Friday, 9 October 2015

The End Of The Week

I can't remember if it was Friday or Saturday but at some point near the end of the week Max talked about the timing of their leaving and I realized he wasn't staying on playa as long as I was.  And as soon as I heard him say it I started to cry.

Max and his friend were going to be leaving right after the Man burn on Saturday and the two of us had never talked about when we were leaving, just when we were arriving, so I had assumed he was staying til Monday or maybe Tuesday... but no.  So I felt like I'd just lost an entire day with him in this already short week and I was pretty upset.  And shocked.

He pulled me aside and I told him how I was feeling and that it was unexpected and that I was feeling the shock as well as the sad.  He apologized... explained that his friend (and room mate and travel partner) had to get back for work and they also wanted to beat the traffic so they were leaving early Saturday evening, but that they'd be there for the burn.

But I didn't even know what that would look like.  I knew that he and his crew and camp mates would want to go see the burn together and I didn't want to interfere with that, but I also wanted to be with him for the burn.  But also with Sarah and Connor.  We talked it over and Max said that since their camp was planning on watching it from their art piece, he wasn't sure he could get all three of us on (space wise) but that I could come with him for sure.  But we worked out a way for Sarah and Connor to join us once we were out there and everyone seemed happy with that.  But Saturday was hard for me.

I did what I could to help Max and his friend pack and tidy and I tried to be as helpful as possible but I didn't want them to go.  At all.  We went for a wander around the neighbourhood at some point mid-Saturday and ran into some friends of Max's who run an art car and so we jumped aboard (with permission, once it stopped for us... never get on or off of a moving art car and always ask permission to board from the driver) and I had my first experience of being on an art car! 

I think I felt safe doing so because I was with Max and I knew he knew these people and so I felt like it was going to be ok.  Plus, Max made sure I had water while we were driving around and that made me cry all over again because I'm not so used to someone thinking about me and taking care of me like that.  So we drove around the playa for a while, taking in the view of the art and the people in this different, unique way, and then we headed back to his camp and they loaded up the rest of their gear and I... held it together while helping.

But I was kind of a mess.  Max and I had talked about what we were going to do going forward (I'll get to that another time) but I didn't like the idea of him not being there, next to me for all of Sunday, not to mention two lost nights.  (Three if you count that stupid Monday.)  But I tried to still be present in the time I did have left with him and I knew I'd be ok, if sad and missing him.

I guess we were too busy packing or trying to get food into our systems but somehow we all missed the group call out to head out to the burn set up (or whatever they called it in their camp) and when I jokingly mentioned that it looked like we'd have to head out on our own Max and his friend looked at each other and then Max came up to me...  "This is going to be it," he said.  And I didn't really know what he was saying.  It... how?  Did he... wait... what?  "Want to come see me change into default clothes?"

Shit.  No.

They were leaving right then and there.  Having missed the boat, so to speak, they made a decision in that one glance to each other that it was worth missing the burn in order to miss that much more exit traffic.

And?  You guessed it... I started to cry.

I didn't want him to leave, I didn't want to say goodbye, I didn't want the week to be over.

But most of all I didn't want him to leave.

But I let him go and say goodbye to the camp mates of his who were also still around, and I cried while Sarah gave me a huge hug and then I gave Max one last hug and kiss and I got on my bike and I biked back to my camp, crying and sad, but also knowing it was burn night, and I had to get myself ready for that.

Which helped. 

Because once I realized they'd pulled out and started their exodus (I resisted biking after their truck waving for them to stop and take me with them) I felt fine.

Sure, I wished he was there, but he wasn't and I still had the rest of the night and all day Sunday at Burning Man.  Plus I'd found the most amazing man and I felt so good about him and us that really, there wasn't a whole lot to be sad about. 

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