Maybe I should refrain from beginning each post by telling you how burnt out and tired I am, you can just take it as a given that if I'm in the RV writing, instead of out there living, it's because I need to take a break from the heat and the sun. I can tell I'm fighting a cold or an allergy to the dust so I'm pounding the vitamins and that's been helping. I would so love a shower right now, but our shower is filled with junk I brought to give away to the kids, and pretty much anyone we fall in love with or feel like being nice to, and even if it weren't I'm worried I might use too much water and fill up our tanks. We finally got the potable water and the Johnny on the Spot guys to come and help us out. Sixty dollars to refill the water and sixty to clean out the grey and black water tanks. We're all so desperate out here that as expensive as this is, I don't think it would make any difference to their business if they raised their prices even more. Funny how everyone is so happy to see someone who smells like shit ; ) I'm getting pretty sick of having to use wet wipes and Purell to clean my body. After all of this expense and sacrifice I'm actually feeling a little homesick, missing my man, missing my cats, missing the comforts of home, overwhelmed by everything out here, not the least of which is this personal situation you have to read between the lines to understand.
I got to bed pretty late last night and was a bit overwhelmed and exhausted by my playa meeting/reunion situation. Then there was the whole thing with Beau and his brand new friend who spent the night with us. It wasn't easy to sleep worrying that my fifteen year old son might be about to lose his virginity in the next room, yeeee. Nothing happened and I didn't really think it would because he's still so young, besides I've got the condoms right here in the drawer next to me and he knows not to do anything without one, but the whole situation was a little weird because it's new for us.
I woke up early wondering if I should try to get some more sleep or just get the hell up and start my day. I chose the latter, put on a vintage slip dress and a bridal veil and went out. I wound up having French toast with Kether and her terrific son in Dog Camp. It was delicious, but frankly anything cooked out here is delicious. I brought some home to Beau and even though he is a fuss when it comes to food he gobbled the whole thing down.
Some boundaryless person is playing his music right outside my RV with the base turned way up. Thump, thump, thump and not cool trancey GOA ravey whatever music either, just kathunk, chaka, thump, thump, thump, argh. I seriously hate it when people do that, it just seems so rude -- assuming that just because you like something, that everyone else will too. <<---- Can you tell I'm grouchy?
I need to get back outside and hang with friends because it isn't good for me to be isolating so much, but I stayed out pretty long this afternoon taking pictures at center camp, and just had to get in out of the sun. I would have stayed longer but my damned camera is giving me trouble -- my brand new camera, typical. I should have brought our old one as a back up, but we couldn't find it, also typical.
I have a few hundred pictures already, so it's certainly better than nothing, but I'm just getting started, just flexing my visual muscles. God, I hope I can figure out how to make my camera read it's memory card again. It keeps saying, No Memory Stick," but I'm actually using a 1GB Compact Memory Flash Card. Aha, I know what I'll do. I'll ask Rashid for help, he can fix anything, either Rashid, Mark or Chaz.
My friend Furious Alchemy who I met last year is here now. She came over and had a Red Bull and sat under our shade for a while, while she nursed her daughter, who really wanted the Red Bell instead. Her little baby girl, who you can see wearing a tutu and chugging nothing out of an empty beer bottle on my icon page, is sooo cute. She's a little witch, literally...damn someone's at the door.
After breakfast I went over to Julia, Jay, and Mark's camp and hung out for just a little bit before we heard this loud, elephant roaring sound outside that made us all get up and run out to see. It was a Wooly Mammoth art car called Ma'aM, or something like that, I should know how to spell it since I married her in a same sex ceremony. I had the veil on and everyone kept asking me who I was planning on marrying so I decided to marry the mammoth, why not, people marry anything out here; strangers, bikes, phone booths, so why not an enormous bicycle pedaled wooly mammoth?
At about the same time that Ma,aM the Mammoth came by, Daisy the giant preying mantis with the huge wheels came by and they ended up chasing each other around the kid's trampoline.
Savina came by today and talked me into going to center camp with her, so I fixed my hair, put on a costume, got my camel pack, (a water pack that you wear on your back that has a tube you can constantly sip water from -- but I hate mine, because it's hard to suck the water down out of the pack), and whatever else I needed, and went out with Jo, Naemi, (Baba's daughter), Savina's friend and Savina. It was fun being out and about. We passed the Black Rock Book Mobile, a few bars and too many art cars and pretty creative things to try to describe. Its overwhelming how much there is to see -- there's no doing it.
