The most entertaining person I met at Burning Man was named Mary. Don’t know her last name. In her fifties. From Texas. Lived in Hawaii. Part of Camp Ka Palina, the BM regional for Hawaii. BM has a bunch of regionals that get together and have mini-BM parties. Lives in Arizona. Stopped smoking after having been a life long smoker. Eats all natural food. Uses all natural products.
Whenever I was around Mary, I could not stop laughing. I was always bent over, clutching my tummy. She made me laugh so hard, I cried.
After a few days of getting to know each other, she commented in her Southern twangy accent, “Catherine…I’m 54. I’ve been married three times. How old are you?”
I stiffened. I could feel it coming. The lecture about not yet being married. I sighed, “Ohhhh, Mary. I’m 31.”
She gasped, “Well, HELL! No wonder you look so damn young, child. You ain’t never been married!”
The small crowd who had gathered around, sitting in lawn chairs, roared. I cracked up as well. Her energy was contagious.
I wish I’d gotten a picture of her. Unfortunately, I didn’t. And she’s missing BM next year for a bar mitzvah. But in 2008, she’ll be the first person I’ll search the playa for.