“A woman in the shape of a monster” by Julia on the 99

Monday April 2, 2018

10:57pm

5 minutes

Planetarium

Adrienne Rich

I guess I’m supposed to shape shift into the Phoenix now, huh? Rise from the ashes and flap my glorious wings around, fanning all the too hot, too dangerous. You expect me to be big the way you expect dinner to be on the table when you come home. I guess I’m supposed to use you as my downfall and build a sturdy ladder from my rock bottom so I can climb my ass to the fucking moon. You’d like that wouldn’t you: a real success story to attach your dick to. Watch me decide which edge to use as I slice the vein out of your skin. Show you just how much monster I can be, when you expect me to be anything but mine.

“I thought my love would never recover.” by Julia at her desk

Wednesday March 21, 2018
10:57am
5 minutes
A quote by Madeleine L’Engle

It is a gift given often without being returned
a tiny bird’s egg rescued from concrete
the padded footsteps around the house
while he sleeps through the day again
Expectations far away from here

But then it is still true
When the silence is so loud it weeps
the hurt so present it raises the skin
you might think this love bone might never mend
this aching might never go away

He sleeps, through the day again,
her mother forgets to ask about her doctor’s appointment
the padded footsteps, soft from walking with empty
And the next day, a window cracks
the light streaming in just a little

“shorten the contract” by Julia on her couch

Wednesday January 10, 2018
8:59pm
5 minutes
for your consideration
Laura Yan

Owlie is coming to visit and I got her an air matress from Winners. This is what adults do. Adults go to the store on a Wednesday or a Monday and buy produce. Adults invite their friend to sleep over but only if there is proper bedding. I haven’t seen Owlie since 2012 and I’m afraid she’ll ask me all the same questions. Where am I working? Did I ever find a family doctor? Do I still sleep with a bible underneath my pillow? A lot can change in six years. People can grow or stop gowing or get a promotion or lose their job. You won’t find any air mattresses in an unemployed adult’s home. Nobody would see one and expect their host to not be able to afford a nice one like this from Winners. Owlie has always been successful at anything she tries. She got a serving job once just by walking into a place and telling the owner she could see herself working there.

“unconscious anger at my mother” by Julia at LoPan

Wednesday December 20, 2017 at LoPan
12:27am
5 minutes
This wounded healer says warp up the loom
Sharon K. Farber

We didn’t speak much after her mother died. I didn’t ask her how she was each day and maybe that’s good.
I always knew how to keep living.
I remember that she never had as much as I gave before. As little. And I resented for a period that she didn’t beg herself better. That she did not shoot a little higher. I see this woman on the moon, and in the moon, and of the moon and of the moon, and she does not want to admit that.
I don’t know which truth tasted sweeter. I would likely have done the same thing in her position. Even I would hope for love in another way.
I am happy in my life thanks to all the sauces she’s talked me through over the phone.
I sometimes wish it could have been her.
I sometimes wish it wasn’t me, or us,or him,just her.
Just her floating through life unattached to the promise of pleasing

“finally coming home” by Julia on Bec’s couch

Thursday September 21, 2017
1:45am
5 minutes
from a text

you keep telling me you’re on your way but you’re not. that’s cool. i’ll wait. just sit here by the beer stuffed chicken i made for you. cause you told me you liked it. cause you said you’d be home for dinner.
i get a text every 25 minutes or when you remember that someone is expecting you. things get carried away. timing is all wrong. you’re just caught up in the excitement. the roads are bad now, better wait. i thought about throwing out the chicken so you could see how you messed up, but i was raised way better than that. maybe i’ll put it on your pillow instead. tuck it way in there so you keep finding the juices dripping all the way down. my mother never said anything about bed chicken. you send a message saying you’re finally coming home and then an hour later i get the same message. i don’t respond. i don’t know how. if i write anything it’s going to be a lightening rod. if i write anything it’s going to be the end of me.

