Earlier in the week I received a phone call from this guy who identified himself as a reporter for Knight Ridder News Service. He said that he was based in Rio and coming to Buenos Aires. He was doing a story on people whose lives had been changed by tango. He had received my name from my friend Guillermo Alio, a tango performance artist.
Jack asked me a few questions and then we made plans to meet at my apartment. He was going to come when Roberto and I were teaching a private lesson. There would be a photograper. They wanted to follow me to the milonga.
After I hung up, I realized that I had invited two complete strangers to my apartment. So I did what every smart geek girl does - I googled him. Ahhh, the information that came up! This was not just any reporter, he was the bureau chief for Knight Ridder in RIo.
On Friday, after the lesson, Roberto informs me he cannot stay, he has to go to Baldosa to dance with this crazy Italian woman. She pays him a small fortune to dance with her. I understand the economics but I still want to kill him. Especially after he told me he would be there. He asks me to meet him at Baldosa. I tell him "NO". I only go to this milonga once a year, and I have been there already. I love Horacio, the organizer, but that milonga is not for me. Besides, his Italian client does not want me around. He promises to meet up with me later at Gricel. His parting words were "Don't worry, I will see you there." Right...
Because I have an entourage with me, I cannot have my usual table which is in front and seats at the most 4 people. Tonight we are 7 people. I have many friends visiting from the Bay Area. I explain the cabaceo to Jack and Diego, the reporter and photograper. Jack talks to my friends to find out about their tango lives.
He is surprised at all the people who come to Buenos Aires just to dance. I introduce him to my other Bay Area friends also here in Buenos Aires. Diego asks me to dance with someone, he wants to take pictures of me. Roberto is not there, and I loathe to dance with anyone else who would ask me. I explain to him that the best dancers will not dance for another 2 hours. Jack asks me why I just don't ask someone to dance. I explain to him that I cannot do this. No way, not under any circumstance. The only men I could do this with, are men that I would not want to dance with.
It is past 2 and still no Roberto. My friend Anne is surprised that he has not shown up. "This", I tell her, "is why I do not want to dance professionally." She does not get it. Diego tells me I must dance so he can take pictures. I look for someone to dance with. I know that there are plenty of horrifying choices awaiting me.
I accept an invitation from a man I do not like dancing with. I meet him on the dance floor. Diego follows me with his camera. As I dance he snaps millions of pictures. Now many men want to dance with me. I am a little depressed as none of them can A) dance and B) well...look like Roberto. I feel like a sack of dirt being shoved around the floor.
Diego shows me some of these pictures. "These will not work." he
says. "The men do not look right with you." Oh what a big surprise.
I am going to kill Roberto. He has never done this to me before. A
woman comes up to me with her Texas twang "Are you famous?" She asks.
I am not sure what to say. I am in one of my moods. "No." I tell
her. "But I will be." I am thinking for murdering a tangodancer. As long as the judge is an Argentine woman I should be fine.
As I walk to the bathroom, my Argentine friends want to know what is going on with me. I tell them that a reporter is doing a story on people whose lives have been changed by tango. They all know that I have moved here permanently. They are impressed.
In the bathroom another woman asks me if I speak English. I tell her yes. She asks for my card. I am not sure what she means. I have cards but they are for either teaching English or for Casa de Deby. Before I can ask she wants to know how much I charge for lessons. I guess she means tango and not for murdering tango dancers.
Jack and Diego want to meet up with me on Saturday. We plan to meet at Cachafaz on Saturday. They ask me to please find someone to dance with. They really want to have some good pictures of me. Uh huh....we are in Argentina my friends...I cannot ask men for things...I must wait for them to give them to me.
I am thinking of all the ways to torture Roberto. Maybe I can tell women he cannot stand in the milonga that he is in love with them. Maybe I can tell women he hates dancing with they are his favorite...hmmmm murder sounds much more expedient. No wait! I can lock him in a dark closet with scratchy Carlos Gardel records playing at full volume...