Chapters
TLSJ Vol.1

Wine Over Matter At Night

Fiction. Based on a True Booty Call. 38 minute read

“I don’t trust nobody, and I don’t want to do this no more, I don’t want to feel that again, never want to feel that again, honestly, I don’t ever want to feel that again, but most times that never wanting to feel it again is what makes you push it away.”

-Antonique Smith

“W.O.M.A.N.”

Fiction. Based on a True Booty Call.

Written by Maya, through the voice of “You” and “We”
This journal entry is inspired by true events. Some of the characters, names, businesses, incidents, and certain locations and events have been fictionalized for dramatic purposes. Any similarity to the name, character or history of any person is entirely coincidental and unintentional. 

Christmas 2012

“Sorry, I can’t do this,” you told Green Eyes.

You broke it off with him on Christmas day. You told yourself that it was because he wasn’t Sonny, but honestly speaking, even if it was Sonny, you would have said the same thing. Not after what Sonny did.

Never again.

Four Years Later

Backlit

Backlit

He stood there backlit by the amber illumination of his Los Angeles home, in white cotton attire with loose pants.  She arrived at 4:00am. Her body had been aching for him.

He had been debating whether or not to cut her out.

She was extra.
Usher’s You Remind Me.

She had already confessed that she had a one night stand with another dude. Now she wants to come crawling back. He was still recovering from the drama from the previous one. The girl had almost destroyed everything he has been working so hard to build. His reputation.

Yet here she was.

Sexy.

Seductive.

Sly.

When she gave him a hug, he immediately felt his blood migrate south. She smelled like baby powder and peaches. And those lips.

Those lips. His head was still bald but the band-aid on his cheeks was off. She wanted to kiss those thick lips that fit so well with hers.

“Welcome to my home,” he said. It looked exactly like how she had remembered it.

Her heart sunk a bit. He probably had forgotten that she had been here before. How many women had he invited to his home since they last saw each other? A tinge of jealousy colored her tone.

“You have lots of shoes now.”

Lonely. Empty soles. Angelie thought.

It had been over two months. The faux carpet, two couches facing each other in the living room, a desk against the wall, an empty kitchen, and a low coffee table with Buddha in the center. Nothing really changed, except now he had more shoes.

Two months ago, she remembered feeling sad when she had seen those golden vinyls hanging on his living room wall. Framed below were pictures of him and the artists he used to market. Artists who were once famous back when. She had felt sad because she thought of the many other women who had fallen for the bait he had setup.

She fell in love with him before she had checked out his Linkedin profile, before she knew who he was, and the connections he had. It was the connections he had that she didn’t trust. He was in deep. Something he would never tell or admit, but she could feel. Something was off. The man was in deep. 

When she had seen him at Sage, she saw an inner city boy who sharpened his mind for survival, leveraging his words as his weapon, and a disciplined routine that molded him to keep his word. The things he had to suffer through, to sacrifice to initiate himself from boy to manhood.

A rose in concrete

But now.

The golden vinyls were a setup as a trap that only trapped him. It was the litmus test to see if she was a wifey or a bitch. He used those vinyls to test many women the way she used her bipolar label to test men. 

Game recognize game.

She had slept with him on the first date. She wanted to sleep with him the first time she heard his voice.  After the Hilary/Trump elections and the falling out of a feminist group she was in, she was left bitter and disillusioned by the world turning a blind eye to real suffering. Pedogate. Haiti scandal. Elite media, elite clubs, elite agenda.  

He didn’t think she was crazy for connecting the dots. He addressed it and he knew so much that it felt like someone was taking the words right out of her mouth. He knew exactly what she was talking about and she knew exactly what he was talking about.

Eye to eye.

Chemistry.

That lingered on and on, to a point that she just couldn’t shake it off no matter how hard she had tried.

Who is this man?

A mutual friend had brokered the business partnership.

“I have a feeling that you two would have a lot in common,” her friend had said. 

