Saturday, June 21, 2008
I'm building the site this weekend, so come back for some fun reads real soon.
Mark it and visit often!
Friday, June 20, 2008
Chapter 5: IT’S ALL MATERIAL
“I’m being sued,” were the first words out of Pinky’s mouth. Her words were as sharp, spiky and dark as her short, chic and freshly coiffed hair. “Can you believe those sneaky bastards? After I reduced the price of the house fifty thousand, replaced the damn roof, and gave them another twenty thousand for new carpet and appliances! Those assholes!” Pinky’s words were fire-filled. She cursed profusely when upset. She deftly pushed the legal size envelope to Noa’s side of the table for inspection.
“What do they want?” Noa looked troubled, but she was all too familiar with this type of post-sale negotiations.
“A new house.” Pinky’s olive skin did not flush easily, but her checks were brightened and her newly tapered nostrils were flared. “I don’t have time for this shit.”
“Give me a moment to look this over and don’t panic. These things can usually be settled before it goes to court.” Noa smiled reassuringly as she opened the envelope.
Noa perused the document. Mold, health problems, medical expenses, living expenses to cover hotel stay until repairs completed, and reimbursement for the ever present pain and suffering. Two hundred and fifty thousand, plus the cost of repairs.
“It’s a shakedown. The little creeps know I have money. I’m not going to just hand them a quarter of a million dollars!” Pinky fumed. “I had a bad feeling about them.”
Noa nodded, sipped the cabernet and continued to read.
“I’ll need a copy of this for our attorney.” Noa looked directly at Pinky.
“Pinky, the company attorneys handle these types of demands all day long. Unfortunately, it isn’t all that unusual. I’ll send them a copy of the file along with this correspondence. Believe me, my transaction file shows we took every precaution, had every inspection and the buyer approved and signed every agreement. Our files are complete and clean. Now, we leave it up to the legal experts.”
“What should I do?”
“Nothing. Don’t call the new owners. Don’t call their attorney. Just go about your daily business and wait to hear from me.” Noa knew it would take hours of her time and months, if not years to resolve, but it came with the job, especially in litigious California.
It had taken them months to find just the right home in Beverly Hills, and both Pinky and Noa were thrilled when escrow finally closed. Pinky was anxious to leave her old life behind, and opted not to make any repairs to her home in Palos Verdes. She moved out and listed it with Noa. Noa knew that would play in Pinky’s favor. New repairs covered nothing up, and the house was sold vacant. What you see is what you get, along with reams of inspection reports and disclosures. Noa was not concerned.
“I lived in that house for twenty years, and now after living there less than two years, they have respiratory distress, allergies, joint pain and nosebleeds? Nosebleeds— do you believe that? And it’s the house. This is just insane. They won’t get a dime from me!”
“ I know, but we still have to deal with their demand. Let me handle it. Try to put it out of your mind for now. Consider it a nuisance at this point, and go on. I’ll keep you informed, and our attorney will copy you on all correspondence.” Noa tucked the envelope into her Longchamps tote. “Now, let’s eat. I’m starved. They have a great Thai Salad here.”
“That is quite a ring Jett gave his latest fiancé.” Pinky peered over the top of the menu to see Noa’s reaction.
“I’ve heard.” Noa did not look up.
“Actually, I saw the ring first, and then noticed she was with Jett. And, for your information, she is a real plain Jane. I don’t know what he sees in her. She’s no you”
Noa appreciated Pinky’s attempt to lessen the sting.
“The one thing Jett loves more than a beautiful woman, is money, and I hear she is loaded.” Noa’s comment was made without cattiness or animosity. It was simply the truth. Money was Jett’s true love, his family and the god he worshipped above all others.
He would bend, but not break, his ethics to savor success. Nothing excited him more—not an exquisite face, enhanced breasts or bodacious booty. Besides, that was his for the taking whenever he wanted it. The thing he admired most about a woman was a brilliant mind and the willingness to use it. Her other assets were secondary to Jett. Only a handful of women from his past met that requirement. Noa was on the short list.
