“Exactly how they want you to be” by Julia in J’s Attic

Friday May 10, 2019
9:49pm
5 minutes
Martin John
Anakana Schofield

She sits, pretty, mouth closed, because pretty
She is 7, going on 8, she is the middle child
Her younger sister is wearing white beside her
She is wearing white
Her sister youngest is beside her wearing white
They are all to be seen, not heard, no peeps, no sound
Mother does the talking
Mother always does the talking
Mother talks circles around Father
Father says little but is feared most
She is sitting, not speaking, no peeps, wondering
Am I Allowed To Go To The Bathroom?
Am I Allowed To Ask If I Can Go To The Bathroom?
Am I Allowed To Need To Use The Bathroom?
The clock ticks a slow death, a burn, a punishment
She is counting everything she knows how to count:
chickens, lashings, siblings, six of each
times she woke up from being unconscious:
three, and one she is not remembering
The adults are eating, maybe laughing, but none of them see
They don’t see three pretty little dolls sitting on the couch
Three pretty little dolls, dolled up for the sake of looking at
Three pretty dolls too afraid to move or be heard
She sits still with her hands clasped in her lap, knuckles itching
The way a nightmare might

“lured into my childhood home” by Julia at the studio

Tuesday October 9, 2018
1:34pm
5 minutes
The Stray
Stephen A. Waite

Matthew and Mark used to watch scary movies at their house. I used to lay with my head in Matthew’s lap and my legs in Mark’s. I felt like my older cousins were taking care of me. We weren’t allowed to watch scary movies at our house. And after seeing IT with them when I was six, I figured out why. I have always been the dreaming kind. Pisces born on land, a vivid seer of worlds beyond my own. I knew the answers were there. I knew the questions were there. I knew I was making connections and being guided. Of course when nightmares are a regular occurrence, it’s hard to think they serve a purpose other than torture, punishment, torment.
I used to pray before bed to avoid the bad. Pray to override the scary images swirling around in my tiny body. What did Matthew and Mark have? Who did they talk to about their bad dreams? Did they just learn not to remember them? Was it easier to stay quiet and keep watching scary movies? Was watching scary movies less scary than the reality they had to face?

For a while I used to associate their dad with Beetlejuice. One time he came to Mark’s room to tell us to shut up and go to sleep. In the shadows, his eyes looked sunken in. I dreamed about him that night instead.

“you need space sometimes.” by Julia on her couch


Saturday January 28, 2017
9:13pm
5 minutes
This One Summer
Jillian and Mariko Tamaki


If he asks you what you’re up to or what your plans are, tell him you have a meeting with yourself and that you’ve got to keep it. Tell him that you need to be alone or without him or some space sometimes and do not apologize for needing it. Do not justify or bargain. If he doesn’t like it, tell him too bad. Tell him you don’t care. Tell him if he doesn’t like it, there’s the door. Tell him if he’d rather be with someone who needs only him then he should go right now and try to make a deal with the devil or something so he can find her.
If he decides the movie, or what you’re having for dinner, or the flavor of ice cream then tell him fine but tomorrow not so much. If he decides what you wear, if you’re talking too loud, when you’re allowed to talk about yourself, then tell him that it’s over.

“Richard Rooney” by Julia at Cafe Novo


Saturday, January 26, 2013 at Cafe Novo
1:38pm
5 minutes
the program for This Is War at Tarragon

God help us if he gets his license back. Sort of just hoped he’d stop driving when his eyes went. But nope! Grandpa Jerry doesn’t know how to say no to “perfectly good pudding” which is an expression he uses all the time even if food is not actually in the picture. Once he took me and Emma to go get ice cream and because he let us eat in the car, Emma was freezing for a whole 16 minutes because he swerved and she ended up with the ice cream all over her lap.
Emma wasn’t impressed.
Then another time he was driving just too slow because he couldn’t see, but auntie Ray missed her flight because he insisted he was “just fine thank you very much.”
So now he’s under strict surveillance because if he drives right now while his license is suspended he’ll never get it back. I can’t say I haven’t thought about begging him for a ride to Amber’s soccer tournament in Woodstock.