Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Me as Mrs. Robinson

The Graduate (1967)

Benjamin: Wood?
Mrs. Robinson: What?
Benjamin: Wood or wire? They have both.
[Offering Mrs. Robinson a coat hanger]

Burning Man (2015)

Wolf: Wood? 
Monkey: What? 
Wolf: Wooden or fur paddle? We have both.
[Offering Monkey Me a spanking]

Life is unpredictable. Never in my wildest dreams could I have envisioned a "Mrs. Robinson" scenario on what would be my 12th year at Burning Man, and my first burn as a single woman.

The cards played out just right. After a week of flirtation, I returned to camp and found him waiting for me. The moon was full. We had all just witnessed the ritualistic burning of the Man - a sixty foot wooden statue that is the heart, fuel, and focus of the event. And with it went my long list of insecurities, fears, and regrets (all involving men) that I literally nailed to the base of the man, directly aligned with his crotch.  

There were so many reasons why I shouldn't have. For starters, the obvious; I was older than his mother and he was younger than my daughter. 

But there were even more reasons why I should have. Most enticing... that swagger. That hip, cool, Mick Jagger swagger. And those tone, taunt abs. 

[ummm, ummm, ummm...] 

There were undeniable signs from the universe. First, his name - Wolf. My very first boyfriend's name was Wolf - Peter Wolf. And then there was his date of birth - August 17th - my wedding anniversary and coincidentally, the date of my divorce.  

My campmates, all acting as my voice of reason, were in complete agreement; age is irrelevant. 

Because I am an adult, I set rules.  And because he is barely an adult, he agreed.

Monkey: I'm going to play funk. I'm going to blindfold you. And I'm going to write about it.

He set one of his own.

Wolf: I'm keeping your socks.

And then there was my unsolicited advice.

Monkey: Stop with the tattoos. Thirty years from now, your idea of what's 'hip and cool' will change. 

Even more prolific Monkey advice...

Monkey: Thirty years from now, the only thing you'll still love is music and blow jobs. You might not even love fucking because your back might ache or your knees might be shot. But you're always going to love blow jobs. So make certain the woman of your dreams worships your cock.

Memories of that delicious evening will arouse me way beyond menopause.

I am certain I rocked his world.

It felt like a reward for enduring years of rejection from a man who was focused on women other than me. Fantasies mostly. Fantasies about younger women, surgically-enhanced, voluptuous...

It felt like a reward for the rejection I was force-fed in the aftershock of my fifty-something-and-single-again-life. 

Forty-something guy: "We can be lovers, but there can be no love, you are too old."
Fifty-something guy: "I found someone better, someone younger."

And then there was George Clooney"How old do you want to be today?" 

And he would say 23, or 22, or 21. And I would be one year his junior.  It felt like our imagination manifested itself. To me, Wolf was the reincarnation of my twenty-something George Clooney.

I returned home with a sense of empowerment that I have never felt before. I now blow right by the dismissive, fifty-something, hedge-fund puppet masters without giving a second glance. Too old, too stuffy, too ...

It was, hands down, my best Burn EVER. I love my campmates. I love how the event continues to challenge me and enrich my life. I love how Burning Man gives you exactly what you need, even if that includes a delicious, twenty-something, playa playmate.

xo, MonkeyME

at Polo, post Burning Man Wolf infusion

[I choose wood]


  1. Sounds like it was meant to be, a gift to you from the universe. And I suspect your campmates were looking out for you and would have told you if they thought it was a bad idea.

    1. ahhh.... thank you Nancy! was anxious for a comment. It felt right at the moment. It feels even better as a memory. :) and yes, it was comforting and confirming to have my campmates on my side.

  2. I'm happy for you! And I wish you more of the same, LOL!

    1. I am soooo happy. Not sure if I have the stamina to have more of the same, but I'll give it my best shot!!! :)

  3. It is always great to see that you've posted something new.

    And this one was a happy one. You look like you're having a blast right now!

    1. Hi Katy! I feel like I'm being rewarded for letting go of a relationship that did not serve my soul. I am sooooo happy. Hope you are too! xoxoME

  4. Replies
    1. :)))) I should know this but .... why? xoxo

    2. For so many reasons, but mostly.... LIVING. Really, truly, and HAPPILY living.

  5. Hi Shannon - thanks for sharing this wonderful experience. I am sure that Burning Man is more metaphorical than ever now. And I agree with Katy that it is especially nice to get a glimpse into your world and come out smiling broadly. (You should feel free to interpret puns wherever and whenever they might arise in my prose.)

    I check your blog every so often - forgetting that I am set up to receive an email notice when you post... Great to find this here, and glad that Burning Man was such a pleasurable experience for you this year!


    1. Hi Ed!!!

      So glad you're out there. You have a keen, wide eye look at all sides of me. There are so many little things, perfect moments, I want to write about. No more cancer... no more broken heart... just love. I just want to write about and focus on, love. :)

    2. No harm in focusing on love for as long as you like. And knowing the absence of love makes its presence so very welcome, right?

    3. yes... exactly. All of my life experiences help me appreciate the glory of each new day.

  6. WOW!!

    Have you returned to earth yet?

    What an amazing time you must have had!!!

    August 17th?? HAR... That was MY anniversary date~!!! How Bizarre!!!!!!

    Rejection is Hell... no?

    Life is Hell... no??

    Fukken ladders... AUGH!!


    1. are you serious!!! ??? can you prove it???!!! ohhh my MONKEY, this is a sign! TAKE ME, SHOES.... !!! SOAK ME IN A BATH OF CALGONE AND TAKE ME AWAY ~~~~~

  7. Marriage....2002. Divorce...2015. and you??

  8. It warms me to hear about your Burn...good for you Shannon!

    1. Thank you Wander! and thank you for reading me (again).


Thank you for encouraging my JOY of writing. By reading and commenting you are feeding my soul, stroking my heart, and in the end...making me a better writer.

Thank You For Encouraging My Joy of Writing

Thank You For Encouraging My Joy of Writing

Shannon E. Kennedy


Photo by Joan Harrison