After the events of last year, I was stunned to bump into Augustus St. George on the play last night! It was four in the morning, and he was walking with a couple of rangers out of Decadent Oasis, a camp I’d never known his to associate with. I asked him what was up. He didn’t seem happy to give me the answer, but then he never seems happy. Here’s what he told me:
I’d said I wasn’t coming to Burning Man again, and I always keep my word to criminals, bartenders, and women with low expectations. Duchamp’s team of layers had been on me like a pack of rats on a cheese plate after last year’s showdown, and I was happy to retire. I took my savings and bought a little place in Half-Moon Bay, right by the ocean. The ocean’s expanding and the coast is eroding, and it will be gone in 30 years. But so will I.
I hate Half-Moon Bay. It’s a town for people who have very high expectations of their children. But I love sitting on my balcony with a glass of something strong at sunset, watching the sun change the color of the ocean. I was planning to live like this. Unless there was something good on television. Then I was planning to watch it.
But on Saturday, there was a ring at my door.
I turned on the intercom. “What?” It’s what I say instead of “Who.”
“It’s Melinda,” she said. “Open up.”