Sunday, September 29, 2013

Acting The Fool

Yesterday morning, I was wandering around a site called Rebelle Society and discovered this passage by Jennette Winterson in a short essay, "Falling in Love Explained to Children," from Andrea Balt:
How do you fall in love? You don’t fall in love like you fall in a hole. You fall like falling through space. It’s like you jump off your own private planet to visit someone else’s planet. And when you get there it all looks different: the flowers, the animals, the colours people wear.
It is a big surprise falling in love because you thought you had everything just right on your own planet, and that was true, in a way, but then somebody signaled to you across space and the only way you could visit was to take a giant jump. Away you go, falling into someone else’s orbit and after a while you might decide to pull your two planets together and call it home.
And you can bring your dog. Or your cat. Your goldfish, hamster, collection of stones, all your odd socks. (The ones you lost, including the holes, are on the new planet you found.)
And you can bring your friends to visit. And read your favourite stories to each other. And the falling was really the big jump that you had to make to be with someone you don’t want to be without. That’s it.
P.S. You have to be brave.
It was a nice way to start the day, and I was feeling mushy about Pinko. Really mushy.
Since we had been internet buddies for a couple of years before I went to Burning Man, I already knew I loved Pinko before I ever went out there.  I love all my internet friends.  The primary difference between Pinko and my other colleagues at Roundtree7, or Punk Patriot or Comrade Kevin or any of my blogging buddies is that I never had a romantic agenda with any of the other internet friends.

Pinko and I seem to get along like a house on fire, which is great, but since I finally shifted my romantic patterns and am not looking to a man as an authority figure to forgive and heal ancient wounds, define my identity and all that mishigas people load onto romantic relationships, this thing with Pinko feels very different from relationships in the past.  Given that those relationships were generally unhealthy, there's a reason to celebrate, but I didn't recognize any of my feelings or responses as they are unfamiliar.  "Falling in Love," helped clarify something I suspected was developing around Love.

Now, Love is a very loaded vocabulary word and I've avoided using it in any way shape or form with Pinko.  I avoided it yesterday morning, too, even though we did talk on Skype like we usually do.  What Jennette says about taking a big jump was in my head, though, and when we were reviewing a bit of our brief history, I used the phrase "leap of faith."  Pinko objects to the word "faith" because of the religious connotations and made it clear that he wants no part of that word ever associated with anything he says or does.  I understand where he's coming from, but I started wondering if our different ideas about spirituality, or lack thereof, will wind up being a deal breaker.  The thought hit me so hard that I had to go to bed.  Pinko was able to see that thought take hold in my head.  He didn't know what I was thinking, but he remarked that it was like my light just turned off.

I had indulged in a little wake and bake, which I haven't done in a while, so it was easy enough to say I'd hit the wall and needed a nap.  But that wasn't really true.  I was wondering if his opinions about some things are so strong that there's no room for me.   A couple of hours later, I started wondering if I've made this whole relationship up in my head.  I've wanted a partner for a long, long time - and I've made mistakes with square pegs and round holes before.  Usually the square peg doesn't go along with the round hole idea, and Pinko has certainly been going along with me about coming to New York to investigate an alliance.

It's probably natural to have thoughts like these when you're getting to know someone, especially someone who is rapidly becoming part of your life.  That kind of change is scary, and we sometimes invent obstacles to prevent getting closer.  You've got to be able to trust your own instincts to be able to distinguish between real issues and invented fears.  Since the issues are typically just an expression of Fear, we're back to choosing to look on a situation with Love or with Fear just like we do all the time about everything.

It's kind of like The Fool in a Tarot deck.  A leap of faith may not be sensible, but it feels right.

The fool is the symbol of true innocence, a perfect state of joy and freedom, the sure feeling to be one with the spirit of life, at any time.
The Fool has the number 0, for someone ready to go in any direction, open to all possibilities.  He belongs nowhere, has no past, but an infinite future . . . He reacts directly to the current situation, nothing is calculated, nothing is hidden.
In most decks, The Fool is shown with an animal, as a symbol of nature, the animal soul in perfect harmony with the spirit that just follows its instincts.  The Fool is courage, optimism and the belief in life and himself.
When times are hard, and we suffer the pressure of 'being reasonable' or denying our instincts, The Fool reminds us that our inner person knows best what to do. 'Always trust your instincts.'

