Archive for August, 2012

Planes, Trains, and Playa Meltdowns

August 30, 2012

Ooof.

I had my first official playa melt down yesterday.  I am taking it really easy today.

Really easy.

In fact, I am taking it so easy that I am going to go take a nap here in just a few moments.  I am tired.

God.

I am tired.

It is so hard to sleep when the sun is coming through the tent at 6 a.m.  I wake up, run to the loo and try to sleep as much as possible.  I generally can’t stay in bed past 8 a.m. I can’t get back to sleep as it gets hot way too fast.  I did have the chance to sleep in a trailer the night before last, but as I was trying to make a lot of things happen yesterday I was up quite early.

Quite.

I wanted to make sure that I had every possible angle to take care of so that I would have the time to go for an airplane ride!

Getting ready for lift off

Airplane ride

I ran into an old friend who flew in from Boston and saw me as I was headed to a meeting and offered a ride.  I said yes in a heart beat and asked that I be able to bring one more person with me.

My darling Erica, my right hand woman, the best volunteer ever, ever, ever.

And John Curley’s partner.

I have gotten to spend some really nice moments with them since I have been here.  And she is such a help.  I don’t know that I could do it without her.  The drama factor is higher than some other work enivironments that I have been in, shocker, consider where I am, and she is a steady solid rock.

She was the first person that popped out of my mouth.

And I did not know that she was a little nervous about flying.  I forget that not everyone is interested in going up in a four seater Cessna.

Me, I can’t wait to climb aboard.

Apres the flight

Erica lands on the ground safe and sound.

But she was such a trooper.

She even steered the plane a little!

I just sat back and enjoyed the view.  It was a pretty awesome view, despite being poor visibility.

There was a lot of dust and smoke on the edges of the horizon and the mountains were fairly obscured.

Unfortunately, as well, the plane’s windows were very dusty and the visibility just through the airplane’s windows was poor.

None the less it was an awesome experience, more so just to have Erica be along for the ride.  I have known folks who have never gotten to go up in an airplane at Burning Man and I have gone twice.

The price of the plane ride was high, though, and I literally did not realize it until later that day when I was having my melt down in the living room over a dirty sock.

Yes, that is correct.

I lost it over a dirty sock.

The whole team landed yesterday.  The living space was taken over and that is not a bad thing, it was just what was happening.  I did not have  a place to decompress and when I came back from a long day, a late dinner, and intense work strife, all overly dramatic and silly, I broke down.

I just wanted some god damn privacy to have my cry.

I thought I would source a little space on the dusty couch in the corner.  I would take some wet wipes and sit down and just breathe and attend to my hands and dip them in coconut oil and wash away the day.

Nope.

Instead there was mister dirty sock laying on the table next to misses abandoned stinky shoe, also laying on the table.

I lost my bits.

I lost my pieces.

I just stood there and shuddered.

My tent too hot, too dusty, too much.

I cried standing up shuddering.

I tried to go to another trailer, which was the hottest box of dust ever.  I thought I was going to throw up from the smell of dust in my nose and the dryness.

I went into another.

Cocaine.

No thanks.

Another.

Bottles of Jack.

Fuck me.

I went back out and tried the hot trailer again, sobbed for a minute and then pulled it together.

I got the wet wipes, the coconut oil, a coconut water, turned off the radio, sat down and just sat.

Sat.

Sat.

Sat.

I asked the friendly stranger to not touch me and I put some good music on my Ihome music cube and closed my eyes.

Tears ran down my face, and I breathed in and out until I could feel myself get back into my body.  After much-needed moisture fled my body I needed my hydration, so I got more coconut water and then I cleaned my paws.

I was exhausted.

Secret sauce?

I am really tired now too.

Slept in the tent last night and up by 8 a.m.  Breakfast, write, iced latte, meeting,  walk around camp, lunch, down load some photos and now, well, now I nap.

Hopefully I may actually go to Burning Man today.

But first to sleep.

And perchance to dream.

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Lost Days

August 27, 2012

Time is plastic out on playa.  Sometimes you lose a minute, sometimes an hour.

I lost a day this week.  I keep thinking that today is Saturday, but it is not.  It is Sunday.

The gates open in one hour and forty-five minutes.

Fuck me.

I have been a busy monkey.  I am now on a radio leash, that is new.  I did not think that I would ever be on a leash, and yet, here I am with a radio sitting right next to me as I type this in.

I have a few moments to spare before heading out to the Depot to drop vehicles off and sort trash, and source ice, and get water, and oh yeah, take my meds.

Uh, yeah, mama lost a full day out here at the Med Tent.

Which in the end was a lovely experience, why is it that the only place in the United States, just wondering, really, that there is free medical is at Burning Man?

Ok, never mind, I do know that answer, but I was floored by how professional and amazing and put together the staff was from the volunteers who signed me in.

No, I am not forty!

I was definitely sick, but that one just flew out of my mouth with the young man at the registration desk asked me for my birthday and I rattled it off and he said, “ok, so you’re 40, and…”

“I’m 39.”

I can’t believe that I wouldn’t admit to my age.  I was shocked.  Partially because I cannot remember the last time that some one actually guessed my age, then in slightly, I mean, totally addled, moment of semi-clarity, I realized I had told him how old I was when I said 1972.

Total side bar-it is slightly depressing to have to scroll wayyyyy down the list of years to find my birthday whenever I have to do some thing online that insists on my birthday.

End side bar.

Back to medical emergency.

Which did not feel like a medical emergency, but was starting to freak me out enough that I sought out the medic tent.  In fact, I had been led to the decision by lady Crunchy, Mama Crunchy did not steer me wrong, tell you what.

I thought I had a playa dust induced head ache.  I had busted ass getting into the city, setting up my space, getting myself sorted, helping out where I could and I banged out a blog all before having any sort of real sleep.

I felt it coming on at the Commissary during lunch, but just waved it off as, oh, I am getting to feel the effect of the altitude and the dusty air and the dryness and it’s just me getting acclimated.

I was definitely pissing clear–first indication of dehydration is a darkened urine stream, you want to stay hydrated!

