Last night, I had what I deemed a “mini-Fet Ghede” party. Originally, this was supposed to take place on either the first or second. However, because Mother Nature is a fickle, fickle lady, I was forced to postpone until I could have someplace to warm up afterwards. Luckily enough, my power was restored early yesterday morning, so I was able to at least get in the mood of the whole Fet Ghede thing. It was fucking awesome, by the by.
The original plan was that The Sister and I would go to a really old motherfucking cemetery near her house. Ludlow, Massachusetts is the town literally in front of my apartment complex. All I have to do is look out my bedroom windows and I can see the lights from the center. (In fact, when I was out of power and they had restored power, it was a bitch and a half seeing the reflections through my bedroom windows. The thoughts, of course, were WHY ARE THEY SO LUCKY?!?! WAAAAH!!!) However, The Sister is (A) easily scared by cemeteries and (B) prone to getting akh following her around for no reason other than just ’cause. So, I decided to go it alone.
This, by the way, is the second pagan ritual that I’ve invited her to that she has declined. I’m beginning to see a theme here. I think I have to do this stuff on my own, but THAT’S FOR LATER.
My basic plan was to “break in” to a cemetery with a bottle of rum in my bag and get down with some boozing. I mean, I wasn’t going to get drunk or anything silly like that since, you know, temperatures are pretty damn low at night now. However, I was going to do a little, “Hi, Bawon Samedi and Maman Brigitte. How are you?” And then give them shots in little cups. However, they don’t make biodegradable cups of black and purple (the colors the two of them like THE BESTESTEST) so that was shot out. Not to mention, it seemed a little dumb to bring little shot glasses or plastic cups to something that’s supposed to be sacred, right? Right.
The original plan was to utilize the cemetery The Sister had remarked upon, but it was incredibly possible that I wouldn’t be able to get in. Most cemeteries around here after big huge gates that they lock at sunset. However, LUDLOW IS WEIRD. They don’t have gates on any of the three cemeteries I passed last night. Anyway, if push came to shove and this became a problem, there’s a really old and tiny cemetery on a main drive near where my father is buried. That would be like a two-fold event: near my dead dad and giving booze to an old cemetery. However, as I mentioned, LUDLOW IS WEIRD. So, all I had to do was bring some booze and get my ass in gear.
Yet, as I was prepping for all of this in my head, it dawned on me that just some booze wasn’t enough. I began to get a little worried. Just some booze? I mean, shouldn’t I have been thinking about other stuff? I had candles galore, although none of which were in the colors that Maman and Bawon appreciate best, before all of this power outage crap. I began to freak and checked my bank balance* because it suddenly became imperative that I get a candle, at least, to do some burning. I ended up going down to The Sister’s job and purchasing a few candles and an X-acto knife. The candles are all white, unfortunately, but that was remedied by the X-acto knife: I was going to carve a portion of the Bawon/Maman vévé onto whatever candle I decided to do burning for.
So, it’s late and I ended up driving by the cemetery about a thousand times while I did some “preliminary work” AKA making sure that cops wouldn’t be busting up this little shindig. I even called The Sister just to make sure that arrest was out of my immediate future forecast.
Going inside this old, tiny cemetery was… it was breath-taking. I’ve been in some of the older cemeteries (which should actually be read as, one of the older cemeteries) in this state. However, it’s different when you come face-to-face with the age of everything. It’s also entirely different when you realize that these tombstones have been there, moldering and forgotten, for ages. All of them were at an angle and there was lichen everywhere. It was… it was just amazing.
I found one tombstone that was turned over and broken towards the end. I placed the bottle of booze on it and a candle, as can be seen in this photo album on Photobucket. I then went traipsing about, taking picture after fucking picture. It was like, “This is your gift to us. You’re documenting us.” And I could get that. I was down with that. I think the greatest part was when I found The Bawon and Maman of the cemetery. (This is usually reserved as the oldest burials in said cemetery. I couldn’t read the inscriptions on them, exactly. However, it felt right. Not only were they slightly off by themselves, but they were obviously a male and female headstones so close by. It was like, “Yeah. This is it.”)
After a while, I brought some of my things back to my car, but came back for some more picture taking.
That’s about when The Sentinel of the cemetery let it be known that he was pissed I hadn’t already taken his picture yet. There was this… groaning moan and the rustle of leaves at the little entrance of the cemetery. I turned and there was this lone stone with a Vet flag flying dully beside it. I knew that he was the one who watched out for all the others. And I knew that I had fucked up, a bit, by not introducing myself or by taking his picture first. He didn’t really mind, so much, as wanted just to let it be known that he was there. So, I took his picture, too, just to be on the safe side.
All in all, I wasn’t there for very long. It was freezing as hell. The drive all the way home didn’t even warm up my hands from all of that hullabaloo. I had to get in the house before I really began to warm up. As a parting gift, I gave about two shots each of booze to the Maman and Bawon headstones. I also left a little tea light burning on that overturned headstone. I think all and sundry (me included) were pretty damn pleased by all that went on. I plan on going back in a bit to see if my tea light burned down, like I hoped it did.
I had fun. It was great. I want to go back and finish documenting the rest of those rusting old tombstones by moonlight. I can’t wait.
* When I checked my bank balance, I found that I had a lot more money in there than I should have. I know this is because of Papa Legba. It also explains his silence lately: I’ve been ignoring checking my balance because I was worried I’d be below what I need to make last until my first unemployment check. So, now that I’ve checked it, I know what to do. It’s time to buy him his skull.