Glorious sunlight and deepening rivers of self-vision followed me out of the playa. I suppose this is more an epilog than log, but such things are told the way they’re told, not the way they happen. The story is in the telling, not the told, not the timing, not the plot. I saw people with a clarity I hadn’t chosen to before. Felt the nervous, spinning, gyrating spiritual drunken drug altered mind of the crowd for all its beauty and hideous layered grime. Truth is beauty, beauty truth, but it is the truth that is beautiful, not the thing itself. Hatred is ugly, knowing the truth of it is beauty. Rode home with the beautiful Jill, who is not truth, but beauty anyway. I long ago burned her, but ashes are useful things sometimes, and I wished I could run my fingers through them. Resisted the urge all night, she already thinks I am in love and that it isn’t safe to flirt with me. It was the flirting, kissing, passionate glancing blow I wanted to begin with though, and what she withholds out of protectivness or disinterest is what would have kept me close. I feel it drifting away, and I suppose thats all right. Friendship will endure. I did not say those words to her. I talked of philosophy, recylced ideas, re-run over sleep deprived neurons, hazed with line noise. As meaningless as asking after the weather, but more pleasant and more full of words to while away the miles. It was a strange burn. Some part of me, lonely, seeking out beautiful souls, was frustrated, pinned in by beautiful souls it already knew, and thus was not piqued by or entreated to hunt. Another part sought solitude, thought, consideration of truths learned and truths to learn – that part frustrated by all the same old worn out truths. Funny, how passion can become a common thing and lose its soul. One asked me to hurt her. There was passion there, and the deepening chasm of dangerous future – dangers I have somehow learned to accept and enjoy. I felt sure-footed, calm. I told her I should take her to the chandelier, tie her arms above her head on the scrollwork metal. I had a cotton knotwork sheet that would serve as rope, I would leave deep bites up the inside of her thigh, her ribs, her neck, back down her other leg. Did I want her to beg, she wondered? No, I would take and I would give, when I wanted and how. The familiar tremble, comforting, sweet, but not a surprise. Another drew her line in the sand within grasping distance of the thing she wished to withold. I took the cue, walked the line, breathed hot and deep across it, but did not grasp. Was I frustrated too? I think I told her yes, but the withholding was comfortable for me. Part and parcel of the inevitable, have I really become so at ease with myself? Was Charise right, when she said those things to me, praise that every instinct turned away from, shy? The knowing parts of myself simply accepted. I am what I am, and I miss the mystery and danger of finding myself out. I suppose I thought there was more, that I would find it there, given enough time to wander the playa alone. Given the chance of meeting people whose reflective eyes would show me something new. Orgasm feels like loss to me. You have to stop for a bit, the feeling goes away for a little while. That tumbling crest you surf slides into the beach and is gone, and you have to wait before you surf again. As well the ending of a long journey into myself has left me limp, wanting to grasp again the easy delusions that were so fun, just a little while ago. Truth is beauty, beauty truth. That which is interesting is another thing altogether. One greeted me kindly, tolerated me, said she enjoyed our time together. Another hugged, but held back, a bit nervous. Did she see what Jill thinks she sees? I did not want her, but I wanted to be wanted, enjoyed, admired, greeted with ease and happiness. Also I wanted to be away, beginning the long work ahead of me. I then wanted to not want so much, not care so much, but the months of loneliness have taken their toll and companionship was precious to me. Strained companionship, anathema. When I went away, I would find my already found companions walking upon me from the playa, and I would walk with them, enjoy them, never regret my time with them, but still want to be away. Tomorrow, I kept saying, tomorrow will be my time. Thus it is a story of people, of souls and interactions – not one of the birth of my invisible college. It was born alone and unmarked, no story to speak of, and maybe that is best after all. Not even maybe. I looked forward to dancing, to singing, to giving my speech on stage in center camp. All these pre-empted, all these not really part of the truth. The dust rose, though, and the art in all its gory detail revealed to me the right insites. Thousands of faces built a mosaic behind my eyes and I saw truth there. I saw next years projects grow from this years dust. I said my last goodbye to my last need, and began my journey home in an overloaded van with Jill, tired, dusty, and oddly completed by the draining unwanted orgasm whose building frothy crest I had savored and resisted so long. Completed against my will almost, I fought to keep that joyous cum just ahead of me, just a few steps away… Ah, well, exhausted and flaccid, I am too tired to look back on my work and appreciate the child I have wrought. She will come to me soon enough and work will begin. Another stage in the great foreplay of life begins, and after a few showers, I will be ready to begin again, with a nibble at the neck and a finger drawn lightly down the spine.