"Un cititor trăieşte o mie de vieţi înainte de a muri. Omul care nu citeşte trăieşte doar o singură viaţă." – George R.R. Martin

Quote of the Day – August 2, 2017: Death of a tango dancer – Stelian Tănase

Eyewhite's orchestra was starting to whine. The sound was like cigarette smoke. An incurable disease was insinuated in your soul. Then he'd get cleay, languish, funeral. In an instant, the floor boards loaded with pairs. Gogu remained on the sidelines, waiting for the atmosphere to heat up. Three or four tangos didn't dance them, kept away. The god does not interfere in the novice games. He was asked by the knights to get into the ring. Anyway, he was getting dressed, and he passed through the room watched by impatient glances. Some wanted them to fall cut off by a knife. At the slum, that's how the enmities ended. Gogu raised an eyebrow, tightened his jaws, expectthe air in his lungs. It followed the reverence practiced in the mirror. That's what no one can resist. He didn't dance with anyone, only who knew the steps had the honor. He was a waist-lined, elbow up, stinging. The first chords were coming. The accordion melancholy fell. He looked her insolently right in the eye like in that Argentine movie Romance del diablo. Gogu's seen him 3,000 times. He was smothering from the cuff an immaculate handkerchief like the Holy Virgin and stretching it in the palm of his hand. There was the maximum sophistication at Akim. Tango and don't touch it. Only whipped cream, excitation, your hair was sbured. Where the hell had scoured this figure, because she was already crazy about the manners with which she treated her, Gogu, i.e. He was doing more than a compliment and a conversation on the terrace. Dissident Bubu Felix was launching a baritone beef tremolo stabbed. You could feel your heavy balls in your pants. You said it was Gardel, no one else. First, the sounds of the guitar. Then the violin bled, soothed a piano. Nostalgia, if you think Gogu would ever be nostalgic, would stick his claw in his heart. He was making his temples pulse. In eight seconds, he was starting to swing. He was slow, rare, gathered, patient steps, like the angel in the gate of the Holy Friday cemetery. Tango is an intimate conversation. Sounds whisper something in your ear. Few words, harsh and passionate. He entrusts you with a secret. That you don't have long to live. The woman stuck to you is life herself. Sober her breath, make her feel like you're being watched by the Devil. The tango made him ragged, with the first of nothing as a dismay. Sketch one step, add another one, spin in heels. He was staring at her intensely. He ripped his head to the side. She sticks her cheek to his. Aaaaah! It wasn't Gogu Vrabete who danced, it was the tango that used him as a tool. The other pairs retreated near the walls. He was a perfect dancer. There was no one left at the bar and outside. They were gathering to look at him. They stinged like a painting. It was the climate of the evening. all, with eyes on him and the dame he was clutching in his arms with fason. You could hear the voice of Bubu Felix, the greatest diseur of Fiume, Istanbul&Odessa. Leit Gardel, voice, outfit, look. Gogu danced until she felt her shirt wet in the back. Ochialbi announced: "Spritz, break! Knights are invited to the garden to serve Luther beer from ice and treat the ladies with the wonderful snacks & sweets offered by Master Zigu. Here you go!"

It was his world. Happy. Everything he loved most. Week work in the dust, run like crazy over there. He made money, he could handle it, he'd move where he had clients. It was covered with dirt, sweat, disgraceful, with the usual clothes, without the outfit – it was a tripod. On Saturdays&sunday, sprinkled with perfume, dressed just in time, with his slick shoes – became human. In the dance parlor was Gogu Vrabete. For that, he was cremating his shoes all day. He had some, special order from unwed calf, fed only beer, said Gore the cobbler. Shiny beak, heels, creaking on the go. The plaques made it when he hit the floorboards. It must have cost him a fortune. It was perfect, put on the black vest. He did not see his shoes in the corner at Vică lustragiul. He prefers to give them gloss with his hands. It was a ceremony he never missed. He was preparing them at noon Thursday and cremating them on Friday night. He let them dry in the marquee. He was superstitious, when the sun rose by a finger over dice & strings, he barely took the grooves on the stool in the yard. He was starting to rub them slowly with a soft taffeta cloth. The operation lasted about three hours, worked like a watchmaker. Until he felt velvety skin like a young woman's mouth, she wouldn't stop. He gave it late on Saturday morning. He'd let them in the air for a night, get in. When the sun was beating over the house and you had to hide in the shade, stop. He'd stop by Take's, between cages with singing birds, to cut his head, arrange his mustache in scissors, shorten his sideburns. He was wearing them, to the earlobe. The barber would take his razor-sharpcheeks until they were corned. To please him, he'd put old plates on his patephone. What do you say we listen to a potpour with Gardel? Gogu wouldn't have left, but he was in a hurry to shine at Akim. When he was in a good room, Take would take the mandolin from the wall and sing to him. The birds in the cages recognize their master and smug him happily.

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