“We look forward to moving you!” By Julia on her couch

Sunday February 10, 2019
9:42pm
5 minutes
a Morrison’s Moving poster

It’s a dark room and you are sitting in it. All around it, waiting for something. You’re feeling a tingle of surprise and expectation. You will never fully get what you think you’re going to get. You are ready. All of you in your collective readiness is current. Is consciousness. You and all your pockets touching, phones buzzing or quietly, you and all your friction, candy wrapper anticipation blows the floor out of quotidian thought. You are all in the dark waiting for something. And there’s magic in that. It’s connection in the wings, it’s about to happen and we’re all a part of it. You and me and all of us in this room, gathered to share a thing with some other humans at the same time, while breathing. We remember to breathe, feel, in groups. We know the power of persuasion. We say yes.

“the thin woods and across the highway” by Julia on Amanda’s couch 

Sunday August 19, 2018
10:00pm
5 minutes
November 1968
Brian Doyle

My best friend is a deer whisperer. She is pen pals with at least three of them and one doe with her faun. I wouldn’t be surprised if she was a deer in a past life. She knows exactly how to breathe around them. She knows exactly what to hum. This month she asked one of them for protection and she granted it. She said her grace when she realized how  steadfast it all was. Nothing else in life is this sure. I hope when she writes them she tells them about me. Maybe they will love me by proxy. Maybe they will send their Forest Friends to keep me safe too.

“to achieve perfect personal silence” by Julia on her couch


Thursday December 3, 2015
10:15pm
5 minutes
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
Maya Angelou


I don’t like to hear myself breathing; it makes me too self-aware of being alive that I start to think about death. The absence of breath. The absence of thought. Eternal rest, peace…silence. I realized that audibly yawning triggered these ideas when I woke up the man who shared my bed by doing it. I had never realized how loud the tiny second just after it peaks, after the soft pallet is fully open, was. That I was luxuriating in it without thinking about it, or questioning it. The next time I yawned after that, I tried to quiet the denouement and found that I could achieve an effective yawn, almost gratifying enough to suffice, if I stopped adding sound to it. It’s less enjoyable but it doesn’t make me think about dying.

“Just go in the direction where there is no direction” by Julia at her desk


Tuesday May 26, 2015
11:57am
5 minutes
Forbidden Rumi
Tr. By Nevit O. Ergin and Will Johnson


Like the wind, she speaks, she says
Oooh ooh, yes, yes
Calmly without rushing
No goal exists but to breathe in
every single moment
she whispers through my hair
Hums a day song worth remembering
Oooh ooh, yes, yes
And they say go where the wind blows you
And they say if you’re moved travel alongside her
I don’t know where she’s taking me
But I feel cradled in her billowy arms
And I feel welcomed by her carefree smile
Shhh shh, yes, yes
She reminds me to take time
She reminds me to inhale
and stop worrying
and exhale
and stop worrying
Shhh shh, yes, yes
I’m here for you until you get to where you’re going
Don’t run…
Glide
Don’t push…
Float
And the air is changed beneath me
And the air is changed right through me

“on which the blues would have sounded” by Julia outside the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam


Tuesday November 18, 2014
4:19pm
5 minutes
from a write up on the photograph Interior by Peter Sakaer

My lungs for you, Amelia, are filled with an intoxicating breath. I inhale you once and I am addicted. I must have you again. I must feel you…
Your nonchalance about this awakens something inside me that I had thought I’d put to sleep. It roars within me. It’s suddenly hungry and ready. I’d happily upset my chest stitches for the chance to please you. Against doctor’s orders to remain still and to avoid heavy instances of “sport”, I will pursue you with my fullest self–mind, body, spirit. And it will require all my dedication but you are worth it. 2 extra weeks in the hospital with despicable food? I can stand it–Nay! I embrace it!

