Thursday, March 18, 2004

Burning Man 32: The Crash

I was quite successful in staying up all night, but as dawn began to lighten the eastern sky, the New Yorkers began getting antsy and thinking about having to leave. I just ate the last of my LSD, which wasn't even having an effect any more, except helping me keep awake. We were all exhausted--depleted but content.

That's when Sketchy Bill burst out of his RV again. He was adamant that I come with him to some sort of trance show that was being thrown by some Canadian girls he'd met the night before. I climbed down from the top of the RV, mostly to get him to shut up, but partly because I was still intent on getting laid, and I was hoping against hope that maybe my bed-of-nails cutie (her name is Lori, I recall now) was one of these mysterious Canadians.

Bill was just as amped as I was by the evening, but after a short time of wandering around I realized that he had no idea where he was, or where he was going. That is, the odds of me finding my Canadian sweetheart were nil, unless blind luck intervened.

Blind luck gave me the finger. "What do you want," screeched blind luck with enough vehemence to coat my face with a light sheen of blind luck spittle, "I found you the fucking shoes already! Find your own Canadians!" Away Bill and I wandered, twitching and dejected, respectively. We wandered through dance parties, but no cute Canadian girls. We wandered past a guy towing a bicycle behind his bicycle, the towed bike holding an effigy of the Man, cleverly jointed so that the feet could be affixed to the turning pedals, then set on fire. We wandered past a bunch of people burning PVC pipe in burn barrels, who didn't really cotton to us, and weren't soft, sweetly accented Canucks with penchants for 16 penny nails (ringshank, if I remember right). We wandered til the sun was up, then, bedraggled, we trudged back to camp.

I'd like to say there was some point to the whole maneuver, or even some point to me writing about it. I guess the whole incident reveals just how willing I am (was) to believe in the Bigger Better Party. Or how fascinated I was by this whole Sketchy Bill guy. Maybe I was unwilling to let the night die a quiet, dignified death. But regardless, that's how my first Burn Night ended: staggering around with Sketchy Bill, searching for Canadian girls in the back lots of the big camps on the Esplanade.

Bill bolted as soon as we arrived back at camp--his RV was gone as soon as I turned my back, it seemed. Don't worry. If you're curious about him, I may wind up writing about my visit to see him in October 2000 once this is finished, if I can ever get it all edited and linked to my satisfaction.

The New Yorkers were starting to re-energize and prepare for departure as well. This was a sad time for everyone, which most people dealt with by being very brusque and businesslike as they broke down camp. I helped, mostly picking up trash and carrying bales of stuff around, because, well, I was gonna miss those guys. All of 'em. It worked out for the best, though: someone gave me a hit of ecstasy, which I promptly gobbled, and thus became completely useless to everyone for further cleanup. In fact, I think I started the hugs goodbye a full hour before they were ready to leave.

Finally, they were off. A brief photo op, which I think Robert still has (but I probably won't link to), and then Ishkabibble was out of our life. At least for the forseeable future. Loopool numbered four once again.

The lovely and talented Vardit and Maya showed up shortly thereafter, and invited us back to their camp for a bit. I guess they could tell we weren't that interested in hanging with the Boyscouts. We had a great time walking over there, although it might have been the (e), because I don't remember much more than that. Because shortly after arriving there, I completely shut down.

And I mean completely. It scared the others, since I basically went from talking idiocy (I'm guessing-it might have been English, but I doubt it) to slumped over and unconscious in the blink of an eye. Dan, however, knew better. He kicked me in the head, which usually rouses me, and then threw me over his shoulder and carried me back to camp. Which was no mean feat in itself--camp was fairly far off.

Well, maybe he didn't kick me in the head (although I'm not discounting it-he's a sick bastard, and I certainly wouldn't have felt it if he had), and maybe he just slung my arm around his shoulders and half-dragged me. But he took care of me all the same, and I appreciate that. I'm also sure Vardit and Maya appreciated him getting me out of their camp, but we'll just chalk it all up to Dan Doing The Right Thing.

Sunday, then, was a waste. I remember V&M coming back to give me a hug goodbye, for which I managed to bring my torso off the air mattress about five inches, then fell back into a deep, dreamless sleep. I don't think I've ever been so completely depleted in my entire life, before or since.

The next day was Monday, the saddest day of all.


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