Hookas and Fire Bazookas – Black Rock City, Nevada, United States

To satiate my intellectual side, I attended a talk on The Art of Deliberate Creation at the HeeBee JeeBee Healers. Stuart accompanied me to listen while on installing LED lights into his costume for that night. I contemplated the 8 step process to focusing intention to accelerate the realizations of your dreams. The speaker was good but ended up forgetting a few of the steps along the way so I think we must have gotten the condensed version. It was really nothing I hadn`t already considered but a nice refresher all the same.

Tuesday night was the Fairy Formal so I made an appearance to see what it was all about, hoping it wasn`t cancelled again. I ducked into the smallish tent to see about thirty elves, fairies and other winged types. The gentle murmur and lightheartedness produced a decent atmosphere but didn`t keep me interested for long. I downed my sangria and then peddled away in search of Joanna.

Joanna is an old friend that was with me eons ago in Buenos Aires that fateful night at Big One. We have kept in touch through the years and this bouncy fellow Canuck was integral to my decision to come to Burning Man. I found her in Chillonia with several of her clan. We hugged reuniting gleefully, sharing a few drinks before I resumed my exploration of the Esplanade.

I decided to duck into Hookadome to see what all the fuss what about. After carefully removing my shoes at the entrance, I entered the large tent to find quite the gathering. I surveyed the scene of ten or so low tables surrounded by people perched atop pillows taking turns sucking the pipes. The air was heady, fragrant with flavored tobacco from the genine hooka centerpieces. The ambient music fit the seductive luxury of partaking in this sacred ritual. I was led to a vacant pillow where I proceeded to greet my fellow tablemates in a friendly hushed voice. The energy was elegant and rich very much as I would expect would be characteristic of its equivalent in the Middle East.

I sat with a wise man who treated me to a massage with unique oils while sharing knowledge of higher paths. I felt honored to have such pearls of knowledge imparted on me and thanked him graciously upon my departure. Feeling a little lightheaded as I don`t make it habit to smoke, I wobbled out of the tent into the starry night.

I didn`t get far as next door was Dance Dance Immolation which snagged my attention. Here on two raised platforms, energetic competitors duke it out with their concentration and fast feet. The giant screen in front shows them what synchronized moves must be made at just the right moment to score points. The twist is that if you screw up, bazooka flamethrowers bathe you in a rapid blast of fire. No matter how many times I watched these daring contestants suited up in fireproof armor get charred, it never got old. I laughed my head off at every blaze of fiery madness, punishing them for poor performance.

It was especially entertaining to watch one crazy guy who obviously had played this game before (must own the videogame). He was so stoked to play and was practicing intensively for at least an hour before he turn came up. His energy didn`t wane, not a bit and I had to wonder what he was on! The whole crowd was cheering vigorously for his almost flawless performance and we groaned in affectionate appreciation when his turn was over. He was certainly the champion on this night and clearly knew it as he thrust his arms in the air victoriously.

I rode my bike around checking out this and that even stopping to partake of the Cookies n Milk at midnight. I sat contentedly crunching on my homemade cookie and cup of milk trying to imagine what could be better. Nothing, I concluded and decided to call it a night with my belly full of sweet and creamy goodness.

Grateful for independence.

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