Dr. Leon R. Koziol
Okay, anyone can write a novel, right? It’s all made-up, fairyland stuff. I authored and published one myself in 2014. It’s called Voyage to Armageddon, and you can get a copy at Barnes and Noble Bookstores or order it on line at Amazon.
But what if a real story emerged, one that could actually happen to you. Welcome to my new literary work, years in the making and soon to be published. In fact, after releasing my first chapter on this site yesterday, I got a call and e-mail this morning from a publisher I did not solicit offering me a contract. An uncensored version is now available by ordering it on this site.
Yesterday I dedicated the first chapter to: “All Loving Dads on Fathers’ Day.” Today I am dedicating this chapter to all moms who love their children the same way. It is a segment of my fugitive ordeal in Paris when I sought international protection for parenting rights. You can also get the background and an excerpt which verifies the wide appeal of my book in two earlier posts of my Fathers’ Day Trilogy.
Today you get the PG-rated segment of Chapter Five entitled, Weaving A Tangled Web. It’s about a mom I met at an Irish Pub in Paris. The rest is the wild ride she gave me at the Bastille District, a night in Gay Paree I will never forget.
We pick up my story here at page 76:
During one such visit, I was treated to real entertainment after a wholesome meal. The singers, fiddles and jigs were straight out of Ireland, a short flight across the English Channel. It was also on this day that I met a single mom who was in the heat of a custody battle in the states. A group of estranged parents were exchanging multi-nation divorce scandals with me at the bar when this mom whittled it down to an exclusive conversation.
She wore a brown plaid skirt with white blouse, smiling in a manner wholly at odds with the war story she was conveying. Slender with long jet-black hair curled around one side of her shoulder, she could not have been much taller than five feet. All the trappings of an Irish lassie with an Asian origin, she was as cute and sexy as a woman could be. Seated on a stool to my right, she was quite nervous while relating her ordeal, crossing her legs and switching them regularly.
“So, Mr. big-shot New York lawyer, what do you know about French custody law? Can I pick your brain or is there going to be a fee for this?”
“You must’ve misunderstood my ordeal. I’m not a big-shot, I got shot big-time, more like an assassination by my own profession for exposing its corruption on parents like you.”
“Well I overheard you talking with the guys a little while ago about a billion dollar casino you shut down in New York.”
“You must’ve caught only part of that conversation too. I won the judgment that should have shut it down. I did what my surrounding landowner clients hired me to do, but like custody and divorce, money talks. The casino’s still there.”
“Well, then, you must still be good at what you do.”
“Depends how you look at it. I mean they flew in lawyers from Washington to argue against me on that casino case. One of the law firms was Cravath, Swaine and Moore. You should see their office building near Times Square. But even with my winning decision, they did an end-around with federal authority over Indian matters. Money usually wins out no matter the harm to gambling addicts or in our custody cases, the children. It’s all fueled by lawyer profits and federal funds.”
“So why not set up a law practice here in Paris?”
“I’m a bit intrigued by your questions. We barely know each other. I thought your custody case was in the United States. What do you care about French law and a practice for me in Paris?”
“Let’s just say my issues cross the borders. I may need to apply custody laws here but they’re not in my favor. I paid good money for the best lawyers to make sure my child was safe under my care. But I’m finding that my abusive ex is going to have him seized and returned to him.”
“Huh, that’s strange. From what I’ve read, France has a maternal preference in such matters. That seems to prevail even though it’s part of the European Union which stresses that both parents and their children have a right to a relationship. So I would think you’d be happy here. In the states, dads are 85% of parents paying child support. You should be good there too.”
“Well my case is unique. It goes far beyond basic custody laws.”
“It involves international law. That’s why when I heard you talking about national sovereignty with Sean and his friends, I figured you might be just the right guy for my case.”
“Again I think you misunderstood what we were talking about. I got off on the Native-American sovereignty issues associated with that Indian casino compact. They have their own custody norms. It gets very complicated. Nothing that could apply to you.”
“Maybe, maybe not. Do you have a business card? I’d like to give you my whole story on the phone, maybe over some early morning expresso if you don’t mind. Right now, it’s too noisy at this pub. That’s why I didn’t pick up on all of what you were saying.”
“Sure, no problem,” I replied while handing her my parent advocacy card, “but it’s all just bar talk. Don’t get too pumped about any of it.”
Over the years, I had been dealing with victims electronically for the most part. In this case, I found a custody warrior who had taken on much more than her parenting rival. Like me in New York, she had taken aim at corruption in the California divorce system, having written reports to various commissions, monitored court proceedings and organized rallies against domestic violence. In the end, she came up with essentially the same conclusions I did.
