“no one would know me.” by Julia on A’s couch

Monday July 29, 2019
11:00pm
5 minutes
The Landing
Marie Howe

I am sitting by the tree, waiting for my real friends to come see what’s wrong. We all do this. I like the tree, I like this alone. The kind that turns into something soon. The kind that makes time feel like forever but in a good way. One of these moments they’ll all come running to me. What will I say? I’m feeling sad. I’m feeling left out. I got upset and didn’t know how to tell you. I want to play and have fun. I say nothing until someone comes. I don’t leave the tree until someone comes.

Sometimes nobody comes. Sometimes it’s an exercise in will power. In patience. In believing that everyone is better off without me. Better off since they didn’t have to tell me to my face. There’s no more room. There’s not enough space for you. This is when it feels like forever but in the bad way. The way the bell never rings, never saves me, the way the real friends never appear because they never existed.

“Fill those little spaces” by Julia on the 2

Thursday May 23, 2019
6:18pm
5 minutes
Overheard on the bus

I don’t have room for more feelings.
They say it you don’t let them out you won’t be able to make space for new ones and sometimes the old ones are what keep us sick. I thought I was releasing them but I’m feeling sick so maybe I was wrong. Feeling. I’m always the one feeling. Always considering how I might translate those feelings into words. There’s no room for new words. I have put so many in me that some of them knock around each other looking for a place to reflect quietly. They tend to fill up all the little holes and leave no air in the gaps. It’s very full inside. I don’t want to say too full because that seems ungrateful. I am grateful for it, whatever this is. I know it’s something good or necessary. I know there is no fighting it.
It is a practice, after all, this releasing. It needs attention in the morning, at night, on the bus.

“The emotional sensory radar of the infant” by Julia on Amanda’s couch

Saturday May 18, 2019
10:01am
5 minutes
Scattered Minds
Gabor Maté M. D

smiling at him I am smiling
at him and he is smiling
at me and we are seeing now

I am sad on the inside I
put him down for a minute
I don’t want him to see my sad from the inside out
I want him to feel alive love, the process of reacting and being present

I respond to his tiny face and his tiny laugh and his
squeals

I try to heal my insides before I pick him up again It is lifelong

I want to love him but I am
diatracted by stress
I want to see him but I am looking somewhere else.
He knows
He knows me by my smell
by the impetous behind authentic smile
He knows when I am simply using the same mouth muscles to mimic a feeling and he is sad if I am sad and he is sad if I am there but not fully
This small heart
he is smarter than me
He is not yet scrambled
naive, easily fooled into a love that isn’t.

“A master-beggar art thou.” by Julia at her desk

Tuesday January 8, 2019
10:13pm
5 minutes
Kim
Rudyard Kipling

I don’t want your money but if you send a cheque I’ll cash it
I don’t want your pity but if attention’s coming I’ll stash it
So many times I’ve said I wouldn’t stoop so low
but every day is turning me into a master at limbo
surprise yourself with pleasantries or avoidance or a feeling
never say never cause the holy spirit’s teething
wants a bite of my earthly flesh and all the lies I let in
this is how you get on your knees and pray for all the sinning
I don’t want your money but I’ll take it if it’s there
cause I don’t like to waste things like guilty almost care
I’d rather have your praise but I guess beggars can’t be choosers
I used to crave the fame when I was caught up with the losers
Now I don’t know where I am supposed to be going
Put the money in the hat and hope it don’t start snowing

“I can be courageous enough to feel” by Julia on her couch

Tuesday January 1, 2019
8:14pm
5 minutes
Comfortable With Uncertainty
Pema Chödrön

The sorrow I’ve been pushing into the deep hole of me has started to itch
It rubs up against the sides of its cage and begs for fresh water
Don’t you know you cannot burry sadness alive?
The clock on the wall clicks more than ticks and I think everything around me is breaking
At dinner the light is soft and golden and everyone is in a perfect mood but me
The air in my lungs escapes before I know what I am saying and the room tunnels into the shape of my hurt
All those years of doing my best and being told to go back to the old me-the one who is better understood by shopkeepers and mothers and fathers and groups of afraid
I feel this pit beginning to take root and I am not sure what I’ll be if I pluck it from the dark mud where it’s been lost
How easy to say Fine instead of Not Fine
How easy to say sorry after the garden has been torn up
I am courageous enough to feel all this and all this that cannot be named

“Very rarely patients develop __________.” by Julia on the 20

Wednesday April 11, 2018
8:49pm
5 minutes
Diagnosis
Adam Sol

You’re online again because that’s where the answers are. That’s where you’re allowed to be sick. Because the forums are full of people like you looking for inches to turn into miles. Itches to turn into conditions and you’re convinced you’ve been cut by the hidden incision bit by the bug that borrows its fangs into your skin and then buries its offspring underneath it. You’re sick and you know it. The rash you developed shows it, the hard lump in your throat chose itself and you tell the world you did not make this up. Where all the people like you play, looking to lose at another game, maybe this way you will have something to blame for the wrong going on in your life. The invisible pains, come and go strains, the ones that buy you sympathy and community and attention.

