Posted On November 22, 2014 By In Miscellaneous, Ramblings

My Walk Into Foot Prostitution


It was one of those classic San Francisco mornings.  In other words, I was hungover and there were homeless men sleeping outside my 6-floor building downtown.  I liked where I lived.  It was “different.”  Moreover, it was my first studio apartment and when I lifted my murphy bed back into the wall, I could dance in my underwear by myself or with a special friend, depending on the day of the week.  I had left suburbia and entered a city where I could sort of see my entire future unfolding.  The homeless people didn’t bother me.  Quite the opposite.  They made me feel like I had made it!  Eureka!  You see, I had always dreamed of being far away from home and smack-dot in the middle of some metropolitan paradise.  Any city with buildings high enough for me to crane my neck would do.  So I chose San Francisco and San Francisco State University chose me.

On this particular San Francisco morning, I had class scheduled for 10am.  In order to get to campus, I had to walk 10 blocks and take the subway for about 36 1/2 minutes.  Clearly, closeness to bums took priority over proximity to school.  Given the choice between convenience and euphoria, I tend to choose the latter.  Perhaps if I had truly cared about going to Finance 300 that day, the following incident would not have occurred.

I turned right on Powell Street, shuffling my feet down one of the most touristy spots in the city.  As I was in no rush to school, I decided to walk into Walgreen’s across from Union Square to get a water bottle.

“Excuse me,” a man tapped on my shoulder.  “I think a beetle or something crawled into your boot.”

Without an once of hesitation to consider the shame involved with making a public scene, I threw both of my boots off while making noises that sounded like “shit!” “eek” “ahhh!” in the entryway of a high-traffic Walgreen’s.  I did not see a bug.  Not in my shoe.  Not crawling towards the Crest White Strips.  Nonetheless, I was too relieved and embarrassed to berate the guy who scared the shit out of me before my second cup of coffee.  The accident cost me a few minutes so I skipped the water bottle purchase and hustled outta there with a newfound sense of purpose.  There’s nothing like a minor beetle incident to motivate you to get to class.

The man followed me out of the store which is not unusual in an overpopulated city.  I decided not to hold a grudge against him for fake-seeing a beetle, so we chatted casually until about halfway down Powell Street.  At this time, he chose to make his real intentions clear.

Dude AKA potential serial killer:  “Hey, so, I’m doing a project for school at UC Davis and, um, can I look at your feet?”

Me AKA innocent girl in a new city: “Ha, nah.  I’m going to be late for class.”  (And that would be WEIRD.)

Dude:  “Well, it’ll only be a couple minutes.”

Me:  “You just want to look at…my feet?”

Dude: “Yeah.”

Me: “No.”

Dude.  “I’ll give you $200.”

Me: “Okay!  Wait…what?”

His eyes: “Just go with it”

We entered a hotel across from Union Square.  We sat down on two oversized chairs with only a small coffee table between us.  I started stripping from the ankle down while he salivated at the “research” he was about to obtain for his “student project.”  After I peeled off my mismatched socks, slowly, I leaned back and put my right foot up for him to see.  He asked me a couple preliminary questions: “How do you walk?”  With swagger, sir.  “Are you a dancer?”  Not today.  Then he touched the inside of my foot and probably jizzed in his pants like a real-life Digital Short.  I was finished as well and said, “Alright, that’s about all the time I have.”  He looked a little hurt that I didn’t want to play footsie with his naked fingers for another five minutes.  Nonetheless, he put 10 twenty-dollar bills in my poor, college-student hands.  I thanked him and walked out of The Hotel Union Square as if I didn’t just commit prostitution of the lower extremity.

My family always told me that I have my Grandma’s feet.

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Elin Van Atta is a writer for Writtalin. She is a senior marketing student at CSULB and Pilates instructor in-training. Elin lives in a fantasy land and often goes on adventures that she can't afford. She enjoys cat-free living quarters, cookie butter, and running half-marathons. Always drinking coffee. Never not drinking coffee. She really likes coffee. Follow her on Instagram @elinvanatta for a glimpse into the life of an overly caffeinated twenty something in-n-out of suburbia.