Tuesday, July 19, 2016


Café L'Autobus 1993 acrylic on canvas

Here is a story I wrote when I lived south of Montparnass.


The Café L’Autobus is on rue Didot, just at the end of  street from my studio on
rue Pierre Larousse.
Two years ago the owners, bought the  adjacent shop, and expanded
their seating capacity from 16 to 28 seats. They raised their menu from
37 to 45 francs. (7 to 8 dollars)
“We want to upgrade our clientele,” Nassir explained.
I had been examining the corner all summer.  It was a little run-down,
but the shapes were interesting. I decided to give it a try. 
I set my easel up in the doorway of the hotel Citadine
which had not yet opened for business. I wasn’t more than an hour into the work
when  a certified nut job began making comments behind me. 
The comments turned to flaring insults.
 I decided to take a break. I crossed the street to the Café L’Autobus for a glass of wine.
Nutzo didn’t budge. He continued to make verbal attacks.,
now talking directly to my painting. 

Olivier, a forty-year old rock and roller, with a long ponytail, and a crush on me,
announced that he was going to have a talk with him.
Ton-ton, who runs the place and is already a fairly nervous man thought it was a bad idea.
“Ca va finir mal! Ca va finir mal!  Le tableau va tomber!”
 He was more worried about harm coming to the painting of his restaurant
than Olivier getting his brains knock out.
Eventually le provocateur  left and Olivier returned to the café. Then and there I learned the expression 
for knight in shining armor – chevalier servant.
The more I got to know Olivier, I realized there were other names that were more fitting,
but on this particular day he was my hero.
I  had just  begun painting early the following morning when I felt a little tap on my back. 
It was  Angelique, ma petite voisine  from the first floor . I had forgotten that
 I had   invited her to my apartment to give her a lesson in watercolors.
When she saw me from her window, she came running.
“I’ve knocked on your door three times!” she announced.
“I’m really sorry. I completely forgot.“ I pleaded.
“It’s all right,” sweet, but pouting, she consoled me.
“How about if I put you in the painting?”  Angeliue was prepared for a discussion ,
not a proposition.
I took out a tiny brush and painted a little girl waiting for the bus
with her mother and father.  She was very excited and ran home to tell.

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