ADVENTURES IN LIVINGNESS -THE BU


In a current of unexpected waves I floated towards the Pacific Ocean, and landed along the anfractuous Santa Monica Mountains. Malibu where exotic fish are silhouettes behind glass aquariums perched on  sand dunes or in swank foreign carriers has bitten my interest to understand how an exotic lives.  malibu-colony1

The salty seaweed smell of the ocean streams through my car, driving down Pacific coast highway on my way to buy groceries. Vintage Market  is new to Malibu, and clerks are giddy about their jobs. They may be aspiring actors or were aspiring actors. I walk in and get a phone call that I’d been waiting for so, I set my cart down on a shelf and took the call. During the half hour call, my eyes were fluttering through the scene: tanned surfers, affluent college students, and diamond rich men and women of age, that don’t check their bank balance. Because of this, expressions are chilled as fine wines, and smiles are polite or radiating. They are a content population of 13,000, median home price is $901,000, and the median income household is $127,000. Here in Malibu every thing looks different from Santa Fe: The staging of ‘was in the business, am in the business, or want to be in the business,’ surfaces and dominates the scenery.

malibu_forbes-11528TThey are beautiful-the young teenagers who surf and paddle are true blondes, the blue eyes scintillating pools of water, young women are saddled onto 6” platforms, and then there are the stand-out power people, who will not acknowledge anyone, and expect everyone to acknowledge them. Tucked in the mountains, are extraordinary artists who live off the grid the way most people prefer to live in Santa Fe.
I am learning slowly and still hiding out at Chantal’s. Where I am living, two miles up from PCH off a dirt road, behind a gate, there are Bohemians, artists, home-office screenwriters, producers, and famous heirs of recognizable movie stars.
In the last two weeks my head feels lighter, and my heart is not aching for the Thinker, or my sunken red room where I dreamt of moving to Malibu. What I began twenty years ago is my primary act of indulgence; completion of my book, “Growing Up with Gangsters.”

In the last hour I walked down the road in the hands of sloping hillsides, horse ranches, and signature homes behind walls as high as the palm trees, built to withstand the typhoons of mankind. In  daylight  swirl of rain and clouds, it was as if I was in Ireland, walking along a road in Kilkenny, and then I roped in my imagination and returned to the mountains here, that will teach me how far to go, how to duck a car, or confront a coyote or a snake.
A full transcendental moon dipped into the black-out mountain evening, and has cured me of interior turmoil for the time being. This is part of adventures in livingness in what locals call the bu. TO BE CONTINUED

MALIBU- CANDLES OF THE MOUNTAIN


 