Jett was brilliant in business and his opponents always underestimated him. More than once they set him up as the fall guy, but he was always the last man standing, and usually with his foot on their throat. This was extremely satisfying to the inter-racial kid fromWatts who still inhabited Jett’s psyche.
Jett was blessed with more than his share of natural gifts. He personified the old cliché of tall, dark and handsome, but he was also smart, talented and ambitious. The accumulated years had added extra pounds and girth to his middle, but his presence still commanded attention. His more aggressive characteristics were tempered by an innate generosity and appreciation of those who helped him achieve his goals. Noa was one of those people.
Their relationship was symbiotic. It was mutually beneficial, if not mutually exclusive. When they met, Noa was struggling to make ends meet while juggling single parenthood and a demanding residential real estate sales career. With two teenagers still at home, there was no room in her life for a serious relationship. Until Jett.
Pinky placed the menu on the table. “She’d have to be loaded to the gills. That’s the only way she could turn anyone’s head. Does she know this is his technique for raising money for his projects? The bigger the project the bigger her account has to be.”
Noa laughed under her breath. “I have no idea what she does, or does not know.”
Pinky was right. Noa was Jett’s only investor in his first development project. It was a small enclave of custom homes in the coastal community of Summerland. It was the beginning of Jett’s empire, and it was built on Noa’s back. She laid the financial foundation, and Jett built upon it. Her cash; his sweat. A substantial portion of the company belonged to her, and she knew if things went well the payoff would be worth the sacrifices. But in real estate development anything can happen and often did. It was a game of strategy and anticipation that Jett played well. Noa just needed to make sure he watched her back as well as he watched his own. She realized the return was commensurate with the risk. Both were huge, but Jett was the biggest risk of all.
“I’m not sure whether it was your assurance, or the wine, but I’m feeling much better. Thanks for meeting with me.” Pinky raised her wine glass in a salutary gesture. “I knew I could count on your cool head to see me through this.”
“It’s my job. It’s not always pleasant, but it’s what I do. Don’t worry, it’ll work out. Everything is workable is my mantra. Nothing spells doomsday short of Osama.” Noa tried to lighten Pinky’s mood.
She needed Pinky to feel confident the matter would be handled, and the last thing she wanted was for Pinky to incite the situation with threats and vulgar insults. Pinky often told Noa of situations in her past when she opted for revenge over resolution. Noa wanted no additional complications in the matter. Better to establish a hand’s off policy with Pinky from the start.
“Oh, Noa, before I forget, here’s the polish I promised.” Pinky pulled out several exquisite
crystal bottles containing varying shades of her latest line.
“It’s gorgeous and as usual, your timing is perfect. I’m so ready for real reds again.” Noa wore the natural nudes in spring and summer, but by autumn was ready for the richness and contrast of color. “If I get out of here now, I’ll have time to do a quick color change when I get home. Thanks for dinner and I’ll follow up on this.” Noa patted the tote.
Pinky stood, hugged Noa a little too long, and left a quick kiss that just brushed Noa’s check.
The old uneasiness surfaced as Noa left Houston’s. It was undefined, but still there.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Sure, the Sex in the City posse roved the streets of New York City, and my tribe traveled the freeways of Los Angeles and Orange County for our girls' night out adventures. It was never really about where we were going, or what we would do, it was about the friendships and delving deep into the sisterhood of female soulmates.
After being ensconced in a marriage with a non-communicative mate for many years, it was sheer joy to connect with my female friends. We dressed to the nines, sipped our wine and danced the nights away. Often the best part of the evening was the drive home, highlighted by our 3:00 AM stops at Denny's for breakfast and a review of the night. The food nourished our bodies, and although we did not realize it at the time, we were also nourishing our souls. We did not have mates, but we had something even better--soulmates.
The rerun I saw featured the usual man trouble and the search for true love, but Charlotte's comment to her lunch pals about being each other's soulmates made perfect sense. Besides, who said you can't have more than one soulmate? Who said your soulmate has to be someone of the opposite sex?