Then back at camp it got worse.  I asked Curley and lady Erica if I could source their trailer for a nap–I am back in a tent.  That’s interesting being back to a tent, but it is a damn good way to wake up in the morning, the sun comes in and wakes you right up to make that run to the Commissary and to ice and to water.

But a tent is nowhere to take an afternoon lay down.

I went into the trailer and I laid down on the bed and instantaneously felt worse.  I sat up, felt screamingly worse, lay back down.  My head felt like it was going to blow off my shoulders.

Actually, I do not do the feeling justice.  It was like the tissue behind my eyes was pushing through the orbital lobe of my eye socket.  Then there was a very angry dusty gnome tunneling around my cheek bones with a tiny ice pick stabbing me repeatedly while laughing in maniacal glee and chain-smoking unfiltered menthol cigarettes which smelled as though they had been soaked in pee and sweat.

Maybe even worse than that.

I will say this.

I have had a few tattoos.

I have never in my life experienced pain like this before.  The tattoos were baby pancakes with bunny ears and soft sweet golden raisin smiles dribbled with powder frosting and sugar sprinkles served by buttercup laden flower children in pink aprons, compared to this pain.

I leaned hard into the serenity prayer.  I prayed solid stiff for five hours.

Things happened in that five hours, strange things, painful things, beautiful things.

I  leaned into God and settled down on that shoulder and I heard that the pain would pass, the experience would bear fruit and there was a reason to grow through it.

Pain the touch stone of all spiritual growth.

I mean, I will say hello to God in the morning then I just kind of get about my day.  Throw a little pain in there and perhaps I may carve a greater channel.

Well, I just about burrowed a pipe line.

It stood deep long powerful.

I got out of Curley’s trailer only after mustering as much energy as I could to not wet his bed.  That’s the great thing about staying hydrated, you have to source a port-a-potty, you can’t just go to the bathroom.  I knew if I stayed in Curley’s trailer I would be doing something un-lady like and unlovely in little time.

I made it to the loo.

I had a thought sneak in past the pain, netty pot, find a netty pot.

I went to Crunchy.

No netty pot.

Go to the medical tents.

No, I’m just having a little altitude adjustment.

Go to the med tents, they will help, they will flush out your nasal passages with a saline wash and you will feel better.

Ok.

Fine.

I am not a doctor although I play one in my head.

I know what’s wrong with me.

No, I fucking don’t, I could never have guessed what the issue was in a billion Burning Man’s.

After much saline washing, vital checking, and discussion of hydration and my own addictive background, they figured I needed to just lay back and rest.

However, after another half hour of laying on the cot in the air-conditioned bliss of the medical tent, it was not getting better, it, was getting worse.

I could not raise my head off the cot without crying.  I stopped trying to be a big girl and I just surrendered to the misery.  They came over, did another flush, then called in some one else.  The doctor touched the tops of my cheeks and I screamed in pain and leaked copious tears.

Man, I was sexy.

Snot, tears, tissues, a blue bucket with saline wash that had been pushed through my nose with a giant plastic syringe, yeah, that was me, sexy as nothing else.

The doctor said, that’s not playa adjustment, that’s an allergic reaction.  You are having a severe allergic reaction.

What the fuck?

To the dust?

I am allergic to deciduous trees, not dust.  There is nothing to be allergic to out here.

Oh, holy shit, batman, the fires.  The smoke.  There have been major forest fires happening and the smoke was drifting on and off playa.  Red wood forest fires.  Deciduous tree forest fires.

Severe allergic reaction.

The doc shot me up with a steroid, after I in my nervous nellie phase, said, “that’s not addictive is it?!”

No, little girl, calm down.

And almost instantaneously my head got better, the swelling in my sinuses went down, I cried again, but this time out of pure exalted relief.

Sweet, sweet Jesus.

I will say this much.

I did not feel one hundred percent until the next day.  I took it super slow and easy the rest of the day, ate some food, had some tea and was in bed by 9 p.m.  Earliest bedtime ever at Burning Man.

The glory of waking up the next day without a pain in my body, to the sunrise on playa to the beauty of the moment.

It cemented every blissful minute I was alive to see it.

The pain sharpened the experience, carved me out, and now I have this vast reservoir to fill with all the joy and laughter and fantastic experiences that you can only, and I do mean, only have at Burning Man.

I mean where else do you get to sit on a mechanical octopus that shoots fire in the middle of the day and have a heart to heart with the artist and the miniature model of his El Pulpo Mechanico?  See it here live.

The Flaming Octopus

Octopus

 

And that is not even the most amazing thing I have gotten to do and see out here.

More adventures to come.

You do what at Burning Man?

I get my joy on!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Good Morning Vietnam!

August 24, 2012

I mean Burning Man.

My brain feels a little apocalyptic right now.  I got up yesterday morning at 6:30 a.m. after going to bed at 1:30 a.m. Wednesday evening to finish the packing for the playa.

I also had to take my bike to the shop and stash it there and leave a few notes for the morning crew on things that needed to be taken care of.  Wednesday end of day was a gnarly day and I was still taking care of things and felt as though things did not get left well.

I know intrinsically that the bicycling world was not going to come to an end if I did not finish up what had to be done, but I also felt compelled to take care of the loose ends.  I would have wanted some one to have done the same for me.

So I got up early, took shower, thank God as I have been traveling through the night, dusty, my gear is in one place and I am miles away from it, and despite having had mucho coffee, I am still getting acclimated.

Shit.

I don’t know why that’s taking so long, I only just got on playa last night at 2a.m.  It’s 8:30 a.m. shouldn’t I be alive and kicking right away?  What is my issue?

The day was long, shower, breakfast, coffee, laundry, check in with land lady, swap over laundry, clean, take out the trash, go meet Carolyn.

Have psychic fucking change on the couch at Ritual.

Holy bats.

I am so re-arranged right now and it has nothing to do with being at Burning Man.

But it does have everything to do with the work I have put in and the showing up with an open mind and a new perspective and a new attitude about myself, my disease, doing the deal, and especially Sky Daddy.

Speaking of Sky Daddy, check out this morning’s sunrise.  This just blew me right the fuck away.

