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Tuesday, March 4, 2014


"We have no model for this. Will the city ever be back to normal? We don't know. All I can tell you is we're going to enjoy this Mardi Gras."

- Arthur Hardy, publisher of Mardi Gras Guide magazine (2006)

{Journal of Samuel McCord}

An odd feeling came over me as I looked at the partying crowd in front of Meilori's. 

For a fleeting moment, I saw the overgrown square of trees and brush it once had been. 

For a bitter heartbeat, I was young again, when every moment was crisp and fresh, where happiness and heartache quickly changed positions, and life was full of hope and promise. 
Then, I was back in the present once more where things were crowded, ugly, and the only hope was for a good death.

The voices were joyous ... and taunt.  Tight faces strained to smile as if to deny memories of loss.   Haunted eyes which had seen nightmare burned out of colorful Mardi Gras masks.

Young souls, still frost-bit from Death breathing upon them, looked up at the cold night. 

They reminded me of wolves, not understanding why they were forced to live as they did, still singing to the forlorn moon, one lost spirit crying out to another.

Life was no longer secure.  Death had become all too real.
Mardi Gras had started last Saturday and forced its gaiety until this Fat Tuesday.  Precious little was fat these days.
Unlike the multiple parade routes of past years, only one parade was winding down picturesque St. Charles Avenue and away from Katrina pus-filled eyesores. 

It would end at the infamous Convention Center where murder, rape, and beatings had swallowed up the neglected survivors of the hurricane.
There was talk of not even having it this year.  I had secretly donated the necessary money to fund the festivities.

  Hell, to New Orleanians not to have Mardi Gras would be like not having Christmas. 
Since Meilori left me, I was dead inside, but I could make life brighter for those struggling in their own darkness. 
What did Elu once tell me? 

"When you were born, you cried and those around you rejoiced.  Live your life, Dyami, so that when you die, those around you will cry, and you will rejoice."
A young woman, all in sparkles, swished up to me, laughing gaily so that her hollowed-eyed face was changed for an instant to what she must have looked like as a little girl Christmas morning. 
She humming-birded a kiss on my cheek and swept back into the crowd.

I touched my face and sadly smiled, "Reckon so."

DayStar, who thought himself Lucifer, suddenly appeared beside me. 

"Tomorrow, despair will send them weeping to me."

I met his flint eyes.  "But not tonight."

He mocked a laugh.  "What does that matter?"

"It matters to them."


  1. There is no way New Orleans could skip Mardi Gras.

  2. Alex:
    You're right. Even after Katrina. :-)

  3. Little things, and traditions are what get us over the hard times.

    By not having a Mardi Gras, the other losses would have been amplified.

    Even so, I wouldn't want to be in the thick of it, I'd take a ghostly balcony anyday.

  4. Like D.G Hudson I am a balconey sitter - but would love to be there. So very much.
    Mardi-Gras or its local equivalents are soooo essential when times are tough. Fun most years, essential in hard times.

  5. This gave me shivers - so many word pictures. I have a sister in Haiti - it sounds like their Kanaval celebration is always pretty creepy.

  6. D.G.:
    Like you and Elephant's Child, I am a balcony-watcher myself if I do go to the Mardi Gras -- much too crowded and increasingly violent.

    You're right I believe: not to have had the Mardi Gras would only have intensified the loss and grief.

    Elephant's Child:
    I think you would enjoy watching it from above -- though it can geet rather feisty at times. The floats of the Parades are awesome to behold.

    Haiti is one place I have no desire to visit. And I have heard tales of their Karnaval celebrations ... brrr. I'll say a prayer for your sister. And thanks so much for visiting and staying to chat! :-)

  7. i am not adding anything really... i am really just checking in on you. you know you have been in my family's thoughts... you are a talent that needs to stay talented and stay away from the evil do'ers that might get you down.

    i know my leg is nothing only to walk on... if you need anything, please do ask... you are a friend and i know TWAIN would agree!

    i think that makes sense, i am still loopy!

  8. Jeremy:
    After working 7 days straight right after recovering from cancer surgery, I stay loopy! We're a great pair, you and I! The dynamic duo. :-)

    I am looking at my royalty check from ACX: $4.84! Amazon giving me only 40 cents per audiobook sold (thanks to whispersync) sure makes them fall under the evil-do'ers catergory!! LOL.

    I pray that your ankle soon heals as good, if not better, as new.

    Twain nods his appreciation at your kind words. Happy Mardi Gras!

  9. good, i am glad... we need a dynamic duo costume set. i hope you get better, loopy is where i am... my thoughts are very flighty i am glad i can keep it all together. i am happy you are getting better!