Later this week I have a date to see the Sex in the City movie. We will enjoy the movie and the memories. We're having a long overdue girls' night out at the movies. It's the early show and the Denny's restaurant is now closed, but that's okay, we've seen enough sunrises from the 405 Freeway.
We'll have a glass of wine and watch the sun setting over the Pacific as we re-connect our souls.
Sunday, June 15, 2008
The only way to pass a test is to take it. Disqualifying yourself before you begin is an excellent way to miss many pleasures in life. You might enjoy having a pet, or painting a picture, but you'll never know unless you try it. How many times have you heard others, or even said it yourself, "Oh, I can't do that." Banish such self limiting statements from your thoughts and you'll find yourself moving toward a fuller life, having more fun, and finding deeper fulfillment.
One thing I've learned is to take the opportunity when it presents itself. It may not pass my way again. Embrace your power by saying yes more often. My friend's college age daughter wants to spend a year backpacking through Europe and beyond. Her parents see this as an undesirable break in their daughter's education; I see it as a break she may not get again. Life happen. Jobs, marriage and children can postpone travel dreams for decades. My new motto is, 'Do it now.'
Focus on your wins, learn from your losses and move forward.
At the finish line you'll be glad you suited up for the test.
Friday, June 13, 2008
Chapter 4: PANDORA’S BOX
“And?” Noa offered the oversized coffee to Lonne.
“Well, he was nice, a real gentleman, but he lives on his boat, a small one at that.” Lonne removed her Chanel shades.
“Disappointing night?” Noa raised her eyebrows in anticipation, and turned to open the car door to remove her Loehmann purchases.
“Good looking, great conversationalist, acceptable car, mediocre sex, but a boat? That will never work. I can’t deal with that.”
Lonne fast-forwarded every relationship to determine if it was workable long-term. If not, she gave it only one night. Lonne’s favorite word was next. After two marriages, two live-in lovers, one long-term, the other very short, and a list of lovers that would rival Magic’s, she knew what she did not want.
“That fish is back in the sea.” Lonne laughed lightly. “It was fun seeing if I could hook him, but he was definitely not a keeper. I did enjoy the sport of it, but game over.”
Lonne turned to leave after a quick hug. “Let me know what’s up with Pinky. I haven’t heard from her in months.”
“I will.” Noa waved as Lonne sped off.
Pinky Arellano remained a mystery to Noa, even though she was a past client and they had socialized since Noa’s divorce.
In the past, Pinky, Lonne and Noa often made a trio on their girls’ night out. There was safety in three. If someone, usually Lonne, met a man, the other two still had a companion for the late night drive home. Noa hated nothing more than cruising down the 405 at two in the morning alone. It was a risk she didn’t need to take. She encountered enough crazies in her work and love life; she didn’t need to expose herself to meeting them on the road too.
“Oh, Noa, I’m so glad you called.” Pinky’s voice was soft, low and tinged with a Latin lilt.
“I had to wait until I had a free moment. Where have you been keeping yourself?”
“I just returned from Miami. My father’s been sick, but he’s much better now. I just got back late last night. I received your message, but things were so up in the air, I didn’t know when I would be returning.”
Pinky’s life moved from one crisis to another. It was the curse of her name, according to Pinky. Pinky was christened Pandora; a name chosen by her unwed teenage mother for its melodious ring, without knowing the story behind it.
Pinky’s mother left Havana at fifteen, pregnant, poor, but with a plan. She was stunningly beautiful with Jennifer Lopez looks and an Angelina Jolie body. By the time she was nineteen, she was married to a prominent Los Angeles businessman who left his wife to marry their maid.
After her new husband told her the story of Pandora’s Box, three-year-old Pandora became Pinky.
“How’s business?” Noa glanced at her Naked is Nice natural nail color from Pinky’s line of Barely There colors.
“Incredible. I had no idea it would ever become this big. I have a new line of reds, just in time for the holidays. I’m wearing To Die For, and it is blood red and beautiful. I’ll give you a bottle. With your coloring, I’m On Top would look fabulous.”
