Thursday, October 4, 2012

Chapter 27

I was wrong. Christine was no help at all.

“Just tell him what’s been going on, Maggie,” she said. “Honesty is the only way to maintain a relationship.”

It was the most generic advice anyone could’ve ever given me. I wasn’t sure what was happening with me and Christine lately. It really felt like we were drifting apart and her spending all her time with Paul didn’t help matters. Still, I understood. She was in love and I was happy for her. But I wasn’t happy and she didn’t seem to care. The old Christine would have come straight over and we would have stayed up all night talking and working the problem out. But she wasn’t the old Christine. She was quickly becoming a different person than the one I grew up with. Not that it was, in some way, a bad thing or that she was now a horrible human being. It was just that living in London and hanging around The Beatles, we were both growing up and in many ways, growing very far apart.

So with John out of the country, Christine M.I.A., George and Pattie in India, and Ringo and Maureen playing house in the suburbs, I was alone most of the time. The next few weeks were probably the most difficult of my life. Everywhere I went and everything I did attracted only bad press and all the drugs and alcohol I was doing didn’t help matters. Eventually, I decided the best way to solve the problem was simply to not go out. So that’s what I did. I stayed in, drowning my sorrows in booze and pills, day after day. John phoned occasionally to let me know what a bore he thought shooting a movie was. He had done it before, of course, but not without the other three Beatles. He couldn’t stand all the sitting around and waiting. He also told me how much he missed me and how he couldn’t wait to be with me again. I missed him too, but I was growing tired of it all. Tired of sitting alone in my apartment. Tired of not having him with me. Tired of having nothing to do. Tired of sleeping until late in the afternoon, then popping pills, smoking joints, and drinking all day and into the night until finally I’d pass out, only to repeat the same cycle the following day. I held off telling John about my little indiscretion with David Bowie, but eventually, as I expected, the news reached him.

“What’s this shit I’m reading about in the papers?” he asked.

“I don’t know, John. The Spanish are a strange folk,” I replied, somewhat belligerently.

“Come off it, girl, you know what I’m talking about. You and David fucking Bowie!”

“Ah, took a while to reach your shores, didn’t it? Guess the Spanish aren’t quite up on their English gossip.”

“It’s a bloody English paper I’ve been brought! And a sad fucking thing too! I had to find out from these bloody bastards, instead of you! What the hell are you playing at?”

“Oh come on, John. It’s not as if you haven’t done it,” I kept pushing.

“I haven’t, actually,” he said.

“Oh no? Not even with your wife?” I hissed.

John lowered the tone of his voice, but his anger was quite clear, “That’s different and you bloody well know it.”

Often my conversations with John ended in us getting into a fight and him slamming the phone down. What was happening to me? I seemed only to be living for the day he would return from Spain, but for what? So we could get married? Live happily ever after? I knew that wasn’t going to happen. Perhaps that was why I felt sad and angry all the time lately? And perhaps that was why I seemed to be picking fights with John every time he called? And perhaps that was why he was calling me less and less frequently?

One day when John called I told him that when he returned to England, we really needed to talk. That this wasn’t working.

“Maggie, please don’t do this,” he said softly into the receiver, sounding as if he was getting choked up. “I really can’t take it right now. I feel so lonely down here. Seeing you again is the only thing keeping me sane. I miss you so much I can barely function. You’re the only thing that makes me happy.”

“John, we can’t keep this up. It’s no good for either of us.”

“What do you want, Maggie? Whatever it is you want me to do, I’ll do it,” he pleaded.

“It’s nothing I want you to do, John. All I want is you. You know that. But it’s just not sensible anymore. It’s destroying us both. I haven’t been sober in weeks. I haven’t gone to school. I haven’t worked. Thankfully Lydia must still have me listed under her agency, or I’d probably have immigration pounding down my door. Everyone’s got their own lives. I haven’t seen anyone. I’ve barely even heard from Christine! My parents call and I tell them I’ll call them back but then I don’t. I just sit here drowning my sadness, day in and day out.”

“Shit, love, I’m so sorry. I’d no idea. Sounds like you’re in as bad shape as me.”

“Worse, I think. At least you’ll have a movie to show after all this!” I tried to force a small laugh, but John didn’t laugh.

“I know what I have to do, Maggie.”

“What’s that?” I asked.

“I’ve got to tell Cyn.”

“John, you can’t.”

“It’s the only way, love! Enough fucking bollocks now!”