Monday, September 16, 2013

Biff Rose and Birthday Cakes

This song from the permanent soundtrack in my head popped up on the playlist today:


And I've got roughly four weeks to get ready for Pinko.
Velvet is going to have to paint my room, I think, in exchange for a donation toward a new iPad.  The iPad he just got disappeared from the current residence of a former brother in Hookah House.  Velvet had slept over in Albany at his friend's house and left the iPad there while they went off to some music festival in the Catskills.  When I first got back to New York and was telling Velvet about Burning Man, he dismissed me after about ten minutes saying, "Mom, I've been to music festivals."

Velvet needs another one, and I said I'd help with the expense - but I think the best way to help is to require him to suck it up and pay for a new one himself since he was the one who was neglectful in the first place.  If he needs a Metro Card in February, I'll buy him one.  At the moment he has money from his summer job at Hippy Dippy Quaker Camp.

Biff Rose singing "Fill Your Heart," is pretty Hippy Dippy too.  My parents listened to Biff Rose a lot when I was a kid.  A song called Buzz the Fuzz is on the same record.

I want my room painted before Pinko gets here because the sad fact is that in certain lights, the color it's painted now looks exactly like Crest tooth paste.  The room needs to be painted Blue Bonnet blue, which was the color of my room at the former HQ on Central Park West.  I was afraid to use that much pigment in a small room, but the deep red in Velvet's room looks so nice that dark blue is a good choice.  Maybe something a little more maritime, however.

He'll be here around October 21st.  Meanwhile, Gigi is having an autumn dinner party over here in honor of her August birthday in mid-October.  Cake will be involved for that event.  I'm considering baking a cake for Pinko's first weekend, even though he has demonstrated a tendency to be thoughtless enough to say, "Wow! You really aged since that picture."

The last few days I've been listening to Pinko very closely.  Not so much to the words coming out his mouth since they're always exactly right - or exactly wrong as in the case of my wrinkles.  I'm more interested in determining if there's any patriarchal assholery in the underlying attitude.   During the discussion around The Intention Call the other day, he was saying whatever it was he was saying about why he had no issue with my Saturday practice.  For an instant, I felt like Big Daddy had given me permission to pursue my personal interest - but I think it was my imagination.  I think that I am so suspicious and fearful of patriarchal imposition that and certain statements need to be examined closely to uncover chauvinism and condescension.  On close analysis, Pinko's statements were neutral or benign.

As it happens, his observation about my looks was neutral, too.  It just showed he had no idea that in the photo he referenced, I had on exactly the right make-up, in exactly the right light and The Rebbe and I were certainly striving for the best angle to display cleavage achieved through French style and engineering.  He's seen me in harsh light first thing in the morning without a touch of concealer in a raggedy old camisole.

Burning Man, or at least the Burn in Illumination Village where we lived, was real and intimate.  I've had an opportunity to show Velvet some pictures from Burning Man and relate a few details of my trip.  We both concur that when it comes to first dates, meeting Pinko at Burning Man was hands-down best date ever.   Daters from coast to coast, globally even, should tip their hats to Pinko.

That's why the bedroom needs to be painted, and I may even bake him a chocolate birthday cake with chocolate frosting.  He said it's his favorite, and he officially became "Over Fifty" on the playa.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Ganesha: Remover of Obstacles

I've been mopping the apartment and getting used to the idea that I'm in a relationship.  On our last full night together at Burning Man, Pinko and I were sitting inside the fire circle talking with a bright, curious young woman and her drunken father.  At first, she assumed that I was Pinko's wife.  When we explained that I had come out from New York and we were having our first date on the playa, she asked if we were in a long distance relationship, Pinko and I looked at each other and he said, "I guess we are now."

