Saturday, December 5, 2009


Response to Dana Goodyear's New Yorker article, "Lady of the House":

Its chapters are organized by color: camellia, wisteria, vermillion; pyrite, alabaster, onyx; cerulean, tourmaline, peridot. The front door was open; sunlight splashed across an inlaid floor of Emerald-green quartzite and Calcutta marble.

Hank raced across the waves of the bay in the sailboat Empress of China while concentrating on manning the rudder and trimming the sails as he headed out to Fairview Island. As the boat cut through the waves kicked up by the winds squalling past the Marin headlands, the boat spit up salty splashes into the air and cold water soaked through Hank's linen shirt. Hank wasn't a fan of sailing. This meeting with Casper Agnew better be worth it.

The water calmed when Hank reached the lee side of Fairview Island. The noon-day sun felt like the heat from a black Rolls-Royce after a quick jaunt. Fairview Island was small, a bunch of craggy rocks and a handful of trees. The only spot to beach the Empress was on the sandy beach this side of the island where a motor boat was already anchored.

Hank dropped his own anchor and swam to shore. He was dripping salty water -- he felt completely out of his element for this meeting. He saw Casper stride forward from where he had been sitting on one of the rocks already dry.

"Hank, it's good to see you again," said Casper as he stuck out a hand. Casper wore a light violet silk shirt.

"Now about that Bhutan job," said Hank as he shook hands with Casper whose grip was strong. "I hope you're not desperate."


"We need to do the job right. It will take time."

Casper pulled a cigar out of his dry shirt pocket and Hank wondered again how Casper had arrived on the island dry. Casper said, "The deadlines the deadline. We can't change that because too many other things are dependent on the Bhutan job finishing before the deadline. If you want more money, I can get it."

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