Friday, February 27, 2009

Hearts and Houses for Sale: Hear me Roar

Hello, Selene here. Let ME tell you the latest - or read it yourself, below.

Right there late in the afternoon in the back of the Thai restaurant on Gaffey Street in San Pedro, I roared like a lion at what I had just heard.

"You're what? A married man? One who has strung me along for weeks with gifts, dinners, and romance, not to mention, a very suggestive and seemingly innocent introduction at a house that was my only listing at the time AND one that I had a seller on the way who was a sure thing until I got so caught up with your advances that the sale almost never happened because I got hurt by twins who I would have seen coming and moved out of the way, then listened intently to their cutie-pie grandfather and devoted, not to mention, ready to-purchase mother WHO never even had the chance TO even bring her agent in the house with an offer, that I am sure they already had in place--no matter whether it would have been accepted or not by the owner, who happened to be standing in the room, and had he not been incredibly intentionally secretive on so many levels, that he could have said, "oh, I like you, of course I'll sell the house to you since my goal here is to see children in the treehouse and the yard to overcome my guilt at doing something I should not have--which may have had to do with a murder committed here some years ago--and in my heart of hearts, if indeed I have such a thing, I want my dearly departed mother to be able to look down from heaven and see these lovely little darlings playing and loving her home of so many years where she lovingly cared for her children, me included, and, NOW, you want to come clean and what, apologize for your reprehensible behavior and I'm supposed to do what, say, "Oh, Hopi, that's just fine...I don't mind at all that you have a current wife in addition to your former wives and children, and isn't it sweet that you have a wonderful big dog that the family must love and I have a 'snake' of a bracelet which should have told me all I needed to know as soon as I received it.

Well. My suggestion to you is either drive off the next cliff you see, or more kindly and since I don't really mean that, just disappear into the hordes of other susceptible women in this big city where it is enormously difficult to meet nice men, since the despicable ones who have crawled out from under a rock are making themselves fairly irresistible and wasting precious time so that the good men of this city, world, don't get the opportunities they need to get to know these single and deserving women.

Pause. Breath.

I have a date tonight with a lovely man who is taking me to a concert and, frankly, I was about to tell you that we had no future, so I will end this conversation with words and thoughts you no doubt will not understand: Lokha samasta sukkhino bhavantu.

With that I got up and left the restaurant.

And that's the truth. To some extent.

to be continued

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Hearts and Houses for Sale: Ooooohhh

"So, let me get this straight. No matter how much they put down on the house, you'll offer a loan at 4% for the balance of the loan. No strings attached."

I'm picking at my pad thai, getting it onto the chop sticks just right so it doesn't fall into my lap. Aaaah, got it. So good. "Is there anything else I need to know about this?"

"Just tell me something that will make me happy," Hopi says. "Like, how they'll rebuild the tree house and plant daffodils out front that will bloom in the early spring." 

I can't help but laugh. "Corny, but okay. When they rebuild the tree house, I'll suggest they put in a second level."

"I want more than that. I'm serious. If those boys are going to sleep up there at night, then they should have proper reading light, not flashlights. I don't want to be responsible for their bad eyesight later in life." 

We're at a table for two in a back corner. Thick blinds cover the windows so it is dark in here even though it is not outside. A little tea light burns in a plastic lily pad that floats in a bowl of water. Lots of atmosphere, for a late lunch.

"Well, I don't think they'll have any problem with that, especially the terms, but what if, for some reason they decide to put a viewing area on the roof instead of rebuilding the treehouse?" I'm fascinated by his generosity and warmth.  This is another side of a man who seems to have many sides, or reinvents himself more often than Madonna. 

He offers me some of his rice. It's perfectly clumped on the chopsticks. "As long as they're playing up there and not falling off. A space ship to the stars could be launched from that rooftop, it is so flat." He flattens his hand and flies it off the table and into the air.

"Why are you doing this? I have to know." He's really funny! Who knew? My head ache is gone. I'm his real estate agent, and now I'm making the sale for the Broom family also.  All in a week's time, seemingly out of thin air. "What's really going on here?" I ask. It isn't what it seems. I just know somehow. 

