the copnfessions fo a boot fetishist -- A Secret Life -- by Jimmy Doyle

But then she moved deeper into the store, where it was dark, and I could no longer see her at all.

Now, did I jump on this girl? Did I approach her with unwanted discourse? Did I lurk nearby and then pop out at her for an attack? Did I follow her around the store hoping to get a clue to her identity?

No. Being essentially harmless, I did none of those things. At worst I paused in my trajectory to see if I could absorb one memorable image of that succulent wrist, that attractive watch.

'Are perverts dangerous'

But if it is dangerous to womankind to yearn for them from afar, to sense the magic of their presence, to appreciate their beauty, to note that they are wearing the one article of clothing that sends you into a frenzy of passion, or to want to spend time with that woman and simply bask in the shadow of her booted legs or her bewatched wrist... If it is dangerous that a man of this persuasion might find himself incapable of not flirting with so sexily garbed a woman, in the hope of perhaps forging a relationship whose benefit for the man is that he can be near her always when she is garbed in those delicious boots, or able to linger lovingly at his leisure over her delightful wrist... If these harmless yearnings are indeed threatening, then the answer to the above question, "Are perverts dangerous?," is an unequivocal yes.

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

We've acknowledged for a long time now that I, Jimmy Doyle, former cop and once dedicated enforcer of the law, am a pervert. But what does a pervert actually do? Should the average female, clomping along the streets of the city in her gorgeous black knee boots, have anything to fear from the stricken, panting figure following her from a short distance, his eyes zeroed in on her boots, but also taking in her butt, her thighs, the way she walks?

The answer is yes and no.

Take Wednesday, June 30th. It was a rare sunny day in downtown Portland, and people were out and about for once. At about 3pm, I was walking down Southwest Oak from 10th to Park Avenue, and as I passed Retread Threads, a long, lithe brunette coming toward me walked up to the door and went inside.

She wore a dark summer dress with little flowers on it, had a purse slung over her shoulder, covered her face with a big pair of sunglasses, wore simple sandals on her feet, and on her left wrist had on a big complicated watch with a thick leather band. Fans of this column will recall that among my fetishes is a passion for big sports watches on women's delicate wrists.

She went to the first rotating rack near the door and spun it slowly. I couldn't see the watch, so I backed up and tried to look in again.