Long Island — Heaven on Earth? Or the Other Place?

My son has visited his grandmother’s graves.  They are on Long Island.  Sometimes, as parents do when they have no answers to children’s questions about love and loss, we say, “Nana and Grandma are watching from Heaven.”   About two or more years ago, I had to tell our son that a family friend — family, really — had died and — well, er, um — gone to Heaven.  “Does that mean he is buried on Long Island?” our son asked.  I responded that while some people believe that Long Island is Heaven on Earth, we in Manhattan think of it as a place to keep and honor the bodies of our dead loved ones, but that Heaven was not a place on Earth and surely not on Long Island.

Fast-forward to this week of vacation in rainy Montauk. Yes, on Long Island.  Heaven on Earth to some (not us, especially in the rain). Today is Day 3 on the road to Utopia.

For a retreat for the rich and even-richer, my experiences in the Hamptons and Montauk today were particularly democratic.  All of us thought we would be around a pool or at the beach.  But the weather is the great equalizer.  We stood cheek by jowl and vied for tickets at the local movie house or a table at the local pizzeria.  You may be a titan of industry when you are in NYC, but here, HERE, in the RAIN, don’t even THINK of trying to take THAT table in the greasy pizzeria.  I did offer a chair to a woman with a particularly large number of diamonds on her finger because the weight of them seemed to make her list to the left in a most unbecoming way.  Tragic deformities of wealth.  Good thing we are not at such risk; we will have good posture.

Julianne Moore was browsing the Montauk bookstore with her husband and daughter.  Of course, her children’s books were on display.  Since she was a lead in the movie, “The Kids Are All Right,” I wanted to kiss POB (partner of blogger) to show her that women of a certain age with children can still feel love and passion, even though she portrayed some of us as insipid, mousy individuals.  Ok, some relationships, gay or straight, are that way.  But, it would be great if a major motion picture about lesbians wasn’t a feel-good movie for straight people.  Am I ranting?  Ok, so I am ranting while staying on some people’s version of Heaven.  Is this the closest I will get to the Pearly Gates?  Oh, boy, am I in deep shit.

I also went to the gym in East Hampton, because the stress of staying in Heaven while it rains was getting to me.  A woman started to talk to me in the locker room.  Apparently, even in Heaven, I have “schmuck” written on my forehead and a magnet for random strangers.  She was telling me that she needed to work out, rather spontaneously, because she was upstairs at Citarella and some woman continually bumped into her in a rude manner and then blamed her.  Apparently, she thought I was staring at her bizarre work-out “costume” (ok, she was right).  I looked around for the Court of Judgment and listened for those trumpets, because since this is Long Island, and therefore, Heaven, there must be a divine court of justice.  Hmmm.  Must be on vacation until Labor Day.  Back just in time to render judgment on me for Rosh Ha-Shanah.  My timing is impeccable.

The other thing I realized is that Long Island cannot be Heaven because I recognized some business people who said they would see me in Hell, and given their business habits, I believed that they, at least, would be THERE.

Gosh, I would love a relaxing beach vacation.  Anyone know where I can find one?