“with my name on it” by Julia on the overground


Monday December 29, 2014
9:14pm
5 minutes
Little Lord Love
Mary Oliver


It’s mine, it’s mine, can I have it, will you give it, it’s mine, I’m behind, can I will it, can I kill it, will you let it, high and set it, a thousand dreams to forget it, it’s mine, all the time, can I drink it, can I sink it, it’s mine, with my name, can I own it, can I show it…

Sebbie had a crazy way of looking at the world. She was cold a lot. In her bones. So she didn’t know when she was uncomfortable or just unlucky. Instead of saying “it happened for the best” Sebbie goes out of her way to say “it happened for the worst”. I don’t know anyone who goes out of her way to say the “worst” of anything, but Sebbie did. She was trying to stay strong and good and alive and alert. She was trying to win the game of life, and by being a bit nutty, a bit realistic, she believed she was doing it. She was never good at sharing. She had a possession problem. She wanted everything to say her name and to have her fingerprints all over it. She wanted to prove she owned something in this life, not that you can take it with you anyway, but in case you could…she wanted it.

“Ann hasn’t spoken to anyone for a month” by Julia on the overground


Sunday December 28, 2014
4:29pm
5 minutes
rom an AgeUK overground ad /em>


Oh it’s not personal, Lizzie, she doesn’t talk to anyone anymore. She’s always been a quiet girl and that’s nothing against you, okay? You’ve got to get good at not taking her behaviour as an attack on you. She doesn’t even realize it upsets you so she’s not doing it on purpose. Before was different, I’m aware of that. She would give you more room to play and joke and she wouldn’t push you away. But sometimes these things happen. You know what you could do? You could write her a nice letter. Tell her all the things you want and then just let her read it on her own time. That way if she wants to respond, she has your example letter right in front of her. It sort of gives her permission to communicate in a way that she probably hasn’t thought about.

“What a liberty!” by Julia on the train to London


Saturday December 27, 2014
12:22pm
5 minutes
from Chocolate And Cuckoo Clocks: The Essential Alan Coren
edited by Giles and Victoria Coren


I’m stuck on a train with a surprise murderer from Vancouver island. He’s reading right now, don’t worry. But he just spent the last half hour explaining the plot of his book that he’s trying to get published. He doesn’t have an agent. His protagonist just so happens to be a surprise murderer from Vancouver island. He lives alone. So does his protagonist. He’s a lumberjack. Has access to an axe. Knows how to wield one. So does his protagonist. Captures a traveling circus that’s moving through town. Don’t know how to prove that both of them do it. But his protagonist does. Told me he’d watch my bag while I went to the bathroom. Didn’t trust him. Didn’t go. He doesn’t know yet that I don’t trust him. Too big of a smile trying to reassure me he absolutely will never kill me. I think surprise murderers have to practice that smile. Over and over and over again.

“and back to discipline” by Julia on the couch at the Coren’s country house


Friday December 26, 2014
1:43pm
5 minutes
Uncle Fred in the Springtime
P.G. Wodenhouse


Wake up. 6am. Decide. Wake up? 6am? Sleep longer. One hour? One half hour. Wake. Wake up. Wake up and start. Day needs. Lists. Wake up. 6:16am. Decide. Move. Go. Start. Coffee. Skip it. Banana. Second banana. Leftover popcorn. Start. Go. Teeth brushed. Floss? Not today. Not tomorrow either. Fuck. Buy toothpaste. Buy deodorant. Troll living. Stop troll living. Out the door. Go. Get moving. Groceries. Find recipe for butter tarts. Try to look everywhere. Go to store. Back. Back to store. Buy butter. Buy butter tarts. Fuck it. Fuck. Check list. Clams. Clams? Oh, clams. For the sauce. Build the sauce. 4pm start. Ready for 6pm. 6pm. Decide. Decide to wash. Tomorrow maybe. Maybe tomorrow. Change sweatshirt. Tomorrow buy new sweatshirt.

“He moved in an uneasy trance” by Julia in her room at the Coren’s country house


Thursday December 25, 2014
1:11am
5 minutes
Vile Bodies
Evelyn Waugh


Didn’t have his wits about him yet because he had just woken up, seemingly from a coma, but no, in fact, it wasn’t. Just a deep sleep. Hibernation deep. Bears who sleep through winter without even having to use the toilet deep. So. We gave him some time to adjust and then we told him the news. We watched his face take it in, register what we had said about the ticket, then sat privately entertained by the realization sinking in, and the expression on his face contorting to comprehend that we weren’t making it up. That he had truly won! That his lottery ticket was a winner.

