#2: Make An Interesting Friend.

When Shad calls, the very first thing I should ask is “Where are you?”The second thing I should ask is, “Did you buy a house there?” Shad is a new friend of mine. We met through our mutual therapist Bonnie, who if she ever tires of counseling would make a killing as a professional networker. When Bonnie first told me about Shad, she shared a few basic details about him including his age, the fact that he’s very busy, and that he works as a “businessman.” I pictured a handsome man in a suit sitting in a corner office high above the city managing his calendar in Outlook. Now that I know Shad, I doubt he’s spent a single day sitting in an office. I’ll ask next time he calls.

In the two months we’ve known each other, I’ve learned that he most recently made money selling his stake in a cannabis industry business called Nectar, plays actively in the stock market, and acts as a sort of angel investor, using his own stash to fund short-term, high-interest projects. He even flew to Denver and Las Gatos a few time to visit contacts in person. Cool, right? Totally. But that’s not even the half of it as I found out when Shad called me from Las Vegas yesterday.

“My day has been non-stop,” he said, when he finally had a chance to call. “I spent all day at the bank opening the necessary accounts for this thing I’m setting up, and then I closed the deal on the house. Best case I flip it in March.” “You bought a house today?” I asked, casually, like the people in my inner circle do this all the time. His response was a secretive little chuckle. He flew home to Portland later that night, calling me from bed for a brief chat and a hot round of phone sex. I drifted off to sleep wondering—rather naively, it turns out—if we were going to ring in the New Year together.

When he called today he was sitting down for a beer and fajitas. I told him the exciting news that my divorce judgment had just been signed by the judge and entered into the record, meaning my divorce—after a miserable and expensive year—is finally over. “I want to celebrate!” I said. Instead of asking where I wanted to go he said, “I’d celebrate with you if I was around.” I paused. “Oh.” I said, and paused again, mind spinning. “Are you not in Portland?” I asked, wondering if I missed something. It seemed impossible that he wouldn’t be in Portland.

That secretive chuckle again. “Not exactly,” he said. Then he paused. “I’m in Playa del Carmen.” My brain went blank. “Where’s that?” I asked, because even though I spent New Year’s Eve 2011 in Playa del Carmen, his answer was so out of context I had no idea what he was saying. “Mexico!” He said, but that didn’t help. Was it even mathematically possible for him to fly from Portland to Cancun and get there in time to be eating lunch at the Cancun airport at 2 p.m. PST?

“When did you fly there?” I asked, briefly wondering if he could be lying to me. Shad’s not a liar, though. I at least know that much about him. He explained there were some guys who wanted to get in on the Jesse deal and when he got word about it this morning he just packed up his stuff up and “rolled.” Shad does a lot of rolling, I’ve noticed. “Did you buy a house there, too?” I teased. He didn’t answer me. Who is this man? I wondered, realizing that calling Shad a “businessman” is about as meaningful as saying Warren Buffet is “in finance.”