“So you do exist! I’ve been looking for you at every milonga in town, I was beginning to think I had imagined that night at La Viruta!” He says in a tone of reproach.
“Wow, your English has improved!” I exclaim back, to which he responds smiling: “My English has always been good, only last time you weren’t so interested in my linguistic skills, not my English ones that is”. I could feel the blood rushing to my head; I was blushing; he was right, I had only wanted one thing from him that night and it had little to do with whether he spoke English or not.
“You shouldn’t have left like that”, he adds. “What did you want, a thank you note?” I fire back. “No but at least the chance to let me make you coffee and establish some possibility of seeing you again” , he responds. “It just wasn’t the right moment for that. Let’s dance”, I ask him, to which he responds with a cabeceo.
He takes my hand and we walk onto the dance floor; the first tango of the tanda is ending, it’s a D’Arienzo tanda. We stand in front of each other in silence; he’s not looking at me but rather at my body as he slowly wraps his hands around my waist and gently pulls me towards him; I can feel his longing for me and feeling it so surely, only intensifies mine for him. He then grips my back with one hand and slowly slides his other hand down my right arm all way down to my impatient hand. We move together into a close embrace, it's perfect, like two pieces of a puzzle coming together.
The second tango starts, another D’Arienzo: ‘Hasta siempre amor’, I love this tango. We don’t move quite yet; he shifts his weight from left to right, pressing his body against mine, and then, with one long first step we start dancing. I’m nervous, I’m shaking but I try to control it. I close my eyes and try to focus on his lead and on my breathing which is getting heavier with every step. I feel as if everyone is watching us, as if they all know, know what we're both thinking, both wanting; I relish a little in the attention we're getting.
The tango ends, a slight shiver goes through my body and I pull away from him so that he won’t notice the effect he’s had on me. “Never pull away so quickly, always hold the last position”, he says to me. “I’m sorry, I thought the exhibition part of the night was over”, I manage to say, trying to sound indifferent to him. “It’s not about exhibiting, it’s about etiquette, tango etiquette.” he smirks back.
As we wait for the next tango to start, he lightly caresses the back of my arms, running the tip of fingers in circles around my elbows and shoulders; all I can think of is kissing him and running my hands through his thick hair. We had kissed in the middle of a tanda at La Viruta, right there in front of everyone, a clear break of all tango etiquette; but it was La Viruta, very late on a Sunday night and everyone there had their own secrets to worry about.
The following tango starts, D’Arienzo, El nene del abasto this time. We dance and the more we dance, the more I feel like myself turning into putty in his arms. I open my eyes to try to regain some control over myself, I look for Bond; he is dancing with a slim blond; he’s enjoying it, but it doesn’t prevent him from keeping a close watch on me; he knows exactly what's happening, I hate how transparent everything about me seems to be to him.
The tango ends, I hold the final position, just like he told me to do. “Thank you, that was lovely, I almost didn’t want it to end”, I manage to say to him. “So don’t let it end, let’s go and dance the night away somewhere, anywhere you like”, he replies. “I’d love to but I can’t tonight”, I respond and look towards Bond, who is already sitting at our table. “I see, you’re not alone tonight”, he responds staring directly into my eyes. “It’s complicated, it’s just not the right moment now” I manage to say. “It’s complicated, yes, you seem to have perfected that concept. Go then and hopefully the next time, it will not be so complicated” he says while I lean in to kiss his cheek and take one last opportunity tp press my body against his.
“That looked very ‘intense’ old girl, you seem flushed. Will you be alright?” He says smiling his little smile. “I’m fine”, I respond and add “You also seemed like you were in good hands”. “Indeed I was”, he responds looking in the direction of his tantalizing blonde.
Bond and I dance a few tandas and order another bottle of champagne to finish off the night. “Right old girl, I think perhaps eachother the best either of us can do tonight”, he says to me while pointing towards the door where I notice my Viruta man going home with the newly famous Ginger, the one who had seduced us all during the exhibition. I can't blame him; given the chance I might have gone home with her myself.
Her equally enticing partner, the Fred Astaire to her Ginger Rogers, seems to be himself captivated with a young blonde he has been dancing with the entire night and Bond’s own blonde is nowhere in sight.
“I think you might be right Mr Bond, we have been left of our own devices it would seem. Shall we make our way back to the lonely streets of our San Telmo?” I ask him. “Right, I’ll send for a car”, he replies, for a second I'm reminded of how I got here and picture my handsome driver wrapped in Sabrina's arms. “No, don’t, let’s take the bus, like the ‘normal’ people of this city. You do know what a bus is Mr Bond, don't you?” I tease him. “Not only do I know, Miss Moneypenny, I'll have you know that I have a bus card!” He exclaims back. “It’s just one amazement after another isn’t it!” I retort with a hint of irony.
And so, like two regular porteños, we took the bus back to the empty, almost nostalgic, streets of San Telmo we both so identified with.
Mr Bond There are some days when Buenos Aires is so hot and humid that San Telmo streets hum with the sound of the air conditione...
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...