“full of tenderness” by Julia in Amanda’s kitchen

Wednesday August 8, 2018
11:36am
5 minutes
Chant
Wang An-Shih

I sleep in your bed when you’re away and I toss and turn and have nightmares about people breaking into your apartment because I’ve done something wrong in a past life to ruin the trust you have in me. On a different night I dream of having to find an outfit for prom. 13 years later and I wonder what I have accomplished since then. Still trying to fit in. Still worrying if I will be perceived by them as I perceive myself. On the night with the nightmares I am landlocked to the bed. I can’t rise. I can’t wake up. Sleep paralysis plays a slideshow of disturbing footage and I’m not allowed to leave. I’m not allowed to leave. Your bed used to be softer. I think you gave that one to our parents. I think your heart full of tenderness gives everything to everyone. I’m sorry my body heavy with jet leg and self-doubt can’t ease into the gift. You’d be sorry if you knew it was hard, and it shouldn’t be hard. It should be soft. You’re sleeping on the cold ground right now and I pray that your bones aren’t wet all the way through. I hope you’re sitting on the garbage bag instead of a damp log. I hope you find peace in the stillness of the wilderness. You impress me. Someone who knows when to say yes.

“Jesus do I have to even get out of bed” by Julia at her desk

Monday June 4, 2018
9:26pm
5 minutes
From an interview by Devin Friedman

Do I have to leave this? I’ve built a warm thing to lay in. My head is heavy. My eyes blink slowly. What is it about grey mornings.

Don’t say they’ll turn into something beautiful. It’s always too late when this city decides to help me out.

I think it’s sadness?
It feels like it.
Laying, laying, not moving, sort of staring

I think another body in the bed would change the shape of things.
Make me sink a little toward the middle.
Make me have to get up in the night.
Make me have to come right back and settle.

Today is hard.

If I admit it maybe it will get the validation it needs and move on.
Maybe tomorrow won’t be so needy.
I slept with all my clothes last night.
Sweater, pants, socks.

Another body in the bed would require shorts or nothing.
Another body in the bed would be built like a furnace, jobbed and ready to heat whatever is close and shivering.

I’ll ask Jesus if he knows where to get one.

“Thanks guys” by Julia at her desk

Wednesday May 30, 2018
11:00pm
5 minutes
Overheard on Oak St.

I know you’re leaving when I see the bowl of left over tuna salad in the fridge.
This is what it looks like when you go away.
No more cooking big meals in case you don’t get a chance to eat them.
Butt ends of broccoli and too few mushrooms to make a difference.
I think our mouths have been meeting in our sleep again.
You are saying goodbye with every dream I think I’m having.
In the morning it is still dark and you are half beside me, half out the door.
Who do I thank for giving you wings when they are breaking my heart?
Do I blame it on the big men in the big buildings in the big city?
In the quiet of our goodbye, you’re the one who says you’re sorry.
I am so happy for you.
It hasn’t even been a full day yet.

“stinking up the bedsheets” by Julia at her desk

Monday April 9, 2018
9:15pm
5 minutes
Lonely
Z. Da Costa

I noticed crumbs in the bed yesterday morning
they belong to both of our feet
both of our pajama pants
I don’t know
I don’t hate it
But this lonely has been stinking up the bed sheets
and I know that it only belongs to me
that the nights left unslept are mine
but they’re because of you
I don’t think you will mind sharing this custody
I think your bed has fewer crumbs in it
but it is more empty
I have never been there and left it
I have never rolled my day’s lint at the bottom of your sheets
and then made you sleep alone in it
I noticed your side of the bed doesn’t dip as much
maybe this haunting was all part of your master plan

“there are still shoelaces to be tied” by Julia at her desk

Sunday April 8, 2018
11:15pm
5 minutes
Ten Seconds for Each Year
Fernando Raguero

