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by John

I have recently seen one or two back issues of OverGround: very interesting with some very encouraging and sympathetic editorials. The feature by Carol Davis was just great. I have, in fact, seen some of her videos and they are just terrific; I can recommend them.

Like so many who write to you, my interest in this area referred to as devoteeism began quite young. I guess it sort of crept up on me subconsciously, as from as young as I can remember, maybe 2 1/2--3 years old, we lived next door to people who had a daughter who was my age. I never remember seeing her without a full-length non-bending calliper on her right leg. We used to play together all the time and I never, as a young child, thought deeply about why she had a calliper. To this day I don't know!

I lived next door to her until we were seven, when we moved. I did meet her by chance some years later, I think at about 12 or 13. She no longer had a calliper and was quite pretty, but I did notice that her right leg was a bit thinner than the other and she had a little bit of restricted move ment in her hip. I never saw her again, but after, thought of her calliper days, with no sexual overtones I was aware of. Then when I was 14 I happened to see a girl in a park, about my age. I noticed immediately that her right leg was totally stiff and was quite different and uniform pink than her left leg, which though a nice slim shape, was a bit blotchy. Memories of my old playmate flooded back, and then it sud denly hit me that this girl had an artificial leg. She was attractive, with long blond hair down her back 'Alice' style and she walked quickly and well, if stiff-legged. I watched her quite a while from a discreet distance. She was with a group of girl friends and never noticed me (I think). I found myself getting spontaneously aroused by the sight of her with an incredible desire to go and speak to her, but a total lack of courage to do so, probably for fear of ridicule and rejection. When she sat on a park bench I noticed that the limb still didn't bend. There was no sign of an ankle-joint: it just stuck out rigid. Her dress of course rode up and exposed to view the fact that the limb encased her thigh almost right up to the knicker-line. There were perforations in the top 6 inches which instantly signified to me, in hindsight probably correctly, that the amputation was very high. Eventually they went away and I was too embarrassed to follow. I went to the park many times but didn't see her again. She became the object of my teenage sexual desires. I have never been able to get her out of my mind, even after 20 years.

Even though my interest in 'normal' females was pretty well established, in any sexual encounter since then my thoughts turn to the girl in the park and my fantasy about fulfilment with her and what her stump might look like. I expect that today she has kept some lucky guy happy for some years. I often wonder what kind of limb she wears, if she ever uses crutches and wears a sexy swim-suit etc.

My next encounter was seeing a girl, older than me, quite short, and dark-haired, who had a double hook instead of a left hand. I was sitting opposite her on the tube and we rode for a good many stops before she got off. Her hook, which simply rested on her lap most of the time, caused similar arousals to my favourite girl. I was captivated, but then she raised her head from the paper she was reading and to my astonishment I noticed that she had an artificial left eye too, a small scar from the corner over the bridge of her nose suggesting that the cause was perhaps a car-crash or similar.

I can't explain the wave of feelings that washed over me and I was still thinking about her when I nearly missed my stop. Whilst her arm interested me, it was her eye that my mind kept returning to. Since that time I have ended up with the perfect woman of my dreams being an attractive long-haired blond, with a high right leg amputation, and a glass eye! This is a combination which if even any exist, must be almost impossible to contemplate meeting by chance.

I do, in fact, find any reasonably attractive lady who has any kind of amputation or loss of an eye of interest, but not to the exclusion of other attractive normal women, with whom all of my relationships have been and are. Oddly enough, I have absolutely no interest now, in that sense, in legs in callipers, which I believe almost certainly triggered the whole thing in childhood.

Over the intervening years various sightings have occurred, including the odd very occasional treat of seeing an attractive woman with only one leg, swing ing elegantly along on crutches.

On a slightly different note, and being one of that much maligned breed an 'Essex man', I am pleased to note that Over Ground is published in Essex, which brings me to a point of discussion: As an Essex dweller and travelling around a fair bit I have noticed that on average there seems to be a higher proportion of one-legged, and one-eyed girls in Essex than elsewhere. This may, of course, be due to the fact that SE Essex, in particular, is one of the most densely populated parts of Britain. I also note that of these, a much higher proportion are attractive in the conventional sense. Am I correct or simply deluding my self? I would like to think of 'Essex girls' as being a better class of amputee. London, of course, keeps turning up the odd two or three a year.

My crutch-user sightings were in Essex, in Romford Shopping Precinct. One of those was especially attractive, with long black hair and and a very shape ly slender left leg. I could not detect the level of her amputation, however. The way she used crutches suggested that they were her normal way of getting about. Why does one never have the courage to make an introduction on these occasions?

