(Adding a few things that went to Facebook notes, but never made it to the blog. Originally published May 28, 2010. Picture courtesy of Morguefile.com)
You know that friend that you might call if you ever get into a lot of trouble - like "ending up in jail" kind of trouble? The one that you'd call to bail you out and then she'd tell you everything is going to be okay. You just need to get your life together and make good choices (for instance not the one that landed you in jail), and all it takes is the right attitude. And possibly the right man (or woman). Do you have one of those? I have a few.
Tango is not that friend.
Tango can't bail you out of jail, because tango probably got busted the same time you did. In fact tango was probably driving. Tango isn't going to tell you everything's fine, because it's not, and tango is all about telling you the hard truth. She'll also probably tell you that your ex deserved it. And tango sure as hell isn't going to lecture you about good choices, and putting your life in order.
Tango is going to sit in the cell with you, crying, smoking (can you still smoke in jail?), and agreeing that this situation well and truly sucks. Tango may remind you of the last time you ended up in such dire straits. And that it sucked then too.
And then tango is going to crush out her cigarette, put her arms around you and hold you like there's no one else in the world that matters to her as much as you do. And she'll tell you that the most important thing, the thing that really counts, is that you're not alone. She understands and you don't have to put your life together and make good choices for her to love you. She loved you just for showing up.
Perhaps, back in her childhood, her lark’s voice
acquired that dark intonation of a back alley,
or maybe it is the romance she only names
when she gets sad with the alcohol.
Malena sings the tango with a somber voice;
Malena has the sadness of a bandoneon.