“freckles on thighs and in-between.” by Julia at the studio

Tuesday February 13, 2018
6:07pm
5 minutes
Teachable Moment, 1986
kellee Ngan

you were the one who first told me about the freckle
on the inside of my bum cheek and I didn’t even
know it was there
I want to thank you now in retrospect for looking
as close at the inside of my bum cheek as you did
For looking as close at the inside of my chest
even when I couldn’t be happy for your happiness
or when I chose silence over words even though
you knew I knew words better
I want to thank you now for noticing then the trilion
tiny specks of me
the good the bad, the ugly ugly ugly
You were so patient until your patience bit
and when it did it took out a deep chunk
You always knew where to sink your teeth in
but that was your reward for paying such perfect
attention
You told me once that my tongue whipping down your
throat was not sexy and I didn’t have the thought
to tell you then that I was holding tightly
to a thread that held your head close to mine
And I was not anything close to ready
to letting it go in case you went with it
One day I opened my fingers and you went with it
but I thank you now
the first

“It depends how aware you are.” by Julia in F’s kitchen


Saturday August 19, 2017
9:53pm
5 minutes
Lennon on Lennon
edited by Jeff Burger


walking eyes ground walking walking
don’t stop moving eyes ground further further

count cracks sidewalk busted bruised gum gum gum somebody’s bad decision spit shit cigarette butt

empty sky sun alone head no where near the clouds but in them with them nothing around

five dollar bill twenty cigarette butt shopping list bus pass toothpick

hands stuffed into jeans pockets bursting ripped and bleeding bang into the cyclist crossing chipped lips

shuffling pushing one foot next foot walking running listen for the lights to change beep beep at your own risk

seagulls pigeons balloon string toilet paper hat full of coins people people everywhere there here up down

“for a variety of reasons” by Julia in a car


Friday November 6, 2015
11:45am
5 minutes
Overheard at Moii Cafe

Carmen is sitting on the kitchen sink, banging her feet against the cupboard to the rhythm that she’s humming in her head. Boom badoom, boom boom badoom.
Ely stares at her with a sideways smile and his head cocked to the side. He’s in love with her. She’s the most fascinating thing he’s ever seen in his life.
Carmen feels his gaze but acts like she can’t tell. She pretends to be in her own world. She likes the attention Ely gives her. She likes that he likes her and that she could be bad, or better, and he wouldn’t even notice. She likes that he doesn’t hold her to a particular standard. She likes that he isn’t like everybody else.
Ely wants to kiss her but hasn’t felt like she’s invited him yet. His body remains tense and leaning against the counter. He casts his eyes down when it gets to be too much.
“Are you afraid of me or something?”
Carmen’s legs still going, boom badoom, boom boom badoom.
“Me? No I’m. I’m not afraid of you or something. I’m. I’m not afraid.”
“Well why are you way over there, then?”

“amazing work” by Julia on her couch


Friday, October 23, 2015
9:44pm
5 minutes
from a Facebook post

I had been trying to catch his attention for, if I’m counting, the last twelve years. Huh. Wow. That’s more than I thought I’d admit. Was hopeful. I mean, who wasn’t at that age. But I guess it’s not fair to take it personally. He wasn’t not loving me, he was just, not forgetting her. I don’t know if I would do it any differently than that myself. I’ve never lost a child so I don’t get to pretend to understand. But weeks bleed into months and then years, and it all just feels like the same nightmare, playing over and over or just continuing without resolve every 16 hours. This time it was a scholarship that I was awarded because of my application letter about him. I wanted to show him. He wanted to drink.

“before you begin” by Julia at Valens Restaurant


Thursday, June 18, 2015
6:17pm
5 minutes
livestrong.com

I am at a loss for words. Which doesn’t usually happen to me. I’m the kind of person who always knows what to say. I’m also one of those people who says “I’m the kind of person”. And I don’t say it ironically. I say it because I think it makes me sound refined and special and unique. So because I’m the kind of person who usually has the right words ready to access at the blow of an arm hair, I’m now finding myself the kind of person who is “at a loss for words”. I suppose before I continue I should begin with a little backstory. See, I’m the kind of person who likes to always provide a bit of a backstory so everyone can get on the same page, and really begin to champion the whole tale. I believe in reeling the kinds of people who appreciate “drama” and “entertainment” and who let me take centre stage of any conversation so I may grace the masses with my gift of words.

