“Powerful, self-actualized women should feel no shame” by Julia on F’s couch

Sunday November 12, 2017
9:38pm
5 minutes
Communion
Bell Hooks

When speaking
When listening
When choosing not to have a baby
When changing her mind about having a baby
When saying no
When saying yes
When crying
When asking the bus driver for help
When helping
When wanting to be alone
When wanting to be with him
When wanting to be with him even though he still forgets
When speaking
When listening
When making dinner
When waking up
When brushing her teeth
When taking a long shower
When touching herself
When asking to be touched
When deciding not to give an answer
When deciding not to justify her feelings
When not justifying her feelings
When saying no
When saying yes
When speaking
When listening
When wanting someone to hold
When wanting to be fucked and never called again
When fucking and not calling
When talking about her dreams
When breaking down in the supermarket
When buying a box of cookies

“beneficial to anyone” by Julia at Peterborough Inns & Suites

Monday October 23, 2017

9:44pm

5 minutes

from an email

Can’t drink anymore. When I do I’m no use to anyone. Can’t remember simple words. Yes and no get confused. No looks a lot like yes. No gets put on the shelf as decoration.

She told me years ago it was time to trade in the bottle. Said my body didn’t like it. She was right. My mother replaced it with structured silver. Said to take a shot of that every morning before I make any other bad decisions. I always had a good memory. I could tell you the birthdays of all 30 cousins and at least 5 aunts and uncles. I could tell you phone numbers of friends and loved ones up until 2008 (I got a cell phone late). I could tell you what you were wearing when we met. How your hair was.

“On the day of our wedding” by Julia at the sudio

Monday September 18, 2017
3:38pm
5 minutes
Swing Low
Miriam Toews

We got hitched in Vegas (no not a Trekkie wedding, even though that would have been funnier)
and decided that every year we’d renew our vows. Not the same vows from our wedding day. Those were too wine soaked to reuse. But luckily we remember deciding to write new ones for each year’s cermemony so we could include all the growing we’ve done in three hundred sixty-five days and feel like our marriage was growing too. On the day of our wedding I found out that I was pregant and I never told him. I didn’t keep the baby. I made a secret vow to myself to keep some secrets with my own heart. That I would never betray myself to ease the guilt that would one day pass. I promised him that I would tell him what he needs to know and he laughed because he was drunk, but I’d like to think he laughed because he knew that it was for the best.

“After the Flood” by Julia in her bed

Sunday September 17, 2017
10:36pm
5 minutes
from the NOW Magazine cover

As I ran up the hill my legs squeaked against the three safety pins holding my jacket at a more attractive length. The tie in the centre prevented my legs from ever breaking free into a proper run. I noticed how ill equipped I was to have left my home-the air a little too fresh, my braless chest dressed in a pajama top, my eyes, bloodshot, unsure.
I also realized I should not be leaving you.
After the flood,
I ran back, the sunset turning my decision into a b movie, stopping at the entrance way mirror to fix my hair.
I used the wrong key to get into our unit, adding to the squeeze
eventually we held each other over the simmering sauce-you charmed by my timing
four minutes until ready

“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

“You said not to read his old texts” by Julia on her couch


Thursday August 31, 2017
11:58pm
5 minutes
From confidential sides

Told yourself you wouldn’t log into his e-mail account.
You put a tally beside your computer and started calling it your sobriety calendar.
Eleven days clean. Haven’t checked it since that fall.
You told yourself that “this is why you don’t snoop through other people’s lives.”
You said “this is why you stop rationalizing all together.”
There are exes marked day after day. You nod, slightly to the fact that you are now an ex marked day by day.
You wonder if his computer will notify him that someone else is in his account.
You worry that he already knows what you’re doing.
You wonder why he doesn’t change his beautiful password.
You wonder why he chose her over you.
You wonder why you eat a tub of peanut butter every three days.

“drove up to the prison” by Julia at her desk


Wednesday August 30, 2017
11:39pm
5 minutes
This American Life episode 282

can’t stop a freight train
on its way
it knows where it’s going
it goes
and goes
it doesn’t think to break to take
in the scenery
it doesn’t put off gettting to
its destination because there is
something easier to do
nothing is better than arriving
when all you’ve done is travel

can’t stop a freight train
on its way
it carries the load it was meant to
doesn’t complain about the weather
the speed of the tracks
doesn’t beg for something to make it
more fun
doesn’t whine about needing snacks
it definitely doesn’t light the Palo Santo
over and over again until it believes
it doesn’t call its mother on the
phone to ask for directions
it knows where it’s going
it goes

“Let’s do choices” by Julia at 1st and Columbia


Tuesday July 25, 2017
5:51pm
5 minutes
The Home Depot ad

Mom chooses her body over every body else’s, she knows now what hers wants and what it sings for. I watch Mom turn into a butterfly after working so hard for so many years. I watch Mom leave the upstairs bathroom unfinished and the downstairs windows taped with green table cloth instead of curtains. Mom doesn’t wish for nicer things anymore. Mom doesn’t choose cheese over cheer. She doesn’t choose them over her. Mom tastes freedom these days with every “Fuck” and “Shit”. She doesn’t like when we laugh but we are not laughing at her. Mom didn’t know she was funny until five minutes ago. Mom makes the choice to keep learning. To keep educating all of us. To keep trying when she’s told she can’t. To keep growing out of her skin when she feels like it. To keep pushing out, rising up.