Interaction with strangers in the same house lit my anxiety alarm. The last time roommates occupied the same house was in 1972. I lived in a three-story twelve bedroom mansion in San Rafael, California. There were thirteen of us. Disbro lived in the attic and inhaled laughing gas all day. I was twenty-years old.
This anxiety was visible even at twenty. Sometimes all of us sat down to dinner at one dining room table. The conversations literally wrapped around the room, the halls, and the windows. My voice was restrained; they were too conversational and intellectually humorous for me. I was the youngest.
This brings us back to the Puzzle of Solitude. When there is conversational nuances, improvisations, laughter, dancing, cooking, dressing, showering, slacking, without strain or tension, then it is time to leave out solitude and hook the bait of adventure.
Fragments of my fragmented spirit reincarnated this summer at Chantel’s. There were three full-time roommates that shared the house, Chantel, Speedy, and Nathan and an occasional Nico. There are up to eight visitors occupying the private cottages, and a flexible showing of hungry men and women at dinner time. Added to this is the number of languages spoken, English, Spanish, French, German and Koui’s (Chantel’s dog) welcoming bark.
Interaction on the routine, necessary, and impulsive terms of cohabitation in the morning: preparing coffee in two Turkish pots, buttering bread, stretching, checking email, cuddling Koui, and taking showers. The first morning my mask shed when I walked into the kitchen in my nightie and open robe. What happened in twelve hours to my belt of modesty?  Speedy and I chatted in English, and then he’d  Skype his wife. One morning he introduced us. I looked forward to his Skype discussions; the most fluid and rhythmic language to my ears. The art of conversation has vanished from many factions of our society. The phone and laptop are now our mouths and ears.
Not so with Europeans.
“ Loulou, so you have a gallery of photography?  
    “ We had one; now it’s a vacation rental decorated with photography.”
Nico leaned against the wooden island table to hear the story. You can’t look Nico in the eyes without lusting just a little.
“ How’d you start this gallery? Nico asked while chopping perfectly unmeasured tomatoes, mushrooms, and onion. 
“ I called photographers;  and a few friends pushed my cart to the right door. One time I walked into a gallery on Robertson Blvd and noticed this exhibition of celebrities on the beach in St Tropez. It was incredible!”
Fabian who owns a gallery on Robertson moved in closer as I continued.
“I walked in and asked the Swedish owner if he’d co-exhibit in our gallery in New Mexico. He said yes, we didn’t even sign anything. He kept his end up. So I showed the Edward Quinn’s in Santa Fe. I should have bought the Audrey Hepburn one; when she was eighteen.”
“I know the Quinn photographs.  Bridget Bardot– yes– what was the name of the Gallery?” Fabian revealed enough interest to spark mine.”
“ Christopher Guye.”
He moved closer  so we were face to face.

“I know Christophe! My first gallery was next door!”

All of us applauded the connection; I think I moved a notch closer to the group.
This is what happens when joining is more exhilarating than not. In the next few weeks: we dined in French and English, watched Soccer, teased and laughed, cooked and drank. There were parties with Jennie, Chantel’s assistant, who has two congregations of friends, all uniquely different and robust. I had walks on the beach alone, and time to write; but the real vacation was interior. I left the old LouLou, who paced, fretted, vacillated and deconstructed behind. She lost the battle to interior florescence.

The thread of interaction followed me outside the compound.  I discovered  Malibu is not all celebrities and rock-stars. There are families that go to the beach, hang out at Vintage Market, and attend community events tied to the ocean, horses, and surfing. The school of surfing for children is worth a visit just to see the little boys and girls riding waves. Malibu has its own Playhouse, a Movie Theater and two upscale outdoor shopping malls. The Getty Villa perched on cliff- side overlooking Pacific Coast Highway has reopened and it is free to the public.

20140712_182639
The vacation sabbatical ended last week; though the effect remains. This adventure was supposed to be all about ocean swimming, window shopping, revisiting former favorite spots; what I really needed was to revisit myself. Do we ever stop emerging? I hope not.

Candles of the mountain are a cactus plant that hopscotch the Santa Monica Mountains. Their 20140723_075644flowers are white and when the sun sets into darkness they light up the mountains like candles. 

 

 

CANDLES OF THE MOUNTAIN


 

ADVENTURES IN MALIBU DINING. 20140725_193214[1]

The fog today has brushed the mountains with a thick white mist almost like a snow mass; yet the temperature is warm. What I found most entertaining in a writers way, was the night Chantel and I visited NOBU; “No One Beats Us.”

ON THE OTHER SIDE OF UNTAMED, UNDRESSED WILDERNESS are the unhurried pocket full of cash residents, or resident visitors, that line up in waxed sports cars and convertibles at the entrance of NOBU. I wonder if they have summer and winter cars as I watch them slouching on the terrace sofas: women in latex tight jeans, bottoms-up mini skirts, and men in tight V-Neck T’s and designer jeans.

“ Oh Chantel this is going to be so fun.”
“ You think so?”

We sat down on the terrace sofas and ordered drinks. As a thirty-year old
this sort of stylish trendy expensive dining was all I cared about and I can’t tell you why because I never got inside the groups that I followed. Thirty years later my sense of belonging is unimportant; it is the observation deck of a group that is
capable of supreme prating, joking, excessive drinking and charismatic behavior.

