“tired of having sex only with me” by Julia on her couch

Tuesday October 31, 2017
9:16pm
5 minutes
A Few Portals
Debbie Urbanski

I left the back door unlocked so he could sneak in and fuck me while you were taking a shower.
Before him I had that fantasy a million times. I wanted it to be you. I wanted to choose someone who wasn’t just the neighbour. And yet the neighbour makes me feel like I’m a priority because he comes when I call. And I called you the same way. I tried to pretend it didn’t matter. I tried to convince myself that I didn’t care. And yet I would drive to the store, buy a bottle of wine, come home, and wash up right before you. He would come right over. I was tired of being the only one having sex with me.

“We rent a condominium together” by Julia at her desk

Monday October 30, 2017
9:11pm
5 minutes
Telling Time
Philip Kelly

We take a drive down a quiet road and when we stop to see the horses he takes a small box out of his pocket. It’s not an engagement ring. He knows I am not marrying anybody thank you very much. It’s a key. A little one. I mean, a normal sized one. Just not like a big key. And I take it in my hand and I tell him it’s the dumbest and smartest thing we’ll ever decide to do. And he laughs, because I am fucking funny and then suddenly we have place together. I have my things beside his things in a drawer we share in the home we live in. Together.

We are in a the car driving down a quiet road when I tell him I have a living gingerbread baby growing inside me. And he laughs because who ruins pregnancy news like this but gets away with it? Me. Prince Chamring. I do. And he puts his hand on my belly and he thanks me. He thanks all of our lucky fucking stars.

“It seems to me an awfully silly thing” by Julia at her desk

Tuesday October 17, 2017

8:47pm

5 minutes

The Mystery of the Blue Train Agatha Christie

I go to pick up his phone right, to go through it and shit? See he’s been pissing me off lately, chuckling to himself, constantly being on his stupid Instagram laughing at god knows whose feed. So I’m like, watch me destroy his life with a click and a swipe and delete delete delete. The first thing that pops up is his alarm. Like why is this interesting, I don’t know, but I’m there. I’m in it. I’m detective what’s his nuts. No, fuck Sherlock, I’m freaking Harriet the spy over here. Anyway I’m like, looking through, like when does this idiot need to wake up? 6:35am? Fine. And then an alarm for 7:35am. Okay. And then one for 8:35am. And 9:35am, like buddy, you’re already late what is the point of all these alarms an hour apart and like, 25 to? So I’m not even on his Instagram and I’m just scrolling and he comes out of the washroom like, what are you doing with my phone? And I’m like, these alarms—and he’s like, uhh uhh you weren’t supposed to see those.

“COLD PRESS BRIGHT” by Julia at the studio

Sunday October 1, 2017
6:22pm
5 minutes
from the EPSON box

Cold press bright
button baby button
we are living in pink
hues and baby blues
baby baby will you
want to watch me grow
another human inside
me and then love someone
you’ve never met
but always known
button baby button

Conversation paused
on the problem
Nobody has written down
the plan for us
the three of us
nobody knew there
would be three
unless you knew
without telling me

Bright press cold
button baby baby
witness this magic
of me carrying a
peice of us both
in my body tell
the ocean we are
ready to cross it
all three of us
rock and wave it
all the way to
the shore to save it
baby button baby

Letters written in
father to be cursive
and mamma to be
subversive
you tell the
jokes and I’ll
tell the truth
you tell the
jokes and I’ll
tell the truth
We have not
always wanted you
but you were baby
worth the change
my mind made

“so you can focus on work at that time” by Julia on the seabus

Saturday September 30, 2017

10:17am

5 minutes

from a text

He’s been getting up early to work on his novel. I think there’s a big plot twist that’s been keeping him going. He leaves me in the bed, kisses my shoulder, and closes the door. I’m awake but asleep. I like knowing that words are calling him from slumber into the most awake he’s been in months. Later, he smiles over at me while he types away, croissant in mouth. I am on in the breakfast nook sipping coffee and reading the paper. I smile back.

I get an opportunity to travel across the country for a conference. When I tell him he gives me a confusing look. Bittersweet eyes.

“don’t go” he says, but I can see that he is excited about me being gone. Eliminating distractions is on his list.

“Are you sure you have to?” he tries once more, a dream or the cure rushing across his brow.

“This one has more nuts” By Julia at the studio


Wednesday September 13, 2017
6:28pm
5 minutes
Overheard at Bump n’ Grind

Last night I thought I’d woo you with a sage butter walnut sauce
in my dreams the slick pasta would make you hard instantly
then you’d fuck me on the counter top
taking breaks to slurp back another slippery noodle
Last night I made a sage butter walnut sauce
Okay, margarine
I should have grinded the nuts more
I should have put fewer in
You ate three bowls and we didn’t fuck once
You asked why I wasn’t talking
I said these walnuts are killing me
You laughed
it really wasn’t funny
I told you sometimes I’m not sure how deep this
sadness lives
You interrupted me then, the first real thing I’d said
in days
to tell me how much you liked the sage
I guess dreams really do come true

