“You’re defriending Halloween?”
Thus said my Texas friend, Sara, when she called yesterday to check-in and I told her I was skipping Halloween this year.
“Do you not have a costume?” she asked.
I told her that actually I had three costumes: a disco ghost in search of his “Last Dance”; a whip-cracking, leather-loving green demon; and a skull and bones ensemble built around my first Kate McNee headpiece.
“I’m just not in the mood this year,” I said.
Sara gasped. “But it’s Halloween. And you live in New Orleans. How can you miss it?”
That got me thinking. When you live in New Orleans, how in the world can you possibly miss a “can’t miss” event like Halloween?
For starters, while the rest of the world celebrates Halloween as the day the veil is thinnest, in NOLA the veil is thin each and every day. The veil between the living and the dead. Normal and crazy.
Furthermore, it’s not like we need a special occasion to put on a costume around here. A friend of mine tells the story of how he went into Key’s Fuel Mart on Rampart one evening for some smokes and fried chicken. He was dressed as a frozen daiquiri with a big Styrofoam cup encompassing him from neck to toe, a peach-colored slushy wig and a giant straw coming out of his head. Not one person noticed, not even the cashier. And it was May.
But the real reason I think it’s possible to miss a “can’t miss” event in New Orleans is because, when you live here, you realize it’s not the events that are “can’t miss.” It’s life itself.
Now, to be sure, sometimes you want to celebrate the “can’t miss” nature of life in New Orleans by herding with the masses on Frenchmen Street while you channel your inner Freddie Mercury. But, then there are those nights when you want to celebrate by staying at home with the city you love. Listening to some Ingrid Lucia. Drinking an Abita or three. And cooking up some red beans and cornbread.
Which is exactly what I did last night.
Besides, there’s always next year to paint my face green, blow on some glitter and crack my devilish whip. Heck. There’s always today.
Brett Will Taylor is a southern Shaman who writes Love: NOLA weekly for NolaVie. Visit his site at ashamansjourney.net.