Fondly Remembering The Wrong Fat Bear Week

(NOTE: Based on time elapsed since the posting of this entry, the BS-o-meter calculates this is 6.03% likely to be something that Ferrett now regrets.)

Every summer, my grandparents took the entire family to Provincetown for a vacation. I think it was because they loved lighthouses.

Except that Provincetown was the biggest East Coast gay hotspot in the 1980s, and so there were assless leather chaps and butch lesbians a-go-go. Which was not a downside, from my perspective – I loved the energy there, the exultant love of some people who didn’t get to be themselves much finally breaking out for a weekend without fear.

To this day, I don’t know whether my grandparents were okay with gay people or just cheerfully oblivious, as was their wont. It’s entirely possible they saw all the rainbow flags and hugging men and just thought “Oooh, a party.”

That said, Provincetown remained a magical city in my memory, and I was super glad when my family planned a group trip after my grandparents passed on – I could bring my own daughter to see the fun!

And we arrived at the perfect week:

Bear week.

Yes, Provincetown has a week specifically designed for hairy, beer-bellied dudes, and I strode oblivious into the heart of it, unaware of all the ramifications.

Within an instant I was a dude magnet, with all sorts of men striking up happy conversations. People were checking me out as I walked by; I had, without changing anything about myself, become the preferred archetype, my body now the pinnacle of attraction.

Which was nice! I was in no position to do anything about it, of course, as I was with my family, but it was a sea change, seeing how someone like me could be considered a legitimate object of desire.

This all hit its highlight when I got into a mock argument with Gini, and she jokingly said, “Don’t think I won’t leave you for another man,” followed by me saying, “Oh, you picked the wrong place to make that threat.”

But the best part was the lost Asian man.

See, we had a hotel where we had to walk to Provincetown, about a mile and a half walk – a pleasant trip as the remote bed-and-breakfasts and residential homes turned into candle shops and clothing stores and advertisements for whale watches.

We were walking back at night, just after the big nightlife had geared up, when a confused Asian dude on a bike pulled up next to us. He was skinny, wore big glasses, spoke very little English, yet his face was very expressive, especially in the glow of the flashlight he’d affixed to his bike handles.

“Where… Provincetown?” he said, waving in huge circles.

We indicated, through a series of gestures, that there was a dogleg curve ahead, but basically it was a straight shot through and if he kept going forward he’d get downtown.

He nodded, taking it all in, then frowned and risked a question:

“Many bear there?”

It took us a moment to process, but when we did we smiled and said, “Oh, yes. Many bear there.”

His face broke out in a wide grin, his head bobbing, and he repeated after us in a languid dream-voice: “Many bear. Many bear.” And with that, we gave him a merry wave and he pedalled off into the darkness.

You beautiful twink, I hope you found every goddamned bear you wanted that weekend. You deserved it.

1 Comment

  1. Jacqui Bennetts
    Sep 25, 2020

    this made my day, and I (a cis white chick) have just read it to my own bear, who vicariously enjoyed your weekend experience of being “the man of the hour”.

All Comments Will Be Moderated. Comments From Fake Or Throwaway Accounts Will Never Be approved.