I read this short story a few years ago and it profoundly disturbed me. There’s something about it that is so scarily true, it gives me chills.
I just reread it a few days ago and found it to be brilliant. Say of that what you will.
I read this short story a few years ago and it profoundly disturbed me. There’s something about it that is so scarily true, it gives me chills.
I just reread it a few days ago and found it to be brilliant. Say of that what you will.
Had a pretty crazy dream last night. I was at my old place in California and I had some DMT. I think I might have self-extracted it but I guess it’s not important. I read a post on reddit of a guy who had just finished his extraction so that’s likely what triggered it (it was even in the same container as his).
Well I load it in my pipe and begin trying to light it without burning it. You’re supposed to vape it as direct contact with flame destroys it. I barely got a hit in but it produced some effects. I got the signature high-pitched ringing and a bunch of closed-eye visuals although I cannot recall what I saw now. When I woke up a few hours ago it was perfectly clear though.
What I find interesting however is that I have never smoked DMT. It’s been on my list of things to try for over a decade and last night I got to experience it for the first time, albeit in a dream.
But it felt so surreal. It didn’t feel like a dream at all. And I’ve never done drugs in my dreams before, let alone actually get high. Probably one of the coolest dreams I’ve ever had.
I didn’t write in my journal again so I’ll just make up the last entry now.
I decided to leave early and not stay for the Temple burn. It was due to burn at 8pm which meant that I would have to sit through the blazing heat once more, something I was not looking forward to doing. Also take note that 4 out of our group of 6 had already departed. It was sad and somber and I wasn’t really feeling it. The Man burn was so insane that I really wanted to leave on a high note.
So I should probably describe how that went down.
Austin got a hold of some mushrooms from somebody and offered to split them with me. There weren’t a lot but I was excited regardless (mushrooms are my favorite). So Austin and I each took a drop or two of acid and ate the mushrooms as the sun was setting. We were alone now as the others decided to make their exodus before the Man burned in hopes of beating the crowd. I believe it to have been a mistake, but that’s their choice.
Austin and I had a fucking blast, but it would have been so much more special with everyone there together. A final send-off.
As we were walking toward the structure the mushrooms were kicking in. Visual distortions were taking place and we were giggling like school girls. The walk there seemed to take twice as long as usual.
We got there pretty early and had to wait over an hour before the Man was set to burn. We were up close in the sitting section. Those who came later were able to stand behind us. We had front and center seats, absolutely perfect view. Well I begin sipping on my water bottle and munchin’ on jerky and other snacks. This girl in front of me keeps eyeing me and I think she looks cute. Eventually she begins making out with some dude and I ignore her.
Suddenly I get a strong urge to urinate. Like, I really gotta go. I had drank 95% of my water bottle and now I was in trouble. I kept thinking that I should just piss in the bottle but I didn’t really want to draw attention and make a scene so I tried to make it through. Well, before the man burned they had a fire dance. The most incredible fire spectacle that I have ever seen. 30 or 40 guys and gals were twirling fire, throwing people on tops of shoulders, launching them in the air, spitting fire, throwing fire. Just sublime. And given our mental states, it was euphoric. I had a smile plastered the entire time.
All of a sudden the Man’s arms being to raise. It’s happening! But goddamn do I gotta pee! Fireworks begin and the structure begins to take flame. Each explosion from the fireworks makes me need to pee more. It’s literally causing me to do the pee dance and I’m squirming around, trying to hold my bladder. I’m sure it was a spectacle.
I finally say fuck it and turn to the gals to my right and ask if they’d be bothered if I piss in my bottle. They said go ahead as long as I don’t obstruct their view.
I try to be discreet and piss from my current sitting position but it’s a funny angle and it’s not going to work. I stand up on my knees and now everyone is looking at me, wondering what I am doing. I whip out my dick and begin the piss to end all pisses. I literally fill the ENTIRE fucking water bottle, and it’s a fairly large one. I’m sitting there with this huge shit-eating grin, smiling and laughing, all the while there are fireworks being set off, the man is up in flames, the man EXPLODES, and embers are flying through the sky.
It was the greatest moment of my life.
I’m sure the drugs had a lot to do with that perception, but fuck it.
But the greatest thing about it all was how everyone reacted. Because I was exuding pure joy and it was a comedic moment, everyone started busting up. And for the next half hour I kept catching people laughing and commenting. I couldn’t stop laughing for nearly the entire 30 minutes. It was a moment, and I hope to god someone captured it on video. It would be hilarious.
Well after the man burned we waited for the top ring to fall. It took another 35 or 40 minutes but finally it did and we all cheered. Austin and I decided to leave at that moment.
It was total bliss and everyone on our side of the Man had nothing but joy and laughter.
Apparently people on the other side of the Man had another experience altogether.
A man who was quite obviously tripping way too hard on acid ran into the flames and died. Thank god we were oblivious to this, as this would have sent us spiraling into depression. Not the way you want to end a euphoric week.
I didn’t find out until I returned home. I left early in the morning around 8am. I cried nearly the entire first 2 hours. Tears of joy and tears of sorrow. I did not want to leave. This place was a Mecca, a utopia. Who the fuck would want to leave that?
So I drive 10 hours back home after only getting a few hours of sleep. Oh yeah, and we did more acid after the Man and walked the playa for a few hours. Nobody was talking about the man who died. In fact, I’m quite sure most people were completely unaware. I’d wager that only 10% of the population knew about it, maybe less.