“while the couple works out their troubles without distraction” by Julia on the 99


Monday June 12, 2017
5:00pm
5 minutes
Committed
Elizabeth Gilbert


My sister tells me she doesn’t want kids and it ruins everything. I know she used to but then she dated a man she didn’t want to have a copy of so she changed her mind and then things were better for her. I always thought if anyone, it would be her, and I would happily be the world’s best Zia to her kid, and even co-parent when I needed to. My sister breaks my heart accidentally when she breaks the news. I wonder who will give our parents grandchildren now? Isn’t she the one who has always done the right thing? Up till this I have been very lucky that no one expects much of me other than poetry and improvised musicals about my day.
How weird it must be for everyone that I’m the one who caught the bouquet at Stef’s wedding, and guessed the exact measurement of Cheryl’s pregnant belly at her baby shower.

“Chickpeas / tahini” by Julia on her couch


Monday May 1, 2017
11:06pm
5 minutes
from a grocery list

in the event of me being put
in charge to host a dinner
party
I would air on the side of
Italian
garnish with
basil
everywhere
tomato
garlic/bread
The music would be chosen with
more stress than should
accompany
a fun night
with friends
eventually confident
Golden Oldies
no one can hate the Golden fucking Oldies
and if they arrive early
(and they always do)
there will be a cheese based
plate or chips, or dips, or good
conversation, until
the food I mistimed
is ready to be served
All Oldies All The Time

“You know I will oh baby” by Julia at her desk


Friday March 17, 2017
9:33pm
5 minutes
Never Had A Dream Come True
S Club 7


For almost two years we have been meaning to go to Burgoo. For almost two years the blue name lit up on the front of the restauant always called to us. Tonight, we finally make the dream a reality. We had heard good things from friends and locals. And it’s Friday, we want to get out of the house, we want to spend time together, it’s raining; it’s going to be Burgoo. And then we sit down, read the menu, and we realize…that we have spent almost two years assuming that it’s a burger place. There were no burgers. Because Burgoo is a stew from Kentuky that has okra in it.

“A failure to be my best self” by Julia on her bed


Sunday January 15, 2017
12:32pm
5 minutes
Becoming Wise
Krista Tippett


Since waking I have been making all sorts of lists
Things to do
What to eat
When to do them
How to eat it
All the tiny boxes either checked or unchecked
Waiting or finished
Day’s beginning turning into day’s middle then day’s end before the joints become lubricated enough to sustain it all
Since waking I have been making all sorts of lists
Who to write to
What my dreams were
What my dreams meant
Who I want to be today
Who I plan to be today
Who I end up being today
I have not scheduled in silence
Or stillness
Or sunshine
I have expected all to come when necessary
When called
When unavoidable
I have not promised to love myself in case I can’t quite get to it
I meant to reduce tasks and expectations and heartbreak and time travel of any kind
But I keep adding to the list without breathing first info what it feels like to be alive on a perfect day of perfect opportunity to give thanks

“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.

“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.

“Packing planner checklist” by Julia at Starbucks


Wednesday June 15, 2016 at Starbucks
7:35am
5 minutes
from the Uhaul website

I think T-Lite said she’d meet us at the train station but she didn’t say what time. If she doesn’t show up, we’re screwed, but I don’t want to tell that to Roy yet. He still thinks we’re escaping this place on some magic carpet, flying far far away. I look up at the departure board and Santa Monica has one coming up, the next one not for a few hours. If we’re late, I don’t know what happens to the ones we’re expected to pick up at the station. Roy yawns and takes his heart shaped sunglasses off to rub his eyes. We goin’ or what? He says. Let’s make moves! Yeah, I say, we are, hold tight. Maybe, he tells me, I’ll catch a few z’s before T-Lite gets here, ah? Yeah, find a little spot on the ground, I say. Check for wet. He brings his hands to prayer and bows his head in my direction. I look at my watch again. I sink a little: we are definitely not making this next train.

“the conscious mind” by Julia on her couch


Friday March 11, 2016
4:19pm
5 minutes
A quote by Janet Burroway

Barshum tells me to meet him at the art supply store near Granville and I have to fight my urge to ask him if it’s a date. I don’t really want to know. I’m trying this new thing that probably isn’t actually new to the world but is to me that I learned when I was living in Naples for a semester abroad. The people there all hang out and enjoy each other’s company and nobody is actively trying to bang anyone. When I asked once if Martina was going to the movie looking for love, she laughed, shook her head, and then laughed again. In her broken English she said, (and I’ve interpreted) we don’t go out for more than just fun. If something else happens, okay, great, that’s a bonus. But if nothing happens, then no one is disappointed because no one was wearing a mask over their ulterior motives.

so…I’m trying not to have a second end in mind. Maybe no end at all would be better.

