Colony of Losers- Fuck Stigma and Mental Illness, I'm like 25

Surviving your Quarter Life Crisis and becoming an adult

Flight of the Alacorn#1

Posted on | June 28, 2011 | No Comments

Steph Unicorn Flight of the Alacorn#1
By Kayla Layes

December 6th, 2009

The first thing I see when I wake up is my girlfriend in Unicorn form.  Mounted on her wall is the portrait in oil paints I commissioned for our two-month anniversary. The actual girl lies to the side of me lost in sleep.

She’s gotten used to sleeping with an insomniac. Has accomplished the miracle of getting me back to sleep when I wake up in the middle of the night. This time it wasn’t necessary.


Shit. I wanted to sleep in.

Every morning I wake up at 8 no matter how much sleep I’ve had. According to my doctor it is important to establish a sleep routine. As such she has assigned me a bedtime.

Following my doctor’s advice I also doubled my dose of trazodone and managed to sleep all the way through.

Today I feel like I have woken up stuck in slow motion.

I often lie in bed longer than I should. Looking over at the blond hair covering her closed eyes, chest rising and falling with every relaxed breath I found myself unable to move. Stuck in that same feeling I got when I first met her. As if the rest of life was just a dream that I had when I wasn’t with her.

Only today I’m lying in bed and can’t seem to get up. I need to go to the bathroom but I lack the will to make my body move. Most people who go on medication will tell you that they don’t feel like themselves. This is especially true right now. The fast pace jump of my thoughts have slowed to a crippled crawl.

The first thing I lost to mental illness was the morning.

Whether I was too drugged to be myself or too anxious to be good company I had to leave her house almost immediately upon waking up. When I got sleep I woke up buzzing with anxiety, unable to calm myself.  In the beginning of our relationship we made miso soup, elaborate breakfasts constructed of meats from last night’s dinner and multiple different types of juice while she did the crossword and I taunted her by figuring out the nine letter word first.

Today I kissed her goodbye and made my way to my favorite greasy spoon. Sitting like a zombie with one of my best friends in the world.

The Spartan is my home away from home. I have gone for the same breakfast thousands of times with thousands of different people. I never place an order, I just come in and they know. The old ladies who run the joint call me their son.

They kiss me on the cheek and ask how I am. They have noticed the change in me and don’t quite know what to do.  The smallest of old ladies is like my second grandmother, practiced in getting orders wrong and being the most adorable old lady in the world.  Lately she hugs me a little longer than usual and doesn’t charge me full price.  My friend has become a regular and also orders the same thing every time. A year ago she changed her eggs from scrambled to fried. It was a big event and caused a lot of trouble.

My friend is a beautiful Indian girl named Kavita who for many years has been the first person I call when I feel fucked up.  Growing up in Halifax I have had next to no friends that weren’t white. She was my second friend of a different ethnicity. The first happened to be her Cousin who I used to play Axis and Allies with in junior high school. She doesn’t play Axis and Allies. She listens to Tupac and excels in school. She knows more about basketball and cars than I do. She is a pretty girl who would make a better guy than I do.

When my girlfriend went to Victoria to compete in the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word and I spent the week watching movies with Kavita. Saying nothing and not needing to.

She once put a female crack head into a chokehold to stop her from hitting me.  That story is long and will be told at a later date. But we have something special. Complete honesty with the knowledge that whatever we say the other person won’t get up and leave.  The rare exception to the rule that says men cannot be close to women without wanting to fuck them.

“You look fucked,” she says.


“You weren’t even paying attention,” she says.  “You didn’t laugh once during my story.”

“Was it funny?” I ask.

“Hilarious,” she says. “Plus I’m wearing a low cut shirt and you aren’t even awkwardly trying not to look. What does a Hindu have to do to get attention?  Anything wrong?”

“Drugs, drugs, drugs,” I say.

“What are you on now?” she asks.


