Her Actual Family
I knew Cindy’s family growing up in Alameda. I was friends with her brother Nick and cousin John. I knew who she was but we’d never actually met. She didn’t know me from Adam. I’ve since been lucky enough to know her whole family well and I think of them as my own.
Her Friends Family
As we began dating I got to know some of her closest friends well. Then she introduced me to her extended “Friends & Family”. The ‘raver’ community she was a part of since the early/mid ‘90s I believe. Before taking me with her to my first ‘day party’ she had me watch the film “The Boys And Girls Guide To Getting Down”. It spelled out the ‘90’s party scene pretty well I think, considering that was not where I was at that time. Also, it was pretty hilarious and fun.
That first day party was really cool and a lot of fun. I met a bunch of really awesome, beautiful people. Some brought their kids, I mean after all it’s been 20+ years that the scene has been going so of course some have become parents. These folks are an integral part of society (thankfully) who are professionals in the tech industry, artists, doctors, scientists, you name it. Some have built their careers around the community as professional sound engineers and lighting and stage technicians, photographers, etc. And the music was super cool, loud and fun has hell. My biggest take-away from that first party was these people were super inclusive, loving, accepting and knew how to have a good time and (mostly) maintain very well.
My First Campout
The next step was for Cindy to take me to my first weekend electronic music campout. She had been an integral part of this community since the beginning and we had our job to do. Everyone contributes in some way to create this magical weekend happen without hiring a bunch of strangers to do it for us.
Our job that first year was to distribute essential toiletries and sundry items to all the restrooms and port-a-potties. This little service is called: M. O. L. D: The Ministry Of Little Details. Toothpaste, toothbrushes, hand sanitizer, etc. Because when you’re out dancing till all hours of the night, and it’s dark and your tent is super far away and you’re not ready to go back to camp but really need a breath mint, MOLD has your back.
So there I was at my first campout, helping out and pitching in as one does but also Cindy and I were ready to relax and have a good time. The first thing I noticed was all the gear. I was blown away how much gear there was still getting set up (we’d gotten early entry passes because we were with MOLD). Huge lighting and sound rigs reserved for major rock concerts. And when the sun went down, we got dressed up in our kooky outfits and went out to check out the dance floor I was amazed. The constant kick drum and pulsating sounds permeated the beautiful Mendocino County forest. The lights, lasers and projection displays lit up the trees high above. The people were decked out in furry, leather, sequence awesomeness. I was in awe with a huge grin on my face. Cindy’s friends told her “uh oh, you’ve created a monster”. I had such an amazing time and the three other times I’ve gone since. The last time though was very bittersweet but no less magical.
Her Friends Are Now Mine
The very day we lost Cindy, her friends were right there along with my family and my friends to help me and her family cope as best we could. For the first few days, we had many people sleeping over at the apartment. Making sure we were fed and taken care of. For weeks after and still to this day, they are calling, texting and checking up. Some of them joke “You’re stuck with us”. And I’m pretty sure they’re stuck with me and I am eternally grateful for that.