It’s really been shoes or reading material that triggers my interest. This time, it was both. The book? Believe it or not, John Steinbeck’s East of Eden. I’ve never read it, nor seen the movie. Not even the James Dean version.
Now the shoes. These were dark brown leather boots. It was the texture of the leather that was interesting- wrinkled in a crumpled paper sort of way, which at first glance gave it a weathered look, but really was quite new. And while laces were visible, there was also a zipper on the inside half of the boots. Plus, there were these strategically placed rivets around the shoes. Four total on each boot. And finally, there was stitching that reminded me of wingtips. This man was wearing boots that looked like they were a cross between Euro-trash and wingtips.
The rest was more uneventful. Dark skinny jeans. No markings, labels or fancy stitching. Possibly A.P.C., H&M or Uniqlo. His jacket was a dark brown leather bomber with a black fur lining that also included the collar. Again deceptively basic. The leather was textured, and reminiscent of Bottega Veneta. This was not the exact Bottega weave, but similar with all the squares. No extras on the bomber, just two basic side zippered pockets on the outside, and a basic metal jacket zipper.
The green sweater was a basic crewneck with a green on dark green diamond pattern. And he was wearing this green scarf that was essentially a summer silk scarf. Striped pattern with yellow and brown stripes and same colored tassels. But still a paper-thin silk scarf.
The guy had no ring, no watch, no earrings. The only accessory was this black messenger bag. This time, really basic. Smooth black leather. Worn over his right shoulder, and sitting on his lap as he read his book.
Everything pointed to Euro. It was the yellow mechanical pencil that he held as he was reading the book that threw off the judgement. He never used it once during that long subway ride. Just held it as he kept on reading.