as part of my rehabilitation at thirty program i have enrolled in dance classes. so every saturday and monday, right after 'bums and tums' (no really, they are called that) leave the building, i walk in. i'm instantly high on the heady preserve of 'bums and tums' armpit and lack of oxygen. plus, i love dancing. i got travolta on my mind. when the music blasts on, it's gonna be grease lightning. and my feet, they've got a mind of their own.
first, they gingerly edge me away from all the action to somewhere between the watercooler and the wallflowers. then they shuffle around a bit, struggling to keep each other's spirits up until they slowly peter into a jerky kind of ennui.
i look down, hey!
don't wanna, they say.
but it's dance CLASS, you reprobates, not some random party, the conscientious teacher's pet inside me chides prissily.
don't care, don't wanna, they say. then the right one shifts slightly to ten 'o clock and the left slides into one 'o clock and they kind of sulk at me that way.
i'm furious. i want to dance. i LOVE dancing and i waited all week for this. you are MY bloody feet, i OWN you, this ain't no DEMOCRACY, i say.
they shuffle in a couple more degrees and look glumly up at me. bhah, they say, nah.
at a temporary loss for words, i look up and catch a glimpse of myself vieing with the pole for screen space in the wall to wall mirror. i have an evil scowl slicing my forehead, my teeth are clenched in a killer smile, my jaws are popping, the nerve in my temple is be-bopping to the music, my chin and hair are dripping sweat, my arms are akimbo and i am pigeon toed. it's a galvanizing sight.
i desperately look for the instructor and focus on his feet. i meditate on them. i tell my feet in a soothing voice to sleep, sleep, sleeeeep...that when they wake up, they'll be those size twelve beat maestros in patent leather soles that can glide across the wooden floor. it works in surprising ways. the size twelves slide up until they are under my nose and when i look up, i'm in the arms of the instructor who is spinning me centre stage on the wall to wall mirror. and i have grown seven left feet.
i am serious. there was one right foot and seven others. each had a plan of its own and not one was inclined to talk this through with the team mates. where five minutes ago i had a strike on my hands, i was clearly up against a riot situation now. ONE, two THREE, four, finish and TAP, rasps the instructor to the crazy, eight legged, headless chicken spinning across the floor. i annhilate six toes and one manicured toe nail in my wake. i briefy pause to skin two ankles and kiss a shin.
my instructor jives like he's from the matrix. he is miraculously the body i bounce off every where i go. ONE, two, THREE, four, FINISH, TAP! ONE, two, THREE, four, FINISH, ooof! ONE, two, THREE, four, FINISH, OOoooF! the room's a blur, the floor's spinning, my body has no axis and i achieve zero gravity.
the next moment i visciously head butt his elbow and his hand splinters my knuckles to keep my knees from buckling in. the last thing i see is a million lights flashing off in my head. they tell me he gently draped me over a giant pilates ball before the ambulance took him away to get his elbow reset.
i don't even look at my feet until we get ourselves into the car. i just sit behind the steering wheel and clutch at it for self control. the roof silently drips rain water on my left knee until i finally look down.
they're lurking at me from the shadows, my feet. i push back the driver's seat, switch on the overhead light and burn them up with my acid gaze. they go pigeon toed again. they try to curl right into themselves. the wimps.
well???? i hiss.
they mumble something.
wHaTTT??? i roar.
we're just shy you know, they say.
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