Ego

Ego in the morning

 

It does not get much better than that.  And of course, I love that the sun is coming up over the Ego.

Ego, self, I must get rid of it or die trying.

I may have died a little bit yesterday.

I may have been re-born a little bit yesterday.

I am amazed to be out here, typing away on my lap top plugged into a hard-line getting access in the inner sanctum.

My crew is out sourcing the trailer.

My ride came and picked me up yesterday from the house on Folsom–at 1:30 p.m.

Officially three and a half hours earlier than I thought I would be leaving.  But despite my minor breakdown Wednesday night, I really am a quick study when it comes to packing and I knew exactly what I was going to be taking and what I was going to be leaving.

When I chatted with Sean at 11 a.m. I told him I was basically packed.  He was so eager to come and get me that if I had not had interjected and said, no, not yet, not quite ready yet, running errands (nail salon, shhhhh) he would have swooped down and gathered me up.

As it was he came and got me a scant few hours later.

It was the right thing.  It helped me to further let go of the room the stuff and my associations with it.

I have to say though, I did have a big chuckle when the landlady handed me over my deposit–$160 in cash and asked for a $10 back.

Shit lady, I left you hundreds of dollars worth of stuffs.

But I smiled and said, “yes, I do have a ten, let me get it.”

I was grateful.  I got to let go some more.

Fuck, I found twenty dollars on the playa this morning!  I promptly put it in my pocket, thanked the playa gods, then looked at Sean and said, “what the fuck am I doing?”

“This is yours, thank you for handling the ride and getting me to Burning Man.”

He was thrilled and it was nice to give back, hell, I had not done anything but bend over and pick up some moop from off the ground.  No skin off my nose.

Sean and Matty came and got me, the landlady waved me off, happy to have her new goodies, and she said, as I walked down the steps carrying my last load of stuffs, “you good tenant, you need room I have room for you,” with a big toothy smile.

You bet your ass I am a good tenant.

What came out of my mouth, “thank you Aurora, thank you for opening up your home to me, it was wonderful, thank you.”

And I left.

I went with the boys to Potrero Hill and we waited to be towed out to the desert.  Sean’s friend Ben came and pulled the trailer loaded up behind all the way from San Francisco to the Gate here in Black Rock City.

We made two pit stops.  Sean got cartons of cigarettes, gas, propane, and cases, seven, of beer.

I got two Vitamin Zero waters and two large truck stop coffees.

I was the more wired of the two upon Gate arrival.

Ben unhitched the trailer, we were parked in the D lot and we got our wrist bands put on for early arrival, hot pink, bitches.  Matches my tights just so.

I am still in the same clothes I put on yesterday morning at 7a.m.

Sean and Flack Master have gone to get the trailer, my tent and gear and essentials are on the floor of the trailer, and hopefully will be back by the time I finish my writing.

I am about done in.  I got a three hour disco nap and was up to use the potty this morning.  I crashed in Megs trailer as she is in Reno bringing in her mom, first time burner!  I did not want to be an unwanted presence when she got back in, so I cleaned up and got my day started.

So glad I did.  I caught the sunrise.  I took a walk.  I got some nice photographs.  I hugged some folks I have not seen since last year.  I went to commissary got some coffee and yes, bacon.

I am home.

It’s good to be home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Break Down

August 23, 2012

I did it, I lost in the bathroom, at the house, overwhelmed.  It finally happened.

Brain overload.

It started this morning within the first few moments of waking up receiving a text from my ride requesting permission to come over and get my stuff today, as in today, earlier.

Uh, no.

I am not packed yet.

I mean, I will have it all together pretty damn fast, I don’t have a lot to pack, but because everything that I am taking is literally everything that I am taking, I still needed to have the majority of my stuff out and accessible.

I am having the opposite happen that happened last year.

Last year my ride was hours, hours, hours late.  I was ready to go by seven and he was unable to get to me until nearly midnight.  I was anxious and over wound by the time he showed up.

Helped keep me awake through the night.

This year, my ride is eager to get on the road.  The fist indication being that we would leave tomorrow evening.  Then early evening, then late afternoon.  I thought evening would be like last year–after 8 p.m.

Nope.  More like 7p.m.

Ok, change-up the plans and cut back to a half day at work.

Wait, let’s push it earlier.

Ok, don’t get insane, you are ok with the money thing, ask off for the full day at work.  Done.

Now it’s we want to leave at 4p.m.

Well, fuck my mother.

I am screwed.

Ok, I know I am being dramatic, and it will all fall together nice and smooth and I can throw it all in a bag and into a bin and really, it’ll happen.

But what about my manicure and pedicure, damn it.

Yes, I am that vain.  I wanted to wax the fucking upper lip before leaving for playa.

I have a ‘stache.

Fuck off.

I have dark hair.  You have a ‘stache too, don’t deny it bitches, just cuz your hair is blonde and light and bleached out, doesn’t mean that it isn’t there.  I can just see mine and it drives me nuts.

I have been told that I have a lot of testosterone.

REALLY?

Is that why I feel like a gay man in a woman’s body?

Is that why I have five o’clock shadow on my upper lip?

Fuck.

Really the most important thing is to make my weekly meeting with Carolyn at Ritual tomorrow morning at 9 a.m.  I will meet with her for an hour, do the work, lay out the writing, take suggestions, and listen to what she has to say.

Then, drop the bike off at the shop.

Why?

I am also moving out of the room, so anything I want to have when I get back has to get stored, stashed, located.  I do not have time to hump ass to Oakland and leave my bike at Grace Land.  So, drop it off at the shop and sneak the fuck out of there before anyone gets in.

I am so tempted to do a few last-minute work details that weren’t taken care of today, but I am just going to walk in, leave the bike, reset the alarm and leave as though I was never there.

Then run back to the house, well, walk briskly.

Throw a load of laundry into the washer at the laundry mat, pack the rest of my gear up, take out the trash, the last of the recycling, clean the room and the bathroom, run back over to the laundry mat, swap out the clothes to the dryer, then come back to the house and grab a snack.

And yes, I will go get my nails did.