“The pleasures and perils of a drug-altered mind” by Julia at JJ Bean


Thursday May 4, 2017 at JJ Bean
2:16pm
5 minutes
Vancouver Sun
Thursda May 4, 2017


My aunt Barb tells me that she wrote herself a note when she “wasn’t straight” about how the “negativity is too loud in her head” and “cutting through all her good thoughts”. We (the family, collectively) got her into medicinal marijuana after her husband passed away last June. We wanted him to try it but he refused to smoke the stuff even after we showed him all the videos of people his age trying it. Barb is in love with it. She calls me at least once a day with her “new thoughts”. Yesterday she told me that “the sky is trying to kill her” and that she “would go but there is laundry to be folded”. In a meeting with the cousins, we secretly discuss Barb’s usage and pat ourselves on the back for helping her out. Then her daughter, Dina, raises her hand timidly. “My mom says she wants to try crack next!”

“You live on campus?” by Julia on the 4


Sunday March 12, 2017
6:35pm
5 minutes
Overheard on the 4 going west

Alex told me that if I was really considering York I should come visit him for night and get a feel for residence life. When he invited me and some musical theatre friends to come see his show I started dreaming of my new life as a university student. Alex’s dorm smelled like pizza pockets and microwaves and at eighteen I didn’t have a problem with that. He also mentioned that Rachel McAdams was an alumna from the acting conservatory but I obviously already knew that since she was the one reason other than Alex that I wanted to go to York in the first place. He and I chatted on the floor of his residence room for an hour about how he was switching from English to theatre and where the best falafel was. He told me being away from home was the best part of it all because most people from high school never left town and we’re all obsessed with Wilfred Laurier’s homecoming.

“many universities” By Julia on her couch


Thursday February 9, 2017
10:54pm
5 minutes
from the Manila honey chocolate bar wrapper

I didn’t apply to many universities. I’ve never been too good at making decisions. I applied to three and I only finalized two so really I only applied to two. I got into both-my backup then my first choice. I was glad I didn’t spend the money on applying to many others. I said goodbye to my friends and my family and I moved back to the big city. I failed to redeem one of my scholarships before it expired. Then I failed to spend all the money on my meal card and so I bought a giant tub of gummy bears to give out to my friends before the year was up. I met some deep loves of my life there. I met so many moments of procrastination. And laziness. And bad judgment.

“New Adventures” By Julia at Paper Crane Coffee


Wednesday February 8, 2017
1:48pm
5 minutes
from a postcard

Jackie meets me at the coffee shop bundled up in too many layers and chapped lips. She shakes off her scarf and laughs a little at the snow droplets covering the ground. She is carrying a stack of postcards that she needs to write thank you notes on. She says she’s going to mail them out today after she buys a thousand stamps. I am busy re-writing my to-do list because the first version I etched out didn’t include all the stuff I actually have to get done today. The first version was more of a dream journal than a to-do list. I have trouble with picking the right thing to prioritize. I don’t want to pick the wrong thing but I feel like I always do. Jackie is in a great mood because she was given an assignment to write for McCleans’s Magazine and is full of high fives and smiles. She asks me after I’ve breathed out heavily for the eighth time, not asking her about her day like I should have, if I’ve ever heard about ‘Important vs. Urgent’. I sigh out once more because I have heard about ‘Important vs. Urgent’ but I have obviously forgotten, again and again, and again.

“you are not the first” by Julia at her dining table


Tuesday December 6, 2016
9:23pm
5 minutes
aware
Alyxandra Harvey-Fitzhenry


You are not the first to waste me to
get down to the nitty-gritty and decide
it was too true for you to pass up
but too true for you to love
and since then I’ve been crafting
properly this time
the fight I would pick with you
the argument that I would mount
in my own defense
You are not the first to wonder if
there was any more wounding
you could inflict on the dead
or dying because what is the
point anyway and maybe we should
be less naive with our hearts
and stop offering the bottom half of it
up for dessert
You are not the first
if I am

“I had a big fight with him” by Julia on her couch


Monday December 5, 2016
12:02am
5 minutes
from an interview transcription

According to my research of you- that I did on the interwebs, you will not be a suitable match for my sister and you will not make her happy even though you look the part and she will deny just how unhappy she is until it is too late. That is why she is not to be trusted in deciding on her own. She saw you and immediately wanted you but failed to do a basic Google search, and I’m sorry but it’s 2016 and this is protocol. This is everyday, okay? Get up, wash face, check e-mails, research potential companions for my sister, conduct a basic Google search to rule out that he is not a) an attempted murderer, b) a stalker, c) an actual murderer, and d) a dentist. I call the shots and you do not pass the test. You are still more in contact with your ex than she is with you and you have claimed, even if it was a joke or even if it did happen during your ignorant youth, that you would choose AJ over Bryan and that shit simply will not fly in my family.