“Parking available at the rear” by Julia on Jessica’s couch


Monday, July 7, 2014
12:02am
5 minutes
from a window sign


I don’t know if you know this, but I just got my license so I am free now and I can ride.
I can be the party bus.
I can be the one you call. Don’t drink and drive! So if you want to, I’ll take you there.
I’ll go anywhere. Just as long as I can get out of the house. It’s stuffy inside. It feels like the walls are made of rock crumble and at any moment it could come crashing down on me, burying me alive in all the rubble.
My mother is a sweetheart. She watches TV all day and tells me to heat up the carrots for dinner.
Nobody likes cooked carrots around here. Not even her. But she doesn’t know what else to feed me and she’s scared if she doesn’t I’ll go blind.
I heat up the carrots and put them on her TV tray beside the couch. She doesn’t even sniff them. They sit there all night. I don’t eat mine either so the house smells like warm mushy carrot and I don’t know if she knows this, but it’s not helping her case against my future blindness.
I want to get out and just drive along the highway.
I want to roll the windows down and breathe in the fresh freedom that I’ve been so hopeful for.
I want to drive away and never come back.
My mother is a sweetheart, but she won’t even know I’m gone.

“Even if she is feeling like the scum of the earth” by Julia at her kitchen table


Monday June 2, 2014
11:38pm
5 minutes
an Instagram photo

She told me herself she didn’t feel like herself when the rain fell and when her stomach fell
I heard her say it with a faint ringing in my ear
I heard her say it cause I saw her there in the mirror
She was alone and cold and a full-blown ally to the dark side, to the wrong side
She was something that I could only dream about
Or wish for
She told me herself she didn’t feel much like singing when the sun was out
She would be there, crouched in the mud, trying to taste her mistakes
Trying to make a waterfall from her eyes’ outpouring
The earth is a wet and cold place
I heard her say it with a faint longing in my bones
I heard her say it cause I was stuck there inside her ribcage when her heart started screaming
Take me away
Take me so far away from this
And the sky would open with her desperate kiss
And she would lay there holding on to the only thing she knew

“was just perfect” by Julia at her kitchen table


Thursday May 29, 2014
10:18pm
5 minutes
shutterbean.com

baby bruised me yesterday on my right arm. i said baby, it’s okay, it’s not your fault.
i said, don’t worry baby, it doesn’t hurt. baby didn’t mean to bruise me. i wanted baby to squeeze my arm as hard as possible because i couldn’t feel it in that moment. i wasn’t sure if it was still mine. i didn’t know if it had any blood left in it to keep it alive. baby squeezed and said, tell me when it’s too much. and i said, i will, i will. baby squeezed and i closed my eyes and felt connected to my body again. baby watched my expression and kept squeezing. i just breathed and breathed as if for the first time. i said, harder, or a little harder, and baby didn’t stop. baby pressed harder, my blood barreling down my veins again like the first day of spring. barreling down into my hand, my fingertips, flooding my limb with life and revitalized juices to keep me going. baby looked down and saw there was a mark. baby said, did i hurt you, tell me. and i said, you could never hurt me. you made me better. you always make me better. that was the feeling i had. like everything was perfect.

“A passionate hot blooded woman” by Julia at her kitchen table


Monday May 26, 2014
12:29am
5 minutes
from the ‘Julia’ candle

Then he looked at me and said, damn woman, that was the hottest kiss. I’ve never been kissed that passionately before. And I was like, well I was drunk so what do you want me to say? And he said, say you meant it, say you needed it. I was about to punch him in his face when he came up to mine and kissed me again. I didn’t even pull away. When we were done, he said, are you drunk now? And I said, no, and he said, so there we go. And I said, there we go? And he said, yeah, see? That was sober passion. I said, that shit doesn’t exist, and he said, yeah it does; I just proved it to you. You like me.
Then the world went dark and my eyes got fuzzy and I said, no these are all lies you tell yourself but now you’ve included me in the conversation too. He said, you’re seriously disputing that we just made passion out of thin air just a second ago? And I said, well yeah, passion comes from the soul, not from the lips. And then the world got light again and I could breathe and I could breathe enough that I started to walk away. He said, where are you going? And I said, I have something to do. And he said, more than being here right now with me in the middle of this moment? And then I couldn’t say anything at all that would encompass my disdain for him in “this moment” so I just scoffed and rolled my eyes all the way back into my head. He said, seriously? And I said, What? It’s a kiss. It’s how I kiss. I’m a good kisser, what more can I tell you, Christ.