“Back then baby it didn’t seem so strange” by Julia


Wednesday August 16, 2017
10:33pm
5 minutes
Dearly Departed
Shakey Graves


we didn’t use to ask each other anything
shuffled through the corridor with too much heart at stake to risk
we didn’t know what we didn’t know
you thought my favorite colour was blue,might have gotten away with it too if I didn’t walk right on out
it didn’t seem strange when we assumed how each other was feeling
it didn’t seem to bother us too much that all these notebooks were half-filled
now I want to know
I don’t know about you since you don’t know what you don’t know
but I want to ask every question that rolls through mush and makes it out alive
why do you tap your feet like that
why do you forget to book that flight
why do you hate your own eyes so much
why do you lie about how cold your hands get

“The morning, happy thing” by Julia on her couch


Saturday August 5, 2017
12:59am
5 minutes
The Complete Poems of Emily Dickenson

In the morning, I stood up, naked and sweaty. I walked to the fridge with weight. I felt a stillness. This house has been quiet since you left.

When you were gone I slept on your side of the bed and didn’t wke up once. There could be two reasons.
1)Because your side is better than mine or 2)Because I sleep better when you are gone.

I missed you most in the afternoon when the daylight no longer knew which colour it wanted to be. I watched a video of you singing that made me smile out loud.

“wild horses” by Julia at her desk


Saturday June 3, 2017
10:45pm
5 minutes
from the microsoft home-screen

On the road trip, Marco presents the game called Animals.
It’s simple, really, when you see an animal, you yell out what it is.
My favourite one to yell is HORSES.
Marco’s favourite is GOATS.
We’ve been playing since the bad burgers and the overpriced fruit.
Marco won’t let me drive even though he’s nodded off twice. I told him
he could rest if he wanted, but he didn’t want me to miss all of the
waterfalls, happening exclusively on my side.
I try to present the game called Water Falls.
But only I can play. Marco can’t take his eyes off the road
on this mountain because every turn is very important.
After we stop for gas and retape the underside of our car,
Marco snapps at me for trying to put down his sun visor and blocking his view.

“we’ve never properly met though.” by Julia on her couch


Sunday April 2, 2017
9:12pm
5 minutes
from a text

Cara breaks up with Ian because he always forgets to call her when he finishes work. She doesn’t like that he goes straight to the bar without mentioning where he’s going or when he’ll be home. She’s done having dinner ready for him but still eating alone.
Lydia breaks up with Dawn because she never wants to have sex with her. She doesn’t like begging for it, and she doesn’t want Dawn to feel uncomfortable. She’s done feeling like she’s asking for too much from her girlfriend, whom she loves and lives with.
Greg breaks up with Julie because he cheated on her and doesn’t know how to trust her if he can’t trust himself. He doesn’t want to hide it and he doesn’t want to tell her. He’s done pretending like things are fine when he’s responsible for making things..not that way

“Can you take that out of the oven?” by Julia on her couch


Thursday December 15, 2016
9:20pm
5 minutes
Overheard in my mother’s kitchen

-If Rachel is going to be in one of her moods–I’m gonna be honest–I don’t think I’ll be able to be around her.

-Quin. Come on. It’s not going to be like that.

-I’m not kidding, babe,like I’m not going to do well in a setting like that.

-So what are you saying then.

-I’m just saying.

-Okay. But that she’s what?

-I’m just saying that I know she will 100% be in one of her moods and it will 100% destroy my time there and maybe everyone’s. So I don’t want to go if Rachel is there. Not this year.

-I can’t believe you would ditch me and my entire family’s Christmas because my sister is going through her things.

-I need this year to be good. This new year of good decisions and good behaviour and good food and good drugs. I can’t truly embrace my year if I’m anywhere near the things your sister is going through.

“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.

“I look forward to a random day”by Julia in her bed


Wednesday November 23, 2016
11:10pm
5 minutes
from a Facebook comment

We’ve been talking about getting a dog and getting land and getting away. It looks good on paper and so do we. A perfect little tiny town to raise a kid, visit our parents, live without constant contact with others. We’ve been talking about getting a dog and being more alone but less lonely and waking up to the leaves and the wild turkeys and the quiet. There’s a little place we like to go and imagine it all working out so perfectly. We take different routes on our way to find it and we don’t go tomorrow or even the day after but we both end up there. With the dog. And the paper we wrote it on.

“a seagull just horns his way in.” by Julia at her dining table


Thursday October 6, 2016
6:47am
5 minutes
twentytwowords.com

We went down to the water because the house had turned into an inferno that was trying to steal our souls. Those were your words. I think I called it Hell On Earth and you tweaked it so it would apply more to our situation as individuals and as atheists. Before we found a place to sit on the sand, you told me you needed a chocolate swirl or you were going to fucking kill somebody. I paid the little boy who was so proud to be working at his dad’s shoppe for the summer selling aggravated and overheated people their necessary fix. He smiled like this was the best job he would ever have the great pleasure of holding. But that little moron was so busy joking with the swarm of people also ready to fucking kill somebody that he didn’t give us a spoon. By then it was too late. You had already cried once. You sucked the top layer off, shoved the rest in my direction, and walked ahead of me, kicking the sand up at a seagull that had come to watch.

