“within the high-rise’s stairway” by Julia at her dining table


Tuesday June 7, 2016
11:01pm
5 minutes
Flushed
David Delisca


Ellen told Brody she wouldn’t be joining him on the hike this year but she didn’t give him much notice. She had been holding off on saying anything until she knew for sure if she could or not. Brody didn’t think to ask if there was a reason. He focused on the fact that Ellen bailed on him so last minute and he had already put his money down. Brody sent a lot of passive aggressive messages telling Ellen that he wished he could “find a way to make some much needed cash asap–life is so unexpected, you know?” Ellen didn’t have the heart to tell him what was really going on in case he decided not to go all together. The last thing she needed was her best friend giving up something he had looked forward to every year just to stay at home and offer some unwanted pity. Ellen toggled between telling him the whole truth, and avoiding anything but.

“Rainfall warning” by Sasha on the couch at Pascoe Rd.


Thursday November 12, 2015
10:36pm
5 minutes
from the weather network

What you can do:
Be present.
Hold space.
Actually listen (ie. refrain from thinking about whether or not your lover just texted a sexy picture of their shoulders or what you’re going to have for dinner).
Breathe deep and feel your feet on the floor.
Bring Sleepytime tea and a hot water bottle with a dog on it. Even if there’s a rainfall warning or a blizzard or you really just want to stay in your pyjamas and watch reruns of Nashville.
Stay for a sleepover and rub her back until she’s sleeping even if you are also tired. Wait until she falls asleep and then you can follow.

What you can say:
“I believe you.”
“I believe you.”
“I believe you.”
“I believe you.”
“I love you.”
“I support whatever choice you make.”
“I believe you.”

“Pumpkin season may be upon us” by Julia at Comox Park


Friday September 25, 2015
6:48pm
5 minutes
An Instagram post

This girl. She’s a friend for life. Both mine and hers. You want to know why I love her? Cause when I mention waiting in a long line just for a coffee, she scrunches her nose and she says “Eww.” Or when I say “you know it’s fall when you can buy ‘essence of pumpkin spice’ at the grocery store.” And she says “Eww. No.” Or when I say “I can’t stand those people who hashtag their own kids’ names.” And she dry heaves, scrunches her nose even tighter and says “OH MY GOD EWW.”

“Let me get what I want this time” by Sasha on her porch


Monday, August 17, 2015
5:11pm
5 minutes
Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want
The Smiths


All of my life I longed for a friend like you
Someone who would wear purple when I would wear blue
I wished on every birthday candle and every shooting star
That someone would appear who is just as you are
The day that I met you I felt everything shift
Like an earthquake or a season or an iceberg set adrift
I am writing to say I love you and that I always will
I am writing to say you’re the best and I’ll never get my fill
I think you’re the most creative person I have ever met
And your incredible curiosity means your mind is never set
You’re adventurous and funny and your smile lights the night
When you are by my side everything feels right

“calm and balance your mind” by Julia on her couch


Wednesday, June 17, 2015
3:21pm
5 minutes
The Epsom salt bag

I had a good friend and I loved her and her name was Annie but she begged us to call her SID so we did cause it suited her but only after she dyed her hair bright purple like Easter threw up. I liked spending time with Annie who let me and only me call her Annie because she was full of good ideas about how to find “eternal happiness”. Once Annie showed me how to breathe and I didn’t think it was a very necessary thing because hadn’t I been breathing this whole time? But Annie showed me the right way and I paid close attention cause the way Annie breathed felt a lot better than the way I had been doing it and from that moment on I knew that I could trust her and she wouldn’t laugh at me for somehow not knowing how to do something I was born knowing how to do. When we went to the drive in, Tucker and Jesse and Leila tried to convince us to go cow-tipping after the movie was done cause we were in this big field and they said “SID, YOU HAVE TO COME WITH US!” And I looked at Sid with my “Annie” eyes and she told them, “why don’t we all just learn to breathe instead?”

