Pictured: An apology for the first image.
I arrived late on a Tuesday night to what looked like the cultural remnants of a nuclear war. People ducked in and out of dirty tents or danced awkwardly in front of fires wearing patchwork Halloween costumes. If there was free love here, it didn't look like it was being passed out yet. A painted teenager on a tricycle skidded to a stop in front of me.
"Welcome home," he said.
"No," I told him, "my home is much nicer than this. There's a pool."
"It's what we say here. 'Welcome home.'"
"That's absurd," I argued. "Have you seen my house? It's outstanding."
He didn't seem to understand. He told me he loved me and handed me four tabs of acid before riding off into the night.
I put them in my shirt pocket and explored the grounds, strolling through drum circles and past art exhibits made of doll faces and hot glue. If art is designed to pose a question to the world, these seemed like asinine questions no one really wanted answers to. I finally stopped in front of a giant cloth-stitched vagina smeared in Vaseline. Anyone who felt inclined could walk through it, experiencing rebirth. The artist stood on hand watching heads crown and smiling proudly for his contribution to the world. I wanted to feel as strongly about anything as he did about giant vaginas.
This must have taken forever to build.
A group of 20-somethings floated by, the girls in the group wearing nothing but wings and underwear. One smiled at me and I undressed her with my eyes. It didn't take long.
"You're pretty naked," I announced.
"You're overdressed,' she said.
I looked down at my wing tips, my seersucker. It was possible in the darkness that she couldn't tell it was breathable cotton. A short, African American man pushed his way through the group and announced himself as the patriarch of the family.
"You're a family?"
"Yessir. It's all about family here. Would you like to join us?"
"Is there an initiation?"
They were on their way to an Energy Touch Session which sounded promising. As we walked, they explained that everyone in the family had to choose a nickname, most of them sounded vaguely Native American. The short leader went by Hail. I requested Storm Shadow but they argued it sounded too threatening. We compromised with Rain Man.