Thursday, March 19, 2009

Burning Man

The desert is flat, absolutely level save for the cracks in its pale yellow surface that rise and dip nearly unaccounted for. Surrounding the dried lake bed are purple mountains on all sides that hold us like a soup bowl that was drained of its contents long ago. Where fish once darted in deep currents, where green life once moved on the whim of the wind, there are now people dressed like mermaids and geodesic domes that shine colored strobes into the black night. Perhaps they might see us, maybe they’ll come like the skydivers and explore this civilization, the third largest city in Nevada that lives for one week. Like the small bacteria that once bloomed here, this is a temperamental state. There is a burst of life, birthed always in the hottest month of the year, and out come the children, naked and decorated in fur. With mohawks and spikes and goggles. The gates are open, and fucking and sucking begins. Libations pour from every orifice. Ice is the only commodity. In a city without need, tritons dance ‘til the soft morning sun taunts them to sleep. But I have always been of a different sort. I rise with the low thump of drums kissing my ear. They are in the distance, somewhere, and I rise naked from sleep with the desire to pull them inside. Where is the 4/4? On what wind do you ride? Calling me from slumber, I journey towards your source, the master in which you move, the hand which beats your skin. My bike is my friend, the companion that moves to my every whim, we move as one through the haze of early daylight, while the wind is still calm, while the mermaids sleep. The wind plays tricks, and I ride in circles looking for the drums. First north, then east, then north again. HOOOnnnnnn, HOOOnnnnnn!!! The sound of a water truck, the Jesus of the desert. The shower, the fountain, the orgasm. The horn calls, taking the front stage, grabbing the mike and thrusting its cock in my face. Percussion moves closer to the wall, towards the mountains, and the spotlight focuses on the curved silver sides of the tanker, gleaming in the light. It’s close, only a couple “blocks” away, I pedal furiously to reach it. The incessant spray of water lands on the parched earth, I see a handful of people, some naked, some in loincloths, some only in sandals gently jogging behind a tanker full of water. Like hare krishnas dancing after their leader, knees up, smiles drawn, trailing after the cool stream. I am off my turquoise bike, simultaneously running towards it and disrobing. In the raw state, below the sun, in the wind, in plain view of whoever cares to gaze upon my white flesh, I am here, breasts jiggling, ass shaking, thighs bouncing, I run to the source. It’s a large tanker, shaped like massive oil trucks that cruise through cites and on long, wide freeways, only this one contains thousands of gallons of water, the truck rolls through the desert street at 1 mile an hour, shooting a hard stream of water from its back like a continuous orgasm of hydrogen and oxygen. With a smile that blooms from my deepest being, I let the water wash over me, taking with it streams of sweat and dust and leftover kisses that drip down my legs. And the liquid mixes with the dry floor of a dead lake and a soft gray clay forms. Mud clings to the bottom of my feet and rises towards my ankles. My feet get dirtier, but I become more beautiful. Alive in the elements. Spirit moves through me like a river as my body mixes with the people of stone and the ones of air and the guardians of water. The sun beats down on me like a lover of the future. The wind grasps my nipples with the ferocity of a future mouth. And I am here. Naked. The water truck passes and my bike awaits, I ride, past miles of tents, past swing sets and trampolines and rows of green latrines. There is a white tent in the distance and the beat holds steady in the wind as I race towards it.

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