Put A Fork In Me

by

I am done.

Or I was done last night.

“I am over it,” I whispered to myself driving the golf cart to the shower depot.

“Over it.”

Officially marking my two weeks with some negative thoughts.

Or scrubbing myself down a little more to receive the love that is all around me, that I don’t see until I am an emotional basket case in need of help.

I was given some wonderful help last night in places and spaces I was not expecting after having been on a tired emotional roller coaster of work, not enough sleep, really need a shower, and am fucking hungry.

In rapid order early evening yesterday I was shot in the face by a water gun while driving, I forgot my hair brush on the way to the shower, then I was taken to task at the showers for not locking my golf cart properly.

I was so tired, so drained, and so not ready to be hollered at in the showers and told that my vehicle was going to be stolen if I didn’t get my ass out and lock it properly that I just lost it.

“She’s only doing her job,” some snarky cunt in the stall next to me said.

Yeah, she’s right, absolutely, I did not lock properly, I was at the Depot, where no one is except my fellow co-workers on the event.  No tourists, no participants, employees, and not shown an ounce of compassion when I said please let me rinse off and I will be right out.

“Well, it’ll be too late,” the woman screamed from the door in the shower trailer, “it’s going to be fucking taken, so get the fuck out here now.”

I stumbled out of the shower naked, dripping soap and tangled hair, see forgot the hair brush note, grabbing for my clothes and toiletries, I threw on a dirty dress and fled from the trailer with no bra on, no panties, no shoes, smack into a pile of dust, shaking with adrenalin and sopping wet.

I got to the cart and made sure it was secure.

However, by this time I was not going to go back in and rinse and try again to get clean, I was broken.

It was the tipping point and I tumbled down the hill into complete breakdown.

I managed to put on my bra and panties, and for the first time I was topless outside at Burning Man.  I pulled on my shower flip-flops and unlocked the cart, tossing my things helter skelter into the basket on the back of the cart.

I fled the scene.

Humiliated and dirty.

Thanks, Burning Man, it’s been great working for you, this is awesome.

I am so grateful that this is how staff treats each other.

I knew underneath the grim dislike of the incident that it had nothing to do with me, “she was just doing her job.”

She was not doing it how I would have done it, but she was doing it.

And I also knew it was not personal.

She did not know, I mean I hope she didn’t know, that it was my cart.

That being said, I find it sad and disheartening when the staff out here turn on each other.  It was my two-week anniversary on playa and all I wanted was to be done, out, fuck you very much.

However, I was supposed to be back to the camp by 7:30p.m. so mom and dad could go to the Prom.  They were reigning king and queen for last year and were getting dressed up and ready to have a party.

I was not mellow enough to walk into the Commissary, so I made a quick detour to see some fellows that I knew would be meeting around 6 p.m. in the neighborhood.

I flew to the camp and tumbled out of my cart.

I found a chair and settled into it with a shaky sigh.

Only to leap to my feet a few seconds later.

I had not even attempted to lock the cart and knowing how the early evening was going I was certain it would be gone by the time I came out of the community tent.

I ran to the cart, secured the lock and began to have a panic attack.

Good fucking times.

I bent over completely from the waist, lowered my head to my knees and began to breathe in and out of my mouth in long sucking swallows.

A group of girls approached.

Nurses, it turns out.

I cool hand on the back of my neck, a soft touch on my arm, “just keep doing that, you are ok, good, breathe in, breathe out.”

“Get her some water,” I did not argue, although I did not feel dehydrated, I drank down the cold seltzer water when it was given to me.

It was a fast attack and I realized as I was coming up for air that it had been quite sometime since I had an attack.

In fact, the last time it had happened was last year at Burning Man after a bad dust storm had obliterated my tent and I was told that the offer to sleep in a staff trailer had to be revoked so that it could be made available to a pregnant woman (who never did use the trailer).

Fatigued, emotionally drained, and, wet nasty hair, half shaved legs, tear spotted, and hungry, I made my way to the Commissary.

Where the kind hand of Bettie June reached out to ask me how I was, and instantly I had tears on my cheeks.

“I am just having a rough day,” I said through the tears, I need to be back to camp by 7:30p.m. to start my shift and it’s 7:15p.m. and the line is so long, I’m not going to be able to eat my dinner….”

“Nonsense,” said Bettie June.

She got on comm. called my boss, said I had an unexpected schedule change, was currently with her, and would not be available to start my shift until 8p.m.

Then she handed me a dinner plate, gave me a hug, and turned me over to my friends John and Erica, who serenaded me to my table, kept me company, said, don’t say anything until you have eaten and then made me laugh.

“You know, you come across as all tough, but you’re a marshmallow,” said Erica.

“It’s ok, to let people in.”  She finished and beamed at me.

Then John told me the story of how last year he lost his dop kit and went bonkers and said “fuck this” and had a similar experience.

We all laughed, ate dinner, bonded, and I felt better.

I made it back to camp, still emotionally wonky, but cheered.

Turns out mom and dad were absolutely fine putting down the baby, I was sent to my trailer to mellow out and put myself back together again.

I made some tea and ate an apple and said a few words to the powers that be.

Then I joined the great dance party of prom, although I was a wallflower, in my slippers and long socks.  I sat on the rocking chair and watched my camp mates take photographs and dance to 80s music.

Home.

Safe.

Sound.

Tired.

But loved.

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