He was listening to his radio outside Leon. It was not open yet.

I passed him because I decided to walk and his radio was more noise than music.

The shop opened. I went in and ordered and started painting. The coffee was warm and strong and the milk foam was thick.

His music was conflicting with the playlist in the coffee Shop.

I could not take my thoughts away from these two clashing melodies.

I had to color the cringy yellow sound coming from his radio.

And then he came in and got water from the manager. I could see he liked her very much.

My colors were done. He was drawing with a pencil on a small square red canvass. I asked him if he was an artist. He said yes and that he was painting this for the lovely lady who gave him coffee the other day. He meant the manager.

We shared our notebooks. He told me his whole house was covered with his art on every wall.

And showed me a drawing of his granddaughter on a swing with his daughter. And this anaconda.

I could not really understand everything he was telling me. He mentioned his french neighbor, his love of fast cars and I helped him see it was Marlon Brando in this picture he had from a magazine.

He is 62 years old.

He asked what month my birthday was. And then he said I was three months over because he was from March.

When I asked him to make a bigger anaconda and show it at the Tate he just asked how long I would give him to make it happen.

He gave me his anaconda. I asked him to sign. He wanted to sign at the back. I said no your name has to be in front.

I met an artist today.

And then he left on his bike.

London Leon Shepherd’s Bush