"I want that family to be happy in my house," he says. "I want to be able to drive by and see it from the street. For my mother, too, she never got to see her grandchildren play."

"That's very nice," I answer. "But, you listed the house under your corporation, then blurted out the truth when we were naked and now you're giving them the house as though they were long lost family.

Hopi sat back in his chair and toyed with his napkin. "I haven't been truthful with you, Selene. Yes, I've been divorced, but I'm married. My wife lives in  Sao Paulo, as do I most of the time. I have two teenagers, an Australian Sheepdog, and I'm here from time to time developing a new surgical robot."

Funny, but I wasn't angry. At least not at the moment. I was speechless, however. A bowling ball hit the floor in the bowling alley next door then rolled and crashed into the pins, probably all of them by the sounds of things.

"Oh," I said. And I could imagine the look on my face--two little eyes wide open, and one mouth round and emitting the sound, 'oooooh'-- pretty much matching the 3-hole openings in that bowling ball.   

And that's the truth. To some extent.

to be continued

Monday, February 23, 2009

Hearts and Houses for Sale: Bulls-Eye

If home is where the heart is, the Lebowsky's ripped theirs apart on the way to a divorce. Stella is looking for a new house with her new boyfriend. The only thing going for this old place is the low-low-low price. It's too close to the harbor, and a postage stamp of a lot. There's not even a garage.

I'll leave the rest of the visuals up to you, except I will say it has a ransacked look and smell. "What have you accomplished so far today?" I ask my trusty contractor, Joe, who is worth his weight in gold (and he weighs probably 200 pounds).

He folded his arms across his chest and took a wide-legged stance like the Laker's fan he is. "The junker is out of the backyard. The pile of stones are all in one corner. The Andy Gump people been here today, but, well, the porch, I don't know." I looked at his crew sitting against the sole tree, a circle of dusty sweaty men and boys speaking rapid Spanish. "We're knocking off for today," he said.

"Here's water and chips for all," I said, handing over a brown paper bag. Paid for by me, but I'll make it back. "Tomorrow the inside, Joe. the bathroom.  "You've got to keep moving, I'll bring a fan over."

I hopped gingerly on my toes until I made it up the five steps to the porch and doorway. This house could be such a Victorian cutie. I wanted Joe to know exactly what he had to do. Get the crap off the floor, swab it down, TCP the walls, rehang the lime green light fixture and the glitter ball in the kitchen. The bathroom has to be usable.  Staging is scheduled for Monday. The Lebowsky's pay for that. "I'm counting on you, Joe." 

My phone beeped about then. A text from Hopi. What's he want? My head ached, I needed lunch. I text back. "Meet u @ Thai place, blvd, 15 mins, I have 1 hr." 

"See you, Joe, please put in another hour this afternoon before you knock off." I smiled right at him and slowly fluttered of my newly dyed eyelashes. Corny but it works with him.

I practically ran down the driveway before he could refuse. By now, the sun blinded my left eye. I felt the pain coming on. No migraine. Not now. Sunglasses, always remember the sunglasses.

Getting into my car, I looked back at the house. It'll sell. Those steps are a death trap, for now. Minimal landscaping, flowers will give curb appeal. The bathroom just has to be usable. Stella's an idiot. Throws her house and her husband away. Wonder if she found her boyfriend on Craigslist?

Good old Craigslist. I found my date for tonight on there. A nice man from Mecca is taking me to hear a Japanese instrumentalist quartet. He has a strong accent. I hope I can understand him. Did I say he's nice. I'm curious about the Japanese quartet.

OMG, Hopi again. I'll have to change his ring tone. "What is it?" I say too loud, too strident, too fast into the phone as I turn on the ignition. "I'm busy, Hopi." I pull out onto the street. Thoughts about this house are racing through my mind. The big problem with the house is the bathroom. I knew that going into this. So deal with it, Selene. Glancing back it looks better from a distance. "You're what?" I hit the brakes. "You're offering the Brooms' a loan to buy your house?" 

