ShortsByNature: The Salesman

ShortsByNature is a new project I have embarked on authoring a series of short stories.  The stories will have no direct relation to what goes on here at SuaveByNature, but will take inspiration from my own style, lifestyle, and other random anecdotes of fiction.  While it unravels, I hope to share these stories with you here and via its own dedicated tumblr.  Thank you for reading.

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Mr. A was walking through Soho on a Tuesday night looking to grab a quick bite before he returned to his walk-up one bedroom apartment to his wife and dog, Scruffy. It was a long day at work, but Mr. A enjoyed those walks home from his TriBeca office, picking a different route home each day.

Mr. A is a writer.  Well-read.  Well-groomed. Well-mannered.  Well-dressed.  An understated elegance to him, but never in-your-face.  Mr. A prides himself on doing things the right way – whether its his column in the local newspaper or the way he orders wine, he understands all the nuances of each endeavor he pursues.  But Mr. A is far from stuffy.  The occasional unbuttoned collar on his OCBD doesn’t bother him.  He gets dressed in the morning and then goes about his day not fussing over his tie knot until he removes it that night.

Continuing his search for food, Mr. A becomes distracted, as he does from time-to-time.  He catches a glimpse of one of those boutique menswear shops that sold Italian made suits with the wrinkled sleeve heads and cutaway collar denim shirts.  Now, Mr. A isn’t a stranger from this type of store.  As mentioned before, Mr. A is well-studied on the things he finds important, his appreciation for men’s tailoring being one of them.  He peruses the occasional online editorial from so called influencers and receives his daily vice of instagram street style stars – those of the Pitti Uomos of 2010.  He understands the difference between style and fashion – avoiding the latter.  He is a professional who appreciates the skill of a well-made pair of shoes.  So Mr. A is the kind of customer that will step into these kinds of boutiques from time-to-time.  Making purchases….from time-to-time.

Mr. A walks in to the scent of cedar and whiskey.  Double-breasted jackets gently hanging from solid wood hangers.  Self-tipped ties hanging beautifully against the wall, almost translucent.  Oxfords, loafers, and boots made of pebble grains and suede- all Goodyear welted.  Every man present is better dressed than the next.  Each of the salesman meticulously knotted their ties with a four-in-hand with the slight off-centered back blade slightly longer than the front.  Single malt scotch in hand, it was impossible to tell who worked there – with each person shooting the breeze as if they were long time friends discussing everything from trouser cuffs to the newest Michelin star restaurant in Chelsea. This place was more than a haberdashery, it was a community.  A community Mr. A enjoyed, but never really submerged himself into.  Not that he didn’t belong, but he wasn’t attending book releases and store openings with the who’s who.  He was an admirer and purveyor of things of quality – like that double-breasted jacket with the hand stitched shoulder that he saw when he walked in. He is a humble man who may do things correctly, but never saw himself on the same level as those with thousands of social media followers or the gentlemen who worked at this boutique.

As Mr. A continues to walk around, gently rubbing the offerings of silk and wool between his fingers, he settles in on a single breasted jacket made of hopsack wool with a 3 roll 2 button closure and patch pockets – the Italian version of jackets seen on the campuses of the Ivy League a few decades ago.  He picks it up, takes a look, but as his stomach growls, he sets it down.  Mr. A decides he will come back another day, as he forgot about his purpose on this particular walk home from work.  Before he turns around, another customer stops him: “excuse me, sir.”  Mr. A noticed this customer when he walked in – perfectly tailored navy suit with a 2 inch cuff on his single pleat trousers that gently touched the top of his shoe.

Mr. A: “Yes?” with a somewhat surprised look on his face.

Other Customer: “Do you have this in a 48?”

Mr. A: “I’m not sure, sir – I don’t work here.”

Other Customer: “I apologize.  You’re so well-dressed, you could work here.” he said with a smile on his face. He continued: “Great jacket by the way! Have a good night, and apologies again.”

As Mr. A returned the pleasantries, somewhat embarrassed by the sentiment that he was so well-put together that he could be mistaken to be an employee at the store, he smiled.