The 5th installment of The Devil Inside Me, LaLaLand, Josh has been sober for a few weeks, arrives in LA and starts off his stay doing all the right things. After a random encounter with Fabio, Josh makes a major life-altering decision that will change the course of his life forever.
The Devil Inside Me is a real-life, twisted account of Joshua T. Berglan’s life that led him to lose his kids, sanity, freedom, health, money, homes, trust, and hope.
What happens in someone’s life that they end up in jail 6 times, bankrupt twice, OD multiple times, get HIV, divorced 3 times, end up homeless, and become a chemsex addict?
Where did it all go wrong?
How could things have been different?
What are the consequences of living a lie?
What happens when one directly defies God and the purpose they were created for?
The Devil Inside Me episodics gives a detailed and uncensored look into Joshua’s life, his double life, and takes a spotlight directly to his shadow world.
The Devil Inside Me “LaLaLand”
I had been to California so many times in the last year that I had established enough friendships and business relationships to feel comfortable there, but this was different. Pulling around those mountains to merge onto the 405 sent a surge of energy through my spine. I had been sober for several days, other than weed that is, but I don’t really count that as a drug…at least there had been no meth or blow. I was motivated, pumped up, and ready to take on the world.
After stopping for gas, I programmed my GPS to take me to Equinox, to workout. As soon as I walked through those doors I felt like I had entered a brand new world. The energy of that place was THE drug. I can do this, I thought. This is the life I wanted, to be surrounded by THIS energy all the time. I felt alive and I wanted more. I had the best workout that day. I am not sure if it was the pre-workout hitting me in some kind of way or if being surrounded by celebrities, supermodels and the most beautiful people on the planet, had something to do with it.
While doing abs Fabio came over and asked me if he could jump in and do a few sets. I started laughing to myself because there I was working out with the dude I grew up seeing on the cover of every romance novel known to man and now he was asking me questions. What a trip! “I am from Oklahoma City.” I told him. His response caught me off guard. “I went to Norman once. The women are big there” he said. I almost told Fabio to go fuck himself. He had to be crazy; then again he was probably used to cocaine skinny models. At least he wasn’t making fun of me, so I let it go. Although our conversation was brief, I felt a strange sense of pride wash over me. I started to believe I could actually make it there.
A long hot shower felt good, but afterwards I felt intimidated because 90 percent of the men in the locker room looked like they just walked out of a magazine cover. I was feeling really self conscious about my own body but I was also triggered and immediately started craving drugs. I was not aroused but a blood lust for drugs hit me in that instant. Of course I knew what that meant. I ignored it the best I could, tried distracting myself, and left the gym as quickly as possible.
As soon as I walked out the door, feeling the heat of the sun, hot on my face, felt like heaven. Around 4pm California time, I called my girlfriend and told her I was staying in California. I was home, I knew it. I knew I belonged here and I was going to make a life for myself here. I told her if she wanted to join me she should sell everything in the house and come.
Although she had her own house, I used some inheritance money, after my father’s death, to get a big place for us to share. Later, I invited my best friend and his girlfriend to move in with us. I was so caught up in my own plans, I didn’t even have the courage to tell my friend. I made her be the one to let them know they had to go. When she told me she was down to move, I was so excited about the new life we were going to have in Los Angeles. It was a dream come true.
LA made so much more sense for me to build a skincare business anyway, and the weather was AMAZING! I went to the apartment I had rented on AirBnB and began searching for other options to stay at until she arrived. I found a house in the Hollywood Hills with a killer view. Although it was a little pricey for a room to rent, I justified it by telling myself “you are not doing drugs or drinking, you deserve a nice place to stay” and booked the room.
I had another week before I could move in, but I was excited, motivated, and started to feel good about life again. It did not take long for me to start creating momentum. In a matter of days I made a few big sales, and locked in some new large volume accounts. Halfway through the week I had been invited to a few red carpet style events. I fell into an opportunity to sponsor the ESPY awards with my skincare line. The momentum could not have picked up any faster. I was more certain than ever I would make my dreams come true in this magical city and nothing or no one would get in my way.
Driving up to the Hills in West Hollywood for the first time was a horrifying experience. There were no lanes, a million blind spots, and besides dodging cars coming down the hill, I almost died running into a parked dump truck trying to enjoy what I could see of the view. When I first saw the house, I was shocked at how small it looked from the front. I ran up to the door and as I got closer the door opened to a very nice gentleman who welcomed me warmly. Once the door was open, I was in absolute awe. Where did all this house come from?, I thought. From the front, it looked like a modest 1,200 square foot home. From the inside it appeared to be a mega mansion. It was gorgeous. The view of the city, from the balconies, was unlike anything I had ever seen.
The nice gentleman who welcomed me also owned the house. He told me he was rarely home but he did have another person renting his guest house who came into the main house every once in a while. It did not take long for me to meet the person renting the guest house. We hit it off immediately. I found him fascinating because of his background in banking (in England), and now working in the entertainment industry. After getting to know him a bit, I gave him a bottle of my skincare line to try out, with hopes of him giving it to his friends in the industry.
