"So, pick and choose. Improvise. Hide away. Run after them. Stay still. Move at an astonishing speed. Shut up. Scream a rumor. Turn around. Go back without returning. Upside down. Let your feet do the thinking. Be comfortable in your restlessness. Tango." Tango and the Political Economy of Passion by Marta E. Savigliano
Something is up, but I don't know what. I'm restless. I'm writing, but nothing is good enough lately. Nothing comes out the way I want it to. With my friends, I'm either reaching out or pulling away, but never still. I'm dancing more because I'm having such a hard time writing. I want to dance until the buzzing in my head goes quiet. All my thoughts feel like white noise with no content - like the scrolling headlines on the news channels. It's all important, so none of it is. There's just too much.
No more excuses . . .
At least there's one more tiny victory. I no longer start every tanda with a new leader with the words, "I've only been dancing a few months . . . " I realized it ultimately doesn't matter. At first I just told myself I'd see how the first song went. If i completely embarrass myself, then I'll say I've only been dancing a few months. As soon as I stopped beginning with that statement, I started dancing better. I thought I was lowering their expectations by warning them that I was still fairly new. But I wasn't. I was lowering my own expectations. And I was, in turn, dancing to those expectations before dancing with my partner. When I stopped saying those words before the tanda started - I didn't need to say them later.
Saturday night wallflower
I was a little gloomy Saturday night at Esquina. So many people I didn't know at the milonga. At one point almost half the room was filled with people I didn't know. It's been awhile since that's happened. It was like starting over. I was nervous. This was my favorite venue - my most comfortable milonga, and I was turning into a wallflower. I tried to cabeceo a leader I've really been enjoying dancing with lately, but he was across the pista. In the low light I couldn't tell if I was cabeceo-ing him, or the bar stool next to him. (My vision really is that bad in low light - even with contacts.) Embarrassing really. Eventually he came over to me, thank goodness, and we had some lovely dances.
I also had a good tanda with a gentleman I always seem to be annoyed with lately. Maybe he's baiting me. You know what, I'm sure he's baiting me. He says I dance better when I'm angry because I stop thinking about dancing. There might be something to that, but it's still annoying. At practica he told me I should learn to do something some particular way (I'm sorry I should remember what that was he told me to do but I was so annoyed that I forgot it.)
Anyway, he said, when you learn to lead, you'll need to be aware of . . . ( whatever that was that I've already forgotten.)
I answered, why would I want to lead? I can barely follow - I don't want to learn to lead.
You should, he answered, all of the good ones do.
The good ones what?? Ms. Milonguera doesn't lead, I shot back triumphantly. (Ms. Milonguera is one of the dancers I most admire not only for her dancing skill and grace, but also for her very generous spirit within our community. So I did not invoke her name lightly into this argument.)
Well, she should!! as if that was that. Finito.
Ass. I'm so going to blog this! Ha. I got the last word. I turned on my heel and strode to the bench.
Damn. He was so baiting me again. I could hear him laughing behind me.
Great. DH has weighed in on this argument after the fact. He thinks I should learn to lead too. It might make me a better follower, says he. I think he, along with my grandmother, have grand ideas of me becoming a tango teacher (so that I can afford my bi-annual trips to Buenos Aires that I day dream about incessantly).