Your Mardi Gras Memories

I went in 1981 (it was my senior year in college). A few nights before Mardi Gras I was watching a parade. The wind was blowing strong and a Hispanic-looking guy with a military haircut, on shore leave apparently, had his hat blown off into the street. He crossed the barricade to pick it up. The cops are very serious about not letting anyone into the street. They jumped on him. He said, “I just wanted my hat.” They threw him to the ground pounded him stomped him handcuffed him and dragged him off, all the time he was pitifully repeating “I just wanted my hat.”

On the evening of Mardi Gras, just before sunset, I stood on Bourbon Street in the milling crowd. On the second-floor balcony of a hotel overlooking the street stood a young lady, topless, showing off her breasts. But above her on the fourth floor balcony stood a fully clothed woman with long straight hair down to her knees. She had draped it gloriously over the side like Rapunzel. Everyone’s attention was on her! I mean, all women have tits, but hair like that is one in a million. Then some imbecile on the floor above her dripped beer on her head so she retreated inside.

At dinner I dropped some LSD but for some reason it took several hours to peak. Saw a bunch of guys walking around in bald wigs and orange bathrobes, on the back was written, “Krewe of Krishna.” As I walked alone through the dark streets (my hair was down to my shoulders), I felt a hand pull on my shoulder from behind. I turned around, and as soon as the guy saw my beard, he muttered something inaudible and slunk away into the darkness. I mean, even from behind you can tell the shape of a man’s or a woman’s shoulders, right? He must have been awfully drunk.

At midnight the revelry suddenly came to a stop and we boarded a packed streetcar to go back. As I stood waiting to go, I decided to practice a meditative exercise from Gareth Knight’s book Experience of the Inner Worlds: Breathe in to illuminate a light at the crown of your head. Breathing out, send the light through your feet down to the center of the earth, where there is an Intelligence. Breathing in, take it up to a high distant point of light. I went through that a few times and suddenly the LSD kicked in. The Intelligence at the center of the earth said to me, “Had enough practice? Now do you want to really do it?” WHOOOOOSSH!!! My consciousness was blown away by an enormous gusher of energy high up into the sky. Went through the cycle several more times with that entity’s energy added to mine, it was such a powerful trip.

On the way back to my sister’s place, we dropped off one of her college friends, a very beautiful young lady from Puerto Rico. She was telling me next year she planned to go to Rio for Carnaval. She sweetly kissed me good night and my po’ li’l heart was all a-pitter-patter.

So nobody here has ever been to Mardi Gras? You expect me to believe that? Come on.

(Or maybe all the Mardi Gras-ers are away from the SDMB because they’re partying fulltime.)

Sorry, Jomo,
I haven’t been to Mardi Gras in New Orleans, but my best Mardi Gras memories are from the Grateful Dead Mardi Gras shows at the Oakland Coliseum. (1995: the last Mardi Gras Shows.) We drove 24 hours straight to get there, (from Montana) and that year, instead of staying in a motel down the street from the coliseum, (a scene which seemed to get creepier and creepier every year!) we decided to go camping at a “lake” about 10 miles away. The capmground was tick-infested, but other wise really cool. (Never did see the lake, though.) We didn’t get any ticks, but our dog, Puppie-Duppie did.

This was the first time I had ever gotten tickets to all three nights. I have very few specific memories of the weekend, but the overall memory is great. Oh, there were many magical things afoot that weekend… as you can probably imagine, considering the dinner you dropped… (I stay away from acid myself, but have been known to ingest a magic mushroom or two in my time.)

Interestingly, something very similar happened to me, although I wasn’t meditating or really trying for it. There is something about the intensity of the crowd, the surges of energy, the play of the lights. I am convinced that when you get a crowd together like that, with everyone having basically the same mind-set, the same common goals, the Collective Unconscious can do some mighty powerful tricks. The Collective Unconscious thinks it’s God.
I took my camera, loaded with high speed film (no flash, of course) and acutally got some really cool photos of Jerry, Bob, and Vince, (Bob all lit up in that really cool blue) and of the volleyball game at intermission (or was that before the show?) Poor Phil was hidden from my view, and I couldn’t get a good shot of Mickey or Bill.
Of course I still have a bunch of beads and stickers, and other silly memorabilia in my “time-capsule”.

Not quite the memories you were looking for, but I thought I would contribute, anyway. You just looked so lonesome here all alone. I have always wanted to go to Mardi Gras in New Orleans, but haven’t yet. I fear I may be getting a little old for such events.

JW