My Marathon Daze

It all began a long time ago…..last Thursday……well, it felt like a long time ago! When you get home at 5am, and get to bed at 6am, things have a way of assuming a somewhat distorted and protracted appearance.

Okay, so day one was all-night Latin dancing at Jazz Kitchen in Broadripple; and I mean ALL night (5.5 hours of hip-swishing Latin motion) well into la madrugaga, and by Latin dance, I mean Salsa Bachata, Merengue, and although not quite Latin, Reggaethon. This is a regular Thursday night event, but like every thing else in my life, it really becomes a matter of when I can catch a break in my very disciplined schedule.

So for anyone who loves Latin dances and the percussive, gyre of Reggeathon, put this on your schedule. Jazz Kitchen is the best: safe environment, outside cabana (for when you want to chill, or chat) smoke-free (statutorial, yes?) excellent and friendly dancers (very low rate of anyone trying to hit on you), and the best part – FREE for ladies before 10pm.

Now with that kind of incentive, you have no excuse to sit at home, biting your fingernails, staring at the phone, willing it to ring!

So that was Marathon day 1, now to return to my story:

Marathon day 2 – A repeat of day one (7 hours of singing, dancing, and just merriment). Friday night, at the Music Box Karaoke, in support of the Muscular Dystrophy Association benefit…..oh, and well, yes, to see and chat with my old friends there, the unusual suspects (Larry, Rob, Carol, Rachel (and boy, you’d think she lives there!), Rhoni, Dan, Bill and Cindy, Karen and Howard,……and the list goes on). We sang ourselves hoarse until 5am (well, I left at 4:30am), but many went into the next day and night. And these lovely folks are here  every  week, Thursday to Sunday.

Marathon day 3 – Saturday night Milonga (5.5 hours of dancing in 3.5-in heels)! Why, Chicago, of course! This time, it was at Los Besos Milonguita, but with the same great pals: Matthew, Arash, Bernardo, other folks whose names elude me, and other wonderful folks, whose acquaintance I was priviledged to make that evening. To mention a few, Peter – an amazing dancer, who is the dancer in my video, and Marco, who was gracious enough to invite me to stay in his home for the night rather than make the 3.5-hour journey home at 3am.

I must comment here, parenthetically, that I have danced Argentine tango worldwide, and I am constantly warmed and amazed at the unquestioning alacrity and openness of tangueros and tangueras. I have not as yet figured it out, but there is a distinct lure and addiction to the dance, and one becomes a victim once introducted to AT, and it may be that same opiated mindset that one operates from, which impels one to unhesitantly, and almost irrationally open one’s home, vehicle, and arms to a total stranger.

I am here reminded of the time when I visited Ithaca, several years ago, and danced at Harvest Moon Milonga, where I met (and enjoyed dances with) the DJ, Ira Goldstein, and his lovely wife and hostess, Tessa Flores. At closing, in the wee hours of the morning, even though my drive home was some 1.5 hours (Rochester, NY), this lovely couple absolutely refused to allow me to make that trip, and insisted instead that I stay in their guest house (yes, emphasis on house, and not room), a private little Shangri-la beside their home.

Needless to say, I was quite humbled (just as I was last Saturday evening, when confronted with Marco’s invitation) and touched that total strangers, people with whom I have had only a momentary encounter (did not even share a dance with Marco last Saturday), would be so willing to allow me to pass the night in their sanctuary.

I don’t believe that I have sufficiently thanked Ira and Tessa, or Marco, but in these types of situations (and I have had many others, although not related to tango), words are meaningless and almost cumbersome, as it is simply noumenal; distinct from phenomenal…..where the absence of words is more weighted with potency than merely saying ”thank you!”

I can only hope that they know the depth of my gratitude, not for the night’s rest, but for the trust therein contained in their gesture.

So at the close of my marathon week, I sit contentedly with an (almost) event-less week, soaking in the quietude and reflecting on the beautiful folks that comprise our fascinating world…….well, my microcosm, at least. And I’d like to say a special thanks to those of you who are intricately interwoven into the silken fabric of my life. Matthew, you are proving to be an invaluable friend, albeit nascent. Merci!



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