Center camp was the mad mass of colorful pretty and unusual people that it always is. We started walking around it in a circle and eventually split up. Jo and Naemi wanted to get a Chai and some ice so they left, and I wanted to take pictures, so I went off by myself. There was a really funny singer doing a whole song about Nicolas Cage on the center camp performance space stage -- something about how he used to be cool but now he sucks, and then he went off listing all of the famous people who used to be cool but now suck. It was so funny.
Random things from the radio:
"So how come you can't drink a beer in public in the US but you can go out to the desert and build a Fucking Tesla coil. I don't understand."
"God takes care of you while you are on acid."
"We are now on maximum overload."
"Daily affirmation; Giving a gift to someone else is the greatest gift you can give yourself.
There was a little trading card drawing station where I made a pretty basic childlike drawing of grass, flowers, a sun, and clouds and wrote Kidsville on it. I got some illegally photocopied books from the Border Free book station and took some pictures of people with interesting hair. But the coolest thing I did at center camp by far was to walk on glass. There was a man with an assistant whose art project was all about facing your programmed fears so he had a pile of broken beer bottles, was walking on them and encouraging people to try it. I sat down and watched a man do it. When I saw this I thought that there was no way on earth that I was going to do it, but after sitting around for a while, I thought, "Why not?" So I got up and walked over to the man who was showing people how to do it.
He didn't tell me too much other than to step carefully down onto the glass shards. He said to commit to it and ignore the fear, said that if I moved too quickly, or panicked and tried to jump off, that I might cut my feet. Can you believe I did this? It was easy; just four steps and I was off. No pain, just some scratchy feeling afterwards. The weirdest part was feeling the glass crunch and break under my feet. Then afterwards I got a hug and a round of applause from the people who were watching, which was nice.
There was a man there who was thinking about doing it. I thought he was going to go before me but he kind of backed off so he could watch me, probably to see if I got hurt. He was so frightened. When it was his turn I coached him through it and he was fine. Of course it wasn't exactly heartening that the man whose project this was had some scabbed over wounds on his legs in a few places, and I think he had one on his arm. Lord knows what all else he's been doing if he walks on glass all day.
I talked to him for a while and he said, "I can tell you need to something else. You really need to confront your fears." He went on for a bit about fear and was pretty good at it, in a kind of fear coach way. He got out an arrow and I had seen him doing something with the arrow with another man but I hadn't watched all of it. I knew you were supposed to put the tip of the arrow right up against your throat and then do something but I didn't know what. He put a rubber protecting cup thing against his chest, pointed the metal tip end of the arrow at me and had me stand against it then told me he wanted me to run towards him with all my might. He said it would hurt more if I panicked or slowed down. He asked me what I wanted more than anything and I said, "To be a working actor." He said, "What's stopping you?" I said, "I am." So he said, "Imagine that your dream is here where I am, being an actor is right here, and the space between us is nothing, it's all an illusion, all fear that isn't real. Now run hard." So I kind of threw myself against the arrow and it bent, splintered and broke. So cool. Then he gave me the arrow as a souvenir and I got more hugs. I still can't believe I did this. My Mom is going to die when I tell her I walked on broken glass and put an arrow to my throat, heh. No worries I won't tell her this.
This is what the DJ on our main radio station just broke in and said;
"Don't you people come in here and Fuck with me any more. Jesus! Good God mother Fuck. Don't come in her and bullshit me any more! Don't do it. I'm not here to talk about butt sex. I'm not here to talk about grey water. The fatwa against the grey water people still exists. You grey water people are in a world of shit. You heathens, you infidels. This is a behavioral pit in Black Rock City, you're all going to go to hell. Come Saturday night you're going to roast in an inferno and turn into a black crisp, the lot of you. There, I'm glad I got that off my mind.
If you are a freak, you are at home. You belong here. Except for that little freak who tried to get me to go on the air and advertise computers for him. And that's why I launched into that obscenity laced tirade. Wake up everybody, it's time to snort your cocaine, or stuff heroine suppositories up your butts, or I don't know, take those little pills that make you really, really happy. I don't know. We're here getting ready for another night of deviant behavior and I'll be here until one."
After I'd been at center camp for a while I decided to go by Media Mecca to pick up a paper. I passed The Artery and saw a huge overloaded art car waiting to leave on it's tour of the art here on the playa. They were too weighed down and needed a few people to get off, but no one wanted to. The driver was using their PA system and saying, "It's not complicated people. We're overloaded and we weigh too much. We can't leave if some of you don't get off...I mean it...Get the Fuck off NOW!"
