beyond harmony

3 min readMay 11, 2022


I have become so familiar with the smell of weed, the skunky musk of pot, that I can’t smell it on myself anymore. Last night I went to the woods to smoke a joint. I had made the choice between a joint and a pack of cigarettes. I chose the lesser of two evils, but I’m no saint. I still vape.

Drug use is poetic in that it’s slow and fast, soft and hard, it takes you to places you wouldn’t be otherwise. Drug use is not poetic in that it’s only supposed to exist in the moment that it does, and is never meant to be put to paper. It’s not poetic if words are never meant to describe it.

I’m writing this because I’m betting you won’t read it. I know you’ve been waiting for this.

The smoke floats up, catches the sunlight, and instantly I am transported back to that green living room where I lay my head on your lap. Everything is so quiet now, but it was loud then. Music blasting through speakers, giggling and talking and looking at you felt loud. It was impactful. It felt so real.

It was all yellow and green. We smoked so much flower, I wish it was that good stuff we didn’t discover until later. It was so romantic. I grind coffee beans while you grind the weed. I pack the pour-over, you pack the bowl. It was synchronous, and gorgeous. I’ve already written about this before.

I want to be artistic in the way I go about this. I’ve written so many drafts, over and over. All of them trying to say something different. I’ve been impatient throughout all of this. I’m sorry, and I’m sorry for saying that I’m sorry.

I remember that beautiful sunshine distinctly. I remember the movement of your lips, the delicate conversations we had before all the arguing started. I remember the moment I realized I wanted to be with you forever, the moment that stopped being even a slight possibility. I’m having trouble letting you go.

I have dreams sometimes where I’ll wake up and want to tell you about them. You haven’t been there for me to tell in a very long while now. This isn’t a letter addressed to you, not an epistolary I’ve been waiting to give you. I’m trying to feel inspired again.

I want to feel inspired again. Not in that gnarly, caffeinated way. I want to feel inspired in a way that feels warm, soft and green. I don’t know how to write about what I’ve been through whilst avoiding cliche, so I won’t even try.

I get this feeling I’m being punished for something. Like a curse. I often think I’ve lifted it but I haven’t. I forgot that life is supposed to be good. I forgot that life can be simple. I’m starting to remember.

Out there somewhere is a girl just like me — I hope you heal. I was always told we had doubles in this universe — that no thought was ever unique. I’m starting to believe that. I wonder, if she and I have our whole lives in common, does she feel this lonely, too?

It’s like everything has changed. I forgot who I was, and I’m trying to remember. Things come back softly. Hi, my name is Isabella. My favorite food is macaroni. I’m smart. I like when my room is on the colder side as I fall asleep.

I had forgotten my independence in the midst of codependency. I should be happy that I am free; instead, I just feel lost.

What’s more true? That’s a question my therapist always asks me. What’s more true is that I’ve been trapped for a long time, and given the chance to run, I barely convinced myself to walk.

I said I wasn’t going to write about it, and I’m not. I just wonder what the rest looks like. Get a(nother) summer job, entertain yourself until you’re back on the wagon. Things are gonna change around here when I get my head clear. I’m gonna smoke less weed and I’m gonna drink less beer. I quit smoking cigarettes. I don’t know when my last one was and I’ll probably only have another one when I’m drunk.





Isabella (she/her) writes literary nonfiction and creative memoir. She is currently an undergraduate English & Creative Writing student in Raleigh, NC.