Wait till your eyes run out of juice
try typing that letter to your friend
see how many times you nod off in the
middle of a good sentence
tell her: there are stillllllllllll swppp
tell her: you are so eeeeeen qqQ hip
She will really appreciate that you didn’t
make time for her earlier in the day
that you were saving up all your creative
expression for the moments in between
sleep and almost sleep because that’s
when all the best ideas come through
tell her: that thought you had about
the cactus and the kiwi eloping
tell her: neck kink and unlimited yawn
tell her: fall onto the bed mascara
still holding all your eyelashes together
Don’t forget about the roasting pan in
the sink or the shoes out in the foyer
or the wet hair drying slowly on your back

the fortifiers of human agency” by Julia in her bed

Tuesday March 27, 2018
11:14pm
5 minutes
On Being

Things may have escalated. My alarm clock now tells me how shitty I’m being for sleeping. Not sleeping in, but being tired. Labels as the chimes go off: don’t waste your potential! Get thee to the yoga mat! I should be thanking night me for trying to kick morning me in the ass for some good quality productivity but I do not listen to myself. I’m the only one who can fortify my own agency and yet, snooze, sorry, tomorrow. My mind craves structure and my body craves cuddles. Nobody wins here. Nobody wins, and somebody should since it’s all just me playing me against me playing me. Nothing is real! Getting up early is not real! Wishing I didn’t wonder where the hours go is not real!

“boys can be dangerous.” by Julia at the studio

Monday, March 19, 2018
3:57pm
5 minutes
Undue Familiarity
Ellen Collett

It is under the covers of this empty bed where I feel the most like nothing.
Where are your knotted legs to wrap mine around?
Where is the soupy whisper in my ear telling me I am good enough already?
Boys are so damn dangerous
when you let them love you so good
the lack of them creates chaos in the sweet stream
A kink in the neck now from piling up your pillows
it is my back, desperate
to be held by something other
than this muscle spasm, kidnapper and cruel one
I rub the void between my legs until sleep takes me
I wake up wet from the dream that I said I’d meet you in
I used to think I slept better when you are gone
but when I let you love me so good
the sheets change all of their demands

“turns up the heat” by Julia in Nicole’s bed

Thursday December 21, 2017
12:09am
5 minutes
a flyer from The Cultch

Her room, she says, is too cold to sleep in. Except when he’s here and he’s furnace and he’s dripping sweat in her sheets. I ask if I can turn the oven on tomorrow. She says it might blow up the whole place and better to put on a better sweater. I have a better sweater now. It was the only thing I told myself I’d bring and then I packed too many what ifs and accidentally forgot to leave some things behind. I forgot that I told myself I wouldn’t smoke so much.
She says we’ll have to make sure to look out the window. When I ask if there’s a meteor shower she doesn’t laugh. She says 10 somethings of snow will be falling tonight. I don’t remember the measure of snow she used. It wasn’t what you would have expected. He’s not coming by to warm the bed. She says I won’t be meeting him until tomorrow.

“Vampire bats also appear” by Sasha in bed at Knowlton Lake

Tuesday October 3, 2017
5:53pm
5 minutes
Dust
Charles Pellegrino

I’ve never been sicker.
I always feel that when I’m sick.
I’ve never felt this hot wound sore achey fuckedup messy snot mess.
Can’t focus pencil on page.
Can’t breathe.
Can’t think.
No space.
So tired.
Could someone else please do this for me?
I need help.
I moan and groan and moan more groan more.
Cold water down the throat of knives and you tried to feed me eggs and I ate them, reluctant.
I’ve never been sicker.
This is the worst time.
This is the worst of the most terrible.
I may not survive.
I know that I am dramatic but LittleBoy does see a wolf one day and what happens then?

“You waited for me to let you learn” by Julia at her desk


Wednsday September 6, 2017
9:21pm
5 minutes
Yours Is This
Julia Pileggi


It feels like I have been here before
in this moment between Mars and Monday
you are here too like a cup of water
or a good pencil
We chose this space and this timeline to wander together
I know your hands less than I should
You will likely forget mine when I die
Of course I can’t pretend that I won’t
All true things have death attached
And still I hope you don’t go first
Unless your body could use the rest
in which case I will keep my arms strong
so I may hold your last breath
the last time your body builds a memory
I will be the softest bed you ever had to leave

“I didn’t want to wait in that line either” by Julia on the plane


Friday July 7, 2017
6:25am
5 minutes
overheard at Vancouver international airport

Dear JT,

It’s almost time to say goodbye. We’ve all been awake since four in the morning on account of a sweaty sleep and a flight to catch. The bed has new sheets but you won’t feel them till next week. I slept without clothes and it was still an inferno. I am almost glad you weren’t there. of course I’d rather see you, and even now as I write this, I regret saying that. I think Emmett will be fine on trip-we got him one of those thingy spinnings? I don’t know what they’re called but I’m sure you’ve heard of them. They’re everywhere.