Photo by Oscillation Overthruster, taken the day before we were talking with that girl.
Pinko and me are sitting in the "throne" on the left, sort of hovering above the crowd.  
You have to look closely to see us, and we're still hard to see so I put a rectangle around us.

I guess we are, too.  Even Gigi said so when we were on the phone earlier this afternoon.  I suppose it's not such a surprise that I'm involved with somebody - the surprise is that it seems to be working out well in terms of simple camaraderie and recreation.  I still say that interacting with Notta Goodman provided an opportunity for an ethnographic study of Self and Ego vis a vis a special relationship - as defined by Hallmark and other merchants who profit from Valentines' Day - but interacting with an emotionally closed, self-important douchebag is not the same as a Relationship particularly since I had a conscious therapeutic agenda.  I had the same agenda with The Narcissist, and discussed it fully with my shrink, since I was still in therapy at the time.  I was working through my own shit in order to come to terms with ancient history that interfered with my ability to relate as wholeheartedly with a man as I do with my friends.

The thing is that once a relationship gets sexual, all kinds of feelings get stirred up and it's often impossible to relate to the individual involved like a normal person.  I'll go out on a limb, here, and speculate that reaction comes from looking to another person to make you happy and to validate your right to exist on the planet.  Other people can't do that.  It's also important to remember that when I got involved with both The Narcissist and Notta Goodman, I had just had surgery on my shoulder and was taking narcotic painkillers which can make me impulsive.   The good news is that during all this time on my own, I've recognized my own value and am pretty much always happy in my own little world.  The larger world may be fucked up, but here in my happy little world, things are generally A-Okay.

They're still A-Okay.  It's just that now that I've realized that I'm actually in a relationship, of some kind, with a man I not only admire and respect but have fun with and find intellectually and physically stimulating, I'm stunned.  I must have thought it was impossible - which is why I stopped thinking about relationships all together some months ago and decided to focus simply on the First Man in the New Apartment.  The idea of a relationship was too much pressure.

This isn't pressure at all.  It's easy.
It's never been easy to be with a man before which may be why I have been half expecting that Pinko wouldn't actually come to New York at all.  Then this morning, he started floating dates for his arrival, and it became clear that he actually intends to be the First Man in the New Apartment even though he knows it's significant to me and could lead to greater attachment.  In the past, the knowledge that I thought something was significant would send a man charging toward the exit.  To be fair, those men were all in the middle of divorces and didn't want to get serious. I didn't want to get serious either - but there's a difference between significant and serious.  Significant can be short-term, but it's honest, intimate and real.  Sometimes a single day is significant your whole life long.  You can be in a serious relationship with someone, with a commitment and all that, but never have a single day that's honest, intimate and real.  With Pinko, things are honest, intimate and real.

I'm like:  Holy Shit
So I've been mopping.  I think I mopped the apartment once over the winter.  

To make matters even easier, it turns out that Velvet has determined that he studies better and gets better grades when he stays at Buzz Kill's.  I think he prefers to stay at Buzz Kill's because he and Cupcake have the place to themselves all the time since Buzz Kill is off somewhere with his girl friend.  I've been wondering about sleeping with a man in front of Velvet since I've never done it and the whole  thing feels kind of awkward - but it would be even more awkward to require Pinko to sleep on the couch if Velvet were home.  And now Velvet is going to be over at Buzz Kill's almost the whole time so there can be a man in my bedroom without my mother calling me a Floozy.

It's like anything that could have been an obstacle smoothly and quietly lifts out of the way.  That young woman who was supposed to be sleeping in his RV, whose playa name is Seldom Seen, made a spectacle of herself within an hour of my arrival in Black Rock City by passing out in a neighboring camp.  The neighbors were annoyed enough to send an emissary to our camp to ask somebody to remove our MOOP (that's Burning Man vernacular for Matter Out of Place.  Leave No Trace requires vigilant MOOPing to restore the environment.  One thing you never, ever want to be called is MOOP).  Since Seldom Seen was in our camp in the first place on account of she was staying with Pinko - they all looked at Pinko from the dinner table and told him it was his responsibility to go get her and her bike.

