Who was the pale barefoot one armed man I saw on the playa

Who was the pale barefoot one armed man I saw on the playa

Postby Key Man » Thu Oct 09, 2008 7:43 pm

Please, no unkind replies. This is the truth and I would just like to know if anyone here knew or met this man...

Late Wednesday morning, my friend and I were walking around the esplanade near Center Camp. Just out on the playa, not far away, a man with one arm was walking past. He was in his 20's or 30's, slender. His skin was extremely pale, almost albino. He was almost naked (with maybe just a swimsuit or underwear on) and was barefoot.

He was struggling to walk, as if he had been injured in an accident, or or maybe had had polio. But he kept going, slowly working his way barefoot across the playa.

My friend and I were speechless at first and we both said afterward that if we had been alone, we would have doubted our eyes.

We felt so many things...sadness and sympathy at his difficulty, but also admiration that he was somehow doing this. Wasn't he going to get sunburned and hurt his feet? Was it performance or shock art...would he go back to his camp, put on some clothes, hang with his friends, joke about the looks on people's faces. Or maybe this was a guy who had some real problems, who was likely to get hurt in this environment, soon.

We should have gone up to him to see if he needed help and just talk to him but we were too startled. A few moments passed and then, as happens at Burning Man, something else drew our attention and then he was gone.

Since coming home I have thought about this man many times and wondered who he was. Does anyone here know who he is? Did anyone else see him?
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Postby drutter » Thu Oct 09, 2008 8:23 pm

Wow, quite the story. I can see why you posted.

If I had been you, I would have felt like it would have been rude or something to go up and say "are you okay?" Because maybe he was just disabled, and doing his best to get around BRC in his own way. For someone to offer help or act like he might be in trouble might have offended him. I dunno what I would have done, actually. Tough call!

I didn't hear about anyone dying this year, so at the very least he's still alive. :)
Heavy on preparations, light on expectations.
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Postby Teo del Fuego » Fri Oct 10, 2008 11:21 am

I saw this guy hanging out, literally, at Center Camp. He was naked, had a bald head, skinny as a rail, and one arm. He seemed to be in no distress when I saw him and, while he was walking with a limp (literally) it seemed to have been from nothing recent.
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Postby Boijoy » Fri Oct 10, 2008 1:34 pm

Yes. he passed by our camp one afternoon with a friend. We were speachless. My friend felt compelled to offer him a hug, which he graciously accepted & off he went. He didn't offer his story nor was he asked. It appeard he has lived with his condition for some time. Lots of mixed emotions there & yet another random Burning Man moment.
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Postby davelam13 » Wed Nov 26, 2008 2:17 pm

Yeah I was camped about 7 and H and I think he was camped near there. I talked to him for a bit while some of our neighbors shared some of their great home brews. He was a real cool guy, I don't actually know his story but enjoyed meeting him and hope to see him again. Yes it did seem that he had some trouble walking but so what, he didn't hold himself back. If you see him again go talk to him, we all know thats part of the experiance. I wouldn't worry about him much, he had a really nice companion there too!
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Postby Green Wood » Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:40 pm

Now you people did it!

You outed The Fugitive! Damn you all!

Dr. Richard Kimble Lives!

and is a black rock citizen!
I might be green, but I can burn brite with the help of my playa friends!
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