Key West Day Four
Yesterday Father Tony and I began the day with moped jaunt around the island, stopping first at the Key West AIDS Memorial, which is a simple and serene series of black granite tablets laid into the sidewalk and engraved with the names of some of the more than 1000 locals lost to the disease, an enormous number for a town of 25,000. Then we visited the island's rather unobtrusive cruise ship port to watch the hanging of a massive rainbow flag in advance of the debarkation of 1200 lesbians on a 12-hour stopover from their Olivia cruise. See Father Tony's video interview with some the passengers.
After an afternoon spent poolside at the Island House, our party of junketeers set off on a tour of popular guesthouses where we were served yet more cocktails and nibbly bits. First stop, the historic and antiques-filled Curry Mansion, where 90 year-old proprietor Edith Amsterdam charmed our boys with self-deprecating stories and her history of AIDS fundraising (although some were more impressed with her collection of vintage Chanel suits.) Then we dropped in at Cypress House, a formerly "all-male resort" turned "all are welcome" guesthouse. And finally we lounged poolside at the still all-gay Alexander's Guesthouse, where a British couple was holding a long-distance worry vigil for the ailing Morrissey. OK then. The junket portion of the evening concluded at the Eden Hotel's Azur restaurant, where the food came along rather haphazardly, but the abrupt torrential downpour outside caused us to linger without complaint.
Upon return to the Island House, Father Tony ordered me out on a scouting mission to determine the state of a Halloween-themed "Dungeons & Dragons Leather Fetish Party" being held at 801 Saloon. Minutes later I phoned him to report that not only was the club packed, there was significant line at 1am. However, he declined to join me when I revealed that the patrons were mostly non-homosexual swinger types and rubber catsuited faux dominatrixes leading drunk faux slaves around on leashes. The depraved perversions of militant heterosexuals know no bounds.