Naarm/Melbourne / Bookseller

Emily Westmoreland is a bookseller and writer. Her work has appeared in Global Hobo and the Australian Multilingual Writing Project. She enjoys long walks on the beach.


It was Christmas, not Christmas, an occasion to celebrate over a big pot luck meal. Everyone had been instructed to BYO vegan pie to share. We stood two arms lengths away from each other in a beige living room made cosy only by the prominence of a fire place. A boy I'd met at a festival offered to cut into my pie. He slided through its crust to reveal rainbow layers of vegetables. It was the same kind of elaborate and ostentatious rainbow cake people instagram for birthdays or pride, only instead of sponge and articifical food colouring, it was beetroot, sweet potato, cabbage and greens.


I dreamt Dad came to join us for our lockdown, having finally escaped (as we referred to it in conversation) the apocalypse of the USA's rising death toll and privatised health sector. ‘You don't have any meat in the house?’ he asked. My Mum, sister and I are all veggie. I came back to the kitchen an hour later to find him rinsing a satchet of cat food onto a perfect semi-sphere of boiled white rice. His voice said, ‘what?’ but his eyes knew he'd been sprung acting out of a desperation he could never explain to the rest of us.

NOTE: Self-isolation (Day 48)


Dreamt last night I was married to the author of the only comprehensive guide to Wetherspoon's carpets. We went to book launches together, drank cheap lager or wine and smiled at each other across rooms. We had become one of London's indie-lit-scene power couples.


I moved into a new a block of flats where I would meet my friends prior to our trip to Vienna. We weren't going to Vienna but pretended we were and referred to our destination only as 'Vienna' or 'Wein'. To get there we had to cross a small but ferocious urbanised river on a cable car system this town used at public transport. It cost 2 euros per person to cross. Sat down for a coffee with my friends to discuss the cost of living in Copenhagen and the possibility of hosting Dinner Parties on Instagram so we wouldn't miss out during lockdown. There were small granules of coffee at the bottom of my cup when we had finished.


Last night I dreamt I was in quarantine. I wanted to sit in the garden and thought I might need some sunscreen. I went into my sister's bathroom cupboard, not having any toiletries of my own, but only found some SPF 15+ moisturiser. I rubbed it on my face.

Outside, face burning, my sister gasped at me. ‘Omg! What have you done!’ My face had come up in a red, spotty, angry rash. The moisturiser was nettle based and in my dream I was allergic.

‘Where can you find a doc leaf in Australia?’ I lamented, knowing there would be none to be found. I sat and stung all over, and woke up dehydrated.

NOTE:  This was Day 7 Quarantine.

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