Saturday, October 16, 2004

Burning Man 2004 10: Home

I was completely spent by the time I arrived in Denver, at fellow Burner Diablo's place, in the early afternoon on Wednesday. I was energized by his presence somewhat, though (you can't help but be enthusiastic about Burning Man when he's around), so we got some of my film developed and hit the packy for a Reburn party that night. I won't go into too many details, but I had a hell of a good time and woke up on his back porch, in a porch swing, swaying gently in the breeze and looking out into the blue sky of a Colorado morning.

My first thoughts were confused, and the christmas lights, beads, elwire, and liquor bottles made me think I was...back on the playa. "Whose camp am I in," I thought, followed immediately by "man, we are going to be SO late getting out of here." But after a few breaths, I realized that I was actually well on the way to being home, and in fact the entire event was well and truly over.

There's always a mixture of emotions when this happens (and it happens every year--one of the many, many ways your mind is profoundly affected by this event). First, elation that you're on the playa, shortly followed by sadness that it's all over for another year. If I lived in Reno, that would probably be the gamut. But living so far away, I've got a hurdle many people don't have to clear: the drive home. So in my case, there's always a "but at least I'm home safe," which in this case was followed up by the unpleasant realization that I still had a 12 hour drive ahead of me.

It was too much for me to think about. Despite my hurry to get home, I still didn't feel rested enough to undertake the journey--and, let's face it, I was having a hell of a time with Diablo and crew. Once again, I made plans to spend the night, and leave sometime late in the morning.

That didn't happen--Daud called me from HIS place in Denver, and I spent the night over there deconstructing the event and (of course) brainstorming new ideas. This is also one of the fun things: there's so much useful data that comes from one event, tucked away in everyone's mind, that any camp worth its playa dust has about 50 new ideas by the time it gets home and cleaned up.

After breakfast the next morning, I headed home. It was really over, I felt--the next scheduled event was WORK, in less than three days. The drive home was tedious, and I found that the sleep situation hadn't changed much: I didn't want to stop and sleep, because that would delay my return even further. The only positive things I have to say about this leg of the trip are a) it only took me 11 hours, and b) when I got home, some SAINT of a housesitter had left me three cartridges of nitrous oxide. I was home, and glad of it.


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