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.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

My Life is a Tango!

Is it a good thing or a bad thing to win a Heartbreak Competition? But of course it's not whose heartbreak was the biggest, but who wrote about it in a tango way. Traditional tangos are full of sad stories of broken hearts.

Life is full of heartbreak and ache of one kind or another and writing about it can be cathartic. I'm thrilled that something I wrote was selected by a panel of judges to be the "best." The heartache is still there, but winning anything makes you feel better.

My life with so much drama and loss and tragedy always was a "tango," and now here's the proof. My little autobiographical vignette, The Key, from my unpublished memoir, The Tango Dancer, won first prize in the competition and will be turned into a tango song with words and music by Marian Barry.

The contest was to promote Maria Finn's new book, Hold Me Close and Tango Me Home.

Here's my winning entry:


My old house sits under the full moon of Hollywood as I drive past where I lived so long ago. As always, the street’s ancient cedar trees perfume the air, and in the black night, the glimmering Observatory hovers above like a friendly space ship.

The courtyard gates are locked, but the closed windows shine from within and call to my heart. The drawn draperies glow like a candle in the window lit for me, calling me home.

It looks just the same as when I lived there so content with my husband, my children, my beautiful life—all gone now.

Perhaps inside the wrought-iron gates and behind the cozy golden windows is my old lost life. Maybe if I stare long and hard enough, I can catch a shadow of a vanished time, the comings and goings of a happy family. If only I had the key, maybe I could go in and find it all again.

What if I found the key and opened the door into another dimension, and came home?

Painting by Michael Austin


Nice and Easy Antiques said...

Congratulations! I remember growing up: my Dad's radio on...tangos 24x7, of course,...drama after drama. Now at 49 the lyrics don't sound dramatic at all!!! LOL!!!

Elizabeth said...

A tender and beautifully written piece Cherie. Congratulations.

Anonymous said...

Fantastic, Cherie!!! Congrats. I can't wait to hear your beautiful story set to music.

Frances R said...

Sad and beautiful. Congratulations on your win, very well deserved.

tangocherie said...

Thank you, dear friends and readers.

Yes, N&E, it's funny how we accumulate heartbreak over the years. When I decided to enter this contest, I had to decide which heartbreak to write about! That's the price of living.

Sallycat said...

Hey! I just read this piece. Cool. And nothing at all like what we heard at the Writers' Group was it? Blimey, you sure pulled a cracker out of the bag there. Get that memoir into print I say!!!
Cannot wait to hear the tango. You must ask them to play it at Los Cons. and you and R. dance to it for us... yeah?
See ya Saturday, SC