NOBU

I spotted two men dressed in musicians gear, top hats, and dancing lace up boots swaying towards us.
“ Hello girls, do you mind if we join you.” I didn’t look at Chantel until they swayed a bit more indiscreetly, and realized they were hammered.
“You guys rock n roll musicians.” I asked
“What? How’d you know?”
“The British accent, two bottles of beer in one hand and the hat.
They bent over at the waist in laughter and collapsed on a sofa across from us.
Thirties, with squinted red eyes, and big smiles; they laughed at everything I said.
“ I like that you call us girls; but we really are. Aren’t we Chantel?”.
She smiled and when they asked her what kind of music she liked she said
‘ All kinds.”
What about you?” The less than stupid drunk one asked me.
“ Mick Jagger.”
He spread his arms out wide and then slapped the table.
“The guy is unbelievable. No truly the best man today, still. I can’t believe the guy.”
Common ground in music stroked our conversation, until the stupid drunk one
tipped over one of his beers, while trying to stand. They drifted off to their crowd and I remained fixated to the garden of youth circulating the terrace.

The indoors were crammed with shiny female legs, and beautiful male arms. There was no identification of loners or singles; just one large crowd hip to hip. No one place I’ve been to can beat the sizzling sexuality, liberation of theatrics, and prices. Two pieces of tuna are $8.00 and Sashimi is $25.00.
I left my phone that night  and when I returned the next day at noon there were twenty people waiting to get in. Thinly disguised in hat, ankle length bathing suit wrap, and glasses, I did not look like I belonged and I liked that feeling. It was a star-spangled banner sort of celebration that I really don’t mind being on the outskirts. I am staying in Malibu; but I am not a Malibu moneyed account.

The next evening outing I stopped at Geoffrey’s Restaurant; in my southwest dirty 2002 Discovery. The valet was directing traffic as if he was a pilot commanding a landing of private jets.
“ You are very good with those signals.”
He nodded. No time to talk. images

I tried to walk in without looking at the floor; as if I’d been there before.
The bar was half full; and the dining room tables were all taken.  The backdrop was cinematic; a glorious china-blue sea, with seagulls and surfers marked through floor to ceiling spotless glass. There was so much reflection and light;  the groomed and jeweled diners looked like actors on a movie set. That makes me a little uncomfortable; to be so transparent. I noticed a spot on my shoe, a tiny one that turned brownish the more I stared.

The bartendress breezed over,’ Hi. May I start you with some sparkling water’ one I’d never heard of.
“ A wine list please and the appetizer menu.” She gleamed at that.

My journal was my partner; so I scribbled away casually and felt inducted into Geoffrey’s.   I ordered the crab cakes appetizer,  wafer size but so delicious I would order them again.  As soon as the gloaming hour arrived it was time to leave. I had not mastered the swerving mountain roads  to Chantel’s in the dark.

” Check please.”  I said.

What a sensational feeling to sign the slip and know there is more than enough in my bank account.

” Your card didn’t go through.”

” Try it again please. There should be no problem.”

” Sorry. The card is — not accepted.”

Not enough cash to pay a thirty-five dollar bill was more than humiliating;  so I pulled an Allen Smiley.

” I’ve never heard of such a thing. Wells Fargo will hear about this!” I called Wells Fargo and followed all the instructions and then waited. By this time the owner, thirties and as pretty as the Blue Boy, appeared.

I signaled him to wait a moment just as Wells Fargo disconnected me.

Then I pitched up my voice melodramatically  to the owner and talked up my frustration. As I am explaining that I am visiting and that all my ready cash was spent in one day in Malibu and I was so sorry;  I went swimming in his almost Paul Newman eyes.

” It’s no problem. It’s okay.  I”ll run the hand written receipt tomorrow.” He said with suave charming lips and teeth.

