I’m catching a ride out with a friend whose plans are less like clockwork and more like cats chasing a laser pointer. So once we started talking about “when we’re going to leave” I started making some rounds, telling people “this might not actually be the last time I see you this year, but it also might be, so let’s make the formal goodbye now.”
I was at BMIR: my home away from home on the playa. I said goodbye to Kanizzle. I said goodbye to Decibel, and to Ben, and to Mao, and even to that one girl who keeps sneaking up behind me and cupping my ear. I don’t know what her deal is, but she’s definitely been part of my experience. We all hugged it out in tender, sad, moments. None of us have ever seen each other outside of Burning Man.
Then a guy I didn’t recognize looked up from a coach. “Oh no!” he said. “You’re LEAVING?”
I felt pretty guilty about not recognizing him, but I don’t actually have a great head for faces or names, so I know there are people who I should recognize at BMIR but don’t. “Well, sort of,” I said. “I might be back later, but I don’t know for sure, so I’m making sure I hit everybody …”
“C’mere,” he said. He stood up and gave me a passionate embrace. I hugged him back. He was obviously so affected by whatever moments we had shared.
“Listen,” he said. “Don’t ever forget that what you do is so, so, important.”
“Making this radio station run … a gift for every listener out there on the playa … it’s just such an amazing thing you do …”
I paused the hug. “You … you don’t actually know what I do, do you.” (more…)