“Well you have lost 3 matches in a row” by Julia on her couch

Wednesday June 19, 2019
7:20pm
5 minutes
overheard on an unknown internet compilation

there have been few fights
few fights, but still fights
small fights, few, but still
nobody is perfect
nobody is always right

the dishes in the sink
the ones that say I was home all day but didn’t do these
the ones, revealed later, were left on purpose for someone else because it was up to someone else to wash them

a little fight
a little snarl
a curl of the lip
a growl
a growl?
an almost hit
a growl?

one of us does some eye rolling and one of us catches it
one of us Calls The Eye Rolling Out
the other says no more talking about this is necessary because I am right

sorry because someone is right.

it does not feel good to be right.
it never has.
it does not feel good to be wrong but this stings.
and I am right.
I know it.
everyone knows it.
but it is not good when winning feels like losing.

I wish I didn’t almost hit.
I wish I didn’t growl.
I mean somebody growled and I wished that somebody was more patient instead.
if somebody were really right maybe they would have said less. growled less.

“I can feel it changing!” by Julia on the 19

Tuesday March 5, 2019
4:23pm
5 minutes
Death of a Salesman
Arthur Miller

It’s as if we never faced off that one night in June-you with your clever excuses and me with my tone trying to remain bigger than you.
I honestly thought you’d have more to say, the sand beading little reminders under your feet.
Where did you even go?
I swear I watched the you I knew get wiped away clean like two eyebrows drawn on, finally private enough to die.
Where did you even go?
I can’t speak for the me I was that night, edging closer to a storm, betraying my wisdom.
I hate seeming so small, fragile.
I went back in time, if you were wondering.
I landed on a year of my life that I am embarrassed about when looking at photographs.
Puffy bangs, sun-kissed cheeks,
all of the wrong teeth now missing

“Wring or twist” by Julia on her couch

Monday November 19, 2018
8:02pm
5 minutes
from a blanket tag

I see you in photos now and you look happy. Not sure if we are both acting like things never happened between us. Unresolved things. I might be waiting for an apology that isn’t coming. I think you are too. It’s enough to wring me weak in the gut, whispy like a dandelion after losing a fight with the wind. Twisted into a knot attached to thin air. I do not believe I am wrong. Which is to say that you are not right. I’m not used to this imbalance but here we are, holding our ground in case someone tries to build a fence on it. Or maybe we did that. I don’t know why we would when the open field was clearly a better place for both of us to meet.

“I’m old enough to be that girl’s mother,” by Julia in T’s kitchen

Friday August 24, 2018
7:11pm
5 minutes
My Mother’s Body
Marie Howe

we sit at the diner without speaking. Lulu is mad at me and I am mad at her. the drive was long, quiet, peanut butter stuck in the back of the throat. when I pointed out the horses grazing in the field she gave me the finger. Lu knows i loves horses. she even loves them more than me. I don’t know where I went wrong. i’m old enough to be that girl’s mother but I am not her mother. they don’t tell you that trying to parent another person’s kid will pulverize your heart into something you wish you could snort. Madelyne isn’t sending any instructions from where she is. how to handle a kid who hates me for not being more. when she was just my niece she used to beg Mad to sleep over in my truck. I guess that’s a hope worth tucking beneath the hip.

“Brady and Rix” by Sasha at her desk

Saturday July 21, 2018
10:15am
5 minutes
Fever Pitch
Nick Hornby

Brady smiles at Rix and Rix isn’t having it.

“What?” Says Brady, playing dumb.

“You know what! You stole my idea! You acted like it was yours! That’s just an awful thing to do!”

Brady shifts in their chair.

“Stole is a harsh word. It implies violence – ”

“It implies exactly what you did!” Rix fights everything in their body not to get up and leave the room. Why do they have to share such a small office anyway? Who decided that would be a good idea?

“Look. We brainstormed together. Parsing out whose idea is whose seems reductive, does it not?” Brady takes off their glasses and polishes them.

