Looking back and recalling a litany of milongas, I realize that too often I took for granted, as a sine qua non for everything that followed, a strange woman’s consensual embrace. This prelude to three or four mesmeric Tango songs, experienced as seamless physical and mental synchrony with the music, is what I miss the most after months of Coronavirus seclusion.
The meeting of eyes across the room, the intent but unhurried approach, the offering of a hand, her casual and non-committal assent, and my guiding hand on the cool of her back, now assume near-mythical status as I step onto the dock at the bottom of my garden and cross the sea-marsh into a misty, moody sunset.
I am alone, accompanied only by a Tango stream on my phone. Deeply I feel the absence, for months now, of a woman’s arm aligned with mine, her body brushing mine, her breaths in my ear quickening my own.
And so, I dance thoughtful steps alone on that dock, my arms embracing ghosts of one, or another, or really all of my milonga soul-mates. I recapture moments of Tango unity whose exception and beauty I overlooked back then, and long for now.
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