So the first thing I do when I get home is check reddit to see how everyone else’s burn was. I was feeling elated, tired and fatigued, but great nonetheless.
And all I see is negativity. Just hatred and stupidity and nonacceptance. The exact opposite of what I had just left. The “real” world had returned full force.
Fuck all you haters. Go fuck yourselves. If you can’t spread peace and love stay far away from me. If we encounter I will try to be civil but I want nothing to do with you.
I know that may seem harsh and hypocritical but I don’t want that. There’s no reason to be so mean guys. Have some fucking empathy.
But I digress.
I’m sorry the man died, and I don’t think it was intentional, but his death caused much pain to many people. I can’t imagine how it felt to see it first hand and I am so grateful I was spared that.
Others weren’t so lucky.
Rest in peace brother.
Just awoke to the craziest dream ever. A total fucking nightmare, on every level. Would make a wonderful (?!) horror story. I was baby sitting a family of 3. The house was a complete disaster when the parents left. Trash everywhere. The baby was literally crawling on the ground eating up all the shit. Cats and dogs ran around. Apparently I left at some point. Saw a cute chick and followed her and kissed her. Upon returning, the house is cleaner now but I don’t know if they were eating the trash or cleaning up. Maybe both. Then they are all running around in the backyard. The neighbors dogs begin attacking the cat and tear it apart but leave it alive. I yell at my loudest and they all run back inside. The neighbor comes over and says he is going to call the cops. I tell the kids to do the same. Inside the cat has blood literally gushing everywhere. I grab a roll of paper towels and the cat GRABS it and says thanks. The cat beings cleaning itself with it’s paws as if they were hands. When the cops arrive I tell them what happened and when I go back inside I can’t find the oldest kid. And then I see it. It is a tall creature with it’s left arm severed at the wrist. It’s eyes are oblong and solid dark back/green. Alien eyes. I know it is the boy and scream, “Oh my god…” and wake myself knowing instantly that I am the one to blame for it. There was a pocket knife I was holding throughout the dream but I don’t recall the details. Maybe I defended myself? There were other things too. Like someone trying to get in and hurt the kids? I don’t remember. But I believe in the dream if I had defended the kids, it would have actually been me harming them. I believe the dreamer’s memory (from within the dream) to have been faulty. HE was the one who was causing all the pain on everyone, all the while he was trying to find the culprit responsible. Fight club shit, basically.
So last night was interesting. It was the first time I didn’t explore the playa at night. There were two things I wanted to accomplish yesterday and I failed them both. One was to hear Kelsey play at 3pm, but I failed to realize the distance and was unable to make it in time. The other was the burning of an art piece. I was invited to dinner with some new neighbors and ended up staying and drinking all night. It was fun and I don’t regret it, but it was sad to realize the art piece was already a pyre upon arrival. It was a really nice fire but I had hoped to watch it from the beginning. At least I should be able to watch the Man burn tonight.
So I had that crazy fucking dream last night and near the end I wake up literally mouthing the words, “Oh my god. Oh my god,” and transitioned from the dream to waking state in a fluid movement. So I was saying that phrase in two states at once. But I fear that earlier in the dream I really did scream out loud when I was yelling at the top of my lungs. When I awoke, all of my neighbors were up and talking. That’s rare for everyone to be awake before sunrise. So it’s likely that I did cause a stir and woke everyone up. I hope everyone understands.
So that’s 3 nightmares here on the playa and they were all terrifying.
Oh shit, make that 4. I had another one just now but it wasn’t nearly as scary. Totally forgot about it. Actually, I am now remembering yet another dream, although that was no nightmare. One was like the movie It or Freddy Kreuger as people were being killed off one by one. We started as a group of 5 or 6, although I don’t recall the details now. In the other one it was my birthday and we were trying to get a nude picture of like 30 people. It was like a surprise nude part or something. I think it started with one dream then transitioned to the other.
It was a cool dream as I remember and nowhere near as frightening as the others.
Oh how I wish I could record dreams like that Final Fantasy movie. My dreams would make AMAZING short films or even movies. There is plot, suspense, mystery, progression, victory, defeat, triumph, pain, etc.
Maybe everyone’s are like that? In which case, maybe my dreams wouldn’t be as impressive.
That child/alien thing with the cut off wrist still haunts me. You’d have to see it, but it walked into frame from the right side and just stood with this blank face. Was creepy as fuck. And then some. I had to wake myself at that point because I could see where the dream was gonna go next and it was NOT something I wished to experience.
Well, two more days now. Gotta make it through tonight and tomorrow night and then it’s departure time. So close! But man has it gone fast. I couldn’t wait for it to be over when I first got here and now I am sad to leave.
Oh, I cried for the first time here after that disturbing dream. After I wrote about it I let some (not all) of it out in my tent. It helped calm me a little. Amazing how therapeutic crying can be. A cathartic release.
I’m fairly hungover at the moment, but not too much. People have been good to me here.
Oh yeah, so I got to play with the neighbors’ kid while they cooked dinner. We kicked a soccer ball back and forth and raced around their RV a few times. It was the first time I allowed myself to be joyful with a kid since Kayleigh. It was very beautiful. I’m grateful for the experience.
Speaking of Kayleigh, her name is to burn with the Temple in two days. I will undoubtedly cry my fucking soul out. THAT is an acceptable time to release. But not now.
My neighbors are having a giggle fit and it’s really cute. I wonder what the topic is?