“two complimentary movie passes” by Julia at her dining table


Thursday September 29, 2016
7:44am
5 minutes
cycleto.ca

I come home with a smile on my face and I kiss you on the mouth
You say you missed me
You say this day is better now that I’m back
You ask how the conference was
You ask if I got any swag
I bounce around my tote bag (swag) and pull out the pens (swag) and post-it pad (swag)
You are impressed and I am impressed with my ability to stock up on office supplies
I would otherwise refuse to purchase
Then I reach in and pull out two tickets
You ask me what they are and try to pull them out of my hand
I snatch them away and tell you These Are Not For You!
You try to get a closer look at them and I keep them at arm’s reach
You scowl and cross your arms when you see what they are
You Won Movie Tickets?
I smile again, being coy for some reason
Maybe I Did
Awesome Which Movie Are We Seeing?
I put them back in my bag
These Are Not For You

“I keep thinking about the night we spent in Rome” by Julia at her dining table


Friday August 26, 2016
6:50am
5 minutes
Super Sad True Love Story
Gary Shteyngart

I remember it like it was five minutes ago. You didn’t even want to go but I told you it was something to see. You were worried about not getting a good picture and I said Trust Me It Will Be Even Better. We stopped for pizza first and that put you in a better mood. It was thin crust and saucy and probably the best we’d ever had. You said it was too salty but you were just in a funk and I tried to wait it out. When we made it to the Colosseum, your face lit up like I knew it would. It’s Beautiful, you said, and you looked up starry eyed. There’s a peacefulness at night. Fewer people, but always someone. You wanted to get mad about the men selling the neon light sticks and the sound makers that shot way up in the air, changing colour on the way down, and making children go crazy with bright love but you couldn’t. You were very pleased even if you didn’t say it every ten seconds. I wanted to dip you low and kiss you under the night sky, our happy place in Rome.

“okay okay okay” by Julia on the reading chair


Sunday, July 10, 2016
1:57pm
5 minutes
Overheard on the street

It’s the eleventh time (maybe the twelfth) that he’s told me he loves me today and it’s not even noon yet. I think he’s covering up for something. Overcompensating like he does sometimes when he becomes afraid of me. I catch a glimpse of myself being hugged in the mirror, (bent low) by his unavoidable embrace. I say, okay okay okay and he lifts me up, hurt on the inside, and in his eyes. You don’t want me to love you? I catch reflection again and there is hurt on me too. I do, I say, just not parallel to the floor like that, not crumpled up in a ball that makes my back ache. Sorry, he says, I didn’t mean to hurt you. Okay okay okay, I say, I know, no one ever means to. I give myself a time out so I can be far away from him and his love that doesn’t know how to feel rejection. I don’t want to be the thing that twists his insides when he’s happy and makes him drift off to sleep dreaming about my funeral. I tell myself, in exactly five minutes (maybe six), I will go back over there and squeeze him with the honest love I’ve been keeping from him.

“it would be like not listening at all” by Julia at Starbucks


Friday July 8, 2016 at Starbucks
6:49am
5 minutes
When I Am King, Dilly Dilly
Don Cummer


I wake up everyday already loving you, you’re at, let’s say 20%. You know, like a server at a restaurant: I go in and I give you the benefit of the doubt, I start you at a 20% tip and if you mess up by being rude, I knock a couple percent off. I have no ill intentions, I don’t go to a restaurant expecting to be disappointed. I expect kindness. I expect good food. I expect thoughtfulness. And I expect, sometimes more than I should, a freebie of some sort. And then because I’ve eaten out at other restaurants before, I compare this service to that service to this service to that service, and I know when I’m not being treated right. I also know because I was a server once too, and it’s not hard to remember what was involved in a customer experience job. I wake up everyday at the top of my love for you. And then you forget to buy the garbage can again, or print off the movie tickets, or you bring home the light mayonnaise even though I specifically asked you NOT to get the light mayonnaise, for reasons that don’t need to be stated here. I’d say you’re lucky if you’re getting a base tip of 15% by lunch time.

“Highway 2” by Julia at her dining table


Saturday July 2, 2016
10:03pm
5 minutes
NOW Magazine

According to the late night clock on the wall ticking Go To Bed we realized we hadn’t slept since the Rainstorm because you couldn’t fall asleep in the quiet and I couldn’t fall asleep without you. I blamed you then for your sadness. I didn’t know that when you said you were the happiest you had ever been you were trying to manifest happiness because you didn’t have any. I wished you’d stop pretending that it was better on the side of the world where you were left alone, unbothered by me. It made me feel like and onion in an apple patch, a melody in the silence. I made you a card with a picture of a heron because of that one day when we owned the beach before sunrise and saw three of them in a line like an omen for good future, or good luck, or good observation skills.

“and lifted right up” by Julia on her couch


Saturday June 18, 2016
10:10pm
5 minutes
All My Puny Sorrows
Miriam Toews


Caught me in the middle of ‘researching’ various porn sites and I got mad at you for barging in unannounced. Kendra, you said, I live here. Do I really have to announce anything? I was embarrassed, obviously, that’s why people get defensive and upset in the first place, but I was not about to tell you that.
Listen, Matt, I don’t think a text or a phone call is a very big inconvenience just to tell me you’re on your way or that you’re 5 or 10 minutes out, or that you’ll be disturbing me and just wanted to give me a heads up.
Disturbing you? You asked.
Yes, I told you, or disrupting the flow.
I didn’t know there would be so many arbitrarily chosen rules popping up when you moved in.
I’m just saying we share the space and it’d be nice to be aware of each other.
Fine, Kendra. You said. You were on your way back out the door. I’d like all parties present to be informed that I am, ANNOUNCING, that I am leaving for the night, and all parties present can go back to being a huge dick for no reason, by herself.

