I have never known so many generous, kind, sensitive and loving men at one time, as I have since I started tango.
One tanguero in particular, one of the first gentlemen to dance with me, always greeted me so warmly at every milonga that I thought we must have known each other in a past life. As I watched him make his way around the room, with his deep voice and bear hugs, bringing a smile to every person he came into contact with. I never saw his kindness, gentleness or patience waver. Not in the three years since I started tango. He didn't need acquaintance in a past life to make someone feel like family, it was just his nature to treat people that way.
The last time I saw him, he was relaxing in the deep, comfy black couch (that once seated in - is remarkably difficult to get out of) at Esquina Tango watching the milonga swirl chaotically in front of him. His eyes focused past the dancers, to everywhere and nowhere in particular. He smiled a soft, somewhat tired smile, patted me on the hand and asked how I was. We chatted for a few moments, about everything and nothing in particular, and then a cabeceo brought me out to the floor. I could still hear his deep, booming voice checking in with everyone who passed by.
Within days of finding out that he was sick - before I could see him again and check in - he was gone. We all thought we had more time.
His deep, laughing voice is still in my ears, but he is now too far away to hold.
“So I learned two things that night, and the next day, from him: the perfection of a moment, and the fleeting nature of it.” ― Margaret George, The Memoirs Of Cleopatra