Saturday, May 4, 2019

A Beautiful Mexican Comes Sweeping in the Door

           During my weekly session, I spoke with Layla, the Brazilian sex therapist I met on the salsa dance floor.  I told her about my recent encounter with a gorgeous Mexican, Melody Sonora, whom I first laid eyes on at the U.T. salsa conference earlier that year.  Mel, tall and slender, had dancer’s legs, lustrous black hair, and obsidian Aztecan eyes.  She combined a beautiful creature with a shining presence and a body built for two.  While sitting in the lobby of the ornate, chandeliered University of Texas Ballroom, looking at the floor as I waited for the doors to open, I heard footsteps.  Looking up, I saw black suede boots with four inch heels, then skin-tight black designer jeans, then a black western silk blouse with red roses embroidered across the chest, and then a beautiful face ringed by curled black hair.  The coiled snake tattoo on her left shoulder, partially hidden by her blouse, should have warned me, but her looks had me too smitten to decode the hint needled into her body.  I later regretted my inattention, as her beauty masked her reality.  I gave her my card.  She called me the next day, and we began a long-distance relationship, as she lived in San Antonio, and I in Austin.

            Over the next several weeks, Mel revealed that she was 50 years old, divorced, with five marriages hanging from her custom Gucci leather belt, four grown children, and ten grand kids.  Dancing released her from the worries and strains of life.  What she didn’t tell me, at least not right away, was that she was recently released from a San Antonio mental hospital, which she entered following a mental breakdown precipitated by her fifth in an unbroken string of violently abusive husbands.  As I came to understand, she was half crazy, and the other half was on medication.  Mel, under the care of a psychiatrist, had her equilibrium maintained by the anti-psychotic drug Topamax, a.k.a. Dopamax.

            The Manufacturer of Topamax recommends that you call your physician if you begin to kill small animals while consuming this drug.  Mel endured large mood swings, from fear to rage, to shame, as she battled her memories of physical, mental, and emotional abuse at the hands of her “loved ones”.  With her story slowly unfolding before me, I became more and more engaged, as her situation was crack for my co-dependency issues.

            I felt an overwhelming urge to play Savior to the rotting lepers in her mind.  As our relationship endured, her mood swings became more and more problematic.  She would go from happy and carefree to angry and repellent in a flash.  Her moods were brittle, like a glass rod, bending under pressure only slightly before breaking with a loud snap.  She would change from sunshine and butterflies to rain and roaches in the space of a comment.  But, when she was nice, she was very, very nice.  I loved her when she was nice.  I still remember the taste of her smile.  I especially loved her when we were alone together on the dance floor.
            Layla listened to my rant with a non-committal gaze on her face.

            When I finished, I asked her:  “Well, what do you think?”

            She replied:

        “Most people have certain requirements for a good relationship.  Generally, things like sex, comfort, and companionship head the list.  What you want is someone who loves you like you love you.  But, at the end of the day, you have to take a hard look at yourself, and then come to Jesus.  Some people are the exact opposite of “good for you”.  You need to be able to recognize when you are in a dead-end, destructive relationship, and get out, even if your self-indulgent, lizard-brained pleasure center is happy rolling in the puke generated by the misery inherent in such a relationship.  Mel has been broken by her experiences, and she can only drag you down with her.  Get out NOW”.

            I sat sadly looking at her, shaking my head no, all the while knowing she was right.  Now, everyone has baggage, and what you have to do is weigh the baggage and see if you want to pay the shipping costs.  Well, I checked, and Mel had a thirty mule team pulling her baggage train.  She was as crazy as ten rats in a burlap sack.  Still, I knew in my heart that underneath all that craziness and suffering and pain there was an eight year old child dying for love.  As I left the session, I resolved to ignore Layla’s advice, and continue on in my relationship with Mel.  I thought perhaps Layla was overreacting, and everything would be fine.

            That next week, one of her exes contacted her, and she suffered a psychotic relapse that broke through the Dopamax.  She drove me in the ditch, pulled her plates, and split.  I still miss her, the way the memory of a painful, infected tooth lingers on after an expensive trip to the dentist.

            I have learned something, though.  From now on, when I meet a beautiful woman, as soon as possible I’m going to check her purse for drugs.  Not only coke or crack or meth or barbs, but finding an anti-psychotic like Dopamax will make me run like hell.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Tango night

I went to Ricardo's tango team recital Sunday night.  While there, the M.C. introduced me to a couple I didn't know.

He said: "This is Robert.  He's from the salsa scene."

I smiled, and said hello.

Saturday, March 2, 2019

The basics

So, we're at Ul Ultimo Social Viernes in Austin.

He:  I don't know how to bachata.

me:  You need to take lessons with Sidney and learn how.

He:  Yeah, I need to learn the basics.

me: I've had good dancers tell me they'd rather dance well to the basics than half-assed to a thousand moves.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Call the wambulance

She:  You've ruined me!

me:  How so?

She:  You told me cha cha cha should only be danced on 2,  and you taught me how.

me:    And?

She:  And now, if someone asks me to dance cha cha cha, and they're not on 2,             I can't do it.  You've ruined me!

me:   Waah.


Last Saturday, Cienfuegos played at Central Market North. While I was there,
I danced with Illiana, who runs a horse stable north of Austin, where she offers
equine therapy for autistic children. It seems a special affinity exists between 
autistic children and horses. There are several equine therapy centers in the U.S.,
and Illiana, along with several other women, provide training seminars in cities
across the country. 

About half way through our dance, I leaned over and remarked: 
 “It must be hard for a horsewoman to be led around the dance floor like this.” 
She nodded yes, and replied:
 “This is why I tell the other women at the stable they need to take dance 
lessons, so they can learn what being led feels like to a horse.”

San Antonio talent

San Antonio salseras have a certain look.  I've learned to spot it in the clubs.
They are more sophisticated in their dress than the more laid-back Austin

Last night, I spotted a San Antonio girl.  She looked like a beginner to me.
I asked her to dance.  On the way to the dance floor, I said:

"You're from San Antonio, aren't you."

She turned to me and said: "Yes, how'd you know?"

"Just a guess,"  I replied.

She said:  “I’m a beginner, so go easy on me.”

I said ok. We began with the basic step, and she was way too stiff and self-
conscious and contrived, but I could sense her talent.  I said: 

“Honey, you have the look, and you have the talent, you just need
repetitions. Let me lead you. Relax, take a deep breath, and follow your hand.” 
 She did, and we had a good time.  I hope to see her again.

The ex-wife

Last night, Estafan came into DNC and said :

   “Geez, on the way here, MoPac was full of flashing lights and signs saying 

'Lanes Closed’ and ‘Do Not Enter’. It reminded me of my ex-wife.” 

I laughed, and said :

     “Yeah, the High Occupancy lane was closed.” 

 He nodded in agreement.