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Taking the small plastic shopping bag, I pulled out a large white paper envelope marked “Charvet”. It was from the most exclusive men’s tailoring shop in Paris, on Place Vendôme. I looked at him with anticipation as I handed it to him, instructing him to open it. He pulled it out, a fine white muslin handkerchief bathed in my perfume. “A hanky” he announced. The word was so colloquially American and so far removed from Place Vendôme, I was taken aback in amusement. He started to laugh as it shook open and he could read written on it, in neat cursive, by a hot pink marker, the word “dirty”, with his initials noted in the bottom corner. It was a word he liked to use. Not only because he reveled in it, but also, I suspected, to provoke me. I had put a lot of effort into this too, wondering whether to get it embroidered, what color the text should be, how to position it, and had gone out of my way to source the handkerchief. The joke would only work with something luxurious and beautiful, as a counterpoint to the obscene sexual subtext and the literal meaning of the word itself. – Y.K.

Scott Myles
This Way Out