For the past 7 years I have been in Carnival exile. Reality of a marriage and kids hit at the same time the cost of carnival skyrocketed. Suddenly there was no more enjoying yourself with just a blue note in your pocket. From all-inclusives costing over $500 for a couple to two and three thousand dollar costumes, it suddenly didnt seem to be worth it. And, I am not the kind of man to do things in half measures. Its either all or nothing for me, especially with my beloved Carnival.
So, I removed myself from Carnival and resigned myself to watching the parade of the bands on tv and listening to panorama on the radio. I feel justified in my decision. My family has flourished and my finances are solid.
However, doubt sneaks in.
For one, Bandwagonist tweeted me the video for Machel's Wild Antz.
Now I have listed to all of the soca and calypso this year. Some good stuff but nothing has made me yearn and pine as much as hearing the Machel tune. I was actually in anti-Machel mode due to the stories coming out about his ignorant behaviour to staff and fellow artists. However, this tune took me right back to all the best fetes and all the best road experiences ever. Suddenly I wanted to back in "de ting" no matter the cost. this tune is roadmarch, I swear. Im not saying it is the best Machel song ever (far from it) but goddamn did it hook me into Carnival the way no Bunji, Fay-ann, Shurwayne or "roti song" can do it.
To add to my pain and suffering I found every soca video on youtube and played them. when I reached Machel's "Big Truck" I was in tears.
My mind is not changed though. I will not be paying $2000 for a costume and $20 for beer (at the rate I drink beer, several hundred will be spent before long). I have a family that I love and that I want to support in the best way possible.
I do recognise however, the power of the Carnival over me and that my soul still to be free from Carnival exile.