I’m practicing my PI observation techniques. Ray is out on the patio watching the birds. He has a large glass of iced tea next to him. The glass is sweating. It’s south Texas. It’s summer. And, it’s hotter than hell. I’ve never been to hell, I have no intention of going there. But, if it’s anything like a town we passed through on a trip through west Texas, I want no part of it.
Ray’s lips are moving. He either talking to the birds or to himself. I’m wondering if I should go outside and see if he suffering from heatstroke. No, it’s too hot. I’ll keep an eye on him. If he slumps over, falls out of the chair, or starts dancing the salsa without salsa music, I’ll call 911. The paramedics are used to heat cases. Oh no, he’s getting up. He’s coming in. I don’t have time to move his laptop and delete this file…
“What are you doing with my laptop, La Flor*?”
“What laptop, Ray?”
“The one in front of you.”
“That’s a laptop? I thought it was a table ornament,” La Flor said, arranging my MacBook to align with the table edges.
“Were you trying to write a blog?” I asked.
“Who me?” La Flor said, pointing an index finger to her chest.
“Are you serious, Ray?”
“I am serious. It is my personal computer.”
“I thought we shared everything in this household.”
“I don’t share your attitude, La Flor.”
“I’m willing to share it with you, it might help.”
“Let me see what you wrote.”
“They were random thoughts. I’ll delete the file,” La Flor said and opened the MacBook.
“No, you don’t,” I said and took a step toward the table.
“Yes, I do.” La Flor rapidly tapped keys as if she were a virtuoso pianist. “Too late I deleted everything,” she said. A smirk smile on her face.
“Have you heard of the cloud?” I said giving La Flor my impression of a smirk smile.
La Flor walked to the window. She opened the plantation shutters. She gazed at the Texas summer sky. “It’s a perfectly clear day, not a cloud in the sky. I think you had too much sun.”
“I have the file on my iPhone. I retrieved it from the cloud,” I said.
“Did not. There are no clouds; you are not going to trick me,” said La Flor, her arms folded.
“Let me read it to you,” I said.
“It’s not fair. You make something up and put it in the blog. You don’t care about my feelings,” said La Flor doing a poor job of acting hurt.
“You trying out for the local theater group? Meeting a new set of friends might be a nice change,” I said.
“I don’t do local theater. I don’t do church choirs. I don’t do sneak and peek cases if you know what I mean.”
“I don’t know what you mean,” I said.
“You should read my friend’s blog. It might help.
I offered La Flor a suggestion, “Is there a PI meetup? Maybe you’ll meet a male alt ego PI. Someone with the same interests.”
“What is the problemo, La Flor?”
“First, it’s a good thing we’re fluent in a foreign language. You never know who is listening.”
“Or, reading,” I added.
“I’m smarter, tougher, and edgier than any male alt ego PI. I didn’t want to toss my beauty in, it would be overkill.”
“Is that a problem?” I asked.
“For me, no. For males, duh! You know your species.”
“It would be a chance in ten million, no make it twenty million, no make it beyond impossible.”
What?” I asked.
“Finding a male alt ego smarter, tougher, edgier than me. But, they will all act like they are. There is the problem.”
“I see your point.”
“Think about it, Ray. There’s got to be more to life than sitting in at a PI meetup with a bunch of guys trying to outdo the other with stories they’re making up. I might add, there’s more to life than sitting on a patio watching birds fly in and out five bird feeders and talking to them.”
“We’re running out of space, La Flor. You started today’s blog, why don’t you end it.”
“I thought you’d never ask, Ray.”
“I’m talking to women out there, all the beautiful, tough, edgy women like me, La Flor PI. And of course, to all the men who want to meet the beautiful, tough, and edgy women like me, La Flor PI.”
“La Flor,” I said.
“Don’t interrupt me, Ray, I’m on a roll.”
Chase your dreams, girls. Don’t let anyone tell you you’re not smart enough or worthy of good things happening to you. Don’t settle for second best, third best, or fourth best. If it doesn’t happen right away, don’t quit. Don’t give up. When you give your best, what you give will be good for everyone.
“Are you going to edit this, Ray?”
“Not at all, La Flor. Your advice is good for everyone. It’s good for men and women, alt egos, and everyone in between. You did a good job.”
“Thanks, Ray. Now let’s get bust loose.”
* La Flor is a fictional character and acts as my alt ego. Her character has evolved over the blog posts. She began with a single letter as her name. Her name gradually grew to two letters, then three before she settled on La Flor. She liked the name because it fit her idea of a beautiful, tough, and edgy feminine PI. It is my interaction with her persona that serves as the source of these blog posts. I have no notion how La Flor will continue to evolve. It is an adventure for me as well as the reader.