Mendacity February 14, 2015Posted by The Typist in Carnival, Mardi Gras, New Orleans, NOLA, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
Tags: Bacchus, Endymion, mendacity
Somewhere out There (not here) Endymion leans on his shepard’s staff and contemplates the moon. This is so distant from what will erupt a few blocks away this evening as to be almost out of reach, but I would choose to be there however long the walk.
Somewhere along the canals of Venice, or climbing the Albaicín in the midday hallucinatory alleys of the past I lost Carnival and I’m not sure where to find it. The Bacchanal of of this weekend holds no appeal, hasn’t for years, really. The endless parade of megafloats is a Zero, not a point but a hollow as big as infinity, god’s bottomless junk drawer. I have abandoned MoM’s, filed it away as memories of Arabi long ago.
Tuesday they promise rain.
What is missing is me, the old Dionysian me. I looked in my costume trunks (smelling a bit of midew; all must go in the wash), but did not find it there. I know it’s in here somewhere, likes to sneak off to the Holy Ground and play the chatty barfly. I start to wonder if I can find it Here, in this city of my birth. It is drowning again and too few seem to notice, our Lord Mayor the Krewe Captain of the final Americanization, an apocalype as large as Katrina and similarly invited by those who refused to see the faults were not in the stars but in themselves.
Today my neighborhood is Kenner, just another big box strip mall boulevard just off the exit marked America 1/4 mile. (America 1/8th mile. America 1/16th mile. American 1/32nd mile…), a paradox I have no interest in teting. My friend the Pill Doctor would call this depression but it is not. It is a sadness as infinute as zero, a nostalgia for all that was almost lost in apocalypse and a sadness that those who did not drown are being sold into the galleys to pull their oars like Real Americans.
I am not a real American. I think the last vestiges of anything ike patriotism were burned away when the last Apollo climbed into the morning sky. I simply didn’t realize it until the Federal Flood washed away all illusions, a catastrophc baptism into what? Something like a promised salvation, a clean slate in the aftermath that proved itself the medicine bottle of a thousand Cousin Dudley’s who’s only interest is to cash in on mendacity.
BIG DADDY: I’ve lived with mendacity!—Why can’t you live with it? Hell, you got to live with it, there’s nothing else to live with except mendacity, is there?
New Orleans as Big Daddy, dying of cancer that has spread to murder, greed, conformity, and the lot of them–the mayor, the uptown money, the downtown carpetbagers–all circling, eyeing each other, trying to get their hands on 28,000 of the finest acres this side of the Nile.
That is what Endymion and Bacchus are to me: mendacity, the Lexus and American Express suburbanites slumming in the city tossing trinkets to the pick up truck port-o-let crowd come downriver from Kenner pretending this is Carnival.
Carnival is not Blaine Kern and a movie star grand marshall. Carnival is a Spirit and I’m looking for a preacher who knows that Holy Ghost. Perhaps if it’s warm and rainy Mardi Gras, I will walk naked as Ezekial through a mostly empty Quarter with eyes like wheels of fire, one saved in the desert by ravens while looking for my place in the story I seemed to have laid aside and lost track of, a prophet of the wrathful god of water, preaching sin and sin again in perfect innocence while we still have time, before one flood or another washes the slate so clean Noah cannot find the mount.