“You infuriate me!” Rix no longer cares about making a scene.

“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.

“Luke punched a boy” by Sasha on the walk home

Friday March 23, 2018
10:43pm
5 minutes
Two Moons
Debbie Urbanski

Luke punched Isaac. Isaac kicked Luke. Luke spit on Issac’s face. Isaac called Luke a bad word. Hillary called the Ms. Gregory. Ms. Gregory pulled the boys apart. Ms. Gregory loves her work but she does not love breaking up fights on the playground. That’s not why she’s here. If only Todd could’ve taken her recess duty and she could’ve enjoyed her salad with bacon. Luke runs at Isaac. Ms. Gregory has her back turned. Isaac screams. Hillary starts to cry. Ms. Gregory closes her eyes and thinks about Spring Break when she’ll go to Oahu. Ms. Gregory walks Luke and Isaac to Mr. Polanski’s office. Isaac’s been there before, many times, but Luke hasn’t.

“I need to buy some tango shoes” by Julia at K’s Airbnb

Thursday September 14, 2017
11:24pm
5 minutes
overheard at the airport

-I do not want to take dancing lessons if you’re not going to take lessons aiming your dick into the toilet bowl. I’m sick of stepping in the drips.
-You left BLOOD splatters on the toilet seat last week. Blood.
-Yeah because you know who doesn’t lift the seat to pee? How am I supposed to know it’s even there, Dillon?
-So this is all about me?
-Christ, you cannot write this shit.
-Write what? What?
-You only have one switch and that’s “attacked”. I’m not attacking you I’m observing. You know, paying attention.
-Fuck your sarcasm Marie, I am not kidding.
-Can’t handle the truth, Dillion?
-Can’t handle my fiancé, Marie.

“Can you spare me for five minutes?” by Julia on D and A’s couch


Friday August 11, 2017
10:39pm
5 minutes
Serious Money
Caryl Churchill


I don’t want to hear another excuse,
not another song and dance about why you couldn’t have done all the things you were supposed to. Everything with you is such a production. There’s always a plot twist set during a rain storm. I’m pretty sure you’ve never stopped crying. But you don’t get off without a fight just because you have issues. What’s life if not a giant human issue?
I’m done going out of my way for you. I’m done because I physically can’t take it anymore. I feel bent. I feel pretzeled. You left my kid in he movie rental store! For an hour! With a sticky fingered teenager! There comes a point when this shit is no longer cute. You are far past that.

“When there’s peace, it’s too vague” by Julia at the studio


Tuesday August 8, 2017
9:16pm
5 minutes
The Balcony
Jean Genet


Of course the peace comes in small bursts
makes you think you’re truly…happy.
It’s enough to keep you from grabbing a lover
by the throat of his jeans
or flying off the handle that was meant for, what, exactly?
Holding on? There is never enough room for
both sanities to grip tightly.
Peace, yes, and then there is sand in the bed,
and bread crumbs leading this way and that.
Quiet, not to be mistaken for calm, comes
in small bursts too.
It is the almost kiss, the almost landing.
A mosquito from the fifth dimenson
haunting you until it plants a message in your ear

“is there somewhere else she could go?” by Julia on the 7 bus


Friday June 30, 2017
5:30pm
5 minutes
overheard on the 7

Bobby smoothes down the peach fuzz under her chin to calm down. When she was new to school in the 6th grade two of the good looking boys used to tease her about it. She had no idea they were doing it. For some reason she always instinctively reached for it when she needed to feel close to herself and to her inner child.
Maxwell is banging every pot and every cupboard door but refuses to say anything. He is very aggressive about his passive aggressiveness. It is clear he doesn’t want Bobby’s younger sister, Hannah, to stay with them over the long weekend. He doesn’t think he should have to share his living room with anyone.

