My Katrina, Part 30
PREVIOUSLY: At the airport in D.C., a crowd was cheering “Praise God,” like we was celebrities. We got squashed into busses and driven to an armory. They say there’ll be a gate and that make me think of prison, which make me think, Now is my chance for a new life, if they don’t hold New Orleans against me.
There was more busses taking us to the armory than there are people at the Mardi Gras Zulu parade in New Orleans. That gotta be a lotta people.
Ah we had fun at Mardi Gras! I can’t leave my hometown story without sayin’ what that like.
Fat Tuesday is the main day of Mardi Gras. There are a lot of parades. At the Zulu parade, my favorite, you get coconuts. Most people that tour come to get the coconuts and take them home for souvenirs to put on their bar.
Mardi Gras was my best part of the year. You could see everyboday you wanna see. Old school friends, old teachers, kids. Everyboday come out.
Me being the type of guy I was in the street, I could tell whether my buddies locked up or dead if I don’t see them for Mardi Gras. They would say the same thing about me. People in the hospital would sneak out, at least I would, to go to Mardi Gras. That’s how much I love it.
You see people getting drunk, sleepin’ on the curb, sleeping in they car, and on they car. You try different liquor. Too much excitement.
When I was around ten, I was curious about the bar where strippers be at. During the day, we could drink T.J. Swann, our favorite cheap wine with flavors like “Stepping Out” and “Magic Moments.” But there be no strippers at the bar during the day. At night we weren’t allowed in, but we could peep through a crack the door, if the bouncer step away.
You can find all kind of different drugs at Mardi Gras. You meet all kind of people. You get fake undercover police acting like they drunk. One Mardi Gras, me and my friends need money for drugs so bad that we not thinking straight.
We meet this guy on the street. He say he from out of town and he trying to cop some weed. I say you got the weed right here, and then I say how much you want?
He say “I want a ounce bag but I’ll spend more than that if it’s good.”
With me bein’ a city slicker, and with me and my friend bein’ so high, we just thinkin’ about the money, we didn‘t think he be a cop. So I went around the corner and pick up a leaf off the ground and tear it up like weed, and I put it in a bag.
I go back and tell him, “I been in prison, I know if I hand it to you it be distribution. It be better if I put it on the ground here, then it’s only possession.
He said, “Aw man I’m not no cop, I’m just trying to get high. He was wearing Mardi Gras beads, in all different colors, and he really had me fooled. He looked like a Hawaiian guy or Spanish or Creole. Also, he had a accent which throw me off.
So when he takes out his wallet, and starts pulling out bills, I see nothing but money—twenties, fifties, hundreds. Boy, my eyes went back in my head when I saw all that money.
I say to myself I’m about to get so high now. I got me one. It’s like I got a duck. So I tell him, “You can’t pull the money out here man, the cops will see us.”
“So he say let’s step in the thrift shop.” So we standin’ inside this shop surrounded by silverware, costumes, beads, all kind of stuff.
While we’re in there, I see a lady outside the door shakin’ her head at the guy. I say to my buddy, “This guy about to be a police. We goin’ to jail.”
(to be continued)