Her name was Linda, and she related an ordeal which could be considered my maternal counterpart. But there were puzzle pieces missing in all the competing bar talk. Occasionally melancholy, she betrayed great wit and broke out laughing at her own jokes. But when it came to court corruption, her mood got cold and sullen. A deep seated hatred for this custody system had found its way to our meeting, a potential release that might allow her to move on with life.
Despite being consumed by all her litigation, Linda managed to exude a feminine quality flavored by an eclectic mix of emotions. She was a tough gladiator, sensitive caretaker, an intellect, airhead, dictator and hopeless romantic all rolled up into one, lighting up at least ten human “disorders” on the DSM-5 manual from what I could tell. She impressed me as a rival to Debra Messing in her role as Kat in the acclaimed movie Wedding Date.
As our lively discourse progressed into the night, the music faded more and more from our attention span. I could sense that something special was developing between us. In a matter of only hours, our dialogue had converted total strangers into kindred spirits, fate-driven partners on a mission to save our offspring from common enemies thousands of miles apart.
The bar was getting louder as we were getting more intimate, so I invited Linda out for a stroll. I’d seen enough romantic couples arm-in-arm on these streets during my nightly returns to the hotel. Anxious to get a taste, it was a chance I took. To my delight, Linda happily accepted. Upon satisfying the lease payment for our extended stay, we exited Corcoran’s into the night time glitz of a lover’s side to Paris.
We headed back toward Place de la Bastille which was teeming with activity, from late diners seated outside various cafes to diverse tourists engaged in dialogue of many languages. You couldn’t help wondering how all those words meshed in one place without conflict or collision. We took photos of one another, then together at the urging of an elderly couple on an anniversary honeymoon. With their well wishes, we were suddenly on an impromptu honeymoon of our own.
One street off the northeast side of the plaza was quite inviting. We sauntered aimlessly along Rue de la Roquette, pausing from time to time to investigate the boutiques which caught Linda’s attention. Then we turned right onto Rue de Lappe as the passages narrowed. Here we found clubs galore and a hoard of night-goers which might intimidate most mature types, but to us it was an unexpected adventure, a trip back in time, a foray into our long-lost youth.
For no particular reason except its peculiar name, we boldly entered a night club known as Yellow Mad Monkey. Lots of energy inside, and there were actually large plants suspended from the ceiling to give this place a sort of jungle décor. Tarzan himself might swing down for a beer. There was a pair of chairs at a table that seemed available, maybe the only ones in this crowded venue, but the two couples already seated there appeared to have claimed title to them.
We must have looked out of place because, sensing our predicament, one of the guys invited us to join them. His name was Pierre from Quebec City, Canada, and he politely introduced us to his wife, Charlene, and acquaintances, Hank and Sheila. The latter couple across from us was from West Virginia and the foursome had met at the Louvre earlier in the week. None of us being locals, it was easy to join their conversation over tourist sites visited or yet to be explored.
“So what brings you two to Gay Paree?” asked our spontaneous host. He was a tall, stocky fellow in grey slacks and black silk shirt, middle aged with trim facial hair of Toby Keith variety.
“Oh we’re on our honeymoon, second marriage,” Linda replied with convincing character. She directed a celebratory smile toward each of our table mates and earned the intended reactions. I was last in line and first in shock but caught on quickly. We were going to have some fun with this, a role which that elderly couple assigned to us a short while ago and see where it all went.
“That’s so nice. Such a lovely couple, you guys, don’t you think Pierre?” Charlene was a shapely woman dressed in black pants and sky-blue top. A pearl necklace and jewelry on both hands signified their joint success. “I remember when we were on our honeymoon in Niagara Falls. So long ago, but it seems like yesterday. Where did all that time go?”
“I say we all get a shot to celebrate your new life together.” The offer came from Sheila, a long time girlfriend of Hank, the third man at our table. He was a burly guy dressed casually in jeans and a Mountaineers jersey evidently suffering from a sight defect because he could not seem to keep his eyes off Linda’s chest.
Sheila, on the other hand, came across as a fun-loving type, curvy figure and bleach blonde hair caught up in a bun. A red dress matched her rosy cheeks, and her arms were sufficiently intimidating to get Rambo accepting whatever offer she might make.
“Uh, sure, I guess, but I don’t do shots,” I interjected. “I’ll just substitute with a bottle of Bud. How about you, honey?” Linda was immediately ecstatic with my play-along, looking for max excitement the way a child explores a carnival, except this one had not been serving soda pop.
“Darling, I’ll have another vodka cranberry. We’ve had a long day, folks, and I can’t wait to get back to our room. You know how it is with wild sex, just can’t get enough fast enough. So the last thing I need is to pass out on my new hubby.”
