Authors: Kenya Wright,Jackie Sheats
For this party my servers showcased a new strain of marijuana named Oracle. One seed cost two hundred dollars, one plant, a thousand dollars. The actual bud went well past that. I’d spent six figures to supply it for my guests.
It didn’t dent my pockets, but the weed bill had made me gasp.
You’ve come a long way.
When I was a toddler my parents brought me to Miami on a battered boat. I still didn’t know how we’d made it through that treacherous sea journey from Cuba to America.
That being said, life served us well in the states, although I had to translate every parent-teacher conference.
I was a good kid. Being that my dad had a heavy hand, and my mom a no-nonsense tongue, I kept my butt in school and studied hard. My teenage years made me silently rebellious. I still got good grades, but at night, I snuck out of my bedroom window and painted the streets. When I graduated from high school with all honors and a full scholarship to MIT, my mother cried and my father beamed with so much pride, people in our neighborhood thought he’d won the lottery.
After college, I bought them a car.
After graduate school, I bought them a house.
And after my first million, I retired them both.
Yeah. I’ve come a long way.
Yet, still just a week ago, my mother had complained, “Where are my grandkids?”
I put my back to her and rolled my eyes. “I don’t have time for marriage and kids.”
My mother was a short woman compared to my six feet. She hurried after me. “You don’t have time for marriage and kids, but you have time for drugs?”
“Marijuana is my brain food.”
“Your brain doesn’t need anything to eat. It needs love.”
Sighing, I faced her. “I date.”
“No, you just have women in and out of that penthouse.”
I’d raised my eyebrows to that comment. “And how do you know that?”
“Because when I come over to tidy up—”
“Tidy up? Really, Mom? I have a staff that cleans. You are not going over to tidy up.”
“I am,” she argued.
“Tidying up? That’s what you call snooping around my place?”
“I go to make sure your staff is doing a good job. What do I find? Women’s stuff thrown around? Their bras and panties under the bed and everywhere else. What type of woman walks out of a man’s home without her bra and underwear?”
I smirked. “A good woman.”
She wagged her wrinkled finger at me. “That’s why they call you Wolf.”
“You started that name when I was six.”
“Well, it’s grown on you. You’re being a wolf. You need a good Christian woman.”
“Listen.” I held my hands together as if for prayer. “I like good Christian women. I’m just a fan of the ones that don’t wear panties.”
She snorted. “You treat love like some game between predator and prey.”
“Hey. Who’s giving you your information?”
“The discarded panties are a good sign.”
“I’m a good wolf.” I raised my hands in the air. “Besides, wolves are cousins to dogs, which are surely man’s best friend.”
She pointed at me. “You chase women.”
“Maybe they shouldn’t run.”
“But when they stop running, you discard them.”
“I am a wolf after all.” I shrugged.
Mom had cursed several times in Spanish after that. It had taken her a few years to grasp the English language, but still when she got angry, foreign wickedness rushed out of that kind mouth.
Laughing, I pushed my mom’s last conversation out of my mind and directed all of my attention on Red.
Mom had been right. I enjoyed my conquests. Women served as a sport, nothing more. I couldn’t tell anyone why it was that way.
My childhood never taught me this. In fact, my parents were the opposite of my life.
My father worshipped Mom—held the door open for her still to this day, even though his arthritic fingers found it hard to grip most knobs. When she walked on the sidewalk, he made sure to keep himself between the traffic and her. If a car should happen to wander on the pavement, he wanted to make sure he was the first person to be hit, not Mom. When he braked the car and she sat in the passenger seat, he held his arm out in front of her to keep her safe, scared that she’d tilt forward and bang her head on the glove compartment.
He cooked for her on the weekends while she sat on the couch with her feet up. He brought her a tray, and half the time she didn’t even have to go up and get a napkin or the salt and pepper.
He wrote poetry. Not just scribbled lines for anniversaries, but journals and journals of words that imprinted into tattered, stained pages. Some of those books of poems were older than me, and had even traveled on the boat with us. He’d stuck them in several plastic bags and taped the thick things to his chest.
Dad had been a fool in love,
drunk on Mom,
high on harmony and the other things that made people go crazy.
On rainy Sunday afternoons, they’d sit together and whisper into each other’s ears.
They were crazy with passion, and I loved to see it,
knew Mom was a queen,
knew she earned his affections,
knew she should get even more just for all her woman’s work.
But I was not my dad, and no queen of my mom’s caliber walked the pretentious concrete jungles of Miami.