“Look, I’m not having a row with you about this, right? When we’re through here, and Cyn and I get home, I’m going to sit her down and tell her I want a divorce.”

“John,” I repeated.

“No, I’ve had enough. You’re the only woman I’ve ever loved and I’ve had it to here with this shit. I want us to be together and that’s that.”

“John,” I heard a male voice in the background say.

“Look, love, I have to go. I’ll see you soon,” he said, abruptly ending our conversation.

I slowly hung the phone up. What had just happened? He couldn’t tell Cyn. He wouldn’t. Would he? All this time I had wanted nothing more than for John and me to be together, but when I actually heard him speak the words, with such finality in his voice, I was completely terrified. I had a mental image of John telling Cynthia he was leaving her for me; Cynthia, in turn, running straight to the newspapers, tear-stained cheeks; calling me out to the world. Me, the home-wrecker, the supposed friend of the family, the whore! If The Beatles were receiving hate mail and even death threats for a simple misunderstood comment, what would their fans do to me? String me up? Crucify me? I wanted to call him back. I wanted to beg him not to do it. I wanted to tell him everything would be okay. That we could keep everything just as it was and it would be fine. But most of all, I wanted that to be the truth. Unfortunately, I knew we couldn’t keep going the way we had been. I also knew nothing was going to be okay for anyone. No matter which way this was going to play out, people were going to get hurt. Our story never had a happy ending coming. Not from the very start. But was telling Cynthia about us, and John and her ending their marriage really the ending that I wanted? I wanted to be with John, sure. There was nothing more important to me. But as important as being with him was to me, The Beatles themselves were just as important to many more people the world over. Brian was right. Something like this could ruin them. I couldn’t be that selfish. I couldn’t ruin John’s marriage and his career. We’d definitely never be happy after something like that. How could we be? I’d be harassed the world over as the woman who broke up The Beatles. What kind of life could we possibly have? Our relationship, as strong as I knew it to be, would never be the same. It could never withstand something like that. No, the thing to do was to get out before John had a chance to end it with Cynthia. Maybe some years down the line we’d meet up again like in some beautiful serendipitous love story. Or maybe, after a long enough time had passed, we’d eventually be able to get over one another and find love for ourselves again. Love without such tragic complications.

I couldn’t think anymore. I was totally numb. Was I really going to do it? Was I really going to leave John? I didn’t know. But I did know I needed to get out of there. I put on my ankle boots, grabbed my rain jacket, and made for the door just as the telephone rang again.

“Hello?” I answered, really hoping it wasn’t John.

“Maggie, it’s Paul.”

“Oh, Paul,” I sighed. “Good to hear from you. Is everything okay?”

“No, actually. We’ve just been informed Brian’s had an overdose and is in hospital.”

“Oh my God!” I exclaimed. “Is he okay? I thought he’d gone out to Spain to be with John?”

“Well, he was supposed to, but he never made it. It was an accident, of course and they say he’s fine, but he’s recovering in hospital. Chris wanted me to check if you wanted to go with us round there and look in on him?”

“Oh, no I don’t suppose I better had. Thank you for thinking of me, it’s just… well, I’m not exactly Brian’s favorite person. Please do send him my best wishes for a speedy recovery though,” I said.

We hung up the phone and I stood there for a moment in a state of shock. Overdosed? What if he had died? What on earth would The Beatles do without Brian Epstein? It was unthinkable.

I will admit that somewhere there was a part of me that was a little thankful for Paul’s news. Not because I wished anything bad would happen to Brian, but because it momentarily relieved my mind of thinking about my situation with John. At the same time though, it made me take a long hard look at myself. What was I doing? I had told myself long ago that I got all the sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll out of my system when I was a kid, but ever since I’d been involved with The Beatles it was like I was that out-of-control teenager all over again. I looked at myself in the mirror: unwashed hair, dark circles under my eyes, ashen skin, and sunken cheeks. I looked like hell. I went straight back to my bedroom and grabbed all of the bottles of pills from my dresser and my nightstand and threw them in the trash. I then went to my kitchen and threw out my bottles of liquor as well. I put on my rain jacket, grabbed the bag of trash and promptly left my apartment. Enough was enough.

