Friday, August 23, 2013

A Day At Bonnaroo, Part Two: An Imagined Rebellion

Click here for part One.

Earlier, when I told you I could no longer rest in the grass because I had to poop, I hope you didn’t take that as an easy shot for a poop joke, because I promise you it wasn’t. I imagine that the daily ritual of a morning poop is something most of you are familiar with, but how many of you know about the dreaded Music Festival Morning Poop? I assure you it’s very real, and not something to be trifled with. Basically what happens is that all that crap food, alcohol and various drugs you have consumed from the night before have finished their spiral down your stomach and are now ready to exit your body as quickly as possible, and they don’t take ‘not ready yet’ for an answer. So like I said, it wasn’t a poop joke, it was a poop semi-emergency.

Anyway, in the three days I’ve been here, the walk to the porta-potties has grown increasingly more difficult and painful.  The porta-potties nearest me are set up alongside the main dirt road that takes about four minutes to walk to. In the beginning, that was no problem. But as time wore on, and after I walked approximately 50 thousand miles, my feet have started revolting against me. They are clearly fed up with this walking tyrant that has caused them to break out in blisters, and they demand peace immediately. But even though it feels like Cairo inside my shoes right now, I cannot give them peace; I must continue to walk. So there is no peace, only pain.

I try to take my mind off the pain by looking around at my surroundings. It’s funny, the mornings of Bonnaroo always look different than any other time of the day. In the morning, it looks more like a civil war camp after a hard battle than a campground for a free-loving music festival. The people who come out of their tent don’t look like the same happy, cheerful people I saw the day before. No, they’re more confused now, almost as if they’re wondering what kind of savagery they got into last night, and what lasting effects it might have on them.

It amuses me greatly to see this transition in action, but then I remember that I must look pretty amusing as well, a haggard man clinching his butt as he staggers in a zombie-like fashion to the porta-potties.

Of course, I’m not the only one doing this. There is a whole army of us, actually. A totally disorganized army, mind you, with everyone scattered about, some of us staggering more than others, but we are all on the same mission, to find those damn plastic boxes of hell.

When we do find them, it’s really rather depressing. After the long painful walk, we are now greeted with the sight of a long line of grumpy people waiting to relieve themselves while trying their best not to breathe in through their noses.

I join these temporary mouth breathers and wait as patiently as I can for my chance for salvation. But as I wait, something happens that infuriates me to the point of murderous rage.

It starts with some security guy on a four-wheeler who comes down the road honking his horn. He waves for us to get to the side of the road, opposite the porta-potties. Once we comply, he rides past us, and as he does so he waves his hand wildly in the air and shouts: “Stay off the road! The runners are coming!”

For a second, I suspect that this guy is not actually security at all but some drugged-out Bonnaroon who somehow jacked one of the sweet four wheeler security vehicles. Spectacular. This is the first thing to make me smile this morning. That smile quickly fades though when I hear the sound of stampeding feet coming down the road and I realize the four-wheeler guy was legit. There are runners coming. In fact, there are a shit ton of runners coming. I honestly can’t believe how many of them there are. They even have large stickers on their chest with numbers printed on them, like it’s a legitimate marathon or something.

“Oh, this must be the Bonnaroo 5K race I heard about.” I hear an aspiring pooper next to me say. You have got to be fucking kidding me, I think to myself as I watch my path to the bathroom vanish behind a moving wall of over-achieving, galloping assholes.

When every second causes growing pain, minutes can feel like an eternity. And that’s exactly what it feels like, as minutes go by and the runners are still continuing to come. Besides the great anger inside me, there is also a great deal of confusion. Mostly, I want to know how it is possible that these people are currently participating in a 5K race. Two possibilities come to mind. One, they took it easy the first two days of Bonnaroo, saying things like “I think I’ll head in early tonight, want to be ready for that 5K Run I’m doing in the middle of fucking Bonnaroo” so they would have the energy to do this. (If this is the case, it’s my opinion they should be dragged out of the festival and possible shot, because only the worst kind of tool would do this).

