“buttered side up” by Julia in her room

Monday December 10, 2018
10:28pm
5 minutes
For Murphy
Jade Riordan

there’s a biscuit in our bed
I brought it in here
I’m the culprit sue me sorry
you’re the one who
buttered it
toasted it first then buttered it
you knew exactly what you were doing
And now I’m to blame for bed-crumbs and for low times
and for weakness
I’m the one we always hang the bad ideas on
but I never used to eat in bed until I met you and
I don’t remember now if it was to forget you or bring you closer to me
you’re the first guy who got me higher than this
I wanted more from you and you were smoking then
I didn’t think you
anything but cool
the first guy who got me high

“I married Dave” by Julia at her desk

Monday October 8, 2018
8:30pm
5 minutes
Plants Don’t Have Birthdays
Andrea Gregor

I married Dave
He is the one I wanted to marry
He is the one I wanted to marry
He is the one I wanted
I am happy with Dave
He is the one who makes me happy
He is the one who
He is the one who makes me
I am in love with Dave
He is the one I wanted to love
He is the one I loved to want
He is the love I wanted
I settled for Dave
He is the one I wanted to leave me
He is the one I wanted to leave
He is the one I wanted then didn’t
I am still with Dave
He is the one I regret
He is the one I didn’t expect
He is the one I was too afraid to question
He is the one I can’t see myself in
He is the one who was there
He is the one who had a car
He is the one who had a temper
He is the one who had a problem
He is the one who had a temper
He is the one who lied
He is the one who kept me small
He is the one who I let keep me small
He is the one I married

“It works excellent!” By Julia on her bed

Thursday May 3, 2018
10:13pm
5 minutes
From BUNZ trading zone

Keanu Reeves said it best: Let’s just be excellent to everyone. And if he said it a different way then he said it best that way. I want for the world. I do. I want a hello to mean hello and I want thank you to mean I see you. I mean, I see you. And why wouldn’t I want to be excellent to you? What on earth would have to happen for me to want to be anything less? How nice not to blame any one else for that decision. We are only less when we feel less. These lessons are the easily fixed. They’re the accessible ones.They live in our hallways, our lockers, on our bathroom walls.

“Hitchhiking” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Monday January 1, 2018
7:49pm
5 minutes
Trek: A Publication of Alumni UBC

I want you to go first with your ties of love riding the crest of the wave
most wildly at night with your newfound drunken freedom
from the wickedness
the blame
or something

I want you to stick your thumb out and see who pulls over and climb in before
I even decide
freedom on the side of the highway
crouched in the tall grass
peeing

There is always a final chapter
A conclusion
The timing is up to us
An agreement
Usually silent
Usually eye contact and deep breaths
Freedom from

It’s the first day of the rest of my life or at least 2018
I am here with books piled high beside me
Happy place
Joy place
Finally
My love sleeps in our darkened bedroom
A candle with Sacred Mother Mary burns low on the sill
He’ll leave not tomorrow but the next day
and then it will just be

me

“keep this info handy” by Julia at her desk


Sunday August 20, 2017
10:01pm
5 minutes
the Shaw pamphlet

Mom gives me the phone card passcode so I can call Nanna in Berlin. She lives there now. She said it’s nicer than Whitby. I tell her that I probably don’t have time to call her cause I have finals this week and she doesn’t let me finish my sentence. She doesn’t think school is a good excuse not to do anything. Probably because she only finished the 8th grade. Probably because she knows when I’m talking out of my ass. Mom tells me to keep that info handy and maybe taake a photo of it on my new fancy icamera. I tell her it’s not an icamera, it’s an iphone, and it’s not fancy, it’s a 4s, and life is not as easy as she thinks.
When I ask Mom why she cares so much if I call Nanna or not, she laughs for longer than is necessary and comfortable. “If you have kids,” she says, “and they don’t call me, I will always blame their mother first.”

