sappho psalm
Volume 23/Issue 4/2005

Toni Pizanie

 

 





by Toni Pizanie
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA

Gayety and Prayer

It is early on Ash Wednesday. I am sitting in my panties at the computer trying to solidify my thoughts through weary synapse dulled by the Spumante that I drank last evening while watching the last of the revelers drag themselves out of the Marigny. The Ambush balcony party was a great success despite the fact that most of the people below were breeders, shutter bugs or not interested or interesting. The party goers were sparse this year and my four visits out on the balcony were not rewarding enough to tease passersby with beads and a smile. The real fun was inside.

The overall ball season was again outstanding this year. Being the returning queen made for the best time I have ever had attending a ball. I had the best seat in the house. People kept bringing me champagne which I do enjoy. Each costume was presented directly to me so that I could appreciate the full effect. I had no idea that being in a ball could be so relaxing and pleasurable.

Usually I sit or stand, depending on the costume, behind the stage waiting for my turn to be presented. I worried about perspiration streaking my make-up and if the wiring on my costume will hold and could I bear the weight. Costumes get bigger and heavier, and everyone is concerned that nothing will go wrong. Bringing you good Gay Mardi Gras Balls is a burden as well as a joy for krewe members. So it is with relief that I am considering this a good time to become a spectator rather than a participant.

There were some great highlights this year. The funniest was Delta taking a real water shower on stage at Amon Ra. For drama, the Petronius King and Queen with trains coming down from the ceiling was spectacular. Lords of Leather's production began and ended in a Las Vegas style pageant which was a thrill to behold. But for fun and fantasy, the Armeinus King and Queen were story book perfect. My thanks to you all for a great show. I am starting today to beg for table seats next year from the captains of each krewe.

Why the panties? I was on my way to a hot shower when I got an urge to write. Today is deadline and procrastinating is not getting it done. I thought I would start writing last night but there was just too much going on between the Goth spot near Touro and the hot spots on Frenchman. Even this morning, there are people in costume wandering around the neighborhood in a daze.

That big hole in the street at Royal and Touro had something poured into it this morning. It didnít help. Sam, of Sam and Princesse Stephaney, walked me home from Ambush yesterday and we watched bikes and drunks fall into this cavern. I was wondering then if the streets department was ever going to fix this highly trafficked intersection. And there they were, the Sewerage and Water Board, trying to do repairs after each passing car. Is there a reason why this block cannot be blocked off for a few hours so the problem can be properly repaired? Clarkson at work. My neighbors claim that they had been sending her letters about this for months.

Of course, you all know that I have been trying to get her to do something about parking for years so I donít expect any quick action unless the mayorís car breaks an axle. The only quick action around this area was the vandals that defaced the new concrete than was poured on my sidewalk. Some old man came to my door demanding that I do something about the writing in the sidewalk. What would you have me do?, I asked. He didnít have an answer and neither did I so the scared cement hardened as a testimony of how little respect anyone has for anyone else today.

Speaking of respect or the lack there of, some old drunk called me negative. I think it was because I would not take his direction about my ball costume. Being realistic is not negative and when this old fool starts paying my bills, he can tell me what to wear but not until then. Sour drunks are just no fun.

Now the happy drunks that I had the pleasure of partying with this Mardi Gras are always welcome in my company. I especially thank the several that came by Royal Street just to chat before going into the Quarter. This has been a very friendly season.

But now the season changes and reflection takes the place of annoyance with petty people. It would be easy to be petty and bitter for most of us. Life isnít fair or easy but I have so much to look forward to that I cannot waste time being bitter over what I donít have. I donít have many things that I want but somehow I always have just enough for what I need. If I could give up anything for Lent, it would be pain. We all share that hardship. Some of us have physical pain, others emotional pain. I am of the former and am thankful that when finances allow, something can be done for it.

I watch my sweet peers with pain born of disappointment and rejection. All I can do for them is pray, and I will do that again tonight at Mass when Farther Nicholas, he will bless me and place ashes on my forehead. Most people who believe in Christianity, think of this as a solemn time of withholding pleasures from themselves. I am a little different. This is that exciting time during the yearly Christian calendar when a real feeling of renewal comes over me. I am waiting once again for the Resurrection of my Savior. For me this reminder comes twice a year, now at Lent before Easter and again during Advent in the weeks before Christmas.

It really makes a difference what you personally believe. We each make our way into the next Life on the merits of how we conduct ourselves here and now. If you believe in nothing, I guess it makes it easier for you to give nothing of yourselves. That usually makes for a very pathetic individual. If you believe in something, anything, heaven, another life on earth, it seems you try to be a better person. I really love what I believe in despite my anger because it gives me hope of a happier, pain free existence, another chance perhaps.

I know that after death nothing will be the same. There will be no bonding with loved ones. That is a human concept that helps us from going totally nuts when trying to understand and accept the unknown. We put a personal spin on Heaven to make it easier for our Earthly minds to grasp. We have what is here and now, and we have to make the best of it. What comes later is too fantastic. In preparation, we are invited by our Christian God to take this time to reflect, accept and change. So my prayer is that we come out of this cocoon of reflection kinder, more caring people, and a stronger GLBT community.

For right now, I am getting cold and the shower is calling a warm and soothing song.


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