Dwight Howard sat cross-legged at the edge of the bluff, hawks circling lazily through thermal drafts, a winding river below. He was deep into his contemplative flow. A U-shaped phalanx of advisers dressed in Patagonia and Eddie Bauer outdoor wear sat nearby, ultimately attentive. Behind the first row sat a couple junior advisers whose sole duties were monitoring various social media applications and condensing them into whispered one-sentence sound bites for the prime row advisers.
Dwight furrowed his brow. “I’m just not sure. It’s a lot to think about.”
Greek Chorus: “It’s is a lot to think about Dwight. It is a lot!”
Dwight sighed. “I’m not looking to hurt anybody.”
Greek Chorus: “Of course you aren’t. It’s just business, everyone understands.”
Dwight squinted as he tracked a Zone-tailed hawk. “Did we ever hear from Phil?”
Greek Chorus: “That is a negative, sir.”
One of the back row underlings whispered something urgently.
Greek Chorus: “Lakers bracing for the worst, buddy. Bracing for the worst.”
Dwight frowned. “Hey, the purple and gold’s still prominent in my mind.. I like Ellen, Jimmy Kimmel. I like my favorite restaurants.”
One of the less intense members of the chorus spoke up. “We’ll have very nice breakfast after the morning contemplation. Seared rainbow trout crepes with wild strawberry compote.”
The underling whispered frantically again.
Greek Chorus: “Hakeem says 85 percent it’s Houston.”
Dwight cocked his head. “Is that coming from us?”
The members quickly exchanged looks, weighing possible answers. Again, one bold soul spoke up. “Houston’s offering free food, y’know.”
The very tall man relaxed again. Free things were always nice. “I like it here. All my stress is melting away. What d’you think a nice mountain retreat would run me? Nothing real fancy, maybe a post and beam cabin, lots of indigenous stone, maybe ten, fifteen thousand square feet inside?”
One of the tanned and extraordinarily intuitive advisers whipped his head around to stare directly at one of the social media monitors. “Get me some MLS printouts right now, nice glossy pics.”
The underling hesitated. “I can’t print from my iPhone.”
The tanned adviser glared bullets. “Yes you can. Go get the portable printer from the sweat lodge. Do it, now! No breakfast for you.”
Dwight adjusted his position, squared his shoulders and breathed deeply of the mountain air. There was no reason to rush his decision. It was a nice Friday morning and his team had things well in hand. He was looking forward to breakfast. Maybe a nice late morning hike afterward.