Or there’s the second possibility, they exerted just as much energy as I did, partied as hard I did, and still have it in them to run five kilometers while I’m struggling to remain bipedal. This thought only furthers my depression and makes me want to exact revenge.

What would happen if I just tripped one of them right now, I wonder? Just tripped one as they ran by and laughed as they skidded face first in the dirt. Would they get up and fight me? What kind of fight would that be? A pretty pathetic one, I’d imagine. All they’d have to do is punch me in the stomach and its contents would spray down my shorts with a fury.  Not too mention that by doing this I would be inviting other runners to attack me. Runners are known for sticking up for one another. That’s something that poopers aren’t known for at all. We are a solitary bunch, even if there is an entire army of us. 

But still, I can’t shake the desire to try to have a Braveheart moment. I fantasize about rallying my troops and telling them we can gain back our freedom that has been taken from this malicious group of uncharitable athletes. Then, once I have them in the palm of my hand, I envision using the element of surprise. We lunge at the runners without a moment’s notice and we use their momentum to throw them right into the plastic boxes of hell that we desire so much right now. “THIS IS WHAT YOU GET! DO YOU SEE! THIS IS WHAT YOU GET WHEN YOU STAND IN OUR WAY TOWARDS RELIEF!”  I would say as I bash one of their heads against a green plastic door.

 But this savage rebellion never happens. The opportunity for the Braveheart moment comes and goes, and the runners and the poopers once again separate without blood being shed. It’s for the best I suppose. And besides, a couple minutes later, I’m able to enter one of the green box of hell, and do my business. It’s gross, but I’ll spare you the details.

I decide afterwards that this morning has been far more active than I had intended, and that it’s time to find some shade so that I may rest my feet, sleep off my hangover, and dream of a place where there are no porta-potties or marathon runners. And if all goes according to plan, by the time I awake, morning will be long gone and it will be magic time at Bonnaroo once again.

  Click here for part 3.

Monday, August 12, 2013

A Day at Bonaroo, Part One: Waking Up

I wake up in my tent and realize my entire body is sweating. Not just sweaty, mind you, but sweating. Every pore is perspiring; every sweat gland is working overtime. My face, my chest, my stomach, my legs, in between my toes, in the corners of my eyes; I can feel each corpulent area secreting precious fluids, which then drip down onto my already soaked pillow and sleeping bag.  

Bear in mind, this isn’t ordinary sweat either. This is two days of drinking sweat. Two days of dancing sweat. Two days of jumping sweat. Two days of not showering sweat. Two days of hugging strangers sweat. Two days of dancing with pretty girls sweat. Two days of singing songs as loud as you can sweat. This is laughing-so-hard-you-can’t-breath sweat. This is chaotic-anything-goes debauchery for the next four days sweat. This is Bonnaroo sweat, motherfuckers, and I’m drowning in it.

But I deserve it.

Because everybody knows the Bonnaroo Sun is a cruel sonafabitch, and I defied him last night by drunkenly tucking myself into my heavy sleeping bag. Now I must rectify this immediately or get roasted alive.

So I peel my soaked sleeping bag off me and crawl towards the tent door. As I crawl I can feel the sun standing just outside my tent, with a blowtorch in his hand and a middle finger raised just for me. Jesus, it’s ten in the morning and he already wants my blood.  

With a shaky, dripping wet hand, I grab at the zipper and pull it up just enough to make a hole big enough for me to escape. I throw myself out into the world and gasp for air. It’s still quite hot outside but there’s a breeze, and that makes all the difference in the world. My sweat-soaked body now sticks half way out of the tent, with my head and chest resting on the cool farm grass. In the distance, I can hear a couple of acoustic guitars being played somewhere among the thousands of campsites that surround me. This makes me happy for the first time this morning; a nice reminder of why I came here.

 And then the breeze picks up and it feels so good on my body, I just want to stay here, lying in the farm grass, forever.

But I can’t because I have to poop.  

Click here for Part Two.