old men & me
31/03/2010 § 1 Comment
Is it my non-anorexic figure, my old-fashioned morals radiating from my pores, my face round and soft as opposed to the edge-y, contemporary look that began in the sixties with Twiggy? For some reason, old men love me.
I decided to push my tango skills last night and went with some friends to a milonga, a tango dancehall. Although I only had a couple of classes, the overwhelming support from the group gave me that extra push to just go out and practice. Salón Catedral, Sarimiento 4005. Whoa, beautiful.
In an old church, hence the name, with 4-story vaulted-ceilings — showcasing an enormous, torn-up, plastic heart — a ring of coloured-Christmas lights, busted couches spilling their stuffing, is where I was taken to tango. It was more than charming, greater than endearing: it was absolutely, breathtakingly superb.
After a whirl with a friend, who taught me the basics of milonga etiquette, we made our way back to the group that was crouching on the last couches left. We sipped on litres of Heineken (because Quilmes is so ¨horrible!¨ Ha!) and chatted and sweated from the cumulating heat generated from the increasing pairs doing pasos on the piso.
Now, it is customary for the men to ask the ladies to dance, it would be absurd to change tradition, so, to my surprise, I was approached right away by this tiny, 70-something-year-old man. I just wanted to dance, so I accepted.
At first, he was very instructional, showing me how to glisar, or glide, or how to step like a cat. Then he showed me how my arms should be, flota, or loose, resting over his back, hugging him close and keeping contact with our chests. The final detail, and the one that made him fall in love with me, was where my head was supposed to be, my forhead pressed to his cheek, in a lover´s embrace. Dale. Sure.
After our traditional four-song pairing, I said I was going to back to my friends to hang out, chat, sip some beer, you know, 20-something stuff. He peeled me around, looked into my eyes and said, in all seriousness,
You think I am too old for you, don´t you?
Well, sir, that depends on what you are thinking.
I have been trying to come up with an answer to the question of why old men always want to talk to me. Maybe it´s because they are lonely and slightly perverted. Maybe they just don´t feel old, see a little lady, try to speak to her and find that she is polite and answers back.
Nevertheless, later in the night, when sitting in our cozy-couch corner, the old man approached me again. He swept my hair aside, wiped the sweat from my brow and asked me to dance.
I said, no thanks.