Her diabolical eyes gazed straight at mine. I was paralyzed. With every step she took, the three dreadful dragon heads surrounding her got bigger and bigger. Spookier and spookier. About a meter away, she smiled. I smiled back. We both laughed as her feathery body skimmed my shoulder.
Standing among the fairytale crowd, I thought of the Wikipedia description of Dutch Carnival: a role-reversal festival marked by the suspension of social norms.
During Carnival, the Reign of Fools presides and ordinary things veer brutally. Chaos swiftly becomes routine. The magic things that patiently wait deep in our subconscious rapidly burst out, frustrated by their long-lasting confinement.
There were 60-year-old male Red Riding Hoods who had waited a full year to leave the forest. Pirates sailing on all seven seas. Once-extinct dinosaurs roaming the Earth anew. Hellish clowns who looked much like sweet angels. Microbes that were bigger than squirrels. Old men with penises in the nose’s rightful spot. Materialized Beatles songs. Living-dead singing side-by-side minstrels from the middle ages. Princesses with a mustache.
Wizards, mermaids, monsters, cowboys, legged dolphins, Indians, galactic soldiers. All sorts of antagonistic characters bound together by a wonderful sense of celebration and frolics.
The whole spectrum of human imagination incarnated for as long as there’s music to feed the joy and disclose that beyond disclosure.
Surrounded by the most fantastic creatures in the universe, they gradually became the genuine role itself. And the human-shaped beings confined until Carnival’s end were now the unlawful impostors. A mere product of magical imagination.
Coming Monday, the flesh masks were to cover, once again, our true colors. It was a shock of ‘reality’. A ‘reversed’ role-reversal. The ‘reinstatement’ of social norms.
Yeah, right. Wikipedia doesn’t fool me.