Tales From The Playa are dreams and memories of events that took place at Burning Man, as told by its participants.
by Jon Robson
As I walk back from the temple’s ruins, retreating from the devastation I watch the lights of bikes and head lamps scurrying in all directions. I watch them intersect in another dimension of time, realising at this time we are all connected through these shared experiences in all ways imaginable.
All these people exist outside the walls of this city.
Tired I enter Center Camp. I am alone and lost. I sit down and flick through my notebook, through the photos of actors, of the stages, of the emotions and stories. I begin to write in attempts to capture all these memoirs, trying to make sense of what they meant to me. However, this process is hard. I need someone who understands. I want someone to hug me and bring out those emotions within me. I need someone to massage my thoughts and eject those deep messages buried into my mind on to the paper in front of me. I don’t want to be lonely at a time that everyone is leaving me.
Cady crouches down next to me and asks me what I’m writing. She says she wishes she had her notebook with her. I put my notebook down and we write about our adventures in the air with our words. She scribbles down her notes in the space around me in the cool night air, and I scribble down mine. We circle the similarities as we realise we were in the same moments without knowing. As the marching band competition energised the air we were there. As the man burnt we were there. As the temple fell we both felt the emotion. We cross out our words and replace them with new ones and revise our stories, both knowing time is running out and soon we both leave for the real world.
Our stories before the burn and after the burn intersect in so many ways and through her smile and laughs I feel like I was there or I will be there.
I give her my spare notebook and write my name and email on the first page. I tell her to put stories in. I promise myself to take my stories out and share them with the world as I’ve kept too much to myself for far too long.
Her aunt and her aunt’s former lover arrive to take her home. She leaves me like everyone else has.
Abandonment however no longer seems like it will be an issue, in my life, for me.
/fears of loneliness
Return to my home, alone
In alkaline snow
My head falls to an
unforgiving barren stage
fears of loneliness
and then I am saved
a whole desert catches me
and fears of nothing/