Monday, October 4, 2010

Probably too much information...

**Warning - upon reflection this story may actually be quite disturbing and a little too revealing.  Before you read on, I want to assure you that there was no lasting psychological damage.  Little kids do odd things. Sometimes there is no acceptable adult explanation.  Okay?

Let the story begin...

When I was a kid I was in love with Fraser McPherson (not real name) from across the road.  And, I am sure, in his own way Fraser loved me too.  I was five, and he was six - the dashing older man.  We went to the same school.  Our parents weren't friends, in fact, as far as I recall, we weren't really allowed to play together.

But you see, I loved Fraser, and Fraser loved my feet.  Yep, that's right. To be precise, he loved to smell my feet.  We would huddle furtively under a blanket - ostensibly playing cubbies, and after a quick reconnaissance of the out-of-blanket world,  he would smell my five-year-old feet. But it didn't stop there.  He smelt my feet out the back near the woodpile.  He smelt them in the shelter of the freshly built garage. It became a regular rendevous.  I would wait out the back in nervous anticipation until twilight, disregarding my mum's call to dinner, in the hope that Fraser would give the secret knock on the back fence.  Then there would be the secretive glancing around, before the shoes got whisked off, and Fraser copped a noseful. 

I had no idea then of why this was naughty, but even at five I knew there was something a bit wrong about it - I still remember how I felt nearly 40 years later, and how hard I tried to hide this secret child's business from my parents.  But now, as an adult I realise that it was incredibly disturbing and weird, and that Fraser must have had something a bit skewiff in the upstairs department.  Not least because my feet have always been large and ugly, so ugly that my husband has nicknamed one of my toes "E.T." So ugly that the closest I get to having my toes sucked is to gaze at pictures of Sarah Ferguson reclining langourously on a sun bed, her toes in the mouth of her soft-bellied lover.  But also because, much to my life-long embarrassment, my feet have always been smellier than Vieux Boulogne, a French cheese described as having "an aroma of six-week-old earwax" and emitting "a pleasant eau de farmyard, replete with dung and Barbour jackets."  It seems that Fraser loved a bit of toe cheese straight after his breakfast toast.

How does one get to have a foot fetish at 6?  Almost as disturbing is the question of why I lined up for this experience.  It did tickle, and I remember finding it quite funny, but, in the way of memories, the exact reason I participated is lost to me now.  We moved from that address not long after.  I remember being heartbroken, but in hindsight it was very, very much for the best.  What would have happened if we had stayed?  What kind of a person did Fraser grow up to be?  Curious, I did a quick google search on his name - but to no avail.  Perhaps Fraser became a horse farrier, or a shoe maker, a podiatrist, or even a serial killer. Or maybe, he became a specialised purveyor of stinky cheese.  I don't know, but it's interesting and kind of scary to speculate.

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