Mrs. Josephine's Dance Studio was always cold in the summer, like a dog's nose pressed against your thigh. I went there, near the classes, listenin to the music, they got violins and drums sometimes. Tap tap tap. Some rooms had louder taps, real sharp and crisp that reminded me like construction sites outside Grandfather's window. I didn't sit near those rooms, with hard shoes and metal clicks, but light an soft, padding, tap. Mrs. Josephine had yellow hair like a banana, and wore pink or white. She was pink. She stayed extra long, the little girls with fluffy skirts had gone and she would stay, dancin and dancin. I wish I coulda but I'm too fat. Even when I was short I was big, no way to twirl without knocking over the potted plant outside the dance rooms, belly poking out of Grandfather's shirts.
She threw something in the garbage, one day she did, all mad with her yellow hair loose stickin to her face sweaty. I pushed over the can turned it all inside out it was a shoe. A ballerina slipper. It was white. It wasn't much bigger than my hand, but even when I was short I had big hands able to cup birds and two or three kittens. I stuffed it in my pants so Grandfather wouldn't see it but he did, told me to take them off show him what I had. Even then he wasn't strong, but he was mad told me it weren't right, pulled it broke. But today I still got the ribbon, the ribbon that wrapped around Mrs. Josephine's tiny ankles like they made of glass, so fragile I coulda snapped them. Even with my hands so big, they was small.