So I went to Burning Man with nothing but a shitload of clothes, books, and $320. ($80 was spent on various rubbish that I ended up leaving on the bus) What else was there for me to do? I had no car, and I knew no one with a car that was heading for Black Rock. I went with nothing. It was an event I'd been waiting to attend for over 2 years. It was an event that meant everything to me. There was no way I was going to miss it because I didn't have any water or anything.
So I hitched a ride to some sort of highway, and then I hitched a ride to Black Rock City, and then I arrived at the gate and was informed of the price for a ticket: $300. Joy. I handed over the rest of my money. "Commercialized utopia has made me another one of its victims," I thought.
But then things started to happen.
Warning: here's where it starts to get good. Don't read this if you're easily jealous.
Friday night. I went over to the LiveJournal camp. Not a bad place to start, right? Everyone was beyond kind to me there, and nothing I said or did came close to making up for this. Water was given to me. Food. Shelter. Cigarettes. Drugs. Showers. Twas this great big community thing, and I entered with absolutely nothing. Some of the camp residents were annoyed, I understand, some even thought my behavior to be abominable. (and discussed this behind my back, of course, because being upfront is scary and all) Others, like Toad and Sam were incredibly helpful and understanding of my situation, not to mention a blast to hang out with. Toad was one of my first LJ friends, and getting to see him at The Playa was superior. We started hanging out immediately, running through a dust storm like maniacs, acknowledging that all of us were together and Home. Finally!
And boy did I have a great time. I can't even begin to describe a fraction my experiences, but I can state that the past week has been the best week of my life. Never have I met so many beautiful people- inside and out. Never have I seen so many different universes, all combined to make one big universe called The Playa. So many camps with so many diverse themes, all their own realities and parties, all their own pieces in the Participation Puzzle of the worlds largest Utopian Freak Gathering. I swear, mother, it wasn't a dream. Imagine attending 100 different parties/universes per day/night, each of them containing mind blowing music and eye thirding sculptures and conversations 10 times more insane than than the ones you have previously dubbed as "classic." Imagine repeating this art of party surfing constantly, as you yearn for water that will keep you from passing out on the sand. Dehydration is easy, kids! Imagine a world full of dust, dust, and dust- invading your body and clothing and space-in-itself. Imagine a survivalist unity brought on by these harsh desert conditions- conditions that the cast of Survivor would look at through eyes of confused pre-school children.
And it was real. All of this was real. Last year I want to San Francisco and figured I had entered a utopian fantasy that took place in my head. This year I went to a utopian fantasy that took place in the desert and shared in-my-head friscos with others of my figure. Boy have things changed for the better. Boy have I. I knew I could do this. This past year of my life- all of which has been documented in my journal- it feels like every single show I went to, every single crime I committed, (in the name of free thought) every single person I talked to, every single ideal I experimented with- all of it was a journey that eventually lead to its finale: Burning Man. For the first time in my life, I feel like I'm a part of my generation. Not just some sarcastic deconstructor of it.
There's so much more to write about. The irony of missing the actual "burn" because I ended up falling asleep when it took place. (so you can be a non-conformist among non-conformists) The regret of not writing notes to my father and grandfather at The Mausoleum, which burned more beautiful than anything I had ever seen. The gentle kindness of people like Oddlet and her boyfriend, (and a shitload of other people at the LJ camp whose names I forgot) who were angels beyond my comprehension.
There was hanging out with wonderful people like Paul and Kurt (aka. Donnie Darko) and this guy-in-a-dress that I ended up biking around The Playa with. (forgot your name, buddy, and where'd you end up going that night?) There was meeting up with Jody and Tempus and Catling at a close-by camp, all of who were extremely great people. There was meeting up with my droogie Speed, (and introducing him to Toad) who I hadn't seen since old skool New York days. There was even meeting up with my pal Mike, who I hadn't seen since San Francisco.
There was tripping on microdots. There was riding on art cars that you'd need to see to believe. There was running around naked without being asked if I wanted some beads. There was reciting random absurdist nonsense to people who not only understood it, but replied to it with some of their own. So many musicians! So many writers! So many discordians! Where else can the majority of your surroundings recognize your Sacred Chao tattoo? Burning Man, of course.
And what I have written will never come close to doing this event justice. Maybe pictures will help. I've gotta say it: you can't say you've truly lived until you've been to Burning Man.
How will anything else ever compare to what I've experienced? Won't everything seem utterly boring now? Am I going to miss "fitting in," something I experienced for the first time in my life last week?
So many questions. So much so much so much. What happened when The Burn was over? We went to the Peppermill Reno-Casino and checked ourselves in. Who is this "we?" Me, Sam, and Kit. (who likes to rock) Lots of other burners there too. We were taking over the hotel! But none of it was anything compared to The Burn, except maybe the all-you-can-eat buffet that did wonders for our stomachs and minds.
What's on your mind?
(posted from my journal)