We prepared to cross Fulham Road--
me and a girl who’d picked me up
on the Russian freighter. It was the
fall of 1977, and we were in London
on our way to-- well, it doesn’t matter
now. It ended badly. She stepped from
the curb, looking the wrong way. I
saw the snot-brown Vauxhall headed
straight for her blind side.
Instinctively, I threw out my arm to
restrain her. Just in time. The buffeting
announced that we were still alive.
She said, “Don’t patronize me.
I know where I’m going. Never do that
again. And another thing. Stop telling
people who pick us up that you’re a
writer. That’s not for you to say.
That’s for others to decide.”
I looked her in the eye. She was
serious. And I wondered if I’d made
a mistake in saving her from the
Vauxhall. But then, this was 1977.
And everything was different then.