I’ve been travelling for three hours to reach you. The taxi comes to a halt. You’re standing in the doorway of your flat. I pay the fare. I pick up my handbag. I watch the car pulling out of the drive. Then you’re standing next to me, and you take my hand. And you take me indoors. Indoors is warm. Indoors is where you live. I hear you greeting me with words that are not everyday. And then I’m sitting next to you on the sofa. I say this and that, and answer your questions in a muted voice. You pour both of us tea. And we drink the first cup in silence. I want to wash my hands and use the toilet without asking. I’m pretending, and flush it without needing to. Look at myself in the small mirror above the basin. There’s nothing about you that I don’t find attractive. I’ve never fallen for anyone who looks like you. I walk down the corridor back to you. I stop and take another look at the living room. I like the atmosphere in your place. You ask if I feel like music. I shake my head and look at you. I know you know what I want. I know you understand what draws me to you. You ask if I’d like something from the kitchen. Maybe later? I nod. This time I’ve brought a bigger handbag. You’ve asked me to spend the night with you. There’s clean underwear in my bag, and a sachet of toiletries. You don’t ask me what my plans are for the night. You ask if I want to go into town with you. Buy something somewhere. Just stretch our legs. I’m taken aback. I don’t know if I want to be seen with you. Maybe later? I nod. I say I’ve got to recover from the taxi ride. I want to be with you. Indoors. Not outdoors in the wind. What I feel is impatient. You start telling me stuff. I think of a big sheet of paper with ink splattering on it. I hope you won’t reveal anything that makes me change my mind about the night. You ask if I also want to tell you about someone I used to love. I shake my head. After all, it’s almost completely vanished. You ask what’s left of it then. Perhaps no more than a thread. It’s all torn apart disintegrated come undone. You smile at me. I look at you very seriously. How a deep longing can hang from the silk thread of a bygone time. You nod understandingly. I want to change the subject. So do you. And there’s a silence that isn’t worrying. I look at you. We smile a bit. The teapot’s empty. Suddenly you say there’s a shop in the town that I’ll surely find interesting. And, around four, off we go. Walking. Arm in arm.
Your hands are gentle and your fingers are powerful like the rest of your body. They’ve started on the buttons of my blouse, for I’ve already undone my cuffs. I look at the mirror on the wall and breathe in the scent of a bunch of roses in a vase nearby. I’ve already let you push my shoes away from my feet. After all, you know that I’m spending the night, and we’ve agreed to take things as slowly as we can. I’ve chosen red and black, and since you turned out to be a familiar customer in the shop I’d got what I needed in less than an hour. On the way back to your front door I found out that you worked for years in sex shops, as a salesman and also a purchaser. You’ve put light make-up on me and helped me dress up. Look, you say. I see myself dark-red in a striped skirt and tight bodice. Black dancing shoes with semi-high heels. Now your turn, I say. You leave me in the room where I’ve learned all kinds of dance steps. Some people can learn clay modelling. I want to dance the tango. With you. And often. I’m really a bit too old for it, over seventy, but my very stiffness makes it a challenge. You and I know each other from a cookery course, and when I heard about your dance workshop I knew what I needed. From you. Something more physical than cooking and eating together. Then you’re standing next to me again. Complete with a dinner jacket. It’s a game, you say severely. Surrender. I nod. After four three-hour lessons I want to dance with you like a woman you don’t know who wants to seduce a man she doesn’t know. We’ve got hours, you add. And I go with you to The Workshop. A room designed as a tango bar. I’m amazed. Like it? Yes, I say. I’ve studied the story of the tango without understanding any of it. You dance without being in love, but your body is full of desire. Does a glass of wine help, I ask? You mustn’t be drunk, not even a bit tipsy, for the whole thing has to get through to you. I sit on a bar stool. An accordion, guitars, a violin. No exciting sounds, but enough to move me. I look at you until your eyes cling to mine. My heartbeat speeds up. You come closer. Take my hand. I can’t move. Dance with me, you say questioningly? Somewhere in me it’s raining hard. A storm has broken. I’m afraid I’ll crash down like lightning. You pull me towards you. With our eyes locked together you compel me. The resistance of the body can be expressed in stylized form with a partner who understands. I can still hear you saying that when I made clear I did not need a man. My right leg tries to trap your legs. You unweave, tender but firm. Each contact lasts as long as a heartbeat. My fingers reach for the back of your neck. You quiver in my embrace. Yes, I say.