“I was speaking body-to-body.” by Julia on her bed


Wednesday June 21, 2017
10:52pm
5 minutes
from an interview with Lidia Yuknavitch on http://www.bloom-site.com

Horay, you fixed the bed. Now our bones don’t crumple in at the meeting place. I never knew how much knee crawling I do until receieving the cease and desist.
It is bad for some reasons, but you don’t want to hear that because it would get in the way of you patting yourself on the back.
You don’t want to hear them but I am not built like a slow cooker. I make popcorn with my feelings. I burst through every single lid in this apartment.
I don’t like sleeping in and now I am more comfortable because my spine is no longer screaming at me. I am speaking body to body now. If you don’t want to hear how my silence stings, you better set your chest to ‘Listen.’

“Cut cucumber halves crosswise” by Julia in her bed


Monday May 29, 2017
12:29am
5 minutes
The Silver Palate Cookbook
Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins


Thanks for doing the shopping and buying the cucumber. I dont know what made you think to, but i’m sure glad you did. I really wanted it. I was going to make us a cheese salad, you know with at least three different kinds? Goat and feta and all those guys. I didn’t want to ask you cause I didn’t think you cared one way or the other.

“Did you know?” by Julia on the 14


Sunday April 23, 2017
11:34am
5 minutes
from a bus ad

“Did you know that if you make your bed every day you’ll feel more accomplished? I read that in an article about the army and why they make you make your bed every morning. It teaches discipline and says to the world ‘I value my bed, my rest, my belongings, ETCETERA.’ I have been making my bed every morning, even if I have to get right back in it later to sleep. I have been feeling more accomplished. I like crossing off my to-do list. They say if you start your day with something easy then the rest of your day feels a whole lot more manageable. I told my sister this and she refuses to believe that it works. She doesn’t listen to me about anything. I’ve told her about vision boards and angel cards and manifesting and avoiding night shades but she does not like to be told anything. ”

“I wish that we could talk about it” by Sasha at her desk


Monday April 17, 2017
11:46am
5 minutes
Someone Great
LCD Soundsystem

It’s the kind of morning that your mother
used to yawn about Laying in bed with a book
and a cold tea on the nightstand
The golf ball is in your throat again
but maybe this Earl Grey will wash it
down

It’s not a crisis of faith you hear yourself
say to your oldest friend It’s not anything
like that

“an unexpected family thing” by Julia on her bed


Monday, July 25, 2016
8:13am
5 minutes
From a text

Annie calls me from the other room to see if I’m awake. I am. But I ignore the ring. Letting it finish its tune before I toss in bed some more to make it seem like I’m still asleep. Annie hasn’t been sleeping well on the couch, even though she says she has been. She makes sad squealing noises throughout the night but doesn’t remember doing it. I know she isn’t well but I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do. I told Jeremiah about it and he told me he needed at least eight hours sleep to get through his day and if he could sleep on the couch, he would. I told Jeremiah I would sleep on the couch if he would let my sister sleep on my side with him in the bed. He looked at me like I had just swallowed too many blue pills. He shook his head slowly from side to side and said, I don’t know, Lisa, I don’t know.
For the first time I wonder if Jeremiah is attracted to Annie. Or if he is trying to assert his power.

“He always was kinda young looking” by Sasha on the Gulf Islands ferry


Tuesday, June 9, 2015
11:15am
5 minutes
overheard at the ferry terminal

Billy hates making his bed, so he doesn’t. At least at his Dad’s place, where he can get away with pretty much anything. He gleefully leaves his bed unmade, his dishes in the sink and drinks a Sprite for breakfast. “Bye, Dad!” He calls, his father asleep upstairs. He cocks his head at the pink high heels near the door. He waits for a response, until the bus honks and he runs out, the screen door slamming behind him. On the bus, he puts on his headphones, even though Ray wants to talk.

