The poet sleeps

By gregebersole

December 3, 2010

Category: Travel

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I’ve heard that this guy is a poet. He sits under an overpass along calle 5 every day, from early in the morning until dark. He’s either reading the Bible or books of poetry or staring at people. I’ve never talked to him. He kind of freaks me out. People tell me he has a nice home nearby, but chooses to sit here every day. They say he’s a little crazy. A friend of mine talked to him once. She was frightened by him since he was so strange. I think he speaks 4 or 5 languages or more. I’ve been told that he writes poetry and sells little books of his poems. On this late afternoon, I saw his head nodding and i got this photo of him sleeping. His name is Rubén Darío Mañozca.

Today, I had a salsa lesson with a friend of mine. He used to teach at a hostal in the San Antonio barrio. He recently opened his own hostal, not too far from where I live, where he gives lessons now. Another woman and I were in the class together. I liked his style. He’s very good. He reminds me of some of my good salsa teachers in Portland. I’ve had a few male teachers who could dance the woman’s part just as well as the man’s. That was good, since they could spot your problems immediately and correct them. Wilber, my friend, is able to do that also. He can dance all styles, Cali style and LA style. I’ve watched him dance a lot at Tin Tin Deo and I really enjoy the way he dances. One thing salsa has taught me is how to carry myself. I’m basically a sloucher. I’ve slouched in chairs all my life. Since I’m tall, my shoulders slump often when I walk or am standing with people. In salsa, the man has to keep his chest up and shoulders back a little. It never feels normal to me. It feels like I’m walking around feeling proud or something. I’m guilty of dancing with slumped shoulders and bad posture sometimes on the dance floor at Tin Tin Deo or wherever. I have to constantly be aware of my posture and form. That is one of the important lessons to learn and remember. When you’re salsa dancing, the man needs to be confident and when you’re slouching, the woman doesn’t feel that you are very confident about dancing with her. She’ll feel that you’re not enjoying yourself and maybe don’t like dancing with her. Sometimes, it’s just the little things that make a huge difference.


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