I Have Returned


I was there. I made it. I did it. I went. I saw. I did. I gave. I received. I laughed. I cried. I kissed a couple of thousand bucks goodbye. It was like nothing I’ve ever seen, & I’ve seen some weird shit. This was weirdness cubed… in five dimensions. I was it. It was me. & we were all together. Kookookachoo…
The stuff is all familiar. Normal everyday things. Regular humans. The content is prosaic, but the context is completely different, the configurations are strange. There’s a bicycle. No, actually it’s two or three bicycles that have been hashed together into a thing that still functions as a bicycle, but it looks & acts strangely. There’s a couch, it’s coming up the street under its own power.Those are just people, but they’re looking & acting strangely. Or are they? Everything is turned inside out. Weird is normal. Normal is weird. It’s like being on another planet.

There’s no money here. It took a lot of money for all these people & things to get here, but once they’re here, there’s no money. Weird. People doing what they enjoy doing just for the sheer joy of doing it, without having to worry about how badly they’re getting screwed. Money is out of the equation, here, for one week out of the year. Just the absence of advertising makes it an alien landscape. It is a by god city & it does the things that cities do, provide a place in which a lot of people can live together, but there’s something different. It’s like being on another planet.
I like to think that if Civilization as We Know It were to suddenly collapse, the Burners wouldn’t know the difference & would just keep on partying. However, this whole thing is utterly dependent upon the established infrastructure of Civilization as We Know It, so it probably wouldn’t play like that. Nonetheless, I’d like to believe that the spirit of doing what you can with what you got & helping each other out, which is how things work out here, will serve us well when the collapse we all know is coming sooner or later does come. On this planet.

It is after all camping, which has been accurately described by Patrick McManus as a Fine And Pleasant Misery. So it’s not all fun & wonderful. One gets a full range of quality of experience, from “Oh my god, this is so fucking beautiful!” to “Oh man, this really sucks!” Manic frenzy to tepid indolence. A whole city of stressed out campers. Okay, they’re not all stressed out. Some of them are in motorhomes, so they hardly know the difference. Anyway, pretty much all states of mind are present & represented & expressed (or not).

“Holy Crap!” That seemed to be my mantra, I found myself saying that every few minutes or so, when I was out cruising around. “Lookitlookitlookit..! That’s… no, wait, here’s… Oh, man, they didn’t really… they really did. Holy Crap!” Everything all the time. Well, not everything. This is another planet, if not another dimension. There are no bugs, no birds, no bees, no weeds, no trees, no concrete or asphalt or tarmac. And no limitations on imagination. Which is totally weird, strange & unusual.

Gratuitous Weirdness. Long may it wave.

I was told that I am okay. May it be so.

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