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FAINT GLOW

Margaritas and Finger Sandwiches

It's a beautiful, chilly, Mardi Gras Saturday here in Louisiana. There must be like a gazillion parades scheduled for today, but I don't intend to go see any of them. Hmm. Just when did I stop Mardi Grazing, and why? Well, a dear friend's death several years ago from a fall certainly had something to with it--the sadness still lingers--but even before that tragedy, I had begun to sort of... halfway... dread the whole weekend. Too crowded. Oftentimes, too cold as well. Walking, like, ten miles and then standing in the mud while screaming for beads for two hours, trying to locate nonexistent toilet facilities, and then trudging on home after having enjoyed way too much Champagne... Was this fun? It began to seem like an endurance test. An obstacle course.

But we age out of things. Even if we don't intend to, we change. I loved playing with dolls as a kid, but aged out of them. Adolescence'll do that. And although maudlin pop music gets written about it (the "Mama Doll Song" of the 1950s; "Puff the Magic Dragon" in the '60s), growing up's not an unhappy or bad event. It just is.

I used to think that New Orleanians who sat at home and watched all the parades on television were pathetic losers. Old-school. Friendless. But these days, if the thermometer's reading below forty degrees, I deem them highly intelligent and worthy of emulation. After all, you don't get to be old by being stupid.

But okay, I'll admit it: I'll probably go to the Thoth parade tomorrow. I've got treasured long-time friends living near the route and one's hosting an Open House, and they're all great people to be among, and I'll have someplace to use the bathroom and/or sit down. There'll be margaritas and finger sandwiches. My God, who can say no to margaritas and finger sandwiches? Thoth rolls in the daytime, and the sun's supposed to shine, so maybe it'll be a warmer day than this one. And I won't have to hike ten miles to get there. Sounds good. Sounds like actual fun!

But if I wake up tomorrow morning, and step outside, and it's COLD...?

Unless it comes courtesy of a drunken college student from out-of-state, you'll never catch a glimpse of exposed body parts in this neighborhood, y'all. No tempting us with beads, even if we had something you wanted to see. No, we're locals with seventy pounds each of old Mardi Gras shit already in our attics, this is wintertime, and it's too damned cold to show you our anything. I just might watch it all on television.
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