The Man With No Feet
(Author’s Note: I recognize that most of my posts are about how irresistible I am to sex workers and fetishists. Just know that I’m also frequently found completely undesirable. My Trader Joe’s debacle is just one example. Caveats in place …)
Henry says I’m no longer allowed to open the door when I’m home alone. I think he’s overreacting.
The Scene: It was noon yesterday and I was home alone
watching Outlander working when the doorbell rang.
Admittedly I was still in my night shirt and barefoot, but what if it was UPS with my latest
Boden dress house cleaning equipment?
I flung the door open and there, standing behind the gate, was a slight, young man somewhere in his twenties with what appeared to be one of those books from which you can order magazine subscriptions.
“Oh, I’m sorry,” I said, beginning to close the door, “We don’t buy things at the door.”
“That’s okay ma’am, but I’ve been walking a lot today and would you mind if I asked you for a glass of water?”
Here is where I should mention that the young man was wearing shorts and had prosthetic legs.
How do you say no to a young man who has been trekking up and down the westside ostensibly for miles just trying to sell a few copies of Mademoiselle in the droughty Southern California blast furnace on metal legs which end in a pair of unraveling orthopedic tennis shoes? And he’s thirsty.
I buzzed him in.
“Of course I’ll get you some water,” I said and turned to head toward the kitchen, leaving him standing on the stoop.
Briefly I thought maybe it wasn’t wise to leave the door open. He could just come right into the house. Slam and lock the door behind him, basically trapping me.
But then I thought I could probably take him if I had to. I was pretty sure I outweighed him by twenty pounds and just one leg sweep would ruin the whole kidnap-and-kill-me thing.
In the kitchen I poured a very tall glass of water in one of my best Venetian-style glasses, added a few ice cubes and realized that I was already pregnant with a new magazine subscription.
I’d let him in the gate, which was the same as saying yes. And while I know intellectually that women have the right to say no at any point in the magazine sales pas de deux, emotionally I always feel responsible for leading a salesman on.
This might be just the excuse I need to purchase a subscription to The National Enquirer, I thought. Anything to support the physically challenged!
I returned with the water, which the young man began to drink with gusto, and I prepared for his pitch. Instead, once he’d drunk half the water his eyes traveled down my body all the way to my …
“I see you’re barefoot,” he said.
“Oh, uh, yes.” I replied. My feet suddenly felt embarrassed.
“You have very nice feet,” he said. “You have an extraordinarily high longitudinal arch, supported beautifully by your flexor hallucis longus tendon.”
I reminded myself that my human foot was the Mozart to his carbon-foot Salieri and that I should feel flattered, not freaked out.
“Thank you,” I said, “Now maybe I should have a look at your magazine catalogue?”
“Has anyone ever photographed your naked feet?” he asked.
This cannot be happening, Shannon. Last week you end up with a happy ending massage in Chinatown and this week you’re going to be the victim of a foot-ectomy by a footless magazine salesman who likely has a Tree Gear bone saw he bought at Cabela’s under the ruse of being a deer hunter …
“Um, no, no one has ever done that,” I replied.
“Well they should. Can I touch one of your feet?” he asked.
My spirit left my body briefly and floated overhead taking in this surreal moment.
“I think this conversation has just become inappropriate!” said someone nearby in a very high, prim, tremulous voice. It was me.
I began to close the door in his face, but he stopped me by wedging his carbon foot in the door jamb! “Can’t I just take one photograph of your feet?” he whined.
“You absolutely may not take just one photograph of my feet!” I yelped, kicking at his foot with my bare feet, which made him groan a little. (Sweet mother of God and wtf?) But I managed to get the door shut. Until I realized he had the glass I purchased from Napa Style, which was delivered by a man with feet.
I wrenched open the door again to find the foot fetishist standing there, quizzically inspecting his tennis shoe, which had partially come off. I used this distraction to quickly snatch my fancy water glass out of his hand (which I was grateful to discover was real) and slammed the door again.
I immediately dashed off to wash my feet and have been wearing socks ever since.
I made the mistake of telling Henry about this episode which caused him to become very stern and patriarchal and rule-ish. Having said that, he now has a greater respect for my feet and I’m hoping to leverage that into more frequent foot massages.
Has anyone else had this kind of weird shit happen to them? Here’s another tale of my foot woes.