At this point in time two years ago, we woke up because of the heat. We did not delicately stir awake, because it is physically impossible to stir awake in regions where temperatures hit 30°C before nine in the morning. Here, your spinal column actually jolts on its own accord to assist propping you up on your elbows, because The fuck? Why am I rolling around in a shallow pool of my own perspiration? Why does my hair smell like pot? Where the hell am I?
It is very, very warm. You become lightheaded and strike a deal with the universe: if you promise to reserve complaining about the heat exclusively to deserts and no other geographic landscape, Coachella will let you live. Deal.
Breakfast every morning was spent perched on the incline of a hill overlooking the campsite. We sustained ourselves through the mornings by gulping spoonfuls of icy Sambazon açai bowls and passing judgement or pity on other seared festival-goers.
We contemplated (but never procured) the greasy breakfast burritos, but did not think twice about buying overpriced lemonade to exorcise late-morning thirst. We sat on the grass at lunch to eat $12 bowls of organic fried rice. We parked by the art installations at dinnertime but were careful to remain within sprinting distance to the big outdoor stage.
Two-dollar bottles of water, four-dollar cups of lemonade, six-dollar smoothies, eight-dollar veggie wraps, twelve-dollar bowls of fried rice! It was a preposterous amount of money to spend on food for a three-day stretch, considering how little satisfaction was actually solicited from every sip and every bite; every expensive sip and recession-defiant bite was taken in the name of perfunctory metabolic needs and nothing else.
I am not superstitious and therefore do not believe in the power of wishing nor the power of prayer, but I am not a pessimist. I am a realist, but also an idealist and a romantic, and I will cling to the childish hope of inheriting the fate of a certain Dorothy before my time. I will press down the straps of my favourite backpack into my shoulders and chest, click the heels of the only pair of red shoes I own, and summon every ounce of stubborn conviction in my body to recite under my breath There’s no place like like Coachella, there’s no place like Coachella, there’s no place like Coachella.