“Welcome visitors from Denmark” by Julia on the 47 going north

Saturday April 4, 2015
5 minutes
from a school sign

What do we do, children? Yes very good, children. Rise to greet them, children. Yes very very good. Everybody is equal, aren’t they, children? Yes, of course they are. Yes, yes. How do we receive them, children? Yes, children, very good. With open hearts and a friendly smile, right, children? Yes, very, very very, good. What don’t we do, children? What are the things we must never do, children? Yes, remember well, children. All together now, children. Let’s recite them all together. Pretend like we don’t hear them. Yes, excellent remembering, children. What else, children? Let them hug you without returning the action. Yes. No one-sided embraces, children. None at all, children.

“I’ve been catfished!” by Sasha at Higher Grounds

Friday March 6, 2015
5 minutes
from a text from Sandra

Not even kidding. Not even. I sobered up one year ago today. It’s pretty strange being twenty and being sober. I said I’m not gonna drink because I wanted to live a life of abstinence from everything. I couldn’t get clean, and, after I moved here, I stopped doing drugs but it was hard not to drink. It’s, like, acceptable. This year I’ve been clean and sober from everything. I didn’t do the program because it felt cult-y. I don’t know. No offence, I mean, I know it really helps people, but I found that it was this weird meat market where everyone was looking for a fuck, or something. I’ve got a new life to live, man. It’s a day by day thing. I just wanna be a better person. Alcohol is everywhere. It really is. Going out dancing sober is pretty fucking uncomfortable. But I do it. I want to do it. It’s a real shame. I’ve lived a whole life of forgetting everything, blacking out, you know. I don’t want to forget.

“Hear all year” by Julia at Burts Hill Provincial Park

Saturday July 12, 2014
5 minutes
from a banner at Winnipeg Folk Fest

That’s what they want you to say. They want you to say, no problem, no worries, it’s all good, blah blah blah. But really they’re right in the middle of taking advantage of you when they get you to utter anything like those stupid things they’re banking on. It’s like a weird tribe or cult that they obviously have training in and are therefore prepared for whatever answer you give, but I’m telling you, from experience or whatever, that you don’t have to feel tricked or bullied. Don’t let them get in your head and remember what you did when you were a kid and you got asked point blank if it was you who stole grandma’s perfume out of the drawer. Try and remember that exact response. The look of shock and maybe hurt that someone could even think of doing something so awful to your dear dear grandma, then the no that says, if you don’t find who did this, I will. That’s what I need you to summon from your bones cause I know you didn’t throw that feeling away. I know you still have it living inside of you for times like these. Don’t get soft and give in. I don’t want you running down the stairs crying cause the guilt of actually stealing her perfume made you feel so bad that you had to confess. There’s no room for that here, understand?