Wednesday, June 18

Desert Notes

This lady came running up to La Gringa and me walking down the near-abandoned Palm Springs strip singing, "Free at Last! Free at Last! Thank God! We're free at Last!" I swear to God himself, I thought she was a runaway from a nutso farm.

Alas, no. She was referring to gay marriage becoming legal this week -- coincidently the week of our vacation. Everyone thinks we're on our honeymoon. La Gringa has taken to snorting with laughter every time someone asks us. We were busting at the seams when a couple of gay guys got married yesterday here in a $38,000 wedding for 100 folks. I hope to God that didn't include a wedding dress...

I'm surprised by Palm Springs being so, well, deserted. I am certain this is not what wordsmiths meant by the word desert. Or they did, but they didn't realize it involved a bunch of empty kitchy shops and old boarded-up fag haunts. A few old gay guys were buzzing on at Coffee Bean & Tea (yum) this morning about the heyday in the 'P.S. I Love You' they used to know -- cool cars, cute men and Bloody Marys for breakfast.

The Palm Springs I remember was family reunions, my grandmother holding court with all of her siblings, children and grandchildren at the then-posh Hyatt; zillion Miss California pageants (not me, for goddsake, but my cousin, who in fact, won Miss California after four attempts); water fights, cold--freezing cold -- condos of our friends; lots of liquor and the one and only time I tried magic mushrooms and saw stars that were so bright that I still remember the desert sky.

I'm not sure which memory to take home from this trip. At the half-way point, I'm in limbo between the Palm Springs I used to know, the Palm Springs of Tab Hunter and Frank Sinatra and the hot, dry, quiet one in front of us.


EDubyaH said...

You are there in the quiet season. My parents live there for 6 months out of the year and they and all their buddies abandon the place in May at the LATEST and come back around October. It's just too hot down there in the summer.

It's much more bustling in the winter months. We were down for Memorial Day weekend last year and people were leaving for the season in droves.