Portland is such a small town that sooner or later you’re going to meet everyone. On Wednesday May 21, I met a local hero of mine. In fact, that’s her name: Miss Mona Superhero.

Miss Mona is a member of the upper echelon of Portland’s newish, hipper arts community that is going to dominate the scene for years to come, a community which includes the Pander brothers and Marne Lucas. As exotic dancers increasingly become fetish objects for more and more artist types, and as rigid social and sexual mores fall by the wayside, intelligent and beautiful women such as Mona are free to explore new creative possibilities. Mona does this via her irregularly staged burlesque cabarets. She is also well-known for her mercurial, shape-changing ways, rarely appearing in public looking the same way twice (she even attended one major event in a wheel chair).

Anyway, I had heard tell of her for years, but never met her.

Then, late one Wednesday night, I was hanging out in the Cobalt Lounge, Portland’s hottest new bar and nightclub. I was sitting at a table with a buddy of mine, a bartender up the street. It turns out that he knows and is liked by a lot of dancers. “Why?” I asked.

“Probably,” he said, “because I don’t come on to them.”

Anyway, it was about 11:30, and a couple that was leaving stopped by our table. The woman was delighted to see my friend. He introduced me to her, and her to me, but at first our names didn’t register to each other.

Then, though they had left, she came back. “Is that Jimmy Doyle?” she asked. I replied, “Is that Miss Mona?” She sat down and joined us for a few minutes. It turns out that she is a huge fan of this column. “It is beautifully written, and really shows the inside of the fetishist’s mind brilliantly. It’s so poignant, exploring the sadness and earnestness of the fetishist. Also it’s fun to guess who all the people are, and to dream of being spotted on the street by Jimmy Doyle and memorialized in the column for your bootwear.”

Well, that’s what I wished she had said. She did offer some words of praise, but because I didn’t write them down they are sadly lost forever.

The protean Mona was looking very sweet and girlish that night, with a long flowered dress. But she was also wearing a pair of black boots. And Mona is nothing if not a cruel temptress. She playfully planted her right boot on the round table in front of my face. The boot was of soft black leather, with high chunk heels and little elastic stretching devices on the inside at the top. They felt great– for yes, Miss Mona allowed me to touch them for a few seconds.

“What do you think of these boots, Jimmy?” she asked coyly.

I told her with all candor, “Mona, they are now my favorite boots in the whole world.”

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

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