Jacqui (jacqui) wrote,

Burning Man 2004 -- Night of the Temple Burn

Hi Everyone,

Well, it's our last night here : ( We had the big temple burn tonight. It was somber and glorious at the same time -- a white hot inferno of a fire in the deep desert night. Some kind someone was playing bagpipes. First they played Amazing Grace and then everyone laughed when the bagpiper played Ozzie Osbourne's I Am Iron Man.

It always feels good and healing to let go of things here. I had left an inscription on a round wooden tablet for our friend Sonia and it felt like she was with us as the whole beautiful thing went up in flames. Last time I let my Dad go, and my fat...

We rode out on the second trip out to the temple with E-Dave on his art car. He's given away most of his blacklight refrigerator poetry magnet words. I gave rat to a man driving a rat car today. He seemed pretty happy about it.

Everyone stood in a great big circle around the blazing ruins of what was the most elaborate, deeply devotional piece of artwork I've ever seen out here.

On the way back from the big temple burn tonight, Beau was zooming along on his bike when all of a sudden from out of nowhere this guy popped up in front of him and Beau had to slam on his brakes in order to keep from crashing into him. He said he thought he was going to flip over from the force of having to stop so suddenly. The man grabbed Beau's bike and urgently said, "Can I ask you a question? If I called you a fucking chocolate would you take that as an insult or a compliment?" Beau said, "I guess I would take that as a funny insult," and he said, "Why would you take that as an insult?" Beau said, "Well, I think it's kind of random and random is funny but it also feels like it could be an insult." Then this strange guy said, "Will you do me a favor? Would you yell at any one person tonight and call them a fucking chocolate?" So Beau agreed and then he came home and kept yelling this at people in our camp.

I had ridden out to the temple on E-Dave's art car but when he was gathering everyone to leave I had t get off to allow the littlest ones to take the first ride back. After everyone got on I was the only one without a bike to ride back to camp. I just stood there watching everyone drive off. I knew that they would come back to round the rest of our group up and give us a ride home but it would take at least forty-five minutes to make the trip home and return and it was dark and I was cold and I wasn't certain E-Dave would be able to find me. I didn't want to stand there all alone for almost an hour so I started to trudge back towards camp with all the rest of the people.

At first I was feeling a bit sorry for myself because I'm not as strong as I'd like to be, but I'm getting there, and this is one long walk in the cold dark desert night, and I felt so alone. I couldn't even make out center camp any more and with the man gone and so many of the street signs pulled up by souvenir hunters it's super disorienting. I just kind of followed what seemed like the biggest stream of people, bikes, and art cars, and after a while I could just make out the lovely, colorful, high flying flags of center camp in the distance.

I had the kids walkie talkie and was enjoying listening to the communications flowing back and forth between people. Eventually my walking took on a kind of meditative rhythm and as much as my feet and blistered heels from my black kitty cat shoes hurt, I began to enjoy the walk. Only one person was rude and it surprised me, so out of place in this normally very loving patient place. Apparently he didn't like that I had stopped to take a picture of one of the many gas lamps that our kind lamplighters guild light up for us every night. He said something like, "Why the fuck don't you take the picture from the other side?" I hadn't thought of that -- I was so tired. Yelling at someone because they made you have to slow your bike down a smidge and veer a little bit around them is so otherworldly and unnecessarily mean seeming because this is just something we all deal with every day out here. I can't even count the number of times I've practically flipped over someone stopping to hug someone else or to take a shot of something, and people are forever stopping suddenly to pick up some candy wrapper or little piece of trash they inadvertently dropped. I know he was just some mean pissed off guy who was here to grok the chicks but combined with my already deep seated sense of abandonment that made the experience of walking back alone from the temple seem kind of pitiful and lonely, it stabbed at my childlike heart and made me sad.

I felt better when I finally reached the site of the man and got my bearings again. Then I felt kind of accomplished about being able to walk so far, despite the exhaustion and my shaking legs, I would never have been able to cover this much ground just a year and a half ago.

I decided to head over to visit my pals Julian, Jackie, Randall and Pants to say hi and see how their burn went. I also wanted to thank them again for the bike that I had left back at our camp. It was pure happy serendipity that the very first people I ran to as I approached center camp were Julian and Jackie, and Jackie was wearing the skirt I had given her and looked so cute. She had actually looked pretty fab earlier in this sweet little black and red Swiss miss kind of alpine looking costume. We all exchanged hugs and I walked them back to there camp and visited for a bit. Then I had a cruise around center camp looking for my bike and when I knew I wouldn't be able to walk any further I collapsed on a bench next to some reasonably attractive guy.

Here's a funny kind of naive thing about me -- I am so out of the loop, re. getting picked up on or having any kind of random one night sex, that I have to have something happen a ton of times before my brain kind of begins to get it. I'm so slow that way. We had this okay conversation -- exchanged the usual pleasantries, asked the usual questions, but then I started to get that he was probing for a sexual opportunity. This is something I always dismissed in the past with a, "Oh he can't possibly be interested in me, I'm too fat and unattractive." I'm still pretty overweight and my self esteem isn't exactly flying high on model level octane so I kind of go into the same old familiar mode when people are hitting on me, or I get shy and quickly scoot away. I was doing the latter when he went in for the usual burner good-bye hug and kiss, only he kissed me with this really sloppy, wet, open mouth. I blew him off as kindly as I could but it only occurred to me later that the whole open mouthed, wet-kiss thing is obviously an invitation to something more. Sheesh! Can you say duh? And I just figured this out.

When I dragged my aching body home all of the boys were in here playing on the computer -- they were finally able to get on line and were watching cartoons on newgrounds.com.

My sweet, genius friend Phil, the young man I met at Playa Info the other day, has been hanging out with us all the time and he's really great. I'm so lucky to have met him. He can do pretty much anything with a computer or anything else he puts his mind to, plus he's kind and considerate. He's helped me so much. He even put the gas in our RV for me tonight and has been handing out our glow sticks to people. I took him to our pot luck for dinner and he rode out with me to the burn tonight. He was able to get my computer working again, then he got online, downloaded the printer software and the templates for the business card sized cards I wanted to make, printed them out and laminated them for me -- amazing!

Beau is really driving me nuts tonight. He's overexhausted and acting super young because of it, poor guy. There was a girl in our camp today who he was attracted to. It was surprising to hear him say it. He told me that normally what he first notices and is attracted to is a girl's face, but that this was the first time he liked someone for their body. She had been wearing this cool clear corset and she looked really good in it.

Julia and Jay left this afternoon which just sucked. I was on my way out for a ride on the art car and the thing about these car rides is that you have to take them when you can get them or you may never catch a ride again. I wanted to go out to the temple and leave a little memorial plaque for Sonia so I knew I'd have to take this ride or risk never being able to go out there. It's too far out for me to walk and the bike ride is pretty grueling, although I have done it twice this trip, just not when the temple was open. So I was getting my stuff together to go out with Dave and the gang when Julia and Jay told me they were leaving : ( I loved being with them and it really and truly sucks that I can't hang out with them on a regular basis. I love them, all of them, all of their family. I even held Julia's ex-husband Mark's hand for a short while tonight. That was a rare treat. I adore him and he's usually a bit reserved or shy.

I would like to go off on the merits of duct tape here, how it's pretty much useful for anything out here, but I think I've been blabbing at you enough and I want to get some sleep or maybe visit my friends at the burn barrel.

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