“Smoking seriously harms you” by Julia on the Coren’s country couch


Wednesday December 24, 2014
10:49pm
5 minutes
A pack of Marlboro

I never smoked a day in my life until I met Andie from Soho. Andie from Soho made it seem so cool to light one up, smoke a bit, throw it on the ground, not care that half of it was left untouched, then go ahead and light another one up in the same breath. So I started bumming off her, just a few puffs every few nights and always after drinking. Then she started giving me full ones and I’d smoke them like Andie did just more of the cigarette because I couldn’t wrap my head around why you’d ever want to waste something that costs so much. Then one day I bought a pack, all on my own, and I remember feeling like, yeah. This might be the end for me.

“and back to discipline” by Sasha in the kitchen at Bowmore


Friday December 26, 2014
12:13pm
5 minutes
Uncle Fred in the Springtime
P.G. Wodenhouse


Her pants are tight. She resents that, but she keeps quiet about it and makes sure no one knows when she unbuttons the top button and pulls her shirt down past her bum. It was a terrible idea to make fudge. She feasted and only had enough left to give it to her mother and her brother for Christmas. Her poor dad said, “Where’s mine, pookie?” And she had no words. She just pointed to her round tummy and felt the colour rise in her cheeks. She ate ham and turkey and left the potatoes but then ate them when no one was looking. She poured gravy on her pancakes and when her brother made fun of her she took them into the bathroom and ate sitting on the toilet.

“He moved in an uneasy trance” by Sasha in the Kiva


Thursday December 25, 2014
12:48am
5 minutes
Vile Bodies
Evelyn Waugh


When he moved (and that was rare) it was in an uneasy trance. Once, you pressed your cheek to the floor in the kitchen in order to see if there was indeed space between the bottoms of his feet and the white tiles. Mostly he sat in his chair by the fire, reading and re-reading the Newspapers. The New York Times from before he left that grey hulk of a city. His favourite is July 25th, 1994. Nothing particularly incredible happened that day, but it was hot and he remembered that he went for a long walk in Central Park and fed birds. He reads and re-reads and you watch him and you tell him a joke and he laughs, but his eyes stay on the page.

“Smoking seriously harms you” by Sasha on Nadeem’s bed in Mississauga


Wednesday December 24, 2014
1:16am
5 minutes
A pack of Marlboro

We’re not sure he’ll make it
We hope you can take it
We don’t want to give you a start

We’re sorry to say it
We don’t want to relay it
We hope that we’re doing our part

He shouldn’t have done it
His lungs just couldn’t bare it
He wasn’t the smartest of smart

The nicotine sticks aren’t the worst of it
The drugs and the alcohol are it
Here’s a lemony tart

“cleared of misconduct” by Sasha on the couch in Mississauga


Tuesday December 23, 2014
11:34am
5 minutes
from The Telegraph
December 22, 2014


Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury, today I’m here to tell you about a man. He’s not a hero. He’s not a villain. He’s a man. A simple man. A man who often forgets to drink enough water. A man who shovels the driveways of everyone on his street before the sun’s even risen, before anyone knows that it’s snowed. Before you is a man that’s been dealt a tough hand, a hand that has begged more of him than our hands have begged of us. I want you to close your eyes. I want to think of yourself at twenty three. Maybe you smoked cheap cigarettes. Maybe you were in love with your first real girlfriend or boyfriend. Maybe it was the first time you didn’t get home for Christmas… I want you to think about how you dreamed then, how you felt about war, how you liked your coffee.

“cleared of misconduct” by Julia on Laura’s couch


Tuesday December 23, 2014
12:15am
5 minutes
from The Telegraph
December 22, 2014


I can’t help but feel sorry for him. Poor thing never did anything wrong his whole life, didn’t fight with one single human. And now this? Got to pay the price for a one time mistake. I still think this whole thing is a hoax. He isn’t guilty but here he is bearing the burden of it. Do you think he could have done it? Oh I’ll tell you what I think. I wouldn’t be the first to have this idea, but I’ll tell you I’m convinced he’s been framed. A likely story might be that he’s taking the blame for something he didn’t do so someone else could still be free because that’s how good he is.. but The injustice seems stronger, doesn’t it? Even still, it wouldn’t surprise me one bit.

“friends to build your community” by Julia on Laura’s ottoman


Monday December 22, 2014
1:45am
5 minutes
from grooveshark.com


Like a kiss to build a dream on…
Said it best, didn’t he? Armstrong on the radio. Watch the sun burst–Burst? Yes, burst through the trees, sort of sweet force and…And? Excitement! Like a Sunday orange! Ahh the citric explosion. Burst, yes. Burst. And the dream? Which? To be built on a kiss? Armstrong? Yes, Armstrong. The dream was about the sun and the kiss was about the future. Oh. Yes, it really works, doesn’t it? I see it now, of course I do. It was enough in that moment to entice the whole movement. Dancing on clouds and pick pocketing tiny stars from the pretty night sky.