Linda’s remark caused me to burst out with a laugh. So unexpected, it’s the way she delivered it, convincing yet perplexing. I guess you had to be there. I contained myself as quickly as I lost it, but our friends were already reacting with squint eyes and strange looks toward me and then each other. Linda was holding for now, but I was sure I could make her dam burst if I wanted to.
“Yeah like she passed out last night. And to think she was buck-naked when I took her off the elevator. Sweetie, you think you can make it to our suite tonight?”
“Not if you don’t get your hand off my thigh and back on the table where everyone can see it. Sex under the table is prohibited here, love, didn’t you see the sign at the entrance?”
It now appeared that our audience was unsure whether to be amused or disgusted by our x-rated, rapid-fire exchange. Charlene was cracking a Mona Lisa smile, Pierre looked stunned, Hank’s eyes were still glued to his prize but Sheila distinguished herself with an arousal at each remark.
“Yeah I saw that sign,” I replied. “And you’re going to see divorce papers if you pass out again.”
“Aw, such a jokester! See, Lee’s got this loaded gun when he doesn’t get his way. I love it when he shoots me dead at night, if you get my drift.” Linda added a few winks as if anyone needed it and pressed on. “Besides, we got company, honey, so behave.” Still sporting that trademark smile, she never missed a beat. This was getting more interesting as were the reactions.
“Alright, I’ll behave, but you owe me big time baby.”
“I love it when I owe you big time. When you’re big, I’m submissive. That’s the way it should be when a real man takes control.” Looking over her listeners with their disheveled appearances, Linda turned plaintive but only so long as necessary to keep her ruse in play.
“Sorry guys, we’ve been doing this foreplay thing all evening. It’s how we stay up all night taking care of business. How about you guys? Any action yet Charlene? Niagara Falls can’t be that far away?”
There was no reaction from Charlene. She just looked back at Linda as if she had just seen the monster in a horror flick. Linda was obviously getting quite loopy and carried away with her charade. In the process, she was taking us both over the falls here.
Concededly this was a foursome that was hard to read, square peg in a round hole, a classy reserved couple touring with Bonnie and Clyde. But give Linda credit, she was resilient. On the chance she offended anyone, she tried to make amends. Unfortunately, she overcompensated.
“I mean, we’re all here to have a romantic time together, aren’t we? I was just trying give you guys some inspiration the way we’ve been going at it. So’s it gonna be wild sex tonight or not?”
There was still no reaction from Pierre’s wife or anyone else for that matter until Sheila jumped in. It was anything but what we expected. In fact, it was much more than a game changer. Linda could never have imagined what her offer would elicit. It’s something we’ll never forget.
“Hey, whatever you two got going on, I wanna be a part of it. Did you hear that guys? Linda says she wants to share, like we all did last night. And what a night! Honey, you won’t crash on my watch, and as for your man, he ain’t seen nothing yet. You’re gonna love our toys. Let’s go now.”
Sheila’s counter-offer was shocking enough, but we were blown away when the other three at our table nodded approvingly. Linda and I were now their prey. It had to be an ambush. Neither of us could utter a word. Talk about censored speech. How were we going to get out of this jam?
They were all seriously serious, and for a moment I think Linda was feeling like she had just checked into the Hotel California. We stared in wonder, glanced at each another, our thoughts racing for a quick exit strategy. Then I took control.
“Sheila, you’re on.” I handed her a hotel business card with a room number scribbled on the back. “Bring your hottest nighty. And Hank, I got a cure for your eye problem, it’s called gasoline. We gotta go.”
I grabbed Linda by the hand and rushed her out of the club like mad monkees. That’s when her dam finally burst. Laughing hysterically, she stumbled alongside me down the sidewalk. It wasn’t long before we disappeared inconspicuously among the crowded streets.
When we got comfortable with our escape, Linda stopped, turned toward me and seized my elbows with each hand. She had that wild-eyed shock still plastered all over her face. It was as if she was suddenly back in high school after completing some kind of dare or sorority prank.
“I can’t believe what just happened,” she screamed, laughing to the point of tears. “Please tell me that didn’t just happen. Did they really think we were soliciting for a double manage-et-trois?”
“Not we, you! I never offered anything and you started it all. But I think they call it swingers.”
“Yeah like you weren’t enjoying it.”
“Actually I was, right up to the point where Bubba from the back woods was gonna have his way. I gotta say, Linda, you are crazy! I never met anyone quite like you.”
“Same here, I never met someone like me either.” She answered with a giggle as we locked our arms again and resumed our aimless stroll on the streets of Paris. “I really like you, Leon the lawyer. You got me out of a real jam there. I could use help like that in other areas. Can we get together tomorrow night? Drinks are on me.”
“I gotta hope you’re not too messed up right now. You downed a lot tonight and might forget this whole thing even happened in the morning. Are you sure you’re okay?”