I didn’t have to go far to rid my life of my bad habits. Hyde Park was across the street from my apartment and I saw a trashcan near a park bench. I walked over and tossed my garbage into the waste basket. It was a beautiful, late September day. Cool, foggy and misty, but just so London. I sat down on a bench and watched a nearby family playing together with their dog. How lovely it must be to have such a simple life. To be with the person you love and who loves you in return. To have a couple of children together. Children who your love created. To have a cuddly pet to take for walks and to play with in the park on a lovely autumn day. To have a job that satisfied your need to feel like you’ve accomplished something worthwhile. To have the privacy and security of your own home. To have friends and family who support and would do anything for you. I watched that family for what must’ve been an hour, thinking what their lives must be like and comparing that to my own life. Suddenly, the steady September mist turned into a downpour, so I headed for cover. The tube station was nearby, so I decided to go underground. I rode the Central Line east, past Stratford, de-boarding at Woodford, only to re-board at the same station and go back exactly the direction from whence I’d come. I was like a little lost child, unsure what the future held, scared, alone, and hopelessly confused about everything. I changed at Holborn and, without thinking, boarded the Piccadilly Line West. I got off at Piccadilly Circus and came up for air. It had stopped raining. I wandered down Piccadilly Road. The sidewalk and street were soaked, but glistening as the sun tried to peak through the clouds. There were surprisingly few people about, but I suppose that was normal for a weekday. Unlike me, people were at work or school, leaving only little old ladies and privileged mothers pushing strollers, to wander the streets. I popped into a couple of stores, but didn’t feel much like shopping. This was virtually the heart of Swinging London, but at that moment, I felt anything but swinging. I loved London but perhaps my time here was up? I turned onto Duke Street and headed down past Jermyn Street. Such a familiar area, yet I realized as I walked, how rarely I saw it during the light of day. Before I knew it, I was turning left into Masons Yard, headed for the Indica Bookshop. Barry Miles, who ran the place, backed by John Dunbar, Peter Asher and Paul, greeted me as I came in.

“Maggie! It’s been a while since we’ve seen you round here. Where have you been hiding?” he asked.

“Hiding is exactly right!” I said with a hint of a smile.

“Want to come back for a cup of tea?”

I looked around the store, which was virtually empty that afternoon, and knowing this group, figured tea didn’t really mean tea at all, so I declined the offer.

“Oh, no thanks,” I said.

“You sure?” he asked, a puzzled look on his face.

“Yeah, I’m really not up for it at the moment.”

“All right. No worries. What are you up to then?” he asked.

“Just wandering around today,” I replied, picking up Reality Sandwiches by Allen Ginsberg and thumbing through it. I stopped and read the words aloud:

“… all movement stops

& I walk in the timeless sadness of existence,

tenderness flowing thru the buildings,

my fingertips touching reality’s face,

my own face streaked with tears in the mirror

of some window—at dusk—

where I have no desire—

for bonbons—or to own the dresses or Japanese

lampshades of intellection—“

That was exactly how I felt. Published in 1963, Ginsberg was writing about me! Or, at least it felt like he was perfectly describing my own feelings. My Sad Self, indeed!

“Yeah, Ginsberg’s the best,” Barry mused.

Somehow I had forgotten he was standing there and, with Ginsberg’s words still ringing in my ears, replied only with,

“Is John downstairs?”

“Yeah, feel free to go down. He’s down there with some Japanese bird.”

“Japanese bird? They’re not…?” I gestured only with my eyes.

“Oh, no!” Barry laughed. “Nothing like that. At least, I don’t think so. No, she’s going to have a show at the gallery in November. I suppose she’s just checking out the space.”

“Oh, all right then,” I smiled at him.

Barry was a nice enough guy, but I didn’t know him that well and was not really in the mood for small talk. I headed down to the basement with the hopes of finding John Dunbar elbows deep in some project I could help out with. The thought of getting lost in the world of the avant-garde, and temporarily forgetting about my predicament with John, was extremely appealing. When I got downstairs, however, I was met not only by John Dunbar, but also by Robert Fraser, dressed head-to-toe in a flashy pink suit, and a small waif-like Japanese woman, with thick, long wavy black hair, who was dressed all in black.

“Oh, hello,” I said, suddenly feeling slightly awkward, as I had obviously interrupted something.

“Mags! Fancy seeing you here!” Robert called out, coming over to me.

“Hi, Bob. Barry didn’t mention you were here,” I replied. Everyone called him “Groovy Bob” but I felt like he knew how groovy he was without me mentioning it to him, so I opted for just plain old “Bob.”

“Oh, Barry. Yes he doesn’t know. I must pop up and say hello before I go.”

“My, how polite of you,” I teased. I was feeling better already.

