It was a muggy evening. Shiny pearls of perspiration reflected the spot lights hanging above the bottles on the back wall of the bar. The scent of a hundred hot bodies seemed to take on colors of their own as they floated over the frantic pace attempting to keep up with Rodolfo Biagi’s oxymoron tango El rapido. Resting on one of the bar stools, he had an unobstructed view of the dance floor several feet away. Next to him, she was in a voluptuous love affair with a glass of cheap Chardonay. Her eyes took her deep below the surface of the blond liquid and into another dimension which only she could describe.
There was something odd about the way he kept time with the music with his tapping foot. At first it seemed that he accentuated the second beat with a singular syncopation, but then he appeared to lag behind Biagi’s almost obscene fingering of the high notes by holding the full rotation of his foot around his ankle for two whole notes.
Actually, he was thinking back two Tangos ago when he was carefully bringing his partner around into a half a turn. The later version of Osvaldo Pugliese’s tango Recuerdo was being played. They were at the point where a bandoneon and Pugliese’s single high note flirt with each other for almost an eternity. It was then that he had been struck on the left foot by a flying shoe attached to a frightening mass of muscle set on a gyroscopic trajectory. The shocking pain and the oblivious attitude of the couple, that continued bumping their way around the dance floor enthralled in their own selfishness, had left him pondering about the evolution of his Tango dancing experience. He had logged a few years under his feet after that first evening at the theater. Unconsciously he had been nursing his sore foot hoping the pain would go away so he could accept the overt invitation that was being glanced by a pair of gorgeous blue eyes from the table on his left.
The reverent platitude of their meditation was suddenly shattered by the crashing sound of the stool next to him as it went flying. It was struck by a fishnet clad, shapely and muscular leg. As in a slow motion dramatic scene, his eyes tried to focus on the fallen stool; the stiletto heels of the black shoe; the elongated calf muscles. A milky white thigh flirtatiously dissapeared into the long slit of a sexy black skirt. Unmistakable Argentine round hips, sensuously shaped at an early age by a steady diet of steak, ended in a slender waistline that resulted from years of training. Her long black hair partially covered the muscular embracing arm of her partner. At the moment, he could not place the familiar body.
He connected his thoughts and he began to remember. A few years back he had sat on the edge of his seat mesmerized and star struck by the intricate tangling of legs and bodies on stage that inspired him to learn to Tango. His companion at the bar slowly took another sip of her Chardonay, held the libation for an instant between her tongue and cheek and while deliberately swallowing whispered in his ear, “when you wish upon a star, also wish that you don’t get struck.”