She takes psychology and this isn’t an idle question. She’ll spend some time after breakfast looking up my meds to see if the doctor knew their shit.

“They use that on senior citizens to get them to go to sleep.”

“I’m an old man,” I say.

“Yeah you look haggard.”

“Baby face is going,” I say.

“Replaced with a bitter old man without an attention span.”

“Thanks,” I say.

“I’ll still love you,” she says.

“Yeah I’d love you if you constantly shat yourself,” I say. “Still it sucks shitting yourself.”

“You don’t seem like yourself,” she says.

“My attention span is gone,” I say.

“You been writing?”

“No,” I reply.

“You really should start doing something.”

“I can’t concentrate.”

“Maybe you need some different meds,” she says.


“Try something else then,” she says.  “And start writing.”

“I can’t.”

I’ve been stuck on the first page of the screenplay for a month. Weed used to punch through writers block and withdrawal has gotten me ADD and scared of empty pages.

“I can’t think of anything outside of this and I can’t give this anymore time,” I say.

“Not true,” she says.

“And what else is there?” I ask.

“Her,” she says. “You still look like a love struck retard when you talk about her. Christmas is almost here. Why don’t you write her some sappy poem? Prolly get you laid.”

“I’m sick of writing poetry,” I say. “I want to write a story.”

“Write a story about happy shit?”

“It ain’t easy to think of,” I say.

“If it’s easy it probably isn’t worth saying,” she replies.

Inspiration comes to my slow as shit mind.  The Unicorn staring at me on the wall. A story about that. I’ve done poems, a rap album but never a book. Something more about her than about how I feel. Her life as a Unicorn.


“Alright, what?” she asks.

“I’ll do it,” I say. “I am going to write something and it’s going to be about happy shit.”


“For her Christmas present.”

“Aren’t you Jewish?”

The empty pages haunt me. Seems like I can fill my whole life with the space between inspiration and action.

My attention span goes in and out. Writing involves losing my self and letting words pour out. I’m hard to lose these days.

I tell myself not to get up from the keyboard. Write the first thing that comes to my mind.

You can do this. I pick a title.  The Last Unicorn. Just for now. I’ll change it later to avoid copyright infringement.

I can write it if I just think about her. In a very real way she has been the greatest muse in my entire life. First she took words away from me. I couldn’t write because I was too happy to want to escape my life.

Ultimately thinking about her reminds me that my worries over my life are baseless. I don’t know what I’m capable of. What I thought was impossible slept me next to me every night, choosing to be with me even when I couldn’t sleep and sometimes made it impossible for her to do so.

I would write her a dream. Suddenly words started to come. Somehow loves exists even in the most horrifying depths of myself. The words weren’t easy and I wrote them when I could barely think. But I think they are beautiful.

Because they’re about her.


“The Alacorn is the only fabulous beast that does not seem to have been conceived out of human fears. Since the earliest references she has been portrayed as fierce yet good, selfless yet solitary, but her mysterious beauty remains unchanging.”

The Beginning

There are very few moments where God looks upon the world and concentrate exclusively on just one thing, just one time, just one space.

After all, with the zillions of prayers uttered toward his many names he has a very difficult time of paying attention to anything at all.

It is no surprise that God, like Stephen Hawking, has a blinding case of ADD. But one day something came forth that had, in the entirety of time,  never existed before. More impressive than any star, sonata or sorrow, came this bliss completely foreign.

It was November 6th, 1984 and a very special thing was about to unfold.

On this day he needed all the background noise to cease for one moment so he could focus.

Wars stopped in mid-massacre.  Bullets became blanks. Domestic disputes became sexual experimentation. People of all types from the Lizards of Leonardo to the deranged militants of the United States of America stopped their murderous self- indulgent madness and for the minute saw the error of their ways. Words could be taken back. The past could return to the present. The future ceased to terrorize.

