Oh today was a long one, a really full day in every respect. So much happened. I want to go back out and play but just to ensure I stay well I've put myself to bed. Beau of course is out playing on the trampoline wearing his big bunny costume. He can't play on it during the day because there are too many little kids bouncing on it and it wouldn't be safe for them to have a big kid on there at the same time.
I'm so excited that the Internet it up and working again. I keep checking to see if I can get some posts out but it's always been down. I just opened my laptop to write an entry anyway and saw that I had a strong signal so I quickly uploaded the posts I've written so far. I have lots of pictures but it's slow and I doubt I can get those out. I'll try when I'm done with this entry, but I can't promise. At the least I'll make a photo album when I get to Phil's and you can help yourself to my pictures then.
Oh God I have to stretch my legs. There, that's better. My back is getting better but still delicate. Despite using sunscreen I wound up with a sunburn. Oh well. It's not that painful, just stinging and hot, mostly on my back and shoulders. I spend a lot of time running around in the sun here so it was to be expected.
I finally managed to attach the basket to the back of my bike and wire all of the happy smiling felt flower people to it so it looks like a fuzzy green grassy flower garden thing. This morning I made nicer tassels for it out of lots and lots of yarn. Beau took some of our flashing wand necklaces and attached them to the spokes of his bike so it looks really cool when the wheels spin, but this is nothing compared to some of the things people are doing here. I saw the most amazing dragon fly bicycles today. I don't know how they were able to ride them and keep them balanced with all of the weight. They had tails and huge wings, just beautiful. And the EL wire artwork on the bikes here is outstanding. There's no keeping up with it. You just have to do the best you can to contribute some beauty and forget about, "keeping up with the Jones's." You know, I've been using that expression for so many years and I don't even know who the Jones's are or were.
Kether, a fellow Mom here in Kidsville, who does a lot of work, organizes some terrific workshops and things, and has a sweet little girl, rode out on E-Dave's art car with us this afternoon. She seemed pretty overwhelmed and tired. She told me she had a piece of mail for me but never gave it to me. I'll have to try to find her and pick it up. If you've sent me something, it's kind of a haphazard chancy thing. So far I've received three cards and I am so grateful for them. I've never received mail here before and everyone is so impressed, which is fun for me. Kether made a little comment about how I write so much that I must not have a full time job. This is my full time job ; )
It turns out that Kether was so wiped out because she'd worked a greeter shift and she's taking care of another Mom's little girl because she, (the Mother), was run over by an art car trailer in one of those accidents we hear a lot about out here. The kind where you fall off the front car and get run over by the truck or trailer in the rear. This happened Sunday night and she was in very bad shape and had to be Medivac'd out to Reno. It ran over her face, shoulder, and ribs. She has a lacerated liver! But we heard she had been released from the hospital today. She's a single Mom like me and was here by herself. No one knows if she's going to be able to come get her daughter. Kether also mentioned that she was riding with one of our rangers when they were stopped by a naked man on a bike. Turns out the jerk was some kind of undercover agent for the Nevada DEA or whatever they're called. When once they were so cool about everything out here, these guys are serious about busting us now. They go undercover and try to get into camps and RVs score some weed or something and then bust you. Wow, times sure have changed. I guess the days of innocent naive stoners walking up to cop cars asking for a light are long gone.
Some of the people from the Nevada Home School and the Bureau of Land Management came by in period costume. They were dressed as pioneers and were looking to attract a few kids for their program tomorrow at ten. They have some artifacts from the pioneer days of the playa and want to do a presentation for the kids. I took them around to chat with all of the parents I could find, but there is no way that Beau and I will be up by ten, nooooo way!
There were more skywriters today and paragliders which are always fun to watch. Santa came by to give all of the kids wrapped presents, which was so nice. Then later Santa and his entire camp full of Santa people came by in a great big parade of insanity, with angry screwed up clowns harassing the Santas. The Santas would say things to the clowns like, "Who invited the Fucked up clowns?" It was all so funny. Then after the Santa parade was over, there was a black light puppet show, a movie screening, and the fire spinners came.
I met someone very important to me tonight and it was good. I'm so relieved and still a bit shocky. I've mentioned before that I can't write about it because I need to protect her privacy. It's complicated. Anyway, I've been waiting and waiting to see her and didn't know she'd stopped by yesterday and left a note in the mailbox. On a ride out past the man and the temple, (which sadly is nothing compared to last year's temple, or the year before, or the year before, for that matter, it's beautiful, but very, very small and just nowhere near then magnificent structures of years past, I don't know what the deal is), Kether mentioned that she had some mail for me but it never occurred to me that it might be from the person I was trying to connect with. I thought it was more real mail.
