Oblivion

 

     

 

The tango’s music is sad, he thought, because the dance must end.  And there had been a sadness about this New Year’s Day - a day without much dancing available, since for the professionals it was a holiday.  At least the tourists had been able to dance on the patio at the tango house.

              In the pre-dawn darkness now, the “Paris of South America” seemed a lonely city of concrete and closed shutters.  But soon the dawn would bring whiteness and the birds would start to chirrup ‘La Cumparsita’.  The birds always sing tangos in Buenos Aires.  Their favourite orquesta has to be Canaro’s.

              Adam was staying with Pablo, a friend and a teacher who had stayed with him in London.  He let himself in quietly, but Pablo was out or asleep, more likely the former.  Adam made himself a herbal tea.  He stretched out on his bed.  The Norwegian girl’s remark had got to him.  In the business of Erica, he was a follower.  Of course it was different when they danced a tango.  The tango is a dance that must be led.  In a turn, the man moves his chest, then his hips - and he leads the woman into all of her gyrations.  If he ceases to give her energy, she will stop moving.             

               But now he had started this business of looking for Erica.  And that made her his leader, in a sense.  He was trying to meet up with her for practical reasons, he kept telling himself.  She was free now, since both Ramón and Estragon seemed to be out of the picture.  Adam wanted her as his professional partner.

              He also wanted her as a woman.  After all, she was exquisite.

              They had danced together once.  More than once.  But one time was special. He had first taken classes with her and with Estragon when he was a comparative beginner, in London.  Then, on his first visit to Buenos Aires, she had been one of his regular teachers.  Eventually he had plucked up the courage to ask her for a private lesson.

              She had been terribly strict with him then, and hadn’t wanted any pressure from his arm.  The embrace should be protective, not directive.  Erica had told him that she could turn around him alone.  Only his chest needed to turn in front of her.  She had removed his hand from her back.  She had not let him touch her.  Not with either hand.

              He had never forgotten the intensity of that experience.  Her breasts matched his chest.  Their bodies seemed to turn together, just through the power of their eyes.  They drank each other in without contact. 

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