“we thought we’d play a little trick” by Julia at the Perth/Dupont Library


Wednesday February 25, 2015 at the Perth/Dupont Library
1:51pm
5 minutes
Betty and Veronica Double Digest
The Archie Library 215


We had a ton of little games we used to play when we were kids: See how many fingers you could fit in your mouth, how far you could shove a twisted piece of facial tissue up your nose before sneezing, see who could sneeze the most in a row after that twisted piece of facial tissue was stuck up there, how many times you could belt out the national anthem while you did a number two. We’d come up with the weirdest shit and we would be so willing to complete every single thing. How many bubbles could you blow with your gum in the nude while you got wrapped up in a towel, how many bubbles could you blow with your gum before you got unwrapped from your towel? How many spoons of cinnamon could you keep in your mouth without spitting it everywhere. You’d think we didn’t have one single toy, one single book. Where we came up with these crazy ideas, I will never know.

“we are in a war to the death” by Julia at her desk


Wednesday February 18, 2015
2:30pm
5 minutes
The War of Art
Steven Pressfield


We have been at odds, all three of us, since that summer when Jenna decided to strip. We weren’t prudes, Angie and me, we just got angry that she didn’t want to finish college. “It’s to pay for college, you idiots,” I remember Jenna spitting at us. “Well what’s the fucking point of paying for it if you’re not going to keep going?” Angie got pissed at everything, but for once, her anger was justified. We had spent our entire senior year helping Jenna get her shit together. We worked in shifts at her house, Angie tutoring her in Calculus, me practically writing each of her English papers for her. Jenna was a smart girl but she didn’t want to try very hard. Yeah, yeah, likely story; it seems they’re all smart until they’re not. Jenna wasn’t stupid, but she did have a knack for making some pretty questionable life choices.

“Truth is what works” by Julia at the Bloor/Gladstone Library


Tuesday February 17, 2015 at the Bloor/Gladstone Public Library
3:35pm
5 minutes
Man Seeks God
Eric Weiner


I’ve always thought so. I’ve ALWAYS said that haven’t I, Aims? I live for that shit. When someone just tells you like it is. How is it, one might ask? LIKE THIS. BAM. Like a roundhouse kick to the face! I have always appreciated roundhouse kick honesty. I value that shit over my entire LIFE, dude. So when I was sitting there at that stuffy, pretentious, God-forsaken shit hole of a restaurant on Bay, I was internally like, WHERE ARE ALL THE FUCKING STEAK KNIVES BECAUSE I AM ABOUT TO STAB THE ENTIRE WORLD. Externally I was sitting there quietly wishing I could just be honest. Then he goes, You know what? This place is not exactly what I was expecting. Kind of not my style. And I BREATHE again for the mother-fucking first time, Amy! I was like, I mean, externally I was like, YES. I KNOW, BRO! I’m so glad you said something cause I was thinking that I need to either set this place or myself on fire and I’m totally not prepared to ruin this outfit. And he laughed, dude. It was so fucking refreshing.

“Get creative” by Julia on her couch


Thursday June 26, 2014
11:17pm
5 minutes
from the spaghetti package

On her forefinger she wrote HOME and on her middle she wrote HERE. On her ring finger she wrote WHEN and on her pinky she wrote ALWAYS. On her thumb she drew a ❤ and touched each finger to it for the ritual of it all. She had been feeling a little out of sorts lately. Not really knowing who to trust or who to ask her questions. People had the distinct capability of scaring her senseless, even when they didn’t pose any actual threats. She chalks that up to her childhood and almost getting killed in the woods by her two best friends. That happened way before the incident where those two girls did actually kill their best friend in the woods. She wondered sometimes if those girls all knew each other somehow, thinking to kidnap someone they supposedly loved and bring her to her worst nightmare. Lucky girl who died. She didn’t have to think about the entire world coming after her every other minute.
She looked at her thumb again and took a deep breath. Someone taught her to do that whenever she was doubting herself: take a deep breath and just choose love.

