Ready to strap it on … for Burning Man

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“How’s yer costume going?” asks my stripper friend in a text message. I wonder why she thinks I planned to wear a costume. I know she is referring to Burning Man 2008 and it is only days away but I never told anyone I was committed to wearing a costume. I haven’t planned one out yet. I figured I’d go naked. You get better gas mileage driving to Reno when you pack light.

I suppose I should plan something. It gets cold at night in the desert. I may as well look weird while staying warm. I’ve never worn an elaborate costume to Burning Man. I’ll try and throw something together. I am going with my friend from work and it is her first time. She is getting into the spirit of debauchery and trying hard to get creative. I should be more supportive.

This year’s theme is “American Dream.” Perhaps I could dress as the Statue of Liberty or a foreclosed house? Maybe we could find cheap donkey and elephant costumes.

My friend and I thought of wearing strap-ons and walking around with a “Free F***” sign. We would then proceed to thrust our toys into consenting strangers’ bodies. Our camp would be labeled the Meat Churros. If we go in that direction, I would really like to include fake moustaches and perhaps fake chest and back hair if we felt frisky. I once dated a guy who let me shave his back. It was like sheering a sheep. It didn’t work out but we still have those good fuzzy memories.

The possibilities really are endless when choosing a costume. I am skilled in the fine art of paper mache and I once worked as a seamstress. We could dress as bugs, or celestial bodies or robots. I should take this opportunity to be unrestrained. At the very least, we’ll have fake pubic hair sewn to our panties.

What ever I end up wearing, I’ll still enjoy myself I’m sure. To those unfamiliar with Burning Man, it is a weeklong art festival in the desert that ends with the burning of a large structure resembling a man. The event is typically held during the last week of August. This late summer festival is symbolic to me as the end of a cruel and harsh desert summer and the beginning of a new season both literally and figuratively. I am very excited about the cooling weather and the chance to wear fancy coats but there are bigger changes in my life that this particular Burning Man will symbolize for me.

I am at the end of my college career. I have been in school with out more than a summer break since I was 3 years old. My identity has been that of a student for as long as I’ve been conscious. It is sad and exciting at the same time, the thought of no longer being a student. I suppose it will only be a shame if I decide to quit learning.

Burning Man will be the victory lap of hard times. I’ll spend a week camping in the desert. I’ll be exposed to one of the harshest environments that the world provides and I will begin anew. Much metamorphosis will ensue. Perhaps I should make a butterfly costume.

Work has been slow because, as I’ve explained in previous blogs, the summer is harsh in the strip club world too. I had been concerned about the cost of going to Burning Man after a decrease in regular money but this is going to be the best time for me to go. At this time next year, will I have as much free time and funding to make such a pilgrimage? The end of summer marks the beginning of a huge leap in earnings so I can justify the expense that way. And of course I’ll have the time off. I haven’t had a work schedule in over a year.

Symbolic or not, it will be a great graduation party with amusing people. While other college girls had sorority sisters, I had a gang of eccentric strippers.


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