I can hear it.
I can smell it.
Smells like burning wood and fireworks ember and bacon.
Pretty tasty smell that.
I can see it, sort of, if I lean myself out the open door of my trailer.
But I am not much participating with this thing called Burning Man.
I am a part of.
And I am not exactly upset that I am missing all the “fun” and fire and boom and bang and the flashy, flashy, that can get all little overwhelming.
But I am feeling a teeny tiny bit FOMO.
Fear of missing out.
I believe that’s because I spent a lot of the day, a lot, inside a trailer, with the charge.
It was a horrendously dusty day.
I mean awful bad.
There was no going out all day, it started up pretty early and just barely seems to be ending now with the some of the bigger burns happening and the fireworks and the Friday night of it all.
I was yawning when I was checking in with the mom and knew that although I had drunk two cups of coffee at dinner, I wanted to be awake and ready to rumble, that the best thing I could do was call it an “early” night.
Early for me is midnight.
Which is already past my bedtime when I am in the default world, but it’s the earliest I can get myself to bed out here.
I’ll be up at 7 a.m. to do my deal and get ready to be ready to work at 8 a.m.
And that’s cool.
I could also choose to be cracked the fuck back and not sleep and hope that maybe I’ll get a nap or a bit of down time, but I so know better and despite a bit of longing to go out and throw myself into the fray, the fray is doing just fine without my pink fuzzy self out in it.
I sat down tonight in the Commissary with my boss, a Ranger manager, in a sea of rangers.
I had to laugh.
I stood out like a Fruit Loop in a bowl of khaki Cream of Wheat.
There were easily twenty Rangers at the table, men and women, all in various shades of khaki (not even sure that is possible, I should say arrayed in various styles of khaki), and then there was me.
Teal mini dress.
Hot pink bra.
Hair up with pink and teal and yellow roses in it.
Rainbow fishnet tights.
Hello Kitty striped hot pink socks.
It was hysterical.
I said it out loud, “one of these things is not like the other.”
“We’ll recruit you yet kid,” an older Ranger said smiling at me.
No I don’t think you will.
Not that I don’t think they fulfill an important feature at the event, I just wouldn’t be able to handle the drab dress code.
“They’re just so, cliquey,” the DPW guy said to me last night in line at the Commissary for dinner, he nodded to a couple of tables loaded with khaki counterparts.
I had to laugh to myself.
Pot calling the kettle black, my friend.
DPW’s traditional colors are dusty black.
It doesn’t matter where I go in the Commissary, I tend to stand out.
Maybe if I was hanging with the Greeters, but they’re few and far between.
This was my first day really rocking some bright colors, truth be told, I feel like I am growing up a little bit with my attire and my choices have been pretty utilitarian out here when I reflect back on previous Burns.
That’s not to say I am anything pedestrian in my dress, just a touch more restrained.
And perhaps there is a tiny bit more black in my wardrobe.
“You look like you have a Gate shift today,” the mom said one day earlier this week.
I had to chuckle at that too.
Y’all can try to categorize me.
But no matter what way it’s sliced I am going to be fabulous.
It’s just in my blood.
And so be it.
So, too, is Burning Man.
And as I told not one, not two, not three, but four friends, dear friends, close friends, like I want to spend a lot of time with these friends and here they are, some virgin Burners, some long in coming, that I was going back to camp to have a cup of tea and wind it down at 10p.m. and go to bed early, it hit me.
I want to have some Burning Man.
Since I have decided to pursue some graduate school action next fall I think this is where the nannying on playa stops.
I want to make an affirmation that next year I go to Burning Man as a tourist.
I’ll still work.
I mean I can’t not.
But just not as fucking much.
Not so much that I can’t go play with my friends.
It’s probably all for the best, my ankle is still healing and I would have to be chill anyhow, but still, I can hear it, there, just outside my door, the thrum of life and stuff just happening hard, and it’s not the party that I want to keep missing.
There’s plenty of magic still to be had for me this burn, I know that, and plenty of experience to grow through and from.
This too is spiritual for me.
This learning and growing and expanding.
My friend sharpied my arm a couple of days ago.
I am self-centered and often self-deluded, but it is not often that I put myself first.
It’s time I did.
I am good enough.
I am allowed.
Back at home.
I made my nanny bed for this Burning Man and I am grateful, so grateful, without the experience and the painful growth of the job I would not have reached out to the degree I did and I would not have had the enlightenment I have gotten.
And I am beyond grateful for that.
I emailed the admissions department at CIIS today.
I mean, if I was going to be stuck in a trailer in a dust storm all day.
I was going to make it fucking count.
But I am done putting Baby in a corner.
I am too fabulous to be stuck there.
Time to let me out.
I am ready.