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The Carnival Zone

Ok, so this post has nothing to do with Wadadli Pen or writing, but I couldn’t let Carnival in Antigua pass without doing a Carnival post (this piece was written pre-Carnival, right on the eve of Carnival); here’s hoping we all had a good time but didn’t forget ourselves in the Carnival Zone.

Is there such as thing as the Carnival Zone? A Zone where we find ourselves saying to business associates, I’ll call you after the season? As if the season (not Summer, mind, but the Carnival season) represents one huge time out. Actually, it’d be interesting to find out how much actual work actually gets done during the Carnival season between recovering from the night before and anticipating the night ahead. Not a lot probably, though we are hard working folk and it’s not like time stops just because the Carnival spirit has seduced us into thinking we’re on a mini-break. We know on which side our bread is buttered, right?

Though who can blame us for feeling, as Carnival finally says luk mi yah, like we want nothing more than to dance away with it, fuelled by a beer or two and more music than we know how to say no to. The back log of work and the drudgery of it all is weak competition for this strange euphoria settling over us. We have entered the Carnival Zone.

Yes it does exist.

And as the days roll on and it continues to suck us in, will we be able to resist the temptation to spend money earmarked for mortgage and food, maybe to get a jump on school fees, instead on “ostrich plumes and feathers” knowing full well that we’re not really buying these flimsy items but the experience that comes with them.

After all as Red Hott reminded us a Carnival or two ago, “we love to play mas”. In fact, it sometimes feels like the rest of the year is a dream and we live to play mas. And as we continue to be sucked into the Zone, it’s hard to remember why it’s a bad idea to spend somewhere between $500 and $1200 on a two day street party. Or if the haze lifts and we do remember, in the Zone, it’s easy to find justifications for this bit of frivolity: … it only happens once a year…we’ve earned it…all work and no play…

We know if we don’t the sight of revelers dancing past will taunt us as it does every time we let the voice of reason penetrate the Zone, like an annoying ringing (time to get up!) intruding on a beautiful dream, a dream in which our past mas memories represent the absolute best times of our life. Better than our graduation, our marriage, the birth of our child, the publication of our book. Oh Gad! Who can resist such a temptation?

And have you noticed how in the Zone we seem to forget ourselves, baring, tearing, leering, all the while sneering at the unlucky lot who have to watch from the sidelines, who know all too well what they’re missing and how good it feels. And is that our boss over there watching us with his jaw on the ground?  Pick it up, Mister, don’t you know that like Vegas, what happens in the Zone stays in the Zone. Unless of course it ends up on YouTube – or given some of our antics, YouP*rn – but that’s a worry for Wednesday, after the Carnival. There are no frown lines in the Zone. Only big smiles and win’ing hips and unbridled bliss.

I’m being facetious, of course. But if my exaggerations have a point – and that’s questionable – Carnival is undoubtedly a time to release the pressure of jobs and bills and deadlines and relationship troubles…or it feels like it. Nothing wrong in embracing the positive vibes in the Zone (we sure need some good vibrations during this long drought)…as long as we don’t forget ourselves too much in the process; because what happens in the Carnival doesn’t necessarily stay in the Carnival, does it?

If only.

 As with all content on wadadlipen.wordpress.com, except otherwise noted, this is written by Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, DancingNude in the Moonlight, and Oh Gad!). All Rights Reserved. If you enjoyed it, check out my page on Amazon, WordPress, and/or Facebook, and help spread the word about
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