I woke about 6 AM. I slept 9 hours? I must've been tired. I got up and went to the porta potties, passing Vee on the way—and leaving my toilet paper behind! Dang it. I brushed my teeth and made myself a cup of tea. It was a bright, sunny morning, with just a slight breeze.
P-nut joined me as I lounged in the bar with my tea. Cleaning up, he was surprised the coffee brewed at 10 AM Wednesday was still hot in the thermos. He had to get on the megaphone: “Twenty-five hours old and still hot!” The Giant Sandworm rolled by, its mouth open and hungry. Neither of us could remember Sting’s name in the movie “Dune.” (It was Feyd Rautha.) Someone brought a box of croissants for everyone, which was very welcome. P-Nut was delighted to find his Camelbak behind the bar. His friend Brenda left her glasses behind. We all hoped Maya would return.
At the Man, jungle noises were playing on loudspeakers. I read some
of the messages people had written on the support structure, like “Out
on a limb is where the fruit is.” There were personal memorials, too. One
guy wrote, “Christi, let this fire burn up some of your sorrow.” Someone
left a big banner dedicated to a guy named Shavia Saravia (Jan. 27, 1970
– Dec. 12, 2008) with a long tribute, which ended with the words, “Don’t
rest in peace—peace is for the dead soul—keep the wings unclipped! SOAR,
I went out to the Man that morning because a Geocaching group was having a get-together there called Cache & Burn. I met a nice girl called Faith and a guy called Geospider, who proudly wore two gold-painted walnuts around his neck. One was for the first thousand caches he’d found, and the other was for the second thousand caches he’d found. You could say he really earned his nuts. They gave me a pendant and a special wrap to keep your neck cool. I told them about the box of stuff I left at the Nevada Shoe Tree, and they said they’d check it out. They were nice folks, and invited me to their camp for some bloody Mary’s. They said it was an A-frame near 7 O’Clock and K Street. I wanted to visit the Temple first, and said I’d catch them later.
My bike was squeaking loudly as I rode back towards the Esplanade. A fellow biker rode alongside, suggesting WD-40. I watched a parachutist glide and float gracefully down from the sky; it looked like he landed right in Center Camp. When I got back to my camp, I poured some water over my head to cool down. In the bar, I asked P-Nut for something cold and beery. We had beer on tap! Boy, that was good. Someone hooked their iPod to the stage speakers, playing the hits of the 1980’s. A lovely girl with curly blonde hair wearing a blue dress with a parasol danced to “Ring my Bell,” then slowly danced away down the street. A girl wearing a blue top and a purple bowler ran down the street past the bar. Billy came through with a bottle of water. A girl in a straw hat came through looking for a guy called Nomad. I couldn’t help her until she said, “He’s got a snail for an art car.” I knew which way to point her then.
|I had the last bottle of my homebrew hard cider, which I named after
my cat, so I took it over to the homebrew camp. That’s where I talked to
a guy from Oregon named Tom. It was his first burn, even though he’d been
to the Black Rock Desert before. He said there were deserts like that in
the northwest, too.
Camp Nomadia got refused placement when Burning Man announced camps and villages, so Pandora’s let them camp in their area. I got one of the last bottles of Wharrgarbl Beer and took it over to Serolynne and Redraven. They missed their kitten—he was staying with friends in Fallon. When I mentioned Lahontan, it turned out they’d camped there, too. They even remembered when: November 8, 2008, the day after the election they worked so hard on. It was really good to see them again.
I took it easy back at camp for a while, resting my feet. I hoped they’d be healed enough for my Friday morning shift. Derek & Suzanne returned and shared some homemade ice cream.
Sitting in the bar, I met a girl named Liz, a very nice brunette girl in a polka dot top. She was needing some aspirin, but was too far from her own camp to get her own. I also met a juggler named Garrett, and a girl named Tara from the Heebeejeebee camp. She was from Chicago, and highly recommended the Field Museum. She wondered if HOTD always played “such wonderful music.” The Joyism car rolled by.
|I walked across the open playa over to the Raygun Rocket, which was
open for visitors. There was a long line of people waiting to go inside.
It was hot standing in line, so I had the idea for everyone to get some
shade by standing in the shadow of the rocket. One young man showed off
a temporary tattoo he had written on his chest with a permanent marker.
It was supposed to say “big ass cool bus,” but to me it looked like it
said something much ruder. He changed it.
When I climbed up the ladder, I forgot I was wearing my Utilikilt. Someone back on the ground yelled up some critical comments. The interior of the rocket was awesome, full of retro 1950’s technology. There were racks of rayguns and cages with captured alien creatures (their eyes blinked!). There were three levels to the rocket, but I chose to not climb up to the pilot’s seat to help speed up the line. It was such a beautiful work of art.
The Raygun Gothic Rocketship