Oh, so since I was pissed I missed the burning of the art piece I decided to drop off the rest of my PSYBER.cide CD’s. I left them at random locations throughout the city. We’ll see if it has any effect. I suppose the only way I’ll know is through my youtube or facebook accounts, although they will have to do some sleuthing to find them. Other than that, if people DO like it I will be oblivious. It still feels like it was the right thing to do though. I trust that they will reach the people who need to hear it.
I listened to my songs a few more times while here and I think they are really good. And it’s been a year since they were recorded. So either I’m delusional or simply sane. I’ll opt for the latter, thank you.
Austin mentioned that he could get me DMT. That’s the first time anyone’s ever told me that. He’s a really cool dude and I can see us being very close friends for a long time. We’ll have to keep in touch.
You get used to the heat and dust out here. The first 2 or 3 days I hated those aspects. Now I am in total acceptance.
It is what it is.
Just roll with it.
Austin has a really cool quote about the impermanence of experience that he came up with. I’ll have to ask him what it is again and write it down.
This shade structure is a god-send and I am very grateful to Austin and Dan for their assistance.
I’ve met so many amazing and talented individuals here. It’s been exhilarating and transformative. It hasn’t been exactly as I imagined it, but it’s been everything I’ve been needing.
Like a psychedelic trip: you don’t get what you want – you get what you need.
So last night was pretty special. It was the first night I hung out with a group out on the playa.
There is a group of 5 that I walk past everyday to reach the bathrooms. Austin, Mark, Tuesday, Dan, and Robin. At first they were just heckling me (playfully) as I walked past but after a few days they invited me over. Eventually I would stop and sit for a few minutes at a time. They were the one who helped set up my shade structure. Yesterday after my last journal entry I hung out them until it was time for bed. We chatted about all sorts of topics from music to technology to art. Whatever. Mark offered to let me stay with him and Tuesday if I needed a place to crash in SoCal. I have his number. Austin and I tried playing guitar together but the jams were pretty terrible (my fault). But eventually I started playing my songs and everyone was impressed. Even though I played like shit they seemed to like it. It’s a good ego boost and more confirmation that music is a good fit for me. Even though I don’t really know what I’m doing (at least technically speaking) they still gave me great promise that I was good enough.
So that’s cool. I’ve been giving more thought to going to California since yesterday. Even if it’s not a permanent stay it’d still be cool to try it out for a few months.
But yeah, when Mark said I could stay with him and Tuesday it really opened my heart. They barely know me and already trust me. That feels really good. I may take them up on that offer as it sounds like an adventure. And who doesn’t like those?
But anyway, it’s Friday today. I should check out the Reverbia stage around 3pm and see if Kelsey Sprague is playing (I found the name for the female guitarist from the other night written on a notice board). She lives in Seattle. Could be cool to see her if I ever visit that city. I think we’d get along marvelously. She’s a beauty, soul and all.
I mentioned (very briefly) about raising Kayleigh to someone just a few minutes ago. It makes me want to cry a little but I’m not gonna go there. I wrote Kayleigh’s name on a piece of wood at the Temple. She will burn up in the flames and hopefully I can lay that part of my life to rest.
I left a few more of my PSYBER.cide CD’s around. We’ll see if anyone picks them up or not. I gave Austin one and am really curious how he’ll respond after seeing me play them acoustically.
Someone (mis?)placed a hat at the Man and now I am wearing it. I hope they don’t mind. Robin gave me a necklace that she got at least year’s Burn.
I took some more acid last night and smoked some pot just before bed. Glad I declined to smoke when it was first offered as it got a little weird even 6 hours later. I get the impression that everyone thought I was gay and I mentioned an ex-girlfriend in a story and it seemed as if the mood shifted a little. It was weird, but I was also stoned and on acid and I can’t trust my intuition on that shit. I’ll probably give up pot now. That event brought some stuff to light. My ego goes on overdrive when I’m stoned. Probably not a good idea.
The group fed me a bunch yesterday and my neighbors too about 30 minutes ago. It’s very cool and special to see stranger’s being so welcoming.
I haven’t hung out with my original neighbors since the erection situation. I’m glad. Super embarrassing.
Wow. Last night was fucking incredible. Best night yet. It’s strange how every night gets better and better. You’d think that after going out and seeing the art that going back again another day would be less special but apparently not. Well and the acid helped. lol
I met so many cool people and had such great interactions. The previous night I was in a foul mood so I had almost zero interaction. But it’s what I needed to have the dreams that I had. Maybe I’ll get into that later, but it’s very personal and disturbing, even for me to think about.
I dreamt last night too, and I remember it being intense, but cannot recall now.
Oh, I should make note to appear at 3:45 & B at 3:30 pm tomorrow, Friday. There was a lovely musician who’s name I cannot recall and I’d really like to see her again. She was beautiful. Her heart and soul is gold. And her voice…
She made me want to tear up with every note she sang. It was hard not to break down. But I think it fueled her even more, so I’ll take it.
So check this out: yesterday I saw and spoke to 5 musicians. Ben Caron at the bar (lovely soul), Jeremy James Meyer, the two duet girls (Kelsey Sprague and Hayley Dayis), and then the 3 piece folk band, Runnin’ Trainwreck. They were all so incredibly talented and pure. So much love and soul.
Jeremy was a kindred one. His songs, although seemingly upbeat and joyful were filled with sadness and loneliness. I couldn’t keep from eyes open for fear of breaking apart. And the only reason I even stopped in that room was due to the offer of free tea.
I love this place. It is indeed fucking home.
I already have many ideas to make next year’s Burn even better. But for now I will immerse myself in the now. Right here.
