Recently I found myself, along with a bag of bike tubes, coconut water and some of the more flamboyant items of clothing that I own, out in Norco, California covering every interior surface of a Fleetwood Jamboree with protective plastic wrap. But on my Burning Man adventure I otherwise had a magnificently epic time; here’s the run-down of my trip by the numbers. Well, approximate numbers, really, because some of the details are fuzzy.
Approximate Number of Hours it Took To Drive the 552 Miles From Norco to Black Rock City: 24
Approximate Number of Hours I Spent Sleeping During Said Trip: 12 probably more
Approximate Number of Times I Hit My Head on Various Cupboards in the RV: So many fucking times
Displaying an impressive ability to fall asleep anywhere.
Approximate Number of Times My Limited Knowledge of the German Language Gained Me Entrance Onto an Art Car Shaped Like a Giant Volkswagen Beetle: 1 (“bitte sei lieb zu mir!”)
Approximate Number of Times I Had a Melted Twix Bar and Sierra Nevada for Breakfast: 1
Approximate Number of Hands that Scrubbed My Naked Body When I Bathed at the Human Carcass Wash (Located at the Polyamorous Camp, Natch): 30, all of which were attached to naked bodies. And it felt awesome.
Approximate Number of Amps Danced On Top of at Fractal Nation: 3
Approximate Number of Times Some Rando Creeper Told He ‘Loved My Energy’ While Rubbing My Hand: 15, at least
Approximate Number of Times a Man Old Enough to Be my Grandfather Asked If I Wanted to Drink Tequila and Roam the Playa Together: 2 (same old guy both times, and I briefly considered it)
Approximate Number of Times Caught in a White Out Dust Storm While Riding My Bike on the Playa After Midnight: 1 ridiculously intense time
Approximate Number of Gaslamp Killer Shows Seen: Fucking zero (because of said dust storm)
Barry J. Holmes
The mid-dust storm biking experience was absolutely nothing like this, except for the bike.
Approximate Number of Times More Experienced Burners Lectured Me On “How this thing used to be WAY more wild”: 5
Approximate Number of Times a Total Stranger Wiped Snot Off My Face With His Sleeve and Held Me While I Broke Down Weeping at the Temple: 1
Approximate Number of Times I Learned What My Spirit Animal Is Via a Shaman-led Group Meditation at Nectar Village: 1 (Siberian Husky)
Approximate Number of Sunrises Witnessed: 2
Approximate Number of Times I Laid on a Bar to Have Whiskey Poured in My Mouth and Then Immediately Had A Bunch of Whiskey Poured in My Eye: 1
Approximate Number of Towers Climbed: 3
Camp set up in 100 degree weather was not necessarily the most fun part of the experience.
Approximate Number of Hugs Given/Received: 1,000
I earned this.
Approximate Number of Kisses Given/Received: Probably also 1,000
Approximate Number of Hippies I Let Grope Me as a Result of Spinning the Wheel on Some Playa Drinking Game: 2
Approximate Number of Teddy Bears Said Hippies Gave Me in Exchange For the Groping: 1. Very soft and surprisingly clean. He now lives on my couch.
Approximate Number of Times I Danced to ‘Magic Carpet Ride’ While Rollerskating In My Bikini At Dusk: 1
Approximate Number of Times I Enthusiastically Exclaimed ‘I Want to Stay at Burning Man FOREVER!’: 30 (and I meant it every time)
Approximate Number of Clumps my Hair Was in at the End of the Week: 1 very dusty one
Approximate Number of Post-Burn Showers I Took at a Gas Station Outside of Reno: 1 very long one