“I thought you had it” by Julia on the 99


Monday July 3, 2017
4:49pm
5 minutes
overheard on the 99

Kelsey can’t find her wallet for the third time today and the next person who walks through the door is going to hear about it. Loudly.
She’s late, as usual, and thinking of Type A Andrea who always tsk tsks tardiness as if she has zero human flaws. Maybe it’s not easy for everyone to be on time, Andrea. Maybe some of us are burying a deceased bunny rabbit or deciding to floss for the first time in a year!
Andrea never says anything to Kelsey but her disapproval is as present as that fucking mole next to her nose. Kelsey can tell when she’s misplacing things: money, keys, glasses, blame, when she starts digging at her own friends.Your mole is adorable, Andrea, everybody fucking knows that.

“whenever I decide to finally” by Julia at her dining table


Sunday October 16, 2016
10:54pm
5 minutes
from A Pinterest board

If it’s not the third time you’ve come to collect my mushing bones from the living room and scoop me back to bed with you, it’s the second, and I’ve already said no once in a way I was sure you got it. See this mushing thing that I’ve been doing/allowing is sort of on purpose sort of something that I don’t want to change. You’re in the bed, I’m out here, it is quiet. It is easy. You in the bed means sleep comes next means tomorrow comes after means tomorrow night follows. Means I don’t want to wake up. Because I wanted to love today better. But didn’t. Because I don’t want to get out of bed. Because I wanted to love myself better today but I didn’t. Because I don’t want to face myself in some form or another, some battle of self expression or survival- I don’t know which way I’ll be asked to listen to myself tomorrow. So if I ignore you, make it seem like your fault, it’s because sleep will ruin me and you and everything it touches, and I am doing my best to shield you from that.

“the reconnection of a couple” by Julia at her dining table


Wednesday August 17, 2016
10:31pm
5 minutes
roommagazine.com

He had been gone for a long time. I think he was fishing with his new wife, Amber. I hadn’t seen him after he left my mother with a hospital bill and a bag of rotting carrots in the fridge. I hoped he and Amber caught all the fish they could carry.

I was mad because of what he did to my mom. I mean even to this day it’s weird to say “did to” as if he did himself to her. He behaved himself to her. He was himself to her seems more accurate. I was mad because he would be so capable of disappointing someone who loved him that much.

I found out this year that my mother was horrible to him too. I didn’t know that before. I guess I needed someone to blame but I needed someone to stay more. I guess I chose wrong.

That’s when he called. He heard my mom wasn’t going to make it and he came home. He came back to what home used to be. He didn’t bring Amber. I respected him more for that. He didn’t bring any fish. I thought that was kind of rude.

“every minute” by Julia on her bed


Sunday, July 24, 2016
11:41am
5 minutes
From a birthday card

I didn’t mean to be rude but I was. I told you I didn’t think it mattered if you lived or died and I see the error of my ways now and how if I were thinking clearly I could have avoided hurting you. I really didn’t mean to. Not that I ever do, but that stuff doesn’t usually make up enough for the other stuff, so I’m sorry. I am. I wasn’t trying to be rude. I think if I could go back in time I would have assessed you differently and I would have made different choices. Maybe I would have asked you what you meant, or asked for clarification before I assumed you were really asking me the question. Of course it matters if you live or die. I mean, every minute of your life is important so don’t get me wrong when I tell you any of this. I should have been more careful.

It’s always my fault, whether I like it or not.

You are valuable. I mean that. I just meant before in the grand scheme of life, that it didn’t matter because nothing matters, because everything matters, but because it’s everything it’s also nothing. Does that make sense? In the grand scheme of things, and things being the world, and the world being life, nothing matters.

“Highway 2” by Julia at her dining table


Saturday July 2, 2016
10:03pm
5 minutes
NOW Magazine

According to the late night clock on the wall ticking Go To Bed we realized we hadn’t slept since the Rainstorm because you couldn’t fall asleep in the quiet and I couldn’t fall asleep without you. I blamed you then for your sadness. I didn’t know that when you said you were the happiest you had ever been you were trying to manifest happiness because you didn’t have any. I wished you’d stop pretending that it was better on the side of the world where you were left alone, unbothered by me. It made me feel like and onion in an apple patch, a melody in the silence. I made you a card with a picture of a heron because of that one day when we owned the beach before sunrise and saw three of them in a line like an omen for good future, or good luck, or good observation skills.

