Wednesday, February 22, 2012
toward some notes on yesterday (which was mardi gras)
all ages crowd the streets. beads shower from balconies in sprays of metallic purple and silver and green. never have so many people from so many generations come together. old or young means nothing. you see kids no taller than the instruments they're playing. you see grandma's and grandpa's dancing out of bars. trash piles along the curb, huge styrofoam cups, soaked cardboard, broken beads. the trash becomes a sort of terrain, a temporary topography. people walk in circles, sway. others hunch over themselves in doorways. and still others bang on drums, shake maracas, sound their horn. and then more purple, more gold, more green. the sunshine casts the parading and partying in an atmosphere of good will. and while, yes, things might turn ugly when they begin to fall apart, mardi gras remains a well-meaning tableau of the absurd, of the Cosmic Joke, of the our collective court jester. at least during the day.