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Mardi Gras


Mardi Gras
Maggie McGee
August, 2000
Mardi Gras was all around them. They scarcely noticed. They had come to New
Orleans because friends said it was the most "romantic" city; and "the
food," the friends had said, "we can't even describe the food! You have
never eaten such food." They could have been alone on a mountain top or in
the frantic crowds of the Atlanta airport for all they noticed the Mardi
Gras Krewes passing on their gaudy floats. Each other was the only reality.

The jostling on the streets only pushed their bodies closer together, their
hands tight, never letting go of their grasp. She thought constantly of his
naked body; everything she looked at became penile: advertising signs on
French Quarter trolleys, sausages from the street vendors' carts, tall
buildings. She couldn't help herself. She shared that with him and they
laughed. He admitted, then, that all the musky city smells, the perfume from
a passer-by, the caf‚‚ au lait they had had with their beignets in the
morning, made him remember how it was to inhale deeply of the mystery
between her thighs.

She bared her breast in front of a street photographer, because all the
young college girls around her were doing it and because she suddenly felt
brave. He took the opportunity to pinch her nipple in front of the crowd,
and she turned red with blushing.

"We're anonymous," he shouted. And they were.

They had eaten at Tujague's and splurged at Commander's Palace, and it was
true what people had told them about the food. The most fun, though, had
been the heaping platter of crawfish they had shared in a little caf‚‚ in one
of the out-neighborhoods, discovered after a morning's ride on the St.
Charles Avenue street car. They were giggly to begin with, acting silly in
front of the tourists on the street car with them, kissing often. They could
hardly understand the waitress at the caf‚‚, her Cajun accent was so thick.
They said "yes" to everything. They learned from the other diners how to eat
the crawfish and they fed each other with their hands. They giggled some
more, because it reminded both of them of the scene in "Tom Jones," when
Albert Finney and Vanessa Redgrave ate sensuous tavern food with their hands
while gazing into each other's eyes and thinking lewd thoughts. It was the
most erotic movie scene either could remember. Their mouths burned from the
pepper sauce and they reeked of garlic. They felt very primitive.

On the sidewalk afterwards, they kissed deeply, eating tongues. They licked
errant drops of buttery sauce from earlobes and fingers. They took a taxi
back to the hotel because they could not wait. She came on his fingers in
the cab.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

His hand hesitated on the phone beside the bed.

"I have to call home. I promised."

She made him call his wife from the pay phone in the lobby. Room 612 was her
sanctuary, hers and his. There would be no intrusion of that other life.
While he was gone, she lit candles, even though it was still afternoon. The
sun shone on the bed. Occasional sounds from the street made their way to
the opened window. February in the South is like spring and small hotels do
not yet have their air-conditioning turned on. She liked the connection to
the bits of bluesy jazz she heard through the window, but liked the strange
sense of disconnect, too. They could do anything in Room 612 they wanted to

"There is no time, no space," he said as he shut the door behind him. "There
is only freedom. There is no longer any other world but right here in this

She laughed.

"Things okay at home, I take it?"

He grinned and pulled her to him. They kissed a long kiss, pressing their
bodies hard against each other. It seemed they could not get close enough;
they wanted to merge into each other, until the intensity closed out
conscious responses. Their love-making happened without thought, almost
without memory. As they lay together later, quiet, breathless, they tried to
reconstruct what had just taken place.

"Real sex," they laughed softly, "is not like porn stories. The stories are
like slow motion. The descriptions are detailed, every probe of the hand and
the tongue graphic, visualized. Real love-making is so powerfully in the now
that there is no past or future."

They could not have described what had just happened to them.

They became playful, then. Tickling, stroking, fingertips teasing. They
jumped on the bed like children and fell in a heap, arms and legs entwined.
He unwrapped them and leaned down and kissed her sex. She was instantly
aroused again and raised her hips up to meet his lips. He drank in her
arousal, tasted his own sex still there from his earlier penetration. He
played with her slowly now, fingers and tongue, pushing the drops of her
moisture about with the tips of his fingers like a boy might play with
raindrops on the window pane, concentrating. He watched, fascinated, as the
color changed in her labia, and the clitoris emerged from its hood. They had
not drawn the curtains and the afternoon sun lasered to the spot where he
played. He touched her exposed clitoris and she shuddered.

"Take it in your teeth," she said.

It felt different to bite it, different from tonguing it, or sucking it. It
was hard, with substance. He bit down and she cried out,

"No. No, no. Oh god."

