I'm in bed at the moment, because my throat is scratchy, my eyes are hot, and I generally feel as if I might be getting sick. I really don't want to be sick, so I've decided to take preventative measures by drinking a Lemsip and...um...going to bed and blogging. It's an odd time of year for me to get a cold (which is what this feels like it could end up being), so I'm going to blame it on some anonymous person at one of the milongae I've been to - a friend of mine who goes to them is also sick, so I must be right. Also, my friend O. told me last night that the assignment of blame does not need to be logical, so if I want to blame it on some unknown person whose germs happened to be floating around a huge room, I can. And I do, so I will.
My bed is very big, and I lie on the left side (right side as you face it), because that's where the bedside table with the face cream(s) (that's right: creamS) and the hand cream, and the journal, and the stack of books-I-really-mean-to-read-and-two-I-am-reading are. This means that when I look down and over I see what seems to me a vast expanse of bed, usually with some vaguely mounded-up duvet. This, of course, makes me think another person should be in the bed with me, which you would think would naturally lead to thoughts of sex. I would think that, too, but in fact it leads to thoughts of...picnics. Yep, you read that right. I think it's because the bed is SO big that it looks like an expanse of ground on which you could easily sit and have a picnic, but I also think it's because - since the bed dominates the room - it seems like the most logical place to sit if you want to be comfy.
Also, frankly, I love bed. First of all, I could sleep for England (or Germany, I guess), and I love waking up with someone beside me. It's not just that, though. Bed is so snuggly: you get in, and it's a bit mooshy but not too mooshy, and if it's cold you can pull the duvet all the way up to your chin and your nose and snuggle down (plus, my winter pyjamas have gnomes on them, so I love putting them on). If you're sitting on the bed, it's somehow already relaxed and vaguely intimate; probably because the surface is unstable, so you relax your body's natural tensions, but also because "bed" does equal "sleep" and "private." I've never sat on a bed (feet as well as body) with anyone and not ended up in a situation of revelation or at least semi-intimate discussion.
Which leads me to S. We were skyping a couple of days ago, and somehow we ended up talking about the times when we were in college and sat up until the early morning talking to each other. We never did anything else in those times (except eat), but we spent hours surrounded by the silence of the night, talking about the world. S. would tell me stories from his past (this is another thing to add to the list of highly attractive qualities: story-telling. S. had wonderful stories, and he told them very well [well, it was he who told me the pencil story. I do have a fondness for gruesome stories]. Mr. Fallen had terrific stories, and he told the first two or three of them on the first night we were together - and I was lost [his were funny, another favourite kind]), and I would tell him stories from my past. He said to me on Monday, "I loved those times." I loved them, too, and they always happened on his (as it happens, giant) bed. Perhaps this is another reason why I associate bed with happy non-sexual intimacy.
Which in turn leads, as all roads must, to tango. Last night I went to the Tuesday milonga, which I think of as the pivot milonga (that is, it's the one I know I'm going to go to; it's the constant). There was the MfB! Yay! And there was the MfB's Spanish friend, R. I danced with R - not so good. At the end of the evening I danced with the MfB. It was terrific, but it would be. Part of its terrificness, however, was that the MfB led me through many, many giros, almost all of which I did with smoothness and comfort (although they were still TOO BIG) - and the MfB didn't even know I needed to practice, so he was doing them for his own enjoyment! Anyhoo, in the middle of my dancing with the MfB, R. came rushing over and said, "May I tell you something, if you don't mind?" (Note, tango-dancing men: this is an excellent way to begin asking someone to do something differently.) It turned out that he wanted to tell me that when I danced I put my head on the MfB's shoulder. In fact, this is what I do when I dance with everyone, although if they are tall I rest it on the pectoral area. But, R. told me, he'd used to do this, too, and been told that it actually causes problems with connection and balance. Connection is supposed to come from the chest (the heart) in tango, and if you're resting your head on someone's shoulder your chest naturally moves fractionally away - also, because your head is so heavy, your strongest connection becomes the head/shoulder one, not the chest one. He told me to lift my head - and by God it was better! Thinking about it as I then danced, I realised that in fact I never plan to put my head on the other person's shoulder or chest: I close my eyes, and if I'm with someone, the automatic step after closing my eyes is to rest my head against them. Conclusion: stop doing this in tango (other, nicer conclusion: I really am a snuggly person).
I know you're expecting a joke (perhaps even the octopus joke...), but I'm brain-cramping at the moment, so while I think I'll tell a story. On Sunday I had dinner with a bunch of friends, and after the eating was over we started telling lots of jokes. As one of his jokes, S.A. told a joke I'd heard before: it requires one audience member (me, the first time I heard it) to supply a word without thinking, thus becoming the victim of the joke. It's pretty funny, even if you are the victim. Being forewarned, however, I refused to be the fall guy this time. The problem was, I was the only native English speaker in the room, so when it came time for someone to supply the word automatically, no one knew it! Which in turn meant that S.A. had to sit there going, "Um...um...what's the word?...You know the stuff....Um...um..." for about three minutes, with progressively increasing frustration and apparent insanity (since no one but me and another person knew it was the punchline, he just looked to the others like a man having the world's longest memory lapse and madly refusing to give in to it). I think this is one of the funniest things I have seen in the past five years. I actually laughed so much that I cried. It was WAY better than the original joke.
And now...a joke (not the octopus joke, though. OWWYHTLFT?). Mr. Cohen's lifelong dream is to be a radio announcer, and at last he gets an audition. He tells all his friends about his exciting opportunity. He goes for the audition, and after he comes back one of his friends calls him up. "How did it go?" the friend asks. "I didn't get it," Mr. Cohen says. "Why not?" says the friend. "The usual reason," says Mr. Cohen. "Anti - s-s-s-Semitism."
And now I better get dressed and live some life.