“Contemporary and traditional ceremonies” by Julia at her dining table


Saturday June 25, 2016
9:23pm
5 minutes
Weddings from the Heart

I haven’t packed a bag in a long time. I don’t really know where I’d go, so I don’t do things that get me going. Matt will have been gone for exactly a year tomorrow. We’re having a mass for him even though he hated church. Mom is always there these days. She says she has a lot to repent about and just wished she could have done it before. She thinks she could have saved him with prayer. I haven’t thought about leaving home since he killed himself. Maybe because I had been away so long and if I were close by, or closer, he wouldn’t have felt so alone. I guess we all blame ourselves for him being gone. I wish the same thing as my mother, that I could have changed my ways sooner. Only in my case that I would have been less selfish and had the foresight to know the repercussions of moving away from home and leaving your kid brother to fend for himself.

“It’s all my fault.” By Sasha on her couch


Wednesday, February 24, 2016
10:29pm
5 minutes
From an e-mail

It’s all my fault. It’s all my fault. I did it. I did it. I didn’t do it, but I did it because I wasn’t there and it’s all my fault.

Shhhh… Shhhh… Shhhh, little honey.

I’m sorry. I’m sorry. It’s all my fault. It’s all my fault. It’s all my fault. It’s all my fault. It’s all my fault. It’s all my fault. It’s all my fault. It’s all my fault. It’s all my fault. It’s all my fault. It’s all my fault. It’s all my fault. It’s all my fault. It’s all my fault. It’s all my fault. It’s all my fault. It’s all my fault.

It’s going to be okay. I promise. It’s going to be okay. I would never let anything bad happen to you.

It’s already happened. It’s all my fault.

“It wasn’t good in the first place” by Julia at Kafka’s


Saturday, October 10,2015 at Kafka’s
3:35pm
5 minutes
overheard at Gene Cafe

I am making amends with my old self. I want to say I’m sorry for all the pain I’ve caused her. She was young, she didn’t know any better. And she tried. Oh, she tried. She wasn’t trying to hurt me and I see that now, she did her best, even though she was not well-rested. A lot of decisions made after not enough sleep. And a lot of decisions made, without the right things to eat. Putting toxins in her belly, instead of love, she did her best. She did what she thought was enough.
I am making amends with my old self. She was young, she didn’t know better. And she tried. Oh, she tried. I can see her efforts now. Holding up a cracked mirror. I can see her clearer. She was just looking to find a little peace. A little more ease. A little more release. And sometimes it was hard and she dug her heels in, she didn’t want to deal with the repercussions of the universe. Oh, how do I blame her? She hadn’t met me yet. So now I can forgive her. She did her damn best.
I am making amends with my old self. I’m sorry for all the harsh words I’ve said. She was young, she didn’t know better. And she tried. Oh, she tried. I should be offering thanks. I should be offering an olive branch. I should be inviting her to stay the night if she needs to visit again.

“unless its roots reach down to hell” by Julia at her desk


Wednesday September 23, 2015
9:31pm
5 minutes
from a quote by Carl Jung

I’m not really sure how I got here. Not here here, just emotionally here. I wouldn’t have expected to end up like my mother but I guess it’s just in my genes. I don’t know if it’s fair to say that even. Like I’m blaming it on her or I’m not taking responsibility for my own life. I just wonder if I am predisposed to overreacting, turning molehills into mountains, turning good things into bad things. That’s what she does; my mother. She’s a hypochondriac and she’s a paranoid individual with a lot less good people in her life to help her out cause of the way she behaves. Now I see myself in her image. No friends. No partner. Nobody to convince me it’s better to be sane…

“Let me get what I want this time” by Julia at Propeller


Monday, August 17, 2015 at Propeller
4:13pm
5 minutes
Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want
The Smiths


I’ve been on my knees
begging someone please
take me from this tease
give this half life ease

I am not a victim but I have gone a long time without getting what I want and I think it’s fair to share that. I am not a victim but I don’t get things given to me for free or by accident or without me giving something first. I am not a victim but I watch other people win while I wait. I am not a victim but I don’t have any socks that match. I am not a victim but I do all the calling out and reaching out and loving out. I am not a victim but nothing ever works out for me. I am not a victim but I can’t lose weight. I am not a victim but I wasn’t put in piano lessons as a kid. I am not a victim but I’m always the last to know. I am not a victim but I play the part because it was designed for me.

