From the inside of the 11:00am Northeast Regional it looks warm outside. I can guarantee you that it is not, and that the further north we go, the colder it is going to get. I still haven’t quite come to terms with whatever I’ll be stepping off into in Boston.
There’s a woman named Maria that I am about to send a text message to. She lives in Boston. We met at Burning Man this summer. She was camping in the camp that hosts the “bootie black rock city” party, which happened to be next to a camp called “The Star Cats” that many of my friends camp in. Maria had a friend at the camp, a 48 year old looking guy with pink hair, strappy leather work gear, and a big exposed belly. It was his birthday that day. The camp mates ran out into the middle of the clearing by the camp and held up balloons that read:
“Happy Fucking Birthday”
Maria organized it. She stood there and snapped the photo. It was my birthday too, and I told the pink haired man that. “It’s a blessing and a curse,” he said, “to have your birthday during the burn. It’s kind of like having your birthday on Christmas.” My mom’s birthday is on Christmas day.
A few month after Burning Man I was walking down Ames St. in Cambridge with my bag fully packed, er route to NYC. I saw an awkwardly parked U-Haul van and a woman in black utility boots was standing on the sidewalk evaluating it’s placement.
“Hey,” I said, “I know you. We met at burning man right?”
“Oh yeah,” said Maria, “Nice to see you.”
We hugged and then had a conversation about what she was doing in Cambridge. We added each other on facebook, zero mutual friends, then I left to go get some dumplings.
Sitting at the counter waiting for my veggie dumplings, I looked at Maria’s facebook. It was her birthday that day. I felt bad missing a chance to tell her happy birthday, especially since she had unwittingly delivered an enthusiastic birthday message on mine.
After eating I ducked into a bank that looked like they were setting up to have some kind of party with a cake. “We just launched our new branding,” the clerk explained. The new logo updated their font from a gothic calligraphic script (think “New York Times” logo) to something a bit closer to Helvetica.
“Do you have any printer paper I could borrow?” I asked the clerk.
I took a sharpie out of my bag, and drew a happy birthday note on the sheet of paper, then walked back to the U-Haul and stuck it behind the windshield wiper. There was something else in the windshield wiper too - a parking ticket.
That was the last time I spoke with Maria, but I’m going to message her again right now.
. . .
Three days later now I’m on the train again, this time facing backwards as I get hauled from Boston to Providence. Wet and nippy out. Dark.
As for things with Maria, we got drinks at the Independent in Somerville. We smiled at one another. I was a little late, she was a little later. She had spectacular hair. Two beers in I learned that she loves motorcycles and recently started dating someone who rides one.
“We’ve been friends for a long time.”
She did connect me to the 48 year old looking guy with pink hair. It turns out that his name is Sean and he’s probably 31. We had a 10:30am call and I took it from a nook in the wall of 4th West, an MIT dorm with graffiti on the walls and sticky carpet floor.
"I'll send you the form, fill it out and if you can make it up to Boston 3 or 4 times you can join our camp."
the big window is high in the trees there’s a ledge my cat can jump up. i have all kinds of vehicles here but my van is jumbled in with the washing machines. some succulents thrive in the garden others have gone to rot: not wanting my grandmother to see the dead ones i turn over the grainy red dirt so they won’t show.
One... one. One... Is this real? Dream check? Yeah, no, this is real.
“There’s nothing here.”
That's my first thought upon arriving at 179 Russell St.
It's a church. A small older man with a balding head, a funny little moustache and a back pack that looked like it weighs half as much as he does is slouched on the church steps. That's it.
I came here for a dance party. I say “hey there” to the man, though it seems like a stretch that this little old guy in a tucked pale orange plaid and khakis would know anything about a dance party.
The man looks up, grunts, and looks back down. It’s a big, dark church across from a park and nobody is around.
About to give up, I figure the event must have been cancelled or something, and start walking back towards Williamsburg. Then I notice a door, a side door into the church with the numbers 179 above it. It’s worth a shot. If there’s any chance of a dance party, I want to find it.
I open the door and it’s dead quiet. There’s a stair case going down to a door. I walk through it into a very large room. Extremely brightly lit, white fluorescents casting an uncomfortable glow over the whole room. And there’s a dude in there - just one guy - but as soon as I see him I know that this is somehow where I meant to come. He’s a large asian man with a gelled up hairstyle and plenty of tattoos.
“You know what this is, right?” he asks me.