“Absolutely, I’m getting good at this. A great stress reliever with all of what I’ve been going through. I got this lawyer right now who’s acting like a scared boy in front of my custody judge.”
“Well, then, it’s obvious you hired the wrong lawyer. Protecting a child is a man’s job, love.”
Linda quickly wrapped her arms around my head, inflicting a French kiss like I had never experienced before. “Wild sex could be the icing on our wedding cake tonight. Whatta ya say?”
“Tempting as that is, let me take a raincheck for now. It’s been a long day. Can I get you a cab, walk you home? I can’t just leave you unescorted in this condition.”
“Aw that’s so sweet. A real gentleman. Are you falling for me too, Lee? I sensed a bit of jealousy you know, back at that Monkee club. Gasoline? Seriously?” Linda was now slurring her words.
“The guy was a pervert, Lynn, he never said a word all night, just kept staring at your breasts. Talk about mad monkees in a jungle, I swear this one couldn’t formulate words. Besides, what’s a newlywed husband supposed to do? Good show by the way. You definitely know how to take a guy off-guard on a first date.”
“Well I gotta say, you rose to the occasion and delivered nicely too. I’m so glad we got married on our first date. Never heard of anyone having a wild ride like this.”
“Maybe I delivered, but not to get a star role in some Deliverance movie. What were you thinking? I had all I could do to keep up with your shenanigans. And how in the world did those two couples match up?”
“Yeah, I wondered the same thing. By the way, you didn’t really give your room card, did you?”
“I can’t believe you’d even ask. It was one of many cards I’ve been collecting for an extended stay here in Paris. My reservation at the current place is up next week, and the card I gave is from the last hotel I stayed at. The number on the back is the basement weight room.”
Linda laughed aloud, then stopped and faced me again, this time with a serious look. “Hey Lee, with what you just said, a great idea popped into my head.”
“Please, not another one. I can only handle one per century.”
“No, I’m serious, hear me out. I got this villa on the Riviera. I only come to Paris on business. I stay with relatives when I’m here. Why not visit me this weekend? Put off that reservation. I know you’ll love it down there.” She made her pitch enthusiastically, and frankly I fell for it, if not her. The proverbial tumbleweed, what did it matter where I went?
“Wow, that’s quite an offer. I’ve never been to the Riviera. Always wanted to go there though. This is all so spontaneous, but staying on the move may be just what the doctor ordered, especially after that call I got from Judge Paris.”
“Never mind, long story. Tell you what, the more I think about it, the more I like your idea. Let’s get together tomorrow night. We’ll meet at Corcoran’s and talk about this some more. If I can survive that forest fire you started at jungle bar, I can handle anything.”
“And I could use a guy like you to keep me out of fires like that. Sorry I got you into it, but you gotta admit, we had a riot getting out.”
“O, what a tangled web we weave when we first practice deceit.”
“What are you talking about, Lee?”
“Never mind again, another long story. It’s a quote from an old friend, a real old friend. Hey there’s a cab, let’s grab it.” We hopped into the back seat and away we went.
“Two stops, Rue de Clery at Poissonniere and Montmontre,” I announced.
“You sure you don’t want to make it one stop, Lee?”
“I’m a gentleman, remember? I may end up in Paris forever. So we got lots of time to get to know one another. If it’s going to happen, I want it to be special. And I think you’re real special, unfortunately very drunk too.”
“Alrighty then, bad for me, good for you.”
Linda eased us down into the seat and assumed a commanding position over me. Then she began to kiss, caress and stimulate me as if she had not had sex in a very long time. Come to think about it, neither had I.
To my amazement, an unexpected metamorphosis was occurring, a sweet transition from nightmare to fairy tale. We were two oppressed victims making our way to paradise without a care in the world. The cab driver lost sight of us in his rear view mirror and could only fantasize about our moans and maneuverings as he navigated to our destinations.
Eventually he came to a stop. Linda got herself together and exited while I monitored her walk toward some family home in this vicinity, the drop-off location she gave me for the cab driver. Barely onto the sidewalk, she turned, bent over and blew me a kiss. I smiled back. Then she sauntered off to points unknown, her now wrinkled blouse draping off one side of a displaced skirt and whatever was left of her hairstyle in utter disarray.
As the cab driver resumed his route toward my hotel, I reminisced about this extraordinary day. I did not know what to make of it, much less a woman who won my heart in so many ways. I may not have known much about my destiny, but I did know that I wanted more of Linda. Maybe it was that perfume, her special touch, the ambiance of Paris or a wild ride at the Bastille. Then again, maybe she was spinning a web I had never seen before.
Dr. Leon R. Koziol
Parenting Rights Institute