“disaster in one form or another” by Julia on the Greyhound to Toronto


Monday, August 10, 2015
6:38pm
5 minutes
Courage
Debbie ford


I stabbed my eyelid with my thumbnail and it started to bleed so Rainbow or whatever the fuck her name is won’t let me participate in the fucking step class. So now I’m sitting outside the gym waiting for Deanna to finish “getting her sweat on” cause she has our locker key and Rainbow’s stupid bitch face said I wasn’t allowed to reenter the class after leaving cause it disrupts the other “athletes”. Jesus fucking hell, it’s not a broadway show! Are the “athletes” really going to have to stop on account of the squinty eyed bleeding girl taking a place in the room? I’m the fucking victim here! Probably my last day of seeing and Rainbow STILL refuses to grant me my dignity.

“I got my new hair” by Julia at Grange Park


Wednesday, June 24, 2015
4:19pm
5 minutes
Overheard at grange park

Well Lacey left the bottle of Carnivore at my house and she knew I would be helpless against it so now I blame her for everything that happened after she left me alone with it. We had been talking about hair cuts and just doing it ourselves. You see where this is headed? You blame Lacey too? Yeah. She thinks it’s hilarious but she doesn’t have to walk around like this freak show that is now my reflection.
Anyway, it went like this:
I drank the wine. The rest of it. And I’m a light weight. So I was wasted.
I saw the scissors. Sticking out of the knife block. They called my name. I answered them.
I went to the bathroom. I laughed at my blood mouth. My jungle attack mouth. I pulled my hair out from the messy bun on top of my head. I said out loud to the mirror, “Let’s do this.”
I snipped one piece at a time. It was going well. Michael Jackson’s Thriller album was playing.
The next thing I knew, one whole side was completely missing.
So then I had to even it all out…

“It is impossible to live without failing” by Julia at Valens Restaurant


Tuesday, June 23, 2015
5:23pm
5 minutes
A quote by J.K. Rowling

She came home huffing in and out like she was attached to a ventilator. It was exaggerated and annoying and I wanted to punch her strong in the throat to get her to just shut up and stop bragging about how gassed she was. She had seen me earlier on the couch with the TV blaring and I guess she thought I hadn’t left that spot all day or something? I did, for the record, in case anyone’s actually keeping tabs on me. I’ve been working more than ever, more than I should be, more than her and I combined, but sometimes it doesn’t look that way at all. She was smiling at me as if she pitied me and was trying to include me in something. Conversation, self-improvement, something like that. She asked, “How was your day?” And I pretended I didn’t hear her. She repeated herself, “How was your day today?” And I refused to turn around when I said, “Oh. It was fine. Thanks so much for asking.”

“always more for less!” By Julia on Jessica and Rick’s couch


Thursday, April 15, 2015
12:12am
5 minutes
A Food Basics store sign

Shondra decided to leave a half drunk bottle of Trapiche right beside my computer. It was a nice thing that she did until the contents of the bottle found its way in all the cracks of the keyboard. I was mad at Shondra for being so thoughtful, cause if she had just finished the bottle, there would have been no spillage, or ruinage of my very expensive new laptop. However, she is a good person and it’s not her fault, per-say, that now my life is in shambles. No, that’s not fair. It’s not the worst thing to happen to me. It’s not like I lost a limb or a loved one. Just all my pertinent information, work, and browsing history. I hear how it sounds. I’m the dirt-bag for even saying it. I spilled the wine. It was me. I can’t be trusted. I can’t do anything. Shondra, I’m sorry. I’m not mad at you. I’m mad at me. I’m always more mad at me than anyone but.. I guess I like to first put blame elsewhere cause I’m so fed up with being so bad.

