15 November 2009

Yo Soy La Milonga Longa

Tonight was the autumn all-night milonga, much anticipated and eagerly attended. And indeed it was very good, although this seems to be one of those nights when I managed to alienate or escape the attention of every man I know, bar one. I did see my VTTT, and also OSF, but neither one danced with me. Indeed, only once was I danced with by someone who wasn't already my friend - although to be fair I came home early because my feet are in agony, so who knows what might have happened? As it was, though, it's one of those nights where if you wanted to you could believe that you'd done some unknown thing to make everyone mad at you.

I don't believe that, though, and it isn't what I want to blog about. What I want to blog about is my FTT. I haven't mentioned him for a very long time, and you might have thought he'd left. But no! He's still very much around, and in fact he plays a larger role in my life than he ever did. Just not as my FTT. But he still dances tango, and he sometimes still dances it with me. And he danced it with me tonight, and while he was doing so I realised that I love dancing with my FTT more than anyone else I dance with.

I think my VTTT is the best tango teacher in the world. I'll have other tango teachers, I know, and they'll probably teach me all sorts of cool and interesting things, and because I'm more advanced I'll probably learn more with them. But no tango teacher, I'm willing to say now, will ever be as good in my eyes as my VTTT. He was exactly right for me. And in just the same way, I don't believe I'll ever enjoy dancing with anyone else as much as I enjoy dancing with my FTT. He takes you in his arms and it's like...it's like trust made into action. He smells just right, and the way he holds you is gentle, but simultaneously certain: you feel that he knows everything about how to do what you're about to do together, and that he'll make sure you do it smoothly (of course, this is true. I see him dancing with other women, and I can see how he's reading them to learn how to compensate for them, but to compensate in such a way that they never know he's compensating). And his steps are so small, and even when they're not small they're intricate and clever, so when you follow them, if you're going to follow them as well as you want to, you have to be him a little bit. It sounds mad, I know, but it's sort of like dancing with a parent's whisper, or with the hand they stroked you with when you were little and sick, and at the same time it's like having an intensely private experience - not sex, but a private experience - in public.

Now another thing. The dress I wore tonight comes up to my middle back, and when we were dancing he put his hand on the portion of my back not covered by my dress. Of course he put it on my lower back as well, and for the most part, but just for a few seconds he put it on my bare upper back. He didn't mean it intimately, and I didn't take it intimately: it was where he had to put his hand to guide me, and it was where he happened to put his hand. But simply as a physical experience rather than a gesture with intention behind it, and indeed in the very casualness of its assumption of necessity and acceptance, it was the most intimate physical gesture I've experienced in months. And it felt so nice.

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