A dart of pain bullets through my left temple. "Can we close the deal?" I'll get food and find out. "I'll meet you over there."

And that's the truth. To some extent.

to be continued

Friday, February 20, 2009

Hearts and Houses for Sale: Looking Good

Hello! Selene here. Click to listen to ME tell you all about what's been happening lately, or read it yourself, below:

My dentist's name is Dr. Chu. I drive over an hour first thing in the morning to get to her office in the San Fernando Valley, but she's worth it. What could be better than a dentist named Dr. Chu? And, I have good teeth. See!

"Hello," Dr. Chu's receptionist calls to me, like she always does as soon as I enter the office. "No problems today?" Her name is Mary.

"I'm fine," I say. She knows the only thing I hate more than cavities are snakes.

"Go in the pink room and have a seat, the hygienist will be with you in a minute," Mary says.

The room is vivid pink. I don't know why. They support breast cancer research? I squirmed into the chair.

"You're on time," the hygienist says as she springs into the room, like any 27 year old would do who has had sex the night before. "I'm going to take x-rays. Okay?"

"Sure. Just don't dig those stiff things into my gums," I say a little too sharply. "They hurt."

"I hate it, too, I know," she says. I see a Chinese figure tattoo on her shoulder where I should not be able to see it, except that her pink -- yes it matches -- scrub shirt is too big and has slipped a little too far west of her bra strap. "You know, I was out with my boyfriend last weekend. We want to buy a house, and, I bit into my cheek when he opened a closet door and there was a room with built-in shelves full of shoes, floor to ceiling."

I had to ask, even as she jammed that hard square x-ray disc way back into my mouth. "Did you buy the house?"

"Don't move," she chirped, then put the lead apron over me. "I better do this. Don't guess you're pregnant, but never know."

The machine made it's noise and she pulled out the gummy gizmo. "Did you..." I repeated.

"Oh, oh, nononono," she said. "It was way too much money, and, we didn't want a hundred steps up to the front door. Well, it was only maybe 20, but I don't want to have to climb 20 steps in heels after we've been out drinking."

Then, bless her heart, Mary called out from her desk. "Selene is a real estate agent. Maybe she can sell your current house. Your agent sure isn't."

She stuck another disc in my mouth. It stung. But then, business isn't pain free.

"You'll have to release your current agent first," I said.

Her pony-tail fell on my cheek--disgusting-- as she leaned in to adjust the stupid thing. "The house needs some work, but we don't expect to make a million on it."

I had to think about that for a few minutes. I wondered what that meant.

A few days later, pictures of her house were on my desk when her now ex-agent called. Stella and Stanley Lewbowsky-- of all names-- had hired me to sell a dump. "So, you're going to sell this place? Port-a-potty for a working bathroom, you know," the agent said. "Let me know how you do it. Word has it you can sell anything."

"It's a listing I have, that you lost," I said because it was true. I had no idea what I'd do. "You can come check it out when it's ready."

In any case, my teeth are white and shiny. I don't have any cavities. And, I have a listing, a challenge of a listing, but a listing. Sigh...

And that's the truth. To some extent.

to be continued

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Hearts and Houses for Sale: Love In a Bone China Tea Cup

Hello! Selene here. Click to listen to ME tell you what's been happening lately, or read about it yourself, below:

It's been raining for days, off and on in San Pedro. It's been cold, relative to our usual sunny 75 degree days...60 degrees is winter cold here. And, I'm tired, achy, hot and cold, and well not up to par. I've put my life on hold for now.

My new listing will be ready to show in another week or so. The staging will begin soon. I like that part. Rain or no rain, that will be a fun day. The Brooms haven't dropped out of escrow, things just are at a stand still. Wait and see. And, I watched a terrific old movie last night called "The Bigamist".

It's about this man who is unhappily married so he falls in love with another woman, who gets pregnant of course, but by then his wife, has had a change of heart and she wants to start over and adopt a child. He goes along with her because he doesn't want to break her heart and disappoint her. That's how he gets caught, the adoption background check.

