“No mere goldfish, these.” By Julia at her dining table


Friday February 3, 2017
7:38pm
5 minutes
from the Windows display

I don’t think I ever cared about the fish we had when we were growing up. I think I wanted to, and I meant to, but it never hit. My sister seemed to care about them. She gave them names, she put tiny pellets into their water, she sometimes made up songs about them. But then she also kept killing them and had to flush them down the toilet and then get three more replacement fish. And then she did it again. I can see how one would think they’d be an unfit mother if they never figured out just how hard it is for goldfish to actually live in the first place. I realize now that I also couldn’t care about them because when my sister got them for her birthday that year, I also got a pair of white Barbie running shoes with sparkly pink laces. I was very busy.

“You have to love” by Julia on her couch


Tuesday, January 12, 2016
11:17pm
5 minutes
Monecristo Magazine

If it’s in you to give, give it. I’m talking money, magic, moral support, listening, love, loyalty, life, kindness, time, patience, understanding, food, empathy, encouragement, hope.
That’s all we can do, give it when we have it, receive it when we don’t.
And that’s how the world goes round. Or that’s how the world wants to go round. It wants us to need each other and help each other. Its ON button is the scratched out CARE button. But we forget that sometimes because it’s not always easy to care, or to give, or to help, or to wait. We want what we don’t have now and we want to give what we have later. But I’m telling you, it’s not worth it. Immediacy is our biggest killer. We need to play the long game with ourselves and with each other. Giving chances and getting them.

“nasal congestion” by Julia at Grange Park


Friday, June 26, 2015
5:45pm
5 minutes
NETI: Healing Secrets of Yoga and Ayurveda

I can hear her blow her nose through the wall. Thin ass walls, the realtor conveniently forgot to mention. My husband’s obsessed with her. Whenever he hears her go out onto her patio he somehow gets struck with an urgent need for”fresh air”. He goes out there so he can ogle her and imagine what colour her underwear is. He thinks he’s being so slick but I know what he’s doing. He just assumes I’m none the wiser because I don’t say anything. I guess I don’t quite know how I feel about it. Do I care? Do I even mind? When he goes outside for his fantasy time, I have the house to myself and I forget about him completely. It doesn’t even bother me when he goes out because that alone time feels so good. It’s when he comes back in I can’t stand: adjusting himself and quickly thinking of something to say that will convince him, and he thinks me, that he wasn’t just outside wishing he could stay there.

“If you find yourself with a free second” by Julia on her patio


Thursday, June 11, 2015
11:14pm
5 minutes
from a staff meeting handout

Take that second to hold your face in the mirror and smile at that beautiful thing that is growing and sharing and developing in front of your very eyes. Such self love is necessary to survive and thrive and achieve and believe. It starts with an appreciation for magic and mistakes, for findings and failures, for dreams and denials. We can love a loaf of bread with every fiber of our being, but when we hold ourselves up to the light we can’t indulge in ourselves the same way. We can not crave it or feed ourselves with it. And we must. We must feed our souls with intense and concentrated self love, the kind that springs eternal when it’s allowed to enter. And though it’s not a vampire and it won’t kill us, it still won’t come in unless we invite it in.

“This is a highly competitive, adjudicated process” by Julia at the Bloor/gladstone public library


Monday March 30, 2015 at the TPL
5:46pm
5 minutes
The BC Arts Council website

I have never been so nervous! I’m sweating behind my knees and I’m gassy like a bagel on a cow’s hip. WHY IS THIS HAPPENING? BECAUSE I CARE WAY TOO MUCH?? IS IT MY FAULT? I just want them to like me. To accept me and recognize me for my efforts. I think that’s a normal human thing to want. But this is big. It’s not just like, oh, you didn’t gain approval, it means, oh, you didn’t get funding, validation, encouragement to continue trying, etc, etc. I’m fully aware of the competition. I don’t want to be the kind of person who competes with the people out there who compete in these things for sport. But can a nobody compete against his or herself? Can this be turned into a positive somehow? I can’t think, I just want this. But did I do enough work to earn it? I don’t know, I’m sitting here waxing ridiculous to a bunch of overly medicated rich people who all equally believe that their kid deserves this over me.

“Why not join us?” by Julia in Laura’s living room


Sunday December 21, 2014
7:30pm
5 minutes
From an Arriva tube ad

I guess there’s that fear that you just won’t be the coolest person in the room and it keeps you from still being the best version of yourself. You know what I’m saying? Someone is always gonna be better than you when you care about people being better than you. Because maybe they care less and that’s what the definition of cool is. So your fear of being left out and not being the first person people run to when you enter a room is actually making you less and less of an attractive presence. Like, this is what I’m saying right? You have to stop giving a shit and just buy people a round of shots and bring the fun that’s unique to you. Don’t try to bring the cool person’s fun. That’s their job. They’re doing it. Let them worry about it. Just come in with a readiness to be interested and an openness to smile and shit. People love that. People don’t love people who scowl at the happiness around them because they’re unhappy that they weren’t just born with the cool pants and the cool hat or whatever.

“1951-2013” by Julia on her couch


Sunday, October 6, 2013
11:14pm
5 minutes
from Haroon Rahim Bakhsh’s memorial card

When we get there, I’ll make sure Mona knows about the car seat. Okay? I promise you, Birdie, I won’t let anything happen. Mona has the kettle ready to go, she just said to call when we’re a minute or two out so she can put it on. She’s trying, Birdie. She wants to help you, and I suppose both of us. She really is. It’s not like a judging thing. She’s truly invested in this family, and I honestly couldn’t even tell you why. She might see something in me, but quite positive it’s you she worries about. She’s maybe not had to deal with some of the same things, but I can assure you, she’s a good listener. And she understands without having to go through it all. I think that’s rare, Birdie. I think it’s nice too. If you’re still feeling uncomfortable by, I don’t know, 3pm or 4, you just let me know and we don’t have to stay. We do have to go, though, that’s part of the plan. She’s expecting us, after all, and it wouldn’t be fair to keep her waiting forever and then never show up. If you want we can even tell her right when we get there that we’re probably not sticking around. She won’t begrudge us that, but we have to at least drop in for half and hour and say hi. She’s been busy baking all morning for us. It’d be a shame to let her famous ginger cookies to go to waste.