“Remember that time” by Julia on her couch


Wednesday June 14, 2017
8:18pm
5 minutes
from an Instagram post

Remember that time our landlords tried to bribe us with blueberries and yogurt from the Korean grocery store in Richmond Hill? You think it’s weird that I’m friends with them
on facebook but I just think it’s funny. They always wanted us to be friends for real. We weren’t exactly into that when we lived below them because friendship then meant them coming into our unit on saturday mornings to use the laundry room without giving us 24 hrs notice. One night we listened to them argue upstairs, the smell of prawns wafting through the vents. We looked at each other, worried, as if we were hearing our own parents threaten divorce. But that would have made us siblings, and now we see each other naked, so.

“As the vibrations release” by Sasha at her desk


Friday June 2, 2017
10:45am
5 minutes
Freeing the Natural Voice
Kristin Linklater


“What are you getting at?” Ben puts his hands in his pockets. That’s never a good sign.

“I just…” My mouth is pasty. My knees are weak. My heart is beating like I’m running, but I’m still.

“Spit it out, Caroline,” Ben says, shifting his weight from one foot to the other.

“I want to go by myself.”

He steps back, putting more space between us. Maybe he understands.

“We bought our plane tickets,” Ben says in a soft voice.

“I know, I know… You can go, too! But, I want to travel alone. I need to do this. I really need to do this.” I will tears not to come. Please please please.

“This is fucked.” Ben walks into the bedroom and slams the door.

“This I wore when I met Margaret Thatcher.” By Julia at her desk


Wednesday May 17, 2017
5:17pm
5 minutes
Women in Clothes
Sheila Heti, Heidi Julavits, Leanne Shapton and 639 Others


We didn’t break bread until we had broken each other
into pieces
the stir before sunset set our dining room to
incubation, warming the alibis of forgotten promises
She was wearing sheer nylons with a tinge of lavender
She was wearing someone else’s face, not mine, not hers
Standing on opposite corners of our equally divided turf
we had to wonder, is this artifical power or are you really
stronger there by the kitchen and I better next to the balcony?
The show is going on outside our tiny terrarium of
heart ache and mishandled history
Our secrets, both undone and left spilling
onto the floor that seperates us
from forgiveness and missing
our reservation

“helps clear the air of many toxins” by Julia on the other chair


Sunday March 26, 2017
8:00pm
5 minutes
from alive magazine

Silas comes home after a fight and 3 long nights of sleeping on the floor of his best friend’s living room. there was no couch after Trevor’s boyfriened made them get rid of it under the suspicion of bed bugs. he comes home needing to shower, carrying a Peace Lily and looking me in the eye.
“i think we’ve been misunderstanding each other and i want you you to know that i want to understand you. ”
he doesnt hold out the plant, but keeps it tucked under his arm on condition.
“where did you get that?” i ask him without moving from my office chair.
“honestly, Lydia? is that what you think is the most important question?”

“with my fingers and lick” by Julia on her couch


Saturday December 3, 2016
6:20pm
5 minutes
from Cake Pops
Amy Roher


It’s going in the books as one of the best fights of my life. Probably won’t have a rival. I think because being able to be so articulate while so angry is one of those white squirrel moments. They exist but they are rare. They are unicorns. Unicorns that reveal themselves to only the lucky ones in this life. I haven’t seen one yet, but that’s okay because I had this fight and I will never be the same. We laughed. We cried. We fucked. We said it all. We screamed. We got what we wanted. We saw each other. We saw our problems. We accepted them. We accepted each other. But we were both still mad and it was beautiful. Truly. No one had to cut a piece of themselves off. No one had to step onto the coals while the other one held the gasoline. We both blazed. We walked through the fire together. We blew the smoke off each other’s backs. We flew.

