Monday, October 8, 2012

Festival Fiend

I woke up in a puddle of sweat inside my steam room tent. The heat eliminated the option of sleeping any longer. Rolling off the air mattress, I step out into the morning light and take a drink of the heavy humid air. I stretch out the ache from 3 hours of sleep; of that last drink I should not have had; of that cold, grilled sausage that I shoveled into my face-hole at 4 am after stumbling my way back to my campsite to crash. The good stretch forces a hearty morning fart. The rooster crows. 

Fog rolls in, and the campground is calm. It's peaceful and serene - a pleasant transformation from the excitement of the night before. I feel good: headaches, no sleep and sweaty dirty underwear and all. Last night I had the jam of my life. I hung out with the most beautiful people I've ever met. I reveled in the delight of musical frequencies divine. I sang my heart out. I learned new ways to play old songs and new songs from old musicians. I listened to the most intimate performances one could ever hope to experience around a campfire, sharing the moment with just a chosen few, late-night survivors. Time melted into a liquid state conforming to the shape I was in. 
I told my life story to five different strangers. I hugged at least 30 people I've never met and will never meet again. I carried on an entire 30 minute conversation about the sound of porta-potty doors and bathroom lines. I drank too much. But it didn't matter because you can get away with it in this other world, where no one drives or cares who you are or what you do for a living. Where the only obligation is to be friendly and love everyone and everything. Have you ever been to a camping music festival? Have you ever left your life behind for a while, and entered into the alternate reality of stranger friends, of sound and nature? Where everyone is smiling so hard that their faces are sore, and sleep is not as necessary as you thought it was before because you just can't accept the idea that you might be missing something? 
Sometimes I look out the window and I long to be there. But I don't get anxious, I know it will come soon, and it will be worth the wait. 

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