I need to have a nice little moment, an hour, just a few fucking seconds to decompress and chillax and be still.  I can be still in a massage chair while some one polishes my toes.  I deserve a nice break, I have been working my ass the fuck off.

Then back to the house, grab the laundry and get everything ship-shape to leave.

Hopefully I will see the land lady and get my deposit.

Having never signed a contract, does a verbal and a hug count?  I am keeping my fingers crossed that it will go smoothly.  I want to throw a mini-temper tantrum not having received the deposit already.  Plus, I am leaving a lot of nice things in the room.

I had a moment today when my evil brain said, fuck it all, put it on the curb and fuck her.

FUCK YOU.

I just felt like that.

I did not do anything.

I really had a kind of fuck you day.  I don’t care for being in this kind of space and it’s not a pleasant place.  I just feel unsettled.  Half here, half there.

No where.

No home.

No connection.

No stability.

Further stripped down.

I must center myself in the writing, in the sitting, in the being still, in the pause.

There is no where I have to go that fast.  I don’t have to cram my day so full that I end up crying in my bathroom ripping out my Fruit Loop colored hair.

I almost burst into tears this morning when I washed it and in the process of drying it my entire head fro’d out in full on clown regalia.  I fell like a clown car had crash landed on my head.

I felt like an escape from the circus.

It probably did not help that I had on pink fish nets over black tights.  I was officially representing the San Francisco freak nation.

It probably did not help further that I almost got hit by a taxi cab that ran a light.  I mean ran a light.  I had the green, traffic was crossing and he was busy on the phone and staring, staring at my hair.

Please, motherfucker, I know it’s rainbow bright, but I don’t need to die over my choice of creative expression.

Then I was the jack ass.

“JACK ASS!”

He screamed at me.

Screamed.

Breathless, I turned, “you ran a red, you ran the red.”

“So what, you’re a fucking jackass,” he screamed and squealed off.

So what?

So what?

I hope that shit was caught on camera.  So what, my ass, so what, I don’t need to die today.

I woke up on the wrong side of the bed to a text asking for more than I could give to get  out of the shower to poof ball Bozo the Clown hair, almost run over by a cab, called a jack ass, abandoned at work to a mess of crap to deal with while the marketing team met with the owner and the GM and I sat on the phone for an hour with Bank of America, to get home to realize that I still had to pack, to give Beth the stuff she wanted from the few things I had left, to go open 2900, to come back here and no wonder I want to crawl under a rock and hide.

But whatever.

Life is going to happen, it is happening, and despite my mass of wickedly colored curls and my slight anxiety that I will some how fuck it all up, all I really need to do is the next step ahead of me and it always turns out exactly how it is supposed to.

With or without me freaking out.

With or without me having “feelings” about the situation.

Everything is alright.

And frankly, my hair looks fucking awesome.

Who wouldn’t want to look like they’re off to the circus, the circus is the best show on Earth!

HOLY SHIT.

I AM GOING TO BURNING MAN TOMORROW!

It’s really happening.

Ants In My Pants

August 22, 2012

One more day.

One more day.

One more day.

I have one more day of work before I am officially out the door and headed to the playa.  Oh, man, was today long.  And slow.  I was actually grateful when the mail man dropped off a stack of bills from a number of vendors.

It gave me something to do.

I needed the distraction.  I needed to keep myself focused and put in the work.  My brain really wants to be out in the dust.

Oh, the dust.

I got a message from Megan today asking me to bring a dust pan and a little broom.  “It’s really dusty,” she said.

You may laugh, but I totally know what she means.  Some times a little dust pan and a small broom can be a helpful little tool.  I know I have liked having one around just to sweep off surfaces that accumulate the ever-present playa.

I got my hands ready, flexed so to speak.  I sat by my friend Matt and gave him a little hand massage.

I gift massage at the event.

I have all my supplies ready to go–one jar of virgin coconut oil, one tube of coconut and papaya hand cream, and my two very strong hands.  There is just something about connecting with another human and hand massage is so primal and to the point.

It’s not sexual.

Although it can be very sensual.

It creates a bond, a connection, a few minutes of relaxation and ease and suddenly some thing opens in me, something opens in the person whose hand is in my hand and a lovely connection is born.

It is one of my favorite things to do on playa.  It also, oddly enough, is a good stress release for me.  It centers me and calms me and gives me a purpose.

I expressed to Carolyn that I was grateful to not be working quite as much as my previous years on playa.  Yet, also quite grateful for the structure of the time I am working.  I like structure, I like balance, I like grounding.

I need it.

I need boundaries for myself.

Which, odd as this may sound, allows me to get outside myself, get crazy and be a little wild.

See blue hair.

I tried on my Hello Kitty Sleep wear last night, and why have I not worn a Hello Kitty pajama set before?

Damn they are comfy.

And dare I say, rather cute.

Sexy too, but who’s telling?

Not I.

Sex is on the brain.

Then again, when is it not?

I have no limitations to my experience this year.  Last year I was hell-bent on Calling in the One and I did not sleep with anyone or really flirt.  I had one innocuous date, which in hindsight was rather sweet, but to be honest, I never would have ridden in Critical Tits if I had not have been hanging out with the guy.

Not really my scene, Critical Tits.

I like them in a bra.

I was trying to express to some one that I don’t necessarily go out and source a bunch of sexy clothes.  I just wear a little less of what I normally wear.  And maybe  a little more make up.

Actually, that is not true, I wear about the same amount of make up.

It did not seem out of the ordinary with my candy bright hair today.  I was at Rainbow after work and the doing the deal and there was a little girl, about eight, in one of the aisles that I was hustling through, grabbing last-minute food for the next day–but not too much since I am moving out too.

“You look like Katy Perry!”  She said, with big round eyes, “are you Katy Perry?”

I said, “no, but thank you for the compliment,” and I smiled at her and went to get some more coconut lotion.

“Mama, I think that was Katy Perry,” I heard her say in a loud whisper as I rounded the corner.

Not Katy Perry, although she camped near me last year.

Not that I could have even told you it was her or if I saw her or not.  She could have been sitting next to me and I would not have known.  Other celebrities I have apparently been around and had absolutely no clue who they were.

