After eleven years living, dancing, teaching tango, and writing in Buenos Aires, I came home to L.A. in 2014, where I'm reconstructing my life.

Monday, July 03, 2006

The Rules of Addiction

One in a series of tango poems by Astrid

The rules of addiction:
One: you keep doing it
Two: every time you do it you feel happy
Three: it turns your life upside down but you don’t care.

Today I wrote of bloody feet
And undone laundry
And family being neglected
To woman who begged to know
How do you take out your garbage
how do you dust
And how do you wash
When you’re a dancer and
A member of Tango-L?

I don’t, I answered
You are right
We just dance.

She asked:
“Is chasing that tango moment
out of desperation
to fill the emptiness in
our heart?

“Yes”, I said.

“Or is it a way to order our lives
So that we can do something that
Inspires us
Makes us each smile
And the laundry be damned?”

“Yes”, I said.
Read what Cherie wrote in Buenos Aires:
“During my stay I didn’t shop
or sleep or eat except
naps and
food on the run, and I lived on wine.
At midnight I would wrap my feet
And pad my toes and stuff them
Into spike heeled pointy tango shoes
And hobble to the elevator.
I suffered til
Blessed numbness set in
An hour later.
Then the music began and
I would float on air across
The hard cement
Until the morning.
After two milongas I’d have breakfast
And then go home and peel the shoes
Off my bloody feet
And soak them
And then fall into bed
Smelling of men’s cologne
Deliriously happy.”

So, go all you addicts
You dancers and poets
And milongueras
Spend your life
Forever running after
The moment that
Makes you happy
Because most people
Don’t even do that.

Copyright: Astrid

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