Then he left. I turned to the Bartendress and asked if this ever happens at Geoffrey’s. She smiled and said, ‘ No, but it used to happen in a bar I worked at.’

I left in a roundabout reminder  that I should stop galloping around without cash; especially on a vacation.

The next day I walked into Wells Fargo at Trancas Canyon.  Three employees welcomed me: coffee, water, how can we help, all in sync.   After I explained the story to  a college age man behind a walnut desk, he  called someone at Wells Fargo and then I learned the trick to traveling.

” If you go out of state you need to let us know so we won’t block your account.”

” For thirty-five dollars? Don’t tell me you do that when Cher leaves town.”  She didn’t laugh.

” The block is removed. Is there anything else we can do?’

” I hope not.”

The suntanned jolly man at the desk began a conversation:  where do you live, how long you’re in Malibu, have you been to Trancas Beach and then he asked why I didn’t have a savings account.  I leaned in real close and whispered, I don’t have that much money.

‘” I see we just sent you a platinum credit card.”

” I never received a platinum credit card.” He leaned back in his leather executive chair that really didn’t suit  him at all and said,  ” You probably thought it was an advertisement and threw it away.”

” Do you know what the limit is?” I asked.

He tapped on his computer and I watched in anticipation.

” Three thousand dollars.”

” Really?”

” Yes. Now let’s talk about you opening up a savings account. You have to have one.'”

I wanted to stand up and hug him. Instead I asked him if he surfed.

” Yea, but I’m not that good really.”

”  It doesn’t always matter that you’re good; some things  are just about doing it.”

To be continued.

CANDLES OF THE MOUNTAIN-MALIBU


                                                                   CANDLES OF THE MOUNTAIN PART 3

“Ahh Nico!  Come meet LouLou.” 
A young man with cha-cha rhythm danced in and kissed me on both cheeks. He and Chantal are speaking at a galloping speed in French, embossed with the wildest sort of laughter, and then another man, Speedy, a leading Parisian graffiti artist walks in, and addresses me without movement; just eyes that seem to sum me up speedily. Behind him is Nathan, a man of composed attentiveness. Then came Fabien, although we met a few days later, I include him now because creative nonfiction allows poetic license of time and place. Fabien is a Frenchman who owns a progressive gallery in Culver city, Castanier Gallery, and shows Speedy.

If the address is Malibu on the mailbox, it is not inside the house. This party began as they all crossed the threshold. The ooh la la’s,  kisses, hugs, gifts, and food that joined the beef, chicken and my guacamole was an appetite odyssey.

The evening began as some sort of theatrical reenactment of a French film. I have longed to return to Europe; instead I found it in Chanel’s home. You must meet Bibi, and Bruce. I coined Bibi, Joplin, because when she danced on the dining table, with her flowing blond hair and abandonment to free spirit she reminded me of Janis. Bruce, her husband wears a flag of acceptance for human imperfection and relished a young Walter Matthew. He is highly educated and so grounded in realism his wife’s antics do not astound him as some husbands may disapprove of such a blooming spirit. There was a Swedish beauty and her friend Shawn, a British theater actor, who inflamed the party with the grandest authentication of the English language in conversation, and joking that turned everyone into belly aching laugher. We were also joined by  two Brits from London; superbly mannered and educated professionals, Rebecca and James, and then a French woman with delicate features and European charm.
“Let us have a toast.” Shawn raised his glass in the light of candles and softly sliding sunlight. I suggested everyone join in with their own toast. When it came to my turn I said,

“  L’ chaim”
“Oh, you are Jewish?” someone called out.
“Yes. Can I stay?” I said with a smile to encourage laughter and not the awkwardness of being the only Jew. I’d rather people know so they don’t trip up and provoke my Jewish temper.
To be myself amongst strangers is rarely so effortless for me. Like the new moon rising over the mountains; the time for full powered laughter and elation had captured all of us. I felt that we were ravenous for a few hours of relief from the catastrophic state of world affairs that we are not personally suffering. There is very little discussion of current events in public places; and I have not seen many people reading the news. My gratitude for the freedom to luxuriate in a pampered and nourishing environment enlarged every time I watch the news.

