When I last left you, I had just finally sat up, literally and figuratively, from some phase of grief after my Dad’s death. What got me to sit up was the idea of making a fabulous, over-the-top costume for Provincetown’s Carnival.
An accidental drop of the local newspaper, the Provincetown Banner, had revealed that this year’s Carnival theme was “Space Odyssey.” And that was it. It had to be done. The puppets screamed a phrase through my ears from one side to the other – “Ottoman space invaders.”
Firing up the jets of my Internet engine, Safiye Rakkase (the vainglorious dancing girl puppet) and I scoured the web for inspiration – sending away for 12 yards of silver tissue lame fabric at $2 a yard, a Venetian-style silver mask, 6 dozen silver Mardi Gras beads and a large, three-person silver umbrella (as the forecast indicated rain was in the future of the Space invaders).
As soon as M. arrived back home on the Fast Ferry from Boston for the weekend – I made my way into town in search of glitter. What better place to look for glitter than in Provincetown’s West End? In addition to glittery Pinwheels and a turquoise-toe manicure, I slipped into the famous House of La Rue for some turquoise face glitter (to go around my eyes under the mask, and all along any skin still showing in the midst of all of that lame.
Dressed in a chartreuse kaftan, coordinating turban, MAC dark lipstick and silver flip flops, I made quite a female entrance into that bastion of Gay male dress up and/or drag preparation – but I was tolerated and indeed, the gentlemen were quite gracious (even if I didn’t buy the turquoise-sequined hot pants that caught my attention (would have been fabulous under my silver lame toga – but hot, I reasoned). Soon, I had all that I needed for my costume – and felt heart-warmed when M. broke out his artistic talent to craft a rocket pack for himself – and for our dog.
With “Space Odyssey” as the theme for this year’s Carnival celebration of life – the hardware store overstocked on silver-colored tape, mylar wrapping paper and all manner of plumbing and exhaust piping that could be made into rockets and the like. Preparations went on for days around town – and numerous space-related dioramas appeared on porches and low-slung rooftops overnight.
On the morning of Carnival, carousers could be heard all around town at all hours – but only a little in our quiet neck of the woods. For us, though, it was Safiye Rakkase who was shaking her booty (along with the dog) to space-themed disco since 3 a.m. We reasoned that it was going to be a long day…and by 7 a.m. when we walked the dog – we saw that that Commercial Street was already abuzz..with aliens of all kinds. Green-wigged and antenna-wearing aliens, aliens in underpants only (is that really a costume?), rubber cone-head masks and a few folks as way into it as I was.
When the time came, I departed the house fashionably late – having added a last minute brainchild of a pinwheel where my veil would have been – and descended the stairs in slow glory to the applause of my neighbors. In the end, I received not one but two of the highest honors a mere plebeian such as I could receive – numerous beads thrown at me by drag queens dressed to the nines – and many requests for pictures with the tourists.
It all brought a smile to my face, and while it likely would have somewhat horrified my Father, I think he would have understood the fun of it as well. After all, he was known to dress for Halloween each year, Esma the hippie puppet reminds me.
- Provincetown Ferry Runs Aground In Boston Harbor (boston.cbslocal.com)
- Joe Biden Visits Provincetown, Praises Gay Rights Advocates (towleroad.com)