Pride Month in Provincetown, Cooler Abandoned at Bethlehem Library

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A few weeks ago we went to Provincetown for a short stay. I hadn’t been to the cape since my kids were little, but was quickly reminded why I love it.

There were little stickers on the backs of signs and utility poles that said “Be Kind.” There were red hearts painted on mini pallets in the windows, which had remained since the start of the pandemic to support essential workers.

We walked down Commercial Street in P-town with all the rainbow flags and just took in the positive, accepting vibe. June is Pride Month and I am angry at the actions taken in other parts of the country against LGBTQ+ people, especially children. Who has all this time to hate?

I’m very busy with my life and I try to find time to read all the books I accumulate. In Provincetown, I visited Tim’s Used Books, a well-stocked respite from the heat, and picked up Roxane Gay’s “Bad Feminist” and Edna Ferber’s “Giant”.

I’m reading “How to Write an Autobiographical Novel” by Alexander Chee right now. He writes about his first protest in 1989, also the name of the chapter. He was in San Francisco to demonstrate against government inaction during the AIDS epidemic:

“Everyone is running now, and everywhere batons are going up,” Chee wrote. “Screams come from the street, and in restaurants up and down the block doors are locked and diners are told you can’t leave, not now, sorry for the inconvenience.”

Chee also writes about how he studied with Annie Dillard, who also lived on Cape Cod, and is one of my all-time favorites. Last December during our road trip to New Orleans, we stayed at a hotel in Virginia near Tinker Creek. “Pilgrim at Tinker Creek” won Dillard a Pulitzer, and his description of a frog being decimated by an aquatic insect was seared into my mind by a journalism professor sharing his writing. It’s a bit awkward, but we stopped at a parking lot by the creek and my daughter spoiled me while I paid her respects and took pictures.

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I finally finished “Ulysses” with the book group and the last chapter completely put me in an “everything, everywhere, all at once” sort of way. (Don’t worry, I won’t spoil the movie or James Joyce’s book ending.) Both were epic and invigorating. I will leave it there.

I didn’t start thinking about summer reading because, you know, I was a little busy with “Ulysses”, but I finished “Activities of Daily Living”, a great debut by Lisa Hsiao Chen. The novel features a Taiwanese immigrant caring for her aging father and trying to create a project about the Tehching Hsieh, a performance artist who spent a year living outside of New York, one year tied to another. artist and a year to strike a clock. time.

Chen weaves a moving meditation on the passage of time:

“Why was the time it was important?” It wasn’t like he had anywhere to go. Later, Alice and Amy learned that losing track of time is one of the first signs of dementia. Lose your sense of time and you lose yourself. When were you?”

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If you are unaware, Bethlehem Public Library will no longer charge fines. My city has this reputation of being rich, but many don’t. Not so long ago, when I was walking towards the library, a man asked me the direction of the pantry (town hall). So I am happy that Bethlehem is joining this national trend to remove fines. It’s another way to be nice.

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