“I honour this privilege” by Julia at the bus stop


Sunday May 22, 2016
5:15pm
5 minutes
from a birthday card

I heard him say it to himself when he thought I had left for the evening. He was reciting it in the mirror, getting ready for his big night. I crept in the house quietly, I had forgotten my wallet by the island. I don’t know why I had left it there but I didn’t want to impose myself. Just a few quiet steps while he rehearsed his speech in the bathroom. The one I had begged him to do for me because I wasn’t able to go. He said no. He didn’t want me anywhere near it. I tried to go as fast as my curiosity would let me. He repeated one line over and over and I wanted to hear him get it right. “I honour this privilege. I honour this privilege.” My hand was reaching for the soft leather while my mind tilted toward him in the bathroom. I felt the wallet graze my hand and I quickly realized that if I could go in this instant I would have a secret but nothing to be sorry for.

“Late last night I heard the screen door slam” by Julia at her dining table


Saturday May 21, 2016
11:19pm
5 minutes
Big Yellow Taxi
Joni Mitchell


You were leaving trying not to let me hear you trying not to let me hear your heart stop wanting me
I waited there trying not to stop you trying not to tell you that I would try to be better you packed up your items you packed up your clothes you packed up all your reasons and you did your best not to wake me
You were leaving trying to avoid another argument of he said she said I said you said of all those times we laughed at how foolish we had been
I was sobbing there in my pillow on my side of the bed afraid to move an inch and realize it was real after all crying tears of apology into the mattress trying not to let you hear me trying not to let you hear my hollow chest echo as the tiny pieces of my heart fell to the bottom
You were leaving there was nothing I could do and you were leaving me so there was nothing I could do.

“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.

“Grab whatever looks good” by Julia on the 84


Wednesday May 11, 2016
7:52pm
5 minutes
from a text

Knock at our door, Lizzie quickly throws on one of my shirts. She slides over the peephole cover. She opens the door without wasting a breath.
Robert is standing there. We haven’t seen him in years. Lizzie goes to hug him, he stops her.
“We don’t have time for that right now. ”
Lizzie grabs him again and this time it’s not optional.
“You do not get to come here and pull this shit on me again. Tell me right now what is going on. ”
I’m on the bed, inching closer to Lizzie’s night side table. I don’t want to cause a commotion. I want her gun in my hands and nobody else’s.
“You guys have to leave. They know. They know about me. About us. We have to grab whatever we can and go. Now. ”
Lizzie sees me moving closer. She offers a tiny nod in approval. I see it. Robert doesn’t.
“Who is they, Robert?” Lizzie asks, conjuring up all the softness inside of her.

“I am in a meeting ” by Julia at her desk


Monday May 9, 2016
11:07pm
5 minutes
from a text

-I don’t want to have to tell you again that I’m keeping them to put salad dressing in. Fucking salad dressing for when I decide to make a salad for lunch and need a small container. To transport the dressing.

-Why can’t you just put it in on of your glass jars?

-Because they’re too big. You don’t know how heavy my bag is.

-Okay fine. You’ve got an answer for everything.

-Because I have a perfectly good reason why I’m keeping them. I thought it through, it’s not like I am collecting them because it annoys you.

-It really does annoy me. Everything you keep–

-Let me keep what I keep.

-Okay. You keep what you keep.

-Thank you.

-But seriously they should be thrown out. They’re one time use. For travelling soy sauce.

-Exactly.

“Not anymore” by Julia on the 99


Monday April 25, 2016
6:51pm
5 minutes
from a podcast

I don’t want you anymore
She says
Mouth full of corn flakes
Heart full of lonely
Are we going to discuss this
He says
Forehead vein pulsing
Forehead skin wrinkling
We are discussing it
She says
We are discussing it right now
No
He says
I mean don’t I get a say in this
Whatever you want to say will be too late
I don’t want you anymore
I don’t owe you a debate
You don’t have to be cruel
You’re already leaving me
He says
Eyes cast down
Eyes filling up
I think I’m being very nice actually
Being honest with you is the nicest thing I could do.

“Let’s roll, babycakes” by Julia at her dining table


Thursday April 14, 2016
11:52pm
5 minutes
overheard on Arbutus

I want you to beg me to stay when I tell you I’ll be sleeping at my mother’s place tonight. I want you to get on your knees and apologize for being a dick so I can forgive you and then apologize for being a dick back to you. I’m angry but I won’t be later but I don’t know how to turn this thing around before later is later. I feel like I’ve pushed all your buttons and there’s no easy rewind let’s pretend that never happened one to press. Why don’t you come with one like that? I am at the door with my overnight bag and I want you to throw me a banana if you’re not going to try to keep me from going. Let me know you still care about my potassium intake even when we’re hating each other. Even when you’re secretly glad that I won’t be sleeping beside you tonight to remind you of this stupid fight we both engaged in when we were both enraged about the thing we won’t remember in the morning.