There's a platform next to Media Mecca, (this is where all of the journalists and photojournalists congregate), that's a little hidden or nondescript -- it has a narrow wooden staircase that leads up to it and frankly I don't know why more people don't visit, but I was feeling brave so I ventured up. There were couches, some fabric hung around to create shade, two professional photographers, someone passed out on one of the couches, and a wonderful view I've never seen before. I took some pictures and chatted with one of the photographers for a while -- he was really nice, but most people are out here. I was looking down taking pictures and saw Halcyon, one of my Live Journal friends, passing by on his bike so I called out to him, he stopped and I took a picture of him and his friend who was holding a big rainbow colored umbrella. I had promised to tell him that one of our mutual friends here on LJ had asked me to say hello for her but I didn't get the chance.
The kids are back, yeay! What a relief, I worry so much about them when they go out. I have to let go and trust that Beau has his own wings now and can make good decisions for himself, but when you hear stories about art car accidents and roofie laced drinks it's hard.
After my little rooftop vista visit, I went by the post office to give them a gift and thank them for delivering the mail. I waited my turn, got up to the window and gave the man a pack of outside world stamps. He asked me if he could have a kiss so being a bit shy -- despite what you may read here -- I thought maybe I'd be a sport and go for a little peck-kiss. I am just so sick of all of the open mush-mouthed kisses that the men give you out here; kisses that say, "Hey, I'm looking to hook up with someone for five minutes, would you be interested?" So I gave him a peck kiss, because honestly, the only person I really want to be kissing is Scott, and I'm missing him badly, so bad I'd like to weep, and even though I love it here because honestly there is nothing like this anywhere else in my world, I'm a bit homesick. Then he asked me if he could spank me.
I forgot that spanking was something they used to do as a rule at the department of immigration and naturalization. I got spanked once years ago there and it hurt my feelings and stayed with me for days. Could it be because my parents spanked me all the time when they weren't threatening me with Daddy's belt? Ya think?
I remember now how they used to have this camp, that looked kind of like Playa Info does now, where people would line up for discipline. I have had more than enough of shame and discipline to last well into my next fifty lifetimes and don't want any more here, thank you. I know it turns some people on but it just doesn't do anything for me other than make me cry and feel very small, and if anything I am certainly not a bottom.
I didn't realize that DINS had been folded into the post office so in addition to having to deal with the disgruntled postal employee factor, there is this long standing spanking tradition. When I went to get postcards I had to deal with this aggressive bastard at the window who tried to get one of those wet open mouthed kisses out of me and since he couldn't get that he asked if he could give me a "little spanking." Stupid me, I thought, "Oh Jacqui, you big prude, why not get in the spirit and let him give you a little pat on your bottom?" Big mistake. He gave me the hardest whack on my ass that I have ever felt. It hurt so much it surprised me and when I turned around he took my picture. I wanted to kill him but he was behind this little window and was so pleased with himself that I just decided to extract myself from the whole situation -- get away as fast as possible! I so need to improve my boundaries -- I am getting better though, much better.
I read in our daily event guide that some camp is giving coffee enemas to people. Come on by and get your daily cup in a very "special" way. I can't think of anything more disgusting to go do here, but if you give me a minute I'm sure I could just walk outside, ask a few people, and learn of something far worse. You really can find just about anything out here; from guided meditation, massage, yoga, pancakes, origami making, Hello Kitty, nature walks, Altered Ego Sock Puppets, Barbie, fairy tale theater, inner child workshops, 12 Step meetings, and Coloring Book Camp to speed dating, Orgasmateria, Negotiating Sex; How To Get Laid at Burning Man, Porn & Eggs, Cock Tales, Absinth Happy Hour, Whiskey and Whores Stripper Ho-Down, and the Great Canadian Beaver Eating Contest, but enemas, out here, administered by strangers to strangers, oh God it just makes me, squinch up and wince.
Someone came by Kidsville and put on a mini fireworks display for us at dusk on the back of an upturned burn barrel. It was pretty; showers of sparks, the kids loved it, hell, we all did.
My back has been in bad shape, (sorry to keep writing about it, but hey, you know me, if I feel it, chances are I'll end up putting it down here), and I ended up having to come in and rest completely flat for a while, but I was too lonely and bored in here all by myself while everyone else was over at Julia and Jay's or the potluck. I sent veggie crumbles, (it's made from soy and you can use it instead of hamburger), a couple bags of shredded cheese, some oatmeal raisin cookies, and my table and tablecloth that no one brought back even though they promised.
A couple of my neighbors were telling me how they like to go to some sex camp -- sex, booze, and gambling to be more precise where they have some area that is set aside for sexual acts. How come I never get to see any of this? Could it be because I live in Kidsville, probably the most sexually sheltered encampment on the playa? Anyway, the wheel is divided into various sexual acts and if you spin it your partner has to do whatever it lands on to whomever you designate to be on the receiving or doing end of this. The husband said, "She wouldn't take her spanking. So I made her suck dick." Ooooh yeeee, I just don't experience any of that side of Burning Man at all. Although honestly I wouldn't mind getting a little more voyeur action around here, and perhaps attending some tantric sexual workshops -- come home and surprise Scott with a few improved pleasure-enhancing techniques.
