“In some way, everything I do is inspired by love and loss…I think in some way I’m always seeking to heal myself from loss, seeking new experiences of love.” – Dream Rockwell


Fiction. Based on a True Love Letter Unsent.

by Mingjie Zhai

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.


Dear Rylie,

Maybe you are sadistic because you secretly hate women for manipulating, controlling, and deceiving you through the many selfish, self-serving women you’ve already come across.

Alcohol is a dis-ease, a curse that runs among the family bloodlines, and a curse that has passed down to you and me.



One means yes in Gaelic and the other means love in Chinese. Both are one in the same, the way our genes of ism is also one in the same.

You’ve been around too many controlling women to know one on an instinctual level and you were spot on when you told me that you knew who I am. You are right. I am all those women and then some.

You had imagined that I would carry you around on a leash like I do with Roxy. You did not realize that I was leashing her only to please society. Given to our own devices, Roxy would be following me wherever and I would be following her wherever. We are in our respective flows when we find new places to hike and explore. Roxy is actually is my best friend and we go everywhere together. We both heal and calm each other in a world too confusing, chaotic, and unpredictable, and we thoroughly enjoy each other’s company.

She cuddles up to me every morning and night. We comfort each other in our anxieties.

When we were working together at the coffee shop, you were talking with a man working behind the counter who was a biology university student who became a coffee shop barista, which is a fancy word for making drinks for minimum wage, because he has a wife and kid to support. He had uprooted from Australia, but once upon a time ago he had dreams of becoming a marine biologist, perhaps making scientific breakthroughs for humanity or whales or both. His wife and the mother of his child wanted to move to Los Angeles so she can study acting. He loved her and their family so much, he was willing to forfeit his dreams to  follow her here.

When you heard his story, you were overwhelmed with pity for him.You were a bit appalled by his actions. You thought love is perhaps a mental illness. People take actions contrary to what is sound reasoning.   You thought it a travesty that a man would give up his own dreams just to follow a woman to a foreign place and you thought perhaps she used the baby as leverage to trap a man. Sad, you thought.

On our way out of the coffee shop, you had told me that there was a woman who had gotten pregnant with an engineer friend of yours and since her pregnancy, she had used the baby as leverage to boss him around and treat him like a man servant. You felt terror and pity in all the men who were trapped by controlling, unsatisfied, and unloving women.

And when I dropped a poetic stanza via email the following day of how I could see our babies having a mixture of brown and blue eyes, how I could see the boy in you in our child, to perhaps make up for the email of rejection the night before, as a reaction to your assumption that I did not love you after dropping the truth that I did love you via a Facebook messenger text, you told me to stay away from you.

You blocked me.

What you did not see behind the scenes of the Australian man’s barista-hood was the labor of love and respect he had for his partner and the creation of a love child. What you do not see is how his son has transformed the man from boyhood into manhood. What you do not see is a newfound spiritual revival and awakening in the blessing of stewarding a family. He is the captain of the ship, the solid ground upon which people who love him rely on his existence to survive. He has a true purpose. Love. I now realize what an amazing blessing both our mothers and fathers have received by their creating us.

You feared me as you should fear me. I do not have a good history. My resume of wife, fiancé, and girlfriend is that of what you most feared, manifested in codependency run riot. Like you, I have abandonment issues. That’s why you gaslit me. And I became the mirror for you so you can see yourself in the act of manipulating me.

Perhaps we were in exact alignment in our convergence—both in full blown manic depressive, fear based insecurity, and chemical addiction. You have given me a truth about myself that forced me to face the reality of where I am. I was not in a good place when you had met me. I had almost gotten caught drinking and driving, I had blackout drunk sessions, and I would wake up with strangers whose name I would not remember. It was the left hand path that only lead to delusions and illusions. Darkness was waiting for me as I was on the hinge of being swallowed up by it again.

I thought I was rescuing you when the truth of the matter is that you were rescuing me. Your pithy honesty hit me like a sucker punch to a black magic spell. I credit it to true love’s first second kiss.