“poignant revelations about life” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Sunday March 6, 2016
9:31pm
5 minutes
mic.com

F: Almost ready here, sweetheart. Almost ready. Why don’t you (hands her a glass of red wine) go sit down in the living room and I’ll call you in when everything’s good to go?
M: okay… (She grabs a green bean and pops it in her mouth) Mmm… Are these garlicy? Are these garlic green beans? Frank! You made them!
He hits her hand gently.
M: Okay okay okay I’m going. But not before… onemorebean!
She exits.
The phone rings.
F: Hi Mom. Well? How did that… Did you? No I’m not busy. Well I was just… But this is not…. Okay, Mom. Calm down. Try the plunger. And? Well how hard did you plung? What abou… There’s nothing… No I’m not mocking you. Yessss… Okay. Well… I was just making dinner for Mol… Can it wait, Mom? No no no – I’ll be right over. He hangs up the phone. Damn it.

“You wanna build another house?!” By Julia at her desk


Tuesday December 8, 2015
11:46pm
5 minutes
overheard at Arbutus Coffee

I can’t move in with you anymore, Kev, it’s not going to work for me.
What do you mean, we just signed the lease, both our names are on it and everything.
I know.
Okay?
Yeah but I know myself too and I’m not going to be able to get on board with a commitment this size right now.
This is unbelievable.
What is? That I don’t want to live with you? I think of all people you should know how hard it is to share a house with you.
What?
Don’t pretend like this is my fault, you’re a difficult housemate, even you said that to me!
But you still signed the lease, you signed up for this whole thing with me. How are you just figuring out now that this is…that you’re not…I seriously can’t believe this is happening.
It is happening, though, so we need to both accept it and move on or something.
How do you not feel bad for completely fucking me over?
Wouldn’t you rather know this before we try to build a home together? Like this is good news, we won’t be blindsided later.
Blindsided?
I don’t know, poor choice of words I guess, but I’m not going to apologize for changing my mind.
So are you saying you don’t want to be with me either?
No, of course not, I’m totally not saying that. I feel like we’ll be better off if we just live in separate houses.

“Because they prefer stability and predictability” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Friday October 30, 2015
1:32pm
5 minutes
The Political Economy of U.S. Militarism
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh


Preferring stability and predictability, Marg and Wilbert decide to sell the Winnebago. “We never use it, sugarsnap,” says Marg. “You’re right, butternut,” says Wilbert.

It’s the first time either of them uses Craigslist. Jon, their middle son, gave them his old PC last Christmas. Marg couldn’t get over all of the videos on YouTube. She even set up a Twitter.

They call Caleb, their youngest, who lives in San Francisco with his partner Kasim, to guide them through the step-by-step of making a Craigslist ad.

“all-day softness” by Julia at Souzan’s apartment


Monday September 14, 2015
9:19pm
5 minutes
from a tube of hand cream

Lounging around the house with my slippers on, feet up on the couch, and you lean in deep to kiss me.

-Whatcha reading?
-The Bible, what does it look like?
-Ohhh, recipes.
-Big surprise, huh?

You hunch your back and drag your right foot as you slouch back and forth in front of me.

-Would you still love me if I walked like this?
-No.
-Not even like this?

You start to flap your arms wildly by your sides, still dragging around your dead foot.

-Almost yes, but still no.

You grab my arms and you place them around your waist. You sway, and you shimmy hard under my hands.

-Wanna dance?
-Oh we are dancing.
-I’m dancing, you’re resisting.
-I’m reading!
-And she multi-tasks, everybody!

“Distant, tired, but holding her hand” by Julia in the car


Wednesday, September 9, 2015
5:06pm
5 minutes
http://lennyletter.com/lena-dunham-first-short-story/

He coughed into the crook of his elbow and tried not to make too big of a deal of it. She glanced at him from the side of her eye, the way she did when she was trying to read his e-mails without him noticing. He was growing tired of her testing him and she was growing skeptical of his patience.
Maybe if you didn’t worry so much about EVERYONE else for a change, you’d be—
He hadn’t prepared himself for a blow out. Had been priding himself on containing it all and picking his battles, in fact.
Forget it. He walked a bit in front of her.
What would I be? JUST. FUCKING. SAY IT. She was shaking now, trying to make direct eye contact. She realized when she asked him if he still loved her earlier she didn’t look him in the face when he gave his response.
How fucking easy I make it for him to despise me, she thought. I never look to see if his eyes are lying.

“But a song” by Julia at Ryan’s place in Calgary


Sunday, August 30, 2015
11:29pm
5 minutes
from a poem by Roy Croft

Sing to me little bird and I will count the promises on all the strands of hair on your head
I will love you forever
I will want you
I will help you
I will hold you
I will need you
I will please you
I will defend you
I will preserve you
I will encourage you
I will enjoy you
I will inspire you
I will charm you
I will disarm you
I will guide you
I will follow you
I will dare you
I will give you
I will remind you
I will kiss you
I will soothe you
I will understand you
I will accept you
I will protect you
I will learn you
I will study you
I will know you

“agreed-upon sex date” by Julia on her patio


Friday, August 14, 2015
2:11pm
5 minutes
From http://thehairpin.com/2015/08/today-is-the-12th-anniversary-of-the-big-blackout/

Me and Matthew are intimate with each other on average 6 times a week. Before you grab your shit to egg my house or something, you should know that I don’t just mean sex. Phew. Collective exhale. I mean, don’t get me wrong, we fuck like rabbits and we do that a lot too (Woah, easy…) but plain intimacy is harder for us so we have to schedule that in. Now I’m not saying this is how it should be. But we’ve figured out a way to stop taking sex personally and to stop measuring our value as a couple (or our self worth) by the act. We still struggle with making time for us to stare into each other’s eyes for an extended period of time, or sit in silence without other stimuli creeping in. It’s taking a long time. So we pencil it in and we work on it.