“friends to build your community” by Sasha on the couch in Mississauga


Monday December 22, 2014
9:12am
5 minutes
from grooveshark.com

I want to tell you something small. And massive. And yellow. I want to tell you about moving across ice, fawn legged, and reaching up to catch a tired branch and missing. I want to tell you about the shame in my hips, tight and sepia toned, how she hums when the nights are cold, how she moans when the fire has turned to embers. I want to tell you how I see the tired in your smile, how I see the memories of before and the forgetting of now. I want to tell you to stop reading the Tabloids, that slow drip of mediocrity, and I want to tell you that I won’t judge you if you don’t stop, but I will keep shoving books of poetry under your bed in hopes that you’ll find them when you’re most filled with longing.

“Why not join us?” by Sasha on the Queenstreetcar going East


Sunday December 21, 2014
10:12am
5 minutes
From an Arriva tube ad

WHY NOT JOIN US AT THE PARTY OF CENTURY / THERE’LL BE DANCING BOYS AND TINY DUCKS AND JUGGLING QUINTUPLETS / THERE’LL BE CHAMPAGNE AND GLUTEN FREE LAMB MOUSSAKA / THERE’LL BE THE BEST OF THE BEST AND THE HOT OF THE HOT AND THE COOL COOL COOL / THERE’LL BE SONGS THAT YOU DON’T KNOW AND WORDS THAT YOU DO KNOW / THERE’LL BE SWEARING (UH OH) / THERE’LL BE HIP TOUCHING (MM MM) / THERE’LL BE INUIT KISSES AND THIS LITTLE PIGGY AND UP AND DOWN AND ALL AROUND / THERE’LL BE ME AND YOU SLOW DANCING IN A ROOM LIT BY THE GLOW OF THE OTHER PARTY GOERS HEARTS / THERE’LL BE NOTHING TO BE AFRAID OF AND EVERYTHING TO REJOICE ABOUT / WHY NOT JOIN US AT THE PARTY OF THE CENTURY / IT’S HAPPENING RIGHT NOW / ON THIS STREETCAR / IT’S HAPPENING RIGHT NOW / ON THIS WAVE / IT’S HAPPENING RIGHT NOW / WHETHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT / TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT / THE PARTY OF THE CENTURY

“32 million tonnes” by Sasha in the Kiva


Saturday December 20, 2014
10:18pm
5 minutes
from a pamphlet about the pipeline

There are 32 million tonnes of ideas in her head
She weaves them together when she’s sleeping
Or
Rather
In those moments between waking and sleep
Sleep and waking
In those times when things are watercolour and soft
She finds one about empathy and she attaches it to another about betrayal
She uses red wool
Spun in a time before time
Spun by fingers that know things minds cannot
She finds an idea about her family
And she casts it out into the water
She sits
Beach bound
Digging her toes into the sand
Waiting for it to come back to her
She’s ready now

“initiates sexuality” by Sasha in the living room at Macdonell


Friday December 19, 2014
3:14pm
5 minutes
Can Love Last?
Stephen A. Mitchell


I give you my wish like a pearl
Unpolished
You reach for my hand like it’s something in the gift shop at the museum
Something precious and old and young and pink
I make you a tiny tent where you can house your disappointments
All in a row
Ordered
How you like things
You bring me a cup of kindness when I’m low
Low low low
Like the water in the Fall

“intimacy that typifies our culture” by Sasha in the Kiva


Thursday December 18
11:43pm
5 minutes
The Middle Passage
James Hollis


Bambi is saving up all his old cans for the apocalypse. Mami doesn’t believe in that shit so she rolls her big blue/purple eyes and says, “Bambi, why you got so much fear in there?” He doesn’t answer, he just peels off another label. He’s got a bunker in the garage, Bambi does. Mami never goes in there because she has bad circulation and gets cold hands and feet. She has no idea what he’s done in there. All those cans and buckets of water and rope and a whole lot of tuna fish and SPAM. Mami found a receipt once and she said, “Bambi, why you got all this canned meats?” And Bambi said, “I had a craving, Mami. Relax.” She didn’t like when he said that. She didn’t like it at all.

“Why not join us?” by Julia in Laura’s living room


Sunday December 21, 2014
7:30pm
5 minutes
From an Arriva tube ad

I guess there’s that fear that you just won’t be the coolest person in the room and it keeps you from still being the best version of yourself. You know what I’m saying? Someone is always gonna be better than you when you care about people being better than you. Because maybe they care less and that’s what the definition of cool is. So your fear of being left out and not being the first person people run to when you enter a room is actually making you less and less of an attractive presence. Like, this is what I’m saying right? You have to stop giving a shit and just buy people a round of shots and bring the fun that’s unique to you. Don’t try to bring the cool person’s fun. That’s their job. They’re doing it. Let them worry about it. Just come in with a readiness to be interested and an openness to smile and shit. People love that. People don’t love people who scowl at the happiness around them because they’re unhappy that they weren’t just born with the cool pants and the cool hat or whatever.