“Um yeah, I read about it in the email newsletter. Dancing in the dark right? Dance party with no light?”
“Yep that’s it. And I’m the DJ. Just a couple rules. No cell phones, no break dancing, and most importantly - no watching.”
“Can I help you set up?” I offer. He’s just starting to pull a large set of speakers out of closet. The room isn’t set up at all.
“No, no. I’m good”
So I sit down on a piano bench and watch as he sets up. The event is supposed to start at 8:30 and it’s already 8:35. I start to feel bad for this guy, he’s doing all this work to set up a dark dance party and it looks like he’s going to be DJing to an invisible audience of one. Thumbing $5 I brought for the suggested donation I start to wonder if a $20 pity donation would actually be more appropriate.
Finally someone comes in. Actually a nice looking young woman in yoga pants. But she just says “I’m looking for my friend” who apparently isn’t me, and then turns around and leaves.
A few more minutes tick by and the DJ is frantically setting up fans, switching out light bulbs, and plugging in his sound system. As I watch the door, I'm shocked to see the older guy from the church steps walking in. He places his massive back pack against a wall and takes a place on the dance floor.
The lights go off. The DJ presses play.
Madonna - "Hung Up"
I start moving, trying to truly bring myself into the present, to be one with the darkness, to channel energy like a tai-chi flow master. I start grooving, moving, taking up space, bouncing around, hopping, waving my arms madly, hips to the left, hips to the right.
The DJ puts on something funky, something jazzy and latin, with a nice thumpy beat. I’m in salsa mode, back and forth hands to the side hands up, swinging down and around.
When the song goes quiet. I hear applause. Gentle, and measured, but significant. I turn around to see the swaying, bouncing silhouettes of several dozen people. The place is packed, and every single person you can barely make out is shaking, gyrating, skipping across the floor to the rhythm.
I realize I’m violating the “no looking” rule and get back to my dancing. By the time they finish with some ballet inducing melodies and the punky ska of Le Tigre’s “Deceptacon” I’m sweaty as hell in my black Levi’s thinking “maybe this is what SoulCycle is like”.
The Violent Femmes - "Blister in the Sun"
Although I constantly feel pulled back to a sense of vanity, a wanting to be seen, I’m empowered by the fact that I’m not. Empowered to swing wider, step faster, hop harder, or sway my hips just a little more smoothly on the sexy parts.
MC Hammer - "Can't Touch This"
Eventually a red light on the side goes on and you can dimly make out the faces of the people. When the music stops, and the lights come back on, the hall is cleared again, just me, the DJ, and the old guy with the back pack.
I stumble back out on the Greenpoint street. Sweaty, but happy. Another night of weird single existence rescued from mundane loneliness.
still – in dreams – across nets – in words and glances – as beautiful and eloquent as
if you want something, you need to ask for it.
its hard to choose
it can be ha erd to cha oose
i yit cah yun buh ee ha erd tuh oo cha oose
oose cha oo tuh erd ha?
yit cah yun buh ee ha.
buh ee yun erd ha oose?
ha oose tuh cah erd be.
yit buh ha tuh cha
it can be ha erd tuh oo cha oose
it can be h ard to ch oose
its hard to choose
hard to choose
phone a friend?
to start let’s say there’s the amazing of tens of thousands of people gathering in a desert to be and appreciate art. and there’s the problem of radical inclusivity via exclusivity, of anti-consumerism via Amazon Prime frenzy.
aside from those “of courses”, what I find lovely and special about burning man is just how barely-held-together everything is, and yet how well it all works. it’s that string of eL-wire that’s barely clinging to your fur coat, that little piece of string that’s literally the only thing holding up your art-DJ-booth, the little stuffed animal tenuously zip tied to your brake cables.
it’s an environment so chaotic and ephemeral that any tiny upgrade in the solidity or permanence of things can be directly appreciated as a genuine accomplishment. adding another screw to the two by four that holds the giant thermos of hot-cocoa to your four wheeled art bike; tying a slightly better knot on the guy line that is constantly being tested by fifty mile an hour wind gust; packing that one extra granola bar before you begin a 16 hour long adventure.
coming back into the default world we confront the fact that everything’s already _there_. it’s already buckled down, tied up, double-reinforced, and permanently secured: not only our structures, but our relationships, our identities, our futures.
