August 31st, 2002  |  Filed under Tales From The Playa

Home Sweet Port-A-Potty

August 31st, 2002  |  Filed under Tales From The Playa
Tales From The Playa are dreams and memories of events that took place at Burning Man, as told by its participants.


by Ira Goldman

A stormy day on my mail route I’ve carried for sixteen years.
The houses go by unnoticed; the rain is in my ears.
A home is under construction. A port-a-potty does glow.
I feel the call of nature. I think I’ll stop and go.

Inside a plastic outhouse, something that’s never meant much to me,
I’m filled with joy and happiness by a very fond memory.
I was at a place called Burning Man attached to the Coliseum crew.
The work was over for the day. There was nothing left to do.
I found myself in Center Camp talking to some friends.
They left to have their dinner and I was at loose ends.

I was headed back to my camp when some young girls I did spy.
Surely, they’d rather not talk to me, this aging sort of guy.
But then I heard this whistle or was it some kind of shriek?
I looked at these girls lying there and said: “You talking to me”?

They said: “What’s your name and where are you from? And what are you doing here?”
We shared the stories of our lives, filled with laughter, filled with tears.
One gal was trying to be sober. She was straight for ninety days.
Her will power was being tested in very many ways.
This we had in common because I too walk that road.
I told her of some tricks I had to help her lighten her load.
We hugged goodbye and I was aglow as I headed back to my tent.
Chug-a-lugging a can of soup, my new friends were my nourishment.

Now I’m back to the rainy day. I care not if it ends.
Because I’ve been to a place that’s magic,
A place where strangers become friends.


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