Everybody’s the same when you are covered in dust.

God damn I am excited.

Of course, I am sure once I am wiping out dust from every nook and cranny I will have a moment of what the fuck am I doing, then it will pass.

Home.

I am almost home.

One more day of work.  One more day.

I have to admit, it feels really strange of late, going into work.   It feels so transient since I told the boss man I am leaving.  I still have not really said anything to my co-workers, except Carlos, but we have not had much of a chance to chat about it.

Yes, definitely distracted.  Too many things on the mind.

Thinking about the boy who reconnected with me last night and who I rather shamelessly flirted with.

What’s up with that?  I feel like this is a distinct pattern, right around a big move I suddenly have dates lining up or romantic interest expressing interest.

I am just shook up enough to let down the walls I suppose.

I would like to keep those walls down.  I would like to have some experiences.

Oh, who the hell am I kidding.

I just want to get laid.

That being said, I think I want snuggles too, sleep, falling into another’s arms.

Burning Man can actually be a lonely place.  A place of introspection.  A place where I will look outside myself to find something to be disappointed that there is nothing there to find, but striped down to the essential mess of me, I do find it–within.

The light with in shines brightly.

That may be what attracts the men folk.

Who knows.

I am just going to say yes to experiencing instead of saying no, instead of putting parameters on anything.  I think I have had to have both experiences out there.

I bet there’s a balance to it, I may find it.

I may not.

But I am one day closer to finding out.

 

It’s Just Stuff

August 21, 2012

Life is weird.

The land lady just knocked on the door.

Note to self, thank god you didn’t itch that scratch.  Good gravy, that could have been awkward.

She was showing off the room to some one.  The woman who was going to move in changed her mind.

So much for getting the bed frame out of the room.

Then I thought, well, I’ll just put it all on Craigslist and make a few bucks for the travels.

One person responded.

And once I realized that the only thing that she wanted was the chair I had promised Beth, I saw that it was not going to happen.  Selling shit is obnoxious and a pain and I don’t have the patience for it.

So, I thought, well, Mrs. Fishkin did make a strong point, it’s nice to have a bed.  Sure, if I could have fit it in the back of Tanya’s suburban.  Everything else fit just fine.

Of course, everything else was four-foot by three-foot–one mid-sized plastic bin, about the size of a laundry basket, one bank box, one large box filled with photographs and odds and ends that are dear to me.  One spice rack designed and built by my Grandpa Munz.

It all fit in the back seat of her car.

That’s what went.

The bed frame is in the hallway between the houses.

The desk no body wants.

The night stands are still standing.

Beth will get the farm chair and my patchwork quilt.  Sarah might take the rocking chair.

You want something?

Come and get it.

It’s just stuff.  I am not taking stuff with me to Burning Man.

Well, I am taking some stuff, mostly clothes, make up, and bedding.  Knowing that I will not be needing the bedding when I get back is rather a treat.  I am taking a duvet and all the pillows out to the playa.  I will have the most rocking bed platform ever.

I’ll trash it after the event.  Nothing is really worth the saving.  And I have nice accommodations at Grace Land.  No lack of bedding there.

So, you want some stuff, I got it.  A desk, a few lamps, some night stands, a bed frame. All nice, pretty, curated, but in the end just stuff.

I am probably going to leave the microwave for the land lady.  She’s already pawed it over a couple of times.  It is cute, I will admit that.  It’s a ‘retro-wave’ microwave that I got fresh out of the box from a guy in the Castro who had gotten two because he was not sure which one worked better in the kitchen and he never got around to returning it back to the store.

A total steal at $60 bucks.  If I think of it in money my brain gets all possessive.

“Hey,” my brain hollers, “hey, don’t you know what I paid for that stuff?”

“Don’t you realize what that stuff is worth?”

“Hey, you, you aren’t listening!”

I am not.

It is just stuff.

I got to have it for a little while and now it’s some one else’s turn.  One day I will have more stuff, different stuff.

Stuff.

Say it often enough and I begin to see just how silly it is.  I was surprised to find myself possessive a few times over the last few days, god damn it, I work hard for that stuff.

But really, what I have worked harder for is the experiences that I have gotten to have. I am letting go of lots of stuff for better stuff.

The stuff that makes life grow.

The stuff that makes me thrive.

Now, granted, I won’t tell you no fibs, I did go out and buy some stuff today.  I bought a brush and a mirror.  I bought some make up and some socks.  I bought groceries.  I bought a nice smelling candle and I bought a pair of sunglasses.

Stuff to take to the playa.

I am a creature of humble comforts, but there are certain comforts I do like.  Lotion, nice smelling stuff, coconut oil, picked up some of that stuff too.  Hair stuff, I like looking pretty, you know.

Glitter.

Yes, shaddup, I bought glitter.  I was a little out of hand with it today.  I laughed, I am either having a second adolescence or I am going to Burning Man.

Then I realized that my first adolescence was such shit, that in essence I am really having my first, or allowing myself to have one at all.

So I bought some Hello Kitty sleep wear.

Oh, that’s right bitches, I am rocking the Hello Kitty hot pink terry cloth boy shorts and the black and pink Hello Kitty Sleep shirt.

Me and Hello Kitty

Rocking the new pjs

Goes really well with my bright blue hair.

Perhaps I have gone over board just a little bit, but what ever, it too is just stuff.

I am having a good time having a little fun.

I also stuck every fucking cent I would have spent on rent into my savings account.  Oh yeah, I am a responsible girl, I am.  I may have Rainbow Bright hair and a heavy hand with the glitter spackle, but I put away rent money into my savings account.

I said I would.

And I did.

I also set it up so that my student loans will automatically pull from my checking account.  I won’t have to think about sending in a check or making a payment.  I just set it up to do it automatically.

So basically I paid rent and my student loans today.

I is responsible.

Cheerfully, brightly, colorfully so.

So, here, today, for a limited time, all my stuff to you–FREE–all you have to do is come and get it.

Love.

Faith.

Friendship.

Intimacy.

Poetry.

Grace.

Family.

Recovery.

You want some?

I got some.