Strapped financially after the death of her third penniless husband, Pinky realized at age forty-eight her mother’s method of support was not working for her. She didn’t possess the natural beauty her mother was blessed with, but she was a natural with makeup. If she could not find just the right product, she blended, combined and substituted until it was right. Pinky’s Polish began in her garage seven years ago, and was now manufactured in nearby Vernon, and distributed worldwide. The blatantly bold, yet seductive names were a marketing success in their own right. Pinky’s line was used in the finest spas and salons and at fifty-five she achieved what no man had even been able to give her. Security, success, and power.
Her polishes were incredible. She concocted colors that were vibrant yet subtle, sexy but subdued. She made nail care simple again. The nail strengthener was in the base coat, and the topcoat was called Pinky’s Poly, because it contained polyurethane that sealed your fingernails as effectively as it did a hardwood floor. It lasted two weeks on natural nails with nary a chip. It was the only polish Noa wore. It sold like hotcakes on a cold morning in Maine.
“Fabulous. I’ll hold you to that.” Noa waited for Pinky to reveal the reason for the call.
“Would you like to have coffee or a drink later? I have something I’d like to discuss with you, if you have time. Or maybe a movie—it’s up to you.”
“Sure, I have time, and I’ll take the drink. I’ve already had too much coffee and no time for a movie tonight. Work’s been crazy and I have a marketing proposal to do for Jett.”
“That works. Sixish at Houston’s? And by the way, I saw Jett lunching at the Beverly Hills Hotel today. I’ll fill you in on that too.”
Pinky lived in Beverly Hills; nouveau riche and alone, except for her 36-year-old son who was not quite ready to be out on his own. Especially when mom had 6000 square feet, a pool and guesthouse. Besides, she was either working or traveling on business and he needed a base for his ever-changing business endeavors. Pinky adored her only child and treated him as such, even as he approached middle age. He was the child of the love of her life. Her childhood parish priest.
As a child, Pinky prayed to grow into a beautiful woman like her mother. Father McAfee listened to her feverish pleas. He arrived at Pinky’s parish when she was thirteen, fresh from seminary, and anxious to begin God’s work. Pinky attended the parochial school affiliated with the neighborhood church, and stopped by daily to light a candle and chat with Father McAfee when he was available. Soon, she found the highlight of her day was spending time with him, and she began to plan her visits accordingly. As did he.
Father McAfee was young, handsome and understanding. He sensed her insecurity and she became his first victim.
Noa recalled her shock when Pinky first told her who fathered her child. The unexpected revelation occurred on one of their late night drives home, both of them discouraged, disgusted and downhearted after dealing with the usual dregs of Saturday Night Society, the rejects and lost souls of the LA nightclub scene.
"We would have been better off sleeping than wasting our time there tonight.” Pinky steered the car onto the 405 freeway. “The good ones are all taken.”
Noa never expected to meet a keeper on their nights out. Pinky did.
Noa yawned. “Tell me about it. I could barely keep my eyes open, but you seemed enthralled with the guy you were dancing with. Any hope with that one?’
“No, none. He just reminded me of someone. That’s all.” Pinky added wistfully. “That was a long time ago, and all I have are memories and my son.”
“Your first husband?” Noa knew very little about Pinky’s past except she had been married three times.
“No, my first love and lover.” Pinky continued. “He ruined me for anyone else. We had sex in the Church, for God’s sake.”
It took a lot to surprise Noa, but she was silent and waited for Pinky to choose whether to continue or not.
Pinky continued. “It began when I was fourteen and a freshman in high school. It ended when I got pregnant at sixteen. My mother died without knowing who fathered her grandson.”
“God only knows how many children that man has now. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one.”
Noa searched for a question she could ask, without being too invasive. “Does your son know who his father is?”
“He thinks he does, but it’s not the truth. It was just easier to let him think it was my first husband. That’s the only dad he remembers, and besides, I can’t tell him his dad is our priest.”
Noa was speechless and thankful for the darkened car.
Pinky knew how to keep a secret, and she was confident Noa was capable of the same.
“That’s fine.” Noa snapped back to her conversation with Pinky. “I’ll drop off some paperwork for clients in Redondo. Order me a cabernet, and I’ll be there as close to six as possible.”
