Moneypenny - on Peru and Salon Canning
There’s something about how they dance together, your eyes just seem to follow them. I don’t know if it’s the romantic in me but wouldn’t it be grand if they got back together? Here, once again right under Richard’s nose?
Their tanda is finished. Bond, as always, offers his arm to escort his partner back to the table, our table in this case. Sabrina gracefully accepts but releases him just a few meters beforehand, as if she wanted to keep him away….
"You danced beautifully," I venture to say as she sat down. "How was it? Have you missed dancing with him?" "He kicked my heel in the second sacada of the left giro. That man never could do a proper sacada; can’t even pronounce sacada properly, after all these years his Spanish is still hopeless," she replies. "Go dance with him, he’s trying to get your attention," she adds, pointing towards Bond.
I get up and make my way to the pista where he stands waiting with his arm out. "The two of you were wonderful," I start saying, hoping to get something more from him than I had from Sabrina." "That woman should change her shoes for something lower, more age appropriate. She almost fell over in the giro, causing me to miss my sacada. We looked a mess! Come let’s dance!" he blurted.
I finish my tanda with Bond and before the next starts, I have four heads nodding at me; the cabeceo, you see, is how the men of tango woo their next partner; in this world, men are still the hunters and women the hunted; the reverse just isn't done...or not commonly done. Not that that’s ever stopped me from cabeceoing someone myself, or dancing in pants, or in flat shoes beneath the disapproving gaze of all of them.
Tanda after tanda I am asked to dance, I can barely get a sip of our Dom Perignon during the cortinas. Then, all of a sudden the music stops and we are told that our host, Richard, will indulge us with a song. I look around, Sabrina has disappeared without saying a word, as she always does. I catch Bond’s gaze and he nods towards the entrance hall, holding up five fingers. We make our way out the door, towards the gates, he's much faster than I am, I knock down a candle and spill wax on my shoes as I try to keep up with him. By the time I exit the gates, Bond has already hailed a taxi.
“San Telmo, then on to Recoleta, por favor" I tell the driver. as soon as I step in.
"I’m too tired for the explanation now, but you have to tell me what just happened tonight. All of it. I’ll see you at Canning, old man?" I say to Bond.
"You will, young lady. Oh and while we’re at it, I have a question for you," he continued, "Was the cat alright? It did make the most dreadful screech", he adds. Before I could say anything, we pull into the curb, I was out of the taxi and he was off on his way back to Recoleta.
My alarm goes off, it’s 9:30, PM that is of course, Buenos Aires is on the other side of the world, it’s only natural that we live upside down as well. I get dressed for Canning, my red backless dress and my silver Comme il Faut’s. I take a taxi to Palermo and 20 minutes later I arrive at the hall.
Biagi is playing as I walk in, I look around and see him sitting in the far left corner, he looks up at me and I start making my way towards him.
“Bond, you are here already?” I ask . “Moneypenny, I thought you wouldn’t arrive until midnight?” he replies. "Well here I am, shall we dance? I just need to put my shoes on’’ I add. I put my shoes on, and struggle with my left strap, the wax from yesterday has made it worse I think.
As soon as I'm ready, we dance our first tanda under the watchful, and critical, eyes of the regular tangeros. Canning is a very exclusive crowd in the tango scene, or at least they like to think of themselves that way. In my opinion most are just over the hill dancers who pine over their lost youth and create rules of decorum that make them feel important.
We finish our tanda and Bond extends his arm to escort me from the pista. "Bond, may I sit with you this evening, we still have to talk about what happened last night." I venture to say. He looks at me, "Of course you can join me, old girl" he responds.
What did I have to lose really? I had made no real plans, I just bought the ticket, threw a few things in my backpack and ran away....
Moneypenny I take the note, start to walk towards San Telmo while trying to make sense of what I had just seen. Was this a secret...
Mr Bond I flash a smile towards Nancy the waitress, and without a word she arrives with a second champagne glass for Moneypenny, who...