I woke up at 8 AM sharp on fire. The sun was back and it was prodding me with pungi sticks.
“AIIIIIEEEEE!” I screamed, and lunged outside the tent, waking Evan in the process. “What the hell’s your problem?” he asked, and then did a double-take and joined me in screaming. We both scrambled out to our meadow and groped around in a stupor for the nearest jug of water or beer, whichever was closer. Outside was about 60 degrees cooler than the tent, which was one of those really expensive deals designed to hold heat in — on freezing sub-arctic mountain slopes.
Ed was up, finally. He lambasted me for my loud snoring, which could be heard all the way to Central Camp, supposedly, then demanded bacon and eggs on a silver platter. I remembered then that I had pretty much forgotten to eat the day before, and I was starting to feel hungry. Evan had borrowed a Coleman stove from his mom, but it turned out we had bought the wrong kind of fuel for it in Fairfield. We had no way of cooking the 12 pounds of meat we had with us, nor the delicious pasta dinner Evan had planned. “We’ll drive into town later,” he suggested.
“Where’s Splicer?” I asked Ed. “He isn’t naked yet, is he?” Ed pointed toward the kiddie’s tent, where grizzly bear sounds could be heard coming through the flap. I contented myself with cheese sandwiches from the 50-pound-block of cheese we had in the cooler, and we rearranged the shade tent thing in a more intelligent manner near the biggest of the tents. When we were finished, it almost looked like we had planned it that way. We could have put a sign up and had a little show at that point, but that stuff came later.
Zach came crawling out of his tent soon enough, complaining about the troubles with his sinuses and the mysterious wound on his neck. He and Ed got together and started commiserating about something and then wandered off. Splicer, meanwhile, woke up and promptly stripped off his nightgown, hopped on his bike and tore off into the desert. Evan and I hopped into the Mighty 4Runner of Doom and drove down to Empire for some cooking fuel and batteries, a thoroughly uneventful trip, except for the drunk guy in Empire who tried to get into a fight with anyone around who looked like they might be from Burning Man. Eventually he slipped and fell in a pile of his own vomit and died. The end.
When we got back we noticed that one of the women from the Green Tortoise camp next door had painted her entire body silver and was dancing on top of one of the buses. It was a neat effect, but I have to wonder about possible complications if you were standing too close to her. I mean, would you have to wear a double layer of sunblock? She was silver everywhere — I bet she’ll be finding silver parts of her body for months.