Eric D. Goodman - Fetishes

          It’s the middle toe that interests me. It pokes out so far that the tip of it isn’t even on the white sandal, like it’s peering over the edge of a diving board, ready to jump. Don’t get me wrong, her little toe is cute, and the one next to it isn’t bad, despite its crooked positioning. The one next to the middle toe is weird, like a fat ball at the end of a skinny stick, a hobo’s life on his back. Her big toe is dominated by the bright orange polish and it almost blinds me, takes the attention away from the toe itself, where it belongs, and sucks you in with its sunset brilliance.

          But that middle toe…whoa. I can’t stop staring at it.

          When I look away and pay attention to the scenery passing by outside the window, it’s like the long digit is crooking itself, beckoning me to turn and look. I gotta glance at her face for a minute to make sure she doesn’t notice me looking—and she does. My eye hurts from straining to stare at it from the side of my eye. The bus stops at Northern and York and she gets up, whispers “pervert,” and gets off the bus. She takes her toe with her.

          I can’t really see it when I watch her walk along the sidewalk toward the Swallow at the Hollow outside, but I imagine I can. It’s the orange gleam of the big toe I’m really catching. I look back inside, where someone has already taken her seat.

          It’s the mole, more tan than brown, like a soft caramel, that attracts me to her cleavage at first.

National Public Radio’s WYPR has called Eric D. Goodman “a regular on the Baltimore literary scene.”  His work has been published in The Washington Post, The Baltimore Review, Writers Weekly, The Potomac, Slow Trains, Freshly Squeezed, Pen in Hand, JMWW, Scribble, Grub Street, On Stage Magazine, The Arabesques Review, Coloquio, Whatever, To Be Read Aloud, and New Lines from the Old Line State: an Anthology of Maryland Writers. He is represented by the Doris S. Michaels Literary Agency, Inc. and his children’s book, Flightless Goose, was recently published by Writer’s Lair Books. For more information, visit:

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