“freckles on thighs and in-between.” by Julia at the studio

Tuesday February 13, 2018
6:07pm
5 minutes
Teachable Moment, 1986
kellee Ngan

you were the one who first told me about the freckle
on the inside of my bum cheek and I didn’t even
know it was there
I want to thank you now in retrospect for looking
as close at the inside of my bum cheek as you did
For looking as close at the inside of my chest
even when I couldn’t be happy for your happiness
or when I chose silence over words even though
you knew I knew words better
I want to thank you now for noticing then the trilion
tiny specks of me
the good the bad, the ugly ugly ugly
You were so patient until your patience bit
and when it did it took out a deep chunk
You always knew where to sink your teeth in
but that was your reward for paying such perfect
attention
You told me once that my tongue whipping down your
throat was not sexy and I didn’t have the thought
to tell you then that I was holding tightly
to a thread that held your head close to mine
And I was not anything close to ready
to letting it go in case you went with it
One day I opened my fingers and you went with it
but I thank you now
the first

“Spiritual teachers” by Julia on her bed


Sunday, July 17, 2016
11:06am
5 minutes
Women Food And God
Geneen Roth


I called my spiritual teacher, Helia, because I was in a state of emergency. I couldn’t find anything to wear and I couldn’t tell if it was my inner child reacting to my adult life, or if it was sign from the universe telling me I had to listen inward, or take a risk, or write down my dreams in the journal marked “For Dreams”. Helia was on vacation in the Okanagan. She had posted a photo from Peachland so I knew she was alive, but why wasn’t she responding to my very desperate attempts at contacting her? It’s not like this was a run of the mill anxiety attack or some realization that I cannot do this alone. I already know that I can’t, and that’s what I pay a spiritual healer for. Healia said to never hesitate to reach out. She failed to mention that I should just never be in crisis during the last weeks of July and first weeks of August. So I called my sister instead and she invited me over for homemade brownies and lemonade. She said she would try to massage my left shoulder knot out and maybe I just needed some TLC from someone who used to share a room with me.

“Weren’t you sorry” by Julia at her desk


Sunday March 15, 2015
10:32pm
5 minutes
from Sputnik Sweetheart
Haruki Murakami


Like a ton of bricks falling from the ceiling, right over your bed while you’re in the middle of a good dream. I don’t know if I’ll ever recover from the moment of feeling like nothing else was even happening or existing around me. Just hazy, stabbing light, hacking into my every skin cell.
It was shocking to say the least. The motherfucking shock of my motherfucking life. I didn’t see it coming. Maybe I never wanted to see something like that, and in my head I couldn’t even think it was possible. And then all of a sudden I was sitting at my best friend’s hospital bed, holding her hand and keeping her eyelids cool with my fingertips. I don’t know if I said it out loud, but I know for a fact my heart was singing it. Over and over again like a broken, desperate record: Please don’t die. Please don’t die. Please don’t die.

“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.

“lease holders and approved occupants” by Julia on her couch


Wednesday August 20, 2014
9:08pm
5 minutes
from an apartment memorandum

I feel a bit silly asking this, but do you think he wants me to stay for the winter? I’m only asking because we got this memo under the door today about getting new keys because the front locks were being changed, and he didn’t tell me about it. He like, hid the memo from me and I only found it because I was looking for the old memo from two days ago that said something about the drainage pipes. Why wouldn’t he invite me to stay long term? I feel like a summer fling all of a sudden, which is crazy right? He gave me a key for the summer and he’s going to give me a key for the winter too, isn’t he? Why would he all of a sudden not want me to get into his apartment easily? I feel like he’s going to be really annoyed with me calling all the time just to get inside the house we share, right? Well, we’ve been sharing it, I guess we don’t officially share it since my name is nowhere on the lease. I just thought, hey, I’m not a lease holder, fine, but I most certainly am an approved occupant! The residence manager has seen me a bazillion times while he’s watering the one plant in the front yard. I say hi to him every time I walk by even though he just stares at my boobs when he sees me. If anything, I’m an asset to this stupid building. Is that anti-feminist? Is this whole conversation anti-feminist? I’m just trying to figure out where I belong, you know? Well, no, not that desperately. I’m not begging for a key or anything. I’m not begging for a ring at all. I’m good with where we are. I’m good.

