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The thrill and excitement of foot contact

November 11, 2013

He called her Cobalt Blue. That was because of her eyes. At the time, I didn’t know cobalt from cerulean (and being a guy, it’s just blue). But my college roommate was smitten. After the rhapsodizing about her eyes, using a word he just had to look up in the dictionary, I got to hear about foot contact. At one of his classes.

It all seemed quite silly to me. After all, my roommate was tall, a good athlete, and not at all stuck up about it. Why was he sweating foot contact?

Time went on and we graduated. He married his long-time sweetheart, from which he was on a break at the time.

When you remember Fonzie as a childhood hero, you’ve moved on to things of more importance than the thrill and excitement of foot contact.

I’ve had similar experiences–as have you–when a specific someone’s phone call was like life-giving oxygen. And when that person’s failure to call was apocalyptic. It all seems so silly now.

But it wasn’t then. Any more than it was silly that I touched Debbie Moore’s hand in second grade or got to walk through the accumulated leaves with Julie Anne Thomas in third grade. (I even listened to Bobby Sherman records as a token of my esteem for her. If that’s not love…)

The point is, when you can remember Fonzie and your life is wrapped up in work and getting in the daily quota of writing, and trying to fit in a workout, sometimes you forget the giddy high of foot contact. And of just merely walking side by side through the leaves. Or even of listening to Bobby Sherman records when you’d rather be on your bike leaving wicked skid marks down the sidewalk.

A lot’s been written about the electric haze of sexual infatuation, about how you almost ache to touch someone and feel almost physically compelled to kiss them. But what about looking up words to describe eyes? Or getting excited about foot contact? Or even just walking together with that certain someone you almost dare not speak of or speak to?

That’s just as poignant as the sexual attraction.

(And it would make a hell of a topic for the First Steps anthology for next year’s collection.)

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