When you’re in a big robe, it’s much easier to pee if you’re not wearing underwear.
Unfortunately I was wearing underwear, and yes, I kept ’em on all day. Must be my Midwestern Lutheran upbringing.
The major parades? Zulu? Rex? Missed ’em entirely. We started in the Bywater eaaarly in the morning, made our way up through the Marigny and into the Quarter, but never even got as far as Jackson Square, much less Canal Street. We were with the Societé de Sainte Anne, at least for a while — at least I think it was Sainte Anne. It was all rather confusing and mysterious.
In some ways it’s a shame I didn’t bring a camera, because you have to see this to believe it. You could check out this great set by jonnodotcom, who managed to snap a few before his camera went south. I didn’t want to spend the day looking through a viewfinder, and there’s no way I could have juggled a camera as well as the essentials. Scepter in one hand, drink in the other. No room for a camera. Besides, even the best pictures don’t really capture the sense of being there.
So: Imagine dancing down a city street with a thousand of your closest friends, all dressed in the most outrageous outfits imaginable, soaking in the subtropical February sun, cooled by a refreshing beverage perhaps, moving to the beat of the hottest brass band you’ve ever heard, the scent of heady herbal incense wafting through the air, until you slip into a trance and lose all sense of time and place.
It’s good. I felt a wild surge of pride and hope. Yes, this city is coming back! Hell yes! Nothing can stop us now!
That remains to be seen, of course.
Of the many audacious and beautiful and sexy and hilarious costumes, it’s hard to pick a favorite. But in front of the Spotted Cat there was a very proper, somewhat British-looking silver-haired gentleman, with a neatly trimmed beard, a nice hat, an impeccably tailored suit — the only odd detail: no pants.
Oh, and we enjoyed the most beautiful weather seen on Mardi Gras for years. I got a hell of a sunburn on the back of my neck, but thankfully the facepaint must have some serious SPF value.
Memo to future self: Under no circumstances should you ever allow Xy to drink on Mardi Gras. Certainly not hard liquor. Certainly not before noon.
As for today, it’s Ash Wednesday, and I’m back at work and school is even back in session, a first for all the years I’ve worked here at the University. I got here early, before 8:00 am, and there were students already hitting the books, waiting for their first class.
I kind of like the shock of being back in the normal world of the office after so much craziness. It’s bracing.