I put a huge mug of water in the microwave to boil for tea so I would be wide awake and not in any way contribute to the accidents that people have out there on the highways when they're tired. Plus I didn't want to hit a cow or one of the kamikaze bunnies. They tell you not to swerve but that would be me, swerving to save a bunny. I had been driving so slowly that people were having to pull around me and that's when people get hurt. I would keep signaling and pulling over whenever I could, but it's a fast moving two lane highway that twists and turns around mountains and there aren't always places to pull over.
I set my tea on this cutting board and because the car is overloaded with all of our dusty crap and bags and bags of trash it's easy to trip and fall. I lost my balance and put my weight on this precariously balanced cutting board where I had just set the boiling tea and it poured down my legs, splashing a little onto Beau and filling up my socks with boiling water that melted the skin off my ankle. It came off with my sock when I ripped it off. I was in sooo much pain, oh man was I in pain.
Anyway with the big blisters and my semi-sprained back and two doctors telling me to put my leg up and rest for a couple of days, we decided to hole up, wash up, and try to get some sleep. Funny how I am addicted to so many things but feel absolutely no pull at all towards all the glittering neon lit machines downstairs that are built to separate me from my money. Ha ha casino, I'll take your cheap room with the enormous Jacuzzi fuck-tub and keep my money thank you. Lots of burners here, lots of sweet good-bye hugs.
I'm having such a good time. The sad phenomenon about this place is that, like some disappearing Irish fairie city, it starts breaking down and disappearing just as soon as you finally find your place in it -- kind of like Shangri-La. What I mean is that after the two-three days it takes to acclimate -- let go of your expectations and just be willing to let it be what it is -- just when you finally start making meaningful connections with people and having a truly super good time, it's almost over. Tomorrow is the big burn and then, pouf, people start packing up their glitter and their wings and they start leaving. Although now that we have this unbelievably fine temple/mausoleum, (and I mean truly, unbelievably beautiful, I wish all of you could see this powerful piece of art), it gives us one last big burn on Sunday night to rally round. We'll stay for that so I can say good-bye to Sonia for Ana and all of you and for myself. I'm also carrying generic good-byes for people so you can know I let people, places and things go for all of you.
I am listening to some of the best oldies funk on one of our many playa radio stations. If only the real world could be as free as this. I love that all the DJ's swear and get drunk and play whatever the Fuck they feel like. Nope, there aint no Clear Channel out here -- no cops shutting down anyone broadcasting anything more than a watt. How did we let this happen, let our own government sell us down the road like this and take away all of our rights? "Here we are live from the heart of the playa with Heat Wave, On the Groove Line, Power 92.4, your hot hits of the eighties on the Burning Man power station. Hope you're having fun out there on the playa. Empower yourselves people." Oh yessss, here come The Commodores with Brick House, yeay! Oh man, now they're playing Get Up and Boogie. I should go find these guys and give them all of our Red Bulls and Vodka because we're not going to use it and I can tell they will.
I took our big, ice cold bottle of tequila and s'more fixins out to our burn barrel and hung out for a while tonight. That was fun. I really like our mayor Zaphod! What a sweetheart, and he looked so cute today in his nurse costume. We're very lucky to have him. Dave too, I love E-Dave! Why can't we all be polyamorous and marry several people at once? Why can't I really mean that?
Did I tell you that the super Christian camp across the way packed it in and left? Mark had me laughing today as he was describing them coming in saying, "Okay everybody huddle up. We're entering Sodom and Gomorra -- group hug, stay strong." And there they were right across the street from us for a few days, handing out their water bottles with a big sign on their tent promising dream analysis but really offering "salvation" instead. By the time they left they were covered in dust and wearing all kinds of beads and necklaces just like the rest of us. I wonder what happened -- if they just realized this was so far beyond them and out of their league that they'd better get out before the Devil sucked them in, or if they had some kind of revelation, "Hey guys this whole fire and nakedness in the desert thing isn't really all that bad, let's get out of here and look for people who really need saving."
Oh that's the way, uhunh, uhunh, I like it. I wish I could get ahold of the play list for this night's broadcast or a tape of this. It's so good, reminds me of being in eighth grade.
Oooh man I've got a sunburn, and even my hair is killing me, must be my scalp. I must have burned it. Hey, I have nothing to complain about, people get really hurt out here. My new friend Pants ran into a guide wire out there in the dark somewhere, (it was surrounding a piece of art and had stupidly not been lit which is just careless and dumb), and nearly cut his ear off. He actually tore his ear away from his fave and went to the med tent and got stitches. They said he should go get some plastic surgery but he's here for the duration. I'm telling you, people are devoted.
