con·nect | \ kə-ˈnekt \
connected; connecting; connects
I can be quite the wall flower when it comes to connecting with people. Put me at a networking event and I'll be wilting away before your eyes, finding it hard to strike up conversations with strangers and doubting whether I have anything interesting to say (but get me going on my passion for polaroid, and I'll talk for hours, with eyes that glisten with excitement). Even my own mother describes me as a loner, and she is always right.
Out here in Bombay Beach, things are a lot easier. I have lost count of the number of conversations I have had with people I've just met in the street, and you don't want to know how many beers I've had with people I hardly know. 'Come in, do you want a Bud?' is a sentence I have grown accustomed to. There is always beer here. I have drunk more of the stuff in the past five weeks than I drank back in Belgium in the last five years. This newfound ease of connecting to people is fun. Just a few days ago I had a lovely evening with a German photographer who has been at Bombay Beach on and off for years, an amazing Californian artist who is one of the most remarkable and cleverest people I have ever met and a female Pullitzer prize nominated photographer/writer from NY who completely blew me away. It helps that there is no hierarchy here. We are all equal, we help each other out, share what we have and have one thing in common: we are all free spirits.
So this wallflower is slowly loosening up. Basking in the soul-enhancing rays of these new friendships. Forming bonds with the beautiful crazy souls who make this polluted piece of Mad Max desert a little paradise on earth.