Book Excerpt: Whiskey Moth
It’s a Tuesday. At least I think it’s a Tuesday. It’s starting to get dark outside
and this is usually the time I go to the Deaf Horse or I go to Cleo’s, depending on her work schedule. It’s been a week since I moved here and we already have a system. I wake up, I spend the day doing nothing, I hang out with Cleo, I make out drunkenly with Cleo, I go to sleep. This is my life. My mother would be so proud.
I have been on my laptop all day, doing nothing. I check my bank account for the thirtieth time today. It’s still twenty-three dollars and five cents. The Deaf Horse has run me dry. With every cocktail costing ten dollars, I have run out of money quick. Rent isn’t due for another three weeks, but with no real job in sight, I think back on what Cleo said about selling my underwear. I type into Google ‘how to sell your underwear’ and am rewarded with a daunting twelve million and nine hundred thousand results. I close my laptop. How hard can it be? I’ll just ask Cleo tonight. She isn’t working, and the plan is to meet at her house and watch Life Aquatic for the third time, her favorite movie. Personally, if we are going the Wes Anderson route, I’d choose Darjeeling Limited, but she says Owen Wilson is far too annoying in that movie for it to be tolerable.
I stand up and my head starts to spin. I haven’t eaten all day, except for a bag of chips that I bought from the gas station, and my body is punishing me for it. I never was very good at being healthy. My weight has significantly
yo-yoed since I was about twelve years old. I bounce between 130 and 200 pounds easily in the course of a few months, and it’s taken its toll on me. I used to punish myself by beating my body with a baseball bat when I was getting ‘fat’. You may be thinking to yourself, how in the hell did you do that?? but it is possible. Just ask your local scientist. Honestly, I’ve never been fat—even at 200 pounds my body carried the weight elegantly. It all went to my ass and breasts. But this didn’t change how I would see myself in the mirror. I would only see a big fat chunkster. I’m on the heavier side right now, but hey, at least Cleo finds me attractive.
I pull on the same dress I’ve been wearing for the past few days, the floral one that I don’t feel entirely too ooky in, and I grab my purse. The walk to Cleo’s is short and scary. Full of homeless people asking for change and muttering under their breath about how I’m a bitch for not giving them any. I step outside and light a cigarette, as per usual, and walk down 5th Avenue. I am vibrant and full of energy, probably because I’ve been sitting on the couch all day. I breathe in the fumes of exhaust from passing cars. It truly is a lovely evening to be taking a stroll in Long Beach. I wave charmingly at passing strangers, to be received with only a mild nod or two. It’s fine, I feel too giddy to be deterred by the gloom of their attitudes. I turn the corner at Pacific and I’m suddenly there. Standing in front of the three-level apartment building and waving at a brilliant, shining Cleo. I am full of it tonight. She smiles and waves back, seemingly excited to see me. In her arms is the ‘cute cat’ whose name
I finally learned, Pavlovia. She hisses and jumps down from her arms, climbing the balcony railing and sitting on the edge, glaring at me. Such a grumpy animal with a similarly grumpy name. I run up the stairs and into Cleo’s waiting arms. I am home. Well, somewhat home. I am somewhere. Somewhere that
I don’t feel out of place or unwanted. I feel okay.
Book Excerpt: Battery Acid Brain
“We will release her today only on one condition.”
“Anything, I just want to take her home.”
“She needs to see a psychologist. She refused medication here, but she needs some form of continuous treatment.”
“...A psychologist? How often?”
“At least once a week. If not more. Also, you need to stop leaving your daughter home alone.”
“Are you kidding me?! This place drained our savings! Not to mention the hospital bills to pump her stomach…How am I supposed to afford this?”ng,
I just want to take her home.”
“Holly is suffering from extreme manic and depressive episodes that suggest Bipolar 1 Disorder. She has anxiety-based hallucinations and disorganized thoughts. This is not her first suicide attempt, and if you don’t get her help and a proper diagnosis…this won't be her last. I suggest you find a way before something worse happens than a 51/50...I mean, you can always commit her and we can do more here, —”
“That won’t be necessary. I’m taking my daughter home. She’s only seventeen for God’s sake.”
I hear footsteps coming towards me and I peel my ear away from the door, springing back into the plastic chair I am supposed to be sitting in. I look
down in shame as the door swings open and my dad bursts through.
“Let’s GO, Holly.” He grabs my wrist off my lap and pulls me toward the two doors that I know lead to my freedom. The doors that I truly know will lead me back to my destruction.