“They would tell everyone” by Julia at her desk

Thursday, April 12, 2018
8:14pm
5 minutes
Audience of One
Rob de Boyrie

We can’t tell anyone because they would tell everyone.
Some things are better left secret:
all of our best-laid plans for a baby and her sister
the house we bought with our romance novel money
I am still reminding myself this is better
to wait until it’s done before I say it out loud
they wouldn’t let it be what it is if they opened their
big dumb mouths to name it
diminishing it with all that outside tongue
The photographer man told me this first
Years ago he wrote it on the front page of my moleskine dayplanner
“Not every single thing needs to be said.”
Maybe it wasn’t that exactly, but the sentiment was there
We can’t tell anyone that we’re swimming the Mississippi River
that we’re moving our butts to South Beach

“your hand in mine” by Julia on her bed


Saturday August 20, 2016
2:08pm
5 minutes
Heard in a song on Co-op radio

I catch myself believing I deserve better when I grab your hand in the crowded street and you pull away after only a second. I grab your hand as a gesture to show you that in this sea of people, I cling to you. I reach for you. I choose you. I remind you every chance I get that I am proud of you. That I am proud to be with you. That the touch of your skin connects me to the only things in this life that matter. And you might miss all of that if you’re not expecting to see it. If you think holding hands is something to be taken for granted. Or to be done differently, perhaps. On days like this I swim along the shoulders of other people when I think of how lonely it is to love you. How far I’ve pushed my heart into opening and how tired she is from never being cradled back. I don’t think I’m allowed to ask for more. I need so much so much so much.

“Inside our homes there is usually” by Julia on her couch


Sunday February 28, 2016
11:44pm
5 minutes
from a magazine cutout/em>

Inside our homes there is usually less noise, more quiet, less hate, more love.
Usually.
Tonight there is more crying, less calm, more shaming, less light.
We are both nothing and everything, trying to love each other’s nothing and everything.
You do a better job with it than I do. When I am absolutely nothing nothing, you are still everything everything.
I ask you why you are so nice to me.
You answer with a forehead kiss and a squeeze.
I tell you you haven’t left enough space for me here.
You answer with a squeeze and direct eye-contact.
You will not let me take any prisoners.
You are so happy to be brought on board when I remember that you deserve that.
We are each other’s everything. We are our own nothings.
I have to remember that part too.
If I’m painting broad strokes of the everyday, there is usually more laughter, less pain, more teamwork less fight.
It depends on many things.
The things that usually happen 100% inside of me.

“tossing rolled oats” by Julia at her dining table


Sunday February 21, 2016
12:19am
5 minutes
from a recipe

Karma comes calling, knocking on my door, middle of the night, full intention of awakening, startling me from my sleep. In the form of a dream, in the guise of a nightmare. I get the message: loud and clear and painful and frightening. I don’t know what I did but I’m paying for it, I can assure you. Tossing in my bed like rolled oats in a bowl of coconut shreds. I am not good at the thing where I see one thing in my head and compare a real life thing to that to express myself, describing something. I am maybe suffering the consequences in more than just sleepless nights. Feeling inept, not having the right words to say, to feel, to communicate. I am being punished by Karma in a way that doesn’t feel so obvious. I know how she rolls. In and out of view, thinking she’s gone for a little bit, then rushing right back in to remind me that I am not rid of her yet and that I am not safe in my alone. I am least protected when I leave the comfort of crowds and people with worse problems. She knows that and comes in when I’ve shaken off the possibility of seeing her at all today.

“I am a taffy snob” by Julia in the stairwell of the Artscape Youngplace building


Saturday May 30, 2015 at the Artscape Youngplace Building
4:01pm
5 minutes
From a text to Julia

I was in Halifax when I tried my first piece. Salt water. Perfect Melting New Religion. I bought 6 lbs of the stuff and threw out a pair of running shoes and a flask so I could fit it into my suitcase.
Emmy said, “I would have taken those shoes!”
Taryn said, “you know you can buy that stuff in Ontario too, right?”
But I knew it wouldn’t have been the same. It was like entering a childhood backwards, and experiencing something that was never mine but felt like it was meant to be. Now I don’t go for any old taffy. And why would I? I don’t hate myself for Christ’s sake! Why would I walk if I could run? No scratch that–FLY.

