Thirty-five years ago today …

I was dripping with sweat, wearing a plastic garbage bag for a skirt, with gold sparkles stuck all over my face, neck, arms and legs that were digging into my skin like thousands of tiny sharp needles, getting high from smelling all the pot in the air, taking the occasional sip of rum from a flask that was being passed around.

There were hundreds of us there, maybe thousands — all of us having joined mas bands — waiting for Caribana (as it was called then) to start (it was already more than an hour late and we were baking in the extreme (30+) heat and humidity. An annual event, Caribana is a festival of Caribbean culture and traditions and the parade — which is a highlight of the month-long festivities — is always held on the Saturday of the August long weekend.

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