“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.

“She didn’t need to tell me.” By Julia on her brother’s old bed


Wednesday, December 30, 2015
12:18 am
5 minutes
The Globe and Mail – Facts and Arguments
Monday, December 28, 2015
Yasmin Halfnight


She didn’t need to tell me I was being an asshole to her. I knew. I laid awake the whole night thinking about how kind my mom is and how short I can be when things don’t go exactly my way. Trying to prove myself to the woman who made me, sees right through me, detects my bullshit, and still loves me boundlessly anyway. In my mind I was just expressing myself, feeling impassioned by my need to be heard and understood, offering a lesson that otherwise might never have been found. But when I played back the sound of my voice, it was not compassion, though I believed it was, but the desperate attempt at impressing her, the woman who made me, sees right though me, hears my bullshit, and still loves me anyway. She didn’t need to say anything at all.

“I put a little twist in my hips” by Julia at her desk


Thursday, October 15, 2015
6:37pm
5 minutes
Never Been In Love
Elliphant


I throw on the Sam Cooke cause I know that’s the glue that holds us together when we’re tearing each other apart. I let him sing out and I wait before I come near you. I’m not afraid of what you’ll do to me, but what we’ll do to all the love we’ve been keeping safe between us all these years.
You’re on the broken futon with disappointment shooting through your back and a scowl on your face.
“I hate it here” you say. “I know” I tell you. “How many more days–” I bring my finger to your lips to quiet your uneasy mind. Not right now, I say, but with my body. I put a little twist in my hips and I dance beside you and your furrowed brow. Come on, I say, but with my smile, encouraging you to forget your anger for just a second. Dance with me, I suggest to you with my eyes closed, arms overhead reaching for the unknown. I don’t open them until I feel your body sway with mine. The moment of pain between us slowly turning into dust…

“This is fantastic!” by Julia at Souzan’s apartment


Saturday September 19, 2015
9:25pm
5 minutes
http://www.food.com

I’m scratching my wrist too hard for comfort but it’s itchy and I need to.
You look down at my red flesh and you say, “remember when you used to scratch your hands raw? Remember that summer you did that? What a nervous tick that was.”
There’s a permanent furrow line on my forehead that deepens when you say things like this.
“It was a hot summer, my skin got itchy, and so I scratched it. It wasn’t a tick, Remy.”
“Well you did it almost unconsciously! Look! You still even have the scar.”
You go to reach for my left hand but I swat you away. I don’t need you making a circus out of me.
“Stop it, Remy.”
“Oh come on,” You say, “I’m not being mean to you, I’m just saying–”
I stand up from the couch and storm off to the studio room. “I think you should go.” I say, not quite knowing why.

“Distant, tired, but holding her hand” by Julia in the car


Wednesday, September 9, 2015
5:06pm
5 minutes
http://lennyletter.com/lena-dunham-first-short-story/

He coughed into the crook of his elbow and tried not to make too big of a deal of it. She glanced at him from the side of her eye, the way she did when she was trying to read his e-mails without him noticing. He was growing tired of her testing him and she was growing skeptical of his patience.
Maybe if you didn’t worry so much about EVERYONE else for a change, you’d be—
He hadn’t prepared himself for a blow out. Had been priding himself on containing it all and picking his battles, in fact.
Forget it. He walked a bit in front of her.
What would I be? JUST. