Man, I had such a good time. Every time I see pictures it takes me back and makes me smile. I sorta miss it. A lot.
What Could Possibly Go Wrong?!
On the way to the Ice Party - that's me on the left, hanging off the side of the pirate flag car (I can't remember what the name of this vehicle is. Humongous, I think!). In the seat up top is Iris. Kurt was riding on the hood, as you can see. What could go wrong with this idea?
That's me hanging off the back right of the car on the left. The car to our right has playground equipment hanging off of the sides, places to sit up top and in the bed. There is a swing on one side. There is a tire swing on the other side. - what could go wrong with that?! We were yelling over to Sky (riding on the tire swing, far right) "Hey! Sky! Do somethin' STUPID! Do something stupid, Sky! What could possibly go wrong?!"
Black Ice @ Ice-9 aka The Death Guild Ice Dance Party
Welcome to Ice-9: BLACK ICE WITH DEATH GUILD. We made short work of all the signage, so that everyone would know who was there. As if all the death guild cars and industrial music and black-clad weirdos milling around with bloody marys and margaritas wasn't a give away.
Once again, we find ourselves at the Death Guild Ice Party. That's Irene in the foreground, and Iris and I in the center. I don't remember what we were talking about, but I really like this picture. The whole thing was a real bonding experience for everybody - people who didn't know each other very well were talking, laughing, dancing together. Mixing each other drinks. Singing along to songs.
This is what I've always thought about when I see those high-school feel good movies. You know that out-of-control prom party that nobody ever has in real life? Where everybody is just totally shaking their groove thing, cutting loose, everyone is having a blast... It was like how I always imagined that would feel in real life. And with a group of people who are like me. Not like the archetypical cast of characters in the movies.
The infamous BOOZE LUGE. This unsuspecting customer came in to purchase ice to keep things cold... and we yelled "DO THE BOOZE LUGE! DO THE BOOZE LUGE! YOU CAN'T STOP UNTIL YOU DO IT!" We had Saké, cheap wine, vodka, cheap whiskey, rum... eventually other people started gifting us more booze to keep the booze luge alive. Eventually we had two BOOZE LUGES going to keep up with how many customers we were forcing to "DO THE BOOZE LUGE!"
Many of you, if you know me, are probably thinking "jeez, it's just another party, Kristin. You've go to... well... probably 3409287293048." And that's true. But this was difference.
It was this spontaneous "let's all come over to [x location] and it'll be fun." That's how stuff always goes in fiction, in idealized parties. We actually GOT one of those parties. Like in those teen movies, I mentioned before. It was a coalescing of everybody just being themselves, letting loose, having fun with whoever happened to be near.
This is one of the defining moments of my trip.
Death Guild: Safety Third
This was taken on the way home from the Ice Party.
It's hard to see, but behind the motorcycle are Chris (I think), Kurt and me standing on the back of Vector. This dust storm was incredible - this picture was shot at about 4PM. You wouldn't know it, would you?
We were standing on the back of The Car, driving through this blinding dust storm, skirts/clothes flowing in the wind with goggles and everything - it was almost cinematic. I felt like I was in a movie, for real. Out of Mad Max, even. It's one of those things I've always seen in epic, post-apocalyptic movies and thought, on some level, "Man, wouldn't it be awesome if you could do that in real life?" Well, you can. I did!
The dome was engulfed int he white out when we finally made it back to Death Guild. We were dusty, tired, happy, goofy, some of us were a little bit drunk, everyone was hyped up and wanted to do stuff, but it felt like a rainy day of sorts. We sat in the main tent and straight up hung out. It was nice, people who don't know each other beyond "Hey, what's up?" having meaningful conversations.
A Place For Me
That's what's magic about Death Guild (and Burning Man as a whole). It's a big group of people which has felt inclusive of me. Not just "oh it's that girl who came with her friends." It's the first time that I've really felt this way. Like I was actually PART of a group.
This is what I treasure from Burning Man, this year. I went with one of my best friends. I left with what feels like a new family. I can't wait for next year.
What I treasure: Death Guild. All of you.