Tuesday, 4 January 2011

El Tango

The room was dark, smoky, warm, crowded; she wasn’t entirely sure why she was here…or how she got here. Like the beginning of a dream, it felt like she was asleep. Maybe she was. Shadows, people she didn’t know if she could just remember something.

She couldn’t really see much- there was a dancefloor, a band was playing on the stage- it looked like some sort of social evening. Maybe she should get a drink- try to piece it together at the bar.
As she turned to head to the bar, she walked straight into his chest.
“Oh gosh, I’m so sorry”
He didn’t speak, his face totally obscured by his hat, the shadows covering the rest.
He wore a sharp pinstripe suit but that was all she could make out- more embarrassed about not watching where she was walking.

She moved to walk around him but he stepped to block her path, she looked up and in one move he grabbed her wrist, he held it firmly and began to pull her in the opposite direction.
This really did feel like a dream, things like this don’t happen in real life.

As she looked around the room, to try and call out- she realised no one was watching, they were sat in groups or couples and they were totally absorbed in what they were talking about- she wondered if they even noticed her. They all looked happy, laughing and joking in the shadows of the room she suddenly realised she couldn’t understand their language.

She allowed herself to be led by him, in a dreamlike state she arrived at the dancefloor. As they reached a place he released his grip- this time he took her into hold. The band began to play a Tango.
She was a competent dancer, but for this type of dancing she didn’t know these steps. He began to dance.
“I’m sorry, I can’t Tango”
He ignored this, continuing to dance around her, the strength in his body masculine, making elegant shapes.
She felt clumsy, trying to get his attention- he wasn’t listening.
“Excuse me, I don’t know the steps”
She moved as if to leave the floor.
He blocked her as he had done before, this time taking her into hold as he began to lead.

“You don’t belong here”
She sensed anger in his words…her failure to comply with the dance only fuelled this more, the staccato steps, the speed of the movement she felt totally lost.
Lost, frustrated and still confused as to why she was here and what was happening. Yet relieved that someone knew what was happening.

“Listen to me” he whispered in her ear.
“Dance with me”.
His voice was gravelly yet strong, his direction was comforting. She allowed herself to press further into hold- her chest close against his. There was something attractive about his assertive demeanour. She was so close to him, his aroma got into her head, slowly she remembered something. A dance… small steps she learned a long time ago, bit by bit.
For every experience she had ever had there had been a lesson, growth, a step. She was feeling memories, dreams, everything she had ever experienced bringing her to this moment- flowing into her head at once- it was too much to process. She closed her eyes.

Suddenly silence.

The cackling laugher of the other people in the room stopped- they were all there, she knew if she looked they would be there but all she heard was the music...and his breathing. She opened her eyes and fixed her eyes on the dance floor- she was no longer thinking- she was connected to her partner. She could anticipate his moves and match them, the moves became fast and then slow- she extended and he directed, all the while joined at the chest, her heart beating close to his.
There was no need to think at this time- he knew the way, he was the way. All she had to do was stay in hold and dance his steps.

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