The Genteel
October 19, 2017
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Illustration by Alina Kulesh.

He takes his coffee black, with a side of sarcasm. He is patient, and he is restless. Nevertheless, feel at ease because he's inviting you to come a little closer.

He is perfectly on time. We sit down. I realise there's a slight grin on my face.

He says he prefers to walk instead of drive. With each sentence, it's clear he never loses his balance.

He squints, and smirks.

He leans forward. He smells of valor, musk and leather. There's a hint of rose noir, with notes of wit and charm.

Sitting on the table is a copy of This is How You Lose Her. "This is going to be a classic," he predicts. Sometimes he cheats and reads the last page. He has loved, and he has lost.

His style is a visual explosion of timeless and timed, a collision of past and present. Today, as he sits in front of me taking strong sips of that bold, black coffee, he wears a classic trench coat, with a plain white tee. Those cobalt blue lace-ups. Sophistication.

He still buys hardcover, because of the permanence. Sitting on the table is a copy of This is How You Lose Her. "This is going to be a classic," he predicts. Sometimes he cheats and reads the last page. He has loved, and he has lost.

Our conversation flutters from topic to topic. He is certain about his words, always, as if only chisel and stone existed. He says just enough. He never doubts himself. An alarm chimes on his phone. He stops it. "I never miss a party."

He shakes my hand, and, before I can thank him, disappears.

I sit back down. I stare at his cup, empty and spotless, as if there were never any coffee in it at all. I gather my things. On the way home, as I listen to the rhythmic sound of my feet hitting the pavement instead of the ascension of a cab meter, I think about frank.

I'm still hanging off his every word.

Meet frank by The Genteel on January 14th.

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