Aside from the fact that they had the same birthday, the same type of mindset and hustle with the same heaviness hiding their inner playfulness, she was in love with his coolness. It complimented her fire. 

All of this was communicated in the bedroom.

When they connected that first time physically, it was like the floodgates of heaven opened for her. The lovemaking only affirmed what she had felt when they were engaged in conversation. It was a level of knowing…Love manifested in each other’s body and sound. The universe encapsulated in organisms, one after another, till the early morning. 

She woke up refreshed and at home. She arrived.

This was the real deal.

He had asked her to be exclusive with him the first night.

He had invited her to his mentor’s home Thanksgiving.

He had taken her out to his regular spot for drinks, walked down K-town holding her hands, and professing that he could see them both being best friends.

They had talked about the possibility of co-parenting the second date.

What stopped her?

It was a bar conversation when they had both discovered the synchronicities of their lives.

They both had been in a 7-year relationship. She was the one staying home at night waiting for her husband while he was the husband who was out with other women while his ex-girlfriend had waited for him.

It was the hustle game.

You were supposed to look the other way, as her mother would later teach her by example. 

She refused.

But it seemed commonplace nowadays that it is etiquette to look the other way if you are to be the main squeeze of an intelligent, businessman in the entertainment industry. It came with the territory like Basketball Wives. The reality we don’t see, or rather, the reality that the wives are not supposed to see.   

It was the system of things. It was the unspoken gentleman’s code of conduct because it reinforced social-political status, a powerplay. The women whom a man slept with were not only rewards and affirmations on where a man’s hierarchical power lies, but it was also a political move at times. The mistress often served as a second eye in a business context. The woman that the man takes out during business deals to show off to other men what a man he is. 

And the women were ambitious. They were hungry for the fame. Or was it attention? They were hungry for love, attention, and validation, even if it meant hurting the married women and their kids. It’s just the way the game goes.

Infidel-ity

Angelie was all too familiar with it after working for Mr. Dwayne at his publishing game. The artists were mainstream and surrounded by women. The women flock for a piece of the juju–fame, power, money, things, status. Not giving a fuck who they hurt on the way up that stairway to heaven.

That’s just the way it is,” as Tupac would say.

Soul-ties

Soul-Ties

“It’s magical,” he had said after their first night together.

But Angelie knew better.

It was love.

Green Eyes

Green Eyes

“It’s the second man you desire,” the psychic had told you. 11 psychics later, you had finally chosen Green Eyes, against what your intuition, which was to choose the hustler. And he hustled you.

You knew you wanted to have kids and the decision between the two Irishmen were critical.

The writer and filmmaker who graduated from Emerson, who you had deep conversations with, the man felt deep on the inside, or the man who had the worldly blessings, all the comforts of things, the man with the black truck who brokered it with black magick.

You knew you were the fool the minute he thrusted his tongue in your mouth. You felt this heavy energy upon you. It was dark and seductive, it was black and red, and it was the choice you made because you cared more about revenge than you did about building a future you wanted. You thought about how jealous Sonny would be when he would see the pictures of you and the white boy who looked like Leo Dicaprio instead of the artist who wrote plays, directed films, and had deep conversations with you. It was the left path and that night on his zebra blanket, when he entered your body, you also felt that spirit enter you.

It was the charm. You received the power of charm.  

Illusions

Illusions

“I wanted to apologize to you,” she said to him while on her knees, her arms holding his outer thighs while she looked up. It was pure manipulation and they both knew it. She tried to use magic on him. He was the master of magick.  

Bended Knees

She was on her knees while he was propped on the couch, laid back, so she could see him at eye level. “For the last half year of my seven year relationship with my partner, I would wait up for him to come home after he went out on so called company client meetings…I would have severe anxiety and panic attacks, and when I started dating you, the same feelings showed up.”

Branson looked at her with empathy. “But I’m not him. I didn’t even do anything,” he said. She didn’t believe him. She knew he was still dating other women because their relationship was relatively young and that’s how the dating game works in LA. They both knew when the other was out flirting, touching, connecting with the opposite sex because their bodies were already connected from the first night they had made love.

