The Feet

Melanie took one of her nails and scratched a long line along the new boyfriend's calf, from the back of the knee to the Achilles heel. Then she repeated the gesture, scratching out more and more long, thin lines in parallel.

"You're busy making something," I said, interrupting myself.

"It's like a slalom course," she replied. "He has all these hairs on his legs, and I have to swerve around them." She continued her scratching.

Lauren and I watched. "I'm putting in false nylon lines," she explained, "so he won't have to be so embarrassed that he doesn't have the money to purchase stockings." Her hands continued down both of the legs, scratching lines on the legs, on the skin, between the coarse hairs, busy scraping.

She finished and wrapped her fingers around her boyfriend's ankles. "Ankles--any boys' ankles, any ankles--always make me think of ankhs," she said.

"I wonder why," I responded.

"Angst?" Lauren asked (pronouncing the word with its archaic, German inflection).

"Yes, angst," I said, echoing her sentiment. "Angst-les are without doubt the most nervous, most dreadful part of the body."

"Ankles are without a doubt the oldest part of the body," said Melanie. "Note that their original scientific name is Ankle o'saurus."

"That's funny, Melanie," I complimented her. "That's a hoot and a half."

"Well, the ankle's a funny organ," she said. "It's no more than a couple of bumps. Two bumps, one on each side. A total of four bumps, after it's been counted."

"This whole region of the body is rather hilarious," Lauren said. "Legs and ankles. Knees and the backsides of knees (which are not knees). Calves and tendons. Thank god that it's all so low down," she added, "and out of sight. I don't know what we'd do if we spent all day looking at it, were confronted with its monstrousness all the livelong day--we might crack up."

"Well, since we're down here," I said, "we'll have to take a quick gander at his feet. But we'll take care not to stare at them for too long, or directly, lest we forfeit our fragile sanity."

"OK," agreed Lauren, pretty hastily (I thought). "Although, I warn you, I may have to close my eyes."

"That's OK," I agreed. I agreed, furthermore, to blindfold her if she started to foam at the mouth, went into convulsions, started speaking in tongues...

We steeled our resolves and Melanie braved the first foot-ward look. "That's his instep," she said. "That's what keeps this boyfriend in step, in touch with the times. Abreast with all of the current fashions."

"It isn't his breastbone that achieves that?" Lauren asked.

"I do not think so," Melanie replied. "And in any case, he's not such a trendy guy."

"No, he isn't," I confirmed. "How about these scandals? Which I think are his heels? (Made callused by wearing cheap plastic sandals.)"

"Those knobs are two things that he can fall back on," Lauren announced.

"Ah, yes," I nodded. "One can always go back to them." I poked them. "They each have a bone inside them. One forgets that, but there are big bones stuffed inside the heels."

"Whenever I like a part of the body," Lauren pouted, "and I take time to look more closely at it, ten times out of ten I find bones inside it."

"It's just that way," I concurred. "It's just the way that the body is constructed, the way it's arranged."

"And this boyfriend has a callus on each of his heels," Lauren pointed out. "He has thick, callused heels. He can feel nothing there, no matter what one does to him. Even if one sticks him."

"That's a lucky condition," I replied. "To be callused is a genuine bit of good luck. When you're out in the street, or on the road."

"Can he ever be rid of them?" Lauren asked. "Can calluses ever be undone?"

"Oh, yes," I said. "Fer shure. In fact, the procedure's not difficult. The new boyfriend can remove his calluses himself, whenever he wants to. By means of a paring knife, or a switchblade.

"In fact, he may choose to do so while traveling, while still out and about. He can slice one off at his convenience, and boil it down into a soup. That soup will feed him for some span of time, and will leave him content--for upwards of one month.

"And thirty days later, he can repeat the operation with the other one. But the boyfriend will only do that when desperate, when desperately hungry, or when he no longer needs such a tough heel. Until then, he'll save it--he'll save them both."

"I didn't know that," Lauren admitted.

"Check out his arches," Melanie next requested. "Check whether to see if his feet are flat."

Lauren, eager, did so. She took out her little clear plastic ruler, held it up against the underside of his foot.

"They are," she confirmed. "They're as flat as a pancake, if not a waffle. This boyfriend's a flatfoot."

