The Road Diaries

by Kevin Carrel Footer
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Pursued by a Man in Pin-Striped Shoes

Pursued by a Man in Pin-Striped Shoes

Dancers burning the candle at both ends, La Catedral, 2018. Of late, I have been going to dance tango at the Marabú. It is a strange choice for me, that I can’t quite explain. I usually gravitate to venues with the relaxed good vibes of a community center rather than...

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Temples on Rooftops

Temples on Rooftops

The wet heat of summer had been whisked away by a storm that blew in off the river. Hot, humid air had been routed by a cold front. In the darkness of the taxi, I fumbled for the rocker switch to roll up my window. The driver, I noticed, did the same. The breeze...

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La Boca, Home of the Blues

La Boca, Home of the Blues

On the corner of Avenida Almirante Brown and some muddy, unfinished street in La Boca stands – or rather squats – the Blues Special Club. It ain’t Mississippi, but it’s about as authentic as you can get. The other storefronts on that forlorn stretch of street are so...

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Goats & Epiphanies

Goats & Epiphanies

The last time I saw a circus goat. She was walking across a narrow plank three meters off the ground. She was not at all sure of her footing and her gold-fringed caparison was slipping indecently off to one side. She did it all led by a shrill circus announcer in...

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That Fear of Falling

That Fear of Falling

The other night at the milonga a couple near me fell to the floor. I heard them before I saw them: a heavy thud and a gasp that rippled out across the room as people sensed a disturbance in the tango force. Behind me I saw two bodies where they did not belong. She was...

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The Milonguera

The Milonguera

Her embraces were the stuff of legend. They were of the full-on, milonguera-style variety: no empty space left between the bodies, no crevices ignored, nothing held back. I found myself gravitating towards her in spite of myself, inventing excuses to swing by. When I...

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“Good Night and Good Milonga to You”

“Good Night and Good Milonga to You”

The man stood in the bathroom at El Beso, gathering up his belongings. He had just risen from the chair that is always left in bathrooms at milongas so that you can change in and out of your dance shoes in privacy. Now he was putting his dance shoes into a cloth bag...

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Creation is Celebration

Creation is Celebration

You made me beautiful, she answered, after seeing the photos. In my world, there could be nothing more fulfilling than hearing those words. To find beauty – even better, to help someone see their own beauty – is the highest act, the greatest good. For me, creation is...

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When the Argentines Stopped Talking

When the Argentines Stopped Talking

When the Argentines Stopped Talking by Kevin Carrel Footer I’m mostly a bus kind of guy – I like the hoi polloi. But I was running late and grabbed a taxi across town. The driver seemed genuinely glad to see me. I soon learned that he was gladder still that I didn't...

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A Bold Love

A Bold Love

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina – I want a bold love, the kind that flows like a steep mountain river, roaring over the rock bed, pushing fallen branches and stones out of its way. I want a love that overflows and missteps and clamors back, a little wiser for its mistakes. I...

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