I do my shopping when I’m walking home, after midnight. Some shops are shuttered and others dark. They pass me in the night.
Ombre’s lights were off when I first passed, but even in the dark, I could see the bag. Melting, dark, capacious.
I wrote an email to ask the price. It was not the moment.
Months later, I passed the shop in the daytime. Friday. “Once I passed here at night and saw some kind of duffel bag in the window.”
“Oh, yes. It’s over here.”
“Can I just try it?”
Boiled leather, stiff, holding its shape. Architectural. And huge, for all my shoes.
Because I don’t carry a computer any more, I carry costumes and shoes. And usually a big bunch of kale. This all does not fit in any kind of purse. My life is generally spilling on to the couch.
“It’s on sale.”
“I need to think about it.” Because I don’t impulse-buy. Even when the most gorgeous bag I’ve ever seen is haunting my nights already for 6 months.
“I’ll call you.”
“I’m going to hold it for you. I don’t just sell to anyone. I decide who can buy these things. This is right for you. I want you to have it.”
Saturday morning, steeped in non-impulse I called. “I want it. But I can’t be there until Wednesday”
Sunday afternoon he called back. “There’s a tourist standing here who wants your bag. Is it ok if I order you another one?”
“Sure, I’m not in a hurry.”
I called every week, then every months. One day I stopped by, for more unfulfilled reassurances.
“Anyway, do you have any wallets?”
“Yes, this is from the same maker.” The wallet was in a canvas bag, with hand-lettering “TaglioVivo”. Curious and anxious, I tried to google them. Nada.
Then the boutique owner had a massive personal crisis, lost his store. And ordering my bag was not on his list of priorities. I called many times, and finally had to give up the bag.
That was 2015. I still need a bag. I started searching the internet again. I find a boutique in Canada who sells the bag. Ridiculous to ship it from Italy to Canada and then back to Berlin, but if it’s the only way.
And then, suddenly I caught up with the times. Instead of searching again in google and pinterest for this elusive company, I searched facebook. And there they were. From there I found their robot-proof internet site, tagliovivo.it. And then I got the name: Giordano Lapegna. The man who makes bags that look like part of nature, or part of the night.
Now we are in direct contact, and I will interview him. I think of our interview as a point on the map if his country, the Italy I dream to discover. But first he has to make my bag, the Voyager.
By some strange miracle, I found a smaller version of a bag reminiscent of the Voyager as a perfect gift for Phoenix.