For days – even in the company of our noisy vacuum cleaner or while
cracking nuts – an old honeyed melody keeps haunting me from the past. I simply
cannot get it out of my head and have to sing it aloud:
Desire trembles on the rhythm of the song
Oh carnival, oh carnival!
What is the story behind this uninvited guest? I must find out drifting
back in time and seeing myself nearly fifty years ago . . . I was a boy in the
awkward age then and at the carnival ball I managed to get the “slow dance”
with my schoolmistress. In fact, we hated each other with a passion at the
time: once I dropped my eraser at her feet so that I could check her undies.
She turned purple with anger and hissed: “You monkey-cheek!” Now, at the ball,
I was holding her tight and probably crooned into one of her shapely little,
So are hatched many odd romances
In Mexico in the middle of the night…
She blushed. “You dance tango very maturely, monkey-cheek!” She smiled
and embraced me warmly.
…But by the rising light of dawn
The hope glides away – and the love…
Many years later I happened to participate in an impromptu dance lesson:
a hundred men
back away from a hundred women
in tango steps
(the prose is translated from Hungarian by Kati Beetles)