Thomas Goes Riding the Silver Sunset
Arvamus 16 Oct 2012  EWR
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Thomas E. Kennedy, Boston Review
Your seatmate from Heathrow to Copenhagen is a beautiful young Estonian woman who, thankfully, is talkative. You are starved for conversation. You were alone at Heathrow for several hours with nothing but your vodka to talk to. She lives in Tallinn, a beautiful city. You were once there in December in the old town and the architecture was breathtaking behind the falling snow.

Her name is Annika, and she has been traveling since early this morning from Buenos Aires, where her boyfriend lives. She is interested in literature and humanitarian work and makes her living as a tango instructor. You tell her you have a foot in all three worlds at once: you have written a novel about a torture survivor who dances tango.

“You dance tango?” she asks.

“I wish. I’m terrified of dancing.”

“With the terrified men,” she says, “I start out only walking with them to help them find the rhythm to their bodies.”

Her casual acceptance that some men fear dancing convinces you that this woman was sent into your life to liberate you from that strange fear. “Are there many men like that?” you ask.

“Everyone is terrified of something,” she says, and her young eyes grow distant. “Some are terrified of dogs, some of cats, some of rats, spiders, of prison, of flying, of elevators . . .”

You wonder what terrifies her, but think it inappropriate to ask.

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