One More Night


I almost don’t believe that to be true, but it does appear that this is my last night on playa for 2013.

I am ready to be done.

And not a bit shamed by that fact, although I felt that perhaps I should be when I gave a lady friend a ride back from the shower depot to the Heavy Machinery yard.

“How long have you been up?” I asked.  Not at all expecting the response that I was given, especially as it is her second year camped with them and her first year working the yard.

“Since July 31st,” she said, and then paused.

“I am about over it, but I have about another week and a half I think,” I could see her mentally counting on her fingers.

“Damn.” I said in quiet awe, “that’s close to two months.”

And I have been whingeing about three weeks.

We all have our limits though, and I know some folks that can’t do the week, let alone two or three, or a month.

Two months?

That’s a kind of devotion I am not sure I have in me.

I miss my fellows too much to stay that long.

I said a brief good-bye to one at lunch today, realizing I was about it of that specific crew and how I am looking forward to re-seeing and re-connecting with my people.

A lot of whom have been posting amazing photographs and I am envious of the fun they had, despite the fun I had.

I did have fun, I can admit that.

Even with the tears rolling down my face in the back of the Soccer Mom van while it was parked at Ranger HQ, I could admit I had fun, I was just momentarily overwhelmed and sad.

The emotions tend to roil out here, and there was a minute when I thought I am never getting off playa, there is no end in sight, the car is broke down and there’s no way home.

The car actually, my employers car, has had some problems, which seem resolved, we will certainly find out more tomorrow as we hitch up the trailer and pack things to move.  Dad has acquired another truck with a flat-bed and a tow hitch just in case.

If the car does break down it will get towed to Reno, taken to the shop, and taken care of.  Which means I may be in Reno two nights instead of one.

I don’t care.

As long as it’s not another night out here.

I really am done.

Despite wanting to have the cojones of the girl from the Heavy Machinery camp, the first to arrive and the last to leave, I just don’t.

I know my limits and my limits have been met, and then some.

Mom actually offered me an escape hatch with her assistant going back to San Francisco tomorrow afternoon.

I said no immediately.

I have absolutely no abilities to make small talk or interact with a stranger at this moment.


I can sit and be quiet with the family, but I just don’t have it in me to make new friends with a stranger on the seven hour ride back to San Francisco.

Besides, a nice hot shower, followed by a nice hot bath, followed by a nice hot shower, at the Pepper Mill in Reno is really where I am at.

That also breaks up the drive time and gives me a moment to get uncrusty and uncrispy before heading into the city.

I am certain I will still need a day or two of laundry and letting my brain, body, and soul get used to the clamour of the big city again.

But I just could not fathom riding back with a stranger.

Besides, I know it would put a lot of unnecessary strain on the family to get everything together and deal with the baby.

I am going to finish my job and finish it well.

He reaches for me now, and goes to sleep without a fuss at nap time, and does the fist bump with explosion, I can’t quite give him up yet.

I may change my mind tomorrow, but I want my time to finish well with the family.

And I want my pay, all that I can get, all the days that we contracted for.

My time will go short when we get back to the city.

Mom is only contracted with the Burning Man Organization for another month.

I won’t have the nanny gig in North Oakland.

And I don’t know what my hours are going to be.

I am going to be taken care of, but I did find myself doing a quick troll in craigslist.

This usually gives me the hee bee jee bees, but I managed for five minutes, and if push comes to shove, it looks like there is work out there for me.

Besides, I have not come this far to be dropped on my ass.


One more morning to wake up to, hoping I may actually catch a sunrise, I have missed the majority of them, coming to right after the sun has come up.

I had my last sunset tonight and did a walk about to the nearest large burn barrels and back to camp after dinner, God I am done with the commissary, grateful, oh, don’t get me wrong, but I am done with it, to settle my tummy.

The sky was gorgeous, the mountains majestic, the burn barrels resounding with the crackle that I have come to associate with Burning Man.

I pulled out my camera, it is my last sunset after all, and took a load of photographs.

Burn Barrels




Burn Barrels

Burn Barrels

I took a last walk with the baby before handing him over to mama for bath time, pajama time, snuggle time, and bed time.

We walked the camp perimeter and watched as the last red-gold dusted the sky.

The baby made the sign for “all done” with his hands as the sun sank below the clouds and dipped into the crease of the mountain range.

All done indeed.

All done.

Hands in the air, alongside the face, back and forth, slow jazz hands.

Kiss the baby.

Say good-bye to the mountains and the sky and the fire.

Wave to me on the horizon, as I pull away, a soft fade, the scratch of a fiddle bow, a loving crooning lullaby, good night my friends, sweetest dreams.

I will see you again next year.

All Gone

All Gone

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