“Kiss me quick dear” by Julia at her desk


Saturday, July 4, 2015
10:35am
5 minutes
From the back of a postcard

Kiss me quick dear
before this feeling disappears dear
before the urge to have you is gone before the magic of this spell is worn
kiss me quick dear
before someone else comes in dear
before we’re caught in the heat of the moment
before we’re made to feel aware
kiss me quick dear
before the lilacs bloom dear
before the lilacs die before the lilacs are picked
kiss me quick dear
before the water boils over dear
before stillness turns into something we can’t turn back

“Those were the worst nights” by Julia at her desk


Tuesday June 2, 2015
12:44am
5 minutes
overheard at Higher Grounds

Trains pounding through the thin night air and landing directly beside us in bed
Mosquitoes trapped between the broken screen door and the hot summer sunset
Newborn babies trying to name their pain at every single hour
Flash floods and terrible eaves
Basement apartment and a new soggy sofa bed complete with rain-water swimming pool
Wasps building nests and forever homes in our nest and forever home
Staying up late fighting over who would get the window side
Staying up late fighting over who would get Tess and who would get Jinx

“Thousands of things” by Julia on her bed


Saturday, April 11, 2015
2:45am
5 minutes
The Bargain Club sign

Got a thousand things to do today meliss! I set my alarm for exactly 7:41am, snoozed it for exactly 9 minutes, laid in bed for exactly ten more minutes thinking about the thousand things I have to do, and then I finally got out of bed by 8:00 am. I was prepared to get started, I had made a list, and then on my way to the bathroom, I tripped on the steamer that I left in the middle of the floor (cause I thought I’d just be able to SEE it and something like this would never even happen), I fell to the ground, and I fractured my wrist, meliss! How was I supposed to get things done like that!

“Thousands of things” by Sasha in front of the fire


Saturday, April 11, 2015
10:28pm
5 minutes
The Bargain Club sign

Ellie isn’t sure when they started coming, if it was before Ryan started to leave bananas on the counter to ripen, or after the cherry blossoms bloomed. The ant infestation has gotten out of hand. She takes her frustration out on the carrots she chops for Gerrard, the sixteen year old rabbit that once belonged to her older sister. Ryan is at work when she decides that something must be done. “I’ve tried everything,” she’d said earlier, brushing her teeth. “What have you tried?” Ryan asked. “I sprinkled cayenne everywhere, and I made a honey trap!” She washed her face and Ryan left the bathroom, pulling on one grey sock, and then the other, as he walked down the hall. Ellie goes to the Home Hardware a few blocks away and asks the teenager with bad acne and nice teeth where she might find the pest control isle. He leads her there, sneaking a peek at his cellphone on the way. “What’s your vermin?” He asks, like it doesn’t matter, like he gets this question a lot. Ellie wonders why employees aren’t trained on sensitivity. “Lower your voice,” she growls. “Sorry,” he whispers, smiling, revealing teeth like Chicklets, all perfectly lined up. “Ants,” she replies. He crouches down and she crouches too, you’re in this with me now, she thinks. He hands her something called Raid, something nozzled and metallic. “This’ll get them good.” He leads Ellie to the cash, like she’s his puppy from the pound.

“And it’s taking me a second so I’m sorry.” By Sasha at her kitchen table


Friday February 27, 2015
10:07am
5 minutes
Lungs
Duncan MacMillan


– You’re making that face again…
– What face?
That face.
– It’s just my face. I don’t know what you –
– It’s not just your face! I love your face. You’re making that face you make when you know you should apologize –
– I’m not gonna apologize –
– Then stop making that face.
– You’re making a face too, you know!
– Oh yeah? What does it say?
– It says “I’m smugggg…”
– Ha!
– It isn’t funny. I’m mad.
– I know that –
– And I’m offended that you think something’s off with my face. I always thought it was one of the few things I have going for me –
– HA!
– WHAT?!
– You’re spiralling…
– I know… It’s taking me a second to apologize because it’s not that black and white. It’s not just “SORRY! MY BAD!” and then let’s go watch a movie!
– Okay.
– Stop.
– What?
– Stop being so –
– Calm?
– …
– …
– I’m sorry.
– Thank you.
– …
– Your face is back now!

“Titus and Louise” by Julia on the 26 going east


Thursday February 12, 2015
6:28pm
5 minutes
a storefront window on Dupont St.

