You know the feeling I’m about to describe. It’s an urgency that can’t be explained. A magnetic pull. A whisper in the wind calling you to return to somewhere, but mostly to someone. I left Nevada after Burning Man to travel around and visit a friend in California but after 2 weeks of being a rolling stone I felt the anxiety nipping at my brain. There was someone I needed to see.
I met him after last years burn. I lost my friends which were essentially my ride out and was beginning to panic. The festival officially ended on Sunday night and it was getting late into the afternoon on Monday. RV’s were leaving in droves but despite my efforts to hitch a ride, no one had room for me! I figured I’d be better off to ride around on my bike and talk to people. Maybe then I’d find a ride. sure enough I crossed paths with just the right person.
Not sure exactly what it was, but I was instantly intrigued. He was dirty, looked like he had been working hard in the heat for days. While packing his trucks, he gruffly told me he could get me to Reno. Not super chatty, but he seemed curious at the same time. He wouldn’t make much eye contact with me; I could tell he liked me but didn’t want to as much as he already did.
He got me to Reno like he said. There was some flirtations exchanged on the way but not much more. But something made us stay in touch. Over the year we would occasionally send a message or have a phone call. We’d comment on pictures posted on facebook and press “like”. When this years Burning Man came around he invited my friends and I to set up camp with him.
I didn’t see him for the first 3 days of the burn. He was stressed, working and running around. By Wednesday the dust and the heat had taken its toll; I pretty literally crashed and burned. I was up all night and by morning had a heat stroke. I spent the entire day being cared for by kind friends and strangers. It took an IV drip and lots of TLC but by evening I was starting to feel human again.
In the midst of my recovery Joey serendipitously found me. I felt a fountain of relief wash over me to see him and know that he was by my side. He kissed me gently on my forehead and hugged me as I rested. The rest of the week he was like my safety blanket. I’d walk up to him from behind and give him hugs, he’d always have a moment to show me love and affection. I’d wear his big cosy hoodie to keep me warm at night and would always catch him looking at me from across the way. It was like a teenage romance with someone I felt like I had been lovers with for decades.
The week ended so swiftly, filled with highs, lows, dust storms, cold nights, hot days, smiles and tears. Before I knew it we were packing up and heading out. Joey didn’t want me to leave but I knew he had work to do and I wanted to spend time with friends. I made it all the way to Berkeley, CA and I couldn’t shake him. He’d just repeat in my over and over again. I missed him and I could feel him missing me.
At this point he was working on a ranch near the Black Rock Desert. He wanted me to come and I heard the sadness in his voice. He didn’t think we’d hang out again, he thought this was just a burning man romance with no future. He was beginning to write me off. I barely knew him and was 8 hours away on a greyhound bus. But that’s a small price to pay for love, isn’t it? So I said fuck it and booked a bus to go to BACK to Reno.
The next few days proved to be some of the most beautifully sweet and fulfilling days I’ve had in years. Even though I approach most situations with skepticism and doubt, I felt so at ease and filled with trust in his arms.
Why is it so hard to believe when someone seems so perfect for you? I kept waiting for the moment when I’d think “oh great, he’s really an asshole” or he’s manipulating me for some reason and he’s gonna break my heart. But that didn’t happen. I felt complete unabashed honesty. He opened up to me like a flower aching for sunshine. Told me intimate details about his past and his desires. He was an open book for me to read, and so I began to open up as well.
The passion between us was a scorching insatiable flame. I wanted to gaze into his eyes for hours and feel his lips all over my body. He made me feel like the soft feminine being that I am and I loved how rugged he was. We’d touch and explore each other for hours and immediately be crazed for more. Our thirst couldn’t be quenched. Beyond the physical connection, I felt my spirit intertwining with his, filled with light and love.
The surrounding nature of Nevada cradled our romance. Deafening quiet, skies littered with stars, rolling mountains in the distance. Moon so bright it casted shadows of my dancing silhouette and sunsets so vibrant my eyes would feast upon every changing instant. One night we drove to the middle of the Black Rock Desert and slept under the stars together. The place where we had met, only now completely devoid of another soul. Just him and I.
That week spent together was a perfect bubble captured in time. A special gift we shared. Despite my wanting to stay I continued north on my journey. I don’t know what the future holds for us, but I’ll always have the memory of my detour to Nevada.