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The next night at the Temple Burn, Danny and I joined the silent crowd. The air smelled of dry wood, and as the fire grew, the heat blanketed us all. “I wouldn’t have gotten involved with someone so soon,” he said. But the exit line was four hours and hotels were completely booked. So, I stopped in a parking lot in Sparks, Nevada, and snoozed in the cab of my truck. I was dust-coated and my hair was matted, with makeup smeared under my eyes.Danny and I sat holding each other, united with everyone in a gentle, burning grief until the building finally collapsed in a heave. “This is the worst you will ever see me,” I told him. After coffee, I kissed his chapped lips and rubbed my face against his scratchy cheek.
” Had we not been going to Burning Man that summer, I probably wouldn’t have pursued the relationship, as his life didn’t seem to have room for me. “It’s strange, but I’m not angry at her,” he answered. When he moved on, another man stopped, and I cried and cried in his arms.
This is considered enough time for the exhilaration of spontaneous love, boundless possibilities, and radical self-expression to subside.
I didn’t meet Danny at Burning Man, but I fell in love with him there.
Danny and I took ecstasy and couldn’t stop touching, until we finally split from our friends and groped each other in a dark part of the Playa. We visited the Temple, a wood structure papered in notes to loved ones, lost pets, family members, and friends who had passed away. I knew the man was burning, heard the roar of house music and cheering of the crowd and felt the heat from the flames.
I joked that I didn’t want to die by getting run over by an art car. At the Human Carcass Wash, we stripped naked and washed total strangers with our bare hands. There were letters of rage, and symbols of love and pain and regret. On top of the art car, I was tucked between my Aunt Kaye and Danny, and surrounded by friends. At dawn, Danny and I cuddled together on the embers and watched the sunrise over the desert, spraying it blue and gold and pink hues. Don’t break my heart either.” Danny and I were leaving in different cars, but planned to meet in a hotel room in Reno to shower and rest before traveling home.