“32 million tonnes” by Julia on the tube


Saturday December 20, 2014
11:18am
5 minutes
from a pamphlet about the pipeline ”

-That’s what Lucinda said to me. I don’t know if it’s true, but apparently, men are attracted to shorter women.
-she’s a liar Sydney, she always lies. Probably said that to you just to make you feel bad
-you’re saying you don’t believe her?
-that girl is made up of 32 million tones of fake, that’s what I’m saying.
-but what if she’s right? About men? And they’ll never be attracted to me?
-it’s rubbish. It doesn’t make any sense so if you want to believe nonsense that’s up to you.
-what are you doing for Christmas then?
-wake up at mum’s, home breakfast, then spend the day with her, then dinner and sleep over at yours
-is daisy coming?
-who is daisy?
-the girl with the glitter hair
-oh right, her real name is Holly. I call her Holly anyway.
-do you want a bindi?
-yeah
-I have to remember if I brought one for you or not. I think I did. Yeah, here, I knew I did.

“initiates sexuality” by Julia on Katie’s couch


Friday December 19, 2014
1:47am
5 minutes
Can Love Last?
Stephen A. Mitchell


Heat in the garage
Said meet me there said wait for me there
Crept inside knowing it would be dark
Said join me there said find me there
Cold cold heat
Cold heat cold
A note in the garage
Said ready for me here said ready for me here
A light touch grazing my arm
Said I want you here said I need you here
Silk robe hitting the pavement
Said I crave you here said I take you here
A hot kiss on my mouth
Said I eat you here said I drink you here

“intimacy that typifies our culture” by Julia in Sandra’s room


Thursday December 18
1:19am
5 minutes
The Middle Passage
James Hollis


It’s a wrap around love
You wrap me and I wrap you
Our voices twisted
Sweetly
Our fingers linked
Unconventionally
I wrap you and you wrap me
Tomorrow today all feels the same
Better than yesterday
Always better than yesterday
Trace your eyebrows with my kisses
Hum to you while I cradle your face in my hands
Squeeze my feet anytime they’re near yours
Our insides reach out and hold each other’s
It’s a wrap around love
You wrap me and I wrap you

“What will you do?” by Sasha in the Kiva


Wednesday December 17, 2014
11:49pm
5 minutes
From a Together For London bus ad

When your heart is heavy – take a bath. Fill the tub up high. Soak til you’re floating.
When your stomach growls – eat some almonds. Unless you have a nut allergy. Then eat a honey crisp apple.
When your soul is weary – see a dear friend. Even if you feel like you want to hide your head in a book or a pillow. She’ll be sure to rub your arm just as she did many moons ago.
When you’re questioning your purpose – read an old love letter. I know you’ve got one. Mine are kept on the bookshelf between Rumi and The Joy Of Cooking. It’s fitting, really.
When you talk to God – speak as you do to your feet when they’re walking. With humour. With irreverence. With love.

“Mummy, mummy!” by Sasha at the Vancouver Airport


Tuesday December 16, 2014
7:58am
5 minutes
Overheard at Sainsbury’s

Ever since the car accident she looks more like the self she used to imagine. She looks more loose, more easy, more relaxed. Max doesn’t see it like that, but she doesn’t mind. She’s lessened her grip on him, another byproduct of the whiplash and the broken ribs.

“Mummy, mummy!” She can still hear how he used to call her from upstairs. Maybe she was making dinner. Maybe she was marking. Maybe she was pretending to mark and playing Solitaire on the computer. She would close her eyes and think, “I can’t wait for the day that he doesn’t need me like this”, and, “I’m scared for the day he doesn’t need me like this”.

“Dogs must be kept on a lead” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Monday December 13, 2014
6:15pm
5 minutes
London overground rules

Bobby always says, “Don’t get me wrong…” I think about how if he needs to say that so much people are probably getting him wrong all over the damn place. Why doesn’t he just try harder to get it right? I tell him this on our way to the dog park. Lou is jumping like a rabbit and he keeps saying, “Down Lou! Down!” Lou doesn’t listen. Molly is the opposite of Lou. She behaves like the Queen that she is. “Don’t get me wrong, I love her. But she’s badly behaved and so annoying!” I pause. “How could I, like, get you wrong?” “Huh?” He’s never been called on this before? “I’m just wondering how I could get that wrong… Like, I know that you love her. You’re good to her. You didn’t have her as a puppy and it’s hard to train full grown dogs…” Bobby looks at me. He furrows his thick brows. “I’m just saying – ” “I know what you’re saying!” We’re at the dog park now, and he’s letting Lou off her leash. Molly is whimpering softly.

“there’s plenty for everyone to do.” by Sasha at the Loft in Portland


Sunday December 14
5:53pm
5 minutes
Eyewitness Travel London

When we find our way back to the cabin, we’re laughing.
We’re drunk on the highs and lows of love and winter.
When we sit in front of the roaring fire we make jokes about the times we were dumber.
“We weren’t dumb,” you say.
“We were free then,” you say.

