Friday, January 14, 2011

The cat and the tango

Years ago, in a previous life, I had a cat named Einstein.  Einstein was a gregarious and friendly Maine Coon Cat.  Black, white and very hairy.  He would climb up on anybody's lap to take a nap.  His purring was loud and he was insistent on being pet by everyone who came over.  My friend Adam, who didn't particularly like cats, would tolerate Einstein rubbing up against him and, it was obvious, actually enjoyed the cat's unwarranted attention.  One day, walking in the neighborhood, I noticed a stray kitten in a nearby alley.  The next day, I passed by and saw him again, so I went home and got some cat food.  A few days later I brought him home.  I told Adam about the new cat, but explained that he was an alley cat.  That he was terrified of everyone and everything.  Whenever Adam came, he would pet Einstein and asked about DaVinci.  I would explain that when the door bell rang, DaVinci would run like hell to hide somewhere.  One day, when Adam came to visit after sitting down, he looked around the room and finally said, "You've been telling me about DaVinci for many years now."  I agreed, saying it had about five years. "Do you know what I think?" He asked, quietly. "I think you made it up. I think you made up that cat. There is no other cat here.  It's just Einstein, isn't it?"

Years later, in another life, I met a guy name Derek, at the airport in Buenos Aires.  He told me that he was going to spend a couple of months there to learn to dance the tango.  He told me about the lessons he was taking. They were different and challenging, compared to lessons he had taken in the U.S.  He posted, on Facebook, about his nightly trips to various milongas (dances) and about the very late nights, or shall we say, the early mornings.  He posted links to videos of various people dancing tango, which were fascinating. But it dawned on me that I have never seen any videos that show Derek actually dancing.  And this evening it slowly occurred to me, "Where’s the cat?"