In the galaxies of Lunus, filled with premature ejaculators and psychotically fertile women, there were approximately four billion children conceived in the span of that one 60 second interval. In their history, it was called the Baby Big Bang.

Flowers of all types bloomed, wildly out of season across the galaxy filling the air with pollen and petals. Believe it or not, for one whole minute life was only added to the universe, joy multiplied and grief temporarily extinguished. There was no death, no end of love, just blossoming and beginning, as though heaven came to the temporal realm realizing all it desired was already there.

Picture, if you will for but a moment, a universe of peace.

In the background of an all white hospital room in the freezing cold city of Edmonton  plays “No More Love on the Run” by Billy Ocean.

Over the last few days this classic hit had climbed to number one on the US charts and baby brother Canada was following in the Billy Ocean inspired madness.  Copies of Time Magazines advised people to mind their manners, though the creature that would be born on this day would permanently refuse to do so for the entirety of her life.

A strangely inappropriate pop  music single was released by a woman who called herself Madonna.  This little ditty was titled “Like a Virgin.” No one noted the irony of this song’s release on the most sexual day of the year.

For now pay attention to Betty’s controlled breathing, tired, exhausted and ready to give life to one of the truest mysteries in the galaxies.

She wasn’t swearing or demanding drugs or cursing her husband.  She was hungry and wished she had a pizza. Her husband Paul was too tired to get it for her.

As two proud parents waited in a hospital room, Ronald Reagan won another term in office, thumping Walter Mondale in both the popular vote and the electoral college.

This mattered little.

Betty’s water broke as a young nurse made an attempt to bring her to a new room to deliver her baby.

As Betty walked down the hallway, a babe began to fall out between her thighs.

The nurse hadn’t planned on this birth being this quick.

It was only through a miracle that this special baby was not “special” for an entirely different reason.

Most babes would have landed on their soft spots and saved their parents the price of university tuition.

However, THIS was not an ordinary little girl. Most children are not born with a magical and quite retractable horn, especially not one that that would stab into the floor and keep the child balanced between her mother’s clutching thighs.

Her name was Stephanie and this is appropriate for her name meant Crown and it was the horn pointing out of her crown that saved her life.

It was this child that gave us that one singular moment of universal peace.

You see, so long ago, magic had died in the many billions of worlds.

For one fleeting moment God needed silence to see the one thing in all of his universes that baffled him. Indeed how could he miss it?

This is the story of the Alacorn that was born a girl and would become a legend.

For a moment the universe stopped.

Simply to look at you.

The Girl who would teach a poor fool what love is.



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    Michael Kimber is a 26-year-old journalist who suffered a nervous breakdown on November 3rd, 2009. On March 28th, 2010 when he recovered from mental illness, he began writing a blog called Colony-of-losers. About falling on your face to figure out who you are and the hilarious antics of a blond jew. What began with a few friends and his mother reading has become a cult phenomenon, averaging 10,000 views a week, receiving praise from Commonwealth Award Winner Shandi Mitchell and many others. On, November 3rd, 2010, the one year anniversary of his mental breakdown he signed with Anne McDermid and Associates, the largest literary agency in Canada. In a year he went from wearing pajamas, making his couch depression HQ to leaving his hometown for the Toronto, where he exclusively wears business suits and the armor of ancient Greeks. Don't worry, he's still choking on the feet he contently sticks in his mouth and making moments awkward just by being part of them. During these struggles he met other talented bastards and drew them into his circle. Peter Diamond became his illustrator. Patrick Campbell his video editor and part time photographer. He recently added the incredibly talented John Packman as Colony of Losers Toronto photographer. Without the support of the Colony of Losers, Michael Kimber would be nothing. Welcome to the losers and the success that comes from utter and complete failure. You aren’t alone. Follow him on If you’d like to hire him for a public speaking engagement for mental health events in Toronto, like to arrange an interview, offer millions to publish his book or for another reason contact Michael please email him. And join his facebook Colony of Losers.

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