“Not to be pulled savagely” by Julia on her couch


Monday November 14, 2016
10:36pm
5 minutes
Canvas
John Coyote


These days I am built out of gossamer drenched in oil
I sit heavy with stillness
My bones are chalky inside their covering
Nobody knows how to hold me
The air is thick with loneliness
And every voice outside my head that tries to calm me sticks to my unease and pulls savagely
And I am without fortress
Even fresh lines and hot ink bind me
I am old and new at the same time and my centre has moved to another spot that I don’t have a compass for

“the channeling of heavenly love” by Julia at her dining table


Tuesday November 8, 2016
7:51am
5 minutes
sunnyray.org

But of course he’ll leave before we resolve anything because he wasn’t meant to stay. He didn’t pack anything for overnight. He didn’t bring a toothbrush or his stamina to fight. He didn’t want to get cozy in the curve of me because he was afraid he would want to stay and he couldn’t stay. He had already committed to his other life and I was not welcome in that one. I had to ask him, Why Did You Come Back Then? And he told me, I Felt A Pull On My Heart Like I Was A Puppet and I Couldn’t Lead My Own Way. I asked, What Kind Of Pull? A Cosmic One? The Kind You Have In A Dream? He told me, It Was The Channeling of Heavenly Love And It Made Me Want To Find The Source. But of course he’ll leave before we both understand what that means, and of course he won’t consider that the source is quite obviously me.

“primarily my fault” by Julia on her couch


Tuesday September 20, 2016
12:58am
5 minutes
from a text

I apologize to you with the back of my head and the front of my chest pushing into you like a bean out of its pod there is no quiet or calm no pleasant or nice I do not even mean it with the whole of me I do not know the still of you I do not want to be wrong when being right hurts so much I show you with examples words I’ve said once or twice before bent into a shape I do not recognize when I aim them straight at you I should have known better than to waste myself on the off chance of you on the dull blade that won’t cut through but won’t stop dragging back and forth back and forth slow death slow and unbearable life lived backwards I apologize to you with the parts of me that are still num from the sting as if I could take the blame and eat it so you don’t have to stuff it down so you don’t have to swallow me

“I had to let her know” By Julia in her bed


Tuesday September 13, 2016
11:18pm
5 minutes
from a Facebook post

Words unspoken turned into her next studio album
I wished she would have thanked me in the liner notes
Some of her best songs were un-fought wars about me
And some of her most beautiful lyrics
Were silent wishes tucked away and forgotten
I would have liked to explain myself
I would have liked to be understood before the divide instead of because of it
Too many resolutions gleaned from the backs of our sleeping heads facing opposite walls
And all the haunting melodies I will hum to myself forever
now that they are stuck inside my dreams

“the reconnection of a couple” by Julia at her dining table


Wednesday August 17, 2016
10:31pm
5 minutes
roommagazine.com

He had been gone for a long time. I think he was fishing with his new wife, Amber. I hadn’t seen him after he left my mother with a hospital bill and a bag of rotting carrots in the fridge. I hoped he and Amber caught all the fish they could carry.

I was mad because of what he did to my mom. I mean even to this day it’s weird to say “did to” as if he did himself to her. He behaved himself to her. He was himself to her seems more accurate. I was mad because he would be so capable of disappointing someone who loved him that much.

I found out this year that my mother was horrible to him too. I didn’t know that before. I guess I needed someone to blame but I needed someone to stay more. I guess I chose wrong.

That’s when he called. He heard my mom wasn’t going to make it and he came home. He came back to what home used to be. He didn’t bring Amber. I respected him more for that. He didn’t bring any fish. I thought that was kind of rude.

“We should be there by then” by Julia at her dining table


Wednesday, July 27, 2016
7:23pm
5 minutes
From a text

Reese made me throw out my slushie before I got in the car and I wanted to strangle him for the next six hours as a result. I thought it was stupid of him to be a dick to me as I was the only thing keeping him from driving off a cliff. But whatever. It’s like, maybe if you would drink some slushie I wouldn’t have to throw it all away just so we don’t risk getting your stupid car dirty. It wasn’t even going to happen again but Reese holds grudges, like woah. Like woahhhhhh. So. Whatever. I threw it away. But then I sat with my arms crossed the whole time because car tension really messes with a driver’s head. Especially Reese because he holds grudges but he also holds on to guilt. When he’d ask me to change the music, I did it and everything. I’m not a monster. But I took my sweet time and I made him wait for it. And if he got hungry I would give him a chip or or a piece of cheese, but then pretend to fall asleep in between bites. I don’t know if I wanted an apology or if he was waiting for me to be sorry that I was trying to have a little fun on this road trip, but whatever. I think we both lost or something.

