~the following is part of “Prompted Prose,” a series of posts from the prompts I’m working with during my Spring 2016 online writing course
I was the girl living in her Subaru, driving interstate with nomads named “Sunshine” and “Pony.” Eager to camp with friendly freaks, eat communal stew out of a coffee mug at the drum circle.
But fifteen years later, at the three-day music festival on a remote Maui coastline, I’m on the fringe of the fringe-dwellers, agitated in a sea of perma-grins.
Young women skip barefoot over grass, as if gliding on fairy dust, half-dressed and shining. They seem levitated in rapture, humming to themselves and picking flowers for their hair. I’m at my tent, slathering hand sanitizer past my forearms, trying to air out my molding sleeping bag.
Everything’s skewed, even my picturesque view of breaching Humpbacks. They’re blocked by the figures in front of me, a couple contorted in some sort of dual yoga pose, her legs wrapped around his neck, looking as if she’s on the verge of either transcendence or orgasm.
In the converted gymnasium, pods curl around communal pillows in cuddle puddles of family love. Home-brewed Kombucha tea is for sale next to racks of hip outfits, branded perfectly for next year’s Burning Man. A woman tries on a pair of yoga-pants-turned-naughty, sporting a transparent backside, while her friend in fairy wings nods in approval.
Conversations float on the smoke of burning sage and nag champa incense.
“…so the sound harmonics generated from the crystal bowls infuse into the water, changing its molecular structure, clearing negative energy…it’s like the water gets healed…and when you drink it…well, you’ll see. It’s amazing…”
I’m a misfit among misfits, but I’m stuck here (quite literally- they’ve blocked in my rental car with a dented Vanagon, essentially, kissing my bumper). Though I’ve worked to overcome my resistance, I’ve determined that these blissful love bunnies are simply not my people. Yet, they continually insist that they are. The weekend’s mantra is hauntingly chanted, “We are one,” and even though I can wrap my head around the ideal, does that really include the dreadlocked kitchen volunteer who stands scratching his scalp with one hand, while scrambling our breakfast tofu with the other?