Next to the sound of fingernails scratching on a blackboard, the sight of a long arm hung over the man’s shoulder with a hand like a banana bunch pressing against the lungs or kidneys of a poor guy makes my spine tingle and shudder. Perhaps is something about the scratch that sounds like an animal in distress, or the violation of the integrity of the embrace that is as conspicuous and embarrassing like a fart in church.
It takes a concerted effort to go out of the way to hold a guy’s lung, kidney or hip, fingering his back, and pointing the elbow out and up, as if telling everybody that this guy doesn’t have any body presence and he needs to be held and poked in case he falls apart.
It also takes a lot affection to invite to dance someone who used to know how to embrace and was very caring about it, before the great floods of 2005. Much of the elegance, connection, and shared intimacy was swept away by the waters that drowned the city for weeks under a scorching sun. But one night there she was sitting next to me shooting the breeze with friend, so I asked.
She got up with a look of surprise in her eyes that matched my surprise when her left arm went up and around my shoulders the way she used to do back then. There was the magic of the tango bringing two human beings from different time periods together under the allure of violins and bandoneons.
While we waited for the second song of the tanda, she asked how was her frame. Your frame is good, I said, and we danced the next song. The warmth of blood rushing on a young body, the pearls of perspiration and the deep calm respiration are a unique gift that rewards a tango dancer who knows how to treat a woman.
On the next pause, she asked if there was anything wrong with her frame. There is nothing wrong with your frame I said. And we danced the rest of the tanda.
As we stood for a moment exchanging pleasantries, she asked again about her frame and what was I doing with my right arm around her back keeping her upper body from turning away and into me with freedom. Was there anything wrong her frame?
There is nothing wrong with your frame, I said.
My right arm around your back was embracing you to make sure we danced as one in the space we created with the embrace.
“MY EMBRACE” – I want to dance you in space occupied by the embrace of a man and a woman (Carlos A. Estevez (Petroleo)