I was coming out of the Exotic office around 4 pm, on Tuesday, February 4th, and espied in the distance a young Goth girl walking east down Alder. I followed her, of course. She was shortish, with purple-tinged hair gathered up onto her head, net stockings, and tight, big, lace-up boots with court heels.

The day was a rare, bright, wintry one and the light illuminated the hard black leather very well. She trembled charmingly on the high heels. I followed her down the block, and, as I suspected, she went into The Future, a store that has a great selection of boots.

That wasn’t the only sighting that day. Earlier, walking down 6th Avenue from the bank, I saw a small Japanese girl in delicious black boots. I changed course, naturally, to follow her down Yamhill, past the courthouse, toward Pioneer Place. As I pulled up behind her, I noticed that she had a plaid, pleated skirt, black stockings and traditional 60's black boots, zippered, with a tall heel and a seam up the middle of the outside of the boots. They were tight boots that pressed against her flesh. She, too, had trouble negotiating the heels. I stared at them lustily, noticing that men approaching from the opposite direction were noticing me noticing her boots. Finally, at 5th Avenue, I turned left, and she continued on.

I’ve been in a nostalgic mood lately. The Japanese girl’s boots were simply new editions of the boots popular when I was in high school: basic black, zippered, not too high a heel. Watching them hungrily, I was taken back to high school days, and to memories of Holly M., who had the first boots I believe I touched.

Holly was a quasi-sluttish girl whom I had known since sixth grade. She was domineering, selfish, argumentative, and had the best legs in the school, which she didn’t mind showing off. One fall day when I was a senior and she was a junior, I turned the corner in the hallway and saw her garbed for the first, glorious time, in black boots. Her legs were bare, and she had a short springy rayon dress, dark with little flowers on it. Suddenly, I was in love and I grew one of the hardest, most intense erections I have ever had. I asked to see her later, saying I would be lonely until our assignation. “How could I be anything but lonely without Holly?” I said romantically, to see her face light up with pleasure.

Is love ever as good as it was in adolescence? I doubt it. Our passions are out of control, the world seems more important, we have the time and opportunity to let our minds wander over possibilities, memories, desires.

Holly’s legs were great partly because of her appetite. Legs look a lot better, respond better to heels, if they have a little lard on them. For the whole year, Holly wore her boots every day, driving me crazy with desire for the leather, the muscled, curvy thighs, the backs of her knees. Her sister, L., later told me that she had to help Holly on with the boots every morning. by applying a pair of pliers to the zippers. We’re talking tight boots here.

We never became sexually intimate, and I have not seen Holly since high school, though I know that she works downstate as a sewage technician. Do I want to see her now, and perhaps spoil the beautiful memory of those legs and boots?

I spent a lot of time in high school contriving situations where I fell to my knees before booted girls and begged them, supplicated them, offering to kiss their boots to expiate my “sins.” The five or six times I did it, all the girls complied. Holly was one whose boots I wanted to worship, but never had the chance. However, I did isolate her back stage in the school’s theater one afternoon, sitting on the couch together, talking about her boots, unzipping them, touching her fleshy calf, finding a piece of paper she stored there. This memory is more vivid to me than what I did last night. But that’s the way it is with high school survivors and fetishists.

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