I also have a rocking chair, a vintage art deco hot pink standing floor lamp, a pedestal oak plant stand, a vintage wood night stand, a shabby chic pink (I painted it, duh) scalloped night stand, an awesome (it totally works!) space heater circa 1952, a farm-house table that I use as my desk, with folding down leaves, and some other accoutrement.

I am going to leave the Retrowave to the landlady.

It’s the right thing to do.

In return, all I ask is a hug, maybe a kiss upon the cheek, and the promise that you and I will stay close as I go out and accumulate the stuff that really makes my world run–

experiences.

 

Happy, Shiny, & Blue

August 20, 2012

Oh my.

Oh my.

Oh me oh my.

I just got back from the salon.  Diane @ Solid Gold just did me a solid.  I have the most amazing hair right now.

AMAZING.

Blue

Blue

I can now officially say I am ready for Burning Man.

Not to say that I have not busted my ass today to get ready.

I was up this morning at 7 a.m.  after getting to bed last night around 1 a.m.

I needed to clean the room, clean the bathroom, take out the trash, make it pretty, and get the boxes out of the room and on to the back porch before Casey came over to see the room.

I wanted to make sure it looked nice and I also wanted to address the things that I needed to address to get myself ready.

Mainly doing laundry and packing up the last bits and pieces of my life.

Casey was promptly here at 8:55 a.m. with her lovely man and I showed her the room. She loved it and we chatted until Aurora’s son got here to do the translating.

I was a little concerned that it was not going to happen when I found out that Casey has a cat.  I know what happened to me when I said I had cats.  And sure as shit, that’s exactly what went down.  Aurora firmly put her foot down.

I knew it and was a little remiss that Miss Casey had not mentioned that she had a cat, I would have skipped even bringing her over to see the room.

But then something magical happened, Casey and Cesar went into the kitchen and talked with Aurora and while I was puttering around not getting in the way, Aurora changed her mind.

Casey has some persuasive skills.

I do not know what happened.  I do not know the gist of the conversation, but it happened and it is happening and the really lovely thing was that I had absolutely no stake in the outcome.

Granted the outcome ended up being spectacular and a bit surprising.  I did not see it coming.  I thought, this is probably not going to happen.  Casey has a cat, a boyfriend, and then, bang, magic, she got the room.

I am so glad for her.

I am leaving my mattress and box spring for her and the contents of the bathroom/kitchen.  I will be taking my bed frame and my photos and my pictures tomorrow to Tanya’s and putting them into storage.  Everything that is going into storage is on the back porch waiting for tomorrow to be moved.

Three p.m. I will meet up with Tanya, with my blue hair!  And we will move my wee little life over to her place.

My life is not wee, as Alex and Shannon so deftly pointed out.

And I agree.

My life feels really amazing and full right now.

The rainbow bright hair does not hurt!  I was going to go pink, but then Diane showed me some things that she was thinking about and we went blue.  It is actually three or four shades of blue with green and teal, then on the right side, which the picture does not really show, is a rainbow panel–teal, bright yellow, magenta, and green.  It looks wickedly hot.

I love being my authentic self.

I love that I have two different kinds of glitter nail polish on and blue hair and polka dots.

I am a little kookoo for cocoa puffs, but my god, I am having one hell of an experience.

And I work hard for this, being my authentic self and the journey to get there has not been an easy road.  But as they say, nothing worth having comes easy.

The weight loss was hard.

The couch surfing was hard.

The not knowing what I was going to do for a job was hard.

Allowing myself to be vulnerable and say I am enough and I am lovable and I am worthy of love and I do love myself and I forgive myself, that was the hardest part of it all.

I will flail and I will fall and then I will try again.

And I may not succeed, but I will keep trying.  And I will have detractors and there will be people who do not like me or my blue hair or my glitter or my myriad tattoos.

That’s ok.

They get their experience.

I get mine.

Some times I feel that I have had many past lives, some times I feel that there is some greater plan than this, some times I feel memories lurking on the edge, dreams that seem more real than real.

But what I know is this.

Here.

Now.

This is it, people.  I have really only this time and I am not going to sit quietly in the corner and not be seen.

I am not trying to be seen so much by you, but by me.  Letting myself out of the corner, turning around, and embracing the fact that I like eye make up and wild colors and giggling and flowers.

I am having fun.

I do things to that I don’t always like, but they clear the way for things like smurfette hair and pink star tattoos.

I meditated today–eighteen minutes.  I took quiet time, I read from my daily readers.  I did a lot and I mean a lot of writing.

I wrote on those note cards I was not excited to buy at the store.  I wrote and wrote and wrote and cried some and forgave a lot.

Man, did I do some forgiving.  Of myself, of my mom and my dad and my sister.

Oh, my god.

I have one sister.

That is it.

One dear sibling.  I miss my monkey.  I miss my Pooh.  I was so ashamed of some of the things that went down between us and I have not seen her in over seven years.

Time to amend that.

Time to amend a lot of things.

Holy cats.

I have a lot of mending to do.

I had no idea.

I am working on the willingness.  I wrote so much today.  I wrote until I could not write any more.  Then I did some more arranging and ran some errands and ate a really nice lunch.

Then I went blue.

Who says you have to be 85 to be a blue hair?

What the hell are you waiting for?

Go do it.

Go get yourself some authenticity.

You are enough.

I am enough.

Can’t you tell?

I am bright fucking blue!

 

 

 

The Nose Knows

August 19, 2012

I had some ideas about who I wanted to catch a lift to the thing in the desert where I will burn the man with some flaming bras.

I had some ideas.

Despite knowing better, I even went into this evening holding onto a certain reservation I had made.  Then I sat next to some one and could not ignore it.

His breath.

Stinky.

Not awful, not bad, not the worst I have ever smelled.  But no good for me.  I am too sensitive to smell to be driving for hours into the dry dusty heat of Nevada with a companion whose breath is off-putting.

No thank you.

It was bad enough at work today.  I can’t stand it when I am sitting at the front and some one comes in and blows their nasty, boozy, rotting alcohol brunch stank on me.

I had my gorge rise more than once today.

