on being an alcoholic

“I was a big drinker at the time. I would drink every day. I would drink alone. I thought the whole concept was so fucking cool. A great deal of what I wrote on Born to Die is about these wilderness years. When I write about the thing that I’ve lost I feel like I’m writing about alcohol because that was the first love of my life. My parents were worried, I was worried. I knew it was a problem when I liked it more than I liked doing anything else. I was like, ‘I’m fucked. I am totally fucked’. Like, at first it’s fine and you think you have a dark side – it’s exciting – and then you realise the dark side wins every time if you decide to indulge in it. It’s also a completely different way of living when you know that… a different species of person. It was the worst thing that ever happened to me” -Lana del Rey




We are under a tarp in the sunshine and you refuse to let go of the edges, wrapping it around our bodies just in case the weather changes.  No matter how many times I plead, no matter how many times I remind you that we are safe, you refuse to let us out.

You need to know that we will suffocate under this tarp if you don’t let go.

It’s not so much stuck, I’m not stuck.  Stuck looks like an inability to get out, move. Often when you’re stuck, you know where you’d like to be, you just can’t get there. I think stuck is much more frustrating. Like the other day when I was stuck in a tree. Getting unstuck is a great process, but that’s not what I need to process.

I move a lot, I change a lot, like a lot a lot.

It’s something else.

I feel like I can hear everyone else moving about in this other space, this other area– they come to me, I can’t go to them. I know this other area exists, but I can’t get to it.. but everyone thinks that I am. like that I’m already there. I get the strangest feeling. At grocery stores, at the library, at the university, at work, like I’ve somehow made it, out. And no one knows. That I’m still. Something like being on the other side of where everyone else is.

And so I think, I think, maybe I’ll understand these feelings (something like not being able to breathe the oxygen I’m told is right for me and mine) when they arrest him. Maybe that’s why I’m being contained—

or is detained?

Or is it suspended?

The Succulent and The Moss

Succulents and moss grow together on rocks.  The moss is a small plant that does not flower. Mosses require a damp and perhaps even shady environment in order to thrive. Succulents are a small flowering plant. Unlike the moss, the succulent can subsist on the moisture in the air alone.

So how exactly does the rock-side appeal to both the moss and the succulent?

If you notice, where the moss grows, the succulent does not– the boundaries between the two are clearly demarcated.

I lay down on the moss and hold a succulent in my hand, rubbing its smooth leaves against my cheek.

I listen to the commuter traffic on The Malahat, which is a 25 km stretch of roadway linking Victoria to the Cowichan Valley.

If I didn’t know any better, I’d think I was listening to waves swelling and breaking against the shore.



I lay in shavasanah, corpse pose.

I open my eyes and look at the sky outside my apartment. I watch as the clouds move, the grey becoming blue, the white becoming grey. The weather is confused again. Breathe Jess, you’re in shavasanah. Close your eyes. But Why are my flowers on the floor? Oh right, because I couldn’t close my curtains last night without them falling. I should really compost that dead rose.

I close my eyes.Clouds are extraordinary.

I think about the boat in my dream stacked with cars, sinking.

I wonder if my vacuum cleaner is broken.

I hope my floor doesn’t collapse beneath me. I feel very heavy today.

Those cookies I bought last night were delicious. I’m going to eat some when this is over.