He resisted, but couldn't get out of it gracefully.  Turned out that Seldom Seen was so blotto and dehydrated that she required an IV in the infirmary, and Pinko was so pissed that he made her set up her little tent as soon as she recuperated enough to start looking for another beer.  So from my perspective, that situation neatly resolved itself before I had even unpacked.

I feel like Ganesha is looking out for us.

War, Peace and Grandpa in the Sky

Pinko and I have quarreled.   Most observers would say this quarrel is not a bit serious, but I feel sad and separate right now, even though I know that ego works in exactly this fashion to keep all of us feeling isolated from each other, preventing the sort of connection that leads to Unity Consciousness.  When I scan the world for examples of how ego works, the Israeli government never fails to provide an illustration.   Warmongers and Religions depend on fear and ego to maintain control over the population and keep the coffers filled.

I am as aware of the damage done in the name of religion as any of the militant atheists ridiculing spirituality, and I remain confused because these same atheists never seem to acknowledge this distinction between simple meditation practices that encourage inner peace and unity and the same sort of irrational fervor that brought us the Crusades and the Cold War, as well as the eternal, ambiguous War on Terror.   As if taking a few deep breaths and relaxing into the imagined idea of a world at peace   is the same thing as old people sending their Social Security checks to the 700 Club.

I don't dispute the fact that there are snake-oil merchants everywhere or that institutionalized religions present a picture of a judgmental, punitive Grandpa in the Sky to justify their own patriarchal hierarchy.
I dispute the notion that religion has anything to do with spirituality, and I resent the implication that by nurturing Spirit and the connection between us all, we hippy dippy airy fairies are cognitively deficient and/or delusional, and are somehow acknowledging the existence of Grandpa in the Sky.

This all has to do with the Intention Call - a weekly, 15 minute global meditation.  There are over 3,000 of us participating now.  It's sponsored by a tantra temple in Hawaii, and doesn't cost the participants a single penny.  In a world dedicated to annihilating each other, it's not like 3,000 hippy dippy airy fairies are hurting anyone on Saturdays when we breathe a collective breath and imagine peace.  Further, it's not like anything else is working when it comes to peace - and if we feel peaceful enough so that the people around us can relax and open their own selves up to a little peace, where's the harm?  And if little by little, as each one teaches one, 3,000 of us become 6,000 of us, and then 6,000 become 24,000 - that's a good thing, right?  The hope of the Intention Call, where of thousands of people focused on peace and unity find the inspiration to turn  thought into action, albeit in small ways, isn't so different from all the educational outreach programs of organizations working for social and economic justice or sustainability, really.

Each one, teach one is the best way to change the world.
Even Gandhi said something like that.
Maybe he was delusional and cognitively deficient, too.

I knew when I shared the link to the Intention Call, Pinko would have something to say about it - and sure enough within minutes, a provocative little dig had been made.  I knew it would go that way because through the magic of algorithms, I had seen that he had "liked" this picture:

Militant atheists always say stuff like this - as if every atrocity committed by humans proves there is no love in the universe.  The atrocities we commit against each other and the planet are not going to be stopped by Grandpa in the Sky because no matter how many preachers and politicians say that we need to send our money and our children to fight for the honor of Grandpa in the Sky - there is no Grandpa in the Sky.  And yet, militant atheists toss those of us who continue to believe in a love that leads to unity into the same category as Bible Thumpers even though we reject Grandpa just as thoroughly as the militant atheists.  The comparison is neither fair nor logical, but it hurts just the same.

In the past, I wouldn't have shared the link to the Intention Call at all because I would have wanted to avoid a quarrel.  And as it happens, I very nearly didn't share it yesterday because I didn't want to cause a riff.  Then I realized I would be stifling myself, compromising my own integrity to protect a relationship - and that any relationship worth protecting shouldn't require me stifling myself.  So in answer to what was most likely a little innocent ribbing, I spoke my mind.

