Day Before Fat Tuesday
The film the Peaceful Warrior streams in HD. A cold front blows through scratching loose leaf limbs against the house. And then a neighbor's wind chimes call me to that place where I had my first real kiss in tiny town Mathis, Texas.
Population: itty on the bitty.
Everyone knows the first one. Where the space between breath and lips is an eternity. Where it kinda feels like the half-time Super Bowl show is happening. Dancing sharks. Big lights. Missy Elliot stealing the stage. And that's just a moment in the hang-time.
Yeah, so kisses. And cold fronts, wind chimes and the stale smell of chili, and a memory of south Texas and Richard Marx's Endless Summer Nights on vinyl. (And this is pre hipster reclaim of the spin).
And life was soooo hard back then in sooo many ways, but still, there was a first kiss ... That didn't suck.
That was before Columbine. That was before September 11th. That was before the world falling down inside the classrooms and from thousands of feet up. That was before Mike Brown and Trayvon and three students slain in Chapel Hill. That was before some of those horrors and heartaches began living in our souls.
I was standing on a street corner on Orleans Ave Saturday. Showed up a few hours before the shoulder-to-shoulder people in motion Endymion parade. Nothing but a backpack and the curiosity for what NOLA calls Mardi Gras.
I don't drink, drug, smoke or engage in the regional debauchery. There is still fun to be had. I walked the streets. Peeling though the peeps and kept my ear to the stories. People say all kinda of truths when they think no one is listening.
And along Orleans Ave, under a tree draped in colored beads I saw this guy and gal. It was a first kiss moment. The soundtrack of their scene was Trombone Shorty, a woman hollering at her son and sirens from squad car cruisers. And I don't think it mattered because they had that exchange in the range between eyes and uncertain lips.
They had that first kiss. Different than mine and probably yours. But it was theirs and ironically on V-Day.
I take pics of every little thing but this ... it didn't seem mine to take. This was their moment to light up. To have butter and flies or Whatev. For a moment, the chaos of the world and even my own life softened.