The time is one o'clock in the afternoon. Eloise DeJoria is taking a shower. There was a party last night, Girls' Night Out. Eloise and her women friends dressed in extravagant clothes and took a limo to a gay club in West Los Angeles, a good place to dance and have fun because the men in the club wouldn't be threatening, but then Eloise's husband, John Paul, showed up late in the evening anyway, bringing Kevin Costner with him, Girls' Night Out and gay club be damned, and.... Eloise had sprinkled some gold glitter on her body as part of the festivities. She has to wash off the remnants of the glitter before she can begin her workout.
Ray Kybartas and I wait in the kitchen in our gym shorts and T-shirts and running shoes. The kitchen is approximately the size of the stage at the Hollywood Bowl or at least the basketball floor at the Great Western Forum. It is the biggest kitchen I have ever seen, inside the biggest house I have ever seen. The house is approximately the size of a suburban shopping mall. The architecture and the furnishings are Spanish. A large swimming pool, stables and a croquet court—trimmed to the same specifications as the 18th green at Augusta National—are part of the package. The house sits on the top of a cliff overlooking Malibu Beach and the rest of the whole wide world.
"My wife and I went with John Paul and Eloise to Cannes for the film festival this year," Ray says. "It was Eloise's birthday. John Paul surprised her. He rented a yacht in the Mediterranean for the festival."
"A yacht," I say.
"The yacht was so big that it had a seaplane and a helicopter on board. The helicopter was terrific. You'd go up, fly around the coast, look down at the beaches. Then land back on the yacht."
"How many people were on the yacht?" I ask.
"Outside of staff, there were only three couples. And Cher. She came out and stayed for a few days."
The money and the famous names and places create a loud, incessant buzz in my head. Ray does not hear the buzz. He moves around the kitchen easily. He comes here six days a week, two hours a day when Eloise and John Paul are in town—when they are not at one of their other three houses or in Cannes or somewhere else. I sit in my seat while Ray moves around. John Paul, a tanned, middle-aged man who owns the company that produces Paul Mitchell hair-care products, is talking on a cellular phone, probably making a big business deal. His black hair is drawn back into a ponytail. He is not wearing a shirt. Ray is out in the courtyard, then back, constant energy. I sit in my seat.
"How'd you wind up working for Eloise?" I ask.
"She'd gone through a number of personal trainers," Ray says. "She was looking for someone new, and she has the same hairdresser as Madonna. Madonna's hairdresser told her about me."