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I laid my eyes on it and the world was never the same again. .

I was happily minding my own business, nonchalantly going through the motions of weekdays and weekends, trying to keep my balance, hanging on to my center, when The Thing caught my attention. What ensued was more than love at first sight. I could not eat, I could not sleep, I even grew a pimple so big, my 'flow partner' and girlfriend Glen would have called it a boil. May pigsa ka sa cheeks, she would have said.

I wasn't searching for it. It wasn't looking for me either. But when we did meet, the elements of time, space, and matter became suspended. I did not see fireworks, nor did I feel the earth move, but I heard Pavarotti sing the encore of "Nessun dorma."

I entered the shop and gazed at my object of decadent desire. The urge to touch it bordered on absolute hedonism, if not unconditional fetishism.

I have to have it, I thought. That is, if it doesn't have me. Yet.

It is shiny black. It is knee-high. It is both beautiful and ugly and this is where the caveat lies. It is hideous in its splendor, it is ghastly in its grandeur. It is so disturbing in an avant-gardish way, my friend Lizeth would say, "Ugh, how gross!" Myra would shriek and scream, "Golly wow, they are funky!" And Lynn, she's the one who would blurt out, "It is so trendy you have no use for it when the season is over."

Who cares? I ask. Get your own lives! Or pair of boots. I snap back. It's my boots, my feet, my life!

I entered the shop and gazed at my object of decadent desire. The urge to touch it bordered on absolute hedonism, if not unconditional fetishism. It was almost sinful the way I planned to caress, stroke, and fondle the object. Many years down the road, when my number is up, I'm sure St. Peter would ask for an accounting of my time spent with these leathers. They were once live skins, I could hear him say! But oh, St. Peter, where does it say that it is wrong to spend time in Shoe Heaven? And besides, why don't you check up on the golfers of this planet, like my friends Beeps and Mags? They spend so much time on the greens called Golf Heaven!

You don't need another pair of black boots, I tried to convince myself.

"Would you like to try them on?" asked the salesgirl. Santisima. She's a tease.

My guardian angels turned the alarm signals on, with the Lead Angel screaming, "Walk away now, you don't want to cross that bridge!"

"Who said I'm going down that road?" I asked back. "Come on, I am in control of my life." Kunyari.

"We carry only six pairs of them, one for each size," butted the salesgirl in. She looks so fresh, MTV-young and Esprit-generic. Charming that she is, and without her knowing it, she was turning me into a Dudette With Boots Dilemma by the minute.

I sat down, took my shoes off and tried the boots on. Darn, the leather felt so gentle around my legs. I could imagine the coming winter days. They would be sooooooooo cold, the moisture in my eyes would want to freeze. When the wind chill factors hit, not even the memories of hot summer days would help. But with these boots on, I told myself, I would carry that warm feeling, like fire in my heart, flame in my soul.

"You are trying to rationalize," I heard Lead Angel say. Oh, why is she so logical?

I stood up to test the heels. Aaaaahhhhhhhh, the heels. They are two inches high and shaped like hourglasses. This is the part where my girlfriends Lizeth, Myra and Lynn would become outspoken and opinionated, backed up by their individual insights, paradigms, and perspectives about shoes. And about life.

To the conservative, my boots would be a declaration of anarchy. It would make the nuns shake their heads and say, "When we released you to this world, you were a colegiala."

To the conservative, my boots would be a declaration of anarchy. It would make the nuns shake their heads and say, "When we released you to this world, you were a colegiala." This pair of boots would catch the Mother Superior's attention. I would be called into her office, listen to an hour's lecture on sensible shoes, then sent off to the chapel to recite all the mysteries, but only after parting with a couple of hundred of Deutsche Marks for the colegio's charitable projects.

The Jesuit fathers would clap their hands. ADNU's Father Phelan would say, "She wears the boots of somebody who slipped out of the mold." Respect for rebels for rebellion's sake! My friend Chito however describes it best: "She's the HS69 eGroup's resident agitator!" But then of course he is a 1081 survivor and he drools over nouns that end with the syllable -or- especially with the word moderator.

And then I know someone who would think that these boots are sensuous and sybaritic but only because they would touch the skin of my legs, the same legs that connect to the thighs, the same thighs that adjoin the..........oh never mind. Bitin. Hanggang tingin ka lang, hoy!

And in the middle of all this shoe narcissism and boots egoism, I try to find my balance and retain my sanity. Shoes and boots are my personal statements, I could not say this often enough. I wear them, they don't wear me, after my credo, If Your Boots Are Sexier Than You, You Have A Problem.

I don't have this problem. Do you?

© Edna Weisser

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