The sound camp next door shut down about 3 AM, and I was able to really sleep. I woke up about 7 AM the next morning when I heard somebody walk behind my tent to pee. The Sun was already up when I climbed out of my tent. It was Tuesday, August 30th, and I slept for about 9 or 10 hours. As I walked to the potties, I spotted Rangers observing some BLM Rangers at a camp across the street. BLM had a guy in custody and were looking at another’s backpack.
Back at HOTD, I got out my stove and cooked up some ramen noodles. Water takes longer to boil at that altitude. I ate on the stage, which was about the only place where I could sit in the shade. D-Mo was moving amps and equipment around the stage. A pretty, tattooed girl walked up to the bar. When Otis asked what she wanted, she said, “Give me whatever you want.” So, Otis ran around the bar and picked her up.
I hung out at the bar that morning. I was talking to Captain Apocalypse when two girls pulled up. Natalie and Sophie came all the way from Australia for Burning Man. They were looking for a friend’s camp, but it wasn’t registered or listed on the city map. I suggested Playa Info, which had a list of unlisted camps, so they parked their car and took off walking. I decided to take a shower. I changed into my Utilikilt and put two quarts of water in the bucket. Inside, however, I couldn’t figure out how to turn on the pump. There was no button on the floor like usual. I poked my head out and asked D-Mo what to do. “Use the power strip inside the shower,” he said. What??? Sure enough, there was a power strip tacked to one of the supports with everything plugged into it. “Just be sure your hands are dry when you turn it on,” he added. It was the first time in days I’d been able to shampoo my hair—it felt so good to be clean!
Around back in the shade area, I re-met Marilyn, whom I met the year I met Parisa. Rerun shared a breakfast burrito with me. Steph soaked her feet in some water from the cooler: melted ice. When D-Mo tried it, he almost cried out in pleasure. Mike the Beer Baron cooked up some bacon & eggs, so I donated the last of my turkey bacon. That was when I also took over the stuff I’d brought for the bar: plastic cups, some mixers, and cases of Oklahoma microbrew beer. 
The wind was constant. On my way to the potties, I found a broken wind fan and set it up next to the thermometer in the bar. I saw Migh next door puttering around her camp. Special Ed stopped by, and said he’d probably head home on Thursday. He wanted to avoid the rush. Go-Go, in a green skirt, came back with her friend, a guy called Charlene. I sat next to a girl called Starlight, who was amazed at some of the camps and events listed in the What Where When. I talked with Puppy, a lovely blonde girl dressed in blue. She was with a camp that did glass blowing every night (after dark, when it was cooler). I also spoke with Ginger, who told a bad joke.
The place with jumping with live music on the stage. French maids from the Chicken Tiki Camp came by to "clean up" the bar. I got doubly clean. I was pleased when Star arrived about 5 PM. It was really good to see her again. She went around giving hugs to everybody. It was a busy evening in the bar. Migh stopped by while I was sitting on a bar stool. We talked about the camps and supplies and meeting people. I said I’d been thinking of shaving, but she found my “salt & pepper” stubble attractive. Migh said she had several dinner invitations that evening, in three different parts of the city. I met a girl called Starlet, from Dong Camp, and Jody, a guy with red tassels on his nipples. I also met Femcar, who was camped nearby. We talked about the importance of being prepared for anything. A bunch of people back in Oklahoma knew her, and off-handedly told me to say hi for them. Out of fifty thousand people camped on the playa, what were the odds she’d camp practically next door?
Most people carried their own cups for drinking. Down the street from HOTD was a camp serving sake, Japanese rice wine. Sake is a strong drink best sipped in small quantities. They had a great camp. I was standing there talking with the bartender when a girl came by looking for a drink. She offered her cup, and the bartender poured her about ten full ounces of sake. When the bartender walked away, she stared in amazement at the tremendous amount of booze in her cup and said helplessly, "What do I do now?" I left before she figured out what to do.
The Ranger social was that evening. As it got dark, I got dressed in my khakis and went over to Outpost Berlin. There was a huge crowd of people there. I got some food and a beer and met a bunch of people. I think it was Paragon that gave me a “khaki redshirt” button. I met up with Foxy Romaine, who skipped Burning Man in 2010. She gave me a very nice patch.
Somebody gave me an awesome handmade necklace. I met up with a bunch of Rangers I hadn't seen for a whole year. I also got to talk with Inkwell. An art car with flame throwers made an appearance. It was a thrilling evening.
Prologue Aug. 24  Aug. 25 Aug. 26 Aug. 27 Aug. 28 
 Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Monday
Sept.6 Sept. 7 Sept. 8  Sept. 9 & Epilogue
Original content (c)opyright 2011 by Tim Frayser
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