José Pedro Aresi

Intimate celebration of the end of the year by the Mesa del Café

hen the character is non-existent, you have to invent it and then the stories are no longer real to become “fiction”. This is not our case.

Luckily, the Mesa de Café (table at the café) of “Todo Tango” has among the people who frequent the venue —since a long time before— a character in flesh and blood named Mario Bosco. He is from “El Abasto” and his nickname is Coco.

So it happened that our friend Bosco, like that Greek peasant who unearthed the goddess Venus from a wheatfield, exhumed the idea of having a meeting at the end of the year, in what he intimately calls: “A wine with a meal”.

A simple announcement at the Mesa was enough so that many patrons were interested, promising to go to “Il Vero Arturito”, the traditional venue for the encounters of these “buddies” that stick to the old rules that converge, are transmitted and felt... with Tango.

The evening had come. The night shadows were beginning to enrich the charms of the neighborhood. That quarter which was an inspiration for the poets and the cradle of a thrush (El Zorzal).

Our friendly reunion was about to begin and a breath of pleasure guided us towards the corner of San Luis and Jean Jaures. We knew that we were not going to be many, but we were sure of living an intimate time, almost solemn, as the one that corresponds to a meeting of devotees of the “King Tango”.

So, one by one, we were arriving with a smile on our lips and our arms spread to blend them into our friends’ bodies.

And that which we had been heralding was the least important, that is to say “the meal”, became only the flavoring that loosened the tensions gathered during a working day, while the grape nectar relaxed the tongues of thirsty throats. But inevitably there was someone who preferred that strange mix of “coke concentrate” diluted in water with bubbles.

In fact, we spent a wonderful time, that made many of us recall that first evening meal on May 16, 2002, when we met for the first time and the virtual friendship became real.

To enjoy a better comfort and be able to chat nicely we were seated at two tables, but totally united by the same feelings and approaching the big number of subjects that Tango allows. So all the names that forever will be engraved in the big history of “Gotán” (Tango –spelled backwards) were evoked in the different conversations.

Needless to say that seventeen souls were under the spell of the magic music that daily calls us and that, generously, brings us the gift of the eternal illusion of making us feel always the same, as if the years would never pass for us and naively ignore that that other being that once was in our dreams shall never again come to the date appointed.

There was also a special remembrance for each one of the friends who were not able to be present due to circumstantial reasons or distance and I think that —secretly— we all had a place to remember those who other times accompanied us and today Fate wants that they witness us from Heaven.

Osvaldito Serantes, as affectionately we his “partners in the brotherhood” call him (sorry, Oscar), surprised us once more with a valuable and unexpected present. His wife Soledad collaborated by handpainting it . On this occasion Osvaldo gave us a Carlos Gardel’s figure, with his recumbent “hat”, carved in wood which besides its intrinsic value, materialized the elf that haunted our tables.

But not everything was alike, there was a new event. For the first time Ángel Yonadi sang “a capella” the lyrics of “Falsía”, a song whose music belongs to Edmundo Rivero, with words of an “unknown author” but unfortunately he was only heard by those who were around him. And surely Ángel’s style, the pitch of his voice and the thrill he conveyed with his saying are enough credits to join the group of singers that accompany us at the Mesa de Café of Todo Tango.

Nobody was willing to leave but the relentless clock and the tiredness of the waiters invited us to the final toast. So Osvaldito Serantes, Soledad, Zulema, Ernesto, Benedetti, Guada, Mario Pino, Carmen, Alberto Rasore, Oscar Scoccola (Arolas), Dobalo, Pinsón, Yonadi, Roberto Mancini (a living glory of the "Glostora Tango Club"), Coco Bosco, Ricardo Garcia Blaya and I raised our cups, renewing the wishes for happiness for all the people present and those friends unable to be with us this time.

To conclude, it's worthwhile to repeat a phrase said by one of the attendants: «I think this was the most friendly evening meal I went to».