“the beauty and challenge of facebook” by Julia at her desk

Sunday February 18, 2018
9:40pm
5 minutes
Multitudes
Margaret Christakos

Earlier today I was on Facebook deleting all the people who I no longer want to have access to my life. You don’t get to see what I’m up to if you’ve been a bad friend. Or not a friend at all. It isn’t your right! I decide, okay? I’m getting heated up forof a myriad of reasons. Sometimes it feels like the whole damn world is watching. Sometimes I want to be left alone. Tina and Guy send messages from each other’s accounts and that drives me up the wall. Speaking of walls, I don’t need some stranger commenting on a conversation I’m having with my sister’s boyfriend. I don’t need to be having conversations at all on Facebook but I’m on it and that’s that. I don’t want to miss anything. My brother posts videos of his kids in the pumpkin patch. I don’t want to miss my mom accidentally telling me she misses me on my profile picutre. But I don’t want the people who don’t deserve my time to witness my activities. If they can’t be in my life, they shouldn’t get to see it. I don’t just post all the best stuff either so it’s really, really my life.

“you need space sometimes.” by Julia on her couch


Saturday January 28, 2017
9:13pm
5 minutes
This One Summer
Jillian and Mariko Tamaki


If he asks you what you’re up to or what your plans are, tell him you have a meeting with yourself and that you’ve got to keep it. Tell him that you need to be alone or without him or some space sometimes and do not apologize for needing it. Do not justify or bargain. If he doesn’t like it, tell him too bad. Tell him you don’t care. Tell him if he doesn’t like it, there’s the door. Tell him if he’d rather be with someone who needs only him then he should go right now and try to make a deal with the devil or something so he can find her.
If he decides the movie, or what you’re having for dinner, or the flavor of ice cream then tell him fine but tomorrow not so much. If he decides what you wear, if you’re talking too loud, when you’re allowed to talk about yourself, then tell him that it’s over.

“the hands upraised” by Julia on her couch


Friday November 25, 2016
8:01pm
5 minutes
from the back of a Buddha greeting card

She was the kind of person
who declared things,
sent everything up to the sky then washed her hands of it. Nothing to debate.
This is feeling. Feeling is real. I feel. I am.
Thank you. Goodnight.
He hadn’t stopped her yet from saying everything gospel.
Telling it all to the hilltops. Mountains.
He hadn’t noticed yet the tone she wasn’t intending.
Made it seem okay
or fine
or nothing. But maybe
was noticing it.
Maybe silently adding it up in weapons of mass cold shoulder
or gas light
which is to say
destruction.
She had put her arms up that night to veto the smell of his feet. No ifs or ands–
he changed his socks emphatically.

“special thank you” by Julia at her dining table


Saturday October 1, 2016
9:11pm
5 minutes
a Vista print ad

Today Corinne told me to look into his face and tell him what I appreciate about him. I was like, Corinne, I don’t have anything to say that he hasn’t already heard. And she told me I was resisting because I didn’t like that I was being told what to do and not to let the work I have to do on my control issues and ego get in the way of making my partner feel loved. I told her that maybe if she was staring into her husband’s face she would get it and that to do it on command isn’t natural and that he won’t be offended if I save it for when the moment is more organic than this curated experience. Then she told me that every minute I spend resisting her, I spend double the time resisting myself and my feelings and the truth that I might actually have some that I’m too afraid to visit.

“She wants to keep the baby.” by Julia at Starbucks


Friday June 10, 2016 at Starbucks
7:10am
5 minutes
from Facebook post

-So we’re going to do this then? Is this actually happening?!
-Well you’re not exactly doing anything, are you.
-Sam. What the fuck. This is my baby too.
-How do we know if this will even be a baby? What if I change my mind-aren’t I allowed to do that?
-Woah. Yes..I mean, of course you… But I thought we talked about it. I thought we made the decision together?
-Yeah, if I remember correctly, I told you I was pregnant and you said you wanted me to keep it. The end.
-That’s not true, Sam, you wanted the same thing! Where is all this coming from all of a sudden?
-Where is it coming from? How about there’s a living thing growing inside me right now and everyone around me seems to be an expert on the situation but when I say something, it’s “coming out of nowhere.”
-Okay. I… didn’t realize–
-No, you didn’t realize, that’s the first smart thing you’ve said.
-I’m sorry, babe, I really am…

“It’s a little big now” by Julia on the 84


Thursday May 19, 2016
8:14pm
5 minutes
overheard at Kafka’s

he was cooking dinner on the island
he liked to call it his ‘cutting station’
where he did most of his cutting
not me
i liked to use the counters by the fridge
i don’t really like the feeling
of floating in the middle of something
just dangling out there
alone
he asked me what my favourite thing to eat was
when i told him i said but it has to be the way
my dad used to make it
he said not to worry
he said he would take care of me
when i looked at his ‘cutting station’
i couldn’t see one ingredient that matched
the items i told him
all the things necessary to make
my favourite thing to eat
i tried not to be bothered by it
or to worry
he said he would take care of me and
i had to
trust him
but i could smell the veggies cooking
and i could tell that he wasn’t
getting
it
right
and so i was bothered by it
and i did worry
and i missed my dad
in that moment more than ever
nothing is the same after your favourite loves die
not life
not dinner

“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.

“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.

“Overthinking it” by Julia on Amanda’s couch


Sunday, June 21, 2015
2:10am
5 minutes
from a tweet

When Alana showed up everyone else had already taken their pill, or their half, or their second by that point. She was the only one who was seeing the world the way she was and she didn’t know if she wanted to even be there. Someone offered her some M and she took it in her hand but didn’t put it in her mouth. She wondered about leaving with the pill and doing it completely by herself so she could experiment with the environment and have access to recording devices. Alana couldn’t stop pre-planning and she was getting excited by all the possibilities of finding herself away from these people. Some guy with a bow tie danced past her and told her she looked exquisite in the moonlight. She smiled and said, “so do you”, and she meant it, but she wanted to mean it the way he did. She debated where that would best occur.

