Monday, July 24, 2006

Sixteenth Lesson

Tonight my teacher takes me in the embrace, and there's a small pause. I immediately begin to analyze what I could be doing wrong - it's a long list, so I'm still going through it all when I hear:

"Planchadora...did you practice last night?"

Every night.

I sit on the floor, shoulders touching the wall, and stretch my legs without losing contact in my shoulder blades. I walk backwards for half an hour at a time, toes pointed until the last possible second. I practice the cross until my ankles need ice. I walk subway platforms in a perfect straight line. I practice ochos in the pantry at the office. I hold my elbows higher than my shoulders and stay there until my arms are numb.

I have no aptitude for tango whatsoever. I had imagined tango to be precise, but focused - the drill that bores cleanly through a brick wall to the other side. Instead, tango is the hammer; I hit the bricks endlessly, knowing that if I ever stop I will never see what's on the other side of the wall. I have no idea how long it will take to break through.

I don't care.

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