Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The best part of Mardi Gras is the lead-up.

The best part about Mardi Gras is the lead-up beforehand. Today is Mardi Gras, and it’s a shit show. It’s a spectacle. It is amusing, but I like the small brass processions. I like the second line parades and the errant bits of funk. For Mardi Gras day there is some of that in the morning, but this is also the World Series of getting fucked up.

My instinct is to avoid drinking while the sun is still high. It is a reasonable instinct followed by nobody here. My future expectation for Mardi Gras is to be a fly on the wall. With that goal, there can be no disappointment. For me today, I paced myself, with spaced out beers to fit in.

Next to the Mississippi, I looked for a place to piss. I walked about twenty feet up the train tracks. A man was passed out on some cardboard, with a boot leaning right on the track. A train was idling about a hundred yards away.

“Hey Buddy” I said loud enough to hear. “Your foot is right on the track, man.”

I tried to sound non-committal. I could tell he could hear me, but whether words registered was in doubt. “I can move you if you want” I offered. “But you should just go a few feet over.”

At this point he slid his boot over an inch. It seemed like he had the idea, but not what it takes to sit up and move.

“There’s not enough space, man. If the train goes this way it’s not good for you, dude. It’s gonna fuck you up, man...” I continued to try sounding conversational. A casual observer; nonchalant.

You can’t go around shoving every hobo on every train track. Trying to physically move a guy can be risky. I walked away and went back to my bench, which was close. I was fully aware that if I saw the train move, I would need to run over and yank him out of the way. I would have to move fast with no fucking around. I would need to monitor the situation.

I don’t like responsibility, but I didn’t see any other options I liked. I looked back a few times over the following minutes, and was relieved when I looked and he’d moved. He was only about five feet from his previous position, but the clearance looked adequate factoring a margin for error.

Somebody tried to help me once when I looked bad. We all need to watch out for this stuff.

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