The Man abides

The Man is up and looking pretty damn sharp. By day, he is all shimmering silver and gray, and at night, he’s aglow in all his green, pink and aqua goodness.

The gargoyles have been put in place, and Flash seems happy. Would the gargoyles be too big and draw too much attention to themselves? Or would they be too small and be lost in the massiveness of the structure? There was no way of knowing in advance, really. But now that they’ve been mounted into place, it’s easy to see that they work. They’re watchful, and poised for flight.

Kudos, Flash, for the instincts to make it come out right.

The Man base is painted in a dull flat gray, the color of concrete and skyscrapers. … And then out beyond is the Temple, the just-dead-on-perfect counterpoint to the hulking brutishness of the big city.

Are you excited about coming yet?

We’ve all been watching the weather reports. This morning, the Weather Underground said there was a 50 percent chance of precipitation for both Saturday and Sunday. As of Saturday evening, we hadn’t had any measurable rain. But the predictions were upgraded late in the day to an 80 percent chance of precipitation (!) for tonight. So things may get very interesting over the next couple of days.

All day, people were sensing the change. “It smells like rain,” they’d say. And we’d agree that it was a good smell, all clean and cool. Cool might be too weak a term: It’s positively brisk today. Sweatshirt weather.

There was a massive whiteout in the middle of the day, and I think we all thought the rain would hit us then. But it didn’t.

So we don’t know what will happen tonight, or tomorrow, or tomorrow night at midnight when the gates open. It might be muddy (or whatever you call the playa when it gets wet. It’s like instant cement, tho. Every step you take adds another inch of goo to the bottom of your shoes. Soon you’re wearing platforms.) But it seems pretty clear that it’s going to be chilly.

And of course leave it to us to be cheesy and sentimental and say that no matter how cold the night may be, it’ll be warm inside when you get here.

See you soon.

About the author: John Curley

John Curley has been Burning since the relatively late date of 2004, and in 2008 he spent the better part of a month on the playa, documenting the building and burning of Black Rock City in words and pictures. John is a longtime newspaper person and spent many years at the San Francisco Chronicle, where he was a deputy managing editor in charge of Page One and the news sections of the paper. Since leaving the Chronicle in 2007, he was a contributing editor on Blue Planet Run, a book about the world's water crisis, and for the past two years has been a lecturer at UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism. He has also started an event and editorial photography business, and is also working on a book about the "Ten Dollar Doc" from Arco, Idaho, which will make a lovely film someday.

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