Bohemia Village Voice  Bohemia Village Voice

For bohemians everywhere

Natalia Hunt

Mardi Gras

The Mardi Gras carnival provided me with the perfect cover. Anything goes. In amongst the flamboyant costumes of birds of paradise, the wild dancers and the gaudy masks, I stumbled almost mindlessly through the swinging crowd, sweating profusely in my too-thick cardigan, in desperate need of a coffee.
On second thoughts, maybe caffeine wasn’t the best idea right now. Maybe something a little more soothing. What do I have to do to get a glass of warm milk in the middle of the day in the middle of the city in the middle of a festival?
The feeling of magical euphoria had long since evaporated, and bad thoughts and images were lurking at the corners of my subconscious. Not even upbeat latin-jazz fusion could save me now.
The party-goers and the constant stream of mopeds that had been so charming just a few hours previously were now all transformed into dangerous mechanical menaces or potential muggers. I urged my body to speed up, but my legs wouldn’t move faster than a snail’s pace. In fact, it was as though the whole world had slowed to almost a stop; every detail was crystal-clear, and moving objects left a ghost-image trail of their progress behind them.
Someone was being outrageously sick on the street corner. God, I can’t deal with an ugly image like that right now. Any other time I’d be laughing. Faces around me were leering or disapproving, like some nightmarish film sequence. Another over-enthusiastic tourist.
As long as I could get back to my hotel room in one (psychological) piece, everything would be hunky-dory. Just shut the curtains, watch a bit of The Simpsons for a couple of hours, maybe have some pizza, until this shit-storm blows over and I’ll be as right as rain.
My companion had long since disappeared, probably having the time of his fucking life.

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