After a while it comes down to basics. Sure, you have an affair with variety for a while. But you return to that initial plain formula that attracted you to something in the first place, like a barfly who, after sampling Grasshoppers, Abortions, Rusty Nails, and Root Beer Floats, finally settles down to a life built on straight shots of Dickle.

I have returned to your basic black leather boots. These are the boots that first aroused me to heights of passion in high school, and which I have always held dear to my heart and loins. And now, after betrayals with Frye boots, Zodiac boots, boots in red, green, alligator, and even calico suede, I have returned to basic black.

These basic boots are everywhere. On Monday night, February 16th, a few days after St Valentine’s Day, and just a few minutes after midnight, out onto the stage of the Ed Sullivan Theater and onto the set of Late Night with David Letterman walked Heather Locklear.

She wore a simple black dress with wide vertical shoulder straps, a choker with a cameo hanging from the middle, and her hair pulled back and swept up.

But what I want to talk about is her legs.

They were bare legs, and on them below the knees were black, impossibly shiny boots, tall to just two inches under the knee, with a stiletto heel and zippers up the inside. Whenever the camera switched to a two-shot of host and guest my eyes exploded at the sight of those legs and boots. Then, bragging about the high performance sex of her rock star marriage, she indicated her scuffed, red knees, and the camera switched to a gratifying closeup, the tops of her shiny black boots poking into the frame from the bottom.

Then on Friday, March 13th, Geraldo played host to his usual end-of-week array of gossiping guests,this time around all making Oscar predictions. One of them was a clothing designer named Pamela Dennis, a whisky-throated, toothy blond with a fashionable big watch and, under her slacks, a pair of beautiful boots with huge stilettos and a coral reef of wrinkles around the ankles.

But my sightings haven’t been all tubular. On Friday, February 20th, around 11 pm, I sat across from a dazzling, arrogant older wench on the MAX train. She wore leopard skin gloves, a short gray skirt, and big black boots with huge soles and treads. When she wiggled her toes, I died. At one point, she even swerved her body around, and pointed her boots at me. I was able to hold my book in front of my face and gaze down at those boots for minutes at a time, worried only that some other passenger would catch me.

I could mention the blonde I saw on Sunday, February 22nd at 1 pm, with her black boots reaching up to her dress, or the Arab looking girl I saw on Monday night the 23rd, at 8 pm, in shiny stretch black boots, her legs crossed, or the new girl at work I saw on Wednesday, the 25th, prancing around in black stretch boots. I could, but I won’t.

Instead I will conclude with a moment of boot heaven. Picture me walking east down Northwest Glisan on Wednesday, March 18th, around 1:45 pm behind two women. The one on the right is a bare-legged black boot girl in a simple dress. I was able to follow her for several blocks in close proximity, my eyes glued to her boots as she thunked down the sidewalk. Yes, it’s great to get back to the basics.

Jimmy Doyle is a former New York cop now living in Portland.

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