The fog today has brushed the mountains with a thick white mist almost like a snow mass; yet the temperature is warm and humid and my pores feel moisturized. The wilderness holds my attention to reflection as the natural beauty of eucalyptus trees fanning the wind and wild flowers feeding hummingbirds surpasses the perfection of model bodies and designer outfits of 92065 residents.

Malibu is not all celebrities20140718_174353[1] and rock stars as you may think. There is an abundance of families that flock to the beach, and live the art of hanging out around the Malibu Mart. The community offers weekend festivals, and fund-raisers tied to the care of the ocean, landscape and horses. They offer child and adult surf classes, book readings, hiking clubs, and even have their own Malibu Playhouse and a Movie Theater. The Santa Monica Mountains   open into a hikers paradise, and full suited black leather BMW bikers are everywhere you look .

The night life begins at Sunset when a litter of limo guests enter the driveway of Geoffreys Restaurant for glistening views and cocktails. Down at the Malibu Pier the plank boards are as weathered as I remember as a teenager; only now the restaurants are uppity scaled organic. My favorite restaurant, Malibu Seafood, is still sitting on the shoulder of Pacific Coast highway and as the locals know, you don’t get tossed for another reservation. You can bring your own wine, sit on a deck overlooking the Pacific and taste the freshest fish in California.

What I found most entertaining in a writers way, was the night Chantel and I visited NOBU; “No One Beats Us.” To be continued….

 

PART TWO CANDLES OF THE MOUNTAIN


ADVENTURES IN LIVINGESS-20140713_205128MALIBU

The next morning Chantal was not in her transparently privatized bedroom with a gauzy drape.  From the kitchen I’d poured a cup of black as beans espresso from Chantal’s Turkish coffee maker and dozily slumped into a swinging love seat on the lanai. Still in my pajamas,  listless as a floating cotton willow; the grounding I’d felt the day before had evaporated. Looking and listening to birds, rooster, and distant horses, all within a misty silhouette that filled in the hips of the mountains. Beyond the sea, the imagery of my reclusive life in Santa Fe manifested. The skin I wore in Santa Fe; unreasoningly introverted with a coating of protection flaked off and a news skin surfaced.
Just as the image is crystallizing, I sense Chantal crossing the garden towards me.
“ LouLou—are you okay?”
“ I’m not living right at all, ” I uttered without a smile.
She sat down beside me, placed her cell phone behind her, rested her elbows on her knees and leaned toward me to look in my eyes.
“ Oh why? You are not happy in Santa Fe?”
“ Not anymore-I see things differently now.”
“ Yes, this is what happens when we take vacation. If you’re life is not full then you must change it. It’s not always the place that matters, but how you live. You know some people like to suffer, this is not you. I know– believe me. I meet people from all over the world.  I traveled with Carl everywhere.”
“Well  I’m full now– but I’ve been in a cage.”
“ This is not good! I will tell you that since Carl died I too wanted to live in my bedroom and not even get out of our bed. So I worked day and night to keep his legacy going, and to manage the vacation rentals. I made myself so busy just to get through the pain. I was a mess; many times I didn’t think I’d get through it. But you see–I am okay now. I still think of him everyday and some days are rough; but this is life. We don’t know what will happen. You have to live now. When you die no one remembers you; they go on living. “She opened her mouth and her smile asked me to smile with her.
“ We will have a lot of fun you and I. You know I feel like we’ve known each other. You feel that too?”
“ Yes! I think my choice to come here was to meet you.”
“ Oooh lala-then we begin to enjoy. You hungry? I make some breakfast and then we go to Trader Joes. I make a party tonight. How’s that?”
“ I’d like that.”
“ You want some eggs–how do you like them?”
“ I’m so full of joy I have no appetite.”
She threw her head back, and laughed.
“ What time is it Chantal?”
“ It’s eleven o’clock. You sleep very late.”
“ No.  I never sleep this late.”