“her demand of you.” by Julia at 49th Parallel


Saturday, July 9, 2016
11:43am
5 minutes
The Unsayable
Annie G. Rogers


To stay up late and watch a movie, she says, can you push on my feet just for a little, he says, I would do anything for you. Secretly there is resentment he wonders, how did I trust myself so little that now I’m here, rubbing feet, wishing I was anywhere else. I didn’t think love was an option for me. To wake up early and eat a sugar donut for breakfast, he says, can you sit with me and squeeze my hands while I read, she says, of course that’s all I ever want to do. Below the smile she is angry at the world for doing this to her. She thinks to herself, I shouldn’t have stolen those earrings from my grandmother when I was young and obsessed with the idea that if I didn’t take them she would leave them to my sister. Now I’m here, counting down the minutes that I can be alone.

“and lifted right up” by Julia on her couch


Saturday June 18, 2016
10:10pm
5 minutes
All My Puny Sorrows
Miriam Toews


Caught me in the middle of ‘researching’ various porn sites and I got mad at you for barging in unannounced. Kendra, you said, I live here. Do I really have to announce anything? I was embarrassed, obviously, that’s why people get defensive and upset in the first place, but I was not about to tell you that.
Listen, Matt, I don’t think a text or a phone call is a very big inconvenience just to tell me you’re on your way or that you’re 5 or 10 minutes out, or that you’ll be disturbing me and just wanted to give me a heads up.
Disturbing you? You asked.
Yes, I told you, or disrupting the flow.
I didn’t know there would be so many arbitrarily chosen rules popping up when you moved in.
I’m just saying we share the space and it’d be nice to be aware of each other.
Fine, Kendra. You said. You were on your way back out the door. I’d like all parties present to be informed that I am, ANNOUNCING, that I am leaving for the night, and all parties present can go back to being a huge dick for no reason, by herself.

“You put that out into the world” by Julia on her couch


Thursday June 2, 2016
11:05pm
5 minutes
overheard at UBC

Let me just put out there
that I was
about to
come to bed when you
closed the door on me
decided you just had to sleep
right then
and there
like the gods made you do it
I don’t know if
you could hear
me
grumbling to myself
how everything is on your time
and on your impulse
and I’ll just
wait out
here
until my blood has cooled
and my tongue
won’t burn you
because I was about to burn you
strike below
the belt
and make you feel
more alone than you’ve ever felt
but instead I remember that
you
bought
me
flowers
once

“I make him feel guilty.” by Julia at Lindsay’s house


Wednesday May 18, 2016
10:44pm
5 minutes
Burner Season
Ellie Sawatzky


Kev and I haven’t spoken since last Wednesday. It’s been a week. I told him I wanted to see how long we could go without engaging with each other. He was angry that I even suggested something like that. I didn’t say it but I wanted him to know how I felt. How when I want intimacy, conversation, attention, I have to practically beg him for it. I wanted him to know what it felt like to live with someone who didn’t “put out” emotionally. So far it’s been brutal for both of us but I don’t know who’s got it worse. I decided on purpose that I would avoid him to teach him a lesson but I’m not sure if I’ve now pushed him away instead. When we have to share the kitchen, Kev reaching up to the top shelf to pull down his favourite cereal bowl, me underneath him grinding flax seeds, we don’t make eye contact if we can avoid it. I don’t know what he would do if I looked him in the eye, but I do know that if he met my gaze I would have a hard time keeping my mouth away from his. This distance, despite my efforts to remain unmoved has made me want him more than I am maybe willing to control. I have been fighting myself for 7 days: Make him come to me, or make him come for me.

