“Mom forbade me to go” by Sasha at The Good Neighbour

Sunday, June 23, 2013 at The Good Neighbour
5 minutes
Reader’s Write
Sun Magazine, July 2013

I told my Mum I was going to be a professional ballet dancer and she laughed in my face. I said, “I’m moving to New York, Mum! Get real!” And she just kept laughing. And then she stopped. Her face fell. “Yer not joking, are ya?” She said, looking at me with those brown eyes of hers. “I’m not. I’m doing this.” She laughed again. Pop came in and stuffed his pipe, and sipped his beer. “Get a load a this, Digger,” Mum said. Pop only moved his eyes to look at her, he didn’t even more his neck or his head. “Kit says he’s goin to the city to be a… a… ballerina!” Pop spit beer out of his lips. “Why the eff you doin’ that, Kit?” Pop sat down on the floor, all dramatic, and picked at his baby toenail. “It’s something I’ve wanted for a long time and I’m tired of wasting my life at the bank, being a frikken teller, counting other people’s stupid ass money and not following my dream. If I die tomorrow, if I get hit by lightning, or by a truck, or if a stray police bullet happens to find me, of all people, I need to know that I’m working towards my life’s purpose… you know?” Pop and Mum don’t know, but they nod anyway.

“Ballerina afraid” by Julia at Starbucks

Thursday, January 31, 2013 at Starbucks
5 minutes
Metro News Thursday January 31, 2013

I’m clenching my teeth because when I get focused I really start to hurt myself. Only started cutting when I was finished university, so that’s something I’m truly proud of. Made it pretty far before they had to operate on the disgusting hair ball in my stomach too. That’s from the stress. It’s cause I have a lot going on. Who doesn’t, am I right? My jaw is a mess. My dentist tells me to wear a mouth guard to bed, but I don’t because back in the day, there wasn’t a fix to these problems and people got on just fine without any help.
I’m not saying I want to do this all on my own, I just mean, if my body is reacting to certain things, fight or flight, then I should trust that. Not everyone is meant to have a perfect set of bottom teeth, okay. Not everyone is meant to weigh 108 pounds and lift their legs over their heads. That’s my bag, I guess, I was just sort of thrown into it based on one experience as a child, expressing some vague interest in prancing around in a leotard. Now I do it, I’m not saying I don’t, but I do it, and this is my life. I maintain a low weight, I cut the places no one sees or thinks to see, and I don’t eat my hair anymore, but I want to. We’re all a little fucked up. I’m just worried that when my dad finds out about the cutting he’ll try and quarantine me again. It’s his way of doing a casual intervention.