so, yes, the huge party we planned to throw in the mountains this weekend was postponed due to those mountains being on fire. however, not content to just throw up hands and spend the weekend drinking beer, BBQing and watching fireworks like the rest of America, the False Profit crew instead rallied to create a replacement event, properly named EVAC!, on the fly. there was too much energy, too much excitement, too many resources, too much WANT to let mother nature keep us down. there was still a BBQ and beer drinking and badminton and frisbee and traditional enjoyment of the 4th of july on Friday afternoon at Lake Anza in the berkeley hills, and the tradition of watching the fog change colors from the comfort of jason’s hot tub later that night, but then it was back to reconstruction.
thankfully, a venue was available, a warehouse space of a friend, and as soon as the word “yes” was uttered, the team began shifting everything from outdoor to indoor focus. saturday morning around 11 am jay and i arrived at the warehouse, which had already been cleared out by a team the day before, and from then until about 6:30 pm it was the usual procedure to transform an empty cement box into a comfortable, inviting, and aesthetically appealing entertainment venue. there was carpentry to be done (build DJ booth), electrical work to figure out (patch custom power box into existing system), sound system placement, lighting design, outdoor perimeter to be defined, food and beverage organization, art to be hung and presented, and creation of a comfortable, fluffy chill space for people to relax into. to have put it all together in more or less 8 hours is no small feat. having compressed amount of time means everything is done much more minimally, but in some ways also makes it all more efficient.
we went home for about two hours to eat and change, and then headed back. from the time the doors opened, the party expanded rapidly to the point that we had to stop letting people in. it was a sweaty mass of people inside, having a brilliant time. the night flowed perfectly, with only one moment of “oh shit” when someone hit the “the cops are here” button by accident. false alarm! please continue partying.
at one point, i realized i was having one of those moments on the dancefloor that i’m always searching for: i wasn’t thinking about tomorrow, or yesterday, or work, or relationships, or any of the little things that tend to spin in my brain, or even occupied with keeping tabs on the logistics of the party as i am wont to do (especially when i had volunteered to be the sober police liaison for the night); i was surrounded by beautiful humans and i was completely happy and enjoying myself. i realized, again, at that moment, how much all of this means to me, particularly those moments. like everything else (most especially burning man), i tend to constantly weigh the merits and drawbacks of putting such extensive amounts of time and resources into something so decadent that many others would not only see as “wasteful”, but perhaps even selfish, and for this reason am generally not the most optimistic or most “psyched” when it comes to investing in these things. i often let the nagging guilts associated with such privilege get to me, which makes me reluctant to enjoy. is simply creating a joyful experience a good use of so much energy, so much thought, so much money? is escapism a valuable product? forgetting any moral imperatives or contexts outside of our own, when you consider this in terms of our limited time on this planet, the answer can only be yes. and not only were we having an excellent time and releasing some steam ourselves; many guests throughout the night expressed their gratitude and enjoyment.
when the morning light began to creep in the skylights and the crowd began to thin, we started to slowly shift gears away from blissed-out back into logistical mode. after the last beat dropped at 6:00AM, like a video in rewind we quickly took apart, removed, undid, cleaned and repacked everything until once again there was an empty cement box. to say it was surreal to stand there and look at that empty room after when not but a few hours before it was filled to capacity with people and lights and sound is an understatement.
at 8:00am jay and i left and went to our friend’s house for some breakfast and a much needed soak in his outdoor hottub to soothe our tired bodies. by 11:00am, we were home and in bed, 24 hours later.
it’s so mind-boggling to me, not only that such a thing CAN happen, but that WE can make such a thing happen (i said to someone who asked how we were dealing with it all – “shit happened, and so we’re making shit happen”) . it’s also rather mind boggling how some 24 hours are so, so much more filled with life and joy and love while others are so completely mundane. i admire those who strive to produce as many of the joy-filled time capsules as possible, not only for themselves, but to share with others, and i feel incredibly blessed to have a group of people who are HELL BENT on making those moments happen.
Sweet visuals at EVAC!, originally uploaded by JasonUnbound.
dealt an unexpected, last-minute load of wildfire-singed lemons, false profit deftly enters the lemonade business.
and this was some serious lemonade.
despite being 100% sober throughout all of EVAC and getting tons of sleep yesterday, my brain is still totally fried. i also have one of those deep body aches that only means i danced like Gumby for a lot of continuous hours, but it hurts good.
props: to everyone who worked so hard to pull that one out of a striped hat. FEMA needs crews like ours.
giving it all to keep the Fun Index from dropping like it’s hot: priceless.Filed in autobiographical, environment, events, friends | Tagged with false profit | Comments (3)