I could only thank you by providing lengthy proses. Everything I said in those letters to you are true. The only lie I had told to you was when I had texted you that I do not love you. It was hurt ego. I’m self-centered, self-serving, and full of self-loathing. That’s why I completely understand why you reacted the way you reacted.

With disgust and pure terror.

It’s the way I react when I see how ugly I’ve become when I look in the mirror. My reaction is also the look of disgust and pure terror.

I am a truth seeker and because my first loyalty is loyalty to the truth, it jars you when I don’t play the game that we all play in the dating games. How can I not tell you the truth when love is present and the present of any way of being is the truth?

You are afraid of the truth because you operate in delusion the way I operate in delusion. We are both delusional thinkers with our stinking drinking thinking. Therefore, truth jolts us.

The truth is that we both fear love.

When you texted me back, “If you don’t stop, I will contact your family,” I knew two things in that moment. One, you wanted the upper hand. Two, you still love me. And when you actually did follow through with your threat, I knew the latter was more true than the former. Even as I am writing this letter, I could feel your love for me. I’m sure you still fantasize over what could have happened should you have gone to the showcase that fateful day when a strange person came to your work around lunch time to provide you lunch on my behalf. Then a few hours later, a second person came with a drink and a letter to gift you, jarring you out of the banality of your work life. You were shocked that a woman would have the audacity to do something sweet for you. It was invasive.

More so, it was invasive to your hardening heart.

I know your heart and it is as deep, dark, hateful, self-loathing, and terrifying as mine.

And I still love you because it is the kind of heart that I am familiar with.

The more you call me crazy, the more fond of me you are becoming of me. I grow on you like ivy—poison ivy—but you are already building the anti-venom through constant exposure. Your whole history is one big formulating into the alchemy of producing the anti-venom for all the women whom you have loved, worked so hard for, toiled so hard for, and teased to please so hard for. For whom you desire the most more than anything in the world is to rescue the women you love so that they may be cured of the dis-ease of self.

You can’t rescue me, but you can certainly inspire me.

I can’t rescue you, but I can likewise still inspire you by acting in truth and towards the mission that had attracted you and I together in the first place.

It’s not over until the fat lady sings.

And we’re still in Act I. I still have a producer’s playbook to focus on, including journaling from the very interviews I’ve produced, whilst journaling my journey in various multimedia formats in the honoring of my own self-work.

Everything related to The Love Story is an act and a cry to heal myself from loss and to seek new opportunities to love. Dream is a blessing. Her openness, her willingness to be so broken open in her authenticity, and her stand for truth inspires me to take the baton and continue running with Prometheus’ fire, carrying the groundwork for others to begin their hero’s journey as I continue onwards with mine, including and especially with the shadow work that must be done to live through to Act II: Call to Adventure of the Hero’s journey.

Go there.

The same day you told me that Brigham Young University is haunted you had also requested that I pray for you. You said that you were certain that you were going to  hell. I had shown you the personal testimony of John Ramirez, revealing the glory and reckless love of God made manifest through Jesus Christ, who intervened on his behalf when he was on the train to hell.

You, who had once walked away from God because he could not deliver your prayers like a vending machine; You, who cursed God for allowing this sick joke in a sick game to play out; You, perhaps turning a willful blind eye to the truth that the power of judgement was chosen among our human kind and we have created havoc among ourselves by judging everything, and yet expect God to clean up the mess that we have made; You, with the unreasonable expectations that God would break His character of love as a choice by forcing certain people, events, and things to happen for you or else He’s not a good God! You, who thinks it had to be your way or the highway, so your soul choose to vagabond, perhaps hitchhike wanderlust for awhile. You, who is the manifestation of the projection I’ve made up about you in this fiction, based on a true letter to you.






The loneliness is your blanket and the wild unknown is the food for the void that feels like your soul, but is not. Rather, that is the illusion. It is the spell that you are now under? And who but you have casted your own spell? Who but yourself hexed you from all those nights of cursing God, cursing existence, cursing the empty meaninglessness of chaos? You have the power of God’s judgement, so you have the power of making, breaking, and freezing.


The absence of Love.


Love is a choice.

