Understand that pity is not what we’re looking for. We are men, we remind each other as often as we can, and we must bear that burden. Forgetting was what got us into trouble in the first place. It’s a weak word, trouble. But that’s what came to mind when someone finally bought the Wong-Campeau place at the south end of the cul-de-sac. Stefan Brandeis took one look at the silver Camaro Z28 in the driveway and said, “Vroom, vroom. Here comes trouble.” He was kidding, of course. Who could have believed that a barbarian was at the gates?
Their agent had priced the property before market started to clench, but with their Ritalin-infused twins at Jean-Baptiste de Lamarck, an International Baccalaureate school we knew doubled as a rehab centre, the Wong-Campeaus couldn’t afford to come down. That kind of corked-up familial stress inevitably manifests as fault lines. In other words, 2781 Chatham Close was, as Trevor Masahara succinctly put it, looking like crap. Marcus van der Houte had offered to fluff their place at a generous discount, but the W-C’s declined. (Fluff is not a term Marcus himself would use. His business card reads Art Direction for Real Estate.)