But here's what's good. You fall asleep to the sound of techno music. You wake up to the sound of techno music. The bassdrum is your heartbeat for days straight. There is no escaping the music. The music is everything, everywhere. And you dance. And you dance. And you dance. You dance till your body falls apart and then you keep dancing because there is nothing else.
Of course, there are other things. I met an ex-colleague and a current colleague at this festival. They were both talkers. They danced too, but i guess they also enjoy festivals for the social aspect. If you make the effort, you have the oppportunity to chat to lots of interesting (and potentially influential) people with lowered inhibitions. I think my former colleague was a little upset when i seemed disinterested in smalltalk or providing him with drugs. My current colleague already had drugs but still tried to start longer chats a few times while i was on the dancefloor. But anyone who has met me in a club knows there is a very short whitelist of things you are allowed to say to me on the dancefloor. Anything to do with your health or another emergency i will immediately "snap out of it" for. Asking for a lighter or a drink (or offering something) is fine too. And maybe saying "hey man, awesome to see you again". For me, that's it. That's all.
Old, wisened ravers understand the whitelist. I can always tell the old hats from the noobs and druggies. The latter tend to want to start a conversation about this or that. The oldskool folks see me dressed in not a single shred of hippie clothing, they see me dirty and sweating and never stopping moving and they know i'm "one of those". And even if we have only exchanged a handful of words over the years, i consider them better "friends" than any of these people i have to entertain long conversations with. The oldies offer me a drink or share a smile across the room and meet me in line for the toilets and say "wow awesome to see you again, how fucking great is it?" They remember me from year to year, from rave to rave, and they respect my contribution. The kids forget me half an hour later. I don't have a gimmick to entertain the trippers, i don't have any wacky costumes or bubbles or glitter or free drugs. But i am the one who will get onto an empty dancefloor and i will build it. I am the one who does not stop smiling, even when i'm feeling seedy. I am the one who will remind the awkward kids that it doesn't matter how dorky or silly or uncoordinated you are - at a festival, at a rave, at a club (a good club) you can let it all hang out. On the dancefloor anything goes.
And that's why it is so hard for me to get back into the real world after 3-4 days of this. I am shocked by how many of my colleagues go to the same sort of festivals (and clubs) that i do, but then they happily show up for work Monday morning (or in the case of Garbicz, Tuesday). I need at least a day to decompress. A day to mentally prepare myself to go back to this world where i cannot do what i want, where i can't hear the music i love 24/7, where i can't be free. Where i can't be free. Where i have to be "on" again. It's not about drugs or a comedown - as usual for me, festivals tend to be mini detox sessions due to all the exercise and healthy food - it's about my difficulty fitting into "normal" society. I hate work. I hate it so much.
I don't like being a complete hermit - if i did i would find a way to do that. I guess i could outright buy a mobile home in Buttfuck, Saskatchewan and score just enough freelance work to pay the bills. But i do like to have a bit of human interaction. I do like to go to raves and see other people. I don't particularly always want to talk to them, but i like knowing they're there. I like being part of a community, even if i'm a largely silent part of the community. And i like the rave community. Because i feel free there.
Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of losers. There are a LOT of druggies who are only at the gig because it's a place they can openly get high without any consequences. A lot of them don't even really like techno music. There are also sleazebags who prey on drugged-up chicks. There are also "hippies" who are basically just panhandlers in patchouli. This weekend i saw one douchenozzle manage to scam a cigarette, drugs, and a meal out of three different people in the space of about 5 minutes while i was waiting in line for a coffee. There's true hippies who believe in share and share alike, and then there's blaggers. And there are plenty of blaggers with dreadlocks. But, you know. Despite it all, this is a strong community of folks who do not care about age, gender, sexuality, race, social status or country of origin... Because raving is a 30-year-old subculture built on the contributions of blacks, hispanics, gays, transgender folk, nerds, hippies, drug addicts and white urban professionals. Our common thread is we all just want to get away from the real world to dance for a while.
And for me, for me i just want to be free. And i'll never be free chained to this 45 hour a week office job, no matter how many colleagues i have who also rave.
I already had my scheduled day off and i want to call in sick for the rest of the week because i can't face it.