I had invited you to meet Dr. Jordan Peterson. It would have changed your life but you were too stuck on ego and winning. Showing off and rat racing in the one-up-man ship that is your reality. I told you that the metal doors on the concrete floors of K-town were dangerous to walk on so you jumped on it just to prove me wrong. I tell you I love you so you gaslight me, dismiss me, and make yourself out to be the biggest asshole just to prove me wrong. I express my deepest stirrings of my heart and you make that out to be crazy for showing up in love. I send you food and you dismiss it as psychotic. I sober up yet you pretend you had nothing to do with transforming me, helping me, inspiring me. You don’t give yourself enough credit as to how much you have inspired and impacted my life. I am half a year sober thanks to you. I attend anonymous meetings everyday and hear bits and pieces of your story and mine thanks to you.

You and I have met in a time we were both playing the underground man (reference in Dr. Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life), and I had prayed for God to deliver you from hell. That was six months ago. Turns out when I had prayed for your deliverance, He had simultaneously delivered me from my version of hell. Hell is being alone, isolated, miserable, resentful, full of self-pity, self-loathing, angry, irritable, and restless. Hell is no matter where I am, I still have to deal with me, and I’ve been avoiding me.

Truth is, when I met you I desperately needed help. But I am both a swift chameleon and a good actress. I can pretend on Instagram, Facebook, and Linkedin that my life is just peachy, but the truth is I am lonely, bitter, and terrified of true intimacy, consistency, and love.

You caught me when you discovered that I was actually a terrified mouse pretending to be a vicious cat and perhaps you were more terrified because you were looking into a mirror darkly. I was terrified looking into a beautiful and terrifying mirror that is you.

Truth is, I can not help anyone else at a time when I can barely help myself. Nobody can help me because I have a pride that is so wide, there is no room for anybody else to enter and have a conversation with me. I’ve shut the door, emptied myself into nothing, and have gotten used to the exponential kinetic energy of gravity pulling me down deeper into hell.

Our true love’s second kiss broke that spell en route to hell for me.

I can only continue praying for you, and I can love you from wherever I am. I am just as stubborn, arrogant and blind, but I know I can convert that energy into faith and give my entire will over to God. I can admit powerlessness so that I can pass the ball over to God to act on my behalf. My faith is now stubborn, arrogant, and blind. It beats fear.

I discovered faith through the way of hell revelation.

I believe that this is the path that you have chosen as well.

Hell revelation are for the bold, curious, and stubborn. It is seeing evil for what evil is and from the depths of knowing pure malice, we cry out to God to reveal Himself and help us intervene. That is the path I am most familiar with, and knowing you as me, then for you, so be it.

I can only walk my spiritual path and keep showing up as a mirror for you, not because you want it, but because you need it. You had asked me to pray for you so I asked heaven to deliver you from hell. Now heaven is operating its miracles to shift the realities for you and I so that you and I may be, once again, delivered from evil.

Thank you for loving me enough to tell me my ugly truth. Today, I am 180 days sober. I think about the higher versions of ourselves everyday. God reminds me of our higher goals by putting in my path a beautiful couple, Mimi and Fred, two soulmates loving and living into their higher conscious states at the Sedona place I was staying at. Across from my bedroom is another couple and today I saw the woman put her arms around her man whilst he was playing the piano. I thought about how you play the guitar, and I had imagined myself standing over your shoulders while you play, serenading me and our future family.

I now go to 12 step meetings and I’m reading Melody Beattle’s Codependent No More, so I can learn how to be with you in spirit and continue being happy on my path whilst loving you the way you deserve to be loved, near and far. I’m learning how to love you because God knows that I have already imprinted on you the moment I saw that painting at the Norton Museum. I hold space for the blues, golds, and greens. Every scene of pastoral beauty I imagine the parallel version of a possibility of our world traveling together, walking many variations of woods, across time, space, and distance the way we had walked down our first wood in Angeles Forrest.

I know that the answer is in the call to adventure. I know that the answer is in the Hero’s journey. And I know that somewhere along this timeline, our higher versions of ourselves will meet again as we continue along our path into the call. By then, our love making will have already been elevated from souls that have already been elevated.

Sincerely yours,


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