I hope you are all optimists, like me. One of those people who think the selling starts when the customer says no. Or who drive into the center of Amsterdam, confident they’ll find a parking spot this time. In high school, I pursued for four years the favours of a girl who burst out laughing every time I approached her. It didn’t discourage me: the only reason we’re not married now is that my friends told me it wasn’t wise to call after she got pregnant and moved in with a guy with a beard. This kind of blind optimism is very necessary for organising milongas when a cloud seems to hang over us.
Sure, I have been thinking about quitting the milonga. I wasn’t supposed to organise it for more than ten years anyway and it’s eleven years now. Weird pandemic mails, from people I thought were perfectly reasonable, were adding to my doubts. Getting into a conflict with our usually amicable landlord didn’t help. He called us ‘unreliable’ for offering tea to dancers after the agreed 22:00hrs bar closure. And how about Amsterdam parking rates soaring? You have to be an optimist kicking off and not knowing if you’ll be able to pay the DJ or the rent or if you’ll have enough stamina left to make sure everybody has a good time. Also, I don’t have to remind you that I, as they say, am not getting any younger either.
But hey, I’m an optimist. Sometimes I find inspiration on YouTube? Todd Rundgren, the musical genius that blew me away in my adolescence, playing a live version of his classic A Wizard/A True Star masterpiece. Alive and kicking at 73! Paul McCartney and Bob Dylan launching their tours again and our boys of 18 and 21 longing to see it. Clapton will be here this summer and we got the tickets! The Boss is doing stand-up on Broadway. Van Morrison is still performing like way back then. And how about the Stones? How can Keith Richards not be an optimist? Goddamn, these guys still have it! There is hope! Let’s walk and don’t look back!
As I said, I hope you are all optimists too! I’ve always stated that a milonga is a place for healing, not for controversy. You may have noticed the mild tone of my tango blogs? That’s my proofreader, carefully double-checking if anybody might take offense at whatever I write. She suggests to me to refer to ‘ladies’ instead of ‘girls’, and so on (if this offends you, you know who to blame). We need your optimism. The optimism, for example, that we’ll finally make the floor less slippery, but then again, not too sticky either. That people from out of town will love the cheap public transportation options. That I’ll go back to exercising regularly. Yes, optimism it is from now on! And oh, while I’m at it, a small dose of amnesia might come in very useful, too.
Published: 12 Feb 2022 @ 17:27