September 1st, 2002


Burning Man Burns Without Us

City By Quito

Hi Everyone,

I just got home from seeing Austin Powers Goldmember for the second time. I didn't want to see it again but it was a vote of three to one and I lost. It was okay I got laugh at the scene where Austin sits or stands on Mini Me's shoulders in the sailor suit. I think the way he moved his hands when he walked was hysterical.

I was an anxious mess today. I don't really know why, things went wrong, but not horribly wrong, not enough to make my hands shake and my voice go up a notch and become quivery. Thank God for Scott, he came over and lay down with me and pet my head and listened to me and then I felt better. Its all just boring mundane daily stuff; Esther couldn't come, and there was a miscommunication over my sick rattie's antibiotics, and Jose the carpenter stood us up, again, and then after waiting for two weeks and being stuck home all day waiting for the Verizon DSL guy to come, he called and asked if it was really true that I had X number of cats, and when I said, "Yes it's true, why do you think I told them that, if I wasn't concerned about their making sure they didn't send anyone who was allergic to cats?" he said, "Oh well, I'm allergic to cats." Eeeeeeeyaaaaaaaargh! Then when he finally did come, one hour past the last hour they said he would be here by, he brought a friend who seemed totally confused by what I wanted. "Oh you wanted a new DSL account! Ohhhhhhh. Why didn't you say so??? I can't do anything about that." I did say so...TO THE MORONS I SPOKE TO ON THE PHONE!!!!!!!!!!!!! So what do you think I did? Yes, I took a Xanax. Is this how you become addicted? I suppose I could stay away from the Xanax and just become addicted to the pain medication my Mom gave me, that she doesn't want, whadda ya think? Should I? Should I?

Cousin Red by Hovering

I'm just really missing being on the playa. I miss the dust and being naked. I miss our little village and our friends. I miss the endless visual feast. I miss being able to go to a twelve step meeting in the middle of a fucking desert surrounded by drug addled zombies. I miss the inspiration, the creative expression, the feeling of community and being more myself there than I am when I'm anywhere else. I don't miss falling off my bike and bruising my calves and thighs, while trying to bring home some ice from Camp Arctica, I don't miss the constant threat of dehydration and heat exhaustion, and the feeling that I'm missing something when I need to just collapse in the RV. Oh and I definitely don't miss the really bad flu I got from this woman who came to us for help last year, who we thought was suffering from heat exhaustion, but who turned out to be realllly sick with a terrible flu that all of us brought home with us from the desert.

I thought there was no way we could go. I thought Mom would really be needing me right now, but I'd rather be on the receiving end of this miracle by association, and to be sitting here right now thinking, "Gosh we really could have gone," than the alternative. I'm so glad my mother is doing this well, and in a way I'm glad I didn't have to work my bottom off getting us there and back like I always do every year. Although I didn't realize how upset I was about missing it until I was sitting here in front of the computer watching the live feed today and my neck started tensing up and my hands started shaking and I thought, with growing alarm, "Hey, what is this, woah, this feels like an anxiety attack."

I'm really missing the sounds of Burning Man, and the playa dust, and the exhaustion of it all. I love coming home to our little camp and laying down in the mess we've made, helping each other take off our mud caked boots and collapsing, listening to Burning Man radio, listening to the sounds of people partying and playing drums in the distance, the occasional whoop whoop of someone riding by on a bicycle, the jingle of bells on the hem of someone's skirt, drinking cold water from the mini fridge, and the stars that I can just see through the cheap metal blinds. I am sending my heart out over the grapevine, and past Sacramento, and across the mountains, and over Reno and all of it's lights, and carefully obeying the speed limit through little Gerlach, and out on to the playa and into the arms of my sleeping friends, in their tents, and cars, and motor homes. I'm sending them my love and my wish for their happiness and safety, and I hope that next year I'll be stronger and healthier, more fit and able to go.