“This is a highly competitive, adjudicated process” by Julia at the Bloor/gladstone public library


Monday March 30, 2015 at the TPL
5:46pm
5 minutes
The BC Arts Council website

I have never been so nervous! I’m sweating behind my knees and I’m gassy like a bagel on a cow’s hip. WHY IS THIS HAPPENING? BECAUSE I CARE WAY TOO MUCH?? IS IT MY FAULT? I just want them to like me. To accept me and recognize me for my efforts. I think that’s a normal human thing to want. But this is big. It’s not just like, oh, you didn’t gain approval, it means, oh, you didn’t get funding, validation, encouragement to continue trying, etc, etc. I’m fully aware of the competition. I don’t want to be the kind of person who competes with the people out there who compete in these things for sport. But can a nobody compete against his or herself? Can this be turned into a positive somehow? I can’t think, I just want this. But did I do enough work to earn it? I don’t know, I’m sitting here waxing ridiculous to a bunch of overly medicated rich people who all equally believe that their kid deserves this over me.

“he said I wasn’t suitable for the rodeo no more” by Julia on the 506 going west


Tuesday February 4, 2014
10:41pm
5 minutes
Talking With…
Jane Martin


Probably cause I bucked a guy. I bucked him. I’m not sure it needs further explanation. Cause that’s what I did, I bucked him. Where? In his face, obviously. Cause. Cause he deserved it. I wouldn’t buck a guy if he didn’t deserve it, of course not. He was rude to me. He was patronizing and rude to me. So what? So I bucked him, that’s so what. Because! I didn’t like his attitude, my words weren’t going to do anything and so I just turned around and I buck–I just know. I just know. I just know. Because he wasn’t the type to listen so I didn’t bother–I didn’t want to waste my time on explaining something to someone who wasn’t going to receive it. You weren’t there so I guess we’ll never know. Cause he deserved it, am I going to have to repeat myself all nigh–no. No I said I bucked him. Yes that’s what I said. Well try to just picture it exactly as it sounds. No you didn’t hear wrong. I BUCKED HIM.

“That’s the point.” by Julia on the subway going east


Monday January 27, 2014
6:40pm
5 minutes
The Grid
January 23-30 2014


Oh yeah oh yeah oh yeah oh yeah
That's 1234
Four
Four yeahs
That's the point
You count them out and you go oh yeah but you say as many as you feel are necessary for the understanding you've just developed
Four sometimes five
Oh yeah oh yeah oh yeah oh yeah oh yeah
Extra yeah extra oh
For those moments when you just need to keep going on that track you started on
I've been punishing you with my absence
I'll admit that now
Haven't been responding to your messages or your needs or your calls or your smoke signals
Didn't really care if it was urgent or of it was life threatening
Didn't care at all
And so I saw your reach outs
And I ignored every last one
Cause you're a bad friend
And when you realize it all
The pieces falling where they should
The puzzle coming together
You'll do it
You'll say it
You'll go oh yeah oh yeah oh yeah oh yeah oh yeah oh yeah
I have been terrible
I remember now

“Compliment, Congratulate” by Julia on the subway going east


Saturday January 4, 2014
3:48pm
5 minutes
Actions-The Actor’s Thesaurus Marina Calderone and Maggie Lloyd-Williams

You say 10 years? Were you even old enough to have a driver’s license 10 years ago, sweetheart?
Yeah. You dumb fuck of a man. I was. So would you like fresh ground pepper on that or do you have any other lame remarks about my life?
I do want pepper. But I also want you to know that I was complimenting you. You look like a new born for chrissakes! It’s a good thing!
Ok sir, that’s nice that you’re some fucking pedophile. How wonderful to receive your heart-felt congratulations for looking like a child. I suppose you think that tipping in ‘advice’ and Canadian Tire money is also a really great idea. Because you believe it’s still 1909, you fucking prick.

“and not mercy” by Julia at Starbucks


Wednesday February 20, 2013 at Starbucks
4:29pm
5 minutes
Romeo and Juliet
William Shakespeare


And not mercy, that’s not what I want. If you have it to give, fine, that’s one thing. But I will not ask for it. I will not beg. I don’t do things like that. I never have. I never will.
I woke up one cold morning and blamed the snow for cooling my skin. I had left the window open. Did I not invite it in? I did. I did. I realized then I was to blame for the misfortunes, the misguided ideas.
I offered once, to the man of my dreams, please take half of this shortbread. Take half and I will have the other. He forgot it and left the whole thing on the counter. I ate it all. I felt bad. Why? Did I not invite the guilt? That was one half that I had already offered up. How dare I pretend not to notice my promise?
That is why. That is why the mercy may come, but not if I request it. I do not deserve it. I do not want it if it comes falsely, if it comes because I can’t stand being in a room by myself surrounded by mirrors.
My skin, chilled from watching snow flakes hit it, my soul, ridden with the guilt that I burned in it myself. I am a mosaic of mistakes and regret and unfortunate decisions. I wasn’t thinking of anyone but myself.
Pain will come to those who cross their fingers tightly and wish and wish and wish for it.