You make stew with lamb and sweet potatoes.
I chop wood.
Snow starts to fall and comes down like a dusting of possibility.

The candles burn low.
I peel clementines and toss the rind on the fire.
We’re in Florida for a few minutes.
In the oranges groves of your grandfather’s farm.

“What will you do?” by Julia on 328 going East


Wednesday December 17, 2014
4:24pm
5 minutes
From a Together For London bus ad

What will you do with your bright and shiny future? Unused, untouched, untarnished by expectations. Is it even possible? You might have the only one. The only one new and perfect.
I could tell you what I do if I were you. I’d wake up every morning, early, with a goal. And I would seek to accomplish that goal within one hour of getting out of bed. I would use all my time in the best way imaginable: eating, laughing, creating, loving. It sounds easy but it wasn’t for me and so I watched as the days went by and turned into things I didn’t have the ability to change.

“you can see a musical” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Saturday December 13, 2014
7:14am
5 minutes
Top 10 London

When you go to New York, you can see a musical. It’ll be your first one. Make sure you wear a really nice something something. They can tell you’re a tourist but you don’t want to give us Canadians a bad name, right? A good place to start is Phantom of the Opera. Something by Andrew Lloyd Webber.
Masquerade! Paper faces on parade! Masquerade!
If I were feeling stronger, I’d go with you, but I don’t think I’m up to that city anymore. The first time I went, Marjorie and I took a bus. It took over fifteen hours. At the border they sent dogs on and we were so scared our fingers were shaking. Someone on that bus had dope in their bag and the dogs went crazy, barking and panting. Marjorie almost fainted. But… We made it. And when we had a drink at the Waldorf Astoria I turned to her and said, “I never want to go home.”

“Mummy, mummy!” by Julia on the tube


Tuesday December 16, 2014
5:07pm
5 minutes
Overheard at Sainsbury’s

I have to tell you this, mother to mother..I hate hearing my own name. I mean, I miss hearing my real name, the one given to me by my mother, but I can’t stand hearing ‘mummy’ anymore. It just started really affecting me. I’d say up until two weeks ago I didn’t think anything of it. But I want to ask you’ve ever asked your kids to call you Ruth? I had a day dream that they were calling me Enid and it made me love them more. I hear mummy and it sounds so very desperate. They need something from me at all times with that name. With Enid, we were equals and it was a choice for me to take care of them, not an obligation. Of course I always want to take care of them, I’m not mad..but having the autonomy is in a way, more freeing.
In my mind little Emma can’t pronounce it properly but it still works like a charm.

“he loved it when I forced him into seasonal costumes” by Sasha at Culprit Coffee


Friday December 12, 2014 at Culprit Coffee
9:23am
5 minutes
from Minnie Driver’s Instagram feed

We’re making a Santa suit! We got all the fabric on sale at Fabricland! What a steal! Grandpa’s gonna wear it! And we don’t even need to get him a beard because he already has one! Mama’s sewing the pants and the jacket and I get to glue on the white fuzzy trim! Gramma doesn’t want to be Mrs. Claus so guess what?! I get to be! I’m going to wear Susie’s red dress and a Santa hat! And I’m going to wear red lipstick and my cozy slippers! Grandpa will sit on his comfy chair and I will hand out the present because I am his assistant! I even learned how to say your welcome in Spanish. “Gracias!”

“you can power through” by Sasha on her couch


Thursday December 11, 2014
11:43pm
5 minutes
from a Nurofen tube ad

When Miracle makes pancakes she puts peanut butter in the batter. Then she chops up bananas real thin and fries them in butter and syrup. It’s my favourite thing. She made ’em the first night I slept over and after two plates I asked her to marry me. She laughed but she knew I wasn’t joshing.

When Miracle goes to bed she puts a hot water bottle under the covers so that her feet stay warm. “Makes all the difference,” she says. She has bad circulation.

When Miracle takes a shower, it’s the only time you’ll hear her singing. And you’re lucky if you do. She has the voice of a Hallelujah angel.

“Dogs must be kept on a lead” by Julia on Katie’s couch


Monday December 13, 2014
8:44pm
5 minutes
London overground rules

These are the rules and these are the only rules I’ll tell you about once:
1) Do not offer to help Fatimah. She is sneaky and capable but she is lazy and good at being so.
2) Do not close the hall window at night. It is imperative that it is kept open, no matter what season.
3) Do not under any circumstances remove the ladder underneath the hall window.
4) Jams in the fridge you will not eat: Fig and Dark Cherry.
5) Dogs are to be signed in and out and must be kept on a lead.
6) Theme night participation is absolutely non-negotiable
7) Phone calls are limited to 4 days a week between the hours of 8 and 8.