Robert was such a breath of fresh air. Educated at the prestigious Eton College, where everyone from The First Duke of Wellington to the fictional character, James Bond, had attended, Robert was a notable art dealer who had his own gallery on Duke Street, right off Oxford Street. He was a huge trend-setter in London and a very fashionable, larger-than-life, openly gay man. When he walked into a room, people took notice. He was definitely a favorite amongst our crowd.

“Missed you the other night at The Scotch,” he said. “An American fellow played. Jimi-something-or-other; I don’t know. Colored bloke.”

“Brilliant guitarist,” John chimed in, heading over to us.

“Hi, John,” I said, and leaned in to kiss him on the cheek.

Ever since I met him one night at Paul’s, I had had a little crush on John Dunbar. He was so studious-looking in his thick-rimmed glasses, but he always wore the hippest clothing and had a long, shaggy haircut much like The Beatles. He was married to Marianne Faithfull, though I knew that didn’t mean much to either of them at the time, as she had been dating Mick Jagger for a little while and he was a notorious womanizer. John wasn’t particularly famous, except amongst our clan, but you always got the feeling he intended for it to happen that way. He had a fabulous eye for art, not to mention poetry, and all things “cool” in general, and he was very well respected for that reason. I always had the feeling that John probably knew more than all of the rest of us put together. To use Ginsberg’s poetry, John was the definition of an “angelheaded hipster.”

“All right, Maggie?” he asked.

“Better now that I’m here,” I answered. “But I didn’t mean to bother you. I can come back later.”

“Don’t be daft, silly girl,” Robert answered. “I was just showing Yoko John’s space. She’s going to show here in November.”

“Oh?” I said.

“Yeah, Yoko, come meet a friend of ours,” John turned and gestured for her to come over.

Yoko was standing with her back to us, staring at a blank wall. All the walls in Indica Gallery, floor and ceiling included, were painted totally white. She jumped when John spoke to her, as if she hadn’t realized we were all in the room with her, then turned and seemed to float over to us. I could barely see her face, as her hair hung moodily over it, obscuring it from view. She seemed such a small, dark figure in the bright white room. What was it with this girl? I felt like I recognized that name: Yoko, but I wasn’t sure where I’d heard it before.

“Maggie, this is Yoko Ono,” John said, once she’d reached us.

“Hello,” I said, extending my hand.

“Hello,” she said, grabbing my hand delicately and giving it a little shake.

“Maggie here’s a great lover of the avant-garde,” John said.

“Well she’s a bit of an artist herself, in a way, isn’t she?” Robert chimed in.

“Oh?” Yoko said.

“Yes, our Maggie is quite the fashion model, and if fashion isn’t art, I don’t know what is. The definition of self-expression,” he continued.

I smiled.

“Not to mention a film star,” John added.

“Hardly,” I said, and embarrassedly rolled my eyes.

“Maybe you would like to buy one of my pieces,” Yoko said in a rather thick accent.

“What kind of art do you do?” I asked.

“Yoko’s a conceptual artist. I think you’d really dig her work. She’s going to have an apple on display and anyone can buy it for £200,” John said.

“An apple?” I said, wondering if they weren’t pulling my leg.

“Mmhmm,” Yoko answered. “It embodies the life cycle: birth, decay, death, then rebirth.”

“Ah,” I said. “That’s really clever. The humor, of course, being that someone should actually pay £200 to essentially watch an apple rot.” I hadn’t meant for that to come out as rude as I was afraid it might have sounded. I actually thought the idea was really smart and thoughtful.

“Exactly,” Yoko giggled, putting her hands together to cover her mouth. “They’re mostly unfinished pieces. I have a board everyone can hammer a nail into and a blank canvas everyone can take a turn brushing a stroke of colorful paint onto.”

“And the painting is ‘finished’ when someone buys it,” I said.

Yoko nodded.

“Brilliant, eh?” John said.

“Very much so,” I replied.

I was impressed. Not only did this dark and mysterious little Japanese lady have a sense of humor, but she actually was very thoughtful. There was a certain cleverness and freshness about the pieces she described that I hadn’t felt about much of the work I had seen recently. We all four stood around talking for a while until Yoko had to go. Then Robert asked if I wanted to accompany him over to The Scotch for a drink or two and though it wasn’t open yet, I knew they’d let him in. As I was trying to lay off the stuff, I turned down his offer and instead headed for home. By that time, it was really nice out. Cold, but sunny and just beautiful. I decided to walk home. The long walk would do me good.