Tonight, after a long day of helping kids and their parents, and having a nice potluck dinner with our neighbors, I had gone over to watch the fire spinners who come every year to camp to put on a demonstration for the kids. There were so many different spinners and my knees were hurting so I sat down on the playa and was watching. Then several of my little girlfriends came and sat with me. I was having so much fun talking to the kids and watching the fire spinners that I just barely heard someone calling my name. She said, "Jacqui, Jacqui, is that you? (It was dark) I have so and so here for you. She's been looking for you." I was floored, just completely shocked, because after several days of waiting for her I just wasn't expecting her to show up right then. We hugged, and she hugged me so tightly and hung on tighter and longer to me than I did. I suppose I was feeling shy and I had been prepared so as not to overwhelm her. Her boyfriend was more emotional than we were. He started crying, then I started crying, and I don't know if she cried. Then we went to my RV. I gave her the three magazines we were in and some giftys. Then Beau came by and they hugged but he wanted to go off on his bike with friends so he left. My friend and her boyfriend were hungry so I made them veggie burgers and we sat around talking while people kept stopping by to say hello or ask for directions or help.
I'll write more about this privately after I've had a chance to think about it for a bit. I'm kind of overwhelmed and wrung out right now. It's so odd but I feel kind of numb. I expected it to be different. I thought I'd be much more emotional but it was okay. It was weird; sweet, exciting, confusing, and okay. She is so pretty, smart, self possessed and interesting, and her boyfriend is just a big ball of love. I just wanted to take care of them -- give them water and sweaters and keep them safe. I'll be seeing more of them soon, I hope.
There is the weirdest radio program on right now, well, how can you call anything out here weird, but this is definitely different. It seems to be all of the radio transmissions having to do with a terrific train derailment long, long, ago. There's a train with thirty cars on it in addition to it's engines, the brakes have failed, and the train keeps picking up speed. It sure sounds real. There are people on one end of the radio trying to help the poor engineer -- telling him to bail out into a snow bank. So compelling.
After my friend left I hung around in my camp and played host to friends who would come by, have a drink, and sit and chat for a while. It was nice. I was sitting with my friend Baba and my new neighbor Vag who had come to tell me she had found her son who I had offered to help her go look for, when the little girls from next door came running over to tell me that there was a drunk man in their RV. A drunk stranger in their RV when their parents have gone out for a couple hours? I ran next door and by then the guy had figured out that maybe he shouldn't just be hanging out in a strange RV with a bunch of scared little kids.
He was young and attractive, blonde and so cute, and he had a sweet vibe, but he was seriously Fucked up in the weirdest way. He smelled of booze, but he was mostly just really tired. He had had way too much to drink, wound up in some strange camp, passed out, and woke up to find a couple of guys trying to pull his pants down. He had passed out in a very gay camp. The boys invited him to, "Come and sit by the fire," and brought him something to drink that he knew had been spiked as soon as he had a good gulp. It was clear that he was on something much stronger than booze. And he was so sincere, had the cutest Irish accent, was so polite, and told the same story over and over so I believed him. I wanted to get him some help and report what had happened to the rangers, because hell, if you can't be irresponsible and pass out here without worrying about being molested, then we are all screwed, literally. But I wasn't feeling strong enough to trek out to the med tent and the rangers so Baba and Vag kindly did it for me. I got his e-mail. I hope he's okay. There was no way he was going to make it back to his camp in that state. I mean he was in Kidsville pulling a Robert Downey Jr. even with the water, protein bar, and lights I gave him, he needed some real help.
Then all of the kids from next door and some neighboring camps came and hung out with me and we talked about what happened while waiting for their parents to come home. Their parents were not happy about this. Their Dad was so angry.
One of my favorite, favorite men here, Rashid, who I bonded with last year, and who is soooo helpful, kind, generous, and handsome, in the coolest Asian kind of way, came and hung out with me, which was really nice. He has his two super cute kids with him. His ex-wife is here as well, but she isn't camping with them.
Oh my God, I was reading my comments and found one about New Orleans. When we left the world to come here the hurricane had slowed down substantially and it looked as if everything was going to be okay. I had no idea it had hit this bad and that thousands of people may have drowned. I'm crying. I'm so sorry. How can I be here, lost in this world, with no one saying anything about it, while this is going on? We have a complete news blackout here, or well, I do. I haven't picked up our daily newspaper that I love. I just haven't had the energy.
Crap, there goes another helicopter. I hate hearing them because I know they mean someone's been injured : (
Oh dear, Beau's back and he brought a teenage girl with him who I've never met or even seen in Kidsville. She says she is too tired to go home to her camp. It isn't in Kidsville. Oh God, if it were me and my child just holed up in someone else's motor home all night, I'd be a wreck. There's no way I have the energy to walk her home, and she won't go, says her parents won't care and probably won't even be coming back to their camp tonight, and Beau wants to sleep with her. Oh my God, it just never ends...
PS: Sorry I haven't been able to reply to your comments, keep 'em coming though, they mean so much to me. I feel a wee bit lonely and cut off out here, yep, even in the midst of all of these people. There's a guy way, way out there on the playa, past the man, past the temple, who was lonely here last year and came up with the idea of making himself an art project that required community interaction for his survival, so he's put himself in a Plex box of some kind, (I haven't seen it yet, but Beau has), and will be living there for the duration of the festival. There is a little cut out in his box where people can hand food, water, and gifts through, and speak with him. I think his name is Dickie and he's got to be the most popular guy out here this year, although it sure doesn't look like he'll be getting laid this year, which seems to be the main preocupation of most of the men and some of the women, if you go by what you hear on the radio.