“residents at a homeless shelter” by Sasha at 49th Parallel


Wednesday December 10, 2014 at 49th Parallel
6:13pm
5 minutes
from howlround.com

The night I net Terrence it was one of the worst snow storms of the year – the flakes were so big that you could of used a baseball glove to catch them. It was well after midnight and most of the residents were in their cots. During storms like this we are always full to the brim, overflowing. It’s awful to have to turn people away, so we did our best to fit people wherever we could. Someone was sleeping in the reception desk chair, a few were on mats in the kitchen, and the common room was like the site of a slumber party. It was almost fun, almost exciting. These nights, though, we have to patrol extra carefully. Things tend to go awry. Someone has an episode. Someone has to go to the hospital. Someone forgets to take their medication, or couldn’t afford it so doesn’t have it to begin with. Terrence knocked on the window and I opened it to see who was there. He had the kind of nose that a lifetime of whiskey and frost-bite gives birth to. “Darlin’, got any room?” he asked. Maybe it was his accent. Maybe it was the way he smiled when he asked, in the kind of laid back way that always gets me. No sense of desperation. “You bet,” I said. I met him at the front door.

“virtual environments” by Sasha at Higher Grounds


Tuesday December 9, 2014
3:14pm
5 minutes
from the MLA research guide

There was something sheer about her, opaque. She used her eyes like planets, orbiting the room, hoping for a shooting star. She nods and she plays tetras with the ice cubes in her glass. She’s praying for smoked salmon, under her breath, a sacred mantra that she only utters this time of year. “How are you?” “How’s Seattle?” “What’s the weather like there?” “Does it rain all the time?” “You changed your hair right… Is it darker?” She fades in and fades out, like the end of a song, like the clouds over the moon.

“super true to who they are” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Monday December 8, 2014
6:12pm
5 minutes
from an interview with Annabel Soutar

it’s loud in here those voices those voices i feel bad about not remembering those names those names this huge place these booming halls those sounds those sounds they are super true to who they are these people these people it’s nice it’s nice all heart all teeth all chicken schwarma pens and pencils and scratching and words like maple syrup tapped from a tree from a tree these cobwebs are clearing and when they do there’s magic there there’s magic there

“there’s plenty for everyone to do.” by Julia on Katie’s couch


Sunday December 14
1:33am
5 minutes
Eyewitness Travel London

Does everyone see how it works? It’s not a terribly easy concept so if you don’t, please speak up and let one of us know. No judgement in the room, can we hear everyone say that together? MMMMM NO JUDGEMENT IN THE ROOM….yes. Brilliant energy everyone. See how when we chant together we enliven the entire room? It’s a nice feeling, filling a space with a collective calm, isn’t it? Who is feeling a bit out of sorts? Does anyone need further clarification? Would it be useful to some if I turned off the lights, had everyone close their eyes and simply extend a hand if they were needing a bit of help? This way no one will be able to see the person who needs this extra assistance and I will walk about the room and feel their hand as a cry for help? And no one will be shamed for being unable to comprehend the basic instructions that are, of course, incredibly difficult to grasp?

“you can see a musical” by Julia on Katie’s couch


Saturday December 13
8:44pm
5 minutes
Top 10 London

Remember those days when we were younger than we wanted to believe we were? We had some idea about age and power and coolness and artistry. We convinced ourselves we ran that town, that we made all the decisions, that we possessed a coveted charm. When Connie did her first musical we all showed up and supported her even though none of us thought she was particularly good at singing. We didn’t make her feel bad for wanting something different. We never let those things get in the way of our loyalty.
At the opening night party, she cried gracefully while thanking us for being there. She said it made her whole world feel more secure knowing we were in the audience. I think even Robbie was trying to hold back his tears. It was something special to see us all there, not worrying about anything else at all but each other and our happiness as a whole.

“he loved it when I forced him into seasonal costumes” by Julia on Katie’s couch in London


Friday December 12, 2014
5:36am
5 minutes
from Minnie Driver’s Instagram feed

Tonight Kip is looking perfect in his elf suit. The ears are just subtle enough and his strong body is showing through the tight striped T. I’m not one to brag, but I’ve outdone myself this time. All the ladies are swooning at this Christmas bachelorette and the feeling in the room is definitely a merry one! Part of the excitement is watching him entice other women, knowing full well I get to take him home directly after so many others have been wanting him.

Last year, a bit different, I made him be the stork at Jenna’s baby shower. He was not happy about it but he was the only one who could capture the essence of one so effortlessly. I never told him he had the easy energy of a bird but he knew he had it in him and he knew he had to share that because it was the right thing to do.

