Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Back to forward motion...

I got a couple more chapters done on OT, including changing Jake's meeting with Lorinda, Owen's real estate broker/lawyer. Here's their meeting.


She was late, so I got a table and ordered a tea. Man, nothing's weirder than CPK. They had a bar area walled off by glass panels, high tables with chairs, and servers that ask you every five seconds how everything is doing. And everything on the menu has chicken in it, like they should call themselves California Chicken Kitchen.

The second I saw her burst in off the street and head for me, I knew her nickname was Little Miss Golden, her clothes were so bright and business casual, and her hair was bleached and hair-sprayed just right. She looked ready to take you stalking through a hundred homes that day, if you could keep up. Even in casual pumps. And when she got to talking? Dion way-understated her ability to chatter.

Oh, and she just a-dored my uncle.

“He’s like the uncle you always wish you’d had. Like cool and calm and sweet. My mom met him and she’s like, ‘You know what a Dutch Uncle is? That’s Owen.’ But I didn’t know what a Dutch uncle is, so I’m all, ‘Mom, what do you mean?’ And she’s like, ‘He’s practical, direct, outspoken, stubborn, blunt, well-organized, and thinks he’s always right.’ And I’m like, wow, that’s him. Who knew? And when I told him she’d said that, he laughed for like half an hour, he thought it was so cute.”

She paused long enough to take a bite of her salad, so I hopped in with, “Did you handle all of his real estate deals?”

“Oh, no, I only took over two years ago, from the guy who was doing it because he and Owen didn’t get along, but there hasn’t been much for me to do except make sure he like keeps up on his taxes, though I did handle some legal stuff. Like when he wanted to buy that condo. We tried like crazy to work it out but the bank wouldn’t say yes, and once word gets around everybody’s like ‘No, I don’t think so,’ and you can't get them to change their minds not matter what you do, so don't even try.”

“When was this?”

“About a year ago, maybe more, maybe less. Time gets away from you so fast. Like I thought today was Friday and I’d have a day to catch up but it’s not, so I’m scrambling to make all my appointments and I’m like wondering why I set so many up, but some of them look good, so I can’t say no. Can I?”

Another breath. Another bite of salad. Whooh.

“I know my uncle owned four of the townhouses and an apartment complex. Was there any other property?”

“I think so, but it wouldn’t be stuff that I handled. It’s like I think there was some property he bought, like some kind of partnership under Baskin and Baskin, with some other people and – oh, they’re not like the ice cream place, where you get all those flavors and cones. Like Baskin Robbins. No, these guys’re like really serious lawyers, so they'd handle anything he’d partnered with people on, so you ought to talk to them. But you have to wait till Monday. They’re big enough to get weekends off -- of course. I’m like scrambling to find time to do my nails, and they really do need a touchup.”

“But he called you about a lawyer -- .”

“Oh, yeah, Scott, oh, yeah -- he said he’d deal with it and I guess he did because I like didn't hear anything more about it, after that, but then that's just like Owen to get things done and taken care of without telling you. Back when we were planning to buy another townhouse, he had some illegals come in and start painting it before the bank said okay, like it's nothing to even think about.”


"Couple of Mexican guys. Brothers, I think. They looked alike, but one was way too young for me, but the other one -- makes you want to break the law."

Another bite. A moment of silence, broken by me before it was broken by her. "Uh ...break the law, how?"

She leaned close to whisper, "Oh, you can't sleep with an illegal guy. People might think you mean it, and think you like think it's okay that he's here."

"But...what if he's a citizen?"

"But he was like Mexican."

"California used to be part of Mexico."

"Then why don't the cities have Mexican names?"

Okay, that so startled me, I went blank for a second. I covered it by asking, “What...what...what about this Scott-guy?”

“Baskin. The old man’s grandson. He does rock climbing and he is like so much. Ooh. With him, nothing would be illegal. Not one thing. Nothing.” She actually fanned herself. “But he and Owen didn't get along, so Owen went his own way. Just like a Dutch Uncle. I need to call him and find out what he’s been up to. Oh, wait, he like ran off, right, a couple months ago? Some legal thing, I think. Oh, and it’s time to talk about property taxes. Like, so quick. Ugh. He better hurry back. Riverside doesn’t like give you any leeway.”

Two minutes later, she was on her own way to her latest appointment, leaving behind a third of her salad and half her tea. I was left to catch my breath and pay the bill.

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