“suffers from a lack of imagination.” by Julia at her desk


Saturday, June 20, 2015
1:01am
5 minutes
from a quote by Oscar Wilde

Teeny had all her materials splayed out on the deck. She was painting her white canvas sneakers–had the idea to make them look like sunsets without actually being sunsets. She wasn’t allowed to actually paint sunsets. Just the feeling of sunsets. The essence.
Teeny’s paints were smeared across her face and neck. She was allowing herself to “get messy” and “stay messy” cause that’s what professor Islington told her she was missing in her life. “You need to let go and paint from that place of freedom and ease. Stop trying to control the product.”
Teeny couldn’t help herself, she wanted to control everything. Even this uncontrolled shoe painting that’s supposed to be free and easy was becoming work. Too meticulous and too formulaic. Professor Islington made Teeny feel like she lacked imagination. She would show him with these half planned and structured canvas shoe sunsets.

“Foul language” by Julia on her couch


Sunday, June 14, 2015
6:52pm
5 minutes
overheard at Kits Beach

Am I out of control?
That’s a line that took me over one whole minute to craft. I wrote “Am I” without even knowing I was doing it. That one’s the easy one. It’s narrowing down the second part that’s really work. I thought for a whole minute before I wrote “out of control”. I don’t know why that took so long. Why it felt that precious. I couldn’t just outright ask. It needed some dancing around the subject first. It needed some profound introspection. A) because I needed to make sure I really wanted to ask it. And B) because I needed to make sure I wanted to hear the answer.

“Isn’t that the same thing?” By Sasha in the Green Room at the Vancouver Playhouse


Saturday January 24, 2015
6:32pm
5 minutes
The Green-ish pilot

Every time I set out to write something sexy, I end up writing about oatmeal or the ocean or someone yelling. Or moving, I write about moving a lot, too. You know when you read something and you’re like, “GODDAMNIT I SHOULDA WRITTEN THAT! THAT SHOULDA BEEN MINE!” Or that moment when you read about a play opening on Broadway that’s about pretty much the exact same thing you’ve been been writing for oh, four years? That moment is really cute. For me, it usually means a knot in my stomach and a bowl of popcorn. Maybe an episode of Nashville. What about the times when you write something that’s so brilliant you know it’s going to not only change your own life, but change other people’s lives too? Then, the big resounding questions is –

how are you going to spread your words like honey across the earth?

“It was probably so hard not to slap him” by Julia in Lozzola


Monday December 1, 2014
12:45am
5 minutes
A text from Katerina

Turned around with a fire in my face and I knew that if I did not leave in that exact moment I would be facing criminal charges for the rest of my life. I get like that sometimes. Blinded by rage. Can’t see straight. Impulse impulse impulse. It’s like a movie I’ve already seen is playing in the background of my mind, distracting the rest of my brain from figuring out what I’m about to do. It’s fuzzy, there are a lot of colours, but the moment right in front of me is clear. I’m not sure when it started. I was told to focus on my breathing by more than one person. My sister tries to send me links on how to deal with anger, how to channel my inner black cloud, how not to kill a man who has accidentally brushed up against me at the supermarket while rifling through vine tomatoes.

“Total Control” by Julia on Nicole’s couch


Thursday August 28, 2014
10:44pm
5 minutes
The bottle of curl keeper

I am making a list so I can check off everything. It’s nothing new because I’m the kind of person who likes to reiterate the things I do, consistently, without fail, because I’m really just a control freak. There, I said it. I know who I am. I’m this thing or that and it’s not a big deal so can everyone just get over everything already? As if I’m the only person in the entire world who wants to control everything all the time and have things go exactly her way. I’m not the only person, because I have friends who are similar because I want to make sure that there are no variables. I controlled my friendship circle to the point that I didn’t have any fun people left in the group, and certainly no comedy, and certainly no spontaneity. You can’t trust those laid back people who leave things to the last minute and throw caution to the wind. Those are the kind of people who wear the same pair of underwear two days in a row. I know this because I used to know those people and those people never got anything done ever. So. I am making a list now about the people I kicked out of my life and I would like to see if any of them have changed all the easy-going things on which I based my decision to cut ties, and identify if any, with those life changes, have the proper amount of fun still left in them because I could use some.

“UHAUL” by Julia at her desk


Saturday, August 24, 2013
12:58am
5 minutes
From the front of a UHAUL truck

calendar had the days all crossed out, it was the 1st, she was moving out.
made lots of big plans for the dresser she no longer wanted.
had called a couple guys to come in and do all the heavy lifting.
was looking forward to the new bay windows, the counter space, and the balcony.
promised herself she was never going to live in a basement ever again.
no matter how much debt she was in.
and she was in debt.
she had refused her parents’ money when they offered to pay off her student loans so she’d be interest fee.
she said she was trying to make a name for herself and couldn’t do that if she was relying on handouts.
little post-its-remember-me notes were tacked on every single box.
some of the notes to herself, written by herself, were directions on how to hold the box, or where to place the box.
she didn’t have any faith in the couple guys she’d arranged to have.
she didn’t want any of her precious furniture to be scratched because some muscle bound monkey wasn’t capable of being gentle.
she was panicked, but excited.
she was looking forward to this new house, new home, new life, that she was creating.
maybe, she considered, firing the movers. just doing it herself just in case.