Driving home tonight, I thought about Mardi Gras in Austin, and how it’s been a while since I’ve celebrated Fat Tuesday. In the South, there are days leading up to it with anticipation — the food, the beads, the planned parties. There was a time when New Orleans made it illegal to go topless (is that still the case?). But Austin, in its wonderful weirdness, legally allows people to roam shirtless.
Mardi Gras, 2000, was a particularly difficult month for me. I wrote very little about the bad things that were happening, but basically I went to Aspen, got back and my world, as I knew it, changed. It caused me to do things I wouldn’t normally do, like impulsively buy concert tickets for a show on the other side of the country, decide it was time to move to Los Angeles, or get drunk at Mardi Gras and party on a roof.