“Losing a Whole Year” by Clara Roberts



  1. The memories come to you in ECTseizures—even the overlooked and dusty ones. A psychic told your parents before you were born that you were going to be a “hero child”.  You can say this—you are no such thing; that psychic had a dyslexic premonition.
  2. DecemberA small psych unit, your twelfth stay within four years—this time for methamphetamine psychosis. The voices in your head become muted by the benzos and anti-psychotics your distracted doctor prescribes. You traverse the hospital halls reminiscing about getting high.



  1. At another hotel. Is it night or day? You see escorting as an endless vortex of self-erasure. But the thick cash, right? When you work on your own and are addicted to drugs, all the crisp money you make goes to the drug dealer. The money is deadwood at the end of the day.
  2. January Hovering around 88 pounds.—body  by meth. You and Kevin do drugs in the tent he’s living in. He’s an intellectual, despite being a transient derelict. You always share your drugs with Kevin because you feel guilty when you keep everything to yourself.


  1. People have morally bankrupt behaviors when this compulsion disguises itself as your brain telling you to go into your mom’s magenta bedroom and steal her jewelry.
  2. “You’re not stealing thatmuch from her,” you say to yourself.

“She doesn’t even wear these things anymore,” you rationalize while guilt still burns through you.



  1. The girl’s (my) heart clings from balancing graduate school, drugs, her fiancé, other men, parents, and sickness. She gets sick when the drugs are not around, but becomes the sickest when she has them.
  2. The girl reads about Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death on her phone after she does her shot of heroin and cocaine. She wishes her speed-ball was as strong as the one her favorite actor injected at the time of his demise.



  1. At the age of 23, the girl learns that sanity is not permanent. The girl believes Baltimore is assisting in her downfall. The drug game is killing her. She is killing herself because dying is a consequence that comes with the territory. She is addicted to not only drugs, but the lifestyle—the copping, the scum-fucks who seem more unfeigned than any of her former private school friends, the dilapidated houses where she spends all day in an opiate-induced haze—a dimness that takes her to a layer of Earth where pain from the past and present do not exist.
  2. As the girl looks at the track marks stitched down her arm, her vision gets muddled; her limb does not look like one anymore. Heroin says He loves her. She loves Him too, but in a different way than how she loves Kevin, her drug boyfriend, her bodyguard, her confidante—the lover who kisses and licks the blood streaming down either of her arms. The girl fakes a smile and welcomes death as her outcome.


Clara Roberts is a graduate of the MA in Writing Program at Johns Hopkins University. Her nonfiction work and poetry have been published in Adelaide Literary Magazine, From Whispers to Roars, Gravel Magazine, Heartwood Literary Magazine, and trampset journal. She lives in Baltimore where she finds material every day to write about in her journal.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s