Today was yet another day of living vicariously through the creativity of others.
We got to meet artist and writer E.M. Szuplat and photographer Ben Allsup in real life at the fabulous home they built themselves. I'm here to say, I want to start our house all over from scratch. We've often talked about blowing out walls and maybe parts of the ceiling and the house we were in today was a perfect example of what we're trying to accomplish. It was spacious and comfortable, with just enough nooks for cozying up in. They are soooo lucky they live at the other end of the Cape, or they'd find me in their kitchen with my coffee. Not only is their house fab, they are just the people we would hang out with if they'd let us.
They put out a quarterly photo essay journal called Ben Shot Me. I have the July issue and love it. Back when I first tried posing as an artist I looked for artsy magazines to put on my coffee table. There was one called Raw I especially liked. The cover was the heft and texture of watercolor paper and it was something like $97 an issue. Okay, maybe $20, but at the time it seemed like $97. Ben Shot Me is the magazine I would have picked up if it had been around then. It's filled with Ben's photographs and E's narrative and it's just silly brilliant. I'm not sure I ever read Raw all the way through, but I pick up Ben Shot Me frequently and revisit my favorites.
We stayed as long as we could but then had to bail because Chris had been invited to a clambake in Truro and was intent on going because they tossed out the ultimate Chris bait - they asked him to be the sound engineer. I had insisted that the kids and I Were Not Going but then I realized I'd have to cook if we didn't go. Also, Chris threw out the ultimate Susan bait - it was at a farm.
Maybe that's not the ultimate Susan bait, now that I think about it. He could have said anything about it and I would have been baited - it was the end of season bash for Payomet theater, it was held at the farm where Shakespeare on the Cape lived and rehearsed, and there was a real live clambake.
In all my years of living here, I had never seen a clambake. We got there just as they were unloading the pit and watched buckets of lobsters caravan past on their way to the serving tables. The kids sang and danced on the rehearsal stage, which was in a big, barn-like building. The whole atmosphere, with the rustic accomodations and the mix of theater people, reminded me of the theater our friend Liz's mother started in Orleans many years ago.
Here's something you didn't know about me: I was in a documentary with Kurt Vonnegut. While he was still alive. Okay, okay, I didn't actually get to meet him because his part was filmed separately, but I was an extra in some of the background parts and those background parts may eventually end up somewhere in the vicinity of the Vonnegut interview, so there. The documentary was filmed by Liz Argo and was a sort of memoire about growing up in the theater. She filmed part of it at a summer camp in January, in what was probably the dining hall. The farm we went to tonight reminded me of that camp and it gave me a greater appreciation for Liz' love of her mom's theater. I would tell you what it was called but no amount of googling is reminding me of the name. Olympic? Maybe.*
Meanwhile, back in real time, we ate lobsters and chatted with Shakespearean actors from Minnesota. One of them coached us on dismembering the lobsters because she had worked at a fish market in Provincetown all summer. "I smelled bad," she said.
Now we all smell bad and are covered in drawn butter. I brought the kids home and tossed them in bed, making a mental note to give them a good scrub down before school tomorrow - the moist towelettes may not have quite done the trick.
*Word from Liz - it was the Orleans Arena Theatre