Thunderbolts and lightning, very very bright rain

I hate being up past the sunrise.

I just hate it. I don’t like the weird vampiric notion that everyone’s starting their days as I’m ending mine. The next day always becomes a total shitshow, it complicates bedtimes for the following evening. Frankly it means I miss out on most of the daylight hours. It’s very rare that I’m looking to have an all-nighter, and I usually regret doing so. Of course this means I had an all-nighter last night. Do I regret it? No. No I don’t.

Yesterday was a weirdly balmy, tempestuous day. Heat warning, storm warning. Entirely at the mercy of the elements. A burner event was on at Allen Gardens. Tarna’s art car, a giant metal jackalope, was making a public appearance in a final fundraising push before Burning Man. The idea was a big sunshiney event with music running from 3pm to 11pm. Right next to the botanical gardens, guests were encouraged to enjoy the beautiful greenhouse full of colourful plant life. As it was a public space, the tickets were suggested donation, but a bunch of strangers showed up and had a great time. There were blankets, snacks, dogs, mist machines, and a collection of ace DJs.

I came prepared. We’re talking boy scout level here. I had a costume with various layers I could strip as things heated up. I brought my backpack and filled it with supplies. A couple of bottles of water in case friends needed them. I had chewing gum, granola and nut snack mix (which proved to be a terrible, dry snack choice), my knee brace, a poncho, several packets of earplugs, an umbrella, and a big black garbage bag in case the inevitable downpour arrived. I also had my seemingly iconic yellow wide-brimmed sunhat. I was sorted. I got to take off my shoes and dance, feeling the grass and dirt beneath my feet. Around 8pm it started to lightly drizzle, but we were all so covered in sweat it barely registered. An hour later the heavens opened and it fell in sheets. The music shut down. I had my umbrella and wide brimmed hat as protection. My friends and I regrouped. Did we want to head off to our friend’s place nearby? We could get out of the torrent, warm up and chill out. Or we could wait and see if things kicked back in. We decided to wait it out, as people marvelled at the ludicrous amount of lightning in the sky. Several bolts struck straight down at the CN tower as we watched nature in full fury.

15 minutes later, the music kicked back in, rain still cascading from the sky. The atmosphere was electric, and everyone got into it. We were all totally soaked and loving it, the rain refreshing our sweaty, aching bodies. I danced so goddamn much my feet were on fire. I must’ve stopped my withered old bones at least six times to stretch my legs, and the poor, overworked soles of my feet. The number of times I wiped my chest clean of moisture, only to realise the pointlessness of my endeavours. Rain was still bucketing down, I was just gonna get instantly wet again. What did it matter?

Then after it all finished at 11pm, we got to retire to our friend’s place anyway, a gorgeous penthouse apartment downtown. I took a shower and got cleaned up, then we lounged around until the wee, wee hours of the morning. When I could see the building peaks lighting up with the first hints of morning sun, I knew it was time to call it. Or an Uber at least. I felt a weird kind of guilt that I’d thrown away my next day in service of the night.

Then I slept in, hung out with my girlfriend and grabbed brunch. It was fucking excellent and I regret nothing. I still hate sunrise evenings, but it seems the exception proves the rule.

And last night ruled.

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