“Done. By the way, what’s new with Lonne?” Pinky couldn’t resist inquiring. “Is she still up to her old tricks?”
Pinky worked hard, and she admired Noa for doing the same. But Lonne was another story. Men and money came easy for Lonne. Pinky had never been so lucky. Her size alone eliminated most men. At five feet eleven she was an imposing figure. The 36 DD implants gave her the curves she always desired, and the artful application of makeup made her appear striking if not stunning. She loved her business, the freedom and financial rewards, but she was envious of Lonne’s luck.
“Yes, she’s still out there looking for the one.”
“Meanwhile there’s been a million and one.”
“Oh, that may be a little too high.” Noa came to Lonne’s defense even though she knew Lonne had long ago stopped counting.
“Don’t be too sure about that—her tally might top the recreational sex record of the entire NBA, let alone her beloved Lakers.” Pinky delighted in recounting Lonne’s sexual escapades. She paused, and then added, “She is shameless. She’d go to confession in a see-through dress if the priest was good looking.” Pinky was the lapsed Catholic, not California New Age Spirituality Lonne. Besides, given Pinky’s history with her priest, it seemed a tad judgmental. But Noa knew it was taboo to mention Pinky’s past.
Noa laughed, “That’s probably true, but he would have to very good looking! I’ll see you later.”
Noa glanced at the stack of files and considered calling Pinky back to cancel, but she was too curious, and besides, Houston's was one of Jett’s old hangouts. She felt foolishly girlish, but a chance meeting was an enticing possibility, and she was eager to hear about Pinky’s sighting.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Eat food in its natural state. This means eating the peach instead of peach pie, and that is my favorite pie! My best substitute is fresh peach slices in sugar-free jello with a dollop of Cool Whip. I know, it's not peach pie, but it's not 1,000 calories either. I also like fresh peaches or berries over Angel Food Cake and yes, Cool Whip is a great topping here too!
Frozen grapes and leftover smoothies. Frozen grapes are delicious! They are my favorite summertime snack.
I often fix a smoothy for breakfast. This morning's was an overripe banana, a handful of blueberries, 1/4 cup of yogurt, 1/4 cup of cottage cheese, 1/4 cup of orange juice, a teaspoon of fiber and 6 ice cubes. Pop it all in the blender and in a minute or two a healthy and delicious treat awaits you. I drank a delicious 8 oz. glassful and froze the rest in hand-painted stemware. They are the perfect companion for mindless television/movie watching. They are satisfying plus it takes a long time to eat them, and that's a good thing.
Allow yourself a few guilt-free splurges. Happiness is hard to find if your are constantly denying yourself your favorite food pleasures. Have that croissant for breakfast, enjoy champagne with a friend, indulge in your favorite dessert without guilt. Reduce the size and occurrences but not the pleasure.
Oh, the latest information regarding brain health is it requires, yes I said requires, some fat for optimal function.
So be smart, choose your food and fat with care.
Monday, June 9, 2008
It is entirely possible it will suck the fat from our bodies! No diet pills or gym membership necessary. Yes, the high price of gas may finally deliver the hot, hard body of your dreams! How? Let's follow this thread for a moment and see where it takes us.
More and more discretionary income is going into the millions of gas tanks in America. With less money to spend on fast food and morning Starbucks stops think of the collective calories not consumed. Those daily habits may soon become weekend treats and special occasions only. Whatever happened to brewing a cup of coffee at home anyway? When you factor in the cost of gas, plus the cost of a cup of designer coffee you may be less eager to part with the better part of a ten dollar bill for your morning boost.
Food prices continue to spiral upward. It takes a lot of gasoline to power all those delivery trucks, and that cost, dear consumer, is passed merrily along to you at the check-out counter. I recently heard the average American is twenty pounds overweight. What's in your shopping cart that you really don't need and shouldn't eat anyway? Do yourself and your wallet a favor and leave it on the shelf.