Titus hopes for the days that Louise stops screaming in her sleep.
He wakes up every time and tries to hold her without touching her because usually touching her just makes it worse.
He breathes calmly, affecting her breath.
She breathes calmly, taking on his patterns.
Shhh, he kisses the air around her scrunched face.
Shhh, she exhales after holding it in for too long.
Louise sees the visions right before she falls asleep.
The close up shots of a butcher’s bloody hand chopping hunks of raw lamb flesh.
The bees that sting the inside of her eyes until she’s panicked again.
Titus caresses her face softly to soothe her.
He does this sometimes for hours.
His touch is gentle and cool on her hot cheeks.

“initiates sexuality” by Sasha in the living room at Macdonell


Friday December 19, 2014
3:14pm
5 minutes
Can Love Last?
Stephen A. Mitchell


I give you my wish like a pearl
Unpolished
You reach for my hand like it’s something in the gift shop at the museum
Something precious and old and young and pink
I make you a tiny tent where you can house your disappointments
All in a row
Ordered
How you like things
You bring me a cup of kindness when I’m low
Low low low
Like the water in the Fall

“you either get it down on paper, or jump off a bridge.” by Julia at Camera a Sud in Bologna


Monday November 24, 2014 at Camera a Sud
1:10pm
5 minutes
from a quote by Charles Bukowski

Ahh I’m falling. I’m falling. It’s a good feeling. You replace the A, the L, with two Es. You want to know where I’m going? To the place were my brow furrows…concentration and magic and old habits. You want to touch that spot on my face. Remind me not to clench my jaw, hold tension in my forehead. “Don’t get old before you have to.” And I have that falling feeling. It’s a good one. It’s when the inspiration breathes and lives and stays awake next to a roaring fire.
You steal the wood off the side of the road for me.
Stoking my pilot light with a little consideration, saying, “yeah, you need five minutes to get that beauty down on paper, I give you ten. Take a hundred of them if you want. A million minutes, even, and I’ll be here watching you and making sure you don’t loose that spark. And that you don’t get wrinkly from the thinking and the trying hard to focus right.”
I remember you like that, rocking in your reading chair and sitting content in the million moments reserved for being apart but together in the same room.
I tell you after this “I want to drink a bubbly white wine and I want to eat an oven-baked fish with the head and tail still attached.”
You say you have the perfect one and it’s in the fridge when we’re ready.
“How do you already have what I want?” And you smile into your book and say, “Cause we’ve been here before. We’ve done Sunday like this a thousand times already.”
“Ahh,” I say, “You’re right. I guess it’s good this spot, this falling feeling place.”
You chuckle quietly, reminding me, “You’ve said that before too…”

“we have the luxury of time” by Sasha at Culprit Coffee


Tuesday September 30, 2014 at Culprit Coffee
5:48pm
5 minutes
On Directing Film
David Mamet


“We have the luxury of time, Jenna…” He says, as he cracks another egg into the steaming pan. It sizzles. “Yeah, I guess you’re right.” She responds, pouring orange juice into cups. She drinks hers quickly, and pours another glass. “I love your hair like that,” he says, putting two english muffins into the toaster. “Why don’t you wear it down more often?” She smiles. “It gets in the way.” They’ve only been in London for two weeks, but she feels at home. It’s taking him longer, but that’s okay. She opens the window. He flips the eggs and she goes behind him and puts her arms around his middle.

“I’m not doing this with you right now” by Sasha in her bed


Wednesday August 13, 2014
1:03am
5 minutes
from a conversation

J. and A. are lying in bed. A. has been attempting to fall asleep for forty six minutes. J. is snoring softly. A. tosses and turns. She finally elbows J.
A: You’re snoring!
J: Arrr –
A: Jason, you’re fucking snoring again…
J: Sorry.
A: I can’t fucking sleep!
J: Mmmm –
A: It’s like sleeping beside a St. Bernard!
J: Sorry.
A: Or a pug!
J. chuckles. A. chuckles.
J: You’re cute.
A: You need to go sleep on the couch.
J: What? Why? You’re so cuddly!
A: I have that stupid interview tomorrow and if I’m tired I won’t present well and I won’t get the job and we’ll live in this basement apartment forever and ever and ever –
J: Okay, okay…
A: Thanks. Sorry. I love you.
J. gets out of bed and takes his pillow. He kisses A. on the forehead.

“Income tax services” by Sasha on the Queen Streetcar going East


Sunday May 25, 2014
9:03am
5 minutes
A sign on Queen St. West

The shit hit the fan when we were playing scrabble. Ben heard from his Mom on Wednesday that they wouldn’t be going up to the cabin that weekend and would we like to go. Would we like to go? Um. YES! We would. We did. We borrowed their car. We packed bags, we got on the highway before rush hour, we ate chocolate covered coffee beans so that we would stay up longer relaxing once we got there. It was going to be the best weekend of our spring, heck! Of our lives. When we arrived, there was a note on the door from the neighbour. “What neighbour?” I asked, looking around, instantly worried about the jeopardizing of my plan for porch sex and pretty constant nudity. “Burns,” Ben said, all nonchalant. “Burn?” I repeated, trying my best not to get edgy but recognizing that this might be challenging given the amount of coffee beans I ate. “Burns”, as if that’s even his name, wrote, “Problems with the sceptic tank. Call me.” Ben took out his phone. No signal. “Who’s Burns? What’s a sceptic tank?!” I was getting clinically hysterical. Ben said, “Please chill out. Go for a walk or something,” and left me there, while he went over to Burns’ place to talk toilets and water pressure.

