Zero Latitude.

Chapter I

A Meeting at the Petite Vache on the left bank—The local Friday night haunt of explorers, cartographers and the like—Avid reader of escapist literature born with silver spoons in their mouths—A handsome count of slight build enters—Hands that have never seen any manual labour—Years in the navy his good-breeding and deportment shine through—A perfect balance; sartorial elegance and dishevelled explorer.

Chapter II

Day dreaming of the mysterious equatorial region—Envisioning a trunk bed—His naturalised country, offer the trunk makers of the day—Aboard the Venus-making their way south to the tropics—Only imagining the destination—Reading stories from Stanley en route.

Chapter III

Faced by the harsh reality of the equatorial conditions—Drugged by the intense heat and oppressive humidity . “I haven’t slept indoors or had a table to write on”—His portables; the trunk-bed, a foldable table—Reminders home—Familiarity a comfort in the jungled setting.

Chapter IV

Pondering the distinction between nature and culture—Civilised society now suspended here at point zero—Meeting his animal equivalent in the bush—His own name seems apt for his new friend—Observing his mischievous nature, his peculiar pelt and complex coiffure—Gobsmacked by his human characteristics—The creature’s scent reminds him of his own—A likeness without the social restriction—Scratching his balls without thinking.

Chapter V

Assembling the bag in a ritual manner—Modular components laid out like an elaborate table settings—Movements that seem almost choreographed,effortless and never stiff—The tension: functional object wrapped in its luxurious casing—Bisogno: a need—Sogno : a dream—Childhood dream of uncharted territories driven by curiosity—The lucrative rubber—Adding fuel to the French fire—Trading in mirrors—The Gift—The Commodity.