Grow your own vegetables. There are few things more delicious than sun ripened tomatoes plucked straight from the vine. You will benefit from the exercise of tending your garden, not to mention the convenience and cash saved. Those natural home grown foods will be doing some nifty things for your health and figure too. Mother Nature is there to help, but we must do our part too. Fuel yourself with more natural foods and ditch the processed, overpriced and over-packaged empty calories.
No room for a garden? Take a friend or two to the local farmer's market. Enjoy the social outing, share the cost of transportation, or better yet, walk if possible. Buying seasonal fruits and vegetables is a smart way to cut food costs; buying local is even better and more beneficial to your bank account. Plus, with a refrigerator and pantry stocked with fresh food you'll make healthier choices of what goes into your body. Maybe less really is more.
You may even thank those oil barons as the number on the bathroom scales goes down and your personal energy supply goes up.
Eat less, enjoy it more.
Sunday, June 8, 2008
Chapter 3: FROM WHENCE I CAME
The half moon shone upon the glassy waters of the Pacific as Noa wound her way down the switchbacks toward home. It was nearly nine o’clock, late for Noa, but she was looking forward to the remaining task of the day. Her bath.
The beach house was tiny, but it had a fabulous master bath with a jetted tub, and Noa indulged herself every night with few exceptions. It was where she let the present day go, planned the next as best she could, asked for guidance with the rest, and prepared her body for repose. A good night’s sleep was not guaranteed, especially at her stage of life, but Noa always emerged from her bath with a sense of calm tranquility and hopefulness.
Noa flipped through the mail as she filled the tub. She only read personal mail at night. The bills would have to wait for the light of day. No need to have creditors on her mind before sleep. The two did not mix well in Noa’s mind.
Noa sprinkled some lavender oil in the bath, lighted the single pillar candle and selected a lavender scent from the collection of bath gels and beads that lined the counter top. Almost time.
She turned back the bed covers, sprayed the sheets and pillow tops with lavender mist—there, her bed was ready.
Just as the bubbles were approaching the top of the tub, Noa eased into the enveloping waters.
A Realtor rarely turns off her cell phone, a mother with a son in a war zone never does. The calls can come at any time. Noa quickly reached for the phone. Jett.
He knew her habits.
“Hi, this is unexpected. What’s up?” Noa had not expected to hear from him for at least a few days, if not weeks, but he was totally unpredictable.
“Why? Is this a bad time?” Jett’s management style was autocratic, and on occasion, downright dictatorial, and he gave little consideration to anyone else’s schedule. There was no such thing as business hours in his world, just business.
“No, it’s fine. Go ahead.” Would it be business or personal, or a blend? Noa called it businal.
“Be at Clay Lacy’s at ten sharp on Saturday.”
“Where and how long?” Noa was accustomed to short notice and few details in both business and personal affairs with Jett. His fluidity irritated some of his associates, but Noa found it both refreshing and challenging.
“Park City, just for the day.”
“To do…” Noa’s voice trailed off.
Jett interrupted. “I’m taking some investors over to see the site, and you can get the information you need. By the way, I promised a lender I would deliver a market research update, and marketing plan to him by next Tuesday.”
“This coming Tuesday?” Noa exhaled slowly.
“It’s not that big of deal. Update the numbers, add some new photos –just pretty the old report up with the latest stats and new date.” Jett had a way of minimizing the effort, but expecting maximum results.
There was no way she could be prepared by Saturday, and half the people she needed to see would not be available on the weekend. At most, she would have three hours to do a job that required at least three days, and she still did not have a signed contract.
That was the thrill and exasperation of her job, and especially with clients like Jett. Variety, spontaneity, and unpredictability were a part of every day.
“See you at ten on Saturday. Bye.” She knew better than to argue. It would be.
Noa placed the phone beside the tub, closed her eyes for a final minute in the bath, and resolved to do the best she could. Over the years she had leaned that everything is workable, and with the help of the Internet, emails, faxes and phone calls she would fill in the holes and deliver the plan on Jett’s timetable.