It is just that time of the month I would say, but the truth is not even that, I am hyper sensitive to smell and I could not get past it.  I noticed too often today when something smelled off.

This is a sense I cannot ignore, despite wanting to.  It is instinctual and I do know that it is a sign for me when something is not a good fit for me.  Sugar rot is what I call it in my brain.

The turning of sugar pulp on teeth is too much.  Sugar can be an entirely intoxicating smell.  Burnt sugar caramel with butter.  Warmed in a pan with vanilla is tantalizing, brown butter sugars in milk fat, hot cotton candy, bright bubble gum smells, coconut.

Delicious.

Fermented sugars, not so much.

It is also a sign to me that this person is not a good match.  Neither as a friend nor as a potential date.  I can no longer ignore certain smells.

By others I become completely incapacitated with love and affection.

Little Miss Eve came in to the shop today with her mama and smelled so deliciously warm bread pudding ginger nutmeg good I could have eaten her right up.  Although, I probably would not have as she was giving me barnacle hugs and butterfly kisses with her eyelashes.

To be so unabashedly loved on by a child still blows my mind.  Such a gift.

Lady Sarah came in too and we had lunch together in the upstairs conference room.  Sarah smells like good earth, carrots, fire, ginger, freckles, sunshine, fennel, star anise, and dusky musk.

I do not know how she is still a single lady smelling that good.

I am in the midst of a cycle, my god, I must be.

I also got a good whiff of Beth tonight–wood violets, sea salt, smoke, black lava, ash, pewter, porcelain, soft chalk, talcum, clay.  She is like a pottery bowl about to be baked in a kiln and painted with glaze.

I do not know where these smells come to me from.  I can smell copper in pennies, lavender blooming at midnight, jasmine, cold, syrupy, sweet; honeysuckle on the vine, which smells rich, almost cloying, and oddly enough, fuzzy.

Tomatoes.

Oh.

The smell of tomatoes, especially the green smell of the vine when just plucked.

Basil, sharp, brisk, saturating the air about itself with a sort of no-nonsense here I am point of view.

Geraniums.  I love the smell of geraniums, peppery, pink, sassy.

My hair will smell like Geraniums tomorrow, or perhaps just look like geraniums, I go pink.  Probably not all pink, pink with highlights, but it is exciting to contemplate.  I have secretly and then not so secretly wanted pink for some time.

Now is the time.

Now is always the time.

I am on the prowl for good smelling things to gather to me for my trip to playa.  I picked up my favorite coconut tangerine body lotion recently from Rainbow.  And I found a coconut apricot hand cream that smells divine and will complement it nicely.

Still on the look out for a good gardeners salve or hand cream.  I had one last year that  I could have eaten–it was from Pacifica and it smelled so good.  It was coconut and mexican chocolate-translates to dark powdery cocoa, cinnamon, and coconut.

Yeesh.

I could eat my blog typing about, such good smells.

They also make a candle that I really like it’s a Bourbon vanilla that is quite luscious.

I used to think that the whole idea of pheromones was silliness.

But not so much anymore.  I find myself consciously and sometimes unconsciously smelling out the people about me.

Then being honest with myself about how those things affect me.  Some smells will just always be right to me, some will not.  I know certain people I could never sleep with because their body chemistry is just off-putting, despite them not having a single thing wrong with them.

So, I knew tonight, when the guy sat down next to me, that I would not be riding with him.  The idea of being trapped with that smell for hours made me cringe.

Not that I would ever, ever, ever express that to some one.

But I know enough to pass on accepting close quarters with the person and it certainly put a complete end to any idea of a possible compatibility there.

No way Jose.

And now, off to burying my nose in some spicy chai tea, not caffeinated, thank you, I must be up early to show off the room and see if the lass is going to take the space.

I have no expectations.  She may hate it and say no.  She may love it and say yes.

Either way, I do know this, I have five nights left here.

Five, then my nose to the air, I shall hang my head out the side of a truck and let myself be whisked away playa bound.

Its own very unique smell that, oh yes.

 

Keeping It Surreal

August 18, 2012

For real.

Ok, here’s one for you, try telling your mother that you are going to Burning Man.

Then tell her that you are going to go as a fluffer.

Then spell B-U-R-N-I-N-G M-A-N out loud to her while you’re walking down the street to your job.

The best I could do was say it was an arts festival in the desert.

“Oh, like ‘burn the man’ like ‘burn your bra?'”

Close enough mom.

If I could explain it to my mom that would be a super human feat.  Add on to that the I have officially changed my permanent address to Graceland.

“Wait, you’re going to Graceland after you go to burn your bra, I mean the man, how are you getting there?”

BART.

Next stop Dollywood.

No, wait, Paris, where I will be living with my tattoo artist Barnaby.

Oh.  Jesus. Lord.

I have not seen my mother since I started getting the dragon sleeve outlined, four years ago, on my right arm.

I have two sleeves now, plus a neck tattoo.

Segue into me being in line at Walgreens picking up some index cards for a writing assignment that Carolyn has suggested I do.

Let me say, this really is where the work is.  My job is not the bike shop.

And I am trying to let my mom know that I am going to burn my bra while fluffing the Huffington Post and then go to Graceland and move to Paris afterward with my tattoo artist who is saying I am his fiance, should anyone ask.

And yes, I may go to the great Convergence in Cairo for shits and giggles in December.

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

The Walgreens clerk did not bat an eye, she was too busy making sure the security team was on the crack head walking down the candy aisle with a tattered suit case and suspiciously large baggy clothes on.

Then again, I bet the clerk at Walgreens knows more about Burning Man than most do, at least in San Francisco.

I neglected to tell my mom I would be dying my hair pink this weekend.

Why?

Cuz I fucking feel like it.

Because it will be hot when I whip off my bra to burn it at the man thing while riding around Critical Tits and the Billion Bunny March with my flaming pink hair and my multiple tattoos.

I’ll just send a post card.

