Monday, September 20, 2010

Staggering Targets

Monday night
Kim and I triumphantly polish off a quarter of vodka knowing that we are pussy light weight drinkers, and proceed to the show completely hammered. I get on the bike and am unable to stay on it for more than 15 yards before falling off to the right side, busting my knee in the same time every time. At close to the end of the night, I realize my body is not fit for sunrise shows. But, I’m okay with that. So, I tell Kim I’m gonna go back to camp and she says to me, you’re not gonna make it, Erica. ....She tells me directions and a head lamp and I ride away. I fall off the bike at least 4 times that I can remember. I got so irritated, I started to walk, toting around the bike, realizing that my hopeful intentions can only take me so far when I'm drunk and lost in the dark. I wander and wander some more... just stepping one drunken foot in front of the other as best I can not to fall over and bust the other knee.

Tuesday morning.....
I wake up in another person’s tent and I’m looking over at him, then laying my head back down and closing my eyes hoping I can remember absolutely everything that happened up until this point. I stared at the ceiling of the tent for a little while, rearranging my memories from the night, piecing together how I got here. I don’t know this boy’s name but I know my lips were extremely raw and I was ravenously thirsty. 2 and a half minutes later, his eyes open. "Hello, crazy girl." and deductively I discovered we made out and nothing more, covered the basis of conversation and got to 'know eachother', until giving up on finding my camp and passing out next to each other after a long and unsuccessful search.
His name is Jesse Cochran from the infamous Humbolt County, California. Ironically he is NOT all of the following: a hippie, a pothead, interested in the rave scene, interested in weird homosexual workshops. He DOES, however, enjoy bloody mary's in the morning, drinking whiskey to a stupor, listening to punk rock, and apparently rescuing drunk chicks from walking themselves around into dark oblivion. He has seriously bad tattoos, a labret piercing, and the sexiest smile I've ever seen. If we spend this morning together, I think I will be hanging with him for an significant part of this event.


This trip is a test of how tough I am. I’m cracking my shell, pouring it all out, and revealing exactly what I’m made of. I say, “I’ve ‘been holding back,” in such a trivial way to describe whatever is really going on. And because I always choke in front of crowds, I feel my confidence is mustering somewhere deep inside me and unprecedented. With all presumptions aside, I’m going to lay my head down and relinquish my thoughts for now, or at least until I wake up in Reno.
First Day of Burning Man
From 11pm – 5 am. We pulled into the gates of Burning Man ever so slowly inching our way down the playa, and crept ever so slowly through the darkness. It is recommended to set up camp past midnight when the tumultuous atmosphere ceases to roar. Apparently frequent winds and dust whip around the desert during the sunlight hours, smoldering and fierce, making it difficult to unload camp and set up. The moonlight was strong and the air was calm and cold. After spending all of our possible sleeping hours in the car and finally rolling in at 5am, we set up our shade structure and bolted our tents into the ground only to crawl up into the sleeping bag, catching the sunrise and a few morning hours of shut eye.
We woke up at around 11am and took a walk around our portion of the city, carefully taking note of our surroundings seeing as it will be a hard camp to find where we live again once the city erupts. Kim and I are camping with her Wwoofing comrades from Cali. Most camps have between 20 and 50 people where as ours was of budget style, bringing food and tents enough for only 8 members.
It’s Monday evening and the sound camps and art installations are just beginning to take form. Immediately, I start seeing girls topless with pasties or nothing at all, tiny hemp skirts, dread locks, and dust masks swarm the playa. Dudes sport utilikilts or straight up slinky dresses, playing up gender confusion and complete social aversion. I tell Kim how it’s costume time from here until the end and we must look the most sexy and ridiculous as possible. Kim throws on a pair of butterfly wings and a purple tutu and I grab some furry leg warmers and a tight romper suit. The girls from my camp and I jump on our bikes and head for the Man. The Man stands on top of a tower in the center of the camp, about 50 ft tall. As I’m walking up the stairs up to the top like the Statue of Liberty, two men are coming down. I look at the steps to make sure I got one foot in front of the either and look back up as I inhale the sweaty stench of free ballin’ genitals right in my face. “Shirt Cockers” are the gender rebels who organized against wearing pants. Without any warning, my first encounter was with a man coming down the stairs as I’m walking up and his cock lands eye level. Holy Shit!
I quickly learned about most of the erotic anti-social communities throughout the week. There was the Shurly camp that lined their perimeter with bacon, only eating bacon, and proclaiming that they found that bacon was the successful way to keep the hippies away. There was the Zombie camp across the playa from the Zombies Hunters camp, who walk around in corpse paint getting captured by strategically placing PBR Tallboys in traps by the hunters with airsoft guns. There was Camp Beaverton, a ‘haven’ for overt lesbians participating in Beaver eating contests and all night girl-on-girl discos. The Pink Gym, a hellish excerise facility with a well equipped weight room, playing off the vanity contests for metro-hetereosexuals and whoever was curious. The camps were obnoxious, overt, socially awkward, tremendous, and exhilarating showcasing all the possible facets of human expression. This is going to be a wild ride.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Burn

The playa is rough. We drove the rebar into the ground to set our camp solidly into the earth. Our shade structure erected as we lifted our tapestries high into the sky and a Chinese dragon flag raised into the air. We arrived in the first few hours that the gates opened, making our way into the abyss of the desert to find our home. Burning Man was mapped out like a U shaped city with streets named like the countries of the world and corners distinguished like the hours around a clock. We rooted at 4:00pm and Detroit. Our camp was small and quaint in comparison to some of the city communities that were created around us. It was almost as if we were out in the suburbs, creating a small residential flat outside of the inner city mayhem.

Hammered and Off

August 29. 2010

Last night was my last night in Orlando. I’m looking out this airplane window into a future beyond work and bars and clubs and people, prophesying my new life rolling in with the clouds. The sun kissed shapes transform the sky, as each cloud simulates undulating thoughts in my loaded mind. They are ephemeral and transient, strong and uncertain and I’m not even sure if I can tell where each thought stops and ends. All I can cipher is steep anticipation for all the lies ahead.
My lips are numb and I’m incredibly thirsty. It’s probably because I drank myself silly on my last night of work… which was probably not the best idea considering I’m not entirely sure the next time I’m going to enjoy a full night’s sleep. I’m hammered drunk, still in my work clothes, and reflecting on what tidbits I can piece together from my memory of the night before. Fully equipped with the heaviest pack in the world, I stacked all the most random ass things that a backpacker would never consider to be of importance on their journey. This is because I’m not traveling to any normal backpacking destination. As a matter of fact I am traveling to the single most radical event in the United States in the drop dead middle of the desert.
To be quite honest, my departure from Orlando wasn’t exactly how I pictured it, but then again I don’t even have any recollection of what had happened anyway so maybe it’s possible I left exactly how I wanted to.
All I can remember about my last night working on Wall St:
10pm Four adorable beer pong boys bought me 3 rounds of shots
10:45pm Patron shot
10:46pm Patron shot
10:47pm Patron shot
3:15am Cleaned the bar and swept the street
** between 3:40am and 3:50am
3:58am Drove to Denny’s with Holly
5am Arrived at the airport at 5am and had to change my clothes in the car
10am Woke up on the airplane as it landed in Salt Lake City
** Somewhere around this time frame, I apparently, had also rubbed my bare naked ass all over an Orange County cop car, paying my farewell respects to the city indirectly.