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Alkiviades Profile
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the tango-tactic


"Do you know how to tango? I love tango!"

"Oh, I know how to tango"
  
 Do I ever...

I tried to avoid this. I did my best to seem aloof and detached (OK, not my BEST best). The first day she smiled I played dumb. I just knew she was trouble (and not the right kind either). The second, I hid behind the bar, preoccupied with nothing . Eventually she wiled up and decided that a trap-door conversation would be the best course of action. You know what I mean. Your just sitting there, projecting your self god knows where and "BAM!", here they are, fresh with some stale opening meant to lullaby your defenses. In this case, I was at work and so I had no recourse but to accept the beating I was about to receive. Her opening jab was a trite commentary on the remarkable openness of Greek society ("They don't even ask your age when you buy alcohol") followed by a left-hook query ("where are the really trendy bars?") which segues nicely into the hay maker finisher ('why don't YOU show me around tonight?") . Punch-drunk and eager to end the match, I threw in the towel and agreed to meet my assailant later on. For drinks, she said. And bad conversation, I thought. Toss in some forgettable sex and you have the most tragi-comic of trilogies. Unadulterated joy, I tell you, pure unadulterated joy.

You really have no choice with these attractive/coercive-types but to go with the flow, see where it takes you. The fact of the matter is, these types of people cast such a dizzying spell, that you may have just sold your soul and your heart would be none the wiser. Fortunately, I had already made that pact long ago and was thus free to delve into the the car accident that would follow. Don't get me wrong, I liked meeting new people and sharing our "selves" as it were. Its just that, by 22, I had already arrived at the conclusion that "new" people where already few and far between. Generally, the people you meet are just repeats of someone you've already met. A bad joke you've already heard. Not many originals out there, I find. Worst of all, the average person you meet is "ruse" personified. They smile, they laugh, they smell all sweet and nice, but I swear, if you scratch the surface even a tiny smidgen, the savage stench of spirit compromised most certainly will arise. It smells a bit like burning plastic. Materialism, nihilism, societal conditioning and slave mentality do a bang-up job on narrowing down the human experience. It's as if they have no real name.I don't mean the one the one they were burdened with at birth either.....

Her hotel was a stones-throw from the Acropolis, which in-turn was conveniently situated next to all my "preferred hiding places" (re. dives). Unfortunately, I would not get to visit any of them that night.

As I meekly entered the hotel lobby, her presence stabbed out at me. So shiny and fake, as devour-able as could be, I could already sense self-resentment creeping up on me.... I decided to take her to one of my least favorite clubs in the entire world, the one that had its name written in Sanskrit right above the entrance. Sure it looked nice, all those swoops and curves, but for all I knew, It might as well have said "Enter Hades Here" and I would have been none the wiser. She was from out of town, though, and I wanted her to feel comfortable, among her vain brethren. Fashionable zombie girls with sad smiles painted on. Haughty-types with an air of apathy. Faux intellectuals full of self-importance. Yes, this was her crowd.

As for me, well, it's like they say, sometimes you've got to suck it up and play-along, be noble in agony.
Most of my character traits are dubious at best, but if there is one good thing you can say about me, it is this: I am noble (in the polite sense) to a painful fault.. Yes,my entrails were churning. Yes, my belly was aflame in agony. However, I could'nt back out now, not when there was mind-numbing conversation to look forward to....

What a blast that turned out to be. Have you ever met one of those people who berate you with empty superficial talk? It's just awful. It was as if she had taken a machine-gun from out of her purse and was peppering me away with bullets of pure boredom. As each one tears through you, it carries away a piece of your flesh-fabric as a souvenir. And there is only so much of us to go around. I should have expected this, but I was fooled by the minuscule size of her purse, to be quite honest.

To make it out alive, one has to develop a strategy. Me, I like to practice a crude form of astral projection in such instances. My body may have been trapped in that swanky prison-cell but, let me tell you, my mind was somewhere in the Antarctic, playing with a pack of seal pups. I was having a pretty good time up there, until a polar bear appeared out of nowhere and said:

" Do you know how to tango? I LOVE tango"

"Oh I know tango"

 What does she think I've been doing all night?
Jul/31/2011, 8:14 pm Link to this post Send Email to Alkiviades   Send PM to Alkiviades Blog
 
Christine98 Profile
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Re: the tango-tactic


hi Alkiviades,

Welcome to the board! Look around, make yourself at home. Back tomorrow to read and comment on your post.

Chris
Jul/31/2011, 9:56 pm Link to this post Send Email to Christine98   Send PM to Christine98
 
Terreson Profile
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Re: the tango-tactic


Talk about making a grand entrance! Welcome to the board, Alkiviades. Cool screen name too. Nice and Greek like.

A delightful field note you bring, something I can sink my teeth into. Yeah, the bar scene, world wide, is such a resource for characters and for the slightly jaded, over-used, suspicious observer. I can't help but get tones of both Chandler and Hiassen in the telling. Yes?

Back in my bartending days I met up a bunch of times with the type your bartender(?) describes. The femme fatale type, only not really, since, lacking the class of a Marlene Dietrich. But I was never of much help assuaging the boredom moving them forward. Tended to walk away feeling sorry for them. What your note brings to mind.

Fun reading. Good writing. You got more of this kind of stuff I'll be your huckleberry.

Tere
Jul/31/2011, 11:12 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
Christine98 Profile
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Re: the tango-tactic


An entertaining read. Love this line:

"here they are, fresh with some stale opening meant to lullaby your defenses."

Cheers,

Chris
Aug/1/2011, 8:17 am Link to this post Send Email to Christine98   Send PM to Christine98
 
Alkiviades Profile
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Re: the tango-tactic


Howdy,

This is just some zany stuff I write from time to time. My own "Field Notes", I suppose. Silly madness of the past. It's funny, but when I read it, I imagine the guy is a variation of Holden Caulfield.

I must cofess to not having read the authors you have mentioned(!). I've spent the last few years reading mostly Greek and a little Spanish. Hiassen sounds familiar, though ...I beg your pardon. It is late here and you will have to excuse me if I cannot recall what may be all to clear in the morning.

I am enthoused at being here. It has been quite some time since I have read or heard the phrase "I'll be your Huckleberry" and having it re-enter my life is surely as good an omen as one can wish for. emoticon


Aug/1/2011, 5:17 pm Link to this post Send Email to Alkiviades   Send PM to Alkiviades Blog
 
Terreson Profile
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Re: the tango-tactic


So I like your take on what makes for a field note. A fun notion, n'est pas? This field note thing. Sometimes I need to get away from poetry with a capital P, the essay with a capital E, the short story with two capital Ss, and the novel with yet another capital. Here I am able to get stuff down, usually part meditation, part observation, big part experience, all journalistic, without preoccupation with form or genre. But everyone gets to set their own notion of what makes a field note a field note.

Two quick items. If you are into both Greek and Spanish language literature, and have the facility for making translations, our forum, In Translation, is a pretty cool spot for the purpose. It is a members only forum and so gives protection from robotic search engines.

Also this, since you are new to the board. I read everything posted. I comment on most of what gets posted. I read and comment on all creative type posts, poetry, prose, photography, and artwork. But I got a physically demanding job, especially in summer. I tend to give the brain over to the big stuff on the weekends when neuron paths are cleaner, less cluttered with debris and a day's detritus. I'll get around to everything, as will most of the board.

Tere
Aug/1/2011, 7:20 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 


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