Posts Tagged ‘Naive’

Revisiting my freshman year of college in my mind brought me to a startling scene of a girl jolted into the transition into a woman. I had fun during that first Mardi Gras, the one with Renee and the giggling, despite disappointments over the discovery of my crush’s girlfriend, a girl he had only mentioned during the Lundi Gras festivities in the French quarter while he literally carried me down bourbon street. This one man, possibly from Middle Eastern decent, had grabbed my right breast in a fit of arousal and intoxication. I found myself suddenly surrounded by these men, helpless, and wondering what other awkward part of my body they would try to grasp, until I was hoisted up in the air by familiar arms, my hero and crush.

I had no practical reasons for finding this man attractive. He was a republican, and I am still near green to this day. His father was a successful lawyer, probably a real asshole, who had defended some lousy scum bags. He wore glasses that made him look like a board member of a tech company. His hair was wiry and ash blonde, his skin an uneven tone of pale and plotted with reminders of adolescence. By no means should he have been the object of my 18-year-old –California-Girl affections but he was. And perhaps, for the first time, did I start to feel the pangs of desire that young women feel when they finally start to become a woman.

Or was it just the excessive amount of drive-thru Daiquiri that I was consuming? In any case, nothing happened, just a strong clasp of arms around my waist, carrying me until there was a break in the crowd, where he then set me down next to a pile of Mardi Gras waste, vomit, pee, and beer. Hardly the romantic scene. He told me that he had to carry his girlfriend out of places like that before. I told him that I didn’t know he had a girlfriend to which he replied a simple, “7 years”, like they had 2 kids and a white picket fence.

So why did this memory suddenly come to mind the other day? I’ve wondered that myself, frankly. That was probably one of the first times in my life where I was confronted with what I felt was the brutal and disgusting truth of raw, male desire. My first instinct should have been to run, run far away from the crowds, or maybe even refused to walk down Bourbon Street. My curiosity lead me down to watch the hundreds and thousands of people behave in bizarre ways, wearing outlandish costumes, or in some cases, nothing at all.

This wasn’t the kind of Mardi Gras I had seen in photos when my mother was a girl. My grandparents, just starting to show the signs of aging in their face, my mother’s round, cherub cheeks, and my aunt’s stunning blue eyes all peered out from adorable cat costumes while waiting for the parades to start. They looked so happy in those costumes that day, a memory that I’ve held onto tightly for my grandma, and an honor I hold closely for my late grandfather and aunt.

But there were no adorable cat costumes or cherub-like faces that night, just the faces of the drunken folks who peeled pieces of their clothes off to expose wretched parts of their bodies. It’s not that I’m against nudity, or partying, or even Mardi Gras in general, though in recent years I have expressed my distaste in Fat Tuesday, it’s just that I was 18 and I didn’t know any better.

Now as I approach my mid –twenties, several years later with experiences, stories, and realities under my belt, I suppose that I was the most naïve girl who was ever carried down Bourbon St., or, at the very least, in that moment I was.



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