After a few short hours I awoke, still quite intoxicated. I was expecting a savage hanover, but it never materialized. I lurched into the bathroom to wash my teeth, and burbled into the mirror, "Is suono mortissimo. Morte. Mortissimo." and then staggered down to breakfast. I joined Z and someone else, and said, "I'm sorry to say there is no champagne left in Venice. I drank it all." I bolted down some breakfast and then had some more against future hunger. I went back upstairs and fell asleep again until nearly noon.
Eventually I got up wandered over to the Per San Marco, which was unbelievably jammed with peope. At every step of the way were throngs and thongs of people of every nationality. Normally the pigeons are the main attraction in the P. San Marco - but on this day and during all of Carnevale, it was the people. The pigeons sat atop the Ionic columns brooding angrily in the general direction of the tourists.
Eventually I made my way to the Grappo de'Ua, the hotel where C, A, and Ta were staying. Ti, Z and myself and some others sat companionably in the common area drinking some ine that C's father, To, had brought. We noshed on ham (well, prosciutto really) and excellent cheese. That morning we had improvised a King's Cake and Z found the token that indicated she was to be one of the witnesses at the wedding. During the course of the morning, she chose Tr to accompany her, which was a classy and generous choice on her part since Tr and K are so close. By the time, we were at the Graspo de'Ua, K & S were close to married.
Rumor has it that T officiated at their wedding, where they read vows cribbed from Shakespeare and then rolled the vows up and left them in the jaws of the lion by which they had been married. A lovely and romantic ceremony - and talk of why they had chose to their friends from it was as thick as pudding. But the talk was all sweet and fond of their eccentricities, so if it was talk like pudding, the pudding would be rich and delicious, and you'd really like it.
Ah, but I think I'm running days together. Somehow I've lost track of some of the details. Actually I'm sure of it because I'd forgotten the Night of The Albanians, which was the day before the wedding.
Somehow we were out on a wondering with C and co. C. mentioned that his father's friend had insisted that Albanians were the bane of travel in Venice - never spent a cent and always rude.
Ah yes! This was T.G.'s day - where we all showed up dressed as the Cardinal's Guard to escort him. It was a surprise that was supposed to delight him, but he was so hung over after the Ballo de Suspiri that he didn't even notice when he came down to the lobby, and instead grumbled about not having a mask, and went back upstairs to get one. Throughout the day, people would mistake us for Musketeers (who wore blue tabards, with the fleur de lis, whereas we wore red with a cross..) and when they did, we 'd holler, "Donde muskatieri? Donde??"
No one got it. Oh well.
So by that night, CP, myself and TP were fairly polluted, and CP kept bellowing about Albanians. I suppose I might have egged him on just a little...
At one point, we wandered through a square where a band was playing and a great mass of people were dancing. I looked too long at a couple of kids playing soccer with a wine bottle, and suddenly Ta, petite pixie that she is - was just gone. We regrouped and found her eventually - meanwhile TP continued his habit of growling, "Fotografia?" at passers-by like a drunken dire-wolf, desperate to get his picture taken. A few obliged him out of fear or humor, and others just looked at their feet and hustled by in that "don't make eye contact with the jesus-shouter" way.
Eventually we found ourselves at a bar nestled under the Ponte Rialto, where a cross-dressing waiter named Guido served us enormous steins of beer and denied hating Albanians, much to CP's frustration. He tried with great vigor and persistence to convince Guido to tell him how he really felt about Albanians, but Guido stuck to his story about not having an opinion about them at all. We know he was just messing with CP though.
Outside the bar, I had been accosted by two swarthy guys wanting a picture with me in my Cardinal's Guard uniform. Just as he snapped the picture, the guy said, "Smile, this picture is for Osama bin Laden!"
I was shocked. Before I could gather the mental equilibrium to say anything other than "Fuck you! I'm an American!" They were gone. In retrospect, i whould have tossed him in the canale, and his friend after. I looked for them for the rest of the weekend, but didn't see them fucking Albanians!
Sometime after that, CP and TP walked, or rather lurched, with me back to my hotel. I figured we'd need to be contacting the consulate on their behalf the next day. Rumor has it tha tthey broke into a bar for more beer on the way back, but I can't confirm or deny information to that effect. Must have been some Albanians...