“Those were the worst nights” by Sasha in her kitchen


Tuesday June 2, 2015
8:32pm
5 minutes
overheard at Higher Grounds

“Those were the worst nights,” he says, “when she couldn’t sleep, when she’d sweat like an athlete, you know, that stinky sweat, like there’s toxins coming out?” I didn’t want to hear about her again but I swallowed it and looked at him like, “Nothing you say will phase me.” “I didn’t know what to do, I felt so helpless… It totally triggered my trauma around women being dependant on me, you know, like, my stuff with my mom…” I pulled the covers right up to my chin and thought about if there were chips in his cupboard, and then if Heather ever ate chips when she was sad. “What’s she up to now?” His eyes narrowed and he scratched somewhere under the covers.

Choosing what is important for her” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Friday March 27, 2015
6:42pm
5 minutes
Sasha’s notebook

She’s kept a food journal for twelve years. Mostly it’s been a secret. Only three people know. Sonja – because they spend so much time together and secrets are boring to keep for so long with someone so close; Pete (her once removed ex) – because he once caught her writing in it, when she’d thought he’d been asleep, and he asked and asked until she caved and then he made endless fun of her (via questions) and then she left him; and Jillian – because when Jillian was going through her sex change she felt it was only fair to reveal something private and strange and a bit shameful because Jillian was revealing so much so publicly and it was all she could think to reveal of herself.

She decides, one particularly rainy evening, as she sits cross-legged on her bed, her sheepdog Oscar snoring beside her, that this madness has to stop. She’s taken to recounting everything she’s eaten before bed, a kind of calming ritual, perhaps similar to putting ones legs up against the wall or praying (but entirely different). Today, she can’t remember what she’d eaten for lunch. Was it a can of tuna on baby salad greens? Was it miso soup? Was it half a cantaloupe with cottage cheese? Was it a protein shake? It was as though every day was every other day and nothing was as it should be. “Why am I doing this?” She asks aloud, Oscar waking up and cocking his head towards her, just the amount of sympathy she needs.

“Start a group play team” by Sasha at YYoga Kitsilano


Saturday January 17, 2015
8:13pm
5 minutes
from a lotto 649 ticket

We touch noses in the morning and we touch toes in the evening.
We pull the couch over to where we can watch the rain.
We watch the rain.
We sniff armpits and shoes and bellybuttons.
We learn the smell of the wet places and the warm places.
We make breakfast wrapped in a dreamy haze of circuses and Hollywood.
We leave things tidier than we found them, in general.
Sometimes we don’t. Those time we feel badly, but not badly enough to regret anything.
We smile when we listen to the songs that give us gifts, wrapped in packages with cards that say:
Christmas 2012.
Your 24th.
My 28th.
We flip through photographs and kiss our former selves.

“I don’t understand why I sleep all day” by Julia in the park


Saturday June 28 2014
5:27pm
5 minutes
No Rain
Blind Melon


Maybe because the rain doesn’t stop here or because waking up means having to plan something to eat. Maybe because the sounds of the wind coming in through the holes in the bedroom walls means that if it’s not okay in here, the one place where it’s supposed to be, then it most definitely is not okay out there.
Maybe because the ego is a sensitive and fragile organ and if it’s wounded, even mildly, it takes days and days to recuperate. Maybe because the skies are vast but filled with grey clouds and looking up at something so big and seeing it filled with something so sad is enough to keep anyone laying under the covers until the sun peeks out long enough to put on pants and go outside. Maybe because if I told you how I really felt you’d stay in the kitchen and I’d have no where else to hide if I wanted to stay behind a separating door. Maybe because I’m a bit broken and disappointed in myself after all the wrong choices I’ve made lately, or made ever, that having to face them in broad daylight feels too hard or too easy and I don’t know which one is worse. Maybe because I’m tired. It could be that simple. I sleep because I have to. Either that or I’m aware that being awake means having to try.