“what was that process like?” by Julia on her couch


Sunday November 13, 2016
10:45pm
5 minutes
From an interview question

I can think of a thousand ways to say it
Sunday soothe day
Tucked in telling the truth day
Playing scrabble and cooking a meal all in one pot day
Taking a walk
to the ocean
and back
and then back
Throwing the stress ball in the living room not caring about the fixtures
Singing loud to the good ones
and louder to the ones we don’t really know but want to
Taking turns Laying heavy in each other’s lap
Sharing poetry
And short stories
And music
And dreams
And plans
And worries
Saying yes
Saying no
Filling up each other’s cup
with water
and with admiration
and with lemon meringue
and with choice

“Door To Hell” by Julia on her couch


Tuesday, August 30, 2016
7:31am
5 minutes
aplus.com

it starts with a whisper with a promise to be better
when you don’t really mean it and you don’t really want to
commit to process
it’s opened then
when you say anything that doesn’t sound like truth and when you think
everybody only hears sincerity when you are wrong but don’t
want to believe that yet
a little crack further
and you keep far away from it because it’s calling you
it knows you by face and you pretend it’s a different you a different you with
the same name
coincidence
that each day a little bit less is tried
a little bit less is wagered
and the pit beyond grace is surrounded by old flames that
you ran from because you didn’t have the courage
to snuff them out
it starts with a whisper with the song of wandering souls
you fall each day
further off the track you triumph over
unfairly

“It languished in the vault” by Julia at her dining table


Monday, August 29, 2016
7:08am
5 minutes
rollingstone.com

I put it there along with other things. I wanted a collection of all the lies I had been telling. In the secret parts of my understanding I like to believe they live in a garden on their own. But they are not thriving in their soil. I don’t water them. I have deep hopes that they don’t need it. The walls of this decision are dried and crumbling. They don’t fall or crack revealing light. They pile on top of the old ones and bury the new ones that were just put there for a second. Now everything is locked up. The idea that this is all I’ll ever be. I am the one languishing in the vault. I am the one wasted. And I only choose to visit the scraps of myself there when no one else is around. Stuck internal, asleep on a mattress that divides all of my bones into unusable groups, and keeps me from attending the day like they all expect me to.

“your hand in mine” by Julia on her bed


Saturday August 20, 2016
2:08pm
5 minutes
Heard in a song on Co-op radio

I catch myself believing I deserve better when I grab your hand in the crowded street and you pull away after only a second. I grab your hand as a gesture to show you that in this sea of people, I cling to you. I reach for you. I choose you. I remind you every chance I get that I am proud of you. That I am proud to be with you. That the touch of your skin connects me to the only things in this life that matter. And you might miss all of that if you’re not expecting to see it. If you think holding hands is something to be taken for granted. Or to be done differently, perhaps. On days like this I swim along the shoulders of other people when I think of how lonely it is to love you. How far I’ve pushed my heart into opening and how tired she is from never being cradled back. I don’t think I’m allowed to ask for more. I need so much so much so much.

“I make him feel guilty.” by Julia at Lindsay’s house


Wednesday May 18, 2016
10:44pm
5 minutes
Burner Season
Ellie Sawatzky


Kev and I haven’t spoken since last Wednesday. It’s been a week. I told him I wanted to see how long we could go without engaging with each other. He was angry that I even suggested something like that. I didn’t say it but I wanted him to know how I felt. How when I want intimacy, conversation, attention, I have to practically beg him for it. I wanted him to know what it felt like to live with someone who didn’t “put out” emotionally. So far it’s been brutal for both of us but I don’t know who’s got it worse. I decided on purpose that I would avoid him to teach him a lesson but I’m not sure if I’ve now pushed him away instead. When we have to share the kitchen, Kev reaching up to the top shelf to pull down his favourite cereal bowl, me underneath him grinding flax seeds, we don’t make eye contact if we can avoid it. I don’t know what he would do if I looked him in the eye, but I do know that if he met my gaze I would have a hard time keeping my mouth away from his. This distance, despite my efforts to remain unmoved has made me want him more than I am maybe willing to control. I have been fighting myself for 7 days: Make him come to me, or make him come for me.

“our minds drift to the beach” by Julia at her dining table


Tuesday May 17, 2016
11:08pm
5 minutes
health.amhosp.org

I didn’t have my swimsuit. I purposely didn’t pack it because I didn’t want to be forced to wear it. Dale said that she wouldn’t swim either in solidarity but I didn’t want her pity as much as she was trying to be a good friend. I told her to go ahead, enjoy herself. I sat on the beach in light billowy pants and a white camisole. I could hear everyone laughing in the night, splashing in the ocean. Suddenly my head felt wet. I looked up and Terrence was standing there, dripping his salty midnight water all over me.

“Yes?” I looked up expectantly.
“Come in with us.”
“Nah, I don’t have my suit.” I said, shrugging my misfortune of an absent bikini.
“Come on, Leigh, that’s a sorry excuse. Didn’t you know that skin is waterproof?”

“You change when you want to change” by Julia at her dining table


Monday May 16, 2016
10:35pm
5 minutes
huffingtonpost.com

Eden was on her way to change it for good. She had thought about keeping it, of course she had. But she also needed to listen to her spirit and stop letting her be trapped by a name that didn’t fit? Eden didn’t choose her name and most of us don’t change them, but Eden wanted something that felt more like the her she had become and gotten to know. Eden’s best friend, Jack said that we aren’t suited to name ourselves which is why we are given a name before we can see. Someone else takes away the pressure for us and we get to just be. But Eden didn’t believe that it was meant to be that way at all. That maybe if she just had more understanding and open-minded parents in the first place, they would have let her choose her own name eventually, and she would have made it clear enough to them what it would be through repetition and attraction. She was doing it today whether people agreed with it or not. She at least waited till her mother had died before she decided to do it.