He does the right was, not like what a man would do today, and marries the pregnant woman. That's why it is called The Bigamist. He had planned to divorce his wife but every time he was ready to tell her, something happened and he couldn't.

When he's discovered he's in despair. He actually loves both women. I felt so bad for him. And the end of the movie is his trial. I paused the movie right before the end and made myself hot cocoa which I drank from my mother's bone china tea cup.

The movie takes place in the early 1950's, which is probably when my mother got the bone china set, as a wedding gift. It made me feel good all over, drinking hot cocoa and knowing my mother was looking down on me and wanting me to feel better.

I wish she was still alive and I could go stay overnight with her. We could have watched the movie together and she would have made the cocoa. I would have made popcorn.

Tomorrow I will shower, dress, and go to the office...back to my real life. I really miss my mother.

Hum, Hopi hasn't called. I wonder why.

And that's the truth. To some extent.

to be continued

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


It was about to rain when I took this picture in the Point Loma area of San Diego just outside a Trader Joe's on Rosecrans Boulevard. The storm came from the south so the dark clouds aren't visible. It was 55 degrees. Note: She looks cute in her pretty little cotton skirt and summer sandals. Her friend must have felt the cold.
This man could not give up his shorts. Notice the shoes. Maybe his feet were cold. Yes, we were at the nursery, too, looking for a topiary for grandpa who needs a new plant outside the front door. However we wore jackets and wool sweaters. Wimps, I guess.

Monday, February 16, 2009


Susy Thompson and her husband who was a sea captain bought this house in the late 1900's. I remember seeing Susy who lived upstairs in her own apartment when she was 100+. Notice the new windows, and, the outside stairway. I always watched to see her climb it. Never did. Her children lived downstairs. The house is empty now and is to be torn down to make way for 6 condos. Too bad. Maybe no $ for this now?? 

Next is the view of downtown San Diego from Susy's window. Imagine it at night with lights glittering. You can watch cruise ships coming and going.

Next is a blue house that was built a long time ago as a summer house for someone who lived in San Diego proper. Notice how nicely it has been kept up. It would have the same view as Susy's house.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Hearts and Houses for Sale: On a short hiatus

Selene, super real estate agent and her intrepid lover, Hopi--Henry Olden Powell, III will return on Wednesday. Meantime, Selene is visiting family out of town.

Her sister, Tina, is recovering from a bad cold, but fortunately, her new husband is home to nurse her back to health. 

Selene's boss has gone to New Orleans for Valentine's weekend. No one is supposed to know. His wife thinks he is working...

Oh, and Louise and Lieutenant Broom and the boys are with grandpa, Aodham McPhearson, on a cruise to Mexico -- thanks to grandpa generosity. Hopefully, when they return a loan will be available for them to go ahead with the purchase of the now notorious 'house on the hill' with the falling down tree house.

And that's the truth on this day after Valentine's Day.  To some extent.

continued on Wednesday  

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Off for the Holiday, here are some pictures

I'm spending some family time in San Diego, California. Hope you had a great Valentine's Day (unless you celebrate every day like a friend and her husband do...aaaah).

Here's grandpa Art at Einstein Bagels in Point Loma which is on the bay in San Diego...He loves bagels. We love him.

If you're a frenzied writer, check out my coach's suggestions (look to the left on here) for getting yourself in order and being productive.

This is a pic of Warner Brothers Studio in Burbank, CA. The TV show "Friends" was made here. I can't think of any new shows but I know there are some. The main entrance is just a little ways on down the street.

Yes, we have blue skies like this a lot. And the palm trees are amazing, except up close the trunks look like elephant legs , really thick and rough.

And that's the truth. Really.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Hearts and Houses for Sale: On a Clear Day...

