I didn't play mas this year. Again. For the third year in a row. If that were not enough, I didn't do ANYTHING Carnival. Okay, I know, it's so not like me or who people think I am. But you know, people change and all that.
I confess, I haven't changed that much, I just couldn't get into the whole thing this year. The importance of manic feteing, overpriced costume, same old, same old.
Has Carnival lost it's wonder and magic for me? I had a lot of time to contemplate that while slapped on Cream Silk paint in my front room. Lay off me with the Cream coloured paint thing, it's very soothing. The therapy involved in balancing on a six foot ladder with a wonky knee is endless, you concentrate. You also realise how really, really, trust me on this, really, grotty that front room gets from all the road traffic and then it dawns, I'm breathing in this stuff, ARG. The cogniscent part of my mind was playing with the idea of abandoning house and hound and hightailing it down to a mas camp, at that stage any mas camp would do and mortgaging what was left of my soul for a costume.
I only just managed to contain myself, largely spurred by the extra large credit card crisis brought on by a retail therapy trip to Target/Macy's/Nine West et al. It was hard. I was awfully depressed for quite a while, and at that point, it was only Sunday. And then I thought of my fellow blogger Blue who was experiencing Mas for the first time as a non-spectator this year.
I remembered my first time climbing into costume, I think I was about 11 or so. It was Red Cross Kiddies Carnival, we charged around the stage, private school kiddies playing at "mas" before it was hip for "our kind" to be doing so. It was Indian mas and we had a ball making those costumes, sticking on the sequins, gold dots and feathers. Those costumes were so beautiful in our eyes, of course now, looking back you have to admit they were pretty lame in comparison to the other kids who were veterans of the Kiddie Mas. Those kids had an arsenal of mummies, grannies, uncles etc, all committed to the cause. Now they really had a good time.
It is that early memory that keeps me going. Even though I had featured in several school plays, theatrical efforts of the young and desperate, mas was entirely different. Liberating even. All those things that my pre teenage self wanted to do but couldn't. I had a long hiatus between that experience and my adult costume but Carnival has always been for me, the one time I truly am free, to be.
So Blue, I know you looked fab in your costume, and I hope that you had a truly wonderful experience, one that will stay in your memory as a good time. See you on the road next year!