I took the village greeter shift tonight because everyone else has either gone out to party or has tucked in for the night. This means I get to wear the strange, crystal-studden, metal Kidsville breastplate necklace thing and read the spiel to whoever pulls in to our village. I've been doing this anyway because the poor greeters can't be everywhere at one time and most of the people who pull in end up stopping right in front of our RV. I hope no one comes because my back is spasming and I have got to rest it -- same goes for any visitors --I just don't want any more tonight. No more knocking, please, I just need some time to myself. I WISH I has some of those wonderful necklaces to give out that one of our wonderful parents was kind enough to make for us. They are awesome, it must have taken hours and hours to make these, to say nothing of the cost. Necklaces are very dear to people here, it's pretty clear that the more necklaces you have, the more you've interacted with the community. Sometimes all it takes is a hug or a pat on the back and before you know it someone will be hanging another necklace around your neck. So sweet.
And as if the universe had ordained it, just as I finished writing that last paragraph a car pulled in. I jumped out of bed, (jumping isn't something I should be doing -- and doesn't it just suck that I get to have my back go out when I've gone through so much to get here, grrrr, pfffft, meow, sigh), grabbed the folder and a flashlight, put my necklace on, and ran outside to catch them. I walked all around but couldn't find anyone so it might just have been someone who was lost. Thursday is a little late to be pulling in to Burning Man anyway, I mean where are you going to find a spot to camp that isn't way waaaaay out there?
I stopped by the camp of the super nice people who've built a black light dome with really great looking cut outs of dragons and Thai figures painted on the tent walls, and puppet dragons hanging around the place. They've also built a black light string maze that looks a bit like the children's string game Cat's Cradle but on a giant human scale. You're supposed to work your way to the center of this mass of criss crossing black lit string without touching any of it. It's so cool. They even have a stereo system blasting and what looks like a shaved ice bar. It's just perfect for a bunch of teenagers to hang out in. Sadly, Kidsville is so big that our big group of teens couldn't see it and the couple who built it are just standing there without anyone there to enjoy it. Sad.
Damn, another car, gotta go...
Okay that's it. I am officially done being a greeter for Kidsville for the night. Pulling in here after midnight and then leaving without giving a gal enough time to put her shoes on and run outside. You bad people, you've ruined it for the rest of the kids. I'm only an hour or so away from the end of this shift anyway. Yeah, like I'd be able to resist going out there if I saw another car pull in, sigh.
Beau and Phil, who just got here today, (finally, thank God, we've been waiting for him), and Julia, Jay, Mark, Baba, and Connie's kids are all together in one big group. They went out on their bikes. I think they started at center camp and were going to get drinks. I'm thrilled that he's out with Jo instead of the gal who stayed with us last night. Nothing against her, she seemed very cool, smart and sweet, but like any meddling parent who wants their child to fall in love and marry the child of their friends, I want him to be with Jo. They're so alike, they wear their hair the same, they both wear black shorts, or long baggy black pants, and an assortment of black tee-shirts with risque or cynical things written on them. And they both play guitar and are super kind and good. I love Jo -- too bad we can't all pair our children up with the people we think would be perfect for them. I used to think this was the most horrible practice until I picked my own partner and ended up miserable and then divorced. Maybe there's something to this match making business after all.
This is so wonderful for Beau, that he's out there with this gang of kids. He must be having the time of his life, with all the fun and funny people out there. And there is so much to see that they would never in a million years see at home, if it even exists anywhere other than here. Plus he doesn't have a big group of friends he hangs out with in LA like he does here. He's kind of the center of attention with his funny sense of humour and his big bunny costume. I'm happy for him. I hope he's safe.
I stopped off at the med tent today to check and see if they had any information about Craig, our young Irish friend from last night, but they weren't sure. (Oh my God I just found my Blistex, Blistex is like gold out here, but then so are a lot of things. A man came by on a bike with a baby in front asking for "butt cream" today and luckily I had some A&D ointment for him.
I feel a little sad because there is so much going on out there and I just can't do it all, or even one tiny fraction of it. It's like being a kid at Disneyland and having to go with your parents to some dumb restaurant when you want to be out there going on all the rides. It seems like we all spend most of our time making our camps as perfect as possible -- building them, decorating them, fixing up our bikes and costumes and then just when everything is finally ready it's almost all over.