Hello! Selene here. Click to listen to ME tell you what's been happening lately, or read about it yourself, below:

I need a break. Life cannot be all about work. Or all about Hopi, Henry Olden Powell, III. I still want to know about Powell number 1, and Powell number 2. I wonder if I can ask him? He hasn't offered any information. Anyway, he's off the radar for today. No man, no work, no money, no maybe's.
I met my sister, Tina, at yoga class first thing this morning. I really have to get there more often. It's just a matter of prioritizing time, for myself. Yoga in the morning and the whole day goes better.
Afterward, we just drove the old highway along the water and walked around the Trump Golf Course. It was so green since we've recently had rain, and the water was so beautifully blue and clear. I could see for miles. What was that song, "On a clear day, you can see forever..." I better not sing...You know, winter in Southern California is a definite season, just not a ragged one where you're always cold. I've been to the mountains. I've never lived in the cold, but that's what I hear.
Tina and I walked for awhile, probably a half hour or more in silence. Then a golf ball hit the wall of the public bathroom up ahead and it was startling. Where were the golfers? I couldn't see anybody. Tina turned around and around in a circle trying to see where the people might be. Nobody.
It was so beautiful just looking around. I mean, of course, there had to be somebody, since the golf ball came from somebody somewhere.
"I think I'm going to get my hair cut, chin length," I said to Tina. "What do you think?"
"Sure, why not. You'll hate it, like you did last time, and wait for it to grow out, but, that's what you always do." She tells me the truth, even when I don't want to hear it.
"I need a change, Tina." I stood still and took in the warmth from the sun. It felt so good, so peaceful. "My life is difficult," I told her. "I don't have any money. I think I'm getting a new listing, but I'm not sure, it's going to take at least two weeks to get it ready to show, and 'the house on the hill' still hasn't closed yet." I was rambling.
I shut up and looked over at her. It was her turn to say something and make me feel better. She wasn't looking at me.
"Hey, look at that dog," she said. She had shaded her eyes with her hands. "Look up there. On the side of the hill. That dog."
"I see him," I said. "He's waving at us."
"Yeah, he's waving at us," Tina said. "He's happy to see us. Let's wave back."
So we did.
"Whose he with? I don't see anybody around," I said.
Tina said. "I think he just wants to say 'hello' and be friendly."
"I should forget about my hair. It's is just an excuse to do something, be distracted." I shaded my eyes with both hands. "I don't need a hair cut, or a facial or a manicure -- well, I do, but I can't afford any of it right now--."
"I think he's the welcoming committee for the golf course," Tina said.
He kept waving at us. We kept waving back at him, or her. Couldn't tell from the distance.
"I wonder who he belongs to?" I asked.
"He shouldn't be out here all alone," Tina said. "But, then I guess, we are."
So, we stood there on the walking path, in the sunshine at the golf course near the ocean. He sat there on the grassy hill across the road, above us for awhile. Then he got up and trotted away until we couldn't see him anymore.
Later, when we were in the car, Tina asked if I thought he was a coyote.
"No. I think he was a collie," I said. "Somebody's dog who knew how to wave hello, or maybe 'goodbye', I don't know which."
We went back to Tina's and had grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup.
And that's the truth. To some extent.
to be continued...

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Hearts and Houses for Sale: Piece of Cake

Hello! Selene here. Click to listen to ME tell you what's been happening lately, or read about it yourself, below:

I really want this sale to go through with the Brooms. If I'm not selling, then I better be out door-knocking. San Pedro, California is an old, large area of the South Bay so there are a lot of doors to knock. It's a needle in a haystack finding a buyer who can qualify, or a seller ready to let go of property in this climate. I want this sale.

I sailed through every green light but one on the way to the office. Hopefully that's a good sign. Wonder if I earned any good Karma with Hopi last night. He did eat the rabbit after all. It didn't go to waste, and I think we were honest with each other. I like him in spite of his weird background. That alone should be good karma.

Me: Hi Jim. Should I be happy or sad, today?

Boss: You better have a trick up your sleeve, Selene. (Uh-oh. He never calls me by my name.)

Me: Captain Katz is behind Lieutenant Broom all the way. He wants him to get that 'house on the hill' as they refer to it. That combination, Katz and Broom and house on the hill, that alone should get them a mortgage.