“I love failure!” by Julia at her dining table


Thursday February 18, 2016
9:06pm
5 minutes
from a text message

I love failure. I do. I didn’t before but I love it now. Like a long lost sister, or a cousin you used to fight with. I think before there was this understanding that I could make it pretty far in this life without actually leaping, jumping, risking anything. I think I wore a lovely outer mask that said, I am confident I am going places, but on the inside a traumatized child had the fear of how much longer were we going to play make believe. I think, now, maybe for the first time, I can hear both voices at once. Things are suddenly less hard than they used to be. Because living truthfully and unafraid of being wrong? That’s the most freedom you’ve ever felt. Because it connects you with the spirit of your surroundings, the integrity of your self-love, your deepest soul. It’s such uplifting necessity. I do not understand now how I thought feeling confined in my skin, trapped in all my conjured narratives, was easier than letting anything go; than lightening my load; being kind to myself.

“this music has more religion in it than any church” by Julia at her dining table


Wednesday February 17, 2016
9:54pm
5 minutes
from a YouTube comment by GB3770

I pray at the church of kindness, I can’t settle for anything less than that as my temple. I don’t believe in a God that won’t invite us all to play, that condemns for ignorance, that promotes the weak and bludgeons the strong. I don’t believe in a God that withholds, that accepts money as the only currency, that won’t forgive us for very arbitrary, yet non-negotiable acts. I bow my head at the alter of generosity. It’s the only home I ever feel safe enough to lower my shield in. It’s the only thing that moves me to a state of rejoicing. Don’t give me that hearsay scripture, that haunting, beautifully crafted by poets rule book. I worship at the church of soul music. The kind that lifts your skin off your bones just enough to make room for grace.

“She said my mistakes made her feel confused” by Julia on her couch


Sunday February 14, 2016
6:24pm
5 minutes
Dear Mr. You
Mary-Louise Parker


I braid my hair long down my back and I glance down to see which flower I want to put in. I let the blooms speak without forcing them to make themselves available to me. I feel the sun peaking out of the clouds just to watch what I do, see what I choose, why. Little purple one, I think. I don’t want to make the wrong decision. Marissa doesn’t like it when I choose wrong. She yells, stomps her feet, says I didn’t teach her anything and her whole life is a joke. I hate to think of angering Marissa or showing her that I haven’t been paying attention. I’m trying. I really am. I feel like she has her minions looking out on all corners of this place to see that I’m doing what I am supposed to. She’s blackmailed the trees, she’s sleeping with the whole sky it seems. Nobody crosses her. Everybody fears her. I listen to my belly, rumbling on luck near empty. Little purple one, woven into the base of my braid. I do not question myself in this moment. I hear wind chimes in the distance congratulating my bravery. Last time Marissa saw me right after a big decision, she scanned my whole body up and down looking for where exactly she might have failed me.

“No, I’ll never come back down,” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Monday February 1, 2016
10:29pm
5 minutes
Salt
Portugal.The Man


Guilty pleasures? Oh god. I don’t have those! HA. I do. I really do. My life is a guilty pleasure. No. It’s not. But I wish it were! HA.

Fried chicken? Cigarettes when I’m drunk? Molly? Salt water taffy?

No. Actually. If I had to choose just one it would be snooping into other people’s stuff. Fridges are my favourite. No! Pantries. Have you ever just like gone to town looking through someone’s pantry?! It’s a riot! And, if you ever do, help yourself to a thing or two! They’ll never know because who in their right mind does that? A kitchen is sacred. It’s personal. It’s intimate. I once ate a handful of mini peanut butter cups from someone’s (who shall remain nameless) secret stash and saw them lose it but they’d never guess it was me! Blamed it on the roommate. Poor soul. HA!

“A lot of physical theatre” by Julia at her dining table


Monday January 25, 2016
6:17pm
5 minutes
overheard at PTC

Andie used to be a performer, but she doesn’t tell anyone that now. Whenever she meets someone new at a coffee shop, or the library, she actively chooses not to bring it up or even reference it.
It’s hardest when Andie meets someone who is a performer or also used to be a performer because they tend to be the types that always want to discuss the nitty gritty or the pain or the joy of being in front of a big audience night after night. Her insides are screaming a million curses at the people who act like they’re the only ones who truly understand their lives and as a result, how eccentric everybody else must find them. Andie bites her tongue, trying to remind herself she doesn’t need them to think one thing or another about her, that chiming in with a “Yes, I do, in fact, understand,” or “No, I haven’t always been a florist,” won’t change her life choices or her past or her reasons for saying goodbye to it all. Some nights Andie dreams she is the only thing on stage, crying alongside the most beautiful and haunting violin playing that ever existed.