One night, she had tested him. She told him that she would be staying over at a filmmaker friend’s house, but that she would prefer to stay at his place. She forced a hand that he knew he wasn’t going to submit to. He told her that he had to wake up early the next day so coming to his place was not an option. 

He had told her that he was not going to demand or expect her to stay loyal to him. They were both only dating for a few weeks. The predicament she had put both of them through was a setup for destruction and they both knew it. 

If he expressed that he was not comfortable with her spending the night at another man’s house, which he wasn’t, but if he had expressed that, he would have come off as controlling which would have only have given her permission to control his life. That control would damage whatever chance they would have had at a real relationship. He had no choice but to give her a choice.

She forced a hand instead of allowing him to just be. She knew he was dating other women still. Just like how she knew Sonny was still talking to other girls before he started falling for her because of the space she gave him. She knew damn well how to play the game. Accept them for who they are and they will naturally gravitate back to you. 

Allowance is generative.

Play it cool. She knew exactly how to get him to fall in love with her and plant his seeds in her ovaries. 

So why didn’t she play this game?

It was Sonny. 

He was Sonny all over again.

“Why would you want to find a man like Sonny again,” her best friend Amy had told her.

They were both machines. That ability to switch on and off is what had frightened her. That missing link of empathy and compassion, like a drone for the queen bee.

She had antagonized him with the filmmaker’s proposition and she wanted to push him away with the one night stand. It was an Irishman.

“I don’t want to know about it,” he had said to her.

“I wanted to tell you the truth because I wanted to be best friends with you,” she lied. What she really meant to say was. “I wanted to tell you the truth because I don’t want to fall in love with a man like you, you Machiavellian narcissistic.” 

Killing Me Softly


Sam was going through a divorce. What started as just a way for him to broker a deal became more than just strategic partnership gone wrong. The man who had betrayed him also had stolen his wife. Sam, after having given his best resources -business connections, money, time to take care of his wife while she was sick, felt the brunt of the betrayal when his newly healed wife had left him for his business partner.  

He hated women.

This was his mentor.

Monogamy? They didn’t stand a chance.

Candlelight

Angelie’s ex-husband’s boss took her out to eat sushi. She was wearing a red dress that evening. He complimented her and bought her roses. When she dropped him off at his hotel, he had lingered and had made the invitation for her to join him for a nightcap.

Angelie had once ridden horses with his wife at their ranch some seven years back when she and Sonny were still together. His boss had invited them to their place and meet his family. She remembered his wife pointing at the male horses while their female horses passed by. She remembered seeing their penises elongating 9 inches long.

Guess that’s just nature.

She politely declined the invitation and started heading home to an empty single studio home in Santa Monica. The drive was gleeful and she couldn’t help but gloat knowing that this is the man who is currently Sonny’s mentor. 

The girl who had been the mistress turned his wifey didn’t stand a chance either.

Poison

He was done being around poison. Women. Such fickle creatures. Seductresses, heartbreakers, liars, manipulators, and this girl who was asking to have sex with him in his bedroom after she just had told him that she should be leaving moments earlier is a trip.

She may have all the right moves, all the right curves in the right places, but she was no different than any of the other snakes.

He immediately thought about the girl he used to be with. The double-minded, double-tongued, one minute hot, one minute cold, snake. She tried to call the cops on him when he was out womanizing. He drove all the women he loved crazy. The picture of his mother stays in his bedroom–the mother who didn’t come home after she got out of the institution. She said one thing and did another. 

Women were not reliable, but if he could pull the resources he needed from different women, then it wouldn’t be so bad. There’s always holes to fill right?

Angelie also reminded him of the girl he was with for 7 years. He had gotten tired of the charades. She would call and worry and he would lie, cheat, and pretend that they were still good. He knew he no longer saw her as a lover–the lust of other beautiful, interesting, colorful women were too overpowering to love someone so constant to him. It felt too much like the family he never really had, and when he started breaking her heart and breaking her down, he felt like the best thing he could do was to let her go.

