I Come to Dance


by Shannon Kennedy

I come here, to this depleted lakebed known to us as HOME, I come here to dance. I leave behind my family, my responsibilities, my inhibitions, my ambitions, and I dance. I dance without boundaries, without expectations or resistance. I dance with my eyes shut. I dance for the pure joy of being.

I wait to dance. I count the days, the seasons, the holidays, the milestones. All year long I wait to dance knowing that with each passing day I’m one step closer to the playa’s pulse.

And now that my time on the playa has come and gone, I know I didn’t dance enough.

I didn’t dance the Arctic Ice line. I didn’t dance the latte line. I didn’t dance the Outer Limits at dawn. I didn’t dance the wrong side of the orange fence. I didn’t dance the Deep End (what the hell is wrong with me!). I didn’t dance the Alien Monkey stage. I didn’t dance with Monkey Puzzle. I didn’t dance the whiskey and whore stripper pole. I didn’t dance the Porta-Potty line, or the pancake line.

But my mind and my muscles remember, that, yes, I did dance.

I danced the nooks and crannies of the Belgian waffle, the tracks of the train, the metal shafts of Thunder Dome, the second tear of the purple porn bus, and the never ending grove of Pinkies. I danced camps big and small, up and down the hands of the clock. I danced with a gnome. I danced with a gang of giraffes. I danced with a dragon. I danced with a prince, a penguin, a pirate. I danced with a fairy, a fly boy, a fire devil. I dance with a doctor, a dreamer, a builder, a designer. I danced disguised as a monkey, a dominatrix mistress, a little girl, a cowgirl, a whore, a sultry 60’s sister. I danced with my sister. I danced with visitors old and new. But I didn’t dance enough.

And when I wasn’t dancing I climbed (that fucking high ladder), glided (above the black rock mountains – thank you B-rad!), pushed (past my exhaustion level), crawled (through the vagina), ran (after art cars), rode (the penis see saw), bounced (on trampolines), reflect (for hours on end at the Temple), and reached way beyond myself.

And I hugged. I pressed myself against as many of Black Rock’s citizens as I could find. Everyday I lavishly lingered in a long, loving clinch. A slow, intentional, exhilarating dust packed clasp. You know the hold. The embrace is everything.

I’ve been away from HOME for way too long. For now, I reside in a biggy-sized box on an overflowing street in an over-inflated neighborhood stuffed with self-centered clutter. Caught in a calamity of chaos, I subtract the days, counting backwards till I find my way HOME.

Poised at the edge of a blustering intersection, a flashing green neon crossing symbol tells me it’s my time to walk. Ignited by the familiarity of blinking neon, I forgo my agenda; electing instead to watch time blink down, 16, 15, 14, 13, seconds remaining before the big red hand tells me to stop. Standing there I can almost hear the pulse, the beat, of the blink; and I connect with the count down. With seconds to spare I shut my eyes and leap into the center. Accompanied by the horns of overanxious motorists, I am magically transformed back to the playa’s stage …….and I dance.

About the author: 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.

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