To his credit, Pinko responded with all the right words, and maybe there's no quarrel at all.  Maybe I'm just up in the night with my own ancient fear - the fear that speaking my mind means there will never be a man in my life because mouthy women and boyfriends are mutually exclusive.  The Patriarchy has used the scary thought of spinsterhood to shut up women for generations.
We don't need Grandpa in the Sky to judge us harshly and rain down violent, catastrophic punishment.
We can do that all by ourselves.

There is no quarrel.  
But I still get an attitude about militant atheists.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Horses, Carts and Stories

Earlier this month, as preparations for Burning Man intensified, Pinko and I engaged in marathon discussions on Skype.  We had another one last night that lasted roughly four hours.  The longest one has been seven hours, and no, we are not having phone sex in any way shape or form.  I'm not particularly inclined to have phone sex because (1) it's not that much fun, and (2) there's something a little sordid about phone sex, but that may be on account of my experience with Double Wide (Stonerdate 11.15.08).

One of the first things I noticed at Burning Man is that my identity is consistent in all kinds of environments and social situations.  No matter where I land, I remain Ms. RealName.  PENolan is just Ms. RealName's unconventional side and keeps me covered on the internet.  This discovery was gratifying because solidifying my identity and finding my sense of self-worth internally, from my own self instead of external sources like boyfriends and bosses, was the whole point of nearly 20 years of therapy.  During the seven or so years since my divorce, I've focused on individual identity issues so that I would know who I was in an of myself instead of as part of one relationship or another while I concurrently settled Velvet and myself into our happy little home in Harlem and stabilized financially.

Ever since Buzz Kill and I put the marital residence up for sale back in 2009, I've been determined to get settled in my new life without a man influencing my decisions - not because men are so bossy but because I wanted to make my own choices and build my own life for myself before bringing in another person.  I examined all that during the summer at Gigi's (Between the Garden and the Glade, Stonerdate 07.10.12), and concluded I chose unavailable men because I wasn't ready to let anyone penetrate the defensive shields around the Triciasphere.  Then too, I didn't really feel single again until I closed on this apartment last September when all the lingering ties between me and Buzz Kill were finally severed - except for Velvet, of course, but he doesn't count as a lingering tie.

Because I've had other fish to fry and because I have been undermining my search for a relationship my own self (especially during the Summer Boyfriend Reality Show phase), nobody ever penetrated the defenses of the Triciasphere.  Nobody had the precise combination of strength of character and mastery of technique.  That is, nobody did until last Saturday on Burn Night when Pinko made a move under the cover of darkness on the playa.  I had been impressed with his character for a long time on the internet or I never would have gone out to Burning Man in the first place - but the maneuver took me by surprise.
Note the fireworks

By the morning, I'd asked him to be the First Man in the New Apartment.  By Wednesday night, after 24 hours home in New York, I'd figured out how to get an attractive oak storage cabinet into the living room and a few other measures to ensure his comfort if and when he visits next month.  I'd also figured out where to start networking so that he can find a fun, flexible job that would give him plenty of walking around money without tying him down to a schedule so that he can agitate and organize for the resistance as much as he pleases, go back to Reno as necessary to tend to family business as well as spend three months of the year in Black Rock City on contract with the DPW.   I'd even factored in the open enrollment period on my health insurance at work, although I hadn't looked in to exactly what sort of criteria has to be met to cover unmarried partners.

That's a lot of figuring in a few hours, but being able to see that logistical and practical considerations are easy to address doesn't automatically mean that anyone is going in that direction.  And even if we were to go in that direction, the open enrollment period for health insurance has no more bearing on a relational timetable than an apartment lease - although for sure, plenty of people in New York City move in together before they should simply because a lease expires.  Actually, it looks like a lot of people all over the country are living together simply because of housing conditions.

There's also Velvet to consider.

