Repent Now! Nothing Down! Easy Terms! February 20, 2011Posted by Mark Folse in Carnival, Krewe du Vieux, Mardi Gras, New Orleans, NOLA, Toulouse Street.
You know carnival is upon you when you wake at the crack of noon from the daylight leaking into your bedroom, drag yourself to the window to open it a crack and find the sun is shining, the birds are singing and you think: oh, the horror. You retreat back to the bedroom where the three-way lamp is on its dimmest setting and contemplate the bed but you’re still fighting a head cold through all this and you and the sheets both feel greasy and unclean after the last few days so you drag yourself back to the kitchen and make coffee. Hot, black, chicory coffee that complements the blackened whiskey and cigarette flavor of your unbrushed mouth; you can almost imagine the tiny crows picking over your tongue, the fly-specked battlefield of last nights revelry. You pad barefoot into the bathroom for an endlessly satisfying piss that seems to go on as long as a honeymoon at Niagra Falls, then step over to the basin and contemplate your face, the black makeup under your eyes that won’t come off with soap and water and you think: that looks about right. A shower sounds good but you think, another cup first and you sit and scroll through the messages of all the friends in from out of town, already making plans for the rest of the weekend and decide in for a penny, in for a pound. After a long, hot shower you amble back into the bedroom and count your boxers and decide the mass of laundry in the corner can wait until tomorrow. You pour some more coffee and answer emails, return calls and you think about the long road ahead to Shrove Tuesday and you know come Ash Wednesday it won’t be so much a matter of repentance as falling out with the unholy spirit, muttering in tongues, into a deep and pleasing exhaustion, your Dionisiac spirits appeased for another year.