“I am in a meeting ” by Julia at her desk


Monday May 9, 2016
11:07pm
5 minutes
from a text

-I don’t want to have to tell you again that I’m keeping them to put salad dressing in. Fucking salad dressing for when I decide to make a salad for lunch and need a small container. To transport the dressing.

-Why can’t you just put it in on of your glass jars?

-Because they’re too big. You don’t know how heavy my bag is.

-Okay fine. You’ve got an answer for everything.

-Because I have a perfectly good reason why I’m keeping them. I thought it through, it’s not like I am collecting them because it annoys you.

-It really does annoy me. Everything you keep–

-Let me keep what I keep.

-Okay. You keep what you keep.

-Thank you.

-But seriously they should be thrown out. They’re one time use. For travelling soy sauce.

-Exactly.

“Let’s roll, babycakes” by Julia at her dining table


Thursday April 14, 2016
11:52pm
5 minutes
overheard on Arbutus

I want you to beg me to stay when I tell you I’ll be sleeping at my mother’s place tonight. I want you to get on your knees and apologize for being a dick so I can forgive you and then apologize for being a dick back to you. I’m angry but I won’t be later but I don’t know how to turn this thing around before later is later. I feel like I’ve pushed all your buttons and there’s no easy rewind let’s pretend that never happened one to press. Why don’t you come with one like that? I am at the door with my overnight bag and I want you to throw me a banana if you’re not going to try to keep me from going. Let me know you still care about my potassium intake even when we’re hating each other. Even when you’re secretly glad that I won’t be sleeping beside you tonight to remind you of this stupid fight we both engaged in when we were both enraged about the thing we won’t remember in the morning.

“SUPREMEBEING” by Julia at her dining table


Thursday February 25, 2016
11:27pm
5 minutes
Treasures & Travels Blog

You yelled in the car ride over to Tessa’s gallery opening and I had to beg you to pull over so I could get out before you killed us both with your rage. When I got out of the car I wiped my eyes, reapplied the lipstick I had chewed off and walked so fast ahead of you it may have seemed like I was trying to lose you. For the record: I was. I forced a smile to peel onto my lips and I strut through the trendy studio space like I invented the idea of putting so many pillars everywhere. Tessa was happy to see me and she hugged me tight and said How are you though?! I lied through my teeth and said Your art makes me want to be a better person. She was thrilled and then she left me alone. You finally entered the gallery and by that moment I thought you had decided not to come at all. I was planning my way home in my head and how when I finally got back, if you were still awake, I’d just walk straight to the bedroom and close the door. You saw that I saw you and even when I turned my back to you, you came right over to me and kissed me so sorry I forgot for a second how scared I was just minutes ago. I didn’t mean it, you cooed in my ear. I didn’t mean any of it.

“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.

“Bowl of acceptance” by Julia in the guest suite


Thursday, December 31, 2015
5:31am
5 minutes
Overheard in the Living Room

Honouring our mother we stare deep into our blood with a little wink and a hug saying “we can only go forward now.” Your heart rests just above mine like it was designed to. You came first, you reached up to the sky where you saw endless possibilities and I reached up to you because I believed you were as high as I needed to go. Now we lead each other, honouring our mother, giving her the gift we refused to when we were young.
“Please don’t fight.” “Why can’t you two be kind to each other?” “Tell me, do you treat your friends this way?”
We didn’t know it at the time that we weren’t treating each other like anything but ourselves and we both had a lot of figuring out to do. We threw self-blame and self-hate and self-wondering because we were each other’s mirror and we saw ourselves reflected back through shades of green in a way we couldn’t understand.
I let your heart shift around on mine to find its spot. I keep you there like a stamp of time and a promise of forever.