Tango

One of my favorite blogs is an Oxford-grad-cum-stripper writing ever faster for her green card, passionate but lost at the same time in this kind of 20something ennui.


Link to Mimi in NY

(Note that since she published her book and got her green card there is much more ennui and much less passion. We are always more interesting when we’re unhappy. I love her writing. Page back two years or so and you will see some beautiful stuff. Now, alas, it is mostly hazy rambling.)

Excerpt:

The music of tango is the hoarse curse of the woman to her lover. It’s the insolent hand that creeps to the cusp of a man’s hipbone, retreats, silent and knowing. Tango is the woman’s dance. Even if the man leads, the woman follows not in compliance, but absolute assurance of where that step will land, knowing even before her partner does where they’ll go. It’s the constraint that makes the tango, the unfulfilled offer, the delicate tracing of steps in an elliptical struggle between lover and whore, passion and passivity. Tango is the dance between the prostitute and her client, in the days when whoring was illegal and brothels assumed a semblance of respectability by claiming to be dance schools.

I stand in yet another bar in heels too high, sip souring drinks and smile pleasantly at someone who I will fuck yet never call, and it’s all I can think of, the dance. The twirls and the giros, the touch and the retreat, the moment of arrest when eyes lock and pupils dilate, a glance down and away as we continue the steps – the front ocho, barrida, gancho, media-luna – so choreographed and practiced over years of sad, sorry, sexual experience, too much experience. A dance we know so well that there are no surprises, though we may gasp at an unexpected improvisation, a slight deviation from the known.

Maybe it’s because sex and dancing were so inextricable in the lonely years I was in Manhattan – writhing in some asshole’s lap, squirming and gasping onstage, a hand tracing another woman’s curves while some jerkoff reaches into his pocket for more Benjamins – that this dance became akin to that other one, that sexual tango I keep living over and over again with devastating predictability. Life becomes one huge milonga, and entering a bar I’ll catch sight of my compatriots and our eyes will never quite meet as we feign, like those whores in Buenos Aires, that it’s just a dance, it’s nothing more than a dance.

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