You’d think from reading this column that every woman in the city was garbed in shiny black leather. Sadly, this is not true. Most women lead lives of quiet vanilla desperation, boot and leather free. But, sometimes you get lucky.

On Tuesday, October 8th,I turned a corner and I looked up to see a girl on a bike, racing up the street. She was in a dress, but I could tell that she had on some kind of boots. I hoped that somehow I would see her again, then I forgot about it. But, as I passed Pioneer Courthouse Square, I saw that she had stopped to take photographs at the little flower stand on the corner. She had Medusa-like wild, black hair and a gaunt and angular (but attractive) face. Her dress was a shiny velvet material. I was also able to see that she wore extremely high, dull black leather motorcycle boots; her impossibly skinny, veined legs poking out of the tops. I looked at her face and she gave me that patented, sharply edged, dismissive I’m-a-beautiful-woman-leave-me-alone glance. I wondered what that particular style of motorcycle leather would taste like; what it would feel like on my tongue.

Booted women tend to come in clumps. Take Sunday, October 13th, for example. On that day I saw three booted woman within a few hours. The first was a tall, young girl with her black hair in a Louise Brooks cut. She was wearing delicious black, chunk heeled boots with a zipper up the front. Next I saw a young, thin, black girl wandering around with her lucky boyfriend. She had on a pair of black boots from the `60s, which clashed with her frilly dress. An hour later I saw a rock-and-rolly girl, garbed all in black, entering a hair salon near SW 12th and Washington with her equally leathern boyfriend. Her delightful black boots glimmered momentarily for me in the setting sun.

I am such a natural boot fetishist. One Monday night I was in front of my office building, my mind wandering, when, before I even knew it, I was looking at the floor and following a pair of boots (brown, chunk heels, zippers up the inside, thick socks poking out the top). I had heard the sound of the heels on the floor and looked automatically, without even thinking about it. After following the boots for a few seconds longer than is socially acceptable, I looked up at the girl in them and saw she was looking at me. She smiled. I puzzled over that smile. Was she smiling just to be friendly, two faces looking at each other in the crowd? She had caught me staring a long time at her boots -- was she smiling because I was the 10th guy of the day to do so? I favor the latter interpretation.

Sometimes I get caught. On Saturday, the 5th of October, I got off the MAX train on 10th Avenue. There happened to be a model search going on that day in the Galleria and some women came out as I passed. One of them was a tall, Naomi Campbell style black woman in a little black cocktail dress and high black boots that had buttons or stays up the front. Our eyes met (she too put on the mean “stop staring at me” face) and I returned to her boots and dug my eyes into them, not worrying what she thought.

Another time recently, I was walking in my office and saw probably the best pair of legs I had seen in some time; curvy, athletic, covered in blue stockings. They were attached to a beautiful Nordic looking woman with full, cascading blonde hair. As I looked at her face, I saw that she had seen me ogling her legs. Perhaps I should have said something. Maybe next time.

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