Tuesday, 31st December 2002, 11:40pm
An opinion by: Noemi

Email from the edge: It's a Rainbow Rave by Noemi Lopinto

I went to a Rainbow gathering, deep in the country with my brother and Sadie. We went out to the middle of the woods where a clot of hippies have converged upon the barren wastelands to dance around a fire and ululate. I was the intrepid reporter who was to write down every fart and chuckle. A rainbow gathering is essentially a colossal spread of humanity swarming all over the forest like bugs, smoking weed, dancing, swimming naked and almost causing forest fires. There was a lot of talk about "rainbow magic" which, as far as I can tell, means everybody, down to the ugliest, fattest hairiest old guy either scores some pot or some sex. There is a lot of hugging, a lot of "brother and sister" talk, and a lot of hair. I saw a lot of naked bodies, some nice, some not. Naturally, the most beautiful people were the most obnoxiously and constantly naked, while the rest of us with Flaws preferred to keep some underwear on or something, maybe something nice like a t-shirt, broadcasting "white & insecure" in the lake like a human buoy, while the pink seals splashed all around you... Speaking of which, certain redheaded men have pink pubes omygod I have never seen the like, they have the rosiest, most translucent penises I have ever had the misfortune to lay my eyes on in my life.

People choose names for themselves, either because they are so high they can't remember their real names or because you are so high you don't wanna have to. Thus there were a lot of girls named "wildflower" running around. One woman, when she heard my name, burst into stoned laughter, because before she re-named herself "Hannah", her old name was Amy. "You're No-Amy." she said. "Like, you're not-Amy, and like I used to be Amy, so I'm Not-Amy, but you were named Not-Amy!" Ha. Ha. Ha." The fact that I wasn't laughing seemed to perturb her somewhat, and she kept explaining, as if somehow the concept of "Not-Amy" was hard to grasp for the unenlightened... I tried to change the subject, but she persisted until I pointed out the trees were singing, and maybe she should pay attention to that.

I spent most of the time chasing after my daughter and avoiding the drinking water, which was reported to have given many people there a bad case of the runs. Five hundred people with diarrhea in the woods shitting in trenches in the ground is a notion too horrible to contemplate. The trenches were called "shitters", which is a hole dug in the sand, flies and stench are complementary, and so is the accompanying constipation. I think I am just too sensitive to poo in a hole in the woods in the open air, watching for traffic of the 500 potential strangers all around. Also, I was surprised by a strain of superstitiousness in me. Although it's completely unscientific, I was convinced the diarrhea might be catching just from breathing in the aroma around the shitters. Although I did not find my own situation humorous, I did find it funny when I brought my daughter to a Shitter and she looked in horror at the hole full of excrement, and tried valiantly to go poo with one of my hands under each of her thighs, swinging her feet precariously above ten-feet-deep of multicolored shit, used toilet paper and flies. Her mother's daughter, she just couldn't do it. She grunted once and then said she suddenly didn't have to go anymore.

However it did make me realise something: when we are shitting in our beloved toilets here in the city we are effectively shitting where we drink. I mean, who the hell thought it up that we would shit in water we drink? In the woods, the shitter was as far from the lake as possible, so as to not contaminate the drinking water, and I thought to myself: "Right....Shit and drinking water, water and shit. It just doesn't sound right, does it?"

Day two it rained. And rained and rained, and I had no rubber boots, no sweaters (note to weather forecaster: smell a trench and die) no raincoats, nothing...Back in the car with long-term couple I, A, and their son. The kids fought over toys and whined to get out of their carseats. The couple's son, M., seemed to have drunk the contaminated water back at the gathering, his upset tummy forcing us suddenly to the side of the road many times in the course of the trip. I and A began and ended the trip by bickering endlessly (when we are old and gray, do you promise to be rude, fight with me over stupidities, and generally insult my intelligence? thanks). In a nutshell, the ride back was six hours of sheer fun and games. However it is good to know that rainbow magic, while it may save the world from Hierarchy, Authoritarianism, Environmental Annihilation, will not have much of an effect on the average toxic relationship. There are some constants in the world to count on.

more later,


I don't think I am rainbow material.


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