Boss: Nobody can get a mortgage right now. So, how are you going to make this sale. Selene.

Me (a long pause): I know the owner, well, the owner of the corporation that owns the house.

Boss (laughing) : Is that a trick or a treat? Is he this week's lucky guy?

Me: Maybe. Maybe he's holding his cards too close to his chest on this sale.

Boss: Is he on the up-and-up? Is there something I need to know?

Me: Not yet. He grew up in that house, then rented it for years.

Boss: What about the murder? Is it a problem?

Me: Hasn't been a problem since it happened. He acts like it never happened. It isn't a problem for Crazy Louise and her fireman husband. Gives them reason to low-ball their offer.

Boss: Let me help you out, Selene. Lieutenant Broom only makes $75,000 a year. Now, how do you know this owner, again?

Me (another even longer pause): He's my doctor, incorporated.

Boss: Here's what I suggest. Los Angeles Fire Department Chief Barry worked San Pedro at the Harbor in 2000. He still goes to church here. Maybe the department can help get him a mortgage. Firemen stick together. They help each other out.

Me: Okay. I'll put on my big girl panties and Taryn Rose shoes, they're classy but low-heeled enough to kiss ass, and run that info by the Broom's agent. I guess it would be best if I didn't say, "so why haven't you thought of this?"

Boss: Maybe he has, but needs some help. Sell it. Just curious, is the 'doctor' seeing you again soon?

Me (laughing): I could call that harassment but I won't. I'll press the Brooms' agent. If the department can help with the mortgage, I'll suggest the owner make a contribution to one of their charities.

Boss: No piece of cake.

Me:If that doesn't work, I'll make an effigy of the owner and stick pins in him.

Boss: Oooh. You do know this person. Man on a stick. Voodoo no less.

Me: Hum.. more like -- I do, you do. Maybe, he'll be cake on a plate. He just has to be wooed, I think.

And that's the truth. To some extent.

to be continued...

Monday, February 9, 2009

Hearts and Houses for Sale: Surprise!

Listen to Selene tell her story here, or read the story yourself, below:

One advantage to living in the Los Angeles area is that if you can't cook but want a particular food there is always someone who will make it for you. Ready to go, just as though you prepared it yourself.

Selene lifted her hair from her neck and twisted it into a soft swirl, hooking it with an antique pewter comb. Dark turtleneck and straight leg jeans with black Manolo's were the choice of the night. She saw Hopi's BMW pull into the driveway. You haven't earned that privilege yet, she thought.

"For you," he said as he stood in the doorway. "I know you like surprises." He touched his lips to her left breast.
My heart, Selene thought, pretentious. "Thank you. I'll open them later." She kissed him lightly on both cheeks, turning quickly, moving with just a tiny sway to the kitchen. A timer went off.

"The 'civet de lapin' is ready," she said. "I considered wearing a bunny costume, couldn't find one I liked."

"Too bad," he said. "Pierre de lapin."

"Very French and down to earth." She opened the oven door. "It stews in its own juices with a little help from me." She bent to lift it from the oven.

Henry came up behind Selene, put his arms around her and bit the back of neck. "Did you know that is what male rabbits do?" he asked.

"Only when they want to kill the female," Selene answered, slipping from his grasp. "Would you mind lighting the candelabra on the table?" She placed the copper stew pat on the counter top.

Henry sighed audibly. "I had two pet rabbits when I was a boy. Then we had 10. My father butchered them and stored them in the freezer, finally, he rented a meat locker," Hopi said. "I haven't had Pierre de lapin since."

Selene lit the candles. "Is that why you went into orthopedic surgery?" she asked.

"My mother had a cleft palate. That's why," he said, staccato and stinging. "How did you know I was a surgeon?"

"You said so," Selene said, untruthfully, reaching out a Manolo'd foot, placing it on top of his loafer. "Why do you travel?"

"I teach," he said. "I don't want this."

"Okay. I'll call for pizza," Selene said, wrapping her leg around his and reaching behind him for the phone. "How do you like yours?"

