I believe that the universe places certain people on our path at certain times to gift us lessons to learn from.
With women I learn these lessons easily. Mumma Africa, an environmental warrior, came onto my path when I was ready to learn about how I might make sustainable changes in my lifestyle. My mentor, Caroline, came onto my path in the last months of my degree and challenged me to think about how I would step into a career and keep my outer passions alive. Zimbabawia came onto my path, and onto this journey, so that I have always had someone deeply grounded to help plant my feet on the ground when I lifted off.
But when the universe has placed certain men on my path, these lessons have often become tangled up and lost in my deep desire to find my ‘one’, my mate.
I was doing it again, I’d found something shiny and beautiful in the universe from which there was a lesson to be learnt and instead I was trying to turn it into my love story.
North Star and I have been at Boom’s Alchemy Circle stage for hours, shaking our tooshies and lapping up the energy from the Boom crowd.
The music suddenly ends and we look up at the decks to see the next DJ take over, but no one arrives and everyone starts leaving the dancefloor entirely unfazed.
‘What the shit is happening?’ I ask a volunteer, who’s busy collecting abandoned items from the dancefloor.
He explains that this stage has a break during the hottest part of the day so that people will rest, drink some water and swim. Pretty much so people don’t cook themselves.
Fucking genius. The amount of times I’ve been at Australian festivals and simply not left the dancefloor because of FOMO… well, I can’t even count. My friends and I usually take turns going back to camp for supplies and along the way always spot a couple of humans being carried away from the stage — unconscious — because, well, they’ve literally over cooked it.
Accepting this new reality, we are about to walk away when I spot a curious looking fellow stumbling about the deserted dance floor. He’s as pale as snow, dressed in a floral shirt which he’s tucked into bright orange shorts, and is donning a wicker sun hat that flops over big blue glasses. Is this man a cartoon character?
His devastated face tells me that he too is baffled. ‘Don’t worry the music will be back in a few hours! They’re trying to stop us from cookin’ ourselves,’ I shout and start making my way towards him.
‘But I want to danceeeeeee!’ he blurts out in the most hilarious accent.
‘Where are you from?’ I quiz.
‘Brazil,’ he replies while handing me a silver plate he finds on top of the sandy floor.
‘Gee, for me? Thanks! Well then, Brazil, come with us and we’ll find some more dancing.’
I didn’t know then that this would be my most brilliantly intuitive invitation of the whole festival. Brazil was literally a cartoon character.
He had North Star and I stumbling around and wetting ourselves with laughter for hours. I asked what he was on?
WOW. This is a straight up human justbeinghim.com — to the maximum.
We simply needed him in our crew. Or was it that I simply needed him in our crew? I noticed the all too familiar lust trickling through my system again. I invited him to join us for the night, already too attached to let him go.
On my walk to camp for my evening outfit change, I pondered — Am I doing it again? Am I falling into a man?
At nine-thirty I stood upon the dancefloor podium and strained my eyes for a floral shirt and blue glasses. Then through the techno beat came his unmatched voice shouting:
‘Ohhh my gawddddd — it’s party time!’
Elated I leapt onto his back and he piggybacked me all the way to the crew. They cheered at his return.
From that evening on we would meet Brazil everyday. On the dancefloor, at Funky Beach, at our campsite. He never changed his quirky outfit making him easy to spot. Everyday he would have our whole crew in stitches with his raucous behaviour — screaming ‘the crewww’ intermittently and whipping off his shorts and helicoptering them in the air.
Everyone loved the guy. And I mean everyone. I would watch strangers approach him for a high five and ask, ‘What are you on man?’ then I’d laugh when they gawked at his reply, ‘Nothing!’
I too felt like I was falling in love with him. I’d never met someone so absolutely themselves, so unaffected by the gaze of those upon him. While he was giving free piggy-back rides to strangers I told North Star – ‘I think I’m in love with Brazil.’ What!? she laughed, ‘You’re joking right?’
But I was not joking, I was deep in the desire that this could be my mate.
With this resolution of love in my mind I changed my behaviour from that of a new friend to a flirtatious admirer. He felt this change and soon we kissed. It was sloppy and rushed but this didn’t change my mind. We went back to my campsite and had quick, heartless sex, but this still didn’t change my mind. Everything was telling me that this was not going to be my love, but I ignored all these potential lessons to better fit my narrative — the best was ahead of us.
By the time the final day came North Star and I danced in an utterly twisted state beneath the lunar eclipse and I felt a deep sense of peace. I was in love with Brazil and we would probably end up travelling in our own van together around Europe.
It wasn’t until after the festival, when I met up with Brazil and his French friends in Lisbon, and saw him kissing a French girl that I realised he wasn’t my love story. And I was devastated.
I didn’t understand it. And I certainly didn’t yet understand my lesson.