“marvellous night” by Julia on her couch


Saturday March 22, 2014
3:09pm
5 minutes
Moondance
Van Morrison


sitting naked on my bed until it gets too cold to care
writing naked on my bed until the sweat drips from the back of my knees and forms a puddle in my art
the pencil is sharp and i’m not holding back
not this time
not any part of me
the page is naked on my bed until it gets too insecure to stay that way
the story is naked on my bed until it gets cloaked in truth and turns into one of those truth-wearing high society women who roll around in money and make grand entrances
the pencil is sharpened and i’m not erasing a thing
not this time
not any part of me
it’s hot now
it’s cool
it breezes
it wafts
it’s only easy when i give myself fully to the sword
and even holding such a weapon
it’s still the most peaceful thing i can touch

“WHeat=” by Sasha on her couch


Friday January 10, 2014
1:13am
5 minutes
from building graffiti on college street

I hate to make the bed but I do because my Pops told me that a man that doesn’t make his bed is a man that doesn’t deserve a woman in it. So I make the bed, because I can never get the Old Man’s voice out of my head. I find this fucking hair elastic. It’s blue. It’s overstretched. Girls and their goddamn hair elastics. You and your… The bobby pins were everywhere. In the couch, the washing machine, the glove box. How many stray hairs have you got? Shit. I’d make a pile of them and leave them on the table with a note, written on the back of a receipt that said, “We could build a house out of these fucking things.”

“A knock on the door” by Sasha at her desk


Sunday November 24, 2013
11:36pm
5 minutes
At The End
Mark Gore


There was a knock at the door. You weren’t expecting anyone. In fact, your hair was wet and wrapped in a towel and you were wearing your father’s old Edmonton Oilers jersey, too-short fleecy pants and mismatched socks. You thought about pretending that no one was home but the lights were on and your guilt mechanism kicked in. You opened the door. You gasped, not for the cold but for me, there, in front of you. “Holy sh – … Come in! Come in!” I do. I put my backpack down and take off my boots and my raincoat, placing it on the back of the red couch. “You shouldn’t do that!” You say. “I could’ve had a heart attack. You know about my murmur…” “I took the red-eye,” I say. You look at your watch. 8:12. “Should I call in sick?” You’d have to leave in forty minutes. “No, it’s cool – ” “Are you…?” “Yeah. I’m staying this time. I’m… sticking around.” You sigh and I see a fleck of wondering. “What happened with – …?” “He decided that it would be better if we…” You nod. I follow you into the kitchen where your bagel has gotten cold. “Tea?” I shake my head. “I’m going to sleep for a couple of hours… If that’s okay?” You nod. “It’s really, really good to see you,” your eyes are soft, I like them better without make-up. “You too, Izzy.” I walk like a ghost into your bedroom and lie down on your bed. It smells like Paul.

“Only need touchin’ up” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Friday, September 20, 2013
10:06am
5 minutes
Judevine
David Budbill


You’ve been tallying your wins and loses on the wall beside your side of the bed, with the pencil with the chewed on end. You count four and then slash it across. You don’t know that I know that’s what you’re doing. We both play dumb a lot.

When I found the cat hiding in the garage, wet from the rain, I called you and you said, “We can’t take care of a cat. You can barely keep a cactus”. I left him there. I still feel guilty. I think about that cat, starving, or, worse.

On my birthday you gave me a box of cherry pop-tarts. You wrapped it in tinfoil. You left for work early, before I was awake. The gift sat on the kitchen table, beside a glass of orange juice. It was the first time you’d given me a present.

“I remember” by Julia at the TUA Artists’ Retreat at the Fringe Creation Lab


Sunday, August 25, 2013
2:02pm
5 minutes
From the writer’s workout warm-up

I remember the feel of your morning skin more than the taste of your kiss. It’s something that eases me, that keeps me from spinning into the unknown. You lay there, sleeping, mumbling something to me or yourself, about me, or yourself, and I know you. Your skin: cool from the ever-blowing fan because of the air conditioner we never ever purchased. Your skin, inviting and honest, cloaking your masculinity, your desires, your rage. I remember that feel, that cool sticky skin feel, when I hate you. When I wish you never told me you loved me. When you break my bracelet because you can’t help yourself but play with the dainty things that are strewn across the dresser we share. That’s when I crawl back into those pretty morning moments, and I’m still, laying there behind you, counting your freckles and believing that I could not want for anything but this.
Your heart, a beating, living thing beneath the skin. I’m intrigued by its rhythm and the secrets you hold close but only let me see when you’re sleeping away. I remember.