life on the playa challenges us to identify less with what we built around us and more with what we can bring with us. what we can bring with us physically into the middle of the desert, on our backs as we trek through black rock city, and moreover, what we can bring with us, bare and naked, as we go about interacting with other humans. what can we bring by way of dance, ability to hear and heal, spark of intellect or adventure? How can we delight and contribute without the assistance of the all-to-solid structures that hold us on the pedestals we construct for ourselves in normal life?
the playa challenges us to consider how just being can be enough to be a contributor and not a mere observer. it encourages a deeper generosity of the moment, and a willingness to reach out and make an offer, rather than only to give when asked, and only to ask when absolutely essential.
when I went to the temple this year I was moved by the portrait of an old school burner. in the default world his name was john and on the playa he was sparkle pony. he sat there, smiling wide in a dusty arm chair in the middle of the desert with the oldschool man pavilion in the background.
this concussed poet brings to you:
YC summer eighteen.
Why, see the
as jingle in the
of every dollar
black badge founders pace
trying to (not) disrupt the space
as each mutters under breath
incantations - goal: success
in the white - YC alums
shmooze for leads or twirl their thumbs
preparing to consume
a glutton’s feast of pitch and slides
with a now familiar ring
we shuffle in
begin the thing
up in front, the OG crew
seibel, garry, alexis too
babies born upon the cruise ship
as sam takes stage to
announce PG and Jessica are here!
sam looks bold and built - stronger
push ups on the yacht deck - pale and skinny no longer
perhaps some public recreation out front the mansion
they have an asset light model for rapid pectoral expansion
keep up the growth and evolve into a titan
$10M in assets managed but is wealthfront frightened?
for gain without the cruelty and pain, try muscle mylk guys
an online trader joe’s where less animals die
and if you want to tat up that newly juiced bicep
join 8.5M others and download inkhunter to try it before you buy that.
palm oil production completely destroys the planet
C16 makes a fake to rake it in the day they ban it
also fucking up the world are right wing boomer babies
OutVote uses peer pressure to make democrats less lazy.
fintual another titan with $4m AUM
only difference is they do it in LatAm
a gnarly hook in human flesh the selling point of allotrope
instead just shock to pop a vein? I’m hoping this is all a joke
the camelot founders just burst out of college
to cash in on esports betting like DOTA and LOLage
how murdering your captain relates to optimized conversions?
ask mutiny who hope your boss gets some “personalized service”
viaoft has lonely beer cases and the environment’s back
uber pool for commercial trucking so they ride optimal packed
dreamcraft’s easy build game platform strictly for modders
likely to be the source of the next clan clash you slaughter
four growers computer vision robot plucks the ripest plums
leaving human hands freed up to provide tinder-swiping thumbs
$500B in indian credit is tracked in messy paper hard to edit
already tracking $60M of that is OKCredit
so we’re tracked but how about a coin backed, in dollars
anchor USD designed not to churn out more bitcoin ballers
but those in Africa trying to get on the Crypto boat
BuyCoins would be exchanging $1M if they just had more float
to clean up like these three beefy bro’s representing Frey
your fiat shave club for detergent on laundry day.
how much sex are you having? did you vote for trump?
like allotrope college pulse triggers a thump
hypcloud on the other hand not really that hype
more the commercial mortgage snore broker type
and Phaedra explains more meatless mylks from spero
data makes the gap between old cheese and 2.0 narrow
mac’d has a brick and mort chain that they go pitchin’
what lies beneath is a haunted house - ghost kitchens
ziffyhomes unhaunts houses - furnished condos in india
blowing up to the point where it’s surprising they’re in here
googly dataform say data is dirty
just when we thought this could not get more nerdy
CSPA wants to bring back the standardized test
so we’ll finally know just who’s the boolean-best.
half of hotel revenue is still booked offline
in flies the canary to SAAS the coal mine
flexible spending accounts lock up money
kinside does some stretching to let flow the honey
fixers don’t need TLC - they’re planned trips
with million dollar figures on the founder’s lips
too much electric power makes these lines fall down
sterblue drones will hover above cables between cities n towns
optic brings generated crud to the masses
so automate your tests and hope that CI passes
One API to rule them all, OneGraph to align them,
One API to bring them all into pipeline, and on the sales call, sign them.
