I sit above the pounding beach, getting ready for the night ahead.
In the water below, on a 40-foot stage, giant letters light and form. “Welcome to Thailand, 2011”.
The moon is full and lends its light to glowing sand. Orange circles of spinning flame. Vendor’s lamps form little islands. Blacklights give the neon glow of artist’s wares, painted tats for shroomed up revelers.
The crowd flows toward them, drawn like moths, mindless in the mass. Creating voids, darker spaces of quiet circles. People sharing joints and stories.
With the lights, comes noise. Four stages line the lengthy beach. Dj’s spinning drum and bass, repeat playlists blaring Gaga.
Bucket stands serve as fuel and people stand along the shore, facing outward as the ocean laps away their waste to avoid the heavy price of bathroom fees.
Clownlike fools lie drunk and bleeding, their faces glow with fluorescent paint. Medic tents quickly fill.
As the night progresses, the party thins, people pass that tricky line where happy drunk meets sad and wasted. Thieves comb the beach, picking clean the passed out partiers, like a scene from a war.
We dance for hours. Making runs to drink and sea. The dawn approaches. But I’m tired. In fact exhausted. And I’ve seen the glories of a sunrise after nights like these. So I journey home, and sleep and dream.