WIP writing for GoS's competition
Ignore format and use of '.' to create space. NG hates paragraphs, I'll do my best to fix later!
My duplex apartment is on the fifteenth and sixteenth floor of an exclusive Isle of Dogs development. It has panoramic views over Canary Wharf; the financial heart of London and the United Kingdom. My east balcony shows me the Millennium Dome that squats against the banks of the river Thames. Via the north balcony I have direct views into the HSBC and Reuters building
I get many different pay cheques without being a banker or trader myself. Through these I slowly fill up offshore account after offshore account despite having to change my wardrobe and home furnishings on a regular basis. Clothes, shoes, perfumes, sofas, these all have to be renewed, frequently. One thing in my business: you can't be behind someone else or not Colgate fresh.
What do I do? I 'fix' things. My business card is tastefully done in gold leaf and simply says "Cerulean Nakama, Consultant". If you have my card you've already passed vetting and you can call upon me and my services at any time, day or night. For a price, a hefty price.
Me? Well, I'm 32 and I've got Japanese, Chinese and some Scottish blood in me. My parents when they were alive were a decidedly unusually couple, my mother a petite traditional Japanese and my father a mixed Scottish/Chinese from Hong Kong. I've inherited her physique but his deep green eyes. "Loch Awe" eyes people sometimes joke if they are one of the very few whom I tell about my past.
Sorry for the long introduction, but I wanted to set the scene. After-all it's not every day that what appears to be perfection above can be fatally damaged. The manner in which my walls suffered their own Jericho moment started with a phone call to my Versace mobile from a friend,
"Cerulean, you've got to come over and see this new place at Soho, it's fabulous! The drinks menu is to die for."
In my work, business should be pleasure and pleasure can be business and knowing the best places to wine & dine is essential, so I was interested. My friend, if I was honest was better than me at finding these places and was always hooking me up to new places.
"It's very discrete dear, just what your clients need. I'll have to give you directions; they've not named it yet."
Well she knew my style and hadn't hit things wrong in the past so I found time in my diary, put an appointment in and carried on with my day.
01/05/08 - 10pm "See Yuko in Soho"
Cerulean is a business name, a brand if you like. Most people associate brands with cars, cereals or the like. They assign emotions to a brand and may want to associate with it closely. I had a design company come up with my name and a style consultant come up with suggestions for little mannerisms or behaviours that would help my brand succeed. It makes sense, the person I am is 95% of the finished package I provide to clients and they buy into the exotic and that's why I am Cerulean, nice to meet you hey.
So what exactly do I do?
Well, it's nothing sexual; I hope I didn't give you that idea. As I said, I fix things. I fix things for people who have too much money and too little time and I've carved out a pretty good niche for myself here, somewhere attached, but not on, the corporate ladder. My Clients are generally men and they work for names like Gazprom, UBS or Hedge Funds, Oil outfits and Sovereign Wealth Funds. Maybe they are a Mr, but often as not they're a 'Sir' or a Sheikh. They spend money like water, but they only spend money on the best and if you're not the best you're out with the dregs of that '82 Krug Vintage that the Silver Service clears after every meal.
I organise the parties and events that make their lives and business go around. More importantly however and what sets me apart from the majority of the competition is that I provide their Glamour. Glamour, capital G ok? It's not me, it's a force created to instil magic into any event or occasion and it needs to be nurtured, created and fed. If you give them Glamour it goes to their heads and their heads control their pocket books.
Krug, check. Yo-Yo-Ma or Vanessa Mae on short-notice, check. A Learjet from London City Airport with gifts for your wife hand-picked by myself just waiting for you to sign the "Sorry I missed your birthday card", CHECK. I do it all and keep my smile and perfect makeup.
I won't lie, I have good competitors who are nearly all female but it's true what they say; a little healthy competition never hurt anyone. My clients might try to arrange a function with Grace de Souza or Kathy Jackson but most of the time they come back to me, I'm that little bit of stability in their unpredictable corporate or palatial life.
The week before Yuko had called me had been one of the busiest in the year so far. From Monday to Thursday I was buried deep in the logistics of arranging how ten delegates from the pharmaceutical industry would be entertained by GlaxoSmithKline, a drugs company. The format of the event had been as a luxury stay in a remote castle in Scotland, golf, peace and quiet and obviously fireside business.
By Friday I was tired from the very hectic schedule. But I was pleased as my client had indicated that they had enjoyed the week immensely. As usual I was slightly amazed at the tenacity of senior Executives who seemed to be able to do business, golf and drink all in the same day without much signs of fatigue. But as long as they had fun that was all that mattered.
Sadly, one of the attributes I had inherited from my mother was that I couldn't drink more than a glass of wine without being somewhat the worse for wear. Therefore I was always careful not to drink with clients or their guests, it was a Cerulean-rule and I was respected because of it, but not encouraged to stick to it if that makes any sense.
So with £50k profit from just over a weeks work I was content. A portion of the money would be put to good use by my accountant until I needed it while the rest would service my business's day-to-day debts and outgoings.
From Monday to Wednesday I was concerned with little things that took up a disproportionate amount of my time. I went shopping for a spoiled CEO's daughter, arranged a private concert, that kind of thing.
At around 7pm on Thursday I showered after a workout and changed into a slinky summer's dress from Calvin Klein. Yuko was a flashy dresser and I wasn't going to be upstaged at a new venue. Looks were always important for negotiating access to private rooms for corporate clients or for getting tables at short notice.
Soho is one of my favourite parts of London besides from Canary Wharf. It's vibrant with a little bit of danger. The populace is always busy, to the North above Leicester Square is China Town, which although cheap and cheerful for the most part has some amazing haunts. These are places like Hakkasan, Bar Shu which are culinary delights among the tacky advertising hoarding, there are even Michelin starred places hiding out here. Further into Soho are some of the nightclubs that make London rock at night, Maya is a celebrity haunt where if you don't look the part you probably won't get into the places. Chinawhite is a little less posh, but is pretty beautiful, I've been there before with some Executives before and they had a great time rubbing up close to the B listers I had brought along.
Getting out of the Mercedes at the corner of Dean Street and somewhere little I thanked the driver, adjusted my hem line and made my way to Yuko who was loitering, in what passers by probably considered a 'suggestive' way by a mailbox.
End unfinished WIP as at 04/05/08