When I finally got home the doorman told me that Paul and Christine had stopped by and asked that I call them. I was worried it was about Brian, so as soon as I got in, I phoned Christine’s. There was no answer there, so I tried Paul’s.

“Hello?” A woman answered whose voice I didn’t recognize.

“Yes, is Paul or Christine there, please?” I asked.

I could hear Paul speaking quietly to the woman in the background and then, “Hello?” he answered.

“Paul? I tried to call Christine’s but she didn’t answer, so I figured I’d try here.”

“Oh, she’s not here just now, love. Gone round Rich and Maureen’s to see little Zak.”

“Oh. That must’ve been why she left the message for me to call then? I was worried it might be something about Brian.”

“Yeah, I think she wanted to see if you wanted to go round with her. And don’t worry about Brian. He’s all right. Taking it easy just now, but he’ll be fine.”

“Well, that’s good,” I said, feeling slightly awkward. If Christine wasn’t there, who was the woman who had answered the phone? I was sure I didn’t want to know, so I didn’t even bother asking.

“Where were you then when we came round your place?”

“Oh, I decided to pop over to Indica and visit John. ‘Groovy Bob’ was there and they introduced me to this avant-garde Japanese artist that’s going to show there, Yoko Ono.”

“Oh, not her again,” Paul groaned.

“What do you mean?”

“Oh, she contacted me a while back about getting some original music scores for some book she’s helping John Cage put together. Well, I didn’t know the blinking bird. For all I knew she was going to sell them on the black market or something, so I turned her down. Told her to contact John instead. I think he gave her the words and music to ‘The Word’.”

“Oh, that must be where I’ve heard her name. I thought I recognized that name, Yoko, but I couldn’t remember where.”

“Yeah, she’s been going round to everyone since, trying to get money out of them for one project or another. I dunno. I suppose that’s what these artists are like though. Have to find funding somewhere. Why not try every rock star in London?” he laughed. “Takes a lot of bollocks though, I must admit.”

“I have to say, I was intrigued by her art though.”

“Oh, it’s already up is it?”

“No, she was just telling me about it. Robert and John told her I was a model and actress, so I’m sure I was just one big pound sign to her after that!”

We both laughed at that. I told him a bit about her work and he seemed curious, which I figured he would be. He said he and Christine were talking about possibly going to Spain with Rich and Maureen for John’s birthday and asked if I wanted to go along if they decided to. I told him I’d think about it and then we hung up. I wasn’t going to Spain. No way. No how. I had no particular interest in being caught in any sort of uncomfortable situation with John in front of any of the rest of them, especially Cynthia.

Several days later I saw Brian on television answering questions about whether or not The Beatles were splitting up. Brian, who was supposed to be recuperating from his ordeal, had to come out to deny the rumors and reassure everyone that The Beatles were very much still together, but just working on individual projects at the moment. He looked awful. I felt so terrible for him. I knew just how he was feeling: The Beatles didn’t need him anymore. I knew how he was feeling because I felt the same way. It had been days since I had heard from anyone and that included John. George and Pattie were still in India, Ringo and Maureen had already left to join John and Cynthia in Spain, Paul, according to Brian’s press conference, was working on musical scores for a movie and Christine… well, I guessed she was busy with school. As for me, school was officially finished. Since I had stopped the drugs and alcohol and had been clean for nearly a week, I had decided to try and put my life back together. I phoned the university to inquire about my enrollment, but found because of my long-term absence, I had been classified as having “officially dropped-out” and was removed from their rosters. I was informed, however, that my records would be available did I choose to reapply elsewhere. That word, “elsewhere” told me I wasn’t welcome back at that particular university and I can’t say that I blamed them. My parents were beyond disappointed in me and I can’t say that I blamed them either. Then again, who needed school? I was getting an education in the school of life.

With school no longer an option, I figured I had better try and get into contact with Lydia. And I did, try. But I can’t count the number of times her receptionist told me she wasn’t there and she’d have her call me back. There was another person I could try, and though I was more than embarrassed, I was running out of options.

“Hello?” I heard Claude’s voice on the other end of the line.

I swallowed hard.

“Hi Claude? It’s Maggie.”

“Maggie, baby! How in the hell are ya?” Claude replied cheerfully.

“Oh… well… I’m okay.”

“Haven’t heard from you in a while. How’s life treating you, kid?”

The last time I saw or spoke to Claude was the night I showed up at his house completely wasted. I had made a total fool of myself throwing myself at him and then slapping him when he rejected me.

