Death in a Foreign Land

BY KEVIN CARREL FOOTER CAIRNS Where the cobbled street loses itself in the sand down by the river, I make a cairn from stones that once lead somewhere we thought we wanted to go. To warn off would-be travelers, I have been prying stones from the road and leaving the...

Eleonora’s Dog

I met Eleonora at the time of my life when I spent far too many hours in La Confiteria Ideal dancing tango. Back home, they say “Show me a good pool player and I’ll show you a man with a misspent youth” (Mark Twain). I suppose the same can be said of...

Stones Do Not Lie to Bones

After decades of wandering, after life itself had turned me down, I retraced my steps back to the octagon altar. Vines had overgrown the stones that I had once known and a coldness hung in that space beneath the trees. In my mind, I shambled and dragged by broken body...

Last Dance at the Confiteria Ideal

by Kevin Carrel Footer For 20 years, Diego Alvaro Zoraida Fontclara have hosted the Friday afternoon milonga at the Confiteria Ideal, one of the sacred places of tango. Like me, many people learned to dance or took their first tentative steps in a real milonga on...

Slingshots

by Kevin Carrel Footer Like those great outer space explorations where they shoot a rocket around a planet and then use the momentum created slingshot-like to careen ever deeper into space, I have long ricocheted through a constellation of women. Twinkling, blinking,...

Far-Off Trains

I grew up in the Oakland Hills in a genteel community called Piedmont. If you parted the trees that surrounded our town, you could see San Francisco shimmering across the bay. Most of my friends’ fathers worked there in the skyscrapers that shaped that famous...