“How is one to know—with strangers?” by Julia at the Dufferin/St. Clair Public Library


Saturday March 14, 2015 at the Dufferin/St. Clair Public Library
3:10pm
5 minutes
The Midwich Cuckoos
John Wyndham


Caught her staring at me from underneath her sunhat. She was trying to catch glimpses of me incognito but I could see her there, plain as day, paying all her attention to me, avoiding everything about herself. In her slight defense, I would be sneaking glances at me too if I were her. From an objective perspective, I was talking about some fascinating things. People always seem to perk up when they hear the words “wild” “unbelievable” “mind-blowing” “freedom” “sensual” and “magic”. I didn’t want to shame her for watching. After all, it was my choice to leave my house and interact with other human beings. You can’t really blame someone for wanting to see how another person lives, talks, eats, breathes, shares, listens, reacts, lies, sinks, falls, achieves, succeeds. I was curious about her too; sad girl hiding behind her over-sized beach hat.

“I’ve been catfished!” by Julia on the subway going west


Friday March 6, 2015
6:47pm
5 minutes
from a text from Sandra

I’ve been fully tricked
Half baked and eaten
Bowl of fruit and flies
Lights dimmed and lying kind of thing
It wasn’t easy to admit
In fact this is the first time
Felt too vulnerable and stupid
Felt too salty in all my gnashed out skin
Row of fakes
Tray of lies
Cup of deceit steeped to almost ready
And I drank it up gulped it down
Forgot all my faculties
Should have known it needed to cool before tasting
Donated all my wits to the charity drive on 8th
Wished I asked for a deposit on my self-worth

“Sunday’s paper still lies flat open from earlier” by Julia a St. Vital Curling Club


Sunday January 25, 2015
2:36pm
5 minutes
adult-mag.com

Sunday’s paper still lies flat open from earlier. Hard not to have a glance at it. Even harder not to read it. But that’s what I’ve done. Walked past an open Sunday paper. Ignored the headlines and the information. Pretended like the words were part of a big print painting. An impressionist’s grand masterpiece. And that’s what I’ve done. Avoidance. It was big in my family so I have half a mind to blame it on them. Sitting pretty in an airtight bubble of blissful ignorance. We talk about movie stars and phone bills, garlic powder and cobwebs. The time for learning is now and it haunts me. If I passed by my sister’s journal, lying flat open on the kitchen table, would I steal 3 minutes just to read it? Or would I ignore that too?

“cleared of misconduct” by Julia on Laura’s couch


Tuesday December 23, 2014
12:15am
5 minutes
from The Telegraph
December 22, 2014


I can’t help but feel sorry for him. Poor thing never did anything wrong his whole life, didn’t fight with one single human. And now this? Got to pay the price for a one time mistake. I still think this whole thing is a hoax. He isn’t guilty but here he is bearing the burden of it. Do you think he could have done it? Oh I’ll tell you what I think. I wouldn’t be the first to have this idea, but I’ll tell you I’m convinced he’s been framed. A likely story might be that he’s taking the blame for something he didn’t do so someone else could still be free because that’s how good he is.. but The injustice seems stronger, doesn’t it? Even still, it wouldn’t surprise me one bit.

“Wish I could, you know that” by Julia at Bolpetta


Sunday November 30, 2014 at Bolpetta
3:45pm
5 minutes
overheard at Bolpetta

I’m kind of mad at you, I guess. I was really angry before but now I’m. I don’t know just upset, really. I want to explain why I’m upset. I really want you to understand that for me this is not an overreaction. I’m not exaggerating. You made me feel a certain way and it’s valid and I want you to know that.
So. Ok. So I guess I have the floor, then don’t I? I’ve been working on my nerve but it doesn’t seem to be showing. Dr. Abrahams wants me to use “I” statements. “I feel” statements. You. Sorry I mean I feel..felt..because it happened already. Um. Okay. I felt betrayed by you when you decided to eat at the meatball place without me even though I told you it was very important to me. I know you will think that it’s a petty thing to be upset over but you. I feel that you threw away my feelings and decided I was not important enough for you to wait. That’s how it felt. I am entitled to that feeling. It signifies that when it’s really life or death you won’t have the sense to keep me in mind. I am entitled to that feeling.