Velvet is a big boy now.  In fact, Velvet is a young man with places to go, people to see, etc.  Nevertheless, he's never seen me with a man except Buzz Kill.  There was that one guy - the bartender from Boston who passed out on the stoop of the restaurant while we were waiting for a table.  That was in 2009.  Velvet knew I was seeing The Narcissist and Notta Goodman, and I'd sent him over to his father's the night I had a date with Abilene Steve in the fall of 2011 - but he's never seen me with a man, and I'm not letting any man into my life who doesn't get along with Velvet.  Gigi, too, for that matter.  It's not that those two have authority over my romantic life.  It's that they're both good judges of character and if they had an issue with a man, I'd consider their opinions very seriously especially since Velvet is still holding Gayle the Hillbilly Hustler against me.

The truth is that I'm much more concerned that Velvet and Pinko will get along so well that they'll gang up on me.

Either way, it's time to put the horse back in front of the cart.   Being the first man in the new apartment is one thing; building a relationship is another thing entirely - and besides, I really want the First Man in the New Apartment to have long term potential.  He may not be into the idea, which would mean that last week was just a one-time thing.  A very successful and remarkable one-time thing, but until a next step is taken, all we have is memory and potential.

Plenty of people make the mistake of falling for someone's potential instead of accepting the person standing in front of them.  I kind of did that with the Narcissist - or maybe I was banging the square peg into a round hole again.  It doesn't feel like I'm doing that to Pinko, however.  It feels like I'm a grown woman who knows what I want, knows what I like and knows how to make it happen - but the next logical step in making it happen is a big one.  After discussing that step with me thoroughly, Pinko knows I'm not fooling around.  Fooling around is much easier than taking determined, sequential steps that could lead to him moving here which is kind of heavy.

I'm under the impression he is neither satisfied nor content with his life in Reno and that New York provides many opportunities for social, political and economic activism which is where his personal interests lie.  Granted these opportunities are poorly paid, if they're paid at all, but there are lots of nightclubs and bars here where a talented, hardworking person can make a few bucks.   If he feels like making a career in that area, he can do that too.  People have been moving to New York for generations because of the opportunities.  I am the kind of woman who supports and nurtures personal growth and facilitates achievement.  That's what moms and teachers do, and I've done it all my life even when I didn't have my own property and profession.  Now that I'm settled and not a bit interested in nurturing and facilitating anyone's mainstream, corporate career ambitions, I like the idea of plucking a creative, talented, dedicated fellow worker out of the flyovers and transplanting him to the city.  No matter how much I like this idea, though, it's still a big deal.

Everyone knew I was on an exploratory mission when I went to Burning Man to take a closer look at Pinko.  Now it's his turn to embark on an exploratory mission.  That's no so heavy, and it still makes a good story.  Woody sometimes quotes a fellow who said there are only two kinds of stories:  A stranger comes to town and a hero goes on a journey.  Pinko coming to New York would be both - except that he's not a stranger anymore.

Friday, September 6, 2013


Lots of Burners are walking around a little dazed right now - not because of hangovers or needing to detox, necessarily, but because coming back to reality is always a drag.  I first experienced "re-entry" at the Reno Airport when I overheard some middle aged matron with too much make up explaining to the little crowd of relatives surrounding her that Burning Man was a bunch of old hippies trying to recapture Woodstock - as if hippies are stupid and war with Syria is perfectly reasonable.  To be fair, she may not have known anything about Syria, or the endless war and ecocide that define our society here at the end of the empire.  None of the greeters at Walmart or Sephora told her.

The expression on my face must have been somewhere between Hostile and Violent because a dusty fellow with curly grey hair, who was on his way back to New Palz, looked into my eyes and smiled.  "Different World," he said.

photo by Michael Holden

This photo from Burning Man is my favorite right now because I'm trying to believe a lot of things.

Actually, that's not true - I'm trying to believe one specific thing and that's that Pinko will come to New York City.  Things between him and me went so well that I asked him to be the First Man in the New Apartment which is saying a lot because for two of the seven days we were together he was sick enough to be a surly crankasaurus.  No worse than any other crankasaurus, but he was still enough of a butt head when he was sick that I put away my fancy panties for the rest of the trip.  I figured he could put up with me in my jockey briefs.