So to recap. Sunday sucked. I thought of suicide often due to the oppressive heat. Monday was a little better. Tuesday was worse, the exhaustion was taking a toll. Wednesday was pure joy. Let’s keep this ride going a little longer.
I was trying to estimate how much money was invested here. Like a billion dollars. It’s hard to judge.
There are nearly 300 art pieces. Some (many) cost multiple millions of dollars. Then add all the rented/bought RV’s. The tickets. The food. The camping gear. The alcohol. The drugs. The costumes, lights, apparel. The infrastructure. It’s incredible. So much time and money poured into a week’s worth of novelty.
THIS IS WHY WE ARE HERE.
Paradise DOES exist, and it is Burning Man. Don’t believe me? Show up and find (out for ) yourself.
This place is pure magic. Pure love. Pure connection. Pure giving. Pure taking. Pure everything. Even the heat.
There’s so much about last night that I want to write about but I’ll leave the memories in my heart. You’ll have to come yourself if you want to know.
But besides memories, there is more to say. I have a strong dislike for being dirty. For being sweaty. For being sun burned. For being uncomfortable basically. This place abolishes those fears by thrusting you into the fire. But you won’t die. The people here won’t allow that. You’ll be safe, even if miserable. And you will emerge reborn. A true phoenix.
This place is THE place for real change. The only things that I’ve experienced that come close are psychedelics, and this is just so much more. Try combining the two (or more!) for maximum effect.
I came here to find a sense of direction. Which way do I go? Wish I knew. MUSIC!!! Just fucking do it and stop bitching. It’s obvious now. Can’t run from it. Just create your art and the ones meant to find it will. I am ABSOLUTELY sure of this now.
Speaking of, I left 2 PSYBER.cide CD’s out on the playa for strangers to come across. I feel a little guilty as I’m sure it’s generally looked down upon, but fuck it. It feels right. Maybe I won’t leave all of my CD’s, but whenever I stop to sit and eat a snack I’ll leave an offering in my place. It’s my gift and I trust it to find the ones who need it.
Writing that makes me want to cry. That’d be embarrassing but I don’t mind. If not here, where?
Two different people have helped me create a shade structure. I am sitting under it now and much cooler than I’ve been yet. There is a saying that says, “The playa provides.” It’s not unlike the Christian ethos that God will take care of you. In fact it’s one and the same, just different words.
Coming here has restored my faith in God. I was raised Christian and hated it. Despised it. It felt so disingenuous. So fake. But God exists. And (s)he is everywhere. Is everything. Is everyone. Everything is always perfect. All the time. Even when you feel otherwise. It is your story.
Part of my dream is coming back. It was another recurring dream (a different one) but much more intense than previously.
I don’t remember the details but I was set up and going to be arrested. Previously when I dreamt it I failed and got locked up. Every time actually. This time I escaped with the help of a kind soul. It was marvelous. I feel as if all of my burdens I have carried were freed in that dream. I wish I could describe it better but that’s all I can say.
Even though I have a lot of unwanted thoughts and images, many of which I would label depraved or even evil, I have not committed evil. I am not my “evil” thoughts. Anything but. So I must keep faith in God that there is a purpose to these emotions.
And soon the dam will break free and I will be divine.
This has all happened before and will always happen again.
This is life and it is everlasting joy. You just need to accept the process and succumb. Do not be afraid. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the only enemy. Trust love. Make decisions based on love and it will always work out in everyone’s best interest.
Bet at peace.
It’s hard not to cry but it’s okay straddling that feeling. It will happen when it happens.
Time to pee again.
So I’ve made it past my third night. Jesus. You have no idea how difficult this has been. I almost broke down crying all throughout the night. I was pissed off and depressed and therefore wasn’t smiling. No one really came up to talk to me. So I wandered all the way to the perimeter and admired the art structures. It’s been three nights and I’ve yet to see them all.
I’ve got so many fears and anxieties coursing through me it’s insane. Not the least of which is smell. There are no showers here and I’m staying in a tent in 100 degree weather with no shade. Not pretty. Pretty sure my neighbors despise me for it (okay, despise might be going too far). Either way, they aren’t pleased. Yet they sit in an air-conditioned RV. So fucking move away right?
My hair is gross. My wet wipes smell worse. Should have got generic baby wipes. These bio wipes suck donkey balls.
I had two of the most intense dreams (nightmares) last night. Pretty sure they are reoccurring too but it was so crystal clear vivid. It felt realer than how I feel right now writing this.
I will not go into detail.
I’m basically starving myself here. I’ve probably lost a good 7 – 10 pounds. Maybe more. My arms are noticeably weaker. My abs are ultra defined. At least I will enjoy putting the pounds back on at the gym.
I’m grumpy as fuck. My first day I walked around with a smile on my face. Today is misery plastered. I have to keep reminding myself that I only have to make it through this day. And even less than that. Just make it to sundown. If you can do that you’ll be alright. Go to sleep instead of playing outside. Rest while it is cooler.
I purposely ended my night while it was still dark to try to catch up on sleep. It’s difficult to recall now but I may have got 3 hours of sleep the first night, less the second, and maybe 6 the third. I am borderline hallucinating. If I close my eyes I can sometimes see thoughts/images and not realize my eyes are closed. A couple of times I caught myself about to speak aloud. Funny stuff.
I’ve been told that I make strange noises in my sleep.
News update!: So I’ve been fearing that my tent smells. I thought (although I may have imagined it) I overheard my neighbors complaining about my tent smelling. I kept thinking it was coming from another RV but wasn’t sure. Well a guy just came up and informed me it was indeed a propane leak. So it’s not really my fault. Sucks to take the blame though.
