Secrets of a Spiritual Guru (Guru 1), страница 1
Copyright 2013 by Tamara Lee Dorris
All rights reserved.
eBook ISBN: 978-1-62347-952-7
Library of Congress Control Number: 2012924118
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
North Charleston, South Carolina
Other Books by
Tamara Lee Dorris
Girl Gets World and You Can Too
See How They Sell
Well @ Work
Get Well Now—Heal and Prevent Disease
The Communication Soul-ution
How to be a Successful Thinker
Think & Get Rich in Real Estate Sales
This one’s for my mother-in-law, Patricia Dorris.
Thanks for helping your son ask me out, Mom.
Four kids raised, and I still haven’t killed him.
It takes a village to write a book. Or is that to raise a child? Whatever. First and foremost, I have to thank my creative consultant and oldest daughter, Nichole Dorris, whose endless enthusiasm, ideas, and willingness to read my novels has made them that much better. Thanks to Amy Meyer, who captured the book’s essence in her awesome art (with nothing but an e-mail or two), my funny friend and hilarious author, Jenna McCarthy, for her raving review and amazing encouragement. And finally, my mom, who doesn’t think I’m making fun of her in this book (I am) and who has been telling me to write humor as far back as I can recall (last week).
Those in real estate, yoga, and personal development quests have my undying respect and sympathy.
In two days I will be closing the biggest deal in two years. And in two months, I will have a birthday. I am ecstatic about the first one and suicidal about the second. A little about me: Previously, I spent eleven years in the retail industry, mostly squandering my paychecks on the employee discount. I like cute clothes. Eventually, though, I decided to get my real estate license. Five minutes later, the market crashed.
I am one of the lucky ones, though, because for one thing I live with my boyfriend, Ron, who has been around for several years now. OK, four years, eight months, and two days. How do I know this definite time frame? Because my mother reminds me weekly when we chat. I am certain she keeps a little calendar next to the phone entitled, How Long Since Melissa and Ron Have Been Dating Without Getting Married and Giving Me a Grandchild. And it’s not really a weekly chat as much as it is a guilt call, as in, if I don’t call her at least once a week she makes me feel even more guilty than she does about the fact I’ve not yet produced offspring for her viewing pleasure.
Now, about Ron: He’s a nice guy, really, and pretty cute, too. He’s nice in the sit-on-the-couch-with-a-beer-yelling-at-the-television-screen-when-his-team-is-losing kind of way. Oh, and he has become a bit of an Internet fiend lately. Always on the damn computer. Ron is the one who convinced me to get my real estate license. He said, “You’ve been selling clothes for years; I bet you’d be great at houses.” While Ron had the ability to see the big picture, I found it difficult to imagine that selling houses would be anything at all like working in the Women’s Fine Fashion Department of Haddock’s. After all, it isn’t like you can stand outside the dressing room while someone tries on a house. And customers get so agitated when they try to return a cardigan; what happens when it’s a condo?
Ron reminded me that with my own condo paid off (thanks to my father’s life insurance policy), and him covering the rest of our expenses (which is precisely how I donated so much of each paycheck to my special clothing and wine account) that living on commission would be a breeze, I would spend less on clothes (I knew he’d been snooping in my closet), and that when I did sell a house, it would be big money. So, I took the required classes online, passed the state exam, and suddenly found dozens of brokers pursuing me. OK, there were actually only two, but they both wanted me really badly. I choose Cal State Realty. Mostly because it’s close to my condo, and the broker reminds me of Sean Connery (without the accent).
My mother, of course, had a coronary over me giving up such a “promising” career as assistant department manager of such a “fine establishment” where she got to enjoy my employee discounts almost as much as I did.
“Oh, honey, I think it’s fine you got your real estate license, but you can’t be serious about quitting Haddock’s. There’s this cute little handbag I saw in the window last week—”
“Yes, Mom,” I say, cutting her off, but knowing exactly which handbag she’s referring to. “I’ve got enough saved, and of course I have Ron…” my words trail off as I consider what shoes I could wear with that damn purse.
“But I just read that the housing market is crashing. Things are going to get really bad.”
“I know, but really, I need a change, and I already have a deal in escrow. Do you realize the commission will be like four paychecks?”
My mother sits silent on the other end.
“Well, that was pretty easy,” she finally says, referring to the fact that I only took this nice couple out one time, wrote an offer that day, and did most of the paperwork in an hour or two.
