“How could she comprehend what it was like” by Julia on her couch

Tuesday December 5, 2017
4:42pm
5 minutes
Super Sad True Love Story
Gary Shteyngart

The oven keeps setting off the fire alarm.
Somebody (you) spilled cheese and forgot to
clean it up. You told me it wasn’t you.
I don’t really eat cheese.
Every time we take something out of there,
even if it’s a slice of bread at 350 for
2 minutes, the smoke gets the yelling
started.
I want to tell you to clean up your mess
but I am afraid you will tell me that
there isn’t anything to clean. I hate being
right about you.

The stove keeps setting off the fire alarm.
Somebody (me) left a penne noodle underneath
the burner and refused to take it out.
I told you it wasn’t on purpose. It was.
One day I discovered that if you leave a
penne noddle close to the burner but not in
a pan, it will cook it crispy enough to eat.
Everytime we boil water the smoke gets the
screaming started.
I want to tell you to take out the battery
but I’m afraid it might be too easy to
burn the whole place down with you in it
if you do.

“When we look up” by Julia at her dining table


Wednesday December 7, 2016
10:06pm
5 minutes
An interview with Gloria Steinem

I have been wanting to read everything in Meredith Grey’s cadence when she narrates the beginning and end of the episode. Everything feels like a life lesson these days. Everything feels a little bit like a fucking education. She’s gotten angrier. They’ve made her colder, more unfeeling. And at the same time all fluffy and rising up or learning something profound about herself. I think about the character of Meredith Grey and how they based an entire show on the shoulders of the one beautiful individual who couldn’t actually act. Or is Meredith played exactly as intended? Is she that type to a T and Ellen Pompeo is a godddamn genius for the way she interprets her? I don’t know. I don’t know anything. I’m not even writing in my own voice, I’m writing in hers. And the main message with the sappy music is spoken in the monotone or maybe perfect cadence of a fictional character. Who is filthy rich in real life by the way.

“sky turned red then erased” by Julia on her couch


Thursday November 17, 2016
10:58pm
5 minutes
Penknife
Ellie Sawatsky


I wanted him to touch me on my thigh but he started talking to me right in the middle of me really wanting him to and then he turned me to stone. And I was lucky. Because I wouldn’t have really wanted to if he didn’t really want to but you can’t not want to…not to try a little. It was a passing moment. I don’t think the thigh would really get me afterall. I don’t know if anywhere would do the trick so I can’t be upset. I dont blame him. I am mostly lost on most days.

    “the channeling of heavenly love” by Julia at her dining table


    Tuesday November 8, 2016
    7:51am
    5 minutes
    sunnyray.org

    But of course he’ll leave before we resolve anything because he wasn’t meant to stay. He didn’t pack anything for overnight. He didn’t bring a toothbrush or his stamina to fight. He didn’t want to get cozy in the curve of me because he was afraid he would want to stay and he couldn’t stay. He had already committed to his other life and I was not welcome in that one. I had to ask him, Why Did You Come Back Then? And he told me, I Felt A Pull On My Heart Like I Was A Puppet and I Couldn’t Lead My Own Way. I asked, What Kind Of Pull? A Cosmic One? The Kind You Have In A Dream? He told me, It Was The Channeling of Heavenly Love And It Made Me Want To Find The Source. But of course he’ll leave before we both understand what that means, and of course he won’t consider that the source is quite obviously me.

    “the nervous towns of Mars” by Julia on her couch


    Monday June 13, 2016
    10:22pm
    5 minutes
    The Martian Chronicles
    Ray Bradbury


    I don’t have words right now
    not for the pain
    not
    for the other stuff
    I have alien feelings
    not happiness
    not fear
    something is in me breaking
    as we speak
    I would ask for
    permission
    to go home early
    from all of this
    try my lungs out
    call to the wild but
    there’s a scientist
    waiting to take
    my blood out
    and I think
    she owns me or something
    Because my thoughts don’t feel
    like mine anymore
    they feel
    like nothings floating
    deep
    and bobbing up for air
    every
    now and again
    she tells me
    stop trying
    and I assume she means
    everything
    everything
    everything
    My arm is her best friend
    my vein
    is her guilty pleasure
    she looks at my dancing
    blue fluids
    my
    inside life
    with fluorescent sparks shooting out
    of her eyes
    getting ready to keep me
    from jumping out of
    my skin
    and into the world
    beside this one
    I tell her
    They have much more
    star-dust because it’s a destination
    Not a curse
    She says
    and I know now
    stop
    which means
    shuffling around while this
    thing is in me
    which means
    talking
    because I use
    my hands
    too much

    “a signal he was about to shut down.” by Julia on the 9


    Thursday May 12, 2016
    10:48pm
    5 minutes
    Bolt
    Russell Wangersky


    I remember asking him if he wanted to sleep over–it might have been the third or fourth time. We had just gotten home from a nice dinner, I had just peed myself in the laundry room and was cleaning it up with dryer lint while he waited for me upstairs in my room, you know, just a casual Friday night, and I thought he was going to say yes this time. I was cautious, I made sure the moment was right, made sure I was feeling his vibe, and then boom: another no. I assumed naturally, as one does, that it was either because he could smell remnants of secret urine off my legs (though I had washed them well enough in the bathroom sink before returning to my room), or that he was about to break up with me.

