Attention – An important public service announcement for Burning Man participants, please read carefully.
I feel it important to tell all you Burners and potential Burners about a common, yet oft neglected Burning Man phenomenon that effects hundreds if not thousands of Burners every year. Symptoms include but are not limited to starry eyes, fluttering hearts and increasing heat in the loins. Left untreated it can lead to disappointment, heartbreak and embarrassment. The condition? Playa love.
Playa Love comes in many forms and there’s no definitive method of transmission – it just seems to happen. Some stories from suvivors;
Bob – I met a girl at the burn in 2003 – we hit it off right away and had a phenomenal time. After it was all over I asked her to marry me. I went back to San Fransisco with her and we gave our vows. After living with her for three weeks I realized the truth – she was totally insane. We annulled the wedding and I moved back to Canada.
Bree – I ended up spending almost the entire burn with this boy from Montana. When it was all over leaving him was hard – I just wanted to spend more and more time with him. We exchanged contact information and I invited him to come see me at Christmas. When he finally did come I realized just how boring he was – we barely talked. I haven’t talked to him since.
If Paris is the city of love, then Black Rock City is the city of lust. You can share incredibly powerful, incredibly beautiful moments with people. Moments on great intensity and intimacy. Its easy to mistake these feelings for love, when really they’re flighting dreams and visions that will fade as the desert falls away behind you during exidous.
Who can blame young hearts for their misapprehension when you go for a moonlit walk in the desert, serenaded by travelling minstrels, riding on a flying boat with your new love, watching shooting stars and experiencing almost universal, unconditional love? The drugs, alcohol and sleep deprivation probably help too.
Who you are at the Burn is different from who you are in the default world. The same goes for everyone you meet, to different extents of course. Plus circumstances are different, here there is no money, no jobs, no peer pressure or societal norms to get in the way of your experience. To expect a playa romance to continue along the same course in the default world is pure folly.
So beware of Playa Love. Enjoy your season in the desert. Appreciate it even more knowing that what happens there will most likely stay there. Think not of the future, but only these moments together…
P.S.: Playa Love is also alive and well at recompression parties, regional events and all manner of Burner get togethers. Enjoy it, but allow it to pass if that is its will.