“You drank the Kool-Aid. Wait, what’s vegan for Kool-Aid? Tree sap? Well you drank the tree sap.”

Blacktress and her friend Iyanla are walking out of the Kirk Douglas Theater in Culver City after just taking in a matinee performance of a play:  The Convert, about a young girl in colonial Africa who falls hook line and sinker for Jesus and abandons her African culture for Christianity and Western ideals.

Spoiler alert:  The whole thing ends in a bloody mess.

“Damn that chick really drank the Kool-Aid didn’t she?”  Iyanla says lighting the American Spirit she bummed from a sort of cute guy standing on the corner.

Iyanla doesn’t normally smoke, but after three plus hours in the theater, the girls have gobbled up every near -edible thing in the bottom of their purses and she’s desperate for anything that might keep hunger pains at bay.

“I know.  Assimilation is a motherfucker.”  Blacktress says, “Now please let’s eat.”

Blacktress and Iyana pride themselves on being the kind of intellectual chicks who actively seek out art and culture and then discuss it over dinner instead of engaging in shallow girl talk about penis size and the Real Housewives of wherever.   At one point, they’d made a firm rule that bringing up Kim Kardashian in conversation was strictly forbidden.  But once Kim started dating Kanye West the girls decided it had become a political/sociological issue and was therefore allowed.

“Alright, time for burgers and high brow banter,” Iyanla says yanking Blacktress in the direction of one of their favorite eateries, Rush Street.

Blacktress hits the breaks on her platforms.

“I was thinking Native Foods.”   She says pointing across the street toward a vegan restaurant over flowing with hipster types.

Iyanla frowns.  “We  hate vegans.  They’re too chipper.”

Blacktress lets out a weighty sigh.  “Okay I have a confession to make.  I was trying out the vegan thing just as prep for my shoot.   But I have so much more energy and less indigestion.  So I’m gonna give it a try for real.  I am a gluten-free, raw vegan.”

Iyanla feigns gagging.  “Fuck.  You.  You sound sooooo LA right now. “

Blacktress gasps, pimp slapped by the indictment.

Iyanla cuts her eyes.  “You think I haven’t noticed you’ve become less New York and more LA?  You drank the Kool-Aid.   Wait, no, what’s vegan for Kool-aid?  Tree sap?  Well you drank the tree sap.”

Later that night Blacktress uses her new surplus of vegan energy to contemplate Iyanla’s hurtful insults.  Have I given up my culture to become like the LA douchebags  I have mercilessly talked shit about over the last four year?   Blacktress takes a mental inventory of strange and /or loathsome LA behavior that might suggest she has completely assimilated into the dominant culture:

1.)    Two months ago she went to the Hollywood Arclight during the day and didn’t even balk at the $16 dollar ticket fee.   When her friend Liz told her they should go somewhere less expensive, Blacktress replied, “Where else do they serve caramel corn and pesto sausages?”

2.)    While attending her new age church last Sunday,  the (clearly not blind or handicapped) woman next to her,  pulled out a tiny dog from her purse and sat it on her lap.  Blacktress did not slap the woman or complain or even find it all that strange.

3.)    Blacktress, herself, has given some serious thought to getting a dog small enough to fit inside of a large purse.

4.)    When she watches TV she feels compelled to point out the people on shows and commercials that she knows both personally and tangentially.

5.)    She rarely complains about traffic anymore.

6.)    She doesn’t crave NYC pizza or bagels anymore, but happily signed a petition outside of Whole Foods to demand a new gluten free girl scout cookie.

7.)    She has been known to hang out at the tonic bar in Erewhon health foods market.

8.)    When she bumps into people on the street and they ask her, how’s it going?  She assumes they mean her career.  (Because they do.)

9.)     Last week she wore flip flops outside and she wasn’t going to the beach.  And, no, they weren’t bejeweled or anything.

10.) She is a good 8-10 pounds thinner than the day she got off the plane.

11.) It took her a full three classes to become thoroughly annoyed that she was the only black person in her improv group.

12.)  Walking, as a means to transportation, seldom occurs to her.  Her neighborhood 7/11 is only three blocks away and she still drives there.

Shit, she thinks.   Just before she’s about to Google a trendy juice bar that includes tree- sap in their veggie shakes; her phone rings.   It’s the writer/director of the indie film she is scheduled to begin filming in a few days.

“So I’ve got some bad news.  And there is no good news,” he begins.  Turns out the talented hyphenate had stretched the truth on the amount of funding he had secured.

“We’re gonna have to push back filming, indefinitely until I can get my finances together,” he admits.

Blacktress  is neck deep in prep for the movie.  Her tone suggests she’s more than a little pissed off.

“How are you gonna wait right up until the last minute to tell me this?  Are you trying to say you didn’t know until just now that you didn’t have your shit together?”

Before she knows it, she’s giving the talented hyphenate more than a little piece of her mind.

Spoiler Alert:  The whole thing ends in a bloody mess.

When she hangs up the phone she realizes, I guess there’s still a little east coast down in there somewhere.

To calm herself and soothe her disappointment, she does a Youtube chakra clearing meditation, then fixes a cup of organic chamomile tea and checks her IMDB star meter.