    “who are doing anything but the typical” By Julia on her couch


    Saturday March 5, 2016
    11:18pm
    5 minutes
    ubc.ca

    I don’t know where the ground is where the ground is where the ground is
    Mama says I should know because my feet are there but I don’t know where it is I don’t know
    She says breathe deep and feel the earth
    She says close your eyes and visualize
    and I am confused because I can’t see anything either
    How do I know where I’m going if I don’t know where I am?
    I don’t know where I am I don’t know where I am
    I haven’t known for a long time I haven’t felt secure
    The ground isn’t under me, nothing is supporting me
    Mama says it is I just need to find my feet again
    I look down and see feet but I can’t see what’s below.
    Mama says trust that you know and trust that you do
    I’m sorry I am not better, I’m sorry I don’t know where the ground is

    “a sneak peek” by Julia at her dining table


    Saturday,January 23, 2016
    6:57pm
    5 minutes
    a Facebook Post

    I’m teaching my kid about privacy. Started with me locking my bedroom door because she wasn’t aware that there were any differences between my space and hers.
    It’s heartbreaking. It doesn’t feel good to hear her scratch at the door and blame herself for being locked out. I think it’s a good lesson, I guess. Or I thought it was. I don’t know what it means except that I’m illustrating how my kid needs to ask for permission to exist….
    I don’t want my kid to think she needs to ask someone else before she can do what she wants. Not that she should always get to do what she wants..Or should she? I don’t know what I’m supposed to be teaching her. Is she going to grow up thinking there were no doors open to her when she was just being herself? Is she going to think that I am only available for her when I decide, and not when she needs? Is that a good thing? Independence or something…I don’t know now. Maybe my kid is teaching me about understanding. Maybe she’s teaching me to stop looking for structures to follow. Maybe she’s teaching me to trust myself.

    “they are content with burning my books” by Julia on her couch


    Sunday, July 13, 2014
    4:42pm
    5 minutes
    Freud, 1938, Vienna
    Lou Lipsitz



    So I come home (hard day), the radio’s blasting (of course it is), and Jeremiah is sitting cross-legged on the cold linoleum (of course he is) surrounded by a perfectly stacked circle of all my books. I stand there in the doorway (leaning) just looking at him (confused), while he hums the alphabet song (leaving out J and S, I can only assume), and touches each book as if for the very first time. He’s deciding (magically) which ones he’ll discard (burn) at the final moment (3:33pm), while I question every single reason (mole, laugh, orgasm) why I’m still with him.

    “100th Birthday Party” by Julia in her bed


    Friday, July 4, 2014
    2:12am
    5 minutes
    a poster at Cafe D’amour


    A hundred days even seems longer than a hundred years. I mean, I know it’s obviously not longer. I know that. But it feels easier to comprehend, to grasp, maybe. If I have to explain I’d say because a hundred years doesn’t even seem to exist at all, therefore in comparison to something that does exist (100 days), it seems like less. You know,cause ghosts are infinitely less human than humans–right? If this doesn’t make sense, I apologize. I used to be so good with expression and communication. I guess now that I’ve been doing this for a hundred years…whoops…there I go, proving my point even there! 100 years in declarations, in hyperbole, does not exist at all–the listener understands it and is not annoyed by it as its usage is wildly celebrated, therefore proving that it’s not real. It’s the forever amount of time. It’s infinity. From here to there-from now to 100 years.

    “set a time, a location, and a few basic rules” by Sasha at her desk


    Monday May 5, 2014
    12:52pm
    5 minutes
    Beautiful Trouble
    Edited by Andrew Boyd and Dave Oswald Mitchell


    Leonardo is a really good actor. Have you seen Wolf of Wall Street? Woah. Like, woah, right? He’s a really good guy, too. I met him once, you know. Yup. I was in LA for my cousin Theodore’s wedding and I went out one morning to explore on my own. I took my parents rental car and I drove to Laurel Canyon. Have you ever been there? Holy moly, it’s nice. I was walking, you know, just, like, doing my own thing, trying not o look like too much of a tourist. A guy comes towards me, running, and he’s got a Black Lab. Did you know that Leonardo has a dog? Always a good sign when someone loves animals, I’d say. And I’m like, “I recognize that guy… How do I know that guy…” And then it hits me like lightning! Holy smokes! That Leo! So, I’m starstruck but I act cool and he’s already run by me but I just, I like, I yell, “Can I pat your dog?!” He takes off his headphones, like, fully off, he puts them around his neck, and he’s like, “Sure, go for it.” So I pat his dog and I try not to make idiotic baby voice sounds but, you know, it’s hard because that dog is really cute! And I probably carry on for a bit too long because then he says, “Come on Al,” and I’m like, “WHAT?!” And then he’s like, “Pardon?” And I’m like, “My name is Al…” And he’s like, “My dog’s name is Al…” And then we both laugh and then he keeps running. And then I’m like, left there, in the Canyon, and I’m like, laugh-crying because I can’t believe that just happened.