“Paul had known” by Julia at her table


Thursday, December 24, 2015
5:11pm
5 minutes
Dune
Frank Herbert


It was hidden in the secret stash, tucked away deep in the back of her closet.
She didn’t want anyone to see. She didn’t want to be reminded.
Paul had known the whole time that Lara was keeping a shoe box sealed with a red ribbon tied in a hundred tiny knots. He had known and he had attempted many times to open it up. He knew Lara didn’t want it to be opened. But his curiosity was bigger than both of them.
One day Paul sneaked to the closet while Laura was napping on the couch in the living room.
He brought with him a Swiss Army knife and a plastic bag, just in case.
Paul didn’t care about the photos Lara kept, or the notes she liked to hold onto from her high school friends.
He slipped out the dusty shoe box and flipped it upside down. Paul held the knife carefully and began to draw a fine line on the box’s seam. He was nervous. He wasn’t sure if what he was doing was worth the findings. Worth Lara never trusting him again. Worth Lara not being able to deal with what seeing the contents might bring up…

“Safety” by Julia at her dining room table


Saturday, December 19, 2015
11:02pm
5 minutes
from the back of matches

There’s a level of discomfort that follows a perfect moment. It’s perfect until it’s not, fading into something hard to sit in. That second after the joint decision to bask in the glory of said perfect moment is made up of tiny doubts, fears, deep-swimming insecurities-or truths that we usually find more grace to disguise. I think it comes from wanting the next moment to be as good as the one before but it can only be anything close if it were the exact same moment and no two moments can be replicated no matter how badly we want them to be. So I guess it comes down to choices. Going left or right directly after the experience of tiny perfection. Does it live in us as a thing we both just know now, or does it change every moment after it by being so tightly clutched that we start to live in debt of that particular instance? Trying to pay it back forever.
I want to know…

“It’s already 10 o’clock!” by Julia on her couch


Wednesday December 2, 2015
6:00pm
5 minutes
said by Joe

Time is flying by and I wish he would just look up from that damned banjo of his for a second to notice that I am no longer interested in dicking around. When you meet the person your heart chooses to love and accept and be challenge by on a daily basis, why waste a single minute of that time after you’ve made up your heart to do something about it? I don’t think he believes that I love him and only him. I think he needs me to write it down and mail it in a letter! Maybe that’s what I’ll do, put it on some pretty pink stationary, spray it with my Eau De Toilette, then shove it in an envelope and seal it with a kiss! Telling him, you better hurry up and marry me quick before I change my mind about you, mister!

“depending on importance & urgency” by Julia on her couch


Tuesday December 1, 2015
6:00pm
5 minutes
from a To Do list in October

Meredith is getting breast implants and she is sure so don’t ask her if she is. She’s answered that question 70 billion times and she knows what she wants. Each time someone inquires if she’s ready she becomes a thousand more percent positive that this is what she wants, answering each time with a resounding YES! Christ! YES I FUCKING AM. The only person who hasn’t asked Meredith if she’s thought about her decision is her mother who gave her the idea in the first place. Meredith’s mother said to do whatever her heart called her to do, and she would support her no matter what. Meredith’s mother was good about keeping promises. But everyone else seems to think they know better and can’t believe that this is the choice she’s come to. Meredith knew she wanted implants since her first year of medical school. She did not decide it while getting chosen to be the captain of the cheer-leading squad in high school. She did not decide it when her first boyfriend broke up with her over Thanksgiving weekend.

“picked and consumed” by Julia on her couch


Sunday November 29, 2015
9:31pm
5 minutes
From the Wikipedia article on jalapeños

I love you more than I ever have
I picked you from the crowded place in my brain that tells me not to make rash decisions
I chose you from the pile of mistakes I had been sweeping to one side
I love you more than I ever have
I didn’t think I could grow to love you more but I’ve surprised myself
The way you’ve surprised me
Reminding me that people can change and that mistakes can be forgiven
And sometimes forgotten
Thank you for forgetting
Thank you for reminding me daily that I’m your favourite flavour of perfect imperfection
Sometimes I pretend I can’t hear you when you talk on the phone to your parents
And you tell them how proud you are of me
But in the other room, I am teary-eyed and feeling so damn lucky
And when you come in I act like I don’t know how sweet you are
Maybe it’s a little game
Maybe it’s self-preservation and keeping my feelings clothed so they don’t feel embarrassed
I love you more than I ever have
I picked you from the wall of beautiful artwork that hangs in my imagination

“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.”

“But it clearly manifests itself” by Sasha in her bed


Thursday October 29, 2015
8:30pm
5 minutes
The Real Terror Network
Edward S. Herman


Poseidon feels bad about the fish-sticks he eats. “They were on sale,” he whispers as we waits for them to crisp up in the toaster oven. He squirts ketchup on his plate in preparation. “It’s okay,” he says, biting down, the flaky white fish filling his mouth with saliva, a wave of flavour and crunch, softness and salt. “Yummm…” he sighs.

His parents were vegetarians, and Poseidon still feels shame and guilt when he goes out for burgers or shrimp roti. When his mother calls and asks what he’d like to bring for the Thanksgiving potluck, he bites his tongue. “Prime r-“… “What?” His mother laughs, astonished.