“Claude, look. I acted like a total asshole the last time we saw each other and I just want to apologize.”

“Water under the bridge, kid.”

I couldn’t believe the way he was acting; so nonchalant about what had happened. It made me feel even worse. Even more embarrassed.

“Claude…” I started, not wanting to be let off the hook that easily.

“Maggie,” the tone in his voice changed, “You were smashed. You didn’t know what you were doing. It’s not a big deal. I’ve forgotten all about it. Really.”

The sincerity in his voice warmed my heart and put me at ease. What’s done is done. We were moving on.

“So how’d it go in America?” I asked.

“Not bad, not bad. The show’s pretty far out. There’s one cat with these big pointed ears. Half alien!” he laughed.

“Sounds… interesting?” I giggled.

It was really nice talking to Claude. Familiar and comfortable.

“Yeah, really interesting. But surely you’re not just calling to find out about ‘Star Trek’?”

“No, you’re right. I’m calling to see if you might know of any work going?”

“Oh, I know of a lot of stuff going. I mean, there’s stuff happening everywhere, kid. The question is, Maggie, when are you gonna stop working for other people?”


“I mean, okay, I’ve just had the brainstorm of brainstorms! Look, I’ll be straight with you,” he said, excitedly.

“I wish you would,” I answered, a bit confused.

“After I left the set of ‘Star Trek’, I made a short stop in New York before heading back over here. Well, when I was there I stopped by The Factory, you know, Andy Warhol’s place. And I was looking around and he had some amazing stuff going. He’s been photographing this chick, Edie Sedgwick a lot. I guess she’s his muse or something. He’s really a capable photographer. Anyway, he had these shots about that David Bailey did of him and his ‘factory people.’ They were brilliant, Maggie!”

“Oh, I love David Bailey. His photo shoot with John and Paul is probably one of my absolute favorites of either of them.”

“Right. The guy’s a genius. So suddenly, it hits me like a ton of bricks! BAM!”

I jumped as he startled me.


“I’m over the biz, Maggie.”

“What?” I repeated.

“I’ve had enough of this commercial photography racket. I want to focus all my time and energy from now on, on the absolute art of it.”

“The art of…?”

“Photography!” he laughed. “What do you think I’m talking about?”


“I looked around The Factory at all those wacked out, clueless, phonies and thought, ‘I can do this!’ But more like Bailey. More real. Warhol’s great, but his fucking factory people are a load of bullshit. And you’re my muse, Maggie. You’re my Edie. Only, it’s suddenly occurred to me that if I was going to have you involved with me, I’d really prefer it if you were totally involved.”

“Claude, what are you talking about?” I was completely lost.

“I’m going to start my own studio, Maggie and I’d really like you to be involved.”

“But, I don’t know anything about photography,” I replied. “I’m a fan of the medium, but that’s about the extent of my knowledge.”

“Yeah, but you know the scene, kid. You have contacts and you have a great eye. You’d be like my right-hand man. And I know you’d learn as you go. You’re really bright! Before too long you’d probably know more than me!” There was a level of excitement in his voice that I had never heard before.

I was really proud of him for deciding to do something like this and I knew he could do it. He was very talented and he already had so much professional commercial experience under his belt, why not foray into artistic photography? I was definitely a fan of photography, and I knew Claude was a good photographer; but, as into art as I was, photography was not a medium I knew too much about, other than whether or not I found an individual photograph personally appealing. And I certainly didn’t know anything about taking pictures, other than snapshots here and there, which I did find quite appealing. I did know about being on the other end of the camera lens, but I wasn’t sure how much help that would be to Claude, as he knew a lot of models. And as far as business, well, what help would I be there? I couldn’t even finish school, how would I be able to run a business? Still, Claude’s enthusiasm was so contagious that, when combined with my present need for something to get lost in, I was completely swept away in the excitement and found myself saying yes before I had even asked any questions.

“Fantastic!” he exclaimed.

“When is all this going to happen?” I asked, overjoyed by the prospect of finally having something positive to do.

“Soon, soon. We’re already packing up the office here and the other one in Paris.”

“Packing up?”

“Yeah, I figured one studio will be all a struggling artist like myself will be able to afford at first,” he laughed.

“Where are you moving to?” I asked, confused by the sudden news.

“Why, the place where it’s all happening, of course,” he laughed.

“Mayfair?” I said slowly, hoping he wasn’t about to say what I knew he was.

“No! New York, chickie, baby.”

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