the traveler’s crease.

during errand-day
i also had the privilege of meeting
bill the tailor.

R was in the market for a new suit, and
it was almost dinnertime on a saturday, so
there wasn’t too much suit-buying traffic.

but there was still some quality people-watching, and
every man seemed to be looking for a man named bill
to help them find their correct fit.

some were quite insistently oronary about it.
ma’am, my wife and kids are waiting in the car. and my daughter is really sick. i need to see bill. i must have bill’s thoughts on this traveler’s crease.

every man had bill’s cell phone number. and i must say,
it was so odd to be in the world of confident wallstreet
where these men needed this approval of bill.

so, my interest immediately perked.
hunger pains went away. and i
waited to meet bill.

and then bill walked in.

and the men discussed creases and fits and possibilities
of adding cuffs and pleats and shortening and tucking.
and a surplus of other tailor terms.

and then the man’s wife and kids walked in.
it was like bill’s family had just arrived for the holidays.
there was giddiness. the entire family knew bill.

for the past many years, these people
were committed to building a legitimate relationship
with bill the tailor.

and i wanted them to all hurry up with their moment
and decide on the traveler’s crease. so i could talk to bill.

so after they left. and while R was finalizing
his choices before consulting bill,

i sat back all comfortable in my chair.
all content. because i was so happy to finally
have the opportunity to see what bill was all about.

i asked him about his family. life in new york. guns in jamaica. being a tailor for over 20years. dealing with wall street. the deal about the traveler crease debate. and about all the fuss over the fit of a suit.

well, ms angela. i’ve lived here over thirty years. it’s quite the adjustment from jamaica. my girls love it here though. they’re all so involved with pursuing their dreams. jamaica is definitely much quieter, yes. but everyone knows everything about everyone. it is such a small island. it’s both endearing and frustrating at the same time.

but so is new york. my neighborhood here is just the same. some tourists think it’s a careless city. but it’s a small island, too. i know what happens in my community. and my community knows everything that happens with me. it’s a natural state of humanity. that no matter what the motivation, caring or harmful, humans make efforts to know what is happening with other humans.

of course there are guns in jamaica. where did you hear such a lie? that is absurd. you are absurd to believe that. that’s the common state of the world. you can hear stories about how their is eden-like peace and beautiful camaraderie in all parts of the world, but there are also guns. yes, on the same corner of the earth that you find a joyful and giving soul, you may also find a gun.

ah, i’ve been here at the same company for 17 years. i’ve seen all pauses and progressions. there is something fulfilling about being committed through the stagnant and full-throttle-growth years of a company.

but i’ve seen all kinds of nuttiness around here, too. some men don’t like to listen to opinions. they want a suit cut exactly how they order, even if it is wrong. even if i tell them that they will be disappointed because it will not fit. and then they are always disappointed.

so i then explain that they didn’t listen to my opinion. that they didn’t trust me. that even though they know they aren’t a tailor, they didn’t want to trust the tailor. they didn’t want to trust that i know the fabric and the cut and what alteration will work best with the thread. that i know what they want and i know how to get them there. but that’s just how it can go, i suppose. sometimes, it is hard for someone to listen to another.

oh goodness, the traveler’s crease is mere preference. it helps the pant to maintain a fresh look through the wear of movement and travel. and of course the fit of the suit matters. it’s true what you just asked. you can tell a lot about a man by the cut of his suit. but not because of the reasons that you suggested. it’s not because of the cost or brand name of the suit. it’s all about how the suit fits.

for example, if a man’s suit pulls dramatically across the back, then i assume that he might need more admiration than others require. that he needs his size to be noticed. and if a man’s suit is too big and falls over his shoulders, then he might be a bit insecure about his size. he doesn’t want his size to be noticed.

angela, if it was a perfect world, i would definitely give every man a suit that is not too big or too small. but a man’s suit is his comfort.

and although i may notice these things, i would never judge. because at the end of the day, it’s about what he needs to comfort his confidence among all the other suits. all fits are needed, really. because it’s the ironic balance that is seemingly the backbone of everyone’s wall street.

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