Friends, Stogies and Bobcats


The outside shower didn’t impress me. The swimming pool with changing flicker-light colors on a timer didn’t impress me. It was the six foot Buddha statue sitting tall and prominent outside in the “massage” room that melted me like a piece of milk chocolate.

“So this will probably be the massage room,” Nick explains with open arms and a large open faced smile. His flip-flops smack and flop around the wooden deck, and his happiness is contagious. I’m happy, and it’s not even my house!

Nick just purchased a Hollywood mansion in the hills, and a few of us are gathered here in complete awe of the sauna and two kitchens, and of course, this outside ancient Indian massage room with the Buddha. I wonder what he means, but am too embarrassed to ask (I’ve only known him a short while and am not quite there yet). Does he literally mean a massage room? If this were my house I would make it that — absolutely. I mean, what mansion is complete without one?

It’s not that it’s huge or anything, in fact quite the contrary. It’s an intimately-sized space (perfect for two) with forest green grass shooting up from the ground, thanking the gardeners for taking such good care. I hold my heels in my hand and rub my toes through it, caressing the bottom of my feet with the silk grass bristles.

We’re given the tour up the stairs, and around the back and through lots of winding hallways. I feel like I’m in a tree house for adults. We end sprawled out on couches, smoking stogies around the fireplace. At night this place would make the perfect horror film house. I can see it now. I can imagine a man appearing behind the glass door, smiling.

“There are bobcats in these hills, you know,” Nick warns us and then smiles again.

And almost in perfect synchronicity, a loud thud is heard in the near distance, thud-thud, and I squeal. I’ve never seen a bobcat and really don’t even know what one is, but I’m scared. From where I’m sitting, I’d be the last one in the house, which means the first to be attacked.


It goes away.

I recline even more into the oversized chair. I prop my feet up as close to the fire I can get without falling in and exhale. I’m keeping an open eye for these mysterious bobcats apparently lurking in these trees. I release all the tension that comes with finishing the rough draft of the feature film I’m writing and feel…gratitude.

Alice can be reached at

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Tales of a Toluca Lake Actress

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