The phone rings right next to the alarm clock that reads 7:32am. Jones picks it up to answer. "Thank you" he says, and then puts the receiver back down to hang up. He's been awake for more than half an hour already. He walks back over to the window and stares blankly towards the dim horizon. Most of the city hasn't even gotten up yet, but he's been awake, standing by the window, poised, and ready to do what he must in order to be successful today.
Today he woke up in Paris. Yesterday he woke up in London. In forty-eight hours he'll have to be in Milan where he'll stay for at least two nights before flying home to New York City. He doesn't not enjoy Europe, but he misses home. And even though he's seen it all before for the last fifteen years of his life, it's the woman who's waiting for him back home that he misses the most. Only, does she know that he's missing her? And does he know if she's actually thinking about him?
As Jones lathers his face with his Edwin Jagger shaving cream in the bathroom he pauses to look the man in the mirror in the eyes. The man before the shaving cream with the thick stubble is hardly the man he knows or used to be. He wants to go back to that man - a man of conviction, purpose, and ambition. Just thirty more seconds of this staring contest and he begins grazing the shaving cream off his face along with the hair. Stroke-by-stroke he revealed the better Jones again - the Jones that got him here; the Jones that defined the last two years of his life.
Opening up the closet door he's faced with the very simple choice of either a black Dunhill suit, a Belstaff leather jacket, two crisp dress shirts - a white one paired with a black tie, or a pale blue one paired with a gray tie - and an Alexander McQueen t-shirt. Since he was going to a formal interview, the black suit with the white shirt and black tie was probably most appropriate.
Jones always enjoyed getting dressed. He compares it to putting on a suit of armor. He felt stronger in a suit; nearly invincible. It sure helps when you're wearing fancy clothes, though, but it was the respect that came with being well presented that motivated and encouraged him to be as put-together as possible all the time. No matter what he was doing, he would always prefer to be in a suit. Now of course, he would never wear a suit to the amusement park or a baseball game, but there wasn't much more outside of those things he wouldn't wear one to.
There was always a systematic process for putting on his clothes, too. First came a splash of cologne onto the raw skin (Cartier Roadster on this particular trip), then the shirt, then the trousers, then the socks, then the tie, and lastly the jacket. This routine has been rarely broken for as long as he's been wearing suits. He thinks doing it any different will only waste time because of the pauses taken when deciding on what to actually wear, or simply what the next step should be. This way, with the routine, he could actually take his time to button up his shirt properly and tie a great tie knot every time.
He reaches into his jacket pocket and pulls out his Montblanc billfold wallet. When he opened it all he discovered was forty dollars US - two twenties. He checked his pant pockets to see if there was anything in them, but there was nothing but old receipts. He gives off a dull sigh, but at the end he pulls out one of the twenties and places it on the desk.
He reaches to his pen pocket inside his jacket and pulls out his Waterman Exception roller ball to pen a quick thank you note for the housekeeper. He's had this pen for nearly six years now. It was the first nice pen he bought with his first semi-decent paycheck. Since, he's written short poems in his notebook with it, a few love letters, and of course signed a few bar tabs. He reaches for the hotel notepad and writes a simple "Thank You" on it with a smiley face - the same smiley face he's been replicating on almost every thank you note, birthday card, or even quick post-it message for the last three years simply because a good friend drew one at the bottom of a birthday card to him three years ago and he liked the way he drew the eyes. They looked closed, but paired with a smile, so imagine a guy having a very pleasant dream and smiling all the way through it.
Jones walks into the bathroom one last time to check if the man who's about to walk out of those hotel room doors is going to be a presentable one - he is. He fiddles with his tie knot a little before he walks out; getting it just right. Of course, adjusting either the tie knot or the length of the tie has always been a huge waste of time considering the fact that there is no such thing as a perfect knot or length. Anyhow, that has not stopped him from, every now and again, being late after starting off on-time, or even running early. He gives the knot a quick adjustment and simply leaves it the way it is after that. One of these days he's just going to have to learn to let go of his sense of perfect and just let it be. One of these days he's simply going to have to accept imperfection as a gift of life. And with one last, long look at himself in the mirror, he rubs his right cheek with his right hand. It was smooth - a great shave. He buttons up the top button of his suit, closes the light in the bathroom, and walks out the door.
Edwin Jagger shaving products, Montblanc wallets, and Waterman Exception pens are all available at CHARALS in Vancouver.