    “it’s not my favourite thing to do” by Julia at the IMA building at Ryerson


    Tuesday December 10, 2013
    6:52pm at Ryerson University
    5 minutes
    overheard at Capital Espresso

    Margot tells me to “drink my water” because she doesn’t know what else to say. I tell her I feel “sick” and she just says, “drink your water”. It’s not enough, Margot, God. It’s like, do some research, assess my symptoms, and like, be a better person. I don’t think I’m asking for much. But she’s just too lazy to figure out the real reasons we EXIST most of the time that I can’t take her seriously. I tell her almost every day that I have a headache and Margot says “are you drinking enough–” and before she can say “water” which I know she’s going to say, I tell her “NOT TODAY MARGOT. I’M NOT ONE OF YOUR GUINEA PIGS.” She doesn’t usually know what to do when I say things like that, but that’s even better. She once told me I was causing her to have mini heart attacks with my outbursts and I said “what do you think I am, a typewriter?” I got that from an old joke that my uncle used to tell me before he died on the airplane. Margot doesn’t get it, which is the point, because you’re not supposed to, but then she tries to discipline me for being too “rambunctious”.

    “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?

    “There is absolutely no subletting” by Julia on her couch


    Thursday, September 26, 2013
    5:50pm
    5 minutes
    The City Of Toronto Permit Policy

    Okay so you’re moving? You’re just up and leaving? Didn’t you think about what I would have to do? Fucking course not. You’re a selfish dick. You could have warned me, at least, that you wanted to move. That you wanted to travel. Like, now I’m stuck either paying all the rent, or finding a roommate, which I know you know sucks ass. You have to leave me your throw blankets now. And the microwave, and the coffee table. I don’t think you get a say, sorry. Selfish people need to be accountable for their actions. What do you mean “not a big deal” ? Huh? Are you fucking kidding me? My best friend is LEAVING THE COUNTRY for an undetermined length of time and you want me to calm down? How about, WHEN WILL I EVER SEE YOU AGAIN? Or, Hey, just a head’s up, you might want to get all your shit-ducks in a row cause I’m about to DISORGANIZE THE FUCK OUT OF THE ONES THAT ARE ALREADY TRYING TO LINE UP.

    “What do we want?” By Julia at Belly Acres


    Monday May 6, 2013 at Belly Acres
    5:27pm
    5 minutes
    A sign on the blackboard

    What do we want? Hard to say, I don’t know if I’d classify us as a ‘we’ anymore. See…when someone breaks someone’s heart, it’s really no longer ‘we’ territory. I’m fine without you, by the way. But that’s what it is: Me without you. There is no ‘we’. We–what we used to be– was weekends away at the cottage house in Grand Bend, and a bottle of red with a million re-runs of Scrubs. That’s what we used to be. Laura, you’re calling me too much. It’s hard, okay? We can’t–uh–there, I said it–you and I, can’t, keep doing this if the both of us want to move on, I mean, if you and I separately think it’s a good idea for personal growth or whatever. Maybe the friend thing you’re pushing could be real…12-18 months from now, yeah, I think I’d consider it. But–now is like–it’s like you’re allowed to still talk to me but you’re also allowed to still talk to him…and like, the best of both world’s thing, isn’t really my thing.

    “I detested him for other reasons” by Sasha on her couch


    Friday February 8, 2013
    12:47am
    5 minutes
    Possible Side Effects
    Augusten Burroughs


    I wasn’t sure about the smell of the place but the look of it was half decent, I guess. Kind of run-down chic, a little auto-body shop turned Holt Renfrew. A man (or was it a woman?) came over in sparkle-pants and holding a clipboard, and asked my name. This is usually an easy question to answer but I wasn’t sure if he/she wanted the last name first or the first name first. I gathered I’d only have one shot at it. “Williams.” He furrowed his brow, wrote something down and walked away. There were no chairs. There was a faint hum of a light bulb about to blow. This is not how I imagined it. A set of pony-tailed twins in tuxedos carrying trays of canapés began to circle. “Am I just not seeing the other people here? You’ve got enough food to feed an army! I know I’m tall but… I won’t be eating all of that. Thanks, but…” I said all of this to one of the twins, taking a mini smoked salmon quiche and a napkin. He laughed and kept circling the room.