Updated: Mar 2, 2022
A friend told me I should begin like this. With this sentence: There's glitter in my bed.
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To be fair, my friend was suggesting this sentence as the beginning of a short story. This blog isn't that. I write fiction elsewhere and, while anything conveyed in words is, technically, fictional — already irrevocably divorced from the pre-conceptual, direct experience we writers are always trying to capture alive and present to you in a safe fashion, a sort of emotional zoo — this blog is an attempt at non-fiction. Things that actually happen, and what I actually think and maybe more importantly (maybe?) feel about them.
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There is actually glitter in my bed. It's not actually that unusual, in my life. But it's a nice image, and it captures something true about the moment. That moment being Ash Wednesday, the day after Mardi Gras, in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA.
Chances are excellent that most people reading this don't understand me when I say the words "Mardi Gras" and "New Orleans" together in a sentence. You undoubtedly understand something, and that something is based on either the stories you've heard about Mardi Gras (mostly having to do with too much drink, too few clothes, and Bourbon Street) or the experiences you've had here. Even your experiences, here, and my experiences, here, are unlikely to match perfectly.
My experience of Mardi Gras is that of a witch, a ritualist, and an introvert. Someone who moved to New Orleans expecting to just not "get" Mardi Gras, and perhaps even actively hide from it, the way I'd hidden from Fiesta, when I lived in San Antonio, in South Texas. I, too, thought it was all about drinking and puking in the French Quarter. I don't like crowds, I don't drink... I didn't see any way this was gonna be my thing.