The Man Burns by Quito

Rabbits Fighting, Sad Tragic Stories From Irma

One of my more aggressive guy rabbits, a gorgeous white guy with black Cleopatra eyes, attacked my favorite rabbit, the fluffy white guy with the big blue eyes. Irma and I were hanging out in my bathroom, cutting his fur around his wounds, cleaning them up, putting hydrogen peroxide and Neosporin on them, poor guy. He's going to live in my shower for a while. My shower is super huge and nice. It makes a good infirmary for the sick pets because it has a window, and a nice breeze, plenty of space and the door is so heavy that the cats can't get in, and whoever we put in there can't get out.

Irma and I were talking and somehow we got around to the subject of her parents and her hard childhood. Oh my God I feel so sorry for her. It's so tragic that almost every latin woman I know has these terrible stories in their past. Oh I know, her grandmother used to keep rabbits, she had as many as three hundred and she built little houses and coops for them in her field. Irma has a really sick pedophile of an uncle who would steal the grandmother's rabbits and sell them. Irma told me that her uncle, the bastard, came in to her room at night when Irma was fourteen and tried to rape her. It was dark and Irma couldn't see but she could tell who it was by the sound and smell of him. He was drunk as well. Irma had a pipe in her room and she managed to grab it and swing hard against his arm and break it. After he left squealing she barricaded her door and spent the rest of the night alone afraid and crying. In the morning when the rest of the family awoke she went out and told them what happened. They all told her to keep quiet and not to make trouble, that her other uncle would kill Uncle Child Rapist if he found out. The uncle with the broken arm lied to everyone and said he fell down. The grandfather decided to keep the whole thing quiet because he didn't want to cause a scandal. Since then this sick man has attempted to rape two more children, maybe more, these are only the ones Irma has learned of, her nine year old sister, and her twelve year old cousin.

The worst story, well for me at least, the one that made me cry, was when Irma told me about her Father. All of the kids in her family were very close to their father. He was a good and loving man who worked very hard and never drank or spent his money on anything other than for his family. He worked so hard to get ahead that his family had just a little bit more than many of the other people in their little town and men were jealous. Irma wanted to be a nurse or a vet and he encouraged her. He told her he would send her to nursing school and all of her brothers and sisters had dreams for their lives that he supported as well. One night when Irma was nine years old two drunk men came by and began arguing with her father, taunting him and insulting him, picking on him because they were jealous. When he tried to push them away, one of the men pulled out a gun and shot her father in the head right in front of the family. The shot blew most of his head off. It hung on by just a small piece. He died instantly but his mouth moved up and down a few times, involuntarily, and Irma watched this. She got down on the ground next to his head, and with her hands tried to push "la sangre" back in to his head hoping to save him. She cried, "Papi Papi don't go, don't go, you promised you would never leave me!" Isn't that enough to break your heart?

After his death she was inconsolable. She climbed up a tree and wailed and wailed and refused to come down for a long time. It wasn't until her Mother took her to see a counselor of some kind and he told her that her grieving so hard would make her father suffer more on the other side, that she was able to let go a little bit. Through the years she has felt his presence around her, protecting her. A few years ago she was involved in a terrible four car accident on a busy street here in LA. There were three cars in the intersection stopped at a red light. Her car was in the middle. An out of control speeding car approached them from the rear. Unable to stop this car totaled the two cars on either side of her and left her car without a scratch. At the moment of the accident her father's face appeared to her in the glass of the window. He was smiling and reassuring her that she would be safe. Inside her car she watched as one of the cars lifted up in the air and moved past her. The woman in that car died instantly. The car to her left was so badly damaged that the firemen and the paramedics had to use the jaws of life to cut the man inside out. He had to be taken to the emergency room. The accident was so bad it made the news that night and no one could believe that Irma's car wasn't touched, not a scratch. How could this devastating accident have occurred on either side of her without in any way making contact with her vehicle? Miracles. Angels. I believe they are all around us.

Oh, and PS: The Verizon phone guys totally messed up our phones yesterday and now none of them are working right, grrrr.