“you can power through” by Julia on the tube heading west


Thursday December 11, 2014
6:21pm
5 minutes
from a Nurofen tube ad

Dear Hannah,
There are lights in the trees here. It’s so nice to be around a place that cares enough to put lights in their trees. Really makes you feel like you’ve found a spot worth staying. They assure you with their details. With their simple adjustment of the everyday. No snow yet! Got a bit lucky there. I know, I know, grow up, buy proper shoes. Boots! I know, I know. You would hate how cold it is without even having snow. My ratty sneaks will live to see another week!(or at least that’s what I’ve been praying for 😉 …sorry!)
I’m finally eating vegetables and drinking more water. The probiotics are helping but I still dream of salted caramel hot chocolate. Today I feel less alone than yesterday. Something in the air I guess. Trying to power through, like you said.
Talk soon?
Miss and love.

-B

“residents at a homeless shelter” by Julia at Dalston Kingsland Station


Wednesday December 10, 2014
9:33pm
5 minutes
from howlround.com

Sel walks in and she’s so happy. I see her face from behind the desk and I know she’s gonna give me some good news. After the day I’ve been having, it wouldn’t take much. I keep working so the surprise feels more real. I know she’s gonna come up to me and tell me right away so I make her work for it a tiny bit.
She has to stop herself from skipping all the way to the desk, but I’m there stapling, labelling, checking off boxes until she sees she has to request me. You busy, Middy? And I stop what I’m doing for a brief second. Mhm, same same. Would you be able to take a quick break then, Middy? And I stop fully, look her in the eyes. What can I help you with, Sel? There’s that big smile again. Oh, nothing! I’ve got it all sorted! Got what all sorted, Sel? And she holds up a bag of Roasted Chicken and Thyme potato crisps. You got yourself the munchies there, Sel? And she laughs. Don’t worry about the Christmas budget this year, Middy! THESE TASTE EXACTLY LIKE A TURKEY DINNER.

“virtual environments” by Julia at Katie’s flat in London


Tuesday December 9, 2014
12:20am
5 minutes
from the MLA research guide

Okay so Jordie got a tablet for his birthday and he says there’s an app for literally EVERYTHING. I believe this cause he’s not allowed to tell a lie or he won’t be able to have KD and hotdogs for dinner and that’s his favourite so he always tells the truth. Jordie says that you can watch yourself in an alternate reality if you really wanted to and see how your face looks and how your mind thinks in a different dimension. He says that if you are ready for it, you can also see others there. Jordie says that in a matter of years we will all have a space brain and a human body but we won’t really need our human bodies cause space brains don’t need anything at all but time and mystery. He said mystery but what I think he meant was magic. He gets those things confused sometimes. Mostly because he thinks they’re the same thing.

“super true to who they are” by Julia at Katie’s flat in London


Monday December 8, 2014
1:16am
5 minutes
from an interview with Annabel Soutar

I have been telling myself for one whole year that I am good and worthy and beautiful and enough. My life coach told me I should recite these things and try to remind myself that I actually believe them. I started trying to believe them one morning in April of last year because it was the spring or something and things seemed like they were being reborn. I wanted to be reborn. I didn’t want to hate myself anymore. I didn’t want to wish I was born of a different woman and therefore raised by one, believing I was just different and not the me I actually was. The process was a long one. I was not the me I actually was or wanted to be, but the me I had no choice in being. The dead me with crispy hair. The forgotten me with only 5 friends at my funeral. I had a lot of visions that I would never wake up. So I went to her and told her with my blood: HELP.

“Selfie?” by Julia on the train to Bologna


Sunday December 7, 2014
2:32pm
5 minutes
Overheard on a bridge in Venice

This man was selling SELFIE ARMS. Do you even know what those are? Ok, say you want to take a vacation and you’re all by yourself. Say you want a memory of you and the ocean but you don’t want to take the photo on your own cause it’ll look like you don’t have anyone else or that you got desperate and needed to see your face beside a landmark. There are contraptions you can buy, attach to your phone, and then, I don’t know, program it to take a photo in precisely the right amount of time for you to get ready, smile, wish you had someone there with you even though you’re happy you’re learning about independence and humility, and trusting your own instincts or whatever, and then think back to that ocean that you’ll be so damn happy you have a record of. They sell those now, you know?

“Optimal health” by Julia on a bridge in Venice


Saturday December 6, 2014
5:49pm
5 minutes
The back of the chia seed bag

Mom got sick, mom changed her diet, mom stopped working, mom ate only air and self pity, mom waited for the mail everyday, mom bought a yoga mat she never used, mom began to juice, mom began to sing, mom began to smile, mom began to coach, mom saw her worth, mom hid her grief, mom preached without being preachy, mom reminded us of our lives, mom made sure we knew we were not too young, mom made sure we knew we could help ourselves, mom started saying I love you, mom started laughing at nothing, mom started seeking alternative medicine, mom started smoking pot, mom started sleeping again, mom started resting again, mom had a million phone calls, mom stayed home in her PJs.