“I know! Just imagine if I am not dead-dog tired from being on my feet all day, hanging up clothes and smiling at rude women.” And staying up drinking wine and eating ice cream from the container.
“Well, the only big concern is maternity leave,” my wishful-thinking mother says.
“Mom, maternity leave cannot be a factor in my changing careers. Please try and remember that not only am I not pregnant, I’m not even married.”
“I’m not engaged, Mom.”
“I think in California—”
“Mom, there is no common law for engagements,” I say, cutting her off. She watches way too much Judge Judy now that Dad is gone.
I am sure in another life my mother was Jewish. I base that religious slur on the fact that she reminds me of every Jewish mother I’ve ever seen in movies or television. She feeds me a lot and wants me to marry a doctor. In this lifetime, though, she is just neurotic. I would like to say I inherited my joy of drinking from her, but she doesn’t drink at all, which, under careful consideration, could be
Now, about work: Back in the office, Becky is all bright-eyed and beaming.
“Are you so excited?” she chirps.
“Yes. I can hardly stand it.”
Becky is our office secretary, receptionist, best gossiper, and for all intents and purposes, my closest girlfriend. Today she is wearing a bright pink top with a black skirt and matching boots. Becky dresses nicely, but she is several years younger than I. OK, she is nine years and four months younger. I do not know how many days because I am not that petty.
“Yes. Just got back from the title company,” I tell her, trying to fight that sinking feeling in my stomach.
“What’s wrong then?” she asks, picking up on my apprehension.
“It’s just that Luke seemed weird.”
Luke is the seller whose house I sold after having it on the market for nearly eleven months.
“I can’t really say. Jittery--skinny.”
“Well, he went through a nasty divorce, right?” Becky is good like that, always confirming her facts.
“Probably took its toll on him. Poor guy.”
I nod in agreement and then wander over to my cubicle. It’s very challenging to make a gray flannel-like cubicle look homey, but I’ve done my best. Over the past two years, I’ve added plants and pictures and, apparently, no awards. I gaze maliciously over at Tac Holden’s cubbyhole. As “top producer” of the office for something like four years in a row, his cubicle is bigger than mine, and unlike my neat and tidy desk, his area is scattered with trophies and awards. Quite frankly, I can hardly stand him. Becky told me that other agents, even from our own office, have accused him of knocking down “open house” signs. Can you imagine? Tac hangs up the phone and catches me admiring his wall of fame.
“Hey, Melissa, hear you’re closing a big one this.” He smiles, but underneath I just know he is seething with jealousy.
“Huh? Oh, yeah,” I say, trying to act like a fifteen-thousand-dollar commission is not a big deal.
“Awesome!” He swivels back around to face his phone, and I pretend not to notice his full head of wavy brown hair.
My seller, Luke Tucker, has some sort of important attorney job at the state capital. Apparently, his wife left him, and that’s when he listed the house with me, way back when. It’s a huge home—at least compared to my condo—and it’s in the nicest part of Fair Oaks, just a few blocks from the office. Anyway, I’ve actually only seen Luke three times: the day I listed the property, one of the four times I held it open, and this morning at the signing. His divorce was just getting underway when one of my friends from Haddock’s who knew him had him call me. He was kind of plump and sad that day. Then when I held the house open once last summer, we didn’t really get a chance to chat much, but he looked the same. Today I figured he’d be a little happier, now that this last piece of his divorce—the house—was going to be settled.
What I didn’t know before this morning, and what I didn’t tell Becky or Tac, is that before our signing Luke told me that he just learned the judge is making him give his almost ex-wife the proceeds from the house. He seemed really jittery and way thinner than the last time I saw him. Maybe a combo of too much caffeine and depression? Anyway, when I told Ron I was worried, he told me I was acting like my mother and making up problems that don’t exist. When he says things like that, I want to punch him. Especially when he says things like that and he isn’t even looking at me. His face has been on his computer screen so much the last few months that I find myself comparing the back of his thinning-haired head with Tac’s. This makes me want vodka and almost wish it were football season again. I hate football, love vodka.
On the way to the office, I stop to put gas in my stupid car. When this deal closes, I am seriously considering a new car. Ron says my car is fine, but that I just don’t take proper care of it. To hear him, you’d think I put sugar in the gas tank. How important are oil changes anyway? I mean really, how dirty does oil get? Well, it turns out, plenty.
Ron said to me, “You know, Melissa, cars aren’t like clothes. You can’t just get a new one because you don’t feel like hanging up the old one.”