There was also a regular sight ing of a petite blond with a left BK and a flesh-coloured cover up to the thigh. She walked without a limp, the give-away being the folds in the cover behind the knee as it bent. I saw her once on a hot day with the cover rolled down to below the knee, and the attachment point, like a sock. There was a buxom, curly-haired blond with a totally empty left blouse-sleeve, a girl with no legs, in a wheelchair, who seemed to have one mid-thigh stump and the other leg off at the hip. Also in Romford I had an interesting sequence of sightings. This was of a girl, maybe 18 or 19, whom I often saw at a bus-stop on my way to work. She was quite attractive, red-haired and freckled, not too slim, but not fat, but never prettily dressed, quite dowdy, in fact. She wasn't an amputee, but used under-arm crutches. She had a shapely sturdy left leg, but her right was clearly totally useless, thick, reddened, blotchy. It hung, with a shoe on the foot, with her toes just clearing the ground. It swung like a limp rope when she moved. It was, in fact quite a turn-off. In cold weather it would look quite purple-veined. I would see her two or three times a week over the next couple of years. She always wore skirts or dresses though, and never had a sock on her limp leg, just her tights. Then I didn't see her any more, and assumed she had moved or changed her job. At least she didn't wait for the bus at that stop or time. She became a slightly interesting memory. At least a year later, on a hot Summer day, whilst weekend shopping I spotted her red-haired figure in the crowd in front of me, moving along quickly on her crutches. On such a nice day she looked prettier and had a nice floral dress. I determined to catch up with her and I did, and as the view of her cleared of people in the way, I was totally gob-smacked: there she was, just in front of me, with no sign of the limp leg. I just couldn't believe it: gone! Again I watched her discretely and all my feelings rose to a crescendo. I must have stayed near her for nearly two hours as she shopped and looked about. Her dress was hemmed just above the knee and flimsy enough to see clearly from the folds and the odd shadow against the light, that her leg was gone almost totally, just a bump below her right buttock. I tried to summon up the courage to go and speak to her, or devise an accidental meeting on a corner or doorway, but my nerve, as always, went! As with others I have never seen her since. I can still picture perfectly every minute of that encounter. There, and in other parts of our country I've had other uplifting experiences, some times fleetingly observed from the car, but happily often (if that's the word) at close quarters. Incidentally, the majority of the amputees I have seen have lost their right legs. I would have expected a 50 : 50 right/left bal ance. Is there any reason for the imbalance? I hypothesize that various cycling and motorcycling accidents may be responsible for this as it is the right leg that is out in the traffic stream in Britain, and road accidents are probably the commonest causes of amputations among the young and fit. I know of at least two girls where this is the case. One was certainly a biker, leathers and all, an AK with a fully articulated limb, who still rode pillion, quite a turn on in many ways.

The other, a bit too young for me now, I used to see fairly regularly. Before her accident I saw her several times on her bicycle, in shorts or sports skirt, and tee-shirt, showing large expanses of sturdy thigh and muscular calf. She was short, quite stocky and not at all unattractive, usually carrying tennis gear, or going to or from the swimming pool, quite athletic really. An accident to a 16-year-old was reported in the local paper. She had been knocked off her bike at some tricky traffic lights and had suffered 'serious leg injuries'. Then it was reported, the next day, that she had lost her leg. I only later found out it was her, and was surprised how young she was. I immediately began to visualise her and wondered endlessly which leg she had lost and whether above or below the knee - the paper never said. I even sent a 'get-well' card to her in hospital.

It wasn't until many months later that I saw her in a local supermarket with her mother, presumably. She looked quite drawn and wore a woolly top and jeans. Her right leg was absolutely rigid from a clearly visible ridge at the top of the thigh to a solid unjointed ankle. The limb was clearly well-shaped to match her good leg - the jeans were quite closely fitting. She was also not wearing a bra and her generous breasts moved in time with the clumsy and heavy swinging of the artificial leg. She wore brand new trainer boots too. Perhaps it was her first venture out on her new leg.

Over the next few months I saw her in various places, still much the same, moving clumsily on that rigid leg. I had assumed that perhaps it was temporary and that she would soon have an articulated limb, but she never did. She acquired a moped, which she rode, looking most odd, in crash-helmet, bomber-jacket, and jeans and trainers, with the artificial limb sticking out at a very strange angle. It all looked most precarious. Later she got a small automatic car. I thought eventually that since she kept the rigid leg and never improved her clumsy gait, that she must have had her leg amputated very high indeed. I began to wonder if it was off at the hip. Then, with a few mates, I made one of my rare visits to the swimming pool, a modern indoor affair, and very pleasant. After about 30 minutes I spotted her in the water at the far end of the pool and swam closer. I failed to catch even a glimpse of her stump; the water was very churned up and she stayed tantalisingly just out of view. After some time I watched her swim to the side and start to heave herself up the steps. With a big push on her good leg she was out and standing on the poolside balanced on her one leg. I was utterly amazed to discover that her leg was amputated just above the knee. I can only assume that the accident has left her with muscle or nerve damage that prevents her from having full mobility in the stump and using a flexing leg requiring a full thigh socket fitting for support. I saw her a few more times and and then not again to date.

Sightings remain my best hope and do keep turning up. I suppose that there's nothing unique in my likes, desires, and longings. I reflect more easily on things these days and reconcile it all as fate. I have no way of knowing how things would have turned out if I hadn't had that childhood companion with a calliper. That memory, little by little, has become an interest in artificial limbs and then in stumps, together with glass eyes, and one-eyedness.

There is no way that I could have altered the events in my life or known how I would react, so there it is: I'm lumbered!

My most recent little bit of 'joy' to end on was the observation of a couple, a well-built man and his beautiful long-haired, hourglass-figured wife, but the pool at a 'costa' holiday hotel. As they neared the pool to dive in, the girl reached up and popped out her right eye and put it in a pouch at her waist and jumped in, without a concern for anyone watching, just delightful. She was no less pretty without her eye in. I just sat with my drink and dreamed.

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