When I was living in France, I lived in a town called Bures-Sur-Yvette which is about 30 min. by metro train south of Paris.
The Yvette is the name of a little river that runs through it.
Above is a picture of the church of St. Matthew. Where the car is parked on the left was a little more than a dirt patch when I was there. I sat right where that car is and drew a picture of the church once. It was evening and almost dark. I remember it being very cold around February or March. The drawing was bad even though I thought it was good at the time. The conditions were not good. I was losing my light, using pastels which I’m not good at, I was shivering under my thick coat, and my butt was sore from sitting on the ground.
To the right of the church used to be a gate that hid a narrow passage with high walls that curved around the church. It was a shortcut to get to the residential area where I lived. Trees grew partly over the top. I don’t know how many people knew that passageway was there, but the people who were living in the area where I lived all used it. It was very secluded. Every time I walked through there, I hoped no one would be there to attack me. There was even a bend where you couldn’t see who was around the corner. At night it was pitch black because there were no lights.
One night, I had gotten off the train at 10:30pm. An Asian guy followed me off the train. He was small, had longish wavy hair, and had big splotches all over his face. Not a good looking guy. In fact, he was the ugliest Asian guy I had ever seen. He started talking to me in French. He asked me if I was a student. My initial thought was to ignore him, but since he was Asian I thought he was harmless. Wrong! That was my first mistake. I said that I was. He asked me if I was Chinese which indicated to me that HE was Chinese. I know that some Chinese people don’t like Japanese people, so I hesitated to answer. I had already had a French guy yell at me previously when I told him that I was American. But I said that I was Japanese. I don’t remember if he asked me if I spoke Japanese which I don’t. I did not want to say that I was American in case he had the same reaction as the other guy.
I usually carry a metal baton as a weapon in my pocket that I hold in my hand when I’m walking alone. That night was so cold that I put my gloves on and forgot to take the weapon out of my pocket.
When we got to the corner right across the street from the church (where the little girl is standing in the picture) the guy had not veered off anywhere. I didn’t want him to follow me into the dark narrow passageway. There was another way to get home, but it was a much longer way. I slowed down to think about what I was going to do.
While my attention was focused elsewhere, the guy grabbed me by the head and tried to kiss me. His grip was so hard, my earring came off. I screamed and he ran away. I started to walk away, but then I got so pissed off that I started cussing in English. “You mother f*cking b*stard! F*cking a—hole!” I felt the pain in my ear and felt for my earring. It was missing. I stomped back continuing to cuss. “Where’s my g*ddammed earring! I’m gonna find my f*cking g*ddammed earring!” I circled around in the middle of the street looking for my earring. I found it stuck in my hair. I can laugh about it now, but it wasn’t funny at the time. It was crazy. I think I went a little nuts.
Then I walked through that dark narrow passageway to get home. Some guy over the fence on the church side started laughing one of those fake boogie-man laughs. It scared me so much I rushed through that passageway in pitch black darkness and ran all the way home. When I got home I sat on my bed and was shaking in fear and anger. I said, “Who in the HELL was that laughing?” Maybe it was some priest’s idea of a sick joke. I was SO pissed. Now that I look back on it all, it’s funny and ridiculous.