I approached cautiously but with reverence. There on a throne of marble sat Dance, flanked by Song and Story. Dance rested her graceful hand on a knee draped in gossamer as green as the forest through which her acolytes frolick. She leaned to her right, concentrating on what Song, in a gown of aquamarine that undulated like ocean waves, whispered into her ear. Story sat aloof, silently observing and adorned in pure white. I knelt, unable to summon words. I watched them, wondering how to break through the morass of absorption and distance. Finally, I gathered courage and said:
No response. It had taken me a long time to find these three and I wasn't expecting this kind of reception. I fidgeted and rubbed my right calf, which had grown numb from kneeling. Dance and Song continued in consultation, Story looked omniscient and wise. I did another wind up and said:
No response. I looked around the glade in which the throne sat. It was a vision of pastoral bliss. Birds flitted. Clover bloomed. Bees hummed. Brooks bubbled. If I'd been more effusive, I might have imagined Pan jumping about with magical pipes and mischievous schemes. But I wasn't feeling expansive. I'd loved these three for so long, and now they refused me. I waved my arms, danced about, and shouted:
Hey! You! I'm down here! Look at me! I have a question for you!
Dance looked down and said curtly, Can't see you. The sun's in my eyes.
I moved into the shadows. Can you see me now? I said, hopeful.
I see your left foot, Dance replied, imperious.
I need your help. I need some answers.
I don't give a flying fuck about you and your questions! I'm old and tired. Leave me alone, Dance screamed, then turned her back on me.
This was unexpected. I didn't have a ready reply.
Song, less asinine but equally imperious, broke the silence and apologized for Dance, Her arthritic hip is acting up, explained Song, But you should know better than to address us directly.
I had no choice. You were hiding from me.
You should know by now. You can't see a shooting star by looking at it directly, Song instructed, and turned her back on me.
I looked at Story with desperation. They've both abandoned me, I moaned.
Story, wise in the ways of human emotion, explained in her gentle but knowing way, We're all angry with you. You've been impatient with that Tango business.
That makes you nervous.
Then go. Live. And forget about us. We've been around for a long time, and we'll be around for much longer still. Live your way through it with patience.
But I need to know... is Tango art?
That is not for you to decide, and Story turned her back on me.