I followed Chantal into the kitchen where she was leaning against the stove frying eggs; she was on her cell phone.  ‘Cheri, you come tonight for dinner and meet my new friend LouLou.’  Then another call and another. To observe Chantal is to see the openness of a human being without hesitation, restraint or obsession. I followed her around for the rest of the day just like Kou-Koui; her little Habanese dog. Chantal’s  enthusiasm for the approaching party was seamless. As we shopped at Trader Joes, she chatted with customers, the grocery clerk, and the cell phone that rings continuously.

“ LouLou, is that you?”
I was passing her bedroom as she called me in and patted the bed for me to sit.
“Have you had a shower? I will take one after you. I marinated the chicken and meat, so all we have now is the salad.”

In the kitchen she is dressed in a skirt, neck-less blouse, and a magenta flower behind one ear. As  she demonstrates how to cut the cucumbers, tomatoes, and avocado,  she darts from one skillet  to another. The music is ruminating through the house; a French wave of seduction and rhythm that entices us to dance around  the kitchen island.  I feel like a young girl learning to be a woman. She is only a few years older than me; yet  her human connection of livingness  is unbridged and unchained.

I intended to write a travel story about Malibu;  as you see the travel story is Chantal.

CANDLES OF THE MOUTAIN PART TWO


ADVENTURES IN LIVINGNENESS

“There is more enterprise in walking naked (in the Yeatsian sense) and being tough enough to survive such intensity of caring and such openness, between a driving need to share experience and the need for time to experience and that means solitude, a balance between the need to become oneself and to give of oneself…and of course they are closely related.” May Sarton.

The Journal of Solitude.

This book was one of the first of ten that injected my veins with the thirst to write. It was
1992, and while I scanned a bookshelf in Capistrano Beach, this book seemed to say, read me. Several months ago I ordered it online and began reading it after I wrote my segments on the Puzzle of Solitude. How curious that this is book I brought to read in Malibu; as I may teetering between this excerpt every moment of the day.

I landed on Pacific Coast Highway on the fourth of July and zipped up the curves of the road squinting to read the signs. This highway that was once my weekend adventure in a packed mustang filled with high school friends was now mine alone. Inhaling the salty sea breeze, and listening to Tom Petty sing, Free Fall, my heart opened to what I was about to experience. The doubt had vanished and as I crossed the lanes to turn up Encinal Canyon road, I broke out laughing.
Only a few days ago I was sobbing as my doubt and confidence were inflamed with childless fear. Just past Malibu colony the scenery seemed to sigh with relief from blaring radios in convertible Mercedes, motorcycles, and a river of beachcombers flip-flopping down to the shoreline. The terrain rises into a rugged enclave of sand crusted
boulders, as I passed the perfectly seamed and shaved lawn of Pepperdine College.

Chantal’s directions were exact as I pulled into the dirt and rock driveway and parked in front of the house. She has an alert buzzer on the gate so she was already on the flagstone steps when I got out of the car. Even before she welcomed me in words, a radiant warm aura illumined my response.
“You are LouLou, I am Chantal. Come, I will show you around.” Her effortless smile and fluid swaying hips led me through a garden of birds of paradise, palm trees, elm, succulents, pepper trees, cactus, and so many varieties of flowers that my first impression was already sealed,  I was in Shangri-La.20140712_18273120140707_175334

“This is the main house, where you come and go as you please,” and then she  continued through the open rooms sheltered in wood and glass into the living museum of the legacy of  her deceased husband, Carl Gillberg: chest- high clay pots, bronze and cherry wood sculptures, masks, paintings, and photographs.

