It just lay there. Salvatore Ferragamo, written in small cursive letters. Inside the beige sack, black leather sat peeking out from the ground. I crossed the quiet road towards the laundromat. I was tempted to drop my laundry and pick up the lost and found item, but kept on — acting normally, taking time to place my clothes in the washer and the card in the money slot.
When I came out again, it was still there, staring at me. I looked around to see if I was on an undercover reality show complete with hidden surveillance camera. I took the bag, held my breath and waited until I reached the comfort of my bedroom before I opened the package to investigate.
This year, I’ve taken a stool and a fruit bowl set from the sidewalk — pretty nondescript and functional. I’ve heard Upper East sidewalk leftovers are the best, but this West Village discovery was also in very good condition — tissue paper stuffed inside to keep shape. It smelled and looked pretty real. I guess I wouldn’t know otherwise.
I was instantly reminded of a Minnie Mouse left by a Japanese tourist family in my parents’ souvenir shop when I was a kid. I didn’t know the stuffed doll was a hand-me-down. Even after mom told me the truth, it didn’t matter; I cherished my Minnie. Maybe this bag was purposely misplaced or dropped specifically for me to find it.
I thought about selling the purse since I don’t need more stuff and I could always use the funds but for some reason I waited to be convinced. After a few weeks, I decided to take it out for a spin to a John Legend concert. The black and gold matched my pleather and sequin outfit. The crossbody hung around my body during a night to remember.
I wonder why the prior owner didn’t give the bag to a friend or sell it. I don’t know if he or she lives on this road or it was tossed out of love or hate or simple generosity. Was it a ghost from the closet — a present from a cheating lover or a jealous relative? I like to tell people clothes tell a story. So do accessories. Some are just passed down, anonymously and then we put a twist on them to make our own new lines.
More than a month after its one use, I’m hoping to sell the bag for profit. I was asked how old it was and I couldn’t answer; instead, I just displayed its good condition. As it stands on a shelf, mystery cloaks it and while the next owner may see it as just another brand name purse, I see an unknown narrative and the single memory of a good time stuffed inside it. The luxurious history is up for imagination and the bag itself, up for grabs. The receiver of this classic style decides its next future.
(By the way, my cut from the quick sale was over $150. Remember to look where you’re going; and imagine coming upon that kind of fortune as cash on a charming tree-lined street. Thank you again to my fairy style-muse.)