“I’m really very mistrustful” by Julia on her couch


Wednesday June 4, 2014
1:06am
5 minutes
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Edward Albee


If it hadn’t been for Artemis, the name she gave herself the day after her boyfriend dumped her and she decided that “Diana” was the name of someone who gets dumped, while “Artemis” was the name of someone who doesn’t need a man to feel loved, I probably wouldn’t be sitting here. I wouldn’t be talking to you about the moment I realized I was living a lie, or how if I had rebelled as teenager when I was supposed to, I wouldn’t be in this predicament now. Artemis made me do it. She encouraged me, she egged me on. She told everyone that it was happening and by doing that she made it so. I guess that makes me weak or stupid, or both, I don’t know. But it was because of her and all her running around unlocking cages at the pet store, trying to liberate all the animals that were being kept against their will, that I started to feel like I was the one who was trapped. She told me I didn’t have to release any of the animals myself, just be a look-out or be a decoy if I could manage it. I suppose I wanted her to think that I could do anything at all and not care about the consequences.

“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.

“skill testing question required” by Julia at her kitchen table


Friday April 4, 2014
2:42pm
5 minutes
from a receipt

I was thinking about it all morning. It was a stupid math one, and I should have gotten it right with ease. Ease. I was good at math up until, what, grade five? Fucking graphs, you know? And ever since then it’s been downhill. I used to win fucking awards for my math. Like class-room accolades and shit. I used to get those lollipops. You know? We’d play around the world with our times tables, and I’d beat every single kid in my class, even the smart ones, and then I’d get a lollipop. I used to win so many times I could have opened a tuck shop at my desk and made 25 cents on each kid. See. Math. It’s all confidence anyway. Did you know that? I mean, sure, reading takes confidence, and whatever, Art. But math. It’s a skill you develop just by being confident enough to develop it. You have one bad teacher tell you you’re worth even a little less than you are, and you just learn to believe that crap. It’s one of those things that keeps coming back to bite you in the ass too. You know, taxes, and leaving tips, and getting the right change back from the damn Wal-mart clerk. Did she even finish high school? I don’t know. Does she assume I’m good at math because most people are at least able to calculate the simple stuff in their heads, and therefore this clerk works harder to be good herself so she doesn’t look like she’s trying to dupe a smart math guy? I don’t know. Maybe she thinks that because she’s bad at math, then I must also be bad at math.
Could have won a fucking car today. Fucking math.

“customize the formula” by Julia at her kitchen table


Thursday April 3, 2014
11:57pm
5 minutes
ivillage.com

-If we never get out of here, it’ll be all your fault, Rita. If that is even your real name.
-I’m not going to tell you again, I didn’t do it on purpose and it’s my real friggen name. Do you know many people who go out looking on purpose for a name like Rita?
-I don’t believe anything you say anymore.
-Fine.
-Fine.
-I was told you were the best.
-Who told you that?
-I don’t know, Dr. Arnold. Maybe someone else too, I don’t remember.
-He said that?
-Yeah. So then I wasn’t worried, because I trust him, but now I’m not so sure.
-I told you it was an accident. I’m sorry you’re missing it.
-Missing what?
-The ceremony. I’m really sorry about that.
-Right, well your kid only gets one kindergarten graduation. Here’s hoping she makes it to high school or I’m coming after you.
-If it’s any consolation, I missed my kid’s graduation too. On purpose. I was working.
-Oh.
-I know, I’m a bad mother. I wasn’t thinking of him then.
-You feel bad about it at least. That’s a start.
-Not then I didn’t. When it counted.

