After a week spent with family on North Carolina’s Outer Banks, I got back into town on Saturday earlier than I’d anticipated. I still had a house guest so I went straight to my sister’s fancy ass apartment. I was able to come back to my place yesterday. I’m now in the throes of packing and organizing and compartmentalizing in my mind, so sitting down to write anything coherent is close to impossible. Not only am I about to disappear into the high desert for three months, I’m opening my home to two different couples — foreigners, in both cases — while I’m away. I need to clean and tidy up, put away personal effects, make room in my closets and drawers, send off house keys…and generally freak out.
Add into that mix two doctor appointments and financial meltdowns, as I play my usual shell game with cash, checks, bills and what I owe to who. Oh, and yesterday was the closing for my sister buying my ex-husband’s half of my apartment. It’s no surprise that I wake up in the middle of the night unsure of where I am. And that won’t be changing any time soon.
In about 10 days I’ll be living in a box on a ranch in the middle of fucking nowhere. From there my box will be wheeled into “town,” the tiny town of Gerlach, population hovering around 200 until the Burning Man staff starts showing up. In Gerlach, my box will be Tetris’ed into a glamorous trailer park, where I’ll be sharing a bathroom with 20 or so other dirty hippies out in the desert to help build Black Rock City. Once we’ve built the perimeter fence, transpo starts moving shipping containers — and everything else necessary for the city’s infrastructure — onto the playa, the dry prehistoric lake bed. My box will be moved out there as well. I’ll be “placed” in a “camp,” where my box and I will remain until after the event, when transpo begins reversing the process and my box gets shuttled back to town.
Once everything has been removed, the Playa Restoration crew begins “line sweeps,” two weeks of picking up every bobby pin, button, cigarette butt, beer tab and zip tie left lying on the desert floor. Even though I enjoy making signs, it’s my favorite part of the process, a very Zen way to spend the waning days of summer.
Over the next three months, I’m sure I’ll experience stress and sleeplessness, as well as drama and delight, ideally more of the latter. I’ll do my best to check in, but the internet connection in my box is dodgey, at best. In town, it is slightly more reliable, but only slightly. And when we’re out in the middle of the playa, I’m betting it’s gonna be crap. Of course, we have a crack tech team doing their best to hook us all up, so we’ll see!
Whenever my ability to connect may be occasionally compromised, I can certainly continue writing and then back-blog when I’m online. It does get a bit difficult for me to stare at a computer screen when I’ve spent all day in the glaring sun, so I may just wind up jotting down notes. Who knows.
I’ve already made my appointment with my tattoo artist for whatever “Rite of Passage” ink I feel inspired to receive upon my return, which will be sometime in October. Every year I learn a valuable lesson and translate that to imagery. The appointment is for November 11, for maximal good juju (11/11/11).
Between now and then, I hope to continue my introspection, in whatever form it may take. Stay tuned!