Most of them had silicone behinds that remained stiff and never jiggled. Their jaws were sunken in from starving themselves on the latest fad diet. Lips puffed out like clowns. Fake nails that stuck to their fingertips like claws. Their speech matched a gold digger’s drawl—giggling at the appropriate times and gasps of awe at any rich man’s accomplishments. They turned away from the regular guys, yet snapped their heads to attention when a supposed baller walked through. And every chest bulged out unnaturally.
I hadn’t caressed a real breast since high school, didn’t remember how one would feel within my fingers. Were they still soft? Did fingers still melt between those pillows? I didn’t care if the woman’s breasts hung down to her belly button or were smaller than a grape. I just needed to grasp onto one real breast in Miami.
Instead, I got the opposite.
All of them.
And it didn’t stop there.
Weave hung from every head, no matter what race, and it sat there in large bushels, hiding those caked-up faces. I’d seen Barbie dolls that looked more real than some of the women I’d bedded. Puffed-up, injected lips that stuck out of their faces. Tight, see-through clothes. Everything out and bared for any man to see.
They laughed when I told jokes, that even I didn’t find funny, just spoken to test them. They pretended not to know I was rich, yet questioned the cost of my cars and slyly begged to see my penthouse.
Mom hoped I’d settle down and have grandkids.
I just hoped I wouldn’t continue to get swept away in this artificial universe where people only smiled and loved another for who they were and what they were worth, instead of peering into the souls that grappled within.
They called me Wolf, and so I stalked and attacked like one.
I found a woman that caught my eye, followed the female around, checked her out, fucked her hard, and then went on my way, as any good wolf would do when no longer hungry.
And now we have poor little red riding hood.
I scanned the packed room and found her now off in the corner, giggling and passing a gold-papered joint with her two friends.
Those lips are real, so full. I can’t wait to have them around my cock. What else is real on you, Mami? Are you everything your art suggests you are? Deep thinker? Revealer of the bullshit of society? Woman? A real woman?
My phone buzzed.
I checked the text on the screen from my assistant.
I talked to her and brought over a specially rolled joint.
What did you roll it with?
Good. Did you tell her about the rooftop invitation?
I did, but I’m not sure if she will be alone. One of her friends were pretty adamant about her not going, and that they needed to stick together.
Send Tito over there. He’ll keep her friends busy.
Oh, what big eyes you have!
guys and their need to be down with the art scene.
I sucked my teeth and followed the odd guy in the blue suit up the stairs.
Let’s hope this guy has some taste. His place looks nice, but would he get my work? The décor is a bit much. He’s uptown, and I put the d and downtown.
The penthouse was exquisite—two stories, twenty foot ceilings, crocodile-textured doors, and polished marble floors. Every massive window displayed a panoramic view of the city—high-rise luxury buildings sparkled. The moon and stars glowed in the sky. We’d passed a state of the art kitchen with granite counters and stainless steel finishes. One of the bathrooms I’d used had leather walls.
Leather walls? Who would have thought that could work?
I continued to follow the guy up the stairs. “What is your name again?”
I laughed. “Thank you. I’m usually better with names, but right now I’m a bit. . .”
“High,” Pierre finished for me. “I understand. That tends to be what people do at 420 parties.”
“Have you been to others?” I asked.
“Dr. Sheep has had these parties every year since I’ve been working with him.”
“How long has that been?”
“A long time.”
Is it me or is Pierre acting suspicious?
After I smoked and dealt with situations, it was always unclear of whether I swam in a paranoia high or if something dubious was actually going on. Weed was funny that way. Sometimes it all depended on the mind state, if the person could maintain a mental balance while suspended in a state of intense euphoria.
I’m too high to talk business. I should have said no. That joint packed some powerful stuff. I should’ve listened to Coco.
When we’d arrived, a golden joint arrived to us as if delivered by God himself. Coco didn’t try it. After dating so many Jamaican smokers in her youth, she’d adopted some fuzzy doctrine about the do’s and don’ts of marijuana.
She never inhaled a joint that she didn’t make herself, never used a bong unless cleaned by her own hands, never touched a pipe, unless she’d bought it.
In the past, Mary and I agreed with her thought process.
And then the golden joint came. The paper encasing the leaves, shined in a bright, metallic glow. The server then explained the quality of the joint to us.
“The paper is 24 karat gold,” he’d said.
Coco put her hand up as if to say stop. “Let’s just quit the dialogue right now. I don’t think you can even smoke gold.”
He ignored the comment and continued. “The paper burns slowly for a calming effect that—”