Thursday, June 24, 2010

Coachella: Adventures in Hitchhiking

I realize I never posted this:

I was stuck at Coachella you see. My group was leaving on Monday morning. After seven hours of sitting in traffic on the Friday night there was no way in hell that I was going to make my flight, which was at tacking off around ten a.m. Monday morning. Unlike everyone else I didn’t realize that I needed to schedule my flight for the evening so I needed to be ready to go Monday morning.

See here is the problem.

I was in the desert.

Surrounded by about 80,000 people, at least ¾ of whom were on drugs.

I had no car.

I don’t drive.

And internet communication was a problem because you had to have power. I had not brought my computer. I did have my phone.

Also, the Coachella website decided that I would not be a valued registered member.

I learned by reading the website that there was a carpool forum. Sadly I could not post a message because I wasn’t allowed on the board. After three days of not thinking about it Saturday night I knew I had to. I found a very nice person on Saturday morning who was checking the Coachella forum and let me put a post under his name with my information. I also read through the carpool forum and realized that I could send private messages to people. So every single person who posted an offered ride on Sunday night or Monday morning I messaged.

Around six in the evening I started to get a messages from people. One mystery person said he was pretty sure he could take me, and suggested we meet. I agreed. We planned hit-or-miss meetings for the rest of the afternoon. I kept going to the place to meet and he kept not showing up. Finally as Faith no More was coming on I started to get a little frustrated, got a last message from guy that we would not meet today, sorry, tomorrow, etc.

I went to the show a little worried about my fate on Sunday morning. This probably did not improve my mood Saturday night. Several margaritas, did, however improve my mood, and later I crashed at the camp not thinking too much about it.

Sunday I worried.

I got a call early Sunday morning from a guy who talked really, really quickly. The conversation mostly went like this:

“So, okay, I can meet you at the giant speakers. You know the giant speakers. By the VIP tent. Those speakers, yay. So I live in San Diego and you’ll be driving is that a problem? Cool, I need you to drive to L.A. it’s cool. After we meet we are going to get in the car and drive to the 24 hour gym. We will shower so we have a clean ride. Then you are driving to San Diego. Then I will drive from there. Okay. So yeah, we meet at the speaker tower.”

Put that in your CD player on repeat and hit the speed to fast forward and you will have a sense of how this conversation was. As for interjections I mentioned that I don’t have a license in the U.S. (been in Korea too long), haven’t driven in eight years, and was not sure which of the three VIP tents or 30 giant speaker stacks he wanted me to meet at.

Guy just kept talking.

Sunday morning I got a message from the first guy saying yes he could take me, we’d meet in the morning. And finally, we managed to end up in the same place at the same time. I did not get serial killer vibes, it seemed cool.

“Hi, I’m GI.” He said.

“Hi, I’m the crazy chick looking for a ride. I like sex, drugs, rock and roll, not always in that order, tequila and porn, I have stories to cover all of these things, promise to be entertaining and really hope you can give me a ride. “

He was understanding. He also understood when I said I would not be able to share driving. He lived in LA and mostly just wanted some company back for the drive. He was an ex GI, current college student with classes on Monday. He was shy as hell, but sweet. So I agree on GI that I would be his wingman. We made arrangements to meet a little later for me to drop my stuff off in his car. One sleeping bag and backpack tossed later, I was back and enjoying the show.

Around 7:30 I went to try and see sly and the family stone at Coachella. They were supposed to start at 7:30. By 8:00 we were still waiting. By 9:00 I had to head out to meet my ride and so I did. From what I understand good ole Sly started around 10 and was really something.

My ride showed up in plenty of time and I helped break down the camp and all the road we went.

Since I wasn’t driving my job was to entertain.

I asked what kind of stories he wanted. He asked me what that list was that I had rattled off when I met him that morning. I recalled it as best I could. He said to pick a topic and start there.

So I did.

Granted I mostly started right with the rock and roll and then switched over to sex and stayed there as well. Sadly I was also getting on to about four days with no real sleep. I was also, while waiting for my ride, reading a really fun book. And I may or may not have endured a contact drunk from everything else that was going around. During the ride I talked. I’d keep talking.

Apparently at some point during a story involving Korean girls, a small dog, and tequila sunrises, I’d suddenly say “No Dresdan.” To which the erstwhile driver would respond. “What?” I’d ask for a repeat of what I had just said and he would try to sum it up. It varied between talking about orgiastic college experience, don’t kill him, discussing a wild night at the bar, not this time you fiend, or ‘so there I was being kidnapped by churchies’ ‘no Merlin will not be coming back this time, no more travel Lilith.’

It made about that much sense.

Fortunately I was entertaining enough even with my have dream additions to the stories to keep us both awake and moving until I ended up back in L.A. around two a.m. I was dropped off rather nicely at the airport, where I walked in and found myself on the wrongs side of a ticket counter. I asked the very nice security guy who was there if he minded me sleeping on the floor, he said no. I found a small space just big enough for me and my sleeping bag between the window and the escalator and I promptly rolled it out, put my backpack under my head, and passed the fuck out.

I woke up at around five a.m. with plenty of time to roll up my bag, take a bathroom-sink bath, and collect my thoughts It was a few minutes after this that I realized that I was, in fact, seven terminals away from the right one.

A short walk later and I was in the right place, talking to the backup musicians for Mike Snow and soundly sleeping on a flight to Chi-town, smellier, but none the worse for all my adventures.

When I finally arrived at the Bard's I walked in, asked to borrow some clothes, instructed her to burn everything, and promptly passed out in bed.

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