Back to noisy sleeping, I hope I didn’t scream in my sleep. I had some very frightening dreams that bolted me awake. If I’m making a fuss it would be highly embarrassing.
I’m tired and exhausted, fatigued and famished, moody and… you get the point. Every hour is a struggle. It really opens your eyes to the struggle of life. We have so many amenities that we take for granted. We quite literally live in a paradise, yet we have somehow imagined it to be hell. It’s funny (at least I think so), when my neighbor mentioned that the guy’s RV could blow up I was excited. Excited the blast would be big enough to take me too.
This place man.
So the only thing I want to do today is more Acro Yoga. What fun that was! If I don’t see Emily that’s fine, but it would surely be nice.
I’m noticeably tanner now. One of my fellow crossfitters mentioned I needed a better tan right before I left. Will be curious to see her reaction upon returning.
I’m going to have to make some changes when I get back home. I don’t know what kind of changes, but there should be many.
This place has a way of challenging you to the core. I’ve never done anything so challenging. And I’ve gotten many rewards already: friendship, ideas, beliefs. But I also hope to learn more about myself and my place here as I reflect back on this journey.
Ironically the most appetizing food I’ve brought with me is Sun Chips. It’s salty, crispy, and yummy. And I’m a poor linguist. But whatever. I’m eating a bagel now and it’s difficult to keep down. Too heavy. Sun chips are light and airy.
I ordered some pizza from Dominoes the night before I left and brought it in a cooler. I only ate 3 pieces before I couldn’t touch them any more. They have been getting a smell since. I got it in another bag to hopefully counter the smell.
I had an interesting idea last night. I brought a few demo CD’s of my PSYBER.cide songs. Was going to bring it up in conversation and then pass them out individually but now I think I might scatter them around for people to find while exploring. Alternatively, I could pull out my acoustic guitar and if people like what I play give them out. We’ll see.
Well the bagel didn’t do shit. Maybe made me feel worse. Gonna munch on some chips now.
I just put on my headphones and am listening to Steven Wilson’s To The Bone. It instantly made me want to cry.
I was hoping that when I came here I would have some idea as to my future, at least artistically. Jam with Bobby again, with Greg and Danny, something new? But I’m left clueless.
If I’m honest with myself, the PSYBER.cide stuff is my favorite. But that’s because it most closely resembles what I hear in my head. When I played bass for Greg I had to compromise on the sound. It was good but I imagined it better in my head. Maybe I’m to work solo? I don’t know.
I came across a piano on the edges of the city and was going to play the song I wrote but as it was severely detuned I couldn’t find the starting chords. Silly, I started playing when I was 13. That shouldn’t have been an issue.
The Zendo dome was amazing last night. I simply laid on my back and watched the patterns evolve. I stayed there for 30 minutes or so. Even without drugs or booze it was intense.
Speaking of booze, last night was the first night I went out sober. I had a few sips of vodka before bed, but while I was out and about I didn’t touch a drop. Being buzzed helps tremendously out here as it allows you to forget your worries and simply be in the moment.
I’m not sure what time it is but the sun is beginning its trek across the sky. My shade where I am writing is diminishing and I will soon have to leave and explore. I will make my way to center camp and try to find the acro’s.
Still, an overwhelming sadness hangs over me and I want to break down. If I were home now I would allow it to take over and feel the release. Yet I cannot allow myself that freedom in the presence of others.
I find it odd, yet it is what it is.
Steven Wilson’s Pariah is playing and it’s challenging to remain calm and passive. But so far so good.
I met a cool fire dancer the second night by the name of Andrew. He was super cool. He told me to stop by his camp but I’ve yet to. I saw him again last night but failed to approach him as I was feeling very down. But I’d like to encounter him again. He’s from SoCal and plays both guitar and bass and likes progressive metal. Exactly the same as my story. And what a loving soul. He’s a special one.
Both he and Emily are my two favorite people here, yet I’ve only had one encounter with each. But those encounters left me in awe. People can be so cruel, and when you find someone pure it makes you stop and stand in awe. Keep on rocking guys! You make the world.
I’m fortunate that April gave me a journal two Christmases ago. I’ve written in 4 or 5 of them now and if not for that event I likely would not be writing here now. And how would I manage then? Probably not at all.
The smell of propane is strong now. I wonder if my neighbor will realize his error in judgement before this trip is up.
I find it funny how we can judge things so quickly and feel totally secure in that judgement, but we can be so wrong.
I still wonder if I even heard them correctly. Would be ironic, no? Me judging them judging me and we’re not even close to the truth. Folly.
More and more people are waking up now. Probably 8 or 9 am then? I refuse to check my phone to verify.
Refuge is now playing. Such a powerful song. It makes me want to head bang and dance, but I don’t like other to witness me doing that. I went to a rave the other night and couldn’t really dance to the music. I thought it was because I was shy (and surely I am) but if they were playing this song I definitely would have let go. So it seems that you need to find what moves you. Sure you can bob around to everything, but clearly a few genres will make you go crazy. For me it’s rock concerts. I danced the fuck out of the last one. The acid helped a bit there. lol God I must have made a fool of myself that night but fuck it. I know I made people smile and laugh, and likely fed more energy to the crowd and band. All from 1/8th of a tab. Fucking insane compound. Such power from minuscule doses.