“she wasn’t even funny” by Julia on her couch


Saturday May 31, 2014
1:49am
5 minutes
overheard on queen st west

So I met Brendan’s new girlfriend on Saturday night, cause I accidentally got dragged out to a bar and had to put on high strappy shoes. Tamara said it would be good for me to get out of the house and stop telling myself I was being productive if all I was really doing was reading old e-mails that Brendan sent me while I was in Ottawa last fall. I told Tamara that they were beautiful expressions of love and youth and she didn’t have to understand. She didn’t understand or care to, so instead she kidnapped me with a tube of bright red lipstick and forced me to wear eye glitter. So we’re waiting at the bar and it’s as if I had a sixth sense that it was him, and I looked to the door and Brendan was walking in with a tiny little tanned girl on his arm. She was wearing a ball-cap and had big hoop earrings. She was pretty. She was smaller than me. I adjusted my skirt and told Tamara that I had to leave. No, she told me, I’d have to stay cause I was here first, it was my home field. Then of course, me trying to avoid him for the first 20 minutes made it more awkward when he actually came up to me with his tiny new arm piece in tow. The first thing I said was, I hate this bar! It’s filled with insecurities and perfume designed by washed-up celebrities. Brendan laughed but his little toy didn’t. I was relieved that at least she wasn’t funny too.

“Marvellous convenient place” by Julia at Small Point Cafe in Providence


Saturday May 3, 2014 at Small Point Cafe in Providence
6:52pm
5 minutes
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Wiliam Shakespeare


Tori found her gold locket, the one she thought she’d lost forever, in the basement of her best friend Jane’s house. She yelled at Jane for a whole two minutes because she couldn’t believe that someone who called themselves her friend would ever think about doing that to her. Tori’s grandfather gave her that locket and inside was a photo of her when she was just a little thing with two hairs on her head, holding both her hands on either side of her grandpa’s face. It meant a lot to her and when she’d lost it, she was in a real state. To her it was like losing him all over again and through teary eyes and sobs she’s say, I can’t go to another funeral. I can’t. Jane tried to explain that she didn’t take it and that Tori must have accidentally left it there–or, she tried, Maybe you weren’t paying attention and forgot to fasten it properly…
That set Tori off into another dimension and she said, I would NEVER be careless with this. And with that she stormed out of Jane’s house and vowed to never speak to her again. Jane was telling the truth. She didn’t care much for Tori’s locket in the first place.

TJ & Sam by Julia at the these five minutes: writer’s workout at the Fringe Creation Lab


Sunday February 2, 2014 at The Fringe Creation Lab
1:03pm
5 minutes
these five minutes: writer’s workout

They were brothers–not really–well, really, but not really. Not blood. Just blood brothers in expression–when you open up an old paper cut, or scratch a patch of skin back to make it bleed–rub your wounds into each other’s and promise something of yourselves to the other. For example: I’ll always be there for you, man. Or: No matter what, bro, no matter what.
It feels like when two dudes do this kind of thing they also automatically repeat key phrases like the MSP on a triple A baseball team…Atta boy, atta boy.
It’s nice.
TJ and Sam were like that–only contrary to common belief, they didn’t say anything when their blood was mixing together. They both closed their eyes and just felt it. TJ and Sam had that kind of bond where they could sit in an open space with their blood dancing–with another guy’s blood, and feel a connection without having to say “No homo” just to ease the silence, the magic. They gave it its space–they gave their blood a minute before they said a single thing.