Noa slipped into her robe, and deftly completed her bedtime routine. The teeth, the face, the estrogen and testosterone cream, the progesterone capsule, the DHEA, the melatonin, the thyroid capsule, the body moisturizer and lavender oil on her temples. Going to bed was not as simple as it was in her youth, but the payoff was well worth the effort. Energy was no longer an entitlement of only the young. Noa’s most recent lab results showed her body was fine tuned and functioning at optimum level for her. She felt she had the best of both worlds---the juice of her youth and the wisdom of her age. Noa was finally ready to unleash both.
Noa knelt to pray, to meditate, and to quiet her mind in preparation for the night ahead. Then slipped between the freshly scented sheets. Sleep came quickly.
Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, That Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil.
It was an obscure little prayer with four requests. It was a perfect realtor’s prayer. Noa needed to expand her territory. More listings would be a true blessing, and a way out of the financial fiasco she found herself in after a three-year relationship with Dr. Real, who was anything but real. She would readily accept guidance from above to avoid the unscrupulous and litigious nature of the real estate world. Jabez’s Prayer became her prayer.
Noa had never heard of Jabez until a few years ago, despite her Baptist youth, but it had become the second prayer she uttered upon opening her eyes each morning. The first one being for the safe return of her son, Jake, from Iraq, with that one oft repeated during the day and wakeful nights.
Even though Noa now considered herself more Buddhist than Baptist, she drew her spirituality from a variety of sources and past experiences. Her great grandmother was a half-breed Fox Indian, the offspring of a French trapper on the Mississippi River and a young Indian maiden. The American Indian’s reverence for nature and respect for the land ran deep within her veins.
Noa made sure her footsteps only kissed the earth and left no mark behind. She marveled at the successes of man, but she was awestruck by the creations of God. Nothing man made could be called competition.
Noa believed in angels, and life after earthly demise. She had witnessed the first and glimpsed the second. She believed yoga was as close to organized religion as she would ever come. It aligned not only her body, but her mind and spirit as well. She believed the world would turn more smoothly if we could live by the key tenet of every major religion. Some rendition of The Golden Rule, but that would require a revolution in the way we live our daily lives. She believed we had become too busy to love. Love takes time, real time, and lots of it.
Noa swabbed her stomach in preparation for her daily HGH injection, just as her cell rang. Hmmm, Pinky. It had been weeks since Noa heard from her. She was curious, but opted to let it go to voice mail.
Pinky was crazy, in a harmless up-to-this-point-sort-of-way, but Noa was reluctant to get too close. Even though Pinky relayed her episodes of stalking past lovers and phoning the current wives of old flames with a sense of joie de vivre, Noa quietly disapproved. She sensed there were darker things she didn’t know about Pinky, and that was the way Pinky wanted to keep it.
Pinky revealed bits and pieces of her life but never enough to paint a complete picture. Noa had an uneasy feeling Pinky was capable of crossing the line—any line, if it served her well.
Noa always returned calls from four to five in the afternoon. Pinky would have to wait until then.
“I’m on my way, get the Starbucks and make it a large one. I’m running on three hours sleep and I look terrible.” Lonne sounded upbeat, and Noa knew there was a story to be told about last night’s adventure.
“Grande it will be.” Noa’s desk faced the street. “Just pull up in front and I’ll bring it out and transfer my things to my car. You’re a doll for doing this.”
“See you in twenty minutes or so.” Lonne liked to keep her phone conversations short. She much preferred one-on-one interactions and actions.
Real estate was a means to an end for Lonne. It was social, required networking, lunching, dressing up, a luxury car and it presented endless opportunities to meet men. Lonne specialized in luxury homes along the coast, which translated to wealthy homeowners. A sale or purchase was often precipitated by divorce or death, and Lonne was an expert at consoling the brokenhearted.
Lonne spent hours perfecting her golf game with the pro at Trump National Golf Course; Donald Trump’s course in Rancho Palos Verdes. She always practiced with a client, which enabled her to write it off as a business expense, improve her game and keep an eye on the playing field. She conducted business in two places: the golf course and the bedroom-- sometimes both on the same day with the same client. Lonne flaunted her availability with just enough dignity to keep it respectable. She didn’t attempt to hide her sexuality. Now that she had found it.