I'm about to be featured on a writing website and I want Peepers to see more than "Crazy Bird Lady" so I'm resurrecting a chapter from a "fictional" book I'm working on. Yep... nothing REAL here...pulling this all out of my ass. Forget that I live in Greenwich, Connecticut - the Hedgefund Capital of the World - or that I run a Security Company and dabble in high-end Property Management.
On a cold October night, under the restless palate of a pearly full moon, the board held a hearing meeting to discuss the fines associated with the development of Lot #9.
It took place at the home of Missy and Matthew Ford, a neoclassic brick manor stuffed with an obtrusive collection of art. Life sized classical Greek sculptures coupled with impressionistic paintings that retrace the steps of aristocrats, stretch from ceiling to floor. An antique brass wall mounted plaque reads "Art is long, life short, judgment difficult, opportunity transient." – Hippocrates.
A thick musty odor, comparative to that of a European medieval museum, convinces me that they, not the occupants, are the true originals.
It is here that a nasty taste begins to form in my mouth. I arrived flushed and fatigued, halfway through a 72 hour battle with the flu. I decline all food and wine, despite the tempting array of freshly prepared culinary treats the wonderfully handsome personal French chef has prepared. I imagine how he toiled over flames in order to lovingly set my mouth on fire. His crisp, delicate blue eyes intoxicate my taste buds as I force myself to focus on the task at hand.
This time the agenda items include:
- Lot 9 violations
- Lot 9 fine totals
- Architectural review of Lot 9 structural components - blue print verses actual
Nancy Massey, whose husband Jimmy’s abrasive arrogance led to his forced ‘resignation’ as CEO of a high profile New York Ad agency, is the only one who seems to notice how ill I am. She is attentive, warm, almost motherly, except for one thing, she insists on referring to me as “my friend”.
“You don’t look good my friend...” “oh, my friend, you’d better try and get some rest...” “goodnight my friend, feel better my friend...” She forgets that a year and a half ago, when she was feverishly overseeing the reconstruction of their second coastal Florida home, she declared to the Board, in my presence, that she always refers to the help as “my friend.” “You get more out of them when they think you like them,” she boasted.
“Ohhhh...” they chime in, “that is so very clever of you Nancy.”
Despite the agenda outline, Nancy’s second glass of pinot prompts her to redirect the discussion to the unfortunate fate of their neighbor.
“Did you know the Dupre’s have separated? Baxter has the kids. Babes took the dogs and is living in a condo in Stamford!”
Despite the fact that both Nancy and her husband were born and raised in Stamford, her now limited vision equates living beyond the 06830 Greenwich zip code as a fate worse than death.
Other than the occasional coo of Ohhh... I sit in silence. It appears as though I am the only one that knows the Dupre’s house is headed to foreclosure which will push The Streets property value down and make it impossible to sell lot #9 once the construction is complete.
“My housekeeper saw a black suburban in the driveway the other day when she was wheeling Bikini, (a 5 pound yorkie) around the cul-de-sac. There were several men dressed in dark suits and sunglasses standing outside and she could see Baxter approach them. She said he looked nervous and was carrying something silver and square. She wasn’t sure if it was a laptop or a briefcase. Will someone please tell me why she can not distinguish a laptop from a briefcase!”
Highlighting their neighbors flaws is a hobby for them. So is discussing the guards apparent defects. The guards that work so hard at keeping the cold cruel world off their doorsteps. They can find fault in almost anything. Like the tilt of a hat, for example.
"That’s okay if you’re a hip hop star but its unacceptable attire on the street."
Or the improper portrayal of a guest. "Hello, Mrs . Lu, an Asian women is here to pick up your dry cleaning."
Mrs. Lu, who's husband is Chinese, takes offense to the Asian reference and insists on the guards immediate dismissal. But Nancy comes to the rescue when she backhandedly reprimands her. “Calm down Caroline, keep in mind that the guards are not like us. I can’t imagine sitting in a tiny booth all day. Why it would drive me mad, simply mad!”
For the first time this evening, they are completely aligned and in total agreement.
Yes, yes, it’s true Mrs. Lu, the guards are not like you...