 It was like his ex-partner came back to haunt him. Her anxiety was exactly the same anxiety Sheila had had when he came home late nights with elaborate stories to calm her down.

Vulnerabilities

“Look, Anglie, people change. People evolve,” he responded. “Who you are today is a completely different person than who you were five, ten years ago.” He put one hand over his head, and the other stroking her hair. 

She leaned her head in like a kitty cat getting her head petted and began exhaling in satisfaction. At her low moaning, he started getting aroused again. Then she pushed back so she could see his eyes. 

“I know this is different, but that evening, I hung around Los Angeles in hopes that I could see you that evening, but you didn’t pick up the phone. It suddenly took me back to those panic attacks,” she said. She knew he was with another woman that evening. It was the same gut-wrenching feeling of dread and self-loathing. 

“Look, you have evolved since then. Who you are five years ago is completely different than who you are today,” he said. He looked at her with a deep knowing that he was lying to himself. 

“You’re charming,” he admitted. 

She smiled like she was caught.

The Next Morning

The Next Morning

His freckles were beautiful sunspots she wanted to kiss. The morning sun and the white curtains illuminated the room that reminded her of a Seabreeze morning. Her eyes became softer when she gazed into his; their eyes were both light brown. Her face had fitted snugly in his chest. It was lock and key. She felt home again. 

When he woke up, he realized that he was playing with fire again. He had a major hangover. He both loved her and hated her. It was her fire. It couldn’t be contained, controlled, or predicted. 

“Hey you want to go eat breakfast?” she asked when he was putting on his clothes.

“No, I got errands.”

That’s when she knew. He wasn’t going call her again. It was a power move.

He knows her play and reads her like page 10 of the marketing strategy for building up the starlet for the masses. She’s here to tie me down and use my resources to build her organization up. All this love talk she gives me–it feels real but it’s weak strategy.

So all of 2017, she would text him with the same story. He would read it, and a ping of power would feed his ego. Knowing he was still on top. He loved that she was so desperate and needy. It fed his ego and fueled his resentment towards all women.

He would pretend that she was desperate, crazy, and unstable with the incessant texts, but secretly he loved it. Once in a blue moon, he would read the poetry that she would send him, and for those lonely nights he would almost believe it.

Manipulation

Natural Psychic Ability: People can quiet their minds and describe what’s happening now and in the future.

Nonlocal perception. We live in a nonlocal space-time.

He ghosted.

He ghosted a woman who believes in the power of resurrection.

Soul Work

Soul Work

“Write this down Ellie,” you say to her while driving to church.

“I keep on spinning my wheels because I’ve been avoiding the self work of becoming less selfish,”

“I keep on spinning my wheels because I’ve been avoiding the self-work of becoming less selfish,” you say to her. A pause. She writes it down on the other line.

“Repeat it, Ellie. What did you write down?”

“I wrote: I’ve been avoiding the self-work of being less selfish.”

“That’s right.”

“Whoa…that’s deep. How did you do that?”

“I knew what my sin was,” you say.

“Which was…?”

“Pride.”

“You know what the shadow of pride is?” you ask.

“What?”

“Humility…and do you know what humility is?”

“Isn’t that just not thinking about yourself?”

“Close, Ellie, I need you to write this down. I promise you that once you have this figured out, half the battle of self-realization will be won.”

“Humility is not thinking less about yourself, but thinking about yourself less.”

“Repeat it, Elle.”

“Humility is not thinking less about yourself, but thinking about yourself less.”

“Now, having said that, what is the other reason the man you’re dating may want to point out that you are superficially taking in the news?”

“Um…he wants me to become more informed so he can have a conversation with me,” she says.

“Yes, and what else?” you wanted to give her the answer but you withheld.

“I don’t know…”

“Okay, let me share…My dad loves me,” you say. “How do I know that? Because when push comes to the shove, he’s going to pull through if some shit goes down. That’s how I know.”  

“Awww…” she says.