As the weekend approached, with my feelings about life greatly improved, my mind started to wander with thoughts about this guy being the perfect partner for my girlfriend and I. This is what she wanted right? A cool, normal, guy who was intelligent, good looking, and would be into both of us?
I did not know his sexuality, but I felt a vibe. Was that vibe for me, was it chemistry? What was this? Why do I see this guy as someone who I can be friends with but also be attracted too? I had not been attracted to many guys sober so this was new for me. The next time I ran into him he was getting some stuff out of the fridge and we engaged in conversation. Maybe he IS flirting with me? My mind began to see images of my girlfriend and him pleasuring me, her, us pleasing each other.
Like a shot of adrenaline, I felt it come alive inside me. I knew what this meant and in what felt like an out of body experience, I asked him if he ever played with couples.
“You mean like 2 guys?”
“Oh so you are gay? I did not know, but I actually meant a guy and a girl couple.”
“Yeah that can be hot, but I prefer men”
“Yeah that’s fun too. Do you ever party and play?” I asked.
“Yeah sometimes, when I do not have to work.”
“We should do that sometime.” I said.
Friday finally arrived and by 11am I was already starting to get amped up for debauchery yet I fought myself because I had been sober for weeks now and was doing amazing. Business was good and I felt great, but I deserve to have some fun, right?
I went to my favorite bar on Sunset Boulevard, the Saddleback Ranch and had a few tequilas and a small bite to eat in an attempt to keep me from getting drunk too fast. Maybe a little blow won’t hurt, I thought to myself and sent the housemate a message. He said it took a day to get but he would have some for me Saturday. I was bummed and ended up heading home before I got out of control drunk. The anticipation was killing me because it had felt like ages since I partied.
As Saturday rolled around, the housemate started messaging me every hour to update me about progress. With each text my heart jumped out of my chest in anticipation of what may come of the night. Finally the one I had been waiting on.
“On my way.”
Cutting up that first line made me nervous. I felt expectations on me. With each line that I did, the more horny and uncomfortable I got because the housemate may have been more ramped up than I was. I had a routine I liked to stick to when I did drugs. My ritual made me feel safe and allowed me to enjoy myself. That was all out of whack now and I began to feel tremendous anxiety.
“Do you have any porn down here?” I asked as we walked down the stairs, on the outside of the main house, to his guest home.
“No but you can use your ipad or laptop for some.”
I told him I would be right back so I could grab it and ran upstairs to catch my composure. Porn always helped me get comfortable, and prepared me for debauchery, so getting my laptop was a must. I got on my computer and fired up MMF porn to get more excited about playing with him because at that moment I really was not into it. I was nervous like it was my first time, or was it guilt I felt? As each scene played out my bulge began to grow and the more aroused I got.
“Where are you?” he texted.
“I will be right down.”
Right then my phone rang and it was a video call from my girlfriend.
Nervously, I answered, “Hi babe! How are you?”
“I am good. I have not heard from you so I thought I would call and say hi. I miss you.”
“I miss you too.”
The housemate knocked at my bedroom door and as he opened the door, my girlfriend asked “who is that?”
“No one babe, it is just the guy who lives in the guest house.”
“What does he want?”
Stammering now as the cocaine started to really kick in, I had glanced at the door and tried to shoo him away.
“Are you doing cocaine?”
“No babe no. Not at all. I am still sober. I promise you.”
“What is that hanging out of your nose?”
“Nothing, what are you talking about?” Knowing full well that I had a rock in my nose, I could feel it.
“Tell me what is going on now!” She demanded.
“Josh, are we doing this or not? Hurry up” the housemate said…not helping my situation at all.
“Josh, FUCK YOU, you fucking cheater. We are done. Have a nice life!” and she disconnected the call.
Normally I would have called back a hundred times but now the houseguest was fully in my room bringing me a fat line to do. I was still so nervous, especially knowing that I had been caught cheating or at least the girlfriend thinks I am cheating. Line after line and with every penetration I saw on the screen, the more ramped up I got.
Now fully geeking out on blow, I got completely undressed and allowed all of my worries to drift away as the cocaine took over my system.
Over the course of the next few days the housemate and I hooked up more. With each time I felt closer to him. In between sessions I tried calling my girlfriend, but she would not answer. As I got further into the week, I started to feel guilty for what I had done. A sudden phone call from my girlfriend shocked me especially when she said “I believe you but I want you to leave that house. I am on my way there but I want you to find a new place to stay.”
I felt so much relief to have her back but I was also sad to leave. I loved the house, of course, and I had made a real friend too, but I messed things up by having sex with him. Had I waited, I may have had the perfect situation. Like everything else I did, I wrecked it. My guilt drove me to sobriety again and I found a new place to stay for the next few weeks until my girlfriend arrived.
Although I left the Hollywood Hills, I found myself in Beverly Hills at the guest house of an international celebrity, and with that meeting, my life in LA changed forever. Maybe God had a plan for me after all.
Next Episodic “HIV”
by Joshua T Berglan and Jessica Linn