightness of Mama Sbarro’s, and joined him. How glorious the hot water felt. I made my way over to him, gently removed his wire-rim eyeglasses, gently took the Business section from his fleshy hands, ran my fingers through the hair on his shoulders, and looked soulfully into his watery blue eyes. Our lips met, and then our tongues. Claire gasped disbelievingly from her chaise longue, and I somehow regained control of myself.

We returned to our suite (not the Presidential, but the Deputy Undersecretary of the Interior suite), watched a few minutes of CNN, and called it a day. Tomorrow we would explore a part of the island on which the street corners are free of human debris, where the wealthy frolic. Tomorrow we would go to the Hamptons.

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