It was 2004 and my second Burn. The year had been difficult. Going through a messy divorce from an unfaithful bully had forced me to send my son to live with his father, find new homes for my dogs and close the private school I had opened only 4 years before. The ex had maxed out my credit cards and emptied my bank account, leaving me with little more than my flight and ticket to that year’s much needed Burn.
Flying in to Reno, however, I realized that I had no idea how I was going to get from the airport to the Playa. Hmmm. Okay, so I took a piece of paper from my notebook and made a sign that read: Ride Needed, with the Burning Man emblem. Before I even got to baggage claim, I had a ride to the Burn Hostel in Sparks. Eight of us, and all our gear, crammed into a VW bus, laughing and talking the whole way.
At the Hostel, I met a woman named Platypus. We sat and talked, sharing life stories, when two men arrived, asking if anyone was ready to head to the Playa. We both jumped up and accepted. After stopping for supplies, the four of us drove to the Playa. One of the men and I soon discovered that we were compatible in a surprising number of ways. Also suffering a difficult year and experiencing his first Burn, he and I ended up spending the entire event together, sharing our stories, walking the Playa and getting to know each other.
At the end of the event, we swapped contact information and said our good-byes. A handful of emails and letters were exchanged during the weeks right after the Burn, but that was it. I bought an RV and started traveling around the country, my 2004 Burn a fond memory but nothing more.
Five years later, I ran back into him and talked him into going to Burning Man for his second time. He met me out on the Playa and the compatibility was exactly the same. It was as though we had stayed in touch all those years. At the end of the 2009 Burn, he knelt on the Playa and asked me to be his first and only wife and I accepted.
People say that Playa relationships are tricky. The excitement, synergy and dehydration can make for bad decisions. This was a good one. Still together, still compatible and still going to Burning Man, I finally met the right person.