Dear Mom-

Today at Burning Man I got up early and greeted the day by directing a tweaked out Asian girl wearing nothing but day glow fish nets and platform boots to Playa Info while on my way to get ice for the Flack Master and breakfast at the Commissary–mmm bacon.  Then I fluffed the New York Times.  Went for an art tour on a car covered in fake fur with a gigantic cat head on the front of it into deep playa to have coffee at Star Fuckers.  They make a great cappuccino.  For dinner I went to Gigsville for a bbq on the Car-B-Que (last year’s carcass might have once been a Woody Station wagon, but it’s hard to tell when the entire skeleton of the car is burnt black) then I made out with a guy who I met at Costco Soul Mate Trading Company, we were hermaphrodites in a previous life according to the fortune-teller out in deep playa by the trash fence.  Later I did some ecstatic dancing at a sound camp and eventually I settled in for the night by cleaning off my entire body with a case of baby wipes.

It was great!

More tomorrow.

Love your insane clown posse daughter.

Carmen

PS.  The Thunder Dome is not as scary as you think, but I did hurt my leg a little bit tussling with a guy in leather chaps and a padded baseball bat, but he forgave me for whipping his ass and now I  have a date for Burn Night!

Giggle.

I seriously had no clue how to even express what I was doing.  It is fantastical enough to my mom that I am moving to Paris, trying to explain Burning Man to her is like pointing to an airplane in the sky to a lost tribe in the Amazon and explaining that economy coach really does not have much leg room.

Then, mom popped the surprise on me.

She’s been saving up to visit me in Paris.

Whoa.

Hey there, slow your roll lady.  Can you let me get settled first?  I mean I still don’t know exactly where I will live.  Although I did have a good twenty-minute talk today with Barnaby about the flat he is going to be negotiating for.  It looks like we will not be in the 11th arrondissement after all, but in the 4th.

Holy crow.

That’s so wickedly central it is scary.

I am actually ok with it for my first place to live in the city as the time that I am moving there is off tourist season, but it is seriously in the middle of the middle of the middle of the heaviest tourist areas.

That being said, I will be blocks away from Notre Dam, The Louvre, Ile de La Cite, The Latin Quarter and a few other choice  land marks.  I began immediately to dream of a long week exploring the Louvre of days just wandering through the galleries.

I think I may allow myself my first week or two to stop and actually enjoy being in Paris versus throwing myself immediately into finding work.

Which, for me means doing the opposite of what makes sense and will probably actually yield better results than me trying to scramble and find work.  I want to take it easy and be alive in the city for a few days.

Hopefully for a few weeks before my mom comes.

Good gravy.

Note to the mom, I will be living there for a while, calm down on planning your big trip.  Like let me get settled lady.

Anyway, that’s her stuff, not mine.  All I got to do is make sure I have plenty of bras to burn for next week.

I leave on Thursday!

Bare Bones

August 17, 2012

I took down the photographs, wrapped them in bubble wrap.

I pulled down the clock on the wall and smothered it in tissue.

The poems went in an envelope, in a box.

The clothes lay waiting to be packed up and tucked away.

I am living the nomadic life.

“You travel light,” he said to me.

I must agree.  I travel lightly, I go quietly, I slide through the slip stream leaving not a wake of stuffs and bits, pieces, parts, flotsam and jetsam, but a list of experiences.

“Just lie there and look pretty,” he said and kissed my mouth.

I travel with memories, moments burned, seared and wide upon my heart, echoes and sun spots and places in the hall where my feet touch wood warmed by sun and mellowed by wind.

“You’re a bit of a nomad,” she said to me today on the couch in the back of the coffee shop. “So you must carry your home with you, center yourself in your heart and bring that with you, a constant reminder that where ever you are, is home.”

Home, I am going home.

Home, to Burning Man.

Home to Paris.

Home.

Where ever I am, that is home.

I take a few things, a notebook, a bag of pens, a change of clothes, a laptop, a phone.

Me, myself, and I.

Today I packed up a great deal of the little deal that is left in my spare small room.

The essence of me is leaving, drifting, waning.  The moon is dark and the twilight is falling.  With the photographs down and the paintings packed, the butterfly under glass, now under wraps, my room has become just exactly what it is.

Small, sad, tight.

Just a space.

Just a box.

Just a point in time.

Six months of my life lived here in this odd-shaped room, with its sloped ceiling and paste board walls, the odd smells that drift in from the back kitchen, the noise of the child running up and down the back steps, slamming the door first to her mother’s house, then to her grandmother’s house, completely child like and oblivious to the tenant asleep in the room behind.

The squawk of the jay bird, the holler of the construction worker, the screams of the children from the school across the street, soon just memories to be recalled lightly, if at all in this time, this place, this hallway.

Where ever I go I create a space for myself.

It does not have to be large, in fact, it is often quite spare, often quite small.  But my fingerprints are there, my essence is there.  I like to nest.  I like to have certain smells and pretty things to look upon.

My prettiest, dearest, sweetest things have all been packed.

My life, winnowed down to a stack of boxes three-foot high, four-foot wide.

My life is not so easily disassembled.

Or should I say my heart.

I carry so much with me, so many experiences, so many pleasures and pains.  A few small things and I see in them the poetry of my life.

I am a walking poem.

Graced.

A winged thing.

A simple being.

Yet, not simplistic.

My life, eloquent, elegant, spare, but not without sparkle.  I do glitter.

I do.

This body a repository of my joy and my life, I walk through the world wearing it, not it, I.

And one day, after many roads, and many journeys, and much sloughing of skin, perhaps, I will stand wide open before the world, just this essence, just this being.

Naked, but for a smile.

“Just lie there and look pretty,” he said and the doves flew from his mouth and my heart spearheaded my soul and I garnered myself another experience.

Another echoing memory of sense to anchor me to this place, this time, this land.

I cannot imagine to impress upon another that which is mine, only I can feel the shape of this heart, but perhaps you can see the outline and feel the thrum of it beneath your hand when you hold mine in yours.

Perhaps you can taste the cinnamon tea from a blue cracked mug, when you kiss me.

Perhaps these bare bones will live to tell another story, another day, another dream.

Whence here.

Whence there.

I live this poetic faith of travel and moment to moment, now to now, this infinite pulse of life still garnering wood violets in the afterglow of love.

I am here.

Now.

Always.


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