“These days it’s hard to get a decent haircut” by Julia in Venice


Friday December 5, 2014
10:54pm
5 minutes
Kinfolk Volume 13

Man sits beside me. Smells like the hair shampoo my best friend Natasha used to use. We’re not best friends anymore. She tried drugs and became best friends with the guys who sold them instead. She told me once, here use my bra. I’m too big for it. Borrow it or just take it cause it’s too small. I said, thanks so much. My mom won’t let be buy one. Says I don’t need it yet. Says a sports bra is fine. But hers never fit me. Turns out she never had anything to fit inside them in the first place. Turns out I did, just I didn’t know it. I was slow to know myself. I was slow to question anyone. Guess it’s cause I believed in people. I trusted in someone’s word. Shouldn’t have. Didn’t need to. Guess it was just a life lesson learned like don’t leave your window open at night without the screen down, or don’t eat a brownie if your friend gives it to you while smuggling a bit of laughter cause she really found it on the ground and now you’re the butt of everyone’s joke. So I look to the man. I say, have you always smelled this way? He crosses his arms and looks in the other direction. Then I know I know how to distract people from the truth. I learned by distracting myself.

“I don’t know how that works” by Julia at her desk


Thursday December 4, 2014 at Culprit Coffee
1:33am
5 minutes
Overheard at Culprit Coffee

I have realized too late in my life that I will never know enough. I’m too old to change who I am. I’m beyond the point of learning now. I woke up one day and I was dumb. I am only smart because I know I’m dumb. That is the way I get by. By knowing what I am and admitting it to myself when I have the opportunity. People don’t think I’m stupid because I figured out how to trick everybody. Even myself for a very long time. But now I cannot hide from this fact. I am good at very few things. I have very little knowledge of even the things I do well, let alone the things I don’t. I will never be able to explain facts of the world, geography, history. I will die knowing almost nothing, except for the knowing that I know almost nothing.

“Heart hugs” by Julia at her desk


Wednesday December 3, 2014
6:49pm
5 minutes
A text message

I have those butterfly shakes
The ones that are constructed inside my heart
Born there out of all the leftover love
The love that gets left behind when I squeeze out all my need for you
There’s too much to fit trough the tiny holes
But it still beats for you
And so it turns into the perfect feeling
Of loving and needing and wanting and breathing
And it paints the inside of my rib cage
Lots of reds lots of orange

“a very small quantity of mud” by Julia in Lozzola


Tuesday December 2, 2014
8:06pm
5 minutes
Cartapaglia notebook

A very small quantity of mud
A memory
A soiled vision of a past self
Could never get that dirt off
Could never scrub hard enough
Could never pray loud enough
Too many times told
“You will never be more than what you are”
Too many times heard
“You’ll never be worth much”
Too many times believed
“Nobody wants you”
And so the story is written
Burned
Etched into the shadow of yesterday
Remembering the washing
Attempting to erase past mistakes
Stuck there in that moment
The helpless youth
Left staring at herself in a broken mirror
With a wet cloth
And a tiny quantity of mud

“It was probably so hard not to slap him” by Julia in Lozzola


Monday December 1, 2014
12:45am
5 minutes
A text from Katerina

Turned around with a fire in my face and I knew that if I did not leave in that exact moment I would be facing criminal charges for the rest of my life. I get like that sometimes. Blinded by rage. Can’t see straight. Impulse impulse impulse. It’s like a movie I’ve already seen is playing in the background of my mind, distracting the rest of my brain from figuring out what I’m about to do. It’s fuzzy, there are a lot of colours, but the moment right in front of me is clear. I’m not sure when it started. I was told to focus on my breathing by more than one person. My sister tries to send me links on how to deal with anger, how to channel my inner black cloud, how not to kill a man who has accidentally brushed up against me at the supermarket while rifling through vine tomatoes.

“Selfie?” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Sunday December 7, 2014
11:04am
5 minutes
Overheard on a bridge in Venice

I’m not sure about this snap snap craze
I’m on the other side and I’ve been there for days
I dig the reclamation of representation of self
But there’s something about connection that’s up on a shelf
Looking up and down the row of face and phone
I wonder about reality, what’s here and what’s shown
Portraiture has always and forever been a thing
But the self obsession and preoccupation makes me wanna fling
My iPhone in the ocean and let it wash out to sea
I don’t need a photo to tell myself who’s me

“Optimal health” by Sasha on the bus


Saturday December 6, 2014
3:54pm
5 minutes
The back of the chia seed bag

Those nights full of talking that hurt.
Yeah.
We’ve all been there.
Two in the morning turns to three in the morning and we’re losing more mind than sleep
Pounding pillows like dreamcatchers
Future flying in and out
We’ve all been there
A secret is a time bomb
A secret could explode at any minute
A secret a secret a secret

Everything has to do with loving and not loving
That is not an oversimplification
That is truth

This night (we’ve all been there) will turn to morning
(We’ve all woken up puffy faced and heart-achey)
and we’ll put on coffee
We’ll fry some eggs
Optimal health
And we’ll return to the loving and the not loving