document fraud like a copycat, founders identical twins
inscribe with deep learnt compuvisiontech, determine which one to let in
goodly is a cute. goodly sounds coo
goodly, goodle, google, boogle, boogly, woogly woo
have you seen fac-farmed chickens? stuffering, foul
seattle food tech makes a chickenish nug without fowl
training for employees a must, so do it in spanish or bust
make nearly a milli a year that’s really how ubits satisfies capitalust
nanopores, nanopores, nanopores, getchyur nanopores
and get your dynamic girth demonpores
when I sign legal docs I want klarity
an AI to highlight any contract disparities
it’s hard to stay savvy investing
maybe just pretending is the best thing
lego for big kids more modular - all based on 12 simple parts
say ‘ello to aalo, and try to find value for yuppies with smarts
iLabService founder’s named jing wang
funny it’s the same as a dame made me sing songs
regology is doing something but I could not tell you what
and for that I admit to having one head up half my butt.
tired of just living in reality? feel an urge to send it?
it started with snaps but SendReality can logical-end it
abacus investment banking on the blockchain
for managing securities the with that smart brain
feel a lack of mature products? there’s this happilabs co
in the game and growing 3 years with a milli rev or so.
emojer presents a stat that will make you “thank” / “pray”
there are six billion emojis sent every single day
yummy vitamins from lemonbox buy on 微信
no more sketchy, US product so you know where they’ve been
prodigal its logical - it makes cents
red shirts collaborate to reclaim what’s lent
every since I hit my head not sure I’m BrainHi
or brain low and broken as I strain my eyes
maybe I can use bot md with the clean brand
chat bot to give the docs a helping hand.
I saw their logo and wondered what and comfort
turns out a much needed women’s brand for plus size shirts
numericcal, numerical, noomiracle, hysterical, hystiricool, hoostiricle
machoonavootz agoontahootz machine learning steering wheel
with serious monthly growth its big Tenderd
at this rate they’ll hardly need a lender
the qurasense q-pad puts p-blood to work
nevermore get pricked by bloodthirsty jerk
toybox open and lay hands on some comic sans
collaborate to reach chesky-esque cosmic lands
alphavantage founder was pacing window to wall before his talk
in a Harvard vest we’ll see his best if he can pitch how he walks
one upping C16 is SF17
but it’s no palm oil substitute some medical magic thing
and medically sufficient with this shit is emptor
but im no industry expert so im lost on what it’s meant for
Mr. Revenue Cat rocks the beard and hair - furry
helping SMB’s build up sales that are recurring.
in #me - a world where you’re free, to be who you want
and have fun doing stunts, it’s the facebook for chipper Gen Z
half of $30 shipping crate moves aren’t even needed
bluecargo provides a guide to be heaved and heeded
back in the wealth management will ajaib be a giant?
based in Indonesia so there’s different for compliance.
radix labs founders do have a smart feel
if works then it’s huge but the risks are real
synvivia designs a near unthinkable switch
to turn on/off organisms in case life is a…
for those caught in the cycle of human trafficking it is one
annie cannons new tech opportunities gives them
it’s a concept as sweet as a kyte in the sky
can’t quite keep up with every single co but I do try.
when you need HR to lean on there’s Leena
Coca Cola hired them to replace Gabriel and Tina
ixora knows that jungle book spent 3 billion cents
to fill up mogli’s backgrounds with lush looking plants
business OpenPhone num in a app isn’t crap
but a look at digits makes me question their stats
augmented radar imaging founder - suited and legit
already has a $1.5B pub co under his leather belt but won’t quit
animo runs in figma and photoshop
converts design to code so we don’t need to stop
special needs parents for fifteen million kids
can use exception ally to assist with their sitch.
modern treasury solves a problem that teespring knew well
payouts and transfers en masse equals hell
perhaps Sam had a dose of Cytera to grow muscular cells
product is like a server rack, where clean burger meat swells
to be heard or be hard here it’s BHRD
I’ve heard raising a B round can be v. hard
enveritas caring founder with a passionate speech that triggers
spare us child labor and savor the $6M annual revenue figure
as I burn midnight oil here comes Osh’s or something like that involves pills
offer trientine, i offer galantamine, galantadream fantasy manically
scanning seas scanwell knows well that UTI’s suck
like acid in the pee tube, but now pee on a strip and upload it to youtube
kobo360 is uber for trucking in africa and yes they
are tracking for revenues way past a lot of ya
deep space of “No Fucking Way” is momentus, but you heard it right
$420MM in LOI’s for sattelite connection layover flights.
with spate track the trends that make means become ends
it’s some data you can lean on for inventory spend.
mylk in my eyedrop - here’s skydrop
after momentus how can my eyes pop?
car window based led ad screens from Grabb-it
so you’ll help out who-knows-what co next time you cab-it.
neuromorphic hardware scales better with time
im daniel engrossed in these raindrops connecting all lines
i don’t understand curebase, try as eye might, brain fry
struggle to add lines, dot all the t’s, cross the i’s.
