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.
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
Tanguera Tales: Carlos
Listen, sister. I don’t dance and I can’t take time out now to learn.
--Frank W. Wead, U.S. screenwriter
Carlos, for someone one meets in a Buenos Aires milonga, had everything: his own one-bedroom apartment, a job, some English, and good looks-- gorgeous full lips, huge soulful dark eyes, and a head of thick black hair.
He was actually single, and generous, too, and always paid for everything. He gave Roxanne dozens of beautiful roses, and often lugged a giant English/Spanish dictionery around on their dates so they could communicate better. Sweet, thoughtful, honest, all that. A good man.
He also had cockroaches in his apartment, millions of them. Who can live like that? Roxanne wondered. What kind of person doesn’t do something about it? Moreover he wasn’t good in bed. And those nights she stayed with him, she wasn’t happy either in the bed or playing tippy-toe with the roaches in the bathroom. He would fix her breakfast in the mornings, but she was afraid the food had cucaracha footprints on it.
When she returned to Toronto, he wrote her romantic and sweet emails.
A voice inside tells me that surely in the future I will be near you.
I have nice dreams, dreams which were sweet and quiet. In my
country times are very hard. I tell you that only the milonga
makes people happy . But one person will be in my dreams,
because without them life is sad. I remember you.
I would like that our friendship will be stronger than any virus
and will never be destroyed. I am an idealist and romantic.
The life is short too if when one realises the time passed.
Only the deep feelings remain in our life and you have marked
my heart. Our spirits will see the next century.
We`ll dance tango and this way our souls will be joined forever.
The big problem for Roxanne was that he couldn’t dance.
Well he thought he could, but he was terrible. Dreadful. Roxanne hated dancing with him, he only did two steps and those without any relation to the music. Yet she really liked him as a person, his kindness, sweetness, good humor. That’s why she went out to dinner with him, went for walks, to the movies. That was preferable to seeing him at the tango dances because it was awkward trying to dodge him.
It got so she wouldn’t look at him at the milongas to avoid dancing with him, wouldn’t even say hello, and she could see him eyeing her angrily from across the room as she danced with others. She felt awful, and wasn’t surprised when one day he very bluntly told her not to email him when she returned home or contact him ever again, it was over.
Maybe they could have worked out the roaches and the sex thing, but his dancing—never! Too bad, Carlos was the only decent guy with honorable motives Roxanne ever met in Buenos Aires.