Twilight Zone

During the 1960s, my sister and I were avid viewers of this television program.  The Twilight Zone was in a class of its own.  The program began with this introduction:

You’re traveling through another dimension.   A dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind.  A journey into a wonderous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. Your next stop . . . the twilight zone.

Often while climbing the stairs to enter the milonga, I feel as though I am about to enter a new dimension.  I want to leave the real world behind and cross over into another as I pass through curtains.

The milonga is a twilight zone — an ambiguous or unsettled state between two opposing conditions such as reality and fantasy.  Yes, we have a dance experience at the milonga.  There is no reality in the milonga, only fantasy.  It’s where people go to forget their troubles.  They go to escape into the fantasy world of the milonga.

The milonga is a place where everyone and everything is fine.  That’s part of the fantasy.  You hear, como estas? que tal? bien? si, todo bien.  The milonga is a fantasy world for those in it.  It is where they can forget work, money problems, the situation of the country, and grasp a few moments of pleasure in the embrace of a stranger whose name they do not know nor need to know.  Comments between dances are about the music, not about the real world outside.  Look around at all the smiling faces when dancers leave the floor.

I usually sit alone on Wednesdays at my corner table.  However, recently a woman was seated with me.  She wanted a front row seat, but there were none available.  She was very friendly and began asking me questions.  The conversation continued when she wasn’t dancing.  I didn’t know how to tell her that I didn’t want to talk about my life or know about hers.  I wanted to listen to the music.  

While walking home that night, I had the feeling I was interviewed in the real world.  Her constant questioning kept me from entering the twilight zone.  Although she came to dance at the milonga (fantasy), she sat most of the time talking about life (reality).   Neither of us stepped into the twilight zone.

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2 Responses to “Twilight Zone”

  1. Mario Says:

    Nice post, with a poetic touch….another way to look at this experience is that the ‘story’ of your life and that of mine is the true fantasy while the dance and music is the reality of NOW!

  2. b Says:

    It is hard not to think of the scene in Last Tango in Paris where he flips out because she wants to talk about their real names and life outside of the apartment. The tragic denouement of that film, at least for him, helps shape the ambiguous feeling your post leaves me with.

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