“Men can be really great allies” by Julia on Nicole’s couch


Wednesday August 27, 2014
6:08pm
5 minutes
The Georgia Straight

Of course he’s standing beside me on my wedding day. He’s the best man I know besides the man I’m marrying so why wouldn’t I have him? I’m not going to make him wear a dress, that’s so stupid. He’s going to look sharp in his suit and he’s going to only take attention away from me for a little bit at the start of the day because he knows how to rock a suit better than anyone else will in that entire room. I’ve known him since I switched personalities. I was one person before we met and then when I found him, I shook his hand and accepted the deal that I would be this person now. I was always this person just now I’d be her all the time and out loud and acceptance and love and tenderness for her or whatever. He enforced my soul with his and we danced a bit, probably to Mariah, or Ciara-hips out, sweat dripping.

“with MOSS FOLK” by Julia at Kawaii Crepe


Thursday August 7, 2014 at Kawaii Crepe
8:38pm
5 minutes
from the Wooden Shjips concert ticket


I’ve been sitting here with a patch of dead skin in my hands. I thought you would have noticed that my legs were peeling because some of the shapes looked like your favourite states: Minnesota, Alabama, Missouri. You didn’t say one thing about it, so I kept slowly detaching the snake-like-shreds, trying to keep them as long and intact as possible. Like orange peels. Like the backing of a press on tattoo. I guess I was looking for some attention, or to prove to myself that you cared about me and my well-being. I wondered if you wondered why I had burnt skin to begin with. If you thought to ask and discovered that I scalded my legs in a hot bath, if you’d wonder why anyone would think to take a hot bath in the middle of July. I don’t usually do that kind of thing. It just sort of happened as a result of my endless time alone and my desire to feel like anything but myself. Granted, I did feel a little like Virginia Woolf. I wondered if you’d wonder about that part…

“Smartass Acts Of Vandalism” by Julia on her couch


Friday November 15, 2013
1:45am
5 minutes
http://www.smosh.com

Of course he was trying to impress me. I know what that stupid display of affection was about. I mean, at the time I didn’t realize it was affection, and I’m sure neither did he, but oh, is it clear right now. He thought (I’m sure of me subconsciously)that painting a big red and bloody X through the mural I had hanging in the library would get the attention of book-readers, and anarchists. He was trying to make a point about literature and oppression. I know his type, he’s as translucent as Saran Wrap. He likes to put up a big fight, make a big statement, and then get at someone who actually matters to him so he can be closer to them. That’s what he was doing for me. I know it wasn’t hate, but desperation! It’s so easy to see through that stuff. It’s all just a show, and a reminder that he wasn’t held enough as an infant (easy mistake).

“He began patiently” by Julia on her couch


Thursday, July 19, 2013
11:56pm
5 minutes
House Rules
Heather Lewis


Started by brushing his teeth one tooth at a time. Doing circles and shit on each one as if he thought Santa was going to bring him a new toy for every clean piece of enamel. He was careful because he had to put his attention on something. On something other than the growing life inside her or the way she started to only wear oversized grey T-shirts around the house. But he did it well. Those two, sometimes three minutes he’d spend in the morning and the one, but usually two minutes he’d spend before bed. Just thinking and relaxing and taking pride in what otherwise felt like a lost cause. She’d lay on the couch with a half empty bottle of Blue in her hand and a stale piece of peppermint gum rotting the inside of her cheek. And so he decided that there were other places he’d rather be.

“the suffering they have known” by Julia on the subway going north


Monday, July 15, 2013
6:30pm
5 minutes
A Brief For The Defense
Jack Gilbert


She was wearing denim cutoffs that were too big for her new body. They kept falling off every time she turned or moved. She wasn’t used to so much attention from everybody’s mother thinking she was too skinny to be healthy. She didn’t want to make a big deal out of it, but she had stopped eating the bad stuff and started calling everything an intolerance. Not because she had an eating problem, but because she had an intolerance to feeling shitty every day. She told herself that morning that she was going to buy a belt. Or new denim cutoffs. Or whatever. She found out recently that she has an obsession for calamine lotion. She didn’t really want to talk about it but it was becoming more and more of a problem. Just the cold stuff getting all crusty and crumbly. She liked that part the best, where she could brush off each bit like chalk dust. Her new body was like a new brain at the same time. Suddenly feeling out of place and like an object, but also liking the new looks that she was getting since it happened.