thank that little stranger from the bottom of my heart!
A few meters from the police wagon, S. awaited
her tram as if nothing had happened, as if the police had made
a routine arrest of an illegal immigrant, an affair that couldn't
concern her in the least. Her father, on the contrary, practically
chased the wagon in which I sat chained, screaming and shouting
like a madman until we gained speed and were lost in traffic.
J.F. and S.F. I
will never forget you!
I spent two months in prison. This time
I had a little company. I got used to my new home and new friends
in a hurry. I got to know them all well, young men down on their
luck or victims of destiny. I remember three in particular;
Jimmy El Jaffari, Necdet
A. and Robert O.
one knew where Jimmy came from and he would tell no one.
He hadn't a shred of identification on him. He'd been at the
prison depot for nine months. The police would hold him for
a regulation three months and then let him go. As soon as he
as caught in a police check, he was sent back for another three
month term. This was his third. Necdet A. was a Turk
who had been arrested in relation to activities in a far-left
Turkish group in Vienna. He was glad to be going home, a certainty
after this stay in jail. He wanted to give up political activism
and start a family back in Istanbul.
O. was a young student from equatorial Africa who was
in his third year at the University of Vienna.
For not having a valid 12-shilling ticket during a police
check in the Metro and, I suspect, for being very black
in color, he had been locked up for over two weeks when
I met him. My paintings obsessed me day and night during
this stretch in jail. Half of them I had confided
to the care of an illegal like myself who lived at a friend's
house, the other half was still in my car, wherever that
was! Robert was to
be released in a couple of days and he offered to find
all the paintings he could and keep them at his apartment
until I got out.