On the green camel rug in the dining room, Hopi showed Selene how he liked his.

"Did I make up for last time?" he asked. "Tell me. Did I practice or was that the real thing?"

"You're practiced. I hadn't realized how much. Two wives, three children, and a palimony case pending." Selene placed her hand on his belly.

"Is that so much worse than 47 and never married, only one long term relationship, and two arbitrations?" he asked, sitting up. "I ran a background check on you too."

Selene placed the Manolo's and pewter comb carefully side-by-side next to her hips, then rolled over facing him. "Your mother lived in that house I have in escrow. Until the day she died. You grew up there, then rented it through your corporation to that family who built the tree house and died. You were questioned. Crazy Louise and her nice fireman husband are buying that decrepit place for their twins from you. You hired me."

Hopi started to dress. "It's nobody's business. It's all legal. I disclosed what was necessary," he said. "I wanted the best."

"And you got it," Selene said, tracking her fingernail up the back of his calf to his thigh. "Aren't you hungry?"

He looked down at her. The room was dark except for her silhouette in the moonlight. "Do you want to reheat Pierre?" he asked.

And that's the truth. To some extent.
to be continued...

Friday, February 6, 2009

Hearts and Houses for Sale: Picture This

Listen to Selene herself tell her story:

Or Read the story yourself here:

Selene's sister sent her one of those chain emails.

Once upon a time, a beautiful, self-assured princess happened upon a frog. He, of course, needed a kiss from her to resume his life as a prince. They would marry, move into her castle, and bring his mother. He would be forever grateful for all the work she did, housekeeping, bearing children, and keeping him happy.

That night the princess dined sumptuously on lightly sauteed frog legs seasoned in a white wine and onion cream sauce. The princess laughed and thought, I don't f*&#^% think so.The sun nearly blinded Selene on the way to the office. She hit the brakes at the stop sign before turning right onto the boulevard. On the side of the road, a frog, hit by another car, kicked it's back legs. They don't give up easily, she thought. Poor thing. That reminded her that Henry Olden Powell, III,--he liked to be called 'Hopi'-- hadn't called for over a week. He'd sent an email saying he would be out of town, but would love to see her Kikki Eder paintings when he got back. That's lame. They are amazingly beautiful. Selene could take Hopi to the Fremont Gallery in South Pasadena to see Kikki's exhibit. (That's one of Kikki's paintings in the upper left corner. It's called "The View of Umbria Street") But first it is time for Selene to make up for lost time with Hopi. She decides she can rent a Playboy bunny 'maid' outfit and make, herself, a French rabbit dish with a New Orleans cream whiskey sauce. He'll like that.The last time she saw Hopi, they had a lot to drink and well, he didn't rise to the occasion when he wanted to. Selene didn't care, and she said he just needed to practice. It was a poor choice of words. He probably has gone to 'practice' with someone else already. Meantime, Selene bought more condoms. It's good to keep them in the house. She also decided to run a background check on Hopi to find out if there are any medical malpractice accusations against him and how good of a surgeon he is. Ooooh. And, she can find out who Henry Olden Powell, I and II were. As Selene drives down 9th Street the Los Angeles Harbor sparkles before her like the bjillion dollar city investment it is. Too bad the state of California is going broke. She can hear her sister say, "Just ask him about his family and business. You're snooping. It's not nice."That, would not be as much fun, my dearest sweet sister, Selene thought. And that's the truth. To some be continued...

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Hearts and Houses for Sale: The Mask

"What you see, isn't always what you get," Selene said to her sister, Tina, as she snapped on the bedside lamp.  "All I said, was that he should practice."

"Do you like him?" Tina asked. "Is he weird or not?"

"I don't know what to think of him," she said, sitting up in bed and removing the warm cloth from her forehead. "He's fun, he's smart. Did I tell you that already?"

"You said he brought you a semi-precious gemstone snake bracelet. You thought you owed him."