I scowl at him. I always hang up my clothes. But in an effort to humor him, I take my car into one of those almost drive-thru oil change places, and naturally, they try to tell me that my car needs a million dollars worth of repairs. Wise to their tactics, I scoff and tell them just to change the oil please, a new filter will not be necessary, thank you. I pay for the oil change, outraged that a couple of cans of oil cost so much. It can’t possibly be that difficult to pour them in, especially with the little funnel and everything. The young girl at the register checks my ID and then smiles up at me.
“You’ve got a birthday coming up.” And here it looked like she couldn’t read.
“Couple months,” I say, looking at my phone like I am expecting a call from the president or something.
“Well, happy early birthday,” she says. I know she is really thinking how glad she is that she’s not anywhere near my age. Little bitch. I thank her and head toward my oil-fed car, wondering how hard it would be to change my driver’s license and update the third number of the year I was born. It’s easy to lie online. In fact, any time I sign up for anything that asks for a year of birth and has a drop-down selection, I just pick the decade after mine. I figure, if it’s ever on a legal matter or anything, I can just lie and say it was a mistake. Damn mouse slipped or something.
At work, Becky is in Bert’s office. Bert is my Sean Connery look-alike broker. I think he has a crush on Becky, but he’s old enough to be her grandfather and smart enough to know sexual harassment laws in California. I slip into my cubicle, trying not to seem too cocky about my upcoming big commission check that I want to rub in Tac’s face as soon as I get it. I open my e-mail and see one from Luke Tucker. It has the little red exclamation mark next to it, so I hold my breath and double click. Uh-oh.
Melissa, I’ve decided that I’m not going to go through with this deal. I’ve filed bankruptcy with the federal court this morning. Thank you for all your hard work, but hopefully you will understand that I am being treated unfairly. Luke
I gasp for air. I can’t find any. Who took the damn air?
I must have made a dying sound because before I know it, Becky is standing next to my desk, and Stan, an older agent, has spun his chair in my direction.
“What is it?” Becky asks in her animated way.
“Luke…not selling…” I try and stutter out the words, but they are stuck in my throat.
“Whaaaat!” Becky yells, bending over my shoulder to verify facts, like she does.
“Oh my God. I am so sorry!” She puts a hand on my shoulder, and I realize it’s been at least five minutes since I breathed. Maybe ten. Suddenly I notice that Tac is not at his desk. Thank God. That is the one reason I finally decide to inhale.
My broker, Bert, explains that I am fully entitled to my commission, but that if Luke, the bad client, filed bankruptcy, it would be hard if not impossible to collect. He adds that it would also likely cost me ten thousand dollars in attorney fees. I tell Bert I do not have ten thousand dollars for attorney fees. Bert says he understands. He does not tell me he will give it to me. I bet he would if I were Becky.
At home I try to pry Ron away from the computer.
“I thought you weren’t drinking wine on weeknights,” he tells me, his face buried in his laptop.
“Listen, I’ve had a really bad day.”
“It’s fattening,” he says, as if I do not know the routine. Yes, alcohol is fattening. Especially for me because once I have a couple drinks, I suddenly think my metabolism is so drunk it will forget that I’ve decided to bake cookies at 9:00 p.m. and eat half of them while watching the Food Cooking Network. Ron, knowing that I am less than thrilled about my upcoming birthday, my weight, and those little lines that my face has started collecting, suggested I join a gym. Like him. He reminded me that since I’ve changed jobs I’m not running around and on my feet all day. That, and my age. He actually said that! Called me old. He said, “Well, we get to a point when our metabolisms slow down.” I cried and wouldn’t talk to him for two days. He totally denied that he called me old, but I know that’s what he was thinking. And now he’s calling me fat.
“If you think I’m so fat, why don’t you pay for liposuction? And Botox too?”
“You’re being ridiculous.” He closes the lid to his laptop and comes into the kitchen, where I am struggling with a corkscrew.
“I’m not being ridiculous. They have a new laser liposuction that can make me skinny again.”
“You don’t need that. You just need to work out a few times a week and eat more healthy.”
I don’t know who this man is. I’ve seen him survive an entire football season on beer, Doritos, and Oreos. His idea of exercising was helping me carry groceries in, and even that had to be at commercials. He might be going through some kind of menopause. I remind him that he is older than I am.
“I’m not that much older than you, Melissa,” he says, taking the wine bottle and inserting the corkscrew. He is very good at opening wine bottles.
“I know. But, you are nine months and seven days older.”