 

Carl Gillberg

 

In the kitchen she announced, “Here, you see this shelf is for you, and here is your vegetable bin to put things, and you take what you want. Just because I bought it doesn’t mean you can’t take it. You see, we are very open and relaxed here.  You just be at home; like it is your home.”
I followed her through a gate; to an open garden. Here is where we shower, you like it?” She looked into my eyes and her mouth widened with anticipatory pleasure. I glanced at the claw foot tub, expansive banana plant, and shower head.
“Does anyone else share the shower?
No no, just you and me. You close the curtain see?” and demonstrated the act.
“You will love it,” and as she parted the corrugated sliding door to my room and I looked inside, the chime of change rang.
“What is your nationality?” she asked placing her hands on her hips.
“Russian Irish.”
“Oooh la la; very strong.”
“And you?”
“I am French Haitian.  I left Haiti when I was very young and went to France.  I will tell you more. Now, where is your luggage?”
“I’ll get it.”
“You need some help eh?”
“No, I loaded it in so I can load it out”
She chuckled.
Her cell phone rang. “ Oui, Cheri—it has been a long time since we talked. What has happened in your life?” Her fluid intoxicating French conversation sent me skipping off the flagstone steps to my car.

I was hopelessly impressed. The majestic mountains, slopping hillsides, and crusted canyons open to the faded-jean blue sea. The spring of joy rose like an orgasm as my eyes blinked with every turn of the head to capture another slice of the Santa Monica Mountains.  20140704_162840

When I returned, she was preparing espresso?
“You like a cup of coffee?”
“I love it.”
“Good. We sit on the veranda and you tell me your story. You like my house LouLou?”
“ Chantal, this is Shangrai-la.”
She threw here head back and her birch brown curls took flight.20140707_194504

Over the next week my life was an interpretation of the beginning except from May Sarton. To be continued.

 

 

SMILEYS DICE ON THROWING ALL THE DICE


 

Adventures in Livingness

Upper Lanai

Upper Lanai

MALIBU- ISLAND
I was flipping channels one night in Santa Fe, New Mexico where I live. I stopped when the opening scene of Don’t Make Waves with Tony Curtis and Sharon Tate. Her name in the credits;  Introducing Sharon Tate. So I lay back against the warm sweat soaked pillows, turned on the A/C and watched. The first scene was on Pacific Coast Hwy in Malibu. Tony is in a car crash with Sharon Tate. The appearance of Sharon was that of Bo Derek in the film 10. A vine like body swimming in golden flesh with long honey sand hair draped over her shoulders. The flashback to the Mason Murder was soon replaced with this heart shape faced delivering sinewy gestures that matched her feathery voice. The film came out  in 1963 and the coastline was as pure and unmarked as Sharon; a winding highway empty of cars, cafes and promenades. This is the Malibu I remembered from my adolescent adventures to the beach to watch the surfers.

The scenery unfolded into breathtaking views of the coves and hillsides surrounding Malibu, like organic sculptures  drenched in sea-foam as waves broke. Within a few minutes I bolted up in bed and paused the film.

That’s where I’m going! My journey was given a name. I had a month marked out for a vacation away from Santa Fe while my house was rented to a family of eight. It was a month before the guests would arrive and I still had not penned in my destination.

I went to sleep half way through the movie mumbling to myself; Malibu, Malibu Malibu.
Please God, let me land in Malibu.

The next morning I fished for vacation rentals on the INTERNET and got hooked into
homes, cottages and condos for not less than $1000.00 a night. One estate rented for
thirty thousand a night.

I switched to Craigs list and scrolled down the postings, armored with Russian determination. A posting in bold black came up – MALIBU ISLAND. I clicked through the photographs and prayed. This is how I found my  room  in Malibu;a private room with an outdoor shower  in an estate home perched on the hills above El Matador Beach. In this house the owner, Chantal, also lived.   I booked the month without more than a day of what if’s and what nots could be expected.

To be continued.