“I wanna see it up close” by Sasha at Moii Cafe


Friday October 17, 2015 at Moii Cafe
12:35pm
5 minutes
from a text

A birch tree sheds her bark
The supermoon is forgotten as soon as it fades
It’s still super somewhere

I refuse to commend your drug trips or your laundry lists
I refuse to celebrate your exploitations of bodies and sisters and dollars and oil
I refuse to vote for a man wearing a mask who has a cheese-ball for a brain
mostly cheddar a little bit cream cheese nothing sharp
no asiago

A snake slithers over the bare feet of a boy whose eyes are glued to his father’s iPhone
Shame he missed that
Shame that tomorrow that species will be extinct
A monarch lands on my arm and I cry for my unborns
Who might not have that magic

The Conservatives (Cheese-ball) cut one billion dollars in childcare funding within three hours of being elected
That’s shorter than Titanic
There are over one thousand murdered and missing Indigenous women across Canada
and no matter how deep Cheese-ball digs his fingers into his ears
He can’t pretend he doesn’t hear the singing
I wanna see the madness up close
I wanna microscope that Cheese-ball
See the ventricles of the greed
Hear the beat of the bacon heart

A grizzly bear waves to a crow
Long lost lovers

“I know I wouldn’t change much” by Sasha in Buchanan E


Thursday October 8, 2015
5:18pm
5 minutes
Vancouver Metro
Thursday, October 8, 2015


If you were here or
I was there
the sun would still be setting
all pink and gold
If you were here or
I was there
the leaves would still be falling
all rust coloured bold
If you were here or
I was there
the crows would still be calling
flying towards the west
If you were here or
I was there
The phoebes would still be curled
together snug in their nest
If you were here or
I was there
the night would still be coming
breathing dark on the sky
If you were here or
I was there
winter would still be on it’s way
and I’d still be asking “why”

“I know I wouldn’t change much” by Julia at JJ Bean


Thursday October 8, 2015 at JJ Bean
9:09am
5 minutes
Vancouver Metro
Thursday, October 8, 2015


I am revisiting the spot in my brain where I first made the decision to love you. I’m trying to be objective here, so don’t go trying to insert your memories. I know when I told you. I said it first, cause I always do, and I knew you felt it but you were scared of me and didn’t want to be the one to risk it. That’s a pattern for you. I am always the one to risk it. That’s a pattern for me.
In this tiny shoe box in my mind, I can see very little around the moment. There’s no colour. There’s no music. It’s a rainy day and we’re sitting at a bar. I don’t know what we’re drinking. But I know I like you and I know you like me. I’m glad there wasn’t some showy fireworks display going off in my body. It was a simple and true moment and it felt like it had made a home for itself in all the soft parts of me. You said something easy like, Have you ever mixed BBQ chips with chocolate chips? And I said something easy back like, I don’t know how I haven’t done that already. It was somewhere between that and the way you kissed me on the street before you walked away.

“It’s almost magic” by Julia at 49th Parallel


Tuesday September 15, 2015 at http://49thcoffee.com/
6:08pm
5 minutes
from a vintage ad for American Cyanamid Company

I have been throwing my love up, shooting it into the air, pew pew, pew pew
You have been catching some, letting some fall
I ask you, don’t you want this? Too much? Not right now? Check your box, X, x, X
I send it up in smaller doses, shoom! Shoom!
You lift your hand and grab what lands there, the rest fluttering down to the earth
I ask you again, don’t you see I’m giving you all of it? Pick ONE: Maybe, No, YES
You smile down at your hand as if you’re only noticing now that it’s tingling

“Cut to the chase” by Sasha at VGH


Tuesday, August 25, 2015
2:12pm
5 minutes
an in-flight magazine with Air Canada

I’m editing. Everything. Writing. Kitchen. Closet. Those were listed hardest to easiest. It’s a good way to go. I’d been wanting to do it for awhile – mostly with my closet. The other things just sort of fell into place. Editing is the most important part of creation, if you ask me. It’s not rocket science but it does take patience, dedication and a really good playlist. I divide my days into three sections, with breaks for meals and a nap. I start with writing, working my way through my pile of files. I edit in hardcopy. Just me. I grieve the trees but feel I can’t get in the groove on my desktop. Besides, it’s nice to be away from the luring Internet. Then, I make a cup of coffee, and move onto the kitchen. Who even purchased these cream of mushroom soups? Not I! They’ll go to the food bank. Did you know that spices go bad? They do! They don’t really spoil, but they do lose their strength. See you later, thyme from 1999!

“Why do we do that?” By Julia at Christie Pits Park


Thursday, August 13, 2015
12:48pm
5 minutes
Overheard on the Spadina streetcar

So I met her on a subway platform. She was going to jump and I didn’t say anything. I just stood close to her thinking maybe she would feel something from me and decide not to do it. I don’t know what I was thinking. I can’t say it was my brightest moment. But I felt bad interfering. She had decided this would be how she goes and who was I? Someone she didn’t even know trying to convince her not to take her own life. I started humming. What else do you do when you’ve basically resigned yourself to assisting a stranger’s suicide? It was Chariots of Fire. God, don’t ask me why cause I’m still trying to figure that out. But it was like a movie. Maybe a badly written one. She started humming a long. I kept going. I could keep going with that song more than others. Maybe that’s why. Maybe not. I could see the light on the train coming toward us. She hadn’t looked up from her feet yet. So I just sang louder. She sang along with me, and then she looked me in the eyes, tears in hers. I smiled.

