“When I came down from the attic” by Julia at her desk

Monday April 16, 2018
1:17am
5 minutes
The Portrait
Stanley Kunitz

we never had things in our attic
mom was more of basement type
as in hit the bottom of the rung
type sit on the unfinished concrete
floor in the dark type
the attic was much too high up
too close to God
filled with insulation and spider
webs but not memories of us in
picture form or moth eaten sweater
reminders of our carelessness
of hers
she didn’t like to hide our things
away in a place that might collapse
wanted to be closer to the earth
just in case the apocolypse hit
she made herself a home down there
and on Sundays we were allowed to
visit if we brough her the yogurt
in the tubes and the frozen thyme
in the ice trays

“We emailed back and forth” by Julia on the 99

Monday November 20, 2017
10:50pm
5 minutes
overheard at JJ Bean

There was an email I sent him once. We were still in high school. I can’t remember if this was before or after Natalie locked us in Denise’s storage room, hoping that we’d have nothing to do in there but make out. I was hoping the same thing. You’d think that after he told me he would do it, but it would mean more to me than it would to him, that I’d get the message and move on to another emotionally unavailable 16 year old, but no. I took it as a sign that he was noble or decent or protective of me even, because he loved me. I have had some serious let downs from thinking I was all that before. The fall is always harder from the great height of delusion.
But this email I sent him was a survey. It was designed for teenagers to flirt with each other, confessing their secrets, disguised as “everybody is doing it so here you go.” He answered my survey. He wrote down what song made him think of me. He said “I was born in a small town”. I thought at the time it was cute. Look how well he knows me. But he didn’t know me. I was born in a bigger city than he was.

“discussing something that’s totally wrong” by Sasha in her bed


Tuesday August 15, 2017
11:18pm
5 minutes
Overheard at JJ Bean

Whenever I hear the faint din of Family Guy it reminds me of my first boyfriend
how desperate I was to kiss and be kissed
I’d lied about my first and whether it had happened on a baseball diamond
or whether it had happened on a camping trip
Truth or Dare doesn’t count everyone knows that
Really really I promise I’m telling the truth
it happened in the basement of my mother’s house
my private secluded dank strange jungle
with a hammock in the corner and my own bathroom
every sixteen year olds dream
MY OWN BATHROOM
I had so many strange products in that fucking bathroom
from the drugstore
what is it with teenagers and drugstores
It was a good honest earnest real kiss

“This is why you need to clean your room” by Julia on the 47 going North


Wednesday March 4, 2015
3:20pm
5 minutes
overheard on the subway

I will not touch the basement! Everybody! I will not transition into being a house cleaner, that is not on my vision board! Everybody? Is that clear? I speak this next nugget of profundity to the masses in hopes the whole world will echo it back to me! “Hello!!”(Hello, hello) “I’m a genius!” (Genius, genius) “I do not clean basements!!” (Basements, basements) “I am a genius and I do not clean basements!!” (I am a genius and I do not clean basements) “I will mark the entire universe with my light and I will love beyond myself! I will help others and be present in this life, but I will not clean the basement!” (Yes you will, you will, you will). And then! Hark! I pause! For the world’s echo sounds an awful lot like my mother!

“finally after 32 years I discover music” by Julia on her bed


Saturday November 2, 2013
1:15am
5 minutes
Sheila Heti’s e-mail in “An email that’s an apology”
from We Think Alone, Week 18 by Miranda July


He didn’t know it but he knew it and it was building there deep inside his veins. Stirring up trouble blood in a couple major arteries. Whisking it till it’s true and thin and rotten and meaningful.
He didn’t want to ask any questions about it or see if anyone felt the same way. He just acted like it was nothing and went about his day doing his thing. His thing in the bathroom, his thing in the living room, his thing in the basement, his thing in the attic. He went about knowing what he knew with thin blood and a trembling mind, trying to play a constant rhythmic sound, or encouraging those sounds to play around him. But there it was every second without fail: the outrage, the catastrophe, the really perfect excuse, the dying plant on the windowsill.