Today was the critical tits parade but I missed it. This is a tradition here where all the women who don't mind getting ogled by thousands of cheering burners and not just a few hooting yahoos, take off their tops and ride around in this great group of bicycles. It started out as this kind of group act of female empowerment and may be changing into something else. I've never done it because frankly, I'm not overly fond of my breastys.
Most of the art cars that drive around here have some of the best comics operating their megaphones, well, great comics, and inadvertently funny drunks, but the comics blow my mind. I don't know how all of these camps manage to find such sharp people to do their amplified playa humor for them. Do they hold art car auditions or just turn it over to serendipity, always managing to get the funniest person to narrate their journeys?
God, they're funny, sometimes I laugh so hard tears run down my cheeks. I laugh and smile so much out here that I get facial spasms from using muscles that are unfamiliar with getting this kind of a work out. I started feeling like the guys on the mics were maybe all the same guy today, maybe someone Burning Man picked up at The Comedy Store and gave one of their grants to -- the stuff they say as they drive by is that funny. Every night when I come back to Kidsville there will be at least one or two enormous cars lit up, decorated, and filled to the skies with people all hooting and dancing and waving, with their music blasting. They are so damned loud, and they don't care what they say, there's very little censoring here. I mean right smack in front of Kidsville and some guy on a megaphone is shouting, "Can anyone help me find the clitoris," or, "Look out kids, I'm seriously fucked up here and I'm making a left on something that might be a street, wooooo!!!!"
One night I came home to find an enormous sailboat car with pirates at the helm and a moving two story Jamaican tropical playa party car with life size palm trees framing the entrance and stairs parked in front of our village. They had both come down the street from opposite ends and were squaring off in front of our camps. "This is an art car show down," one of the guys shouted, and with that both cars proceeded to rev their engines and try to out blast each other with music and happy, hooting revelers. I get a little wistful sometimes when I come home and see stuff like this because I am greedy, and am always aware of the ticking clock, the passage of time, and I want more, more friends, more sights and sounds, more experience, more hugs and connecting, but I have to come home and go to sleep sometime.
I've seen more skirts on men this year than ever before. Men look so hot in skirts especially kilts and tutus. You can really see their legs in skirts and there is something very enticing about the whole, "Hmmm, I wonder if he's wearing anything under that skirt," thing.
I've been having a really hard time getting on line from my RV, (oh poor me in my RV with my electricity and plumbing while there are so many people out there eating dust), so I went to the Playa Information camp, pulled up a couch and was finally able to send out a couple of posts to my journal, mainly because this VERY cool sixteen year old named Phil figured it all out for me and helped me get back on line. This kid seems like a genius to me, I recognize a kindred soul when I see one, so I scooped him up, dragged him home with me and he's been hanging out with us ever since. Right now he's jumping on the trampoline with Beau and Brett and a cute little girl I don't know yet.
When I was hanging out on one of the few super dusty couches at Playa Info with Phil today there was a guy seated just behind me who had me laughing. He'd read a e-mail and then exclaim something like, "My dog misses me and he's crapping all over the house. Oh poor Felix!" He was so funny. I told him about the angry gal I had seen in Center Camp complaining about the lines and her latte not being perfect enough. He said, "Oh yeah like, When I'm in the other desert my coffee comes like that," and he snapped his fingers. It just struck me as funny, how ridiculous it was for someone to be this demanding out here of all places. She really was being a bitch. I wanted to get seventies stoner hippy on her and say, "Hey man, chill, you're harshing my playa ride dude."
I would love to share some of my photos with you. I'm going to try but I feel lucky just to be able to write these posts, let alone get them posted. The servers are overloaded and the satellite link has a two-second delay that's makes things kind of iffy. Plus, aside from the pornsters who are busy at work uploading whatever snatchy snapshots they can steal, there are a couple of pretty complex streaming projects going on and they tend to shut things down every so often. I'm in a pretty good spot for getting on though, I have direct line of site to Gerlach and I'm near one of the big repeaters so I lucked out. People are blown away that we can get online from here this year. I even found a real working phone on The Esplanade last night and picked it up thinking there would be some funny recording on the other end, or that it was one of those, Talk to God phones where someone is on the other end pretending to be a God or Goddess for you. You can take your pick.
Oh YES, now they're playing Fire! This isn't eighties wasn't Fire a seventies song? I think I remember it from when I was in eighth grade. Damn I love this music, I wonder where these guys are, I'd love to go visit them and get on the radio with them and screw around. I'm turning this up, woo!
Oh God I just realized how much dust I have in my ears when I tried to scratch and itch. There is no way that someone reading this who hasn't been to Burning Man, or who doesn't have a very open mind, could possibly understand why we would be willing to live like this in order to be here.
