Wednesday afternoon, I was exhausted from dancing at the District all day. I took a nap and when I woke up, my campmates begged me to join them at a show with one of their favorite DJs. I followed them on my bike, but quickly got lost in the crowd. I turned around and headed back to camp thinking I would just go back to sleep.
On my way back, I passed a big dance party. I was tired, but I had one of those, “You’re at Burning Man, what the hell are you doing trying to go to sleep?” kind of moments. So I parked my bike, took off my tank top and headed into the crowd. I’m not exactly shy, but I don’t typically enjoy going to parties by myself… I felt impelled to jump in.
Before I could find the bar, a boy caught my eye. Something about him – his eyes – made me suddenly feel so comfortable. Suddenly, I didn’t care anymore that I was in the middle of the desert, camping with people I’d never met, riding my bike around exhausted by myself. The loneliness that had become so familiar in my life disappeared in an instant.
I walked up to him as simply as a kid in a playground and said, “Hi, I’m Echo.” He looked at me, longer than a stranger normally would, and just stood there. After taking a moment, without a word, he gave me a giant hug – the strongest, warmest hug I’d ever received and said to me… “You’re the perfect size.” As a 6’1″ man, I had crossed off ‘taller than me’ from my list of desirable soulmate traits. But this guy was at least 6’5″ and I couldn’t have said it better: he was the perfect size.
From that moment on, we were inseparable. We talked all day and all night and one night found ourselves in the middle of the playa on a carpeted art car covered in stuffed animals. We passed out only to awake an hour later in deep playa – all of the art cars had driven out to the middle of nowhere to watch the sunrise. There just aren’t the right words in the English language to explain how I felt: cuddling on stuffed animals with your soulmate in the middle of the desert in the midst of the most beautiful sunrise imaginable… seriously, what do you do in a situation like that? The beauty and transience of the world was so vividly clear to me in that moment that I could hardly contain my feelings of immense joy and nostalgia. Sharing that moment with a person who so deeply understood me changed the way my heart works.
I do believe that we have different soulmates who come into our lives to teach us different things. Some stay for a while and others don’t. In any case, my heart reaches out to you, my friend. You showed me how to love myself, when I had no clue. I’ll never forget your warm embrace, the intensity of your eyes, our sunrise, and the way you paused for a moment and looked into my heart every time you kissed me.