It was difficult to drink water when I first awoke. Been guzzling that shit recently. Stomach is slight better but still nauseated. I considered bringing a second journal to write in but thought surely I would not come close to filling this one up yet I can’t stop writing today. Oh well.
I’ve noticed an interesting phenomenon. It seems the later people come to the playa the more “spoiled” or “touristy” they are. Spectators as Burners call them. This could be a rash judgement, but more and more clean people are around and they seem very particular. One mentioned “in the old days” we cut the cables to generators that were left on all night. Seemed overly rash to me. Well that particular guy came with his family two days late and is leaving two days early. See my point?
I’m tired of applying sunscreen, but fear the result of that stupid idea. Best just get over it.
Alright, I’m gonna put this down for a bit and explore. Piss for sure. Later.
So today has been awesome. Met some new people and learned one of them lived in Coos Bay. We talked about a variety of subjects from drugs to music and he even gave me a drop of acid. That was the turning point for the day for me. Went out as it was kicking in and found a live musician who was amazing. Got a CD from him too. King Benjamin.
The sun has set and I plan to destroy the night. I’ll probably write a bunch tomorrow.
Right now I’m trying to figure out what to do with my rancid pizza. It’s in a ziploc, in a trash bag, in a cooler but damn is it gross. Better there than in the trunk of the car, right? I mean, it’s not exactly like I can throw it in a trash can.
Only a few more days.
Today is the first day I feel at home. The acid certainly helps but I’ve also become acquainted. Acquainted with the playa, the people, the art, the wind, the heat.
Well, not so much the last one, but you can’t win ’em all. If that’s what it takes to be here so be it.
I found out my bio wipes were very pungent. I’ve resorted to using paper towels and water. I assume I won’t run out of water but we’ll see. Perhaps I can find someone who has extra when/if that occurs.
I finally admitted to someone that I brought along my CD’s to share and he agreed that to just hand them out is no bueno. He said leaving them scattered however is cool. So perhaps I’ll do that tonight.
But that also means carrying my backpack which is a pain. Might be worth it though.
The sky is a beautiful pinkish color. You should see it here.
Trying to kill some more time. Want to go out dressed in lights. Maybe I’ll actually wear them “properly” rather than just strewn about. But fuck it. Butt fuck it. Yeah, yeah.
There was a puzzle art piece out in deep playa. There is an 8 digit passcode to access its inner sanctuary yet no one has figured it out yet. Wonder if I can assist? I already have a few ideas based on my initial research last night.
I’m feeling a good buzz right now and don’t want to add alcohol into the mix. Maybe later I will.
One (!) cool thing about Burning Man is all the awesome pro gay, pro trans, pro whatever. It’s freeing and lovely. Nothing at all like Coos Bay. But maybe I’m supposed to be an ambassador there. Is that not what the Burn is all about? We all come here from around the world and then go back to our homes. But we bring the Burn with us. Quite literally in the case of the playa dust. But whatever.
Maybe its true value is in how each individual changes; they bring that catalyst to change with them and people who are receptive to the message can change too.
I’m listening to shroom.jam right now and it’s sounding great. I didn’t like it last time I listened to it on acid. But seems like that was an exception. Cool shit.
Alright, so I will bring my backpack then. I should bring this journal too just in case. Bring a flashlight – you forgot it last night.
So I went out last night and got drunk again. Met a bunch of cool people. Had a great conversation with a fire spinner. Helped a girl who was rolling a bit too hard on molly. Went to a rave and climbed atop and watched from the netting. Eventually went down and bobbed my head a bit. All in all, good times. A bit hungover though.
It’s still pretty early but already it feels like today is gonna be a hot one. Testing out the netting my new neighbors gave me yesterday.
My arms look noticeably weaker than I recall; I must be eating up a lot of my stored muscle. Oh well. Eating is still a no go. Tried eating a protein bar and had to put it down after one bite. Protein drinks seem to be the only thing I can keep down. And sun chips. Who doesn’t love sun chips?
It’s crazy how much this place changes once the sun goes down. It’s not unlike the bioluminescence from Avatar. I never made it to the playa the first night as I got stuck in a bar, but last night was amazing. So much art. So many people. Much colors. Such wow.
Can still feel the hangover creeping up on me. Would tell myself to be careful not to move around so much but the sun is making its way overhead so that’s a given already.
There isn’t really any breeze right now. Wonder if that’s why it feels so hot. I actually ended putting on a shirt at one point last night. It wasn’t that cold but it was getting near “cold.” I made multiple stops back at camp to resupply on water and redbull.
I hope Chloe is alright. She was tripping hard on molly and in that state you are basically roofied. I had a strong desire to fuck her but chose against it as it felt almost like cheating. But after I left her I couldn’t get her off my mind and started worrying. What if someone else takes advantage of her? I was keeping an eye out for her for about 30 minutes, helping her try and set up some amps at the jam camp. Probably would have been cool if we ever figured it out. Her incessant apologies made me smile. So that’s what it’s like when I’m on that stuff.
Anyway, I actually ended up finding her again after I left and found a bathroom and it seemed like some dude was taking good care of her. Once I saw how they were interacting I felt better about leaving her alone. But still, I hope she’s alright.
There’s a weird phenomenon going on: chicks love looking at me but when I approach they back off. I wonder if I’m taking too long to approach. Maybe there’s a timer counting down or something.
I miss my gym. I miss my friends. I miss my shower. I miss my A/C. But it’s worth it to be here now.
The wind still hasn’t picked up at all. Day is half over though. Sun is almost directly overhead. Eating still makes me sick. At least I can keep applesauce and gatorade down.