Beau and his friends are playing around on the walkie talkies. I feel like I should stop them but they're having so much fun and I'm thinking, "Screw it, this is Burning Man, let them have some fun and freedom." There are so many people out there screwing around on the radios, I doubt anything these guys do will mess anyone up too badly. Right now they're just saying stuff like, "Burn, burn, burn the children," but earlier they were answering people's calls and misdirecting them, "Yeah, man I'm right over here, to your left, yeah that's it, I see you now." They were even using Phil's satellite phone thing to order pizzas. I was just like this when I was there age.
Earlier Phil, Bret and Beau hung out in our RV playing computer games on the TV I bought for Beau on the way up here. They were so happy playing games and watching DVDs that I just left them in their nice comfy home, while I went out with Dave, Mark and more wonderful Kidsville people. We had such a good time driving around in Dave's gorgeous black lit poetry fridge magnet car, handing out drinks from the cooler and words. Dave gives the best tours and I am able to see things with him that I would never be able to see on my own. I just don't have the stamina to travel that far, even on my bike.
We all sit on these comfy benches on the back of this truck with a canopy overhead and cruise the playa. Dave stops for interesting firey art installations or mind blowing trippy things and we get off and play for a bit. Julia, Jay and Shaya tried this rolling wheel thing one night where they hang on and turn end over end. It was pretty amazing. But tonight we just cruised and would pick up people and give them rides. The night air was cool and crisp and finally a little free of the dust that has been plaguing the city. First we picked up some very drunk guys who were spouting off about politics and stuff that made someone ask Dave to ask them to find another ride. He was so kind and tactful about it. They knew they weren't being too considerate and that we had a car full of younger folks so they got off without a fuss. It helps that Dave is this enormous man, tall-enormous, like a basketball player. Then later we got a group of giggly tripping blondes who sat on guys laps and told me they loved me and that I was, "Sooooo beautiful," and "I love you!!!" Everyone says this out here, including me, so it can be a little hard to discern who is wasted from who is just high on the vibe. They were sweet though and I enjoyed their company.
We picked up a nice guy covered in a red fake fur costume who called himself The Cherry Fairy. He had a little proper ladies pocket book that was stuffed with cherry flavored Jolly Ranchers that he would hand out along with hugs and naughty comments about losing your cherry and finding it again in his purse. He was a sweetheart.
I've been having a sort of prickly time with a few of the Germans in our camp. I don't know why. Maybe because they're a bit more direct and brusque than I'm used to and we all know what a sensitive little flower bee I can be. The first time I went to talk with this group of people to share toys and candy with them they hurt my feelings when they cut me off abruptly saying, "Vee are not accepting any tales of voe here." I was just answering their question about why I hadn't been here for two years. Then another one of the mom's in their camp was kind of rude to me later and just now their little girl, (oh man is she beautiful, she is going to be a stunning woman someday), smacked me in the face because I gently asked her to stop knocking over this other little girl who was trying to ride her bike. She did say, "Excuse me," twice before she smacked me though.
I made up with the parents of the little girl and befriended her parents so it's all good now. Funny how the second you make an unfair sweeping judgment about a group of people, you're proved wrong. It just took being generous, friendly and forgiving on my part to turn things around. I gave their little girl a princess crown and before I knew it, she was blowing me kisses and I was loving all things German. My grandmother was German after all.
I'm back in the RV now making cheese enchiladas to take to our nightly potluck. Last night I made a huge batch of my famous guacamole but the potluck was canceled because of the never ending dust. You really can't eat things outdoors when they're covered with thousands of grains of crunchy playa dust. Hmmmm...lemme revise that, you really can't eat food when it's covered in playa dust ; ) I think I have sex on the brain because I am so deprived. It's hard to be the condom fairy when you're single here, yep, Scott better be ready when I get back because I am taking him down!
Today I got Beau and his sweet new friend Brent to help me clean up the motor home and thank God they did because it was getting really bad in here. I found the cord for the printer, so hopefully I'll be able to make some of our art projects. I did finish Julian and Jackie's glittered snail though and they loved it.
Beau brought me a bag of ice from Camp Arctica so I'll finally be able to have some ice in a drink, yes, lovely. Although after what has been the most clear and sunny day so far, it's beginning to get chilly again. It was super cold last night, get out your polar sleeping bags cold.
I have met some of the nicest people here. It's always that way. I mean there are the fun and colorful, wildly partying people, that provide the eye candy for those of us who while we participate too, we would rather be out there taking pictures or sitting in center camp with a cup of cocoa and a laptop, or getting into deep conversations with people we've just met, than pole dancing naked on the top of a moving art car.
It turns out that Brett's parents are part of the original playa fish group. How cool is that? There they are, the lovely clown loach fish mounted to their bicycles and ready to swim across the night sky. I adore the playa fish, no scratch that, I worship the playa fish. It's a little like being camped next to Tom Cruise and I feel very lucky. Okay gotta go, talk to you later...