March 15, 193
“Oh, Naomi,” Sarah Wiese, Naomi’s assistant, started as she saw her walking up. She had her palm pilot ready to go and the little plastic spear ready to go. “You are running a little late.”
“I’m actually walking, Sarah, and I’m here the same time I am every day.”
“Yes, but the producer is here now. You know you are supposed to be here before him,” Sarah said in a pathetically rushed way. Naomi hated that Sarah always felt she had to rush. It took away from the beautiful things in life.
“Well, Sarah, they should send me an email before two in the morning letting me know that they’re going to be here. I don’t have time to check my inbox when I wake up in the morning. I work to do what is far more important than producers.” Naomi showed Sarah her hands, fanning out her fingers so that she could observe every nail individually. “Do you think I should get another manicure during lunch?”
“I think you should eat during lunch, but yes, you need another one. Should I get your usual?”
“No, let’s spice things up a bit,” Naomi said. “I would like an apple instead of a peach and I want a turkey sandwich instead of ham.”
“And the soup?”
“Keep it vegetable. I need the detox.”
Sarah rolled her eyes. Naomi could not see it, but she could definitely feel it. She let it slide though. Sarah had the right to be annoyed with Naomi’s obsession with the word “detox”. Naomi used it too much and it was only an abbreviation anyway.
“Edgar is ready for you when you are.” She paused. “I can’t get over his name.”
“Yeah, can you believe he gave it to himself?” Naomi asked with a distasteful twist of her lips. It made her pert little nose scrunch and twist as well.
“Oh! I almost forgot…” She poked like crazy at the device in her hand. “Edgar and his partner are celebrating their fifth year together. What should I get them for a present?”
“Oh, Sarah, I wish you could talk to my mother for me too. How about…” She trailed off as her brain furiously went through all the gifts she could possibly give. All the items that Edgar and Mark would die over were all too expensive for her to buy for herself or they already had and died over it previously. “You know what, use your better judgment. A nice statue of a naked man might do.”
“But something tasteful,” Sarah stipulated. “I know just where to go for that. Are you sure you don’t want to give them a roll of fabric. You know how Mark just loves cotton.”
“No, I want to get them something they can both enjoy. Oh, I know… could you go to that little shop and get…” They were too close to the salon for her to finish but she made a few crude gestures and Sarah nodded. “You are a life saver. Anything else?”
“Your mom called my cell last night,” Sarah said.
Naomi’s stomach dropped to her feet and her heart felt like it would stop pumping blood in. “What did she want?”
“She told me to remind you to ask for some time off to go see your brother. She also wanted me to email her and tell her if you’re a lesbian or not. Are you a lesbian?”
“No,” Naomi said.
“Shame. I’d date you,” Sarah said dryly, but she could not help but give Naomi a wicked grin. Her reward was an eye roll.
“If you were a lesbian I’m sure we’d make a smokin’ couple.”
“Oh, you would,” Edgar said from his chair. He was dressed in appropriately punky and classy clothes. He was the only man that Naomi knew that could make a mussed up suit look stylish. It might have helped that it was pink and blue. “You look fabulous, darling.”
“Of course I do. It’s my job to learn fabulous,” Naomi said.
“Please don’t take too long, Edgar,” Sarah said. “I need her in make up soon too.”
Edgar rolled his eyes as he opened up a protective cover for Naomi to keep the hair off of the clothes she was about to change out of. “Why haven’t they dressed her yet?”
“She’s going in with those clothes on, I guess,” Sarah said.
“What?” Naomi asked, stunned. “I never wear my own clothes. They’re hideous on camera.”
“Well, something happened at wardrobe anyway.”
“Why didn’t you tell me?”
“You didn’t ask, and you were going straight to Edgar anyway. I thought you already knew.”
Edgar rolled his eyes. “Naomi knows nothing unless you tell her, Sarah. You are her only ears and probably her brain too.”
“Hey!” Naomi said and pinched his arm playfully before sitting down in his chair.
“Hey now,” he said with a waggle of his index finger. “You know better than to mess with the man with the scissors.”
“Yes, sir,” Naomi said with mock submission. “What are we doing today anyway, Sarah?”
Sarah gave Edgar a “be good” look and then said to Naomi, “We are going into sector three on
“Even if I don’t read them,” Naomi said.
“Well, they like for you to have them as a guide line. We all know you like to improvise. Also, one of my contacts told me that Jessica Retson is dating Farmer Gordon’s son, Michael.”
“Oh, wonderful. Gordon must be pleased.”
“Oh, you have no idea,” Sarah said with a smug little smile. She deserved it. This was scandalous. Farmers didn’t mix with Starlets. “They’ll make beautiful babies though.”
“Right, if he doesn’t have her off’d first,” Edgar said and started messing with Naomi’s hair. “But at least it’s a girl he’s messin’ with.”
“Oh, Edgar, you and your bright sides,” Naomi said. “Really, the more scandalous the better.”
“Well, if he had two sons it wouldn’t be that big of a deal, but you know how Farmers are about sons. They need the heirs to their franchise.”
“Lucky bastards,” Naomi said. “Do you think I should change shampoo and conditioner?” she asked.
“No, you’ll be good for another week. I’ll give it to you when you need it,” Edgar said. “Girl, this stay in is doing wonders for your hair.”
“My hair is always impeccable.”
“Thanks to me.”
“Thanks to you,” Sarah and Naomi said in unison.
“We’ll have to touch you up tomorrow, I think,” he said sorting the hair and inspecting the parts carefully. “Your roots are starting to show. Gold Mine is so lucky to have found me.”
“Right you are, Edgar. I’d be lost without you,” Naomi said and smiled at him from the mirror.
