Leather Coat Paris

London 1978

I had left NYC to join my model/girlfriend, Lisa.

We lived in West London Studio,

A two-story post modern complex on Fulham Road

Right at the entrance to the Chelsea football pitch.

Game days we didn’t leave the apartment

As the opposing crews waged war outside the pubs.

I had nothing to wear that declared I was from the South Shore of Boston
and not Strafford Bridge or Westham

I bought a leather coat from a second-hand store on Kensington High Street.

A little roughed up yet elegant

Lisa and I returned to America. She left again for Europe in 1979. She never came back.

In 1982 I was working at Le Rex Club for the magazine Actuel on the Grand Boulevard in Paris.
Opening night was with Toure Kinda.
The basement was packed for the African superstar.
A froggie longhair kept bugging me to come in.
I toldhim to wait his turn.
Hectoring me with indecipherable French swears resulted in a nightlong ban.

“Twa oncule!”

He strode to a dented double-parked Citroen Deux-Cheveaux.

I thought nothing of him, until he ran through the crowd and threw a painted bag at me.

Yellow sprayed from it and I thought it was les frites or French Fries from the pseudo Mickey Ds next door.

Wrong

It was yellow paint.

Splat!

I stood stunned.

The hippie ran back to his voiture des peasants.
It would not start.
Le choc of the attack triggered a rage.
I crossed the sidewalk, jumped atop a car hood and launched a kick through the hippie’s driver side window.

I leapt on the roof.

Jumping
Up and down and up and down.
Black steel toed boots smash.

Front windscreen.

Shattered.

The car refused to start.

My boots took their toll.

The car started.
He drove straight into a passing taxi.
My security held me back.

Corinne my squeeze gave me a towel. I wiped off the paint. The ghost of it haunted the coat forever.

Jean-Francois the publisher gave me 3000 francs. Go out of town for a week.”

I went to London.

With the coat.

I stood in front of the West London Studio a few times.

No sign of Liza.

Only the trace of yellow on the leather coat.


ps I totaled the Deux Cheveaux.

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