Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Little Raging Bull in a China Shop of Horrors

Recently I went with some friends to El Beso, a milonga on the corner of Riobamba and Corrientes. Coincidentally, it was the first milonga I ever set foot in, as I mentioned in an earlier entry.

This time I was there to dance. Or at least attempt to dance. Perhaps lacking liquid courage, we sat at our table for about an hour, watching partners shuffle around the dance floor in counterclockwise orbits.

It was clear that what they were doing was not what I do in class, but it was close enough and, besides, Stella was getting impatient and starting to goad me.

At last I took to my feet. It was sometime around 1 in the morning, and the place had filled, mostly with well-dressed, middle-aged folk.

Once on the floor, I prolonged the requisite pre-dance chat until nearly all the couples around us were dancing, then, finally, took hold of Stella and started to move.

Like soccer, it’s bad to look at your feet and, in this case, it was impossible. The floor was packed, and it was necessary to take tiny steps, shuffle, start and stop. And for a few, brilliant seconds, I felt an integral part of the mixing, swirling mass.

Then, wham! A shoulder, an elbow, one annoying appendage or another, came into contact with another body, not Stella’s. There was no time to say perdón, and besides, I was laughing too hard at myself to get a word out.


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