It was a lovely day in the neighborhood. The sun was shining and the temps soared into the 80s, and people were coming out of woodwork. I took it as my cue to get out of Staten Island and to head over to Long Island—to the Hamptons, dahling, the playground of the beautiful.
First and foremost, I want to say that you haven’t lived until you traveled on the Belt Parkway heading east out to Long Island. Opinions may vary, and it’s been debated that the Long Island Expressway has every road in New York beat in terms of being the worst, but I say phoowee. The Belt Parkway takes the lead, hands down. Yes, it’s a lovely ride as you travel this well-built road. You get a wonderful blend of bumper-thumpers, Nascar-driver wannabe’s, and let’s not forget the Sunday pokies, Between the potholes and the lunatics, and the accidents and JFK Airport, it’s a miracle that you can make it out of first gear. But hey, I was going to the Hamptons, and I was happy.
Once I hit the Hamptons, my first stop was Starbucks, for a latte and a pee.
I would be totally remiss in my duties if I didn’t paint a picture of the colorful characters that I had encountered while in Starbucks. In the fifteen minutes that I was there, I saw two hippies wearing bell bottoms, bandanas with peace signs, and red, yellow, and blue tye-dye shirts, a gay couple whose names were Justin and Mark–I overheard their conversation—my bad, one Andy Warhol look-a-like, a group of ladies from Connecticut who were wearing red T-shirts that said, Bob’s tackle and lobster shanty, three super models from the 60s, and then me–oh, and a sheep dog named Russell who had a scarf around his neck that said, bite me. There was so much going on that I thought that I was an extra in a Quentin Tarantino movie and someone forgot to tell me. But hey, I was in the Hamptons, and I was happy.
After I left Starbucks, I drove into East Hampton to do a little shopping. I had planned on hitting Main Beach first, but then I decided against it. I parked my car by Citarella’s and walked down Newtown Lane. Can I tell you something? Thems purdy people out there. There wasn’t a fat person in sight; not even a plump one; not even a pot-belly. It made me a bit aware of the five pounds that I put on this winter. As I continued to go from store to store, I made sure that my posture was erect and my breath sucked in–after all, I was in the Hamptons, and I think I was happy.
From Newtown Lane, I decided it was time to hit the beach. What would a trip to the Hamptons be without going to one of their magnificent beaches? Right? So I headed over to Main Beach, parked, and headed for the sand. There weren’t too many people on the beach, but I was fine with that. I just wanted to absorb the color—the beautiful green ocean, the gentle breezes, the soft sand. I wanted to bask in the sun and just let my mind drift . . . drift . . . drift. Yes, I was drifting until I heard laughter. When I turned to look, a group of men and women were setting up chairs. They were taking off their clothes. They were perfect! Not a big one in the bunch. I then turned to my left. A couple of elderly ladies were sporting big floppy hats and shorts and they looked great. Gosh, darn! I casually tucked my Doritos into my beach bag and wiped the corners of my mouth. This place made me feel fat! And I don’t mean phat, people. I mean fat, as in fatty, chubby, puffy. But all in all, I was in the Hamptons, and I was adament about being happy.
From the beach, I went to take pictures of the fields and wildlife. Every street I turned down had beautiful people jogging on it. They were lovely, with their trim bodies and hair blowing in the wind. I felt my mood slowly deteriorating. I gritted. I was in the Hamptons, damn it. And I was going to be happy if it was the last thing I ever did!