Wednesday, January 13

Today light was shining not just at the end, but all through the tunnel. I was spared the usual soul-sucking tedium at work. I didn’t have time to feel as institutionalized, caged and unnecessary as usual because I had an important task to accomplish.

This job required finesse and patience. Timing, precision, nimbleness of fingers and steely-eyed focus were on demand.

Had my company changed their mind about me? No, thankfully not. It was this.

Burning Man tickets went on sale at 10 am; I had to secure two today and lock in the lower price for Nora and myself.

She was out of the office at a seminar, it was all on me. I logged onto the website at 10:08, my first attempts at 10:00, 10:02 and 10:05 failed, due to burner volume I guess. All ready 6,108 people were ahead of me. Ok, this is real, I thought. I made the ticket screen one of my home pages and then worked very carefully and consciously so I wouldn’t accidentally close that window and lose my place in line.

The next couple hours were strangely exhilarating and tense; I watched the numbers of people ahead of me decrease; knowing thousands were in line behind me, feeling as giddy as me.

A co-worker came down my aisle looking for someone and stopped at my cube. “I didn’t know you were a Burner!” she said somewhat frenziedly.

“I’m about to be,” I said.

She became distracted just looking at my monitor and said she wanted to buy a few tickets even though she wasn’t going this year because her son was too young. “Get in line,” I said.

I texted Nora updates.

11:16– 1,743 people ahead of me.

11:33– a message flashed warning us that the first tier price was almost sold out; prices went up from $210 to $240; 1,124 people ahead of me.


I glowed with accomplishment and possibly fever. Two tickets were on the way. I was really going to Burning Man.

Work didn’t feel so much like a cell after my momentous morning. It hardly mattered though; I was laid off two weeks later.


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