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.


I refused to go to a party because I couldn't keep the baby hairs out of my face.


Anoche soñé sobre mis amores Sam and Melissa, casados en Genoa en lockdown. In my dream, I picked un trébol from the green gaps between the pavement, a fragile and unlikely fragment of love against the pandemic. I pressed it into their hands: mira! It’s everything we never expected to find but we’re so lucky to have it. In the bookshop, I watched mis amores madrileños say their vows on Facebook live and I wept behind the counter.


Dreamt the night before last we no longer had any copies of On Immunity by Eula Bliss in store.


Dreamt last night I saw a whale at Frankston beach. It wasn't beached but it was perilously close in the shallows. It looked like an orca to the scale of a humpback whale — but it was hard to tell — most of the time we could only see its tail and the crest of its body in the frothy waves.

NOTE:  Stage 2 Restrictions (Vic/AU) Day 13


Dreamt last night we went to one of Nina's poetry readings and as she read all the prose scattered onto the ground in golden fragments we had to capture and collect to return to her. It was the shiny imagery. There were floods or fires or days where our school homework was due incoming, so we needed the poetry whole to keep us immune, fortified, from the elements.

Stage 2 Restrictions (Vic/AU) Day 12


Dreamt last night that Haus of Dizzy prices rose from $50 to $80 and everyone thought the price increase was overdue, that her earrings were undoubtedly worth that much.

NOTE:  Stage 2 Restrictions (Vic/AU) Day 9


I was in a spaceship or a submarine. We were there to sleep for a very long time to wait out the lockdown in a dimly lit capsule, the kind that is impermeable and inescapable. We were floating through air or water, I was never sure, the movements of the ship were slow. In the hours just before sunrise I curled into the body of a boy I've never kissed but should have. Bunking in the same room was every single barista that has ever learned my name, lying, inert, staring at the ceiling. None of them could sleep. 'How can we?' one asked, 'usually we're up at this hour to make coffee.'

NOTE:  Isolation Day 67


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.

© Neptune and Manisha Anjali