It´s Saturday. I am going to Leonesa to dance. This milonga is always crowded. It does not matter what time of year, there are always people. Good music, good floor, and good people. Sometimes if I am lucky there are good dancers.
I come to this milonga because I like the people. Everyone is friendly. There is no attitude. People that come to this milonga want to socialize and dance. There are no hidden agendas. If there are, they are so well hidden that even I cannot find them.
As I come to the door way, the guard greets me. She works here on all the days there are milongas. She demands to know where I have been on Friday nights. I laugh and tell her sleeping. I have been too tired to go out. Too much work.
As I go up the stairs some men I know are leaving and greet me. I pay my entrance. As I walk to the bathroom to change my shoes a man that I have not seen in ages greets me. He throws his arms around me. "Cuando volviste?" he asks. "Tanto tiempo." (When did you return? It has been a long time) "It certainly has" I tell him. "I have been living here for 3 years."
I don't remember his name. I danced with him a couple of years ago at Lo de Celia's. I just remember that he was a good dancer and a nice man. He put up with my beginning dancing and stayed with me until I could dance. Not that many men have that kind of patience. I promise to save him a dance.
I walk into the salon. The place is packed. It is only 7:00 and you can hardly move. The waitresses greet me. I tell them I meeting friends here. They take me to the table we are to meet at. Janis is there and so is an Argentine woman I have not met.
I look around the room. I see many men I have not seen in ages. Is it the weather? Today is one of the first really nice days we have had. I watch the dance floor. I need to go on my kissing rounds. Greeting the men with kisses is the best way to let them know I am here.
I come to a table of guys who are in their 70s. "Hola chicos" I greet them. One laughs "If we are chicos then you are the nena." (If we are boys then you are a baby) "What do you mean," says another. "Of course she is a baby, but you are still an old man." They all laugh. They want to know where I am sitting. This way they can invite me to dance.
Juan Carlos with the beautiful blue eyes is here. I know that means some good dances. I am excited. It has been awhile since I have gone to a milonga where there are lots of good dancers. Not only that, good dancers who will dance.
I look around the room. There are many men here I have not seen in ages. Before I can comment this to Janis, she says the same to me. It is not long before I am dancing. I do not even have time to stop and think before I am invited to dance the next tanda. It has been a long time since I danced this much. I know that tomorrow I will pay for it. My hip will remind me.
Dominico takes me to dance. He always wears a suit. He is a tall slender man. "Do you remember the first time we danced together?" He asks me. I tell him yes. It was at Viejo Correo. I thought he was stellar. I thought he was a show dancer. Silly uninformed me. I think it was my second time here that I met him.
"Who would have known that I would end up living here." I said to him. "It was your destiny" he said to me. "How so?" I asked him. "Because even then," he said to me, "when you were really just learning to dance, you understood." I just love these cryptic tango messages. I say nothing, and just look at him.
"I remember your tango escenario steps." He continues. (OH GAWD!!! I wish I could forget that period of my dancing. It was sooo embarrassing.)"But you always listened to the music. That is what you understood. That was what was inside you. The rest was just practice."
Now what am I supposed to say? So I say nothing. When the tanda ends he like the gentleman he is walks me back to my table. "I am glad you live here now. I like dancing with you." I thank him and sit down. It is always the music.