“grandkids on demand” is something that we need still
papa is covered by medicare so seniors can netflix and chill
I’m still looking for somem 100% colombian coke zero
cambridge glycoscience has 100% cambrian cake zero
64-x has done something new - i don’t get it
e coli new DNA, genetics they edit.
incentivai is a step ahead of the smart contract game
ethereum app dev (if it ever happens) will never be the same
and kunduz is coming, war drums-a-drumming
to rewire the test prep tutor app from it’s plumbing
lightning atomic sparkswaps fly when crypto goes mainstream
wait I thought we already had 2017.
snark? i dont want no snark snark is a cloud AI can’t get no funds from me
hanging on the passengers side of advisor’s ride, trying to raise that seed.
augmented reality miru their logo is elegance
god damn I want that white tee and those denim pants
can I stay focused? no chance, federacy with bug bounty
im about to take my talents out to pershing county!
maybe bring some buttermilk packed foods on playa
an upgrade from the safeway ethnic foods aisle
I have two tickets, a van, and a vehicle pass
if I need any instructions I’ll use askMyClass
but i will have to google aps it, no AR enhanced drivers
if you bring the tinder, I’ll bring the PHIAR!
for safety positively verify ID using berbix
before donning the condom and bopping cervix
so know who you bop with, and now who to shopwith
that aligns influencer buys like the Tee-team I mobbed with.
I’ve had dreams that fake weeds will be huge
I’d be willing to slide down this luge
I spent my springtime out in Tokyo, Inokyo
and I been spitting out these bars since the Nokia.
RealtyBits can you make my Reality Bliss?
tokenizing real estate looks a bit like this.
why not throw a little cash the way of the honeylove
a much sexier versh of spanx fits money like a glove
stephen and bead with the shelf engine, dalton claims this is last stretch
i hope that that’s true, because try as I do, by now im burnt out as a wretch
dinesafe will help ensure your gut HODL’s
after you’ve binged out and full chipotle’d
that’s the power of JetLenses is tremendous
in that I love and yet can’t comprehend it
teens are chugging hot sauce on splish
if that’s not enough enough to invest you a …
drink all you want on splish stunt then regenerate with HepaTx
liver regrowth so you next sobriety oath we won’t quote you on
penta medical has a futuristic armband
and they’ve sold down to sports team from the stands
its hard for me to pronounve this cowrywise
helps Africans save their earned salary wisely
togg lifts the fog on old fogies, in homes
scan them from afar as they shroomm in their rooms
cheerbox picks up where gemnote left off
with beautiful custom designed gift box
the plexus logo is confusing, but VR gloves I wish I was using
VR is small but, when it goes legit, gloves will stroke x cups of digital tit
what is names + faces? who’s that new guy?
company directories barely squeak by.
speaking of boobies: mammograms with higia’s eva a super smart bra
hands on delivers a scan of the givers of milk, with numbers to awe.
hussein with oxygen , hate to be without
red on the top of tall poppy, ex-slack so think of Beryl
I considered color myself but the fear is that it wouldn’t wear well
good food wants to help solve the suffering of swine
people are only eating more beast flesh with time
data driven bioscience in case you we didn’t have that covered
someday we’ll be amazed with all the shit they discovered
jitx replacing EE’s with some simple software
seems powerful and founder looks like he has soft hair.
finally, off the record and off the charts are my Medinas homies
the Jesse A’s, Chloe’s and Growneys
off the record, I can’t discuss, so let’s talk about
ladels full of maple syrup
splashed across lapels
of the brightest flashing color dipped from
a million brilliant ink wells
see the golden fish swimming through
synthetic coral seas
and broke me
down beneath my knees
jump from ion to ion
electrons, just wanted to have sex on a scion
xB, debt free, running Windows XP
or nine five
in the moment you strive
and from he with the sixty mills raised
until the day the lord of hell stop raisin
until the day I go from grape to raisin
for no reason but to bring season
to bland bay weather
it’s the storm that swarms
in bold measure
the hot spot you could never un-tether,