Her body bucked and writhed against his lips and he released his bite. He
held her in his arms, then, as the waves of her climax claimed her body and
she moaned so softly he could scarcely hear her. He kissed the tears from
her face and stroked her hair.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

"I'm hungry."

A voice tickled his ear and he roused reluctantly from sleep. The room had
darkened, and the wax from the candles had melted into puddles in the
ashtrays. Sounds from the crowds on the street were louder. They heard New
Orleans jazz-loud and insistent, music from many trombones and trumpets and
clarinets, and drums beating cadence-marching music, and they knew the
evening parades had started down below.

She stood at the window, naked, and watched, grinning. He swung his legs
over the edge of the bed and tried, once, to stand. He sat back down, his
legs surprisingly giving way under him.

"Ummm. I think we have some unfinished business here."

"I know, and I'm sorry," she said. "I seemed to have got all the goodies
that last time around. If you take me out for food and one quick close-up
look at the parade-we did, after all, come to New Orleans for Mardi Gras.
Right?-then I promise I will bring you back here and tell you all about my
obsession with penis worship. "

"You have aroused both my curiosity and my penis. It's a deal."
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

The last night of Mardi Gras in New Orleans reaches a crescendo not seen in
any other place on the North American continent. It becomes madness, with
whirling colors, brilliant and exotic; with brass and tympani; with
inhibitions crashing. There are no quiet corners for lovers, no restaurant
tables with violins and candlelight. They ran with the crowd, whirling, too.
The music on the floats and the music on the street corners intoxicated
them. They forgot about eating, felt only their hearts pounding and their
blood racing. There was only tonight; and tomorrow would never come. There
was no "somewhere else," no "someone else" waiting. The single reality was
the touch of their hands, the memory of their bodies pressing. Late, they
made their way back against the movement of the crowd to Room 612.

In that city of gastronomic delights, of fine dining, they stopped at a
Wendy's and bought hamburgers and french fries and took them up to the hotel
room to eat with the bottle of 12-year-old wine he had brought in his
suitcase from home. They ate like starving survivors, french fries dribbling
catsup on their bare bodies. The wine was wonderful: sweet and mellow, like
peaches ripe from the tree, warmed by the sun.

They showered together shyly, washing each other's hair, feeling sleepy and
intimate, content with just touching, under the spray of water warming their
sleepiness. They crawled under the blankets naked, hair still damp, bodies
quiet. There was no urgency.
She leaned up on one elbow and traced the outline of his eyebrows and his
cheekbones and his lips with one fingertip. She had promised to tell him
about her penis worship.

She told him about the trip she had made to Italy once, going to Florence to
see Michelangelo's statue of the David. She happened on it quite by chance.
It had been moved from the Galleria Dell' Academia, where long lines usually
waited to see it. The museum was being renovated and the David was moved
temporarily to the Bargello, an unprepossessing little museum off a back
square. There were not many people around. Quiet. Seemed an odd setting for
such a famous fellow. She described how she had stood there for a long, long
time---worshiping, it had seemed. Worshiping the strength of David's
maleness, the power of his hands, the beauty of his penis.

Her hand moved down her lover's chest and his belly then to touch gently his
penis, quiet now, soft and sleepy. She stroked it with just the tips of her
fingers, pushing back the quiescent foreskin to explore the glans that lay
underneath. He lay still, hardly breathing.

The blanket over them was not heavy. She crawled down under the soft cover
and lay her head on his belly. She watched as his penis grew high and hard
from her stroking, barely inches from her face. She put her finger out and
touched it. She felt his body shiver, but otherwise he did not move. She
explored his penis slowly with her finger, softly, from the root to the
head. There were tiny drops now at the opening. She moved her head closer
under the blanket, reached her tongue toward them, and drank the drops. She
wrapped her hand around the shaft that now was against her cheek. It was
beginning to throb--great, strong movements. She watched the veins pulse,
and she took it in her mouth. He groaned and exhaled a long breath.

She had never felt so much love for him nor had he ever before given her so
intimate a gift. He thrust to her throat until he came, and in swallowing,
she had received his essence, the strength and power that was his maleness.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

They slept long into the morning.

The airport shuttle picked them up at noon. They were quiet on the way out,
her hand resting lightly on his thigh. Waiting at his ticket check-in, they
made small talk. He bought her trinkets and postcards in the gift shop. And
then he disappeared down the chute to his plane. It was a long walk from the
Southwestern gate to Delta. Mardi Gras streamers and bits of confetti
littered the floor.


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