“with MOSS FOLK” by Julia at Kawaii Crepe


Thursday August 7, 2014 at Kawaii Crepe
8:38pm
5 minutes
from the Wooden Shjips concert ticket


I’ve been sitting here with a patch of dead skin in my hands. I thought you would have noticed that my legs were peeling because some of the shapes looked like your favourite states: Minnesota, Alabama, Missouri. You didn’t say one thing about it, so I kept slowly detaching the snake-like-shreds, trying to keep them as long and intact as possible. Like orange peels. Like the backing of a press on tattoo. I guess I was looking for some attention, or to prove to myself that you cared about me and my well-being. I wondered if you wondered why I had burnt skin to begin with. If you thought to ask and discovered that I scalded my legs in a hot bath, if you’d wonder why anyone would think to take a hot bath in the middle of July. I don’t usually do that kind of thing. It just sort of happened as a result of my endless time alone and my desire to feel like anything but myself. Granted, I did feel a little like Virginia Woolf. I wondered if you’d wonder about that part…

“The six methods are:” by Julia at MAKE coffee+stuff


Thursday July 24, 2014 at MAKE
1:55pm
5 minutes
Ashtanga Yoga Primer
Baba Hari Das

Oh for coping? I guess I have some experience. I usually don’t talk about them with anyone though. I don’t like sharing that stuff in case anyone finds it disturbing or whatever. TMI, maybe? I usually just avoid people during the coping period all together.
But okay. I could list them out, if that’s what you need? If you think it’ll help?
Number one…I’m suddenly acutely aware of myself. And my sadness. Because I’m still struggling with these and I’m the one who originated them. Sorry. Number one: Scream. It sounds easy, but it’s different than just letting sound out at a high volume. It’s a deep one. It’s guttural, it’s blood curdling, it’s hopeless and hopeful at the same time. And it lasts for at least 90 seconds. I do this one first to let it all out. Or try to.
Number two: find a sore spot on your body – a knot, a bruise, a tight muscle, and dig into it. With anything you want, but usually I use my elbows. You want something very pointy. Number three: Finish an entire container of peanut butter. Don’t move from your spot until it’s completely gone, lid licked. I don’t know why this one helps but it does. Maybe because you need something to stick to your bones once you’ve released all the unwanted parts. Number four: put on a blindfold and walk around your house until you know it by touch. Number five: Paint your mirror around your face. Turn it into something like a face cut out character you’d see at a carnival. Number six: floss.

“show no signs of slowing down” by Julia at Starbucks in the Exchange District


Tuesday, June 17, 2014 at Starbucks
3:37pm
5 minutes
http://www.truebluemagazine.com

Desperate and shivering, Reese made her way into a phone booth off of Marble and Casket Drive. She fumbled through her pockets for change, fumbled through her pockets for anything. Reese couldn’t find a single coin, her hands shaking from the wet cold outside that she had been facing all night. She rifled through her backpack one last time, wishing she’d saved some of her money for moments like this. She opened each pocket and frantically searched the contents, the lining, the holes that things could slip through. She held her bag upside down and shook with everything she had. Nothing fell out, not even a crumb of bread, which she was secretly hoping would happen. Reese sat herself down on the floor of the phone booth and let out, for what felt like the first time, a real proper scream. She screamed and screamed until her lungs hurt, until her voice was hoarse, howling at the moon. She didn’t have any way of making it through this night. She hadn’t ever planned to be a in a position where relying on loose quarters to survive was what she knew.