“what you can expect” by Julia on her couch


Monday, January 18, 2016
10:21pm
5 minutes
from an e-mail

So my cousin had a baby and for some reason I think she’s my spirit animal.
I haven’t even met her but I have this feeling that we know each other already and that she’s going to want to hold onto my finger so tight.
I don’t know why I think this for this cousin and not the others. I don’t know how this new little baby girl and I will even spend time together now that we live on opposite sides of the country, but if my cousin will let me, I think I want to be her pen pal.
I want to write this girl a letter every day. She’s the only one who doesn’t know me at all. I could tell her all the things I wish I heard when I was growing up. I don’t know how I’d get these letters to her unopened, though. If I were my cousin I’d be reading each and every thing that comes in the mail addressed to my new born daughter. But what’s good, and that I may be forgetting, is that my cousin expects me to be a weirdo and maybe, without thinking too much about it, will let me correspond with his kid because on some level he knows she’d benefit from that.
I will start my “clean slate personal representation” letter the same way each time:
Hello, you are good, you are enough.
Those should be the first words she reads.

“A small suitcase” by Julia in her bed


Sunday, January 10, 2016
11:28pm
5 minutes
Trailer Park
Jenn Grant


He left a note in the front pocket of her smaller suitcase. It was full of all the stuff he didn’t know how to say in her language without a translator just in case he sounded like an idiot. He of course used google translate but agreed to bite the bullet about the 40% that would unavoidably lead to miscommunication. He wrote the note as patiently as he could, careful to say how he felt and not just what she expected him to say.

“Bitch better have my money” by Julia in a taxi


Wednesday, April 8, 2015
3:21pm
5 minutes
Better Have My Money
Rihanna


Went to the mailbox today. Noticed all my letters were soaked right through. Holes. I chalk it up to holes. I expect this shitbox house I am living in with its shitbox buzzing refrigerator and its shitbox screaming radiators and its shitbox location right beside not one but TWO railway tracks to also have a leaky shitbox mail collector. I have no more hopes for myself. I’m at what you would call, rock bottom. And no, though you think it might, it doesn’t feel good. Sorry I get sarcastic when I’ve slept for only 3 hours because my shitbox neighbours were up until sunrise playing a death metal rendition of The Itsy Bitsy Spider. I LOVE MY LIFE.

“how thrilled she was” by Julia on her bed


Thursday May 15, 2014
8:17pm
5 minutes
This American Life Podcast

He deals with the landlord because she gets real entitled for no reason. She thinks she should have holes in walls replaced immediately, and that he should be able to be contacted at any time of the day, the night, holiday or not. He knows that if he calls the landlord after business hours, he’ll get a better response. He can shoot the shit. He can talk about the basketball game or the hockey game or the weather or the news. She gets right down to the matter at hand and forgoes any niceties because she’s busy and doesn’t care if her landlord thinks she’s unpleasant. She’s made because she offered once to babysit his three girls because she thought that might help their chances of never getting their rent price inflated. He said no and she never forgave him so now she just calls him when she has to and otherwise gets pissy if the ceiling in the kitchen leaks and she knows it won’t get resolved till after business hours three weeks from now because everyone else is so damn laid back. He tells her that she needs to let go a bit and stop worrying that everyone is out to get her and purposely stretching out tasks that need completing. She tells him his standards are too low and that they are not friends because friends don’t make friends sign a contract for a 1 year lease.
She reminds him to remind the landlord and he tells her that it will all get done eventually.