“You’ll always be older than me” by Julia at Sambuca Grill


Monday December 16, 2013
9:55pm at Sambuca Grill
5 minutes
From a birthday card

Oh darling one, I waited patiently by your bed for you to wake up and take me with you. Wherever you were going would be fine with me. I only wanted to be with you. You pushed me aside and you cast me out when I was too young to protect myself from that. I wanted to be you and you wanted to be anything but. I watched as you made life choices and hurt yourself. I watched as you learned and grew and became a woman of such grace and strength and dignity. I wanted to be like you then too. I never stopped. And I don’t blame you for trying to push me aside. You wanted me to be independent and I grew dependent on you far too early. I knew what opinions I should have but still waited to hear yours first before admitting mine. I asked you for help on the little things, the big things, and the things I didn’t even realize I already knew. You were patient but you weren’t kind. You didn’t see me for my worth until much later on. You didn’t want me to be anything but small and that’s not your fault. I forgive you for the times I felt like I was not enough for you to be happy. I know now that that’s not what you ever wanted me to believe.

“translate their natural strengths” by Julia at Sambuca grill


Tuesday December 3, 2013 at Sambuca Grill
8:26pm
5 minutes
from the edge newsletter

I was taught from a very early age that I could do anything I wanted. Even if that thing seemed really really impossible. I could still do it. My mum would always say, I’m not saying you can’t do it, I’m simply asking if you should. And then I would reflect on myself and wonder sometimes if I should actually do something just because I wanted to. She also said, depending on the day, I’m not saying you can’t, I’m just saying do you really want to. And that would sort of twist my brain up and make me think that maybe I didn’t want to pee like a boy or climb a volcano during an eruption. And in those moments I’d believe that I could still do it, but it was less of an accomplishment if it wasn’t all that appealing anyway. So there was actually quite a bit of confusion in my head and I didn’t always understand what my capabilities were and what my desires were. So I’m not blaming my mum, you know, for confusing me blind, just thinking about how if you’re told something by someone you trust, you believe it. You’d believe anything. And I guess believing I’m capable is not a bad thing, yeah?

“What made us drift away?” by Julia on her bed


Thursday January 24, 2013
12:46am
5 minutes
The 100-Mile Diet
Alisa Smith and J.B. MacKinnon


Was it the smell of the ocean, calling to us from across the world?
The vacation we said we’d always take and never did?
The holes in his socks that he just wouldn’t fix?
The way she cocked her head to the side when she talked about poetry?
These questions don’t need question marks. They are the reasons. They are the things we couldn’t do right.

A million times over, and the bed was still cold, the money was still tight, and the bread was still stale.
But she asks again and again. She asks herself, she asks him. She’s dying to know. She’s desperate for the answer.
“What made us drift away?”

She shuffles through the house, inspecting it the way her mother and law never bothered to. She would get up early on Sundays just to tidy it for her before brunch and that damn woman never seemed to notice, or care, or either.
She ruffles through old photo albums, trying to detect the distinct possibility that it was there all along; the proof was in the pudding; that she herself was to blame, if no one else would step up.

Was it the wretched winters that kept us from kissing when we entered the house?
The smell of garlic lingering in the air and dampening our mood after dinner?
The salt stains on his dress pants from not being too careful?
The way she never forgave him for forgetting her birthday?

“I’ve lobbed a grenade deliberately.” by Sasha at The Common


Sunday, December 2, 2012 at The Common
3:14pm
5 minutes
Toronto Star Insight and Books section
Sunday Dec. 2, 2012


You’re talking with your mouth full and I hate it the most when you do that. I hate it more than your dirty steak pan in the sink and your stink-bomb socks on the floor of the closet. “What do you think?” You say. I feel a bit bad that I’ve tuned you out, thinking about the assorted annoyances of… you. “What?” I act nonchalant about it. “You haven’t even been listening, have you?” “No, no…” I say. Where can I put the blame other than myself? Where oh where? “I was listening. I just tuned you out somewhere around ‘holiday in January… We can’t afford that. You know it! Why do you delude yourself!” The deluding thing is a low blow given your father’s paranoid schizophrenia but… I legitimately forgot in this instance. Sometimes I lob this grenade deliberately. More often than not, however, I unassumingly say, “You’re driving me crazy!” and then realize… wrong crowd.