The Schizophrenic Boot

`Letter to the editress, on the "Wearing of Boots", the lady's name and address having been withheld at her own request. We may reveal to the readers of Heel! magazine, in the same confidence, that the correspondent has been a past contributor of authoritative and widely acclaimed articles on the subject of the naming of Ladies' Boots. Her insightful comment and progressive recommendations in this matter, tirelessly proposed in the crusading spirit, have at last and thankfully prevailed over the error of the "anonymous approach" to the labelling of boots, which has been the regrettable cause of so much unnecessary distress and confusion, most particularly with the uninformed debate and palaver at the recent elections over the multiple voting of booted ladies:

Dear Boot-Lovers,

I am regularly asked to give a date, a time-span, even the season, on or within which a boot and its pair, if they are to be named together, at once, should be so christened; in short, I feel sometimes that I am expected to provide a measure of exactitude, of scientific precision, to an aspect of a lady's behaviour which must be considered to be entirely sublime and in every case beyond the determination of mere reason.Certain guidelines but not instruction, which is of course reserved to the polishing servant, may be usefully provided, and no more.

My reply to my questioning and sincere colleague is itself made in the form of an innocent enquiry. For example, does the reader believe herself to be in receipt of an intolerable and personal insult when her footwear, if here supposed to be animate in its own right, might at the same time feel badly treated, or slighted by some act of disrespect? Is the moment savoured when again, if indeed the boot is at first removed, the leather which has been prepared for inspection and touch by the boot-slave, is slid over and becomes fused, at least imaginatively, with the mistress' expectant flesh? If the an- swer to these two questions is "Yes", both times, then it would be correct, advisable and timely, to delve further into the unique and blossoming relationship of boot and mistress. The reader may in the meditative privacy and midst of her self-questioning and doubt, choose her own phrasing, with the sensitive variation of my words, which are, nevertheless, and this should be borne in mind, based on the experience of countless exchanges with the lady who has arrived at this point of open and complete self-discovery.

And does one boot differ from the other such that the mistress inclined by nature to kick out and strike with her right side, discovers that it is with her left boot and heel that she has dispatched so summarily the subject of her repulsed and dispassionate gaze - that kneeling, servile object of her sudden disapproval; and all this contrary to what might have been guessed before the deadly delivery to the head and body of the clumsy slave? And is the other boot, though more reti- cent, and preferring to play on like the proverbial cat with the cornered mouse, more expressive by the arching instep or lengthened and raised boot-tip, of the contempt with which the misdemeaning man is held in the eyes of the impatient mistress, perhaps made late for a meeting, prearranged and of great importance?For in the character of its conduct lies inevitably the clue to the identity and sexual recognition of the female boot, and the resolution to this dilemma of the new wife and mistress, much reported within these pages, of which name to choose for boot and slave. Yes, certainly, the polishing and soon to be feminized slave will bear the name of the boot that kicks, and be baptized the very same.

What is the complex and true nature of the indwelling life within the polished and shaped leather of reshaped bull, and the sharpened heel now turned against the sex of its previous incarnation, and carrying within, instead, the new memories of the female host? Was not the heeled boot of the suffragette tethered also beneath the long dress, to the patriarchal gates, and with this troubled past of darkened imagery still unavenged, seeks out the opportunity to punish and then to punish, without appeasement? It is the deliberate and feminine naming of that schizophrenic boot which has so far remained at odds with and appears unconvinced of its new role and purpose, that, as precocious readers will have already surmised, forces through the still glimmering and bullish consciousness an acceptance of its new female identity and loyalty. And after the mutual baptism of boot and polishing slave, it is common for the mistress to say in her own defence, when exaggeration has entered into and played a decisive part in her relationship, and if the word "common" may be applied to a mode of living which is as yet in modern times, quite exceptional . . . it is common to hear of her complaint that the "boot struck first, and I but followed in its wake" as appalled as any bystander by the irreversibility and magnitude of the crime. Let the reader remind herself, and often, that in the training of the servant, as in the breaking-in of new boots, strict timing and restraint are the boot-lover's key to that elusive and frequently discussed state of marital bliss.

Madame X

A second extract from this fascinating account of the making of a good boot-slave will be published by the kind permission of Madame X in our july issue, available from the shops on June 16th, or directly by subscription. Readers' comments welcomed!'