“I’m going to New York soon to visit a guy who could become my business partner and he’s interested in my idea. I told my dad but he instinctively knew that it wasn’t going to work out.  My dad has gone through the school of hard Knox to know how many liars, cheaters, manipulators there actually are in this world. ‘Don’t go to New York,’ he tells you. ‘If he really believes in you, he’d come to you.’ he told me. And as much as I hate to admit it. He’s right. He told me to let the men chase me. That’s why Sonny fell in love with me. I allowed him to chase me when my instinct was to chase him.” 

“Ellie, we usually fall for people who have qualities about us that we want for ourselves. What qualities about this person you admire so much?”

A pause.

“Perhaps…it’s the way he’s so blunt about everything. He just speaks his mind so unapologetically. He later asked me why I just didn’t admit it from the beginning. He told me to be okay with not knowing everything.”

“So he tells you to be okay with not knowing everything? So he’s probably like that as well. What else do you admire about him?”

“He doesn’t care what other people think about him.”

“What did we talk about earlier today?”

“What?”

“When you couldn’t talk on the bus and I was giving you advice.”

“Something about not caring what my coworker is saying about me at the office ….Oh! That’s right. You said that if I please everybody then I please no one, especially myself, who is the first person I must put the priority of pleasing.”

“Yup. It’s staying true to yourself.”

“Thank you. I was going to break it off with him based on what I was feeling.”

“I love you, Ellie, so I’m going to say, “fuck your feelings,” and it’s time you know that your feelings are like LA weather and LA fame…one minute super hot, next minute super cold….so if you took action on every fucking feeling, you’d drive yourself crazy.”

“Oh shit.”

“Yeah, and you know what else? Better to be crass and healthy then suppressed and crazy.”

“It’s like the art of not giving a fuck….whoa…we can write a book.”

“Sorry, someone already beat you to that book title.”

“Fuck. Really?”

“Yeah, really. Look it up.”

“And nothing that I’m telling you here is new either.”

“Well, also he didn’t openly share how he was feeling towards me after I had shared my feelings towards him,” she shares.

“What did you make it mean when he didn’t reciprocate the same type of verbal declaration as you made for him?”

“I don’t know…like I should just let him go..he’s not healthy for me.”

“You’re dodging the question. Ellie, you asked me to coach you …this is what transformational coaching looks like…now follow me…’When he didn’t reciprocate the same type of verbal expression I showed him, I made it mean…’ ”

You could hear her rolling her eyes on the other line.

She said in a flat line, “When he didn’t reciprocate the same type of verbal expression I showed him, I made it mean….that he doesn’t like me the way I like him.”

“Bingo.”

“May I share something deeply personal?”

“Of course.”

“Once upon a time ago, I kept professing to Branson how much I loved him. Every chance I got, I would tell him. But he didn’t verbalize it or finalize it as a ‘label’ for us. Ironically, his actions spoke more love than my words did.

…He took me to his favorite bar. He introduced me to his clients. He invited me to his mentor’s home for Thanksgiving. He made love to me and asked me to be sexually exclusive with him, connected me with people….

…you know what he didn’t do? Verbalized that he loved me.

So I had made him wrong. I made it mean that he was playing me. So I tried to beat him to the punch. And the only reason why I’m not knocked up with his child right now is that I had knocked him down.”

“Damn girl…”

“But his actions had spoken more love towards me and then my words ever did for him.

Because I didn’t walk the talk. And so he lost faith in me and I lost him.

I only began to understand humility after I lost him. He is kind, considerate, and humble. He refrained from any gossip, kept a cool head on his shoulder. He was everything I wanted in myself.”

“Whoa, that’s deep.”

“So don’t make the same mistake that I made sis. Ground yourself in the self-work. I want you to do something else: Put  ‘Humility + Happiness’ together and then circle it. Then in another circle, put ‘pride and self-righteousness.’  

Now look:

Humility + Happiness            or          Pride + Self-righteousness

Now…do you want the first or the second?

“Ah shit…”

“That’s what I said when I discovered the truth.”

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