A bit surprised how well it’s going considering my complete and utter failure to prepare properly. Wrong food. Check. No shade. Check. Wrong attire. Check. About the only thing I did right was the water.
Wish I could sleep.
I went out wandering in the middle of the heat as it was worse sitting in my tent. But holy shit!!! I just met some of the most amazing people ever. I was getting lost and circling the same area when I stopped under a shaded structure for a rest. I ended up staying for hours having some of the most fun I’ve ever had. Sober, anyway.
There was a topless lady inviting me to do some Acro Yoga. I thought she was saying Aggro Yoga so was at a complete loss as to what she was saying. I said fuck it and accepted her offer.
We ended up having partners taking turn raising each other up on their legs and their other flying from their hips. There were many complicated movements that I had never seen before (actually, all of it) and at one point a guy was literally twirling another girl in circles and other shit. It was insane.
After that we did some stretches before going into a connection program. Basically, dance lessons, at least as far as learning to push and pull people.
After that we had people fall in the middle of a group and the others would push them back up. Afterwards we did a group massage.
And the whole time this amazing person was nothing but joy and sunshine. I don’t know about love at first sight and all that but I’ve never been sure about anything. But damn. I’m literally struggling to find words to describe her and I know it’s cliche to say her beauty lacks proper description but there it is just the same.
Her name is Emily.
Anyway, she said they have a lot of acro yoga people near center camp from 12pm – 3pm. I would very much enjoy seeing her again.
There is rain off in the distance. Should be interesting?
Doesn’t look like the rain is going to come after all. It drizzled a little but that’s all.
So I’ve been killing time, waiting for the sun to set so that I can set out myself.
So I’ve successfully (?) made it through the first day. Totally not at all what I thought. Also didn’t expect to get completely drunk the first night. That was kinda fun.
Met and spoke privately with a number of individuals. My neighbors (both sides), people at the bar, out on the playa, at the Man.
Had a dream about the lady sitting at the bar. Purrina or something. Cute.
Hopefully today goes a bit better. I believe it will at least.
Been a few more hours and it’s getting hotter now. Winds picked up too. Let’s see if my tent can withstand.
It’s interesting. When I was in Hawaii there were lots and lots of very attractive people. That’s still the case here but they aren’t as fit, at least speaking of the men. The women are actually fitter. Last August I thought I was the shit and now I feel like I’m nothing special. Been getting a lot of looks though. Who knows, maybe it will inspire one or two of them to get in shape.
Been at least another hour now. I think. The sun is not yet directly overhead so it’s probably 10:30 or 11. Around 6 is when it was cool enough to safely wander outside.
So this seems to be my strategy: wait out the sun. Find shade and rest. Conserve energy. Then go out and explore when the time is right. Try not to stay out too late and start sleeping before the sun rises. Otherwise you will wake up sweating with very little actual rest.
I’ve struggled to read The Stand and even thought it odd as I can read pretty well these days. But I’m glad I have it with me here and with so much left.
I still don’t know what I’m doing out here. When I first heard about Burning Man I was interested in a giant drug-filled party. What I’m getting is anything but. But it’s okay, it’s only been a day or so.
I feel that I might meet someone or a group of someones, someone who will make sense of my purpose. Why am I alive? How best can I serve others and myself? I’ve felt that I’ve been failing at both of those, although I’m getting better at taking care of myself. It’s time to lighten others’ loads.
I ended up bringing too much stuff. Ironically. I feared that I would run out of food and starve, but it’s exactly the opposite. I have so much food I don’t know what to do with it. Surely can’t eat it! The heat has deprived me of any hunger. Eating makes me sick to my stomach. Ironically again.
I can’t stress this point enough: the most important thing to succeed at Burning Man is SHADE! And water, but I feel that’s a given. If you have shade, water, and a good book you can withstand the brutality of the heat. Without it you’re fucked.
Walked down to the library and picked up The Confederacy of Dunces. Supposed to return it next year. The book caught my attention because my younger brother had mentioned it to me before. I remember being inspired by the author’s story. The book was published 10 years after his death. He had a Master’s Degree in English and was a teacher at a university, and obviously wrote in his free time. At some point he must have “realized” that his dreams of becoming an author weren’t going to happen and he killed himself without ever publishing anything. Maybe he thought people would take him seriously that way. Who knows? Regardless, I now have the book and have read the first chapter. Very witty and snappy dialogue. Almost zero exposition. Probably similar in style to something I wish to write. The interchange of ideas through dialogue is what fascinates me. Much more so than a wooden description of a particular thing in a particular way. Who knows, maybe this will be the book I write.
I made myself some instant coffee before I left and when I returned it was warm. About the best way to get hot coffee here I suppose.
Today is a much better day. I made a fatal mistake yesterday and wandered the playa for hours. In jeans and a shirt. Now I wear only shorts. No underwear. No shirt. It’s much too hot otherwise, and even then still.
I’m sitting in my tent and the sides are flapping wildly. No way in hell am I zipping them up. Another mistake I made yesterday. Won’t happen again.
Everything I have brought here is now pastel. There is a chalkiness to it all. In a sense you could say it is all ruined, but that seems to be an error in reasoning. I brought all that I did because I believed it would soothe or shelter me. And acting upon your beliefs is never a mistake. Even if it ends up that way.
I have this habit where I rub my eyes. Therefore I don’t like my hands to be dirty. In this place it is caked with dust and sunscreen. Yesterday I rubbed my eyes until they watered due to stinging. Also not going to make that mistake again.