He winked at her and then started grabbing hair products. He was the best hair dresser in the business as far as Naomi was concerned and a close personal friend after the years of working with each other. No one else even touched her hair. He would even do her hair before her dates if she asked nicely enough.
Sarah rattled on about more scandalous starlet stories. A starlet was never off the job. Not even the TV starlets could rest. They were always in the public eye. Every time they smiled at someone there was someone else trying to determine a romantic interest. If they spent too much time with someone there were more rumors. Pictures were taken. Videos were made.
Naomi could be a target at any possible time, but she dated outside of the Starlet circle. She dated in the corporate circle. No one was interested in the lower class billionaires. So long as they did not have billions in the upwards they were safe territory. They were also socially acceptable when it came to dating. Politicians were also a possibility and would earn only a small blurb on a rival network.
Sarah came from a family of farmers and politicians. Naomi and Sarah had met in a bar while Sarah was dating someone her father did not approve of in the low end corporate world. She was strapped for cash and in a bind. Naomi, always the sucker for a good sob story, took her in and gave her a job and found her a place to live. Even after the relationship ended and familial ties were repaired Sarah stuck around.
Her contacts were the best in the business.
Naomi was a lucky woman to have found her.
“All right, girl,” Edgar said and stepped away from the chair. “You are ready to go to the makeup artist.”
“Wonderful,” Naomi said and checked the sculpted waves from every angle. They shined like gold in the studio’s light. “You are absolutely fabulous.” Naomi slid out of the chair and the two exchanged kisses on the cheeks and parted ways. Sarah was following after Naomi.
“I am not dressed for Grammy talk,” Naomi said.
“Well, if we put some heels on you it will dress it up. I think we can also get some good accessories. Then you’ll look perfect. What your wearing is pure classic. We can make it look perfect for the Grammies.”
“You are the life saver I’m so glad I have,” Naomi said. “If I was a lesbian I would marry you. Swear to God.”
“Well, I don’t think my mother would like for me to marry a Starlet. She would be scandalized and I would be disowned.” Sarah sighed. “I don’t want to be disowned.”
“What? Are they going to arrange a marriage between you and a farmer?” Sarah couldn’t answer her because at that moment Naomi had to say, “Mitch, darling, there you are. Am I late?”
“Naomi, you sweet thing, you can never be late. Get in my chair! I need to see that perfect skin of yours,” Mitch said. Mitch only acted gay. He was actually a very happily married man to a brilliant engineer wife that worked for farmers to come up with new innovations. She worked more in
“You are such a doll, Mitch,” Naomi said. “How is your lovely wife?”
“Oh, honey, she is as precious as usual. I have never, in my life, met a woman so brilliant,” he said. “She said the most mind blowing thing the other night. You wouldn’t believe. The things she can do with a ruler.”
“I don’t think we need you to go into what she can do with a ruler, Mitch,” Naomi said playfully.
Mitch blushed and opened Naomi’s personal make up case. She had a few shades of foundation and every imaginable color and shade of color that went with her skin. Mitch could make her look fabulous and on the spot with any choice.
“Is that the outfit you’re going to be wearing, honey?”
“Sadly they wanted a homier look for Grammy talk. This must be a warm up. Tomorrow I’m going to have to go all out.” She rolled her eyes. “Total waste. Anyway, do you have any idea what I’m wearing tomorrow?”
“Well, I know that it was specifically tailored for you.” He gave her a wink.
“I’ve seen it,” Sarah said. “It’s kind of multi-colored. It starts off a really pale pink for your complexion, turns sorta purply, and then ends off as a pale baby blue. Gorgeous and perfect for you and that blond head of yours.”
“I bet you’d look better in it.”
“I picked it out for you,” Sarah said. “Next year you should do that fashion show. You know… the one with the models and fashion designers. You would get to pick from some one of a kind dresses.”
“Everything has been done, Sarah,” Naomi said. “After thousands of years of wearing clothes and playing with fabrics there are only so many things that designers can do.”
“I’d like to see men wearing robes,” Mitch said. “Keep your eye open for me, honey.”
Naomi screwed her eyes up so that she would not see the pencil edging around her eye. She hated the liquid eye liner. Sometimes it ran into her eyes. It was a mess.
“I don’t know about that,” Sarah said. “It sounds girly. I would love to see them wearing coats that go down to their thighs but still let you get a peak at a promisingly scrumptious butt.”
Mitch pulled away to sharpen the pencil.
“Oh, Sarah, we should totally go out tonight. That would rock, don’t you think?”
“Oh, certainly,” Sarah said. “Should I let it leak for a little bit of publicity?”
“No, let’s just have an us night and do a little dancing. We haven’t been able to enjoy
“Oh, are you going to go to sector five?” Mitch asked.
“That sounds promising,” Sarah said. “Corporates like to keep the press away. Bad for business and they’re always doing something shady and they’re not nearly as snoody as farmers.”
“I like your thinking, Sarah.”
“Eye,” Mitch said and Naomi had to be quiet and concentrate on not twitching her lower lid or moving. Making the make up smudge was horrible to Mitch.
“I’ve been needing to get out. It is a good thing you don’t have to be at work until three tomorrow. Gives you plenty of time to do your beauty thing.”
“You know, that beauty thing is probably the reason scrumptious here can’t keep a man.” He gave Naomi a meaningful look.
“You like my perfect skin, don’t you? And Edgar loves my well conditioned hair. You have to make sacrifices for the job.”
“No talking. You need lipstick.” He stared at her for a moment and she gave him several expressions for him to choose from. He rolled his eyes and she gave him a saucy look. “Oh shush,” he said. “I know just the color.”
He picked out a hot pink that usually wouldn’t work, but with the dark shirt and jeans it would break up the monotony perfectly.