Philip, the psychologist, glanced over the tops of his glasses at Warren. “You just inherited a dilapidated, crumbling-down grand mansion in the countryside. Assuming money is no issue, what do you do with it?”
Warren sat comfortably in his chair and smiled. “That’s the type of question that’s meant to find out what I do with a life that has crumbled and seemingly in the state of disrepair, right?”
“Is that the way you understand it?” Phillip said jotting on his legal notepad.
“Okay,” Warren said. “I’ll play along. As long as there is something to work with anything can be restored. In fact, there is a certain beauty to things that are worn and have stood the test of time and neglect. It adds character and a sense of fortitude. Some people see lives and think there is nothing left to do but level it and start over. Old mansions have a charm, craftsmanship, and permanence that newer structures will never have.”
Warren stopped he thought deeply. He looked at Phillip writing away feverishly.
The room became uncomfortable y quiet.
Warren cleared his throat.
Phillip looked up innocently.
“Do you want me to go on?” Warren said.
“Only if you want to,” Phillip said.
“Well,” Warren said, “I have to tell you this little exercise is helping me. I’m seeing my life as a piece of property in need of someone with the eye for improving and developing.”
“Once you got the property in pristine condition what formula would you use to list it?” Philip said.
“I’m not sure I track your reasoning,” Warren said. “How can you put a dollar amount on one’s emotional and psychological health?”
“Oh,” Warren said. “I forgot to tell you, I bought a property the edge of town, the Old Bicksford Mansion. Don’t know quite what to do with it yet and you’re the only real estate investor I have as a client so I thought I’d run the whole thing by you first.”
Warren and Phillip stood and shook hands.
“Let me know how the project turns out, Phillip,” Warren said. “My consulting fee starts at $10,000.”
“What!” Phillip said.
“Sure,” Warren said. “I got overhead to pay.”
“I suppose your advice is worth something,” Phillip said abruptly, “but what overhead?”
“Pressure,” Warren said. “Pressure, I got psychologist’s bill you wouldn’t believe.”