San Francisco’s city planners have again failed to build a gigantic wall around the entire Bay Area during the week of Burning Man, allowing the crusty hordes to return to bore the rest of us with detailed descriptions of their ayahuasca-fueled vision quests. But for many burners, the weeklong dust bath is more than just an opportunity to drop vast quantities of designer drugs in the company of one’s fellow product managers: It’s a chance at love.
There you are, proudly sporting your fur codpiece despite the hundred-degree heat, paint in your chest hair, dancing your tail off to the sound of four stern Germans whipping the shit out of a decommissioned amplified submarine; and there, through the swirling dust and powdered hallucinogens, you see her: your Black Rock Goddess, your Playa Princess. Her neon pasties glow. A nuclear breeze toys with her rainbow dreadlocks. But before you have a chance to say “namaste,” and take her for a ride on the sweet vintage motorbike-cum-artcar you restored with your bare hands, she disappears into a parade of unicorn masks. How will you find her? You could send a message in the wind or build a giant question mark out of rose quartz crystals, compose a sonnet, burn some incense, or tape a note to the back of a dolphin. Or like every other hopeful dope in the Internet Age, you could post on Craigslist’s Missed Connections.
Here are the year’s best, so far.
I met you Tuesday night / early Wednesday morning at the Ashram Galactica (6:15 and Ersatz). I (Zeitgeist) was wearing a long red robe with a golden sash, long billowy silver clothes underneath, and yellow slippers. I should say that I was hardly sober (very much to my determinant in this situation), but I understood your playa name to be Guess. A confusing, but beautiful name if that was correct.
I honestly can’t quite remember what you were wearing, but what I do remember is the way we locked eyes right away and started talking about our experiences at Burning Man. I gave you one of my LED hair lights and you gave me a ring light. You were from Pennsylvania and I was telling you about how it was my first burn. You were very excited for me and told me how everything was going to be beautiful and alright, despite the weekend warriors (which, for the record, you were right). I was on my way to meet you and your friends at a party at 4:30 and Esplanade, when I got a bit over whelmed by the beauty and chaos of the area, so I walked away to seek some calm off a side street when I got hit hard by my first severe white-out for 30-45 minutes. Needless to say that took it out of me and we never did get to meet again and properly exchange information.
Regardless of what your default world circumstance might be, I’d love to be able to connect and chat with you some more. You had a very strong allure and I felt a rare connection that I’m saddened that we didn’t have more time to explore. The romantic in me hopes that with any luck this message will reach you, otherwise I suppose like everything else out there, it will blow away like dust in the wind. Lost, but not forgotten. I only wish we got to see the sunrise together. Perhaps next year.
Dressed like some kind of tripping Disney genie, Zeitgeist (his real name’s probably Jason) notes redundantly that he was “hardly sober” when he met the sylphlike Guess. The lovers are torn apart, however, when Zeitgeist, perhaps “over whelmed” by the weight of his own cultural relevancy, “walked away to seek some calm off a side street” and was “hit hard by my first severe white-out.” Fun fact: A white-out is not the thing that happens when you eat a ton of office supplies. The poetic closer brought a tear to my eye and the musical stylings of Kansas to my brain.
Do I need to point out that his facial hair type is “mustache/goatee?” I definitely do not.
I feel a little silly posting this, but I really thought we would meet again. We met over by the big light up orb. You gave me some of your hair :). You had to leave to volunteer at Center Camp and came to say goodbye. Your energy was infectious and I’d like the chance to get to know you past the few sentences exchanged.
Hollywood, if you can make me a romcom in which Reese Witherspoon meets Gerard Butler by a big light-up orb where he reaches up and yanks out a handful of that thick Scottish headcarpet to present to her, I’ll forgive your outdated gender politics and the existence of Gerard Butler.
My umbrella, your umbrella.
Where did you go?
You got off without me and I wanted to connect with you
I don’t know what the hell’s going on with this one but I’m fairly sure this dude’s use of “got” instead of “went” was not a grammatical error.
I know this is a total longshot but we hung out Friday night after meeting in a “bar” A huge group of guys followed me around the playa calling me Queen until it was late and just the three of us. I named you Twelve. I passed out and woke up confused then ran away. I wish I had stayed and spent the rest of the burn with you.
I wish i could remember where you were from. Hopefully that wasn’t the last time I will see you.
All too often, it seems, our burning lovers are separated by their own minds.
This is a longshot but you were so beautiful and free and when you got on the bus I was like wow and you really stood out I smiled at you and thought you were gorgeous and you looked at me and then someone said something about vaping in a van and you bailed but please if this is you give me aa shot
The phrase “vaping in a van” is and always will be a surefire girl repellent. If she’s smart, she kept running and never looked back.
You were crying under a crocodile. I was with a couple friends who noticed. You had a purple (was it blue?) faux-hawk. We descended upon you and embraced and comforted you. We ended up back at your camp in a delirious state of sleep deprivation and substance come-down. You made us bacon and eggs and we lay down for a nap that became a bit of a sticky triangle. My friend, being the more agressive of the two of us, rose to claim you. But I felt our connection (perhaps it was only in my head?). When we parted you had invited us both back (seperately) and I told you I couldn’t come back without telling my friend. But I felt desperate to find you again. As we rode off, I told my friend that I really wanted to go back to see you. She pointed out that she saw you first (that she had actually met you at a festival previously) and that meant she had dibs. (I don’t believe in dibs, I believe in fate and cosmic convergence). She then lectured me about not letting dudes get between our friendship and that there were plenty of men on the playa. True, but the fact was, whatever happened in our brief interaction affected me. It was the most magnetic connection I had experienced on the playa. I try to make this make sense to her but she insisted I let it go. So, as the honest and true friend I am, I let you go. But I thought about you and hoped for a serendipitous meeting on the playa.
Two days later, when I saw my friend again, I asked her if she had gone back to see you. She said she had, and sort of passed it off like it was no big deal. Then she very casually said, you can go see him if you want, I don’t care. WTF!
I had to find you. I went back to your neighborhood but couldn’t remember exactly where. (8:45 and g-h?). I rode up and down your streets searching. I did this everyday. Still, I could not find you. Must not have been meant to be. Also, I know how it is out there. When we met, that was all the feelings and connections of that moment, and the moment changes along with those emotions. I’m accepting of this.
And I just wanted to tell you I’m still thinking of you. You somehow impacted me.
Are you out there? I remember you saying you lived in Oakland. I remember your playa name being fruit salad. I remember your hands, and all your bracelets, I remember your brown eyes, with their tears and their intensity. These are the only details I can recall to help me find you.
Perhaps you’ll see this. Perhaps an aquaintence will. If not, this is my closure. At least I tried. Farewell my beautiful connection.
A veritable Craigslist masterpiece. I’m not convinced the mad geniuses from Burning Man Hate Week didn’t write this one. So grateful to the poster for giving us the best cheater’s mantra of all time: “(I don’t believe in dibs, I believe in fate and cosmic convergence).” Please help her find her beautiful connection, somebody—if only to shut her up for five minutes.
Photo via jeangui111/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)