I'd set my alarm, but with the earplugs in, didn't quite hear it but I somehow woke up in time anyway.
Not that I was terribly awake after a 2am crash, but I woke Connor in the RV and we cycled out into the walk-in camping area and watched as the sun rose up, red behind the clouds.
We went back to camp in the calm and quiet and I sat and journalled for a while.
Here's (most of) what I wrote that morning.
I feel like I'm on the edge of something. Maybe writing will help me figure out what.
I need to talk less, respond less, and just be. To absorb what is being said.
Lots of planes this morning. I think they'll always make me think of Jay.
I keep thinking we'll have this amazing spiritual-sexual connection and then he just shows his complete self-absorption and I somehow get re-shocked by it every time. I guess because we talked so much those early days, I somehow felt he saw into ME, and that he was sensitive and loving and would think of me and would take care of me and be considerate of me...but he's not, he really never was, but I took what I got from him because it was better than I'd had before.
I feel like I should go get ice. And go back and get my Soul Mate. I'm hungry though.
I guess I feel like there will never be someone who is my partner who takes care of me the way I want to be loved. Or that there will be but I won't be interested in him.
Everyone's bikes are starting to click. Noisy. Creaking.
This is about me, but I wanted it to be about us, and it seem like "us", here, for him was only about the sex, not the intimacy or the closeness. And I'm glad we shared the sex, but I wish it had been more, and that it had been every night.
I want people to like me but I always just assume they won't unless I be something they'd like. That's why it's easier with kids, I can just be who I feel and they don't care or mind.
I feel like a lot of people are leaving. I guess to get home in time for work.
Natalie called me "a Lover, not a Fighter." She said I have a big heart. That I can be quiet and introspective.
The Man burns tonight. Makes me sad to know all that beautiful work, those hours, won't exist anymore. Will be destroyed.
It's dustier on this side of Black Rock City.
After the regional burn with Jay, I know I won't seek him out and I don't really believe he'll seek me out here. Unless, perhaps, he has some yet to be fulfilled Burning Man sexual wish that he wants me to fulfill.
I wrote to him at the Temple. About him and to him.
I think I took a break at this point and before I could get back to writing, Jay showed up.
I did not want to talk to him and when he came over to say hi, I was very curt.
He walked away, "I guess I just won't bother you then." And part of me wanted to continue to mentally tantrum at him but I took a deep breath, realized I was not being mature and went over to him where he'd stopped to chat with Connor.
I pulled him aside and we sat down together on the playa floor under our shade.
I smiled, looked at him and talked.
"I keep wishing and hoping you'll be someone different and it re-shocks me every time you're not. And I get hurt, and disappointed every time because I keep wishing you'll change. And you don't."
"You are, by far, the most selfish person I have ever known and it absolutely floors me. I do not understand it, or how you function in life like this, because I really have never met anyone as selfish and self-centered as you are."
And perhaps that sounds harsh, but Jay and I have always been honest with each other and to me, it was what I needed to say. And I didn't yell it at him, nor was I coming from a malicious place. I was coming from a place of "here's how I feel."
And then I think I may have leaned towards him and kissed him or maybe placed my hand on his leg or something, because I seem to remember him saying "well then why do you keep kissing me?"
And I laughed and said "I just can't help it."
Because I can't. I love being with Jay. When Jay and I are physically in the same place I am content.
When Jay and I are hugging or cuddling or being intimate, I'm happy and calm.
And I love being physical, and I wanted and needed to express that at Burning Man and Jay was there and Jay was safe and comfortable and I wanted to be with people I knew and who were friends. And that was Jay.
We talked for a bit more, and I felt very much at peace, and we decided to spend the day together.
I went to tell Connor I was going to go pick up the information about my soul mate and he told me I didn't have to. My soul mate was there. He'd been given my information and had come to find me.
Ironic, no? There was my new found soul mate, and there I was, arms wrapped around my ex-boyfriend on the desert floor as we kissed and didn't make up. He asked if I wanted to hang out but I told him I was just hanging out.
He was leaving the next day and the irony did not pass me by. My supposed soul mate had come to see me and I was leaving to spend the day with Jay.
Oh, Universe, you're so funny!
Jay and I, however, ended up having a great day.
We biked out into the deep open playa and looked at art all day. We biked from one piece to another, through dust storms so thick we had to slow down so as not to lose each other. We found a random bar where Jay drank and I had orange juice. And where I sat and drew in the sand while he made new friends. I sang along to the music when an art car pulled up and then I made my way to the random portapotties in the middle of nowhere.
We left there and went to "the Oasis", another thing in the middle of the deep desert with couches and beach umbrellas and we napped there for a while, until a fellow there offered a ten minute meditation session. I was happy and relaxed by the time we left, and happy to just be with Jay without feeling like I was "with" Jay... or anything. I can't explain it, but it was like we were together but... not.
We biked to Mark's place for dinner, and on the way home from there we stopped so Jay could climb a giant rope. (Things are just so awesomely random you don't even think about it.)
I sat as he climbed the rope and proceeded to hang up side down from it when this adorable gal from Tasmania called me over.
"Is he yours?" she asked.
"He used to be."
"Seems like you two still really like each other," she said after we'd sat and talked for a while.
We hugged. "Yeah," I answered. "We do."
Jay and I went to the Man burn together that night, just the two of us.
We sat right up close, took in the entire, gorgeous, I can't-believe-this-is-happening show, from the fire dancers to the fireworks and the explosion of the sculpture that then just burned and burned and burned with this incredible heat and smoke filled dust devils that would swirl and then get sucked back in, dancing, by the heat.
It meant everything to me that I was there with Jay.
That I was there with one of "my" people. With someone I had a relationship with, not just a new acquaintance, and not just by myself.
I can be by myself, I do it a lot, but I much prefer sharing an experience with someone, and while Jay and I may not be... perfect, we do care for and love each other and have a great time when we're together, and I loved sitting next to him watching the man burn.
We separated a bit after the burn, when Jay wanted to continue with the crowd that was circling the embers and I wanted out of the crowd (where I was not entirely comfortable in a slightly feeling claustrophobic way) and I spent the next couple of hours wandering through the art cars that had gathered around to watch the burn. It was awesome.
These gorgeously lit up pieces of movable art with people on them dancing or not, just being, whatever they felt, and flame. Flame and fire. And I must have stared at this one art car that was shooting flame for twenty minutes, no kidding. (Yes, completely sober.)
Night is always a bit dustier and I still need to figure out how to wear my glasses so I can see but to also have dust goggle type protection. Something to sort out before next year. Or next time... which I hope is next year.
I made my way home after a while, and was greeted by Connor who told me Jay had been by and was looking for me.
I sat and chatted with Connor for a bit about his burn and Jay came back and found me, and we crashed out in my tent.