I used to think that a great writer would stop and ponder at the page, write a sentence (or even half) and reflect. Now I am sure otherwise. I believe great writers just write. They have been training their brains since birth to excel at it in the way that they talk to themself. Therefore just write. Edit out the bad shit if you desire. But write unceasingly until it is done and finished.
At this point I would gladly pay $100 for a nice shower. Seriously. Money is fucking useless here, but water is gold. A shower is liquid heaven, a great big sloppy kiss from the Goddess.
Yesterday while I was speaking with my neighbors I kept getting an erection whenever I looked at Janel’s (?) boobs. Because I wasn’t wearing underwear and I was sitting in front of Israel, I believe he noticed. When I went over to say hi this morning he did not seem as friendly. I suppose I have overstayed my welcome.
But damn she had nice tits.
My acoustic guitar is likely to be ruined by the end of this week. When I went to fiddle with it earlier all of the strings were severely detuned. Dramatically so. I bet the wood will begin warping too. I only hope that it sounds cooler because of it somehow. Who knows, right?
I have a fondness for out of tune/sync things. A little dissonance goes a long way. When I recorded my songs with Bobby one string was particularly bad. At first I hated it, then I accepted it, now I kinda love it. It makes the opening to the song very dark and cold, much the way I was feeling under the circumstances. Maybe my acoustic guitar will have a similar effect permanently now.
I turned on my phone to quickly take a picture and caught glimpse of the time. 1:07 PM. That was 15 minutes ago or so. I’ve since shut off my phone. Best to immerse myself completely.
For some reason I thought that I would be getting offers for sex simply by being here. Naivety is a fool’s burden.
I probably could have last night though as there was one chick eyeing me a lot at the bar. We sat near each other for nearly two hours. I left because I was drunk and tired and didn’t want to expend the energy necessary to seal the deal. Besides, there was a guy trying to make it with her. Best let him have her. More will come. Or cum. Whatever.
Tonight I plan to wander the playa and admire the art. That was my plan last night but drink took priority. I don’t regret it.
I’m amazed and surprised that I have not encountered any “jocks” here. Frat boys. Fuck boys. Whatever. So far everyone has been super chill and down to earth. They have a saying here: “Welcome home.” Now I see why. Only cool people come here. Only the crazy are ballsy enough to attempt it. Basically, if you’re here you’re already accepted by default. You’d have to go out of your way to make enemies, and even then it may not be possible.
I love my long hair but goddamn does it suck out here. Extra heat is no bueno. Oh well. Sacrifices and such.
I just dreamt (metaphorically) about leaving and the thought of air conditioned coolness sounds so pleasing. A touch of God. Every time the wind blows I am thankful. It’s the only balm to the torturous heat. I am grateful.
There seems to be a trick to surviving out here: occupy yourself. If you sit in your misery, you only get more miserable. If you direct your thoughts outward, you will be alright. Stagnation is death. Movement (action) is life.
When I go exploring I leave my car unlocked and my tent exposed. And I have no worries to lose any of it. The only “fear” would be someone tripping and needing something desperately, in which case they can have it.
I keep eyeing my food as I must be hungry, but nothing appeals. I wonder how much weight I will have lost due to this.
It is Monday today and I leave next Monday. This trip has already been more than I could have imagined and I have absolutely no idea what lies in store for me ahead.
I’m trying a different strategy today. I am keeping one side of my tent open for wind and the one closest to the sun closed. Hopefully this works better.
The sun is at it’s hottest (perceivably). Of course its temperature stays near constant all the time. A few more short hours until freedom. For now I am trapped beneath shade.
I don’t think I can sit in here anymore.
I don’t understand my aversion to sex. I am aware I am attractive and yet I continually make no progress getting laid. Why do I have this block? And how do I remove it?
So I needed to use the bathroom and got up from the torrential wind/dust storm. I literally saw a twister/tornado of dust, not unlike the latest Mad Max movie. Upon leaving the bathroom I heard dance music and shouting not far away. I said fuck it and traversed over there. I was immediately greeted with “There you are! Welcome home!” Even if forced, it still felt great.
I opted out of dancing and chose to sit and watch instead. Got a few drinks (even without ID, shh…) and started mingling. First with the DJ. I asked him some questions about his set up and some of his strategies to keep the groove going. Afterwards I made my way over to a chick who had been mutually eyeing. We talked for over a half-hour before making my way back. Her name was Autumn. Perhaps I’ll see her again.
So I think I have royally fucked up! I didn’t bring any shade structure and now I’m roasting. I’ve gotten sunscreen in my eye, likely already gotten sunburned and am generally miserable. At least it’s not as bad as Hawaii. But almost. I thought I could just wing it and make it happen, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. I don’t really know what I can do about it though. Leaving early is not an option, at least not not one I’m willing to make. We’ll see how the week progresses. Burning Man. Aptly titled. I am the burning man.
So as Darren suggests, here’s some things to make note of for next time:
So I just took my first nap at Burning Man and it’s still the first day. I slept a few hours in the morning and who knows how long I’ve slept now. Still daytime.
I feel like I made a huge mistake. Thoughts of quitting and returning home fill my mind. And suicide. Absolutely miserable…
Decided to ask the neighbors if I could sit under their shade structure and we ended up chatting for 2 or 3 hours. The shade was amazing, but mostly the friendship was therapeutic. Looks like I’m going to make it through the first day.
Just got some new neighbors who have offered shade support. Thanks guys.
Looks like I was right and this week is going to be very challenging.