things I get asked – part one: the bag

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everyone loves the bag – or, perhaps, The Bag.

myself included… you may have seen the hundreds of photos, or perhaps found yourself unwillingly in the middle of a conversation I had with it.

apologies for that, I┬áspend a lot of time by myself, and it’s kind of my Wilson – or, perhaps Wilson Leather.

[that was funny. bag and I are going to joke about that later.]

but where did it come from?

well, last winter, a few friends and I found ourselves in Marrakech, Morocco. some from New York, some from France, myself in the midst of The Big Bicycle Adventure [I’m just going to start capitalizing shit so you pay attention] … it was Dec. 30th and we pushed and pulled our way through the gorgeous, albeit annoyingly in-your-face souq. smells and sights and not all of them good – quick hands extending from old bodies to grab you proving exciting at first, but wearing us down after that. we needed to get out and breathe, it’d be nice to not have to hold all of our valuables with one hand and slap away said extended arms with the other.

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but the problem is finding your way out. it’s a maze, a labyrinth. attempts at giving tourists maps only add to the confusion. finally, after 20 minutes of ‘no, I think we took a right here.’, we saw the light. a tiny little back alley, still peppered with shops, but the kind that seem poised to sell to locals, not us.

and there it was – down a few shops from where I got my beard trimmed. no more than 20′ X 20′. a shop for bags and what was hanging from his store window? a bag. the bag. The Bag.

now, the first rule of bargaining is to act indifferent, right? oh, it’s nice, but I could do without… but – just out of curiosity – how much is it? – type of thing. but it was hard. I mean, put yourself in the very fortunate shoes of mine right now – how would you react, seeing this just… hanging there?

I kept my composure. asked him to take it down so I could put my hands all over it. the stains, the worn-out feel, the smell… it was perfect. but I couldn’t let him know that. so, with my hands still on it – I asked if he had a new version of this, since-this-was-so-dirty.

he looked, there wasn’t. I feigned severe disappointment.

ugh. gross. well, how much is this, then? [not that I wanted it. ew.]

he looked it over and asked if he could get 50 Euro from me.

I didn’t even counter.

50 Euro. $67. I’ve since been offered $500 for it and no-way-mister. this is mine.

… and thus began the beautiful story of Aric and The Bag.

[end]

note: at the chance of my [un?]timely death, the bag shall be passed along as follows:

– to my nephew; when he turns 18, or takes his first trip abroad.

– until then, it will be in the care of Denver Nicks. who will take it on his #tinyadventures and be responsible for a] emailing [not – underlined – texting] photos of it to Corey Wickersham on her birthday, and b] allowed to stay over at Aunt Nancy’s home for long weekends. Jeffrey A. Ward has been earmarked to set up the Twitter/Instagram/Facebook account.

[end]

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side note – another question I sometimes get – back when I had access to a shower and nice things – was what cologne I wear. it’s a very nice smell, but not as offensive as a cologne. it’s also not sharp – that kind of smell that makes it’s way right up to your sinuses. if I’m being honest, it’s a very sexy smell as well. what is it, then? amber. some sort of petrified [?] amber. bought a few shops down from the bag man. you should really smell me sometime, it’s intoxicating.

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