Selene got out of bed and opened the French doors to her small bricked patio. She stuck her finger into the soil of a droopy Azalea. It was dry. "The bracelet is beautifiul, that he couldn't do it, well, it wasn't a problem for me, I really didn't care. Things don't always work out, especially after a lot of drinking. He just took it the wrong way." No stars, but a huge perfect moon. Her nipples ached in the chilly air. 

"He didn't take it any-way, from what you're saying," Tina added. She took a drag on a smoke.

"You're smoking," Selene said. "What are you smoking?" She stood still and listened intently. "Just go back to cigarettes. I'm not seeing a psychiatrist, he's a surgeon. Let's howl at the moon together and see how we feel."

"I took a Valium, I'm already relaxed," her sister said. "Don't make me tense. He's a surgeon. So, I can understand how that could cut both ways."

"I like him enough," Selene said as she slipped into sweat pants and a shirt. "He's got these piercing dark eyes especially in the moonlight, but I just can't get the thought of him hacking up a family out of my mind."

"So, with that in mind, you tell him to go practice when he can't do it," her sister replied. "If you're lucky, you won't be seeing him for awhile. Not until he practices enough to get it to work again. Or comes back to stab you. That didn't come out right. I mean, well, it scares me."

"I never thought of it like that," Selene slid her feet into Uggs.  "Do you think he thought I meant he couldn't do it, and he needed to practice with someone else?"

"Yeah, with somebody else. You know, practice and learn," Tina said. "Pretty insulting, huh."

Selene poured tomato juice in a bucket glass and stuck in a straw. Then she saw it. His surgical mask was on the kitchen counter. It must be his. Who else could it belong to? "Tina, this is really weird, but..."

And that's the truth. To some extent.

to be continued... 

Monday, February 2, 2009

Heart and Houses for Sale: I Remember You...

'The house on the hill is in escrow, at last," Selene said. "The owners left an antique brass chandelier and it made all the difference."

"Maybe Louise figures that bright light will lure Lieutenant Broom home," Hopi said.  "Perfect. I had a surprise for you, and now it will be an occasion!"

Selene wasn't so sure about this. Ever since Hopi had made a joke about murdering the people in the decrepit tree house behind the house--the house that was her only listing, he didn't seem quite right. But then, again, give a person the benefit of the doubt, right? 

"I'm not big on surprises," she said. "I won't know how to dress." Enough for surprises from you, Mr. Henry Olden Powell, III, she thought--actually the thought ran through her head like a wire service.

"We're going to dinner with some of my friends. You know Miriam and Joav. It's in Palos Verdes, so you'll need to wear the gift I'm bringing when I pick you up, " he said. "I see you in a beautiful flowing dress, easy on and easy off. You have a dress like that, don't you?"

"I'll have to, ah, hum, just a minute," she said putting the receiver in her lap and evening out her breath. She popped on the speaker phone and put the receiver back. She loosened her lavender silk kimono, shifted around, and began rubbing body lotion on one leg. "You mean like an Ophelia flowing down the river dress?," she asked.

"I want to see you," he said.

"It would seem so, " she said. She liked talking with him when she was fresh from the shower, naked and still damp. 

"You aren't still upset about that bad joke, are you?" he asked. " Look you found out it was twenty years ago that somebody was murdered there. And the house still sold." 

Time to change the subject. "I'm sorry, but I don't remember Miriam and what's his name. You said I sold them a house?" Selene said. 

"Joav. You'll remember when you see him.  They remember you very well," he said. "You introduced them to the mind eraser. And Joav went home with your red lace panties in his pocket."

"He did not!" Selene said. "I remember. He kept saying he didn't think the proportion of Kahlua to vanilla vodka to soda water was right, and he drank us under the table." Selene let the kimono fall back and smoothed lotion across her shoulders and collarbone.

"Were you wearing red lace panties?" he asked.

"No," Selene said. "I wasn't wearing any panties."

"That's what I mean by flowing," he said. "I'll make you my version of  a mind eraser tonight."

I'll be sipping tomato juice all day tomorrow, Selene thought, if I agree to this. Is he for real or am I a sucker for this guy? 

And that's the truth. To some extent.

to be continued...