I often quote my favourite Tame Impala lyric by the wonderful Kevin Parker – ‘The only one really judging you is yourself.’ In this tale I go on a journey that some of you will connect deeply with, and some not at all…
Saturday fever is upon us again – this time the theme is RED. In classic manifestation style, Zimbabawia happened to find me the most divine, red ball-gown. It was hanging in a tree by the side of the road back in Malawi, and we bargained it down to a whopping $3.
Also read: Holes and Hippopotamuses
Stored at the bottom of my pack, it’s as if the dress knew it would be coming to this party. Degreased and bathed, I get her out and slip her on. She’s a slim fit, falls gracefully to the floor, and is licked with flame shaped golden sequins that rise from my bellybutton to breasts. In it I feel a surge of energy, the dress is charged and transforms me into The Desert Queen.
The rest of the kitchen crew have been busy sprucing themselves up, meeting in our living room, we decide to have a trippy night together. We share a sugar cube and role into the party like lava…lit.
The party is in the DPW living room, and yet I believe I have apparated into a Moroccan party. The *Fluffers have done it again, they’ve transformed it into a warm womb like cave; red drapes hang, pillows lay strategically around the outside, and a sea of beautiful red humans are milling about.
I spot Hawk Eyes, tonight is his birthday, I go to wish him a happy birthday and he pulls me aside. I just wanted you to know, the girl I mentioned is arriving tomorrow. If things had been different I would have been all over you these last weeks, and all the weeks to come.
I have a list of things I’d love to retort to this self-absorbed human and his self-absorbed speech, but I suddenly feel the sugar cube about to hit me like a freight-train.
Have you been to a party or festival and realise that your night is about to get real hectic real quickly? So quickly that you rush to safely deposit your valuables somewhere that your soon to be alter ego can’t fuck them up?
With the sugar cube train about to reach the station, I grab Zimbabawia and we take off to save my camera from my future self. While exiting the party, we stumble upon Arrows path – Arrows is an absolute gem in the desert, she is topless with arrows painted on her body facing different directions. Twisted. She inquires What are you doing? We’re on a mission! Can I join? Fuck yes!
Together we slap our hands above our heads to form a rocket, then take off on our mission.
On our 30 metre journey we decide it’s a good idea to keep a note of landmarks; a green tent, a bicycle with a bell, a toilet, a very shiny rock… It may only be 30 metres, but by the time we safely deposit my camera in Arrows tent, it feels as though we have landed on Jupiter.
With our mission safely completed, we begin to attempt to find the party. Obviously, not wanting to make things easy, we take a new route and stumble around the desert ‘landing’ on different planets. Assessing whether they are habitable, we conclude that the red party has the best atmosphere… and land our rocket.
Inside I spot Lanky in the corner, Hawk Eyes on the other side of the room, and Nimbin outside with his girlfriend. I position myself on the dance-floor far away from any of them. I am feeling positively charged and so full of power, that I want nothing to do with these unworthy men.
From my new spot I look around and observe that everyone is on.com. The party is heaving. From a brief glance at the different interactions going on, I can say with certainty that this is already the loosest party I have EVER been too.
People are naked, wrestling, roaming in the desert, howling at the moon – ecstasy is all around, it is simply vibrating. Whether it’s the kilometres from civilisation, the freedom of every individual in the room, the absence of judgements or responsibilities, the awareness that regular social norms and constraints don’t apply here – I cannot wipe the smile from my face. I’m twirling in my ball-gown in the centre of the dance-floor completely at peace, completely at home in myself… and then a Prince arrives.
A side note: If you’re a regular reader you may have figured out by now that I truly am a HOPELESS romantic. Clearly a storyteller, when I meet men, I love to imagine that if they end up being ‘the one,’ our first meeting is the tale we tell for the rest of our lives.
So when a guy I have never seen before (I know everyone in this desert) dressed as a Prince (red and gold royal jacket) approaches me, I’m feeling like the desert version of Cinderella.
Your dress is amazing. Do you want to dance? Dumbstruck I nod my approval and he edges towards me lightly taking my waist, he then begins to waltz me to to the techno beats. All eyes are on us:
The Desert Queen and The Prince.
After our waltz, we walk outside and sit on a conveniently placed party bench deep in the desert. Names are quickly exchanged and we begin to kiss. I see stars, our tongues are two galaxies weaving together and I think I might actually fall off the bench. Too soon he pulls away, I’m sorry I can’t do this.
Oh GOD what? Do you have a girlfriend? All I want is a good finger bang in the bushes.
He starts pissing himself laughing You’re great, and no, I haven’t had a girlfriend in a long time, I can’t, I don’t feel connected to people, I can’t give them what they want.
Totally stumped I move back from him, Well how do you know what I want?
Well, what do you want?
I sit and think, for a long time, not knowing what to say, and then it comes out:
I just want a real connection.
Knowingly he replies; Well, I can’t give you that.
I start crying into his shoulder, and he asks me why? It all spills out of me… time and time again I am attracted to the wrong men. Why do you think this happens? Leaning on his shoulder I am plunged into a vision. As though looking through a microscope, I see a vision of thousands of sperm swimming around hundreds of eggs. Some of the eggs are slightly brighter, warmer, quirkier than the others. When the sperm come close to the brighter eggs they are drawn towards it, they surround it, they want proximity to it. I see a particularly radiant egg and realise that it is me. I am larger than life, I am wild, I am free, I am loud, and I am proud. Sperm are drawn to me, they want a piece of my wildness, they want to feel my freedom. They think of me as some kind of drug that they’ll give a try this one time, see what it’s like, then go back to their previous ways.
Coming back I pull away from him, suddenly motivated by my vision, I tell him that if he knows he can’t give me what I need then he should go. He smiles sadly, then stands up and leaves. I sit for a while and get myself together. I can’t process what’s just happened, I wander back to the red party and slump onto a cushion. I’m exhausted, shattered, and pretty fucked up.
From across the room, Star Bloom gravitates to me – she’s one of those angels on earth, a pure and spiritual being that can make you feel loved and understood from a single hug. She wordlessly lifts me from the ground. As she leads me to the dance-floor I am overcome, somehow I am not in control of my body, Star Bloom is. She literally controls my limbs as we dance. I lean into her shoulder surrendering to her control, finally feeling safe and understood. Again I am plunged into a vision, this time I’m afraid, it feels so strong that I might collapse, I don’t want to collapse, so I resist.
Resisting causes Star Bloom to release my hands and leave, not uttering a word, as if she could feel I wasn’t ready to go where ever I was being taken.
I stand amid the chaos trying to decide what to do. I leave the party and feel myself heading towards Lanky’s container in a lonely desperation. Then with 100 x the force as the last time, the voice from within me bellows – You. Are. Finished. With. That! My legs LITERALLY turn from underneath me, away from Lanky’s container and in the direction of home. They start to run themselves home making sure I don’t have a chance to change my mind.
I am not fucking joking.
Inside our living room my darling crew members are there waiting to welcome me home. In control of my body once more, I collapse onto the couch and explain everything that has happened to me. I feel no fear of being judged by my desert family. Once my tale is finished the Desert Poet locks eyes with me and says You’re waking up, keep listening to that voice.
*Fluffers – Two crew members get the role of ‘Fluffers’; their job entails party planning, and looking after all the desert labourers.
Also read: Penetration of the Hawk Eyes
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Artwork by Starbloom