Burning Man In 1998
I went to Burning Man in 1998. I told my parents about my plans to head up to the desert with a group of my friends. I wasn't really sure what the whole scheme of things was, but my father was fairly keen to the concept and asked me not to try anything illicit up there. I couldn't understand why he thought that seven days in the desert would lead to anything wild and crazy -- my naive self thought that it was going to be like summer camp under the stars. Hanging out with friends, picnicking. In hindsight, I probably should have gone to the Web site and really delved into what Burning Man was all about. In any case, it was an interesting and eye-opening seven days. It was the first time that I saw a naked man. In fact, it was the first time I saw hundreds if not thousands of naked men, and women. I didn't go nude that weekend, but it's something I may reconsider now nearly ten years later. I think it had something to do with my being there with friends ... had I been anonymous in some way, it might have been different. The whole experience was mind-blowing. The artistic breadth and depth that was on display there throughout the week was incredible. I was there the year that they had the Tree of Life (I think that's what it was called), where during the day it spouted water from its brass branches, and then at night it was flames. There were a number of unique tents and villages that had their wares and activities on display. I spent a great deal of time in the Nub Chai tent, where they had Middle Eastern music playing, and I could belly dance to my heart's content. I did see a lot of intoxication there ... there were all kinds of drugs. Everything from pot to cocaine to heroin to hashish, some that were just letters and numbers like DOM and 2CB. I'm still trying to figure out what those were. I was maybe a little bit too young and inexperienced to truly enjoy that week. I came back home a little bit shell-shocked and emotional. I began questioning what normalcy really was. But, it's something I'd definitely consider doing again.