“they like to travel the world” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Monday, November 4, 2013
11:02pm
5 minutes
Kinfolk, Volume Nine

Once they were called “raindrops”
Nell and Jemima
Sliding down window panes
Smiles spread like mustard on a crusty bun
Once they found a man in a bar in Istanbul
Learned the names of his children
Took him back to their hostel
And took turns kissing his scars
Once they snacked on fresh almonds in Jerusalem
Counting their money on their bellies on the beach
Once
Nell and Jemima
Promised never to marry
They were betrothed to the map in the back pocket of their jean shorts
They were faithful only to the train tracks and the stamps on their passports
Once they found a kitten on the street in Venice
A calico
Nell hid him in her raincoat and they carried him all the way to Nice
They found him a home there
With a woman who sang to her statue of the Virgin Mary

“pleasures of science.” by Julia at her kitchen table


Tuesday, September 10, 2013
12:40am
5 minutes
The Norton Anthology of English literature

And here’s where I pick a relatively HUGE-ASS bone with people who refer to their parents as their “best friends”. For the record, I am not saying that one cannot get a long with their parents, or want to spend time with them, or tell hem personal things, or feel loved or love or whatever, blabbity blah blah. But best friends? BEST FRIENDS? This is not okay. Your parents HAVE TO LOVE YOU. They signed up for it when they decided to raise you even after you shat all over their NEW COUCH/KITCHEN TABLE/BED/BATHTUB/CAR/SINK/FAVOURITE SKIRT/PERFECT PANTS. They were like, this shitting machine is still somewhat cute and needs a lot of guidance to stop SHITTING EVERYWHERE, oh look, I’m the only one who spends this much time with it, I might be a good fit to lend some teaching, also, have you seen those cheeks? UNREAL! They were not like, I CHOOSE YOU IN SPITE Of YOUR FLAWS, they were like, I GUESS I’M THE ONLY ONE WHO KNOWS WHAT THIS CRYING THING YOU’RE DOING MEANS, GODDAMMIT.
So. I rest. Parents can be your “best parents”, but they cannot be your “best friends”. SEEK HELP. K, thanks.

“What the hell was I looking for, anyway?!” by Julia at Sambuca Grill


Monday, July 22, 2013 at Sambuca grill
8:53pm
5 minutes
99 Ways to Tell a Story
Matt Madden


I think you and my mother would be best friends, so call her, and when you try to hang up, she’ll tell you her life story or just reiterate the entire conversation as if you didn’t just listen to her say it for an hour, and then when she says she’s got to go, you’ll literally do the exact same thing. So then at the end of it, you’ll know everything about her, and she’ll know everything about you, and the next thing that happens will be a date for just the two of you to go on a wine tasting in Niagara On The Lake where the both of you will not drink even a little bit of wine because neither of you really enjoy drinking or being drunk, and instead you’ll just walk around in circles talking about how nice the vineyards are. She’ll laugh at all your jokes and then try to get you to tell all the same ones she just heard again because that was fun enough so why bother with anything new? And you’ll listen to her tell you all the jokes she knows from the Reader’s Digest, only she’ll leave out all the punchlines or tell all the punchlines first because she’s never been that great with telling jokes that require the listener to follow along. And when I finally get put back into the equation, I’ll ask if the two of you had a nice time together, and you’ll both just nod and smile and say, “yeah, it was nice.” And I’ll be mad for no reason because I was hoping you two would have bonded better, but instead you just talked about accents and blueberries.

“two powerful unions” by Julia at Starbucks


Thursday, January 3, 2013 at Starbucks
10:05pm
5 minutes
metro Thursday January 3, 2013
Joseph S. Nye, JR.


Joining forces to save the world, Alyssa and Katherine wore matching tunics and shared socks so each would have one of the other’s.
The girls decided that they would act as the school yard’s protective service when Alyssa’s little brother was shoved off of the play structure last Tuesday at recess and broke his collar bone.
Alyssa went to Katherine, crying, saying “That was my fault. I should have been there.” Katherine didn’t yet know that something like this had already happened to Alyssa.
Her brother almost died when he was 3 because the two of them were playing hide and go seek and the little
boy hid himself in the dryer.
Alyssa said it again then, “I should have been there.”
Katherine wanted to stop the bullying, but she also wanted to help her friend who seemed to always take these occurrences so seriously.
The girls walked around the perimeter of the school yard, hand and hand and didn’t speak a single word. They watched intently, Katherine squeezing Alyssa’s hand very now and again just in case.