The uninvited.


imageWe didn’t do it on purpose.

A2 and B2 wanted to get together again and we settled on Thursday.  They suggested organising a group to go to to Tangoloft.

But when we checked it wasn’t listed.  So we put the word out to go to another one,  unknown,  inconvenient,  and  brief.  Then B2 called back “Tangoloft is open tonight. I just found a Facebook invitation.”

Since Tangoloft is generally wild and happy I wore a wild new outfit.  During my first dance with A2, simultaneously my costume malfunctioned and The Hat walked in.  When you see The Hat you know that bad times are ahead.  He rarely dances,  and only in places with a lot of unwarranted attitude.

“I’m going home to change,  I’ll be back in an hour.”

On that ride I had two revelations:

[1] How is it possible that I’ve learned to mark every move in tango,  and improved my revelling in same while marooned on two Pacific islands with no one to dance with and not enough bandwidth to watch YouTube,  and here in Berlin with all their resources, they’ve just given up marking most of the tango lexicon and on revel’s technique entirely.

[2] And another thing that’s hard on me is having dance friends with whom I do not have enough of a relationship to give corrections. A few sentences would be enough to make a big difference,  but I can’t do it in the milonga.

I got back by midnight,  geared up for a better night than I had anticipated,  and lost the plot.  Three of our crew didn’t show,  and instead of focusing on A2 and B2, I tried to get into the marathon-style crew (later to be identified as Fundamentalists) who, it turns out intermittently occupy Tangoloft.  I figured enough people have seen me dance now that the shoes and so forth are no longer a barrier.  I know there are some in that set who know more than Ochos and need to practice,  so let’s get it on.

It took two hours for me to realize that the ones who kiss me hello weren’t even going to do that.  At 215 I left,  and once I was outside I cried.

I know when I’m outclassed.  I’m easily intimidated by girls with beautiful back ochos.  But there weren’t any.  There were two girls who were reasonably strong dancers,  maybe better than me,  hard to tell when the vocabulary didn’t test them.

But the girls who were dancing all night were tall,  skinny,  long legs,  and several wearing mini-skirts, (which works for tango when no one is leading voleos).  It was just not about dancing.

Aside from the uninvited guests,  there were no women marking or men revels.

In truth I never quite got my desire organized for any of those guys.

But I also forgot that the point of the night was to dance with A2 and B2. It didn’t feel like a place to learn and play together, which is what I anticipated we would be doing,. And I felt to have the best chance with these guys I needed to conform and not dance open embrace in their special party. I chose the wrong side.


Silences in history. Silences by code. Silences of fear. You already know that Tango’s silences can be sublime and they can be devastating.

What I do in my blog is use myself as a lens – sometimes a microscope, sometimes a telescope. I try to be as honest with myself and you as words concede. Then I try to find a deeper meaning and imagine a pathway for us.

A blog post can be a fragment, a wisp of inspiration, an outline for thinking. A book must complete and reconcile it all. Now I drag the social scientist to the scene to enumerate the facts of the case, the mystery which brought both stardom and tragedy to my life.

I invite you to join my resolution to take a look at the dark silences of Argentine Tango in our lives. It’s time.


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