“Why do we do that?” By Sasha on the Spadina Streetcar


Thursday, August 13, 2015
11:24pm
5 minutes
Overheard on the Spadina streetcar

Do you feel lost without your cellphone?
Literally?
Figuratively?
Do you long for the weight of it in your hand, your pocket, your purse, like you might long for a lover or a brownie?
Do you crave to look at it, to check it, to search with it, to move with it?
When do you put it down? Turn it off? Let it go?
Never?
Ever?
Do you shut it down when you shut down? Do you let it rest?
When do you say good morning?
Is it the first thing you look at? Speak to? Connect with?
One new Facebook friend, three new “Likes”, seven Twitter followers, two re-tweets, a text, five emails, a voicemail.
“Hi, it’s Dad. Just calling to say it was so good to see you and I love you.”
“Hey, it’s me. When are you coming over? Do you need dinner?”
“Hi! I heard you’re in town! Welcome back home! Wanna get coffee?”
A voice.
How does it work? No wires, waves, maybe, sound waves, web waves, waves like the ocean but in the sky, searching, searching, searching.
Touch screen, touch fingers, touch bellies.

“I made this cake” by Sasha in the bed a Horseshoe Bay


Sunday May 17, 2015
11:56am
5 minutes
http://www.epicurious.com

Let’s make a world where everyone has enough
Where everyone has what they NEED
When they NEED it
Not MORE
Not LESS
Where mother’s can feed babies from their breasts and where father’s can sing lullabies
Let’s make a world where trees are our priests
Where forests are our temples
Where dolphins are our recognized and respected sisters
Where computers and labs and scientists aren’t involved in food growth
Where governments champion children, art, the elderly, green space, democracy
Let’s make a world where we celebrate one another’s successes
Where we dive deep for our bravery and bring it to each interaction
Let’s make a world where we listen
With our whole being
Where we stop
SHUT OFF
TURN DOWN
POWER FAIL
POWER FULL
Let’s make a world where we dance in the street with strangers
Let’s make a world where anyone can marry anyone
Where love is the beginning, middle and end
Let’s make a world with less cars and more bikes
With less oil and more bio-fuel
With less guns and more sunflowers
With less plastic and more recycling
With less hiding and more showing
Let’s make a world where we are all different
And connected
Where we can smile at our complicated understanding about otherness
Where we can remember
Where we can remember
Where we can remind each other
One another
We all come from the same mother
She’s here
But we need to love her up
Love her down
Love her all around
We need to be more radical in our loving
More fearless
We need to embrace change
(it’s always here)
It’s always here
Is it?
Always here?
We are water
Water is polluted
We are polluted
It’s not complicated
It’s a simple story
Why can’t we understand?
Thank you for your bravery
Thank you for your attention
I made this cake for you

“scoop up all the trash” by Sasha at Higher Grounds


Thursday May 7, 2015 at Higher Grounds
3:29pm
5 minutes
from http://www.ecokids.ca

Don’t pick a girl who wants you to treat her like a princess. I did, and look where it got me. Broke, broken-hearted, broken set of toes… Damn. Still got my cowboy hat and still got my pride, though. No one can ever take those two away from me. Look, Sandro, I don’t wanna freak you out, but, like, you pick a girl who wants you to treat her like a princess and you’re never gonna be happy. I mean, I don’t think life is really about being happy, but it’s about being, like, peaceful or something. It’s only when you’re scooping up the trash of your life that you realize – you did everything for her and nothing for you. You’ve spent almost a decade sucking up to someone who wishes she were royalty. She’s not! If you’d just stuck to your guns and told her that when you first got together, “Honey, you’re from Campbell River, you’re never gonna be Cinderella, get over yourself…” maybe things would’ve worked out a little differently. I want the best for your Sandro, I don’t want what happened to me to happen to you… I mean, what am I supposed to do now? I’m forty two. I’m supposed to start over?

“chemical or thermal irritation” by Sasha on her couch


Wednesday May 6, 2015
8:17pm
5 minutes
http://www.webmd.com

I, Seraphina Tallula Roryson, born on the twelfth of May, nineteen eighty two, am the fourth wife of George Fredrick Roryson, polygamist father of sixteen children (and two on the way, not twins, I’m pregnant and so is His second wife, Marybeth), and ruler of the Winter Church of New Placemonton. New Placemonton is on the border of the New World and the Old World. We wear bonnets, with jeans and V-necks. I make date squares for every bake sale between here and Kittaback, and I do Crossfit. I will be George’s last wife, he proclaimed this over baked salmon and tater tots, made by the third wife, Trina. Each one of us has our… “Thing”. Katherine, the first wife, is the “Quiet One”. Marybeth is the “Political One”. Trina is the “Born Mother”. And I? I’m the “Wild Card”. Most polygamist men have a wild card but few are as wild as I. George says I keep him “on his toes”. He says he wouldn’t live a day past seventy if it weren’t for me. “You keep me young, Seraphina. You keep me spry.”