“set yourself on fire” by Julia on her couch


Tuesday May 13, 2014
6:20pm
5 minutes
Your Ex-Lover Is Dead
Stars


It was out of extreme desperation but I was no longer happy with anything about my face. So I decided.
I decided to change the way I see myself. Change the way the world sees me because of the way I see me.
So I decided.
I didn’t tell anyone I was doing it. I couldn’t risk my aunt or my mother finding out. Of course not my grandma. They’d kill me before they let me do something like that. And that would then defeat the purpose of re-branding myself.
My grandma always loved my hair. My mom always did too. My aunt was a hair-dresser and thought I did something right in my former life to have the head of hair that I had.
And so I decided.
I lit a candle. One that smelled of fig and honey.
And it was nice, and I was enjoying myself.
And then I slowly dipped a strand or two into the flickering flame.
It sizzled. And I snapped my head back out of impulse.
Then somehow found the secret strength of carrying out plans to completion when it’s for nobody but me.
And I put more hair into the flame, smelling no longer like fig and honey, but like burning.
So I decided it would be dramatic.
Because I’m dramatic.
Because I’m so goddamn dramatic.
And I let the flames engulf my pretty hair until I could feel the heat deep in my scalp.
That’s when I smothered it.

“Defeating death, embracing love” by Julia on the Greyhound heading to Toronto


Sunday May 11, 2014
3:10pm
5 minutes
Reader’s Digest
March 2014


What am I going to have to do to get you to come out of there?
He knocked gently on the bathroom door and waited there with his head attached to the wall.
She stared daggers silently through him, through the wall.
I’m not coming out. You can stay there all day if you’d like.
He swivelled in his spot, turning so the back of his head was leaning on the door.
She cocked her fingers like a gun and fired.
Can you turn down the fucking Feist, please?
He peeled himself off the door and went to his laptop sitting on the coffee table. He waited.
She waited.
He closed the lid and the music stopped.
K, thanks.
Yup.
It’s not about me, right?
Yup.
Yup it is, or yup it isn’t?
I need you to go away now.
She walked backward feeling the cabinets on her way to the window. When she reached the tub, she climbed in one foot at a time, then drew the shower curtain.
Please talk to me.
No thank you.

“allow my worlds to collide” by Julia at the Arts And Culture Centre in NL


Thursday March 27, 2014 at The Arts And Culture Centre in NL
1:15am
5 minutes
from The Pillowman program in St St. John’s NL

I had a moment of desperation when the zipper on my jacket busted. And I was standing in a wind storm. And you were far away from me. And I couldn’t even call you if I wanted to. That’s when I knew that if I didn’t have you, I would have, cheesy as it sounds, nothing. You were around whenever I needed you to be. And I didn’t hold on tightly enough because I didn’t think I had to. You did everything right. And I didn’t understand what that might have meant until I was left searching for some semblance of your spirit. I went through every old purse, hoping I had a photo of you somewhere. Why didn’t I print any photos of you? Why didn’t I do that? I should have known better. When your phone crashes or your computer explodes, you realize how many things you should have backed up. I should have backed you up. And I think I mean that figuratively and literally cause if I had just reminded myself of how great you were, and stood on your team every chance I got, I wouldn’t be left wishing for anything. Because I would still have you. You would be right here. And I would have someone to hold me.

“Spilled secrets” by Julia at the Sheraton in St. John’s


Wednesday March 26, 2014
10:39pm
5 minutes
Atlantic Business Magazine
Jan/Feb 2014


of course there are spilled secrets all over this place. you think i don’t know that? I know that. I know everything about this place. when i was little i used to run this place. you’re laughing but you don’t understand. i was in and out of room corners and closets and hiding everywhere. nobody knew where to find me and i was damn good at staying hidden until i knew no one was watching for me to come out. that’s how i learned about everyone and everything because i got real good at keeping my mouth shut and my ears wide wide open. i got good at breathing with my mind and not with my lungs. i know about each wall plastered with its tiny mosaics of truth and shame. i know about mom trying to hide the pistol and about dad shouting out for annabell, my sister before he went and not me. i know more than you can possibly imagine. and everyone knows one thing or two, but not me. i know each fold in each sheet like it was my nanny, i know each speckle on each mirror like my own shadow. i could fill rooms of books with what i know here. and that’s why i’m so hell bent on leaving now. not that anyone would stop me..not anyone but the secrets. they whisper to me when i sleep. they haunt my dreams like nightmares that are made up by crazy men in their libraries. only they’re real. they’re so real they could kill me just by being in my head. i have a song i sing right before bed so i don’t hear them. i had to invent something when i was young to make sure they didn’t.