"I seem to recall," I recalled, "a proverbial riddle about that--about all the boyfriends with fallen arches:

If his Arches are Bent,

Then he's not a good Gent;

In Fact, he's a Jack

And a Knave--

If not a Scoundrel.

But if the Young Lad's Feet are Flat,

Then Rejoice,

And Relax,

And Take Heart in your finding a perfect Sex Slave,

For you'll find out soon enough that

He's Excellent in the Sack."

"Is your new boyfriend like that, Melanie?" asked Lauren. "Is your boyfriend excellent in the sack? Dreamy, even?" (No doubt she'd forgotten her claim to not care a straw about such matters.)

"Yes," answered Melanie, "but only inside a real sack--he's not good in a bed. In bed, he has trouble keeping it up, and he falls asleep on me right in the middle--in mid-thrust, or in mid-lick.

"But whenever I stuff him inside a burlap sack he does fine."

"He likes the loose feel of rough fabric around him?" I asked, perplexed.

"No, I think he just wants to be restrained," Melanie said.

"Have you tried a hammock?" Lauren asked.

"That's...that's not a bad idea," Melanie realized. "Gee. Thanks--I'll try that."

Lauren indulged in a little giggle, rather pleased with herself.

"Hey, how are you holding up there, Lauren?" I asked her. "Are you in need of that blindfold yet?"

"Not yet," she responded. "I'm finding this more intriguing than I'd thought. I'll last a little while longer."

She ran her strong hands along his feet. "His feet are narrow, long and narrow," she observed.

"But not too narrow," I pointed out.

She nodded. "They're excellent, just narrow enough."

With both hands she lifted one foot to her mouth, the heavy, awkward, rightmost foot. Gripping the big toe, she lowered her mouth and wrestled with the nail. She tore off a sliver of the toenail.

The boyfriend's toenails on both sides were curled in, ingrown. And there was bitter sock fuzz wedged deep inside them, trapped there, not to mention between his toes.

Lauren kissed a toe, cautiously, tentatively. Then, as though surprised by what that kissing did for her, she licked it.

"C'mon, kiss his mules," Melanie encouraged her. "Suck on his tired puppies. Give his weary dogs a tongue bath. Show him your oral bathing talents."

Melanie got up and went over; she leaned in as close as she could to this dental-pedestrian action. Her cheeks and forehead blushed; her fair bosom heaved.

This must mean something special to her, I thought. She must like this erotic footage. I'd rarely seen Melanie get so excited.

"Melanie," I asked her, "are you...a foot fetishist?"
"What's that?" asked Lauren, her vowels distorted by the fact that she was sucking on a foot.

"It's someone who fetishizes the feet," I answered her. "Duh."

"No, not that I know of," Melanie answered, albeit guardedly. "I've never been referred to that by a boyfriend. But how would I know for certain?"

"Well, do you like watching Lauren do this thing?" I asked.

Lauren was still sucking, one by one, on the new boyfriend's toes, and licking the little spaces in between them. Her hands cupping his callused heel.

"Yes," Melanie breathed. "I like it very much so."

"And do you like the movies that Luis Buñuel made?"

"Oh, I simply adore them," Melanie responded, her breathing by now grown even harder. "I have every one of them on Blu-Ray DVD: The Young One, Él, Diary of a Chambermaid, The Criminal Life of Archibaldo de la Cruz, ..."

"Then you are a foot fetishist," I proclaimed. "Q.E.D. and for all time. And there can be no longer any doubt about it, neither in heaven nor on earth."

"Oh my god," whispered Melanie. "I think that you're right. I think that I am."

"It isn't the end of the world," I reassured her. "It's just a hidden kink that you've always had. Now a little less hidden.

"Meaning that you can make use of it," I continued quickly. "You can take your new boyfriend home with you, and suck on his toes for hours and hours on end."

"I think that I'll do that," stated Melanie.

I had no doubt that she would do that.

About the author:

A D Jameson's first novel, Giant Slugs, is forthcoming later this year from Lawrence and Gibson; his first prose collection, Amazing Adult Fantasy, is forthcoming from Mutable Sound, also later this year. He regularly contributes to the group literary blog Big Other.