“A rare chance” by Sasha at Culprit Coffee


Tuesday May 5, 2015
10:20am
5 minutes
A Friends of Chamber Music brochure

“It’s a rare chance, Al,” Clare says, painting the big toe of my right foot. “I think you need to go for it…” Her hands are cold and I think about when we met, tadpoles in overalls and baseball hats. “I just can’t imagine going so far away, it seems so extreme…” “You’ll be fine,” she blows on my toes and I laugh, pulling my foot away. “That tickles!” “Don’t jerk around! You’ll mess them up!” She furrows her eyebrows. “What time is the concert tonight?” “I thought you said you’d bought your ticket?” “I…” “Claire!” “I’ll get it at the door!” “You’re just waiting to see if something more interesting turns up. I know you.” “I am certainly not doing that… My credit card was cut off, I, I can’t book anything online and I didn’t want to ask someone to cover for me…” “Shit. Sorry.” “It’s okay.” “I’ll ask again about getting you on the guest list?” “I’m happy to pay…” “I’ll ask again.”

“I would have been an eighth-grader” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Sunday May 3, 2015
10:15pm
5 minutes
On Writing
Stephen Kingk


I would have been an eighth-grader this year if they hadn’t held me back, if they hadn’t oppressed my rights and made me wait for it, made me beg for it… Graduation. I saw my classmates who I’d been with since the very beginning, since tear-away track pants and Pogs, get up on the stage in the gym in blue and yellow gowns and hats. I heard Davie Bernstein make the valedictorian speech. “Hey Davie,” I said later, side-by-side in the urinal, “Nice speech.” He looked at me sideways and said, “Go suck a dick, Howard.” He tucked his into his stupid dress pants, didn’t wash his hands and left, laughing and talking loudly with the rest of the class. They held me back not because I’m not smart, not because I can’t write an essay or solve an algebra equation. They held me back because I’m not a go-getter. “You’re just not a go-getter,” Mrs. Sherman said, purple lipstick on her front teeth. “We think you’ll do better with one more year in Grade Six. We think you’ll thrive with Miss Davidson.” “Who is this “we”?” I asked, scratching the scab on my right knee. “The faculty, your parents and me,” Mrs. Sherman said, blinking her cow-like eyes quickly, like the question caught her off guard.

“Die this way” by Julia on the 505 going west


Tuesday, April 21, 2015
11:34pm
5 minutes
from a song on the radio

I haven’t figured out how I want to go. Some might say that’s a very good thing. It’s morbid, I suppose, to dream up what the best way to leave this earth is. If death is like life, then it should be my choice. It should be for me. But death is not like life, or it wouldn’t have a different name. Death is not for us. It’s for those that have to bury our bodies, spread our ashes, visit mausoleums, script out pretty eulogies. If it were just for me, then a shot to the head would have fit nicely. Something dramatic, quick, loud, messy. It would have been a nice match. But it’s not just for me. And so going peacefully in my sleep is also off the table. People don’t do well when death sneaks in and swoops down and silently exits. People want to know that it’s there so they can bring the right flowers, or the right last words.

“And now I know he’s not my soulmate” by Julia at Aroma Espresso Bar


Wednesday March 18, 2015 at Aroma Espresso Bar
8:00pm
5 minutes
overheard at aroma espresso bar

The first thing I did was dance. Second thing was shove a Ham and Swiss baked croissant into my mouth. Still dancing. Still moving. Eating dancing moving breathing. Living. That’s what it was. Fear leaving the body. Pain released into a thousand tiny gold flakes, decorating the sky. The ham and cheese croissant was the only thing allowed in my stomach. No more knots. No more anxiety. No more burying my feelings so deep within me they could hide behind organs and slip under the radar. After the dancing eating moving breathing, FREEING thing I was doing, I threw my head back and I just laughed and laughed and laughed. The day felt warm again and I felt whole–like a hot, gooey pizza ready to be devoured by the hungry and the good.

“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.

“This woman was able to reach me” by Julia at Perth/Dupont Public Library


Thursday March 12, 2015 at the Perth/Dupont Public Library
3:35pm
5 minutes
from a Facebook post

This woman was able to reach me
while I hung myself out to dry
Pushed away everything that everyone thought was good
I said “let me be here on my own”
I cried “don’t love me with your pity-
I don’t want worried eyes and heavy hearts”
And so they left
One by one
with their apologetic expressions
with their baskets of misguided but good intentions
I built a wall around my pain
and tricked myself into thinking
I didn’t create a door
And this woman was able to reach me
when I thought
I’d blocked off all the entrances
Believing no one would want to come in anymore
if they could find me
in the first place

“shouting and laughing and throwing dirt” by Julia at the Dufferin/St. Clair Public Library


Thursday February 26, 2015 at the Dufferin/St. Clair Public Library
4:01pm
5 minutes
My Immortal Promise
Jen Holling


We had found ourselves in a ditch off the 39, laying on our backs facing the sky. About an hour had past and nobody had come looking for us so we did what anyone would do: We got married. We made a promise to each other, etched our signatures in the dirt and that was that. We kissed to seal the deal, me worrying about what my mother would say, her worrying about what my mother would say. We knew it wasn’t a recognized union, but to us it was something more than that–It was a symbolic moment of truth. After years of laughing and crying our way through any hardship, we knew that ours was a love worth continuously working for. After all, at the end of the day we only have two things: our best selves, and the person we choose to see us when we’re not.