The Mardi Gras Mysteries February 23, 2009Posted by Mark Folse in 504, Carnival, cryptic envelopment, Dancing Bear, Mardi Gras, New Orleans, NOLA, Toulouse Street.
“Don’t be fallin’ out of your house with no needle and thread in your hand”
–Mardi Gras Indian Chief heard one Lundi Gras evening long ago on WWOZ-FM
It is only Monday morning and already I have Wednesday’s aching legs, tottering on squat stilts in search of coffee-and-chicory. Already I have Wednesday’s mouth dry as ashes, and I think: Lundi Gras? Am I getting too old for this? Tonight they will march by torchlight in honor of Orpheus, and I am not ready.
And yet I know that sometime much too early tomorrow morning someone in an Odd costume wearing my face will walk down Felicity Street, feeling the old ballast cobbles through thin costume shoes I know better than to wear. As I approach the Dionysiac crowd, the howling of sirens and brass in the distance, I will catch a glimpse of something–the sun flashing on sequined creatures singing of wine, a flock of silvered balloons escaping to heaven reflected in the eyes of a child–and it will not matter how I felt today or Wednesday’s cost at the Counting House.