We have a saying around the house: "You know why it doesn't matter? Because it doesn't matter.
It's a pretty silly saying, but I like it because it's true.
It was rescued from a hopelessly young, drunk couple during Halloween 2009 as they made their way through a shoulder to shoulder crawl of rowdy Halloween revelers in the Faubourg Marigny.
If I remember correctly, the guy was wearing a porkpie hat. continued
Okay, I don't remember at all what the guy was wearing. What I remember was the conviction in his voice as he coaxed the girl down the crowded sidewalk (his words were meant to comfort to her, I am sure of it), running over partiers, smoking cigarettes and talking loud: "And do you know why it doesn't matter?" the guy said, "Because it doesn't matter."
That must have been right around the time we lost the camera.
We resurrected "it doesn't matter" in the Faubourg Marigny Saturday night. Only we were the drinking couple, talking loud. We were sitting with our friend I'll call Andrew at a stolen table in a Japanese Restaurant on Frenchmen Street. We weren't actually talking about BP or the oil spill, or the Mardi Gras parade at all, but we knew what we were talking about.
We were talking about things that didn't matter.
Saturday night was the night of Krewe du Vieux, the first parade of Mardi Gras season.
For our friends in the North who don't have the fortune (and hassle) of celebrating carnival, you should know Mardi Gras happens to fall extremely late on the calendar this year, March 8, which is great because that means the weather is fine. Actually, the weather is dreamy, but not to get off track - Krewe du Vieux kicks off the Mardi Gras season every year and goes through the French Quarter and Faubourg Marigny. Carnival lasts a long time in New Orleans. Krewe du Vieux, as a signature, is the raciest parade.
Probably the most shameless part to our having stolen the table at the Japanese restaurant after watching the Krewe du Vieux was that neither Giuseppe nor I were even hungry then at all.
We ate just before the parade started. Maybe getting so hungry so early was the result of seeing all the guys dressed like tarred and feathered BP execs, waiting for the parade. We listened to their parade-made bullshit company line then ducked into Mona Lisa's for some chicken parmesan.
The waitress at Mona Lisa's gave us a bona fide table (one we didn't have to steal) and sat us, without our even asking, adjacent to a friend of a friend.
Both the friend of a friend and his dinner partner spend the work week driving out to remote Louisiana areas in an RV to provide mental health services to people who couldn't otherwise access it.
"So how are things out there? Has it gotten worse since the oil spill?" I asked him as he and his dinner partner were getting up to leave.
"Oh yeah. Since the oil spill it's much worse," he said. "You wouldn't even believe it."
"What about physical stuff? Have you seen a rise in sickness?"