Thursday, January 6, 2011

The answer is always, Yes, dance!

With gratitude for the inspiration of SallyCat--again.

Summer 2009:

I have just finished dinner in the apartment in Buenos Aires. L, my friend, traveling companion, and all-around partner in crime, has left to return to the States, as scheduled, so I face the prospect of almost another week by myself before my own return.

I had not realized how much her cheerful company had made the trip more fun--nor how comforting it was, in this city we knew so little, to have someone around who was generally as lost and confused as I was.

I noticed it immediately, after seeing her safely into her taxi for the airport: the little apartment was so quiet with just me in it. I cried a little bit, out of loneliness, and turned on the TV for some noise. It is the first time I have turned on the TV since I had been there--up til then I had used the radio, on what seemed to be a 24-hour tango station, oh glorious!--and I left it on all afternoon, into the evening.

As I wash up after dinner, I consider whether I should go out to the milongas that night. Would I really have a good time dancing, as homesick as I was feeling? It would be the first night I'd stayed in since I'd arrived. I could call Sr. and Sra. and make my excuses. Surely no one could blame me if I just took a night off to adjust and get my mood in order...

Uh-uh, said a little voice in my head. You didn't come all the way to Argentina to sit in your room and watch American sitcom reruns on TV! Think how L would scold you for that! You came here to dance, and you're going to go out there and meet your friends who are expecting you, and you are going to dance!

So I got cleaned up, had a fortifying bite of chocolate, and headed out to the milonga. And it was the best thing I could have done.

New Year's Day, 2011:

I am embarrassed and upset over the bad night at the New Year's Eve milonga in Nearby City. I sleep late on my cousin's couch, and then I laze around, reading, as long as I can. I put on an Internet tango radio station for noise.

As the sun starts to set, I know that I need to make up my mind whether I am going out this evening or not. If I am, then I need to start getting ready to go to dinner with my cousin.

I could just stay in, I think. Maybe it would be better to give the milonga tonight a pass. Spend more time with my cousin. Finish my book. Yesterday had been a very rough night, and surely nobody could blame me if I wanted to skip it tonight. With the mood I was in, would I really have fun anyway?

Uh-uh, says that little voice in my head--which sounds a bit like a drill sergeant, sometimes. You didn't come all the way here just to sit around in your pajamas and read! You came here to dance, and you are going to clean yourself up for a nice dinner, and you're going to go to the milonga and see whether there are any friends there, and you are going to dance!

And so I did. And it was the best thing I could have done.

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