vertical with my housemate Zed at Burning Man Center Camp. Black Rock City, Nevada. 📷 by @scott.london
Right after the people's fashion show, kind veteran Burner (and stellar photographer) Scott London asked if I'd like to take some photos with him. I was delighted. What fun!
We started shooting (I think he was particularly captivated by the umbrella - it was totally worth carrying with my hand luggage on all those planes!) and Scott was, I'd say, about 5 feet away from me.
A surly, drunk-looking dude clad in black deliberately rode in between us and said, in a loud, brassy, nasal voice, "I HOPE IT'S OKAY THAT I RUIN YOUR PHOTO 'CAUSE I'M GONNA!" It was my only truly unpleasant experience at the burn. I experienced heartache, inadequacy, left-outedness, not being a member of the clique, guilt, regret, and searing emotional pain at the harmful patterns I have allowed myself to perpetuate. Although they were all painful, I wouldn't call any of them unpleasant. Until that moment.
The guy veered so close to me in a circle that the fell off his bike. I laughed. I'm not usually one for schadenfraude, but my inner New Yorker cracked, "Serves you fucking right!" I turned back to Scott, who shrugged.
We resumed shooting. Guy got back on his bike and rode past my back, too close to me, sexual harassment-close, taunting like a playground bully, "THAT'S GONNA LOOK SO GOOD ON INSTAGRAM; YOU'RE GONE GET SO MANY FOLLOWERS." I turned to him and said, "You are TOO CLOSE TO ME. You're making me uncomfortable." He peeled away, screaming, "FUCK YOUR BURN!" I started to cry from shock. Scott said, "It's ok, we can be done. Oh, I still have your camera to shoot on." l said, "I just need a moment to calm down. I haven't experienced anything like that here." At that moment, when I was taking deep steadying breaths, my housemate appeared! It's as though I called him in with my rainbows. 🌈🌈🌈 "That's weekend energy," he said, and gave me a huge hug.
To be continued...