“Check the condition of the O ring” by Julia at her kitchen table


Sunday January 5, 2014
11:08pm
5 minutes
Suzuki GS 500 Haynes Manual

CARLA: I don’t know what that means. I really don’t. I’ve looked it up, and I mean, it’s on the internet cause everything is, but I still don’t get it. Which then makes me feel stupid and sad. Because I know I’m neither of those things but then I’m made to feel like I’m both of them and there’s no getting out. It’s weird, it’s like, saying “I don’t know” and truly not knowing is completely unacceptable to people. Why do I have to pretend to know everything, and look it all up before I send my response? To keep you guessing, to keep you thinking that I’m intelligent. Some people are just not word people, you know? Some people are really good at reading HUMAN BEINGS and THEIR BEHAVIOUR and might be legally illiterate. Is that so bad? Those people get away with not knowing and nobody says ANYTHING to them. And nobody should. Nobody should say anything to the people are “supposed” to be smart and just don’t know all the things that ever existed either, but they do. Higher standards apply to those people. The same way when a skinny person puts on even just a tiny bit of weight, everybody notices and now they get called ‘fat’. Can we do a couple things this year? Like banish the words “stupid” and “fat” because they are relative and they’re just not helping anyone? I can’t be the only one who thinks this. I’m going to look it up on the internet.

“MOD, MINI, METALLIC” by Julia at Sambuca Grill


Friday January 3, 2014 at Sambuca Grill
2:55pm
5 minutes
vintage shop on College

I haven’t seen her face yet. Just her skirts, and like, her hair from the back. I know I like that side of her a lot. Weird, like, I start imagining her face but there’s nothing specific about her features. You know, I just can’t seem to see those things, and yet, I know exactly what she looks like. Maybe cause I don’t want to wreck her. Or my expectations. Okay and I know that about myself. I can get my hopes up pretty high for practically anything and this is no different. But I don’t want her to fall short of my expectations without her even doing anything wrong. Not that she can. I mean, the girl is beautiful. I’m telling you, her legs. And that’s even when she’s wearing pants. It sounds so dumb to say it out loud, but I think this is how everyone should get to know the love of their life. Like, I’m not stupid and I know I don’t love her yet. Just I also know I could. And easily. I don’t know what she looks like. But that moment when I finally see her face…that first moment…it will be like that moment on Drop Zone where your heart shoots through your body and everything just…drops. That release, the difficulty to catch my breath…Yeah.

“1951-2013” by Julia on her couch


Sunday, October 6, 2013
11:14pm
5 minutes
from Haroon Rahim Bakhsh’s memorial card

When we get there, I’ll make sure Mona knows about the car seat. Okay? I promise you, Birdie, I won’t let anything happen. Mona has the kettle ready to go, she just said to call when we’re a minute or two out so she can put it on. She’s trying, Birdie. She wants to help you, and I suppose both of us. She really is. It’s not like a judging thing. She’s truly invested in this family, and I honestly couldn’t even tell you why. She might see something in me, but quite positive it’s you she worries about. She’s maybe not had to deal with some of the same things, but I can assure you, she’s a good listener. And she understands without having to go through it all. I think that’s rare, Birdie. I think it’s nice too. If you’re still feeling uncomfortable by, I don’t know, 3pm or 4, you just let me know and we don’t have to stay. We do have to go, though, that’s part of the plan. She’s expecting us, after all, and it wouldn’t be fair to keep her waiting forever and then never show up. If you want we can even tell her right when we get there that we’re probably not sticking around. She won’t begrudge us that, but we have to at least drop in for half and hour and say hi. She’s been busy baking all morning for us. It’d be a shame to let her famous ginger cookies to go to waste.

“Empire Trinket Box” by Julia in her bed


Monday, September 30, 2013
1:07am
5 minutes
from the bottom of a gift from Bowring

Oh goodie I cannot wait to share my dreams with you! Been working on them for a long time and now they’re finally ready! Going to tie each one to a pretty red string and let them up up in the air until they’re attached to the clouds or the moon! Or the stars! If that doesn’t work I think I can spread them thin in a vat of soap and blow them into bubbles so they can reach the sky. Then, when they’re up up in the air, they’ll land on something or someone and trickle down until there is just no hiding from them! That’s what I wanted to share with you! But you’re always so critical about things. See we have fundamental differences of opinion, you and I, and I’m trying to impress you, and you’re trying to impress me, but we’re both just getting caught in the trying a bit too much. I want to share my dreams with you and I’m prepared to do so but if you even smirk, if you even show one ounce of judgement, then that’s it. They’ll all just disappear into the night and no one will ever hear from them again. So I guess I need to know if you’re fully ready!