For the record, my underwear was never an issue, and Pinko the Bear took very good care of me.

There was a lot of controversy and complaining in Illumination Village, where we lived, about our private portapotties.  They busted pretty early in the week, so folks were required to use one of the public banks of portapotties that were located three or four blocks from our camp.

Actually, they weren't nearly as bad as I had feared since they were pumped every morning and cleaned a couple of times a day.  Definitely BYO single ply toilet paper, but  any time I made the trek, attractive young men appeared from nowhere wanting to hug me.  It could have been worse.

As it happened, however, Pinko had contracted with Pump-Out service for his RV, and even though he was a day late, by Thursday afternoon I had a personal commode and could pee at will in blissful privacy.  I kept it a secret because most of our campmates still had to make that very long walk, and although I was concerned about creating an appearance of favoritism and/or causing a toilet riot - the fact is that sharing would have meant that the tank got filled up again so quickly that I might not have been able to use it.  Pinko didn't use it much himself.  He peed in a bucket outside or into a big empty juice jug.  Once when he was sick, before the pump-out service showed up, I had to carry that big old jug of pee all the way to the public portapotties.  Nobody hugged me that time.  I was wearing a long, black cotton floaty skirt, my head and torso wrapped in a sheer gauze shawl to prevent dust inhalation and sunburn, so I felt kind of like a subservient female in a fictional desert tribe.  Although I was annoyed on one level, on another it was kind of cool.

Burning Man is filled with prominent philosophical contradictions, such as the loud, official disdain for corporate sponsorship juxtaposed with images like this:

And for all the rhetoric about radical inclusion, you could count the people of color among the 65,000 residents of Black Rock City on one hand.  Truly - it should be called Middle Class White Rock City.  The population at Burning Man is more white and more privileged than Disney World.  And even though Burn Night itself, with splashy pyrotechnics and laser lights focused on an symbolic icon atop a central structure, distinctly resembles the moment at the Magic Kingdom when Tinkerbell slides through through the fireworks on a zip-line from the top of Cinderella's Castle over the heads of the assembled vacationers - somehow all this contradiction makes sublimely hilarious existential sense if you happen to be tripping.

I'm not saying that Pinko and I were running around the desert all night tripping on the stars, blinky lights, and the generally bizarre, artistic atmosphere - like when we wound up watching some giant flaming, flying puppets ushering in the birth of a walking, flaming T Rex puppet from the middle of bunch of rowdy DPW staff that Pinko knew since he'd on the early crew of DPW workers - I'm just saying that any philosophical contradictions are resolved when you open your mind enough to get the big picture.

Lizzy the T Rex, courtesy of the AfrikaBurn Fire Collective

Anyway - I had a really good time at Burning Man with Pinko. I especially liked watching the sun come up with him three or four mornings in a row from the fire circle in our front yard

Since I got back to New York, however, I've barely heard from him.  But I got home less than 72 hours ago.  That night we IMed for an hour since he was at the DPW depot and had internet access.  Since then, he's been processing re-entry in his own way.  It's harder for him, I suspect, because his living situation in Reno is less than ideal.  Some people might say Reno itself is less than ideal, but then I'm a snobby bitch from the 212 area code.  I love my happy little home in Harlem.  Velvet was home to meet me and help get my bags upstairs, and work has been exciting, busy and fun since I've got stimulating creative challenges this school year.

I remain convinced that he is the most generous, honest, open, related man that I've ever encountered.  He took excellent care of me in every way.  While most men find my intensity alarming, he seemed to be intrigued and attracted, only occasionally encouraging me to calm down. We have a remarkably similar sense of ethics and social justice, and perhaps more importantly, a remarkably similar sense of humor.

We've already successfully spent a week together in a 20 foot tin can - albeit with AC and my own personal potty - and for two of those days he was sick in bed.  That's why I invited him to come in October and stay through Thanksgiving.  If we're not really suited, we've both been around the block enough times to tell within a couple of weeks.  But if we can spend another five or six weeks together, it's game on.

I just hope he calls.