As most of you know I am working at a lovely little travel store in Hayes Valley. The store is cleverly designed like the cabin of an airplane with rounded corners curving over the five hundred dollar Jack Spade bags and twirling racks of travel books. The crowed that frequents this store is pretty tame for the most part ranging from poodle toting all male couples to families just passing the time after a leisurely Sunday brunch. The shoppers often come in waves leaving myself and my fellow retailer sharing stories of our previous nights out, or discussing the latest in fashion or film.
However, one afternoon our banter was abruptly disrupted when a tall thin man swaggered in, followed by an equally as tall, but not so thin woman in her fifties. The two of them were mid-discussion as they passed the threshold of our doors deliberating about the appropriate suitcase. The man in front asked, "Well, do you want a hard or a soft case?” and the third member of their party entered the store exclaiming, "You know I always like it hard!” He was thick, and burnt brown from some source unknown to me because San Francisco has been nothing but rainy for the past two weeks. Thick bands of black barbed wire were inked around his biceps, and his shoulders had swallowed his neck whole. Despite many obvious obstacles he still managed to walk with some swivel to his hips, and his meticulously manicured facial hair, and ringed fingers made for an interesting composition. After examining a few cases, true to his word, he not only bought the hardest, but also the biggest suitcase in the store.