“every zit is proof” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Tuesday November 7, 2017
8:16am
5 minutes
The Time I Went Into a Full-Body Spasm for Six Days
Betty Gilpin

Writes herself clean
and when she’s done
she’s dripping
light

There’s this habit
of being against ourselves
Every fuck up
some kind of proof

Can we re-write the code
of our grandmothers?

Do we have the courage to
show up to our lives
Broken
Rising
Wisdom
Heartbreak
Learning grace

“There is a pay parking garage” by Julia in her bed


Friday March 10, 2017
7:40pm
5 minutes
from an email

The other day I gathered up my courage in a ball and I threw it as far as I could. I had to see how far it would land. I was aiming for the open door. When I couldn’t hear it crashing off the sidewalk I wondered if it had gotten squashed by a car or stuck on a branch instead. I pictured it deflating slowly, as it attempted to free itself from the tangle that I had forced it into. I couldn’t help but think that maybe I didn’t have enough courage to begin with, and it wasn’t the right kind of heavy to travel without being carried by the wind. I convinced myself I had to be patient; wait until there was more courage to choose from; pick the strongest looking stuff and stick it to the weaker ones did next time.

Suddenly, I realized, my curiosity had forced my legs out into the street. Out in the street to meet courage.

“a couple annual holidays” by Julia at Platform 7 Coffee Brew Bar


March 4, 2016 at Platform 7
5:09pm
5 minutes
from Sasha’s play

And there’s no time to wait
For my health to come back
I have already planned a vacation
I’m going away
I’m going to go
I’m not going to stop
Until I get home
I don’t remember what my yard looks like
Cause I don’t remember much
Was there one tree or two?
Did the cornfields shoot higher than the pussy willow?
I don’t remember much
Time has run out
In the most respectful way it could
Reminding me that I don’t have to
keep living like I used to
I wish for courage
I wish us all courage
I’m going back home with my ball of yarn
Going to wrap it around each branch
Each trellis
So I can draw a map of where I used to live
The hardest part of that is remembering
how to remember
I think I’ll write a note
In red red string
On the gates of all my neighbours
to let them know I’m back
And I’m collecting memories
Shiny new ones that I can still see
Maybe they’ll have more than just the ones
of my sister and me
selling drawings for 6 pennies each

“One male one female” by Julia at her desk


Wednesday March 11, 2015
2:38pm
5 minutes
from an online acting breakdown

It was everything and nothing
One male
One female
She cradled his heart gently in her palm
He unraveled his entire soul at her feet
Everything
And nothing
One male
One female
She held his sobbing head
On her lap
In the dark
He poured out his deepest secrets
To the folds of her jeans
To the softness of her thighs
Everything
And nothing
One male
One female
She waited until he was able
He held tight to her patience like a wounded bird

“element of courage” by Julia at Abney Park Cemetery


Tuesday December 30, 2014
2:58pm
5 minutes
from a crossword puzzle

I suppose it takes a lot of guts to tell you this. Me siting here on a broken tree root, trying to decide if I care about the Italian Poplar trees that are so blatantly marked, and staring into your new home, wishing you didn’t have to stay in that earthy place alone. You’ve been gone for 4 weeks now. I am counting down the days to when I don’t count down the days anymore. I am giving myself some time until then to come see you and talk to you, or not, or cry, or cry more than yesterday. But what the bravery is now is telling you that I’m going to be okay. Before I didn’t want to admit that that was a possibility; that I could ever manage to break through this heartache and live a full life without you. Now I know that that’s the only thing I can do. I don’t know if I’ll still feel this way tomorrow. But today I felt like I just had to let you know.

“clearly in the context of the show” by Julia at her desk


Monday November 3, 2014
12:35am
5 minutes
from an e-mail

I find myself penciling in ideas and then crossing them out before they’ve been fully developed. I don’t use the eraser because I like the way it looks when I’ve had a thought and there’s a line through it indicating that I knew I was wrong and I moved forward anyway. That’s real bravery, isn’t it? I don’t rub out my mistakes, I let them fester there on the page and the challenge is not to let them infect the words not yet written just by being there. The trick is to avoid thinking about it at all, not in a dismissive way pretending that it doesn’t exist, but to accept that it’s a part of the process and to carry on without being discouraged. The same can be done with a pen although it is, for some strange reason, a million times more distracting. In pen it looks like I was one hundred percent certain about what I was writing, only to find out later that it was wrong. That the ideas were not formed fully, that there was thoughtlessness involved. I don’t like thinking I’m thoughtless because the opposite is true. I am careful for the most part, but even being careful won’t dismiss the fact that I am human and I must always move forward.

“she wasn’t even funny” by Julia on her couch


Saturday May 31, 2014
1:49am
5 minutes
overheard on queen st west

So I met Brendan’s new girlfriend on Saturday night, cause I accidentally got dragged out to a bar and had to put on high strappy shoes. Tamara said it would be good for me to get out of the house and stop telling myself I was being productive if all I was really doing was reading old e-mails that Brendan sent me while I was in Ottawa last fall. I told Tamara that they were beautiful expressions of love and youth and she didn’t have to understand. She didn’t understand or care to, so instead she kidnapped me with a tube of bright red lipstick and forced me to wear eye glitter. So we’re waiting at the bar and it’s as if I had a sixth sense that it was him, and I looked to the door and Brendan was walking in with a tiny little tanned girl on his arm. She was wearing a ball-cap and had big hoop earrings. She was pretty. She was smaller than me. I adjusted my skirt and told Tamara that I had to leave. No, she told me, I’d have to stay cause I was here first, it was my home field. Then of course, me trying to avoid him for the first 20 minutes made it more awkward when he actually came up to me with his tiny new arm piece in tow. The first thing I said was, I hate this bar! It’s filled with insecurities and perfume designed by washed-up celebrities. Brendan laughed but his little toy didn’t. I was relieved that at least she wasn’t funny too.

“Until everyone finished performing” by Julia on her couch


Wednesday May 21, 2014
11:55pm
5 minutes
winnipeglive.ca

there was a lull in the crowd as we waited for jenny to get the courage to go up for open mic night. it was her first time, so she was nervous, but i’ve never seen jenny like that before. she puked in the ladies’ washroom right when she got there and she drank a whole pint of beau’s–after the whole puking incident. we started calling that move the ‘puke and purchase’. she somehow didn’t pass out, but was still so nervous that she wasn’t being herself. i whispered to her via text-message “girl, what are you doing, it’s going to be fine <3." and she text-yelled back "I AM DYING RIGHT HERE RIGHT NOW". so the crowd was all waiting for the next act, and it was really clear that the mc for the night, who did a lot of standup comedy, was even feeling a bit awkward at this point. he didn't even know if he could make fun of her, probably because a) the crowd was doing that enough and b) he must have understood. finally, after waiting way too long, jenny popped up from her chair, her ukelele clutched to her chest. the crowd booed her. she looked like she was going to sit back down. so i instinctively stuck my index finger right up her butt-crack. "GO" i hissed.