“my wrath did end” by Julia on her couch


Wednesday, April 24, 2013
12:33am
5 minutes
A Poison Tree
William Blake


But I meant it. I was furious. I had a reason for yelling, for stealing all your money, your things. Those stupid possessions. That’ll teach you to choose them over me. To prioritize materials. I am a HUMAN BEING. And so, yeah, I took your cell phone and I drowned it in the bathtub. Took it in there with me when I was reading Rumi. He has some good ideas. I have some of my own. You wouldn’t have noticed. Not like you look at it every 2 seconds. Oh wait. You do.
I’m not sorry. I do not feel bad about cutting holes in all of your pants’ pockets. Or poking them in all you polo shirts. What did I do so wrong? Want your attention? Right. I guess I should feel some remorse, then. Pity. I’m surprisingly fine, however, so I guess there goes that. Guess I woke up with a lot less baggage and a lot fewer second place ribbons. You could have avoided it all. I will never forget the look on your face when you saw that rock through your precious new lap top screen. Priceless. Like your RELATIONSHIP was supposed to be. like I WAS SUPPOSED TO BE.
For a millisecond I thought about stopping.

“only the sound of the wind” by Julia at Saving Gigi


Friday, April 5, 2013
11:20a at Saving Gigi
5 minutes
Misery
Stephen King


Caught in a dizzy haze, I was waiting for you to come home all day. Kept running to the front window every time I heard footsteps-I thought it was you, you know. Thought you’d be back and we could make lunch together-or watch a show. But then my mind started spinning and I was caught in a dizzy haze. It made me feel almost sick but not enough to lay down. Maybe it was the missing of you–the absence of you that made me feel turned upside down. That or that I forgot to eat because I kept waiting to cook the cauliflower with you. I would have started without you, I suppose. It wouldn’t be too bad if I had tried to prepare some key ingredients. But I didn’t know if you wanted soup or if you wanted to roast it. I didn’t want to call just in case you were busy. So I was quiet for a long time – left alone in this rickety house with only the sound of wind to keep me company. You didn’t tell me where you were. Or when you’d be back. I panicked for a minute thinking you’d never return because you liked wherever you ended up better than being with me. I know, I know, that’s crazy. But I told you. I was caught there. In a dizzy haze.

“The sheriff nodded.” by Julia at her kitchen table


Sunday, November 25, 2012
9:49pm
5 minutes
A Lesson Before Dying
Ernest J. Gaines


I wasn’t going anywhere without Lucy. I would be damned if they locked me up this very moment and I had to watch her watch me get taken in. I knew damn well that Lucy wasn’t going to be coming with me. And suddenly I realized: I couldn’t go either. I was stuck to that girl like glue, you understand. Her freckles, her smile. I was lost in her baby blues the first time I laid eyes on her. She was shivering in the cold, wet from the rain, and alone. And I picked up that perfect little girl, with the coat off of my own back, and I cradled her there. Remember singing to her until she fell asleep, poor thing. Couldn’t stop shaking until she was dreaming. I wanted her to know I was there, and that I wasn’t going no place else because we had developed a perfect bond, you see. I never wanted children. Not in my whole life. I wanted a dog, maybe a cat if I got too lonely, but never ever a kid. Then that day, her tiny body sitting in a pothole on the road? You think I’m going to turn my back on her? Absolutely impossible. Some sorry excuse for a human being left her there on purpose. Couldn’t care for her. Well I couldn’t either, but that didn’t stop me, you see what I mean. I was going to keep this girl alive if it were the last thing I did.
I didn’t want to explain that whole story to the sheriff. Something about his smirk told me he wouldn’t understand. Or if he would, I knew he just wouldn’t believe me.