I’ve noticed a new fashion trend and I want to acknowledge it now so as to encourage everyone to carry on with it: jet-black boots with dark stockings and short, pleated skirts.

I first noticed this trend on November 4th, as I was leaving the bank. Walking from 13th toward 10th Avenue on Yamhill downtown at about 2:15 pm, I fell behind a woman in exactly this sartorial splendor. I had just been following a young lass in tight jeans and loud-heeled boots and was feeling pretty good, thinking that she was the only boot girl I was going to experience that day.

But I was behind yet another boot woman; just the two of us. The street was virtually empty. She was about 5'10", with short black hair, a black coat, a black leather knapsack, dark stockings and new shiny black leather boots with chunk heels. I was able to amble behind her for at least four blocks, soaking up her figure, her boots, the sound her heels made on the slightly damp sidewalk, enjoying the slight hobbling effect her perhaps brand new boots had on her ability to walk. The sun illuminated her boots as she crossed intersections. I noted for the first time that the shiniest part of a boot is the back of the heel.

In the following weeks, I began to notice the trend first established for me by this lone, mysterious, random woman walking from SW Portland into the city.

On December 5th, I was in my favorite bar when another regular, a woman named Max Gate, came in. I had never before noticed the beauty of her legs -- long, curvy -- but my reflections upon them were newly induced by the short pleated woolen skirt, the black stockings, and the black boots she wore. As she stood at a nearby table, I drank up the thin rivulet of light limned along the length of her boot as she stood, legs slightly crossed, in the dim bar.

I still hadn’t actually noted the trend. No, not even on December 8th, when I noticed a short, thin, young Japanese woman downtown, once again in short pleated skirt, black stockings, and black boots, I didn’t grok the fashion, only realizing that I had been seeing a lot of black boots lately of the exact style that first made me realize my boot fetishism, those “classic” black boots with chunk heels and zippers up the inside that all the girls in high school seemed to be wearing in the `70s. Then on Monday the 9th, on Park Avenue and Washington, I passed one of those dual telephone booths, both of which were occupied, once again by two Japanese girls, one in Doc Martins, the other in the same combo as the day before.

After weeks of flirtation, this boot-and-black stocking combination finally honed in on me in a most delightful way that night. I was again in my favorite bar when in walked a newcomer with two friends. Sydney Burnside doesn’t actually live in Portland but was in for a weekly gals’ gabfest. A beautiful, tall young woman; funny, intelligent, talented, with an overbite, a mole on her right cheek, and long legs garbed -- at least on this night -- in the now mandatory pleated skirt with necessary black stockings and boots. Through complicated and not quite relevant social machinations, I met her and had the usual kind of night at my place – dancing on the bar, etc. As she was dancing, I was able to stand essentially at boot level and scrutinize her boots. Later, I actually fondled them during a playful brawl.

But this is too much pleasure for one man to enjoy. Next month, to make up for all this hedonism, I shall make a terrible, wracking confession that may shock even my most devoted and sympathetic readers.

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