Please, can someone put this week in a time machine and slow it down? It’s going way too fast.
After all the iffy weather and freezing nights, it’s been beyond gorgeous in Black Rock City. Hot, but not ungodly hot. And the playa on Wednesday night was just a wonderful place to be.
The moon is waning, but still, it rises above the horizon line a little later each night, and it’s all huge and orange, and sometimes it’s partially obscured by a puff of clouds, and it just is the most beautiful thing here, even with all the other beautiful things here.
The days and nights seem to blend together, and no one is getting much sleep. The Cafe is crowded with body dancers and massage therapists, and just standing in line waiting for an iced mocha is one of the most entertaining things you can do, because the people-watching is just the best there is.
We don’t like to take the camera out all the time in public places. Sure, most of the folks love to have their picture taken, but some don’t. And walking around with a long lens and snapping some candids of people who are unaware of your intentions is just not cool. So we stay away from it.
We’re staying in Media Mecca, which is just across the street from the Center Cafe, and this year there’s a big huge wonderful Narwhal parked out front. Wednesday night, as the stars came out, the ship was lit up for the first time. One of the talented folks in the Mecca took the mike and serenaded us with sing-along songs of a nautical kind. He has an operatic voice, and the beauty and clarity of his voice snapped everyone to attention, and a small crowd gathered around the boat.
Then Megs, who engineered the re-launching of the boat, took the stage and belted out a few sultry numbers that got us all ready for the night.
Next, Kid Hack threw down some beats. He asked me if I had any requests, and I said, “Well, if it’s not acid house with break beats and some old school D and B I’m just not down with it.” He laughed and shook his head. I had no idea what I was talking about, of course, but I tried to string some words together that I had picked up along the way.
Next up was the crew from the Burning Opera, and they performed songs from the play that was so popular at Teatro Zinzanni last fall. We still don’t understand why this show isn’t on the road, visiting Portland and Seattle and San Francisco and Los Angeles and Austin and all the other places a Burning Opera would have a great reception.
We realize that this is starting to sound like a travelogue, and we apologize for that. We don’t really like just telling you, “And then we did this, and then we did that, and then we went over here, and then we saw that.” It’s boring, especially if you weren’t here to enjoy it with us. So we’ll try to not do it, but for all the boyfriends and girlfriends and parents of people who aren’t here, I’ll just quickly report that Mutator was … off the hook, as the kids say, over at Burners Without Borders last night. Our friend and fabulous photographer Dimitre was there to help us with the documentation, and we’re thankful he was.
Then we wandered out to the Temple to take wedding pictures for Candace and Karl not Karl. But the Temple wasn’t the right vibe, so the sizable group gathered again at the Pagoda, where vows were exchanged and toasts were made and hugs were shared all around. It was a really late wedding, and in that there were a lot of hard-working DPW folks involved, the revelry didn’t last too far into the night. We get tired, you know.
Walking back to camp from the Pagoda, we stopped along the way and got a look at some of the things we haven’t been able to catch up with yet.
Then today the DPW had its annual parade, which took the jankiest collection of vehicles you could imagine and promenaded around the city. We weren’t too proud to ask participants to gift us, and when that didn’t work, there were certain appropriations made (in the most collegial manner possible, of course.) We were allowed to borrow a red DPW shirt so we could take pictures without incident. A red shirt meant you weren’t drinking, and you’d act as a buffer between the DPW folks and the general population. We are proud to report that our services in that department were entirely unneeded.
We wound up in the far reaches of the city, with the wagons circled and the band playing and the Jameson’s being passed around. When the lassos and the mosh pit started to get a little rowdier than we were absolutely comfortable with, we again made the long trek back to camp.
But here’s one of the good things: The rain early in the week really tamped down the playa, and it’s flatter and smoother than we ever remember. And the weather. My god, the weather. For two days straight now, it’s been absolutely perfect. No wind, no whiteouts, just the occasional dust devil forming a plume over this installation or that.
It can’t hold, of course, and Burning Man without hardship just wouldn’t feel right. But we’ll take things the way they are and be damn happy about it.