Or would that be Mardi Mince?
I never completely recovered from the cold I caught in late January. I only missed one day of work, and I felt well enough that my general routine was not disrupted, but I could not quite kick that last stage. I kept coughing up little bits of phlegm, but it seemed pretty minor.
Last Friday morning, I felt a little hoarse and a little off my game. I thought it was just the aftereffects of Thursday night’s parade-going, but come Saturday I could tell something was happening in my chest. I was coughing quite a bit, and the coughs were getting more productive.
That didn’t stop me from riding way way uptown Sunday morning to take Persephone to see some more parades: Okeanos, Mid-City and Thoth. But on Lundi Gras I played it cool and stayed home while Xy took the girl out for a day of fun and more parades. I whipped up a big batch of white beans and brown rice. I drank lots of tea. I still held out hope that I might recover before the big day.
But when I woke up Mardi Gras morning, I was feeling worse than ever. Damn, I thought, we’ll just have to stay home today. But once I had a little breakfast I started feeling better. Meanwhile Xy was dealing with her own issues (don’t ask) and so it looked like maybe Persephone and I would head out by ourselves. Actually we got on the bike and made it one block before we decided to come back. We demanded Xy get ready and come with us.
So we all three rode our bikes down Esplanade to the Marigny/French Quarter, and we spent maybe an hour at the most just wandering about in the vicinity of the R Bar, gawking at the many spectacular costumes. My favorite had to be the Voyeurinal. Alas, I have no photo; I was going to snap a picture when Xy ran into a long-lost co-worker and the moment of opportunity passed. So just let your imagination run wild on the Voyeurinal.
Oh wait, I see that Wendy got a photo.
And speaking of photos, here’s the proof we actually did make it out of the house.
We reprised our ghost royalty costumes. If we’d been feeling better, if we’d really done it up, we would have taken a wagon and featured our original Brewster watercolor, which would have added a whole ‘nother dimension. But alas it was not to be.
Persephone was plenty tired, and neither Xy nor I were in top form, and it seemed like it might rain, so we decided to head back before the Societé de Sainte Anne arrived. Didn’t even have a drop of alcohol! That has to be a first for me.
So yeah, it kinda sucks to curtail the fun on the most transcendentally festive day of the year. But it’s far far better to get a little flavor than none at all. When we got back home, my situation deteriorated rapidly. It was almost as if my body had been holding out for me as long as it could. I’m pretty sure I’ve got bronchitis. If it’s viral (as most bronchitis is) the main treatment is bedrest. Oops. Not exactly consonant with an eight-mile roundtrip bike ride.
So I spent Ash Wednesday in bed, and I’m trying to do the same today.
I can’t help but note that this was my twelfth Mardi Gras in New Orleans. I also was somewhat under the weather for my first Mardi Gras back in 2000. Our cat Bilal died on Mardi Gras 2002. We missed Mardi Gras in 2004 out of sheer lethargy, and also in 2008 because of a sprained ankle and advanced pregnancy. Mardi Gras 2009 was compromised when Persephone came down with a fever. Not a great batting average so far.
Next year the pressure will really be on, because Mardi Gras falls on a certain someone’s fourth birthday. I welcome any and all suggestions on how best to celebrate.