“FEAST” by Julia in her backyard


Monday, July 1, 2013
5:35pm
5 minutes
FEAST
Nigella Lawson


I cut my tongue on a green-flavoured sucker. I don’t know what kind of green it was, it wasn’t sour apple, I know that. But it was green the way red things taste just red. Like cherry, yeah, or strawberry, fine, but usually the red ones of anything taste best and that’s simply just because they’re red. I spent all of last week eating suckers and coke-bottle candies while laying in bed and reading East of Eden from cover to cover. I think my body needed kale, and I was so far away from kale that I just kept having the green ones. Of the candies when the coke-bottles ran out. I never had patience to suck on those damn things for long. They always beckoned to me, wanted me to chew them. So I did. I just chomped down on it till it all got stuck to the crevices of all my molars on the right side. I always get cavities in the same place, but whatever, green is green is green is green. That’s a saying I started saying. Cause of all the sugar and all the Steinbeck. You just start talking in clever quotes when you’ve read about the evils of humanity for days on end.

“my side of the bed.” By Julia at Nicole’s house


Saturday, June 15, 2013
7:17pm
5 minutes
http://www.bleubirdvintage.typepad.com/

From here you look like you’re in a lot of pain. I can see it in my sleep, it’s sort of making its way into my dreams. I hear you cringe and suck your teeth. Every time you move you sound like you’re going to die. In my dream of you, your mother’s there and she’s watching us interact with a judging eye. She thinks I haven’t been taking care of you, and she can see your pain too. I tell her, no, it’s not how it seems, you don’t want my help and I’ve kept my hand there on where I think it’s hurting you the whole night. She just scoffs and then drives her smart car through the mud flicking speckles of wet dirt onto my favourite blue dress. That’s how I know it’s a dream, because nothing makes sense, and your mother would never get mad at me for you hurting yourself. I’m eased by how little she knows about us. About what I see from my side of the bed. From what I see when my eyes are closed and you’re babbling about something regarding open heart surgeries, and those ginger cookies your grandfather stole for us.

“could go wrong.” by Julia on her couch


Tuesday January 29, 2013
3:56pm
5 minutes
The Well in the Frog
Jana Gatien


You’re in my bed. It’s a good thing. You’ve baked me a stuffed potato or whatever and you’ve washed your feet, which is also a good thing. You’re playing some stupid game on your phone and you’re asking me stupid philosophical questions that don’t really need answers. You’re sweet. You’re very kind to your mother when she calls, even though she sometimes calls 3 or 4 times a day. I like that you have patience. I don’t, so I like that you do. You’re in my bed.
I didn’t ask you here, or force you. You just sort of knew so you came one day and you haven’t left yet. I do the groceries and I don’t make you pay me back for any of it because getting to sleep beside you every night is pay back enough. In the good sense. It’s just that I have these nightmares and when I’m alone they get real crazy. But when you’re here, when I can smell your skin, I don’t have them at all. I dream about daisies a lot which should be weird but it’s not.
You sometimes scratch the space on my neck in between the flat parts.

“become a woman of much consequence.” by Julia on the 511 going south


Sunday, January 20, 2013
2:08pm
5 minutes
Judith
Arnold Bennett


And then I said to her, “no Mom, I don’t care about pulling the sheet tight to fold it under. It’s the 21st century, nobody cares about that stuff anymore, you’re super anal and fuck you!” It was like, the ultimate moment of freedom. Okay so I didn’t say that last part, because I would have gotten the shots. Like five across the eye maybe, that’s what I think she’d give me. But I really wanted her to know that I was pissed off. First of all she made me late for board game night at Darren’s house, and second off, she totally embarrassed me in front of Marti, our neighbour, because my window was open, and Marti is always dinking around right below it as if she’s gardening or something like that. So when I looked out to see if she was there, right after my mom had yelled at me about the stupid sheets, she was looking up at me, like eavesdropping all over the place. I felt so dumb. Should have closed the window. I just don’t see why these olden day rituals need to be done in like, today’s society. Girls don’t need to learn to make beds and I’m sorry, but it doesn’t mean that we are bad, or messy, or whatever, if we don’t. We don’t have time! Oh yeah, and I also said to my Mom, right before she left, I said, “I don’t need to make the bed if I’m just going to mess it up again anyway!” Now that I really said.