“the origins, the history, culture” by Sasha at Early Bird Espresso and Brew Bar


Friday April 24, 2014 at Early Bird Espresso and Brew Bar
11:26am
5 minutes
An e-mail about grappa

“What are you afraid of?” you ask me, our heads on the same pillow, that sacred space, where noses touch and breath swirls together. “Oh God, how am I supposed to answer that?!” I say, a bit too loud, given that we’re tired, and it’s been a long day, and we’re using bedtime voices. “What’s the first thing you think of?” You’re so encouraging and patient and wise. Goddamnit. “I’m afraid I’ll never be “in the best shape of my life”, that I’ll never be able to actually connect with that phrase… Shit. That sounds so superficial – ” You interrupt me by kissing my nose. “So, tomorrow,” you’re setting out a plan for me, “let’s go for a run… I’ll show you those crazy squats that Simon’s been doing. You should see his ass! It’s totally insane!” I can’t believe we’re talking about your bother’s ass right now. “I’m also afraid that you’re going to realize how fucked up I am, but that’s only going to happen once we’re actually married and then you’re going to want an annulment and I’ll truly never be able to recover from something like that.”

“microcosmic model” by Julia on her bed


Tuesday April 8, 2014
10:50pm
5 minutes
Freeing Shakespeare’s Voice
Kristin Linklater


I guess Steve was talking about humans and their relation to the universe again, and I guess I got bored because I fell asleep a little bit the way I do when I watch movies after 10pm. I can usually make it to 11pm on weekends, but it depends on what kind of a day I had. It’s not my fault that Steve’s mid section is the perfect pillow, or that his breathing patterns lull me into an eternal and blissful sleep. In fact, Steve likes it. Well, he likes when I sleep on him, not when I fall asleep during movies. He only really likes it when I sleep while he watches the News so that when he tells me what is going on in the world, I always agree with his opinion because I never hear any other ones to make an informed decision. Steve actually wants to talk about the movies, about the plot, about the characters. He’s into that stuff. Maybe because he’s an artist and he really likes things he can see himself doing later on in his life. You know, if he understands this movie and this story arc and this conclusion, then he’ll be able to make his own someday. I didn’t mean to fall asleep while he was talking about his worldly theories. That was a special case cause I had just finished running the half marathon and my body was in absolute shambles because I pushed myself really hard.

“the good life” by Julia on the 506 going west


Monday April 7, 2014
9:25pm
5 minutes
from a GoodLife Fitness sign

started off with a bang and i thought to myself, why do i live so close to other humans?
you rolled over and you said the same thing, only in spanish, and we both yawned like it was the answer to the universe.
we tried to get back to sleep but the banging persisted. was a saturday morning sleep-in just far too much to ask? i wondered about it with my eyes shut tight, trying to keep the light out. i groaned and thought to myself, next time we should close the blinds before the weekend starts.
you rolled over to face the wall and you said the same thing, only in spanish, and we both yawned like it was a signed contract for future weekends to come.
the banging. the banging. why can’t those tiny bottle-seeking women just come back after 10am after the lazies and the tired have forced themselves to get up?
finally i had had enough. i got up from our warm cocoon and hobbled over to the window holding my bare boobs with one hand. it wasn’t a human at all. It was a squirrel trying to get into our garbage bin.
mother fucker, i said out loud.
you rolled over and said the same thing, only in spanish.

“marvellous night” by Sasha in her bed


Saturday March 22, 2014
5:23pm
5 minutes
Moondance
Van Morrison


It’s a really good night for a meatloaf, honey, and don’t try to tell me different. I got some ground beef and pork from the Cattleman’s Market and I’ll mix that up for ya’ with onions and breadcrumbs. I’ll spread bacon and ketchup on top, just how you like it. Honey, what do ya’ like with your meatloaf? A salad? Some potato salad? Steam some potatoes, throw in some mayo and call it a “salad”? Ha ha ha!

I wasn’t meaning to insult you when I said that those ear hairs are getting long. I wasn’t meaning to insult you, honey. It’s just… at the Shop. People were snickering! And I know you don’t like when I sneak up on you when you’re sleeping with the little scissors and try to get in there! You don’t like that! How else am I supposed to…

Okay. I’ll drop it. Honey. I’m sorry. I’ll drop it. Yes. Go read the paper and dinner will be ready in an hour.

Want a scotch? Honey?

“translate their natural strengths” by Sasha at the Berkeley Street Theatre


Tuesday December 3, 2013 at the Berkeley Street Theatre
8:26pm
5 minutes
from the edge newsletter

Eileen waters her succulent plants with her mouth. She swishes the water, mixing it with her spit, with her tongue twirls, with her promise secrets. Gordon sometimes catches her doing it and he pauses, watching her. She closes her eyes, the thin stream of water going from her pink lips, formed into an “O”, into the small clay pot containing soil, containing roots. He carries on past her, into the living room, where he lights his pipe and opens the newspaper. When she’s finished, Eileen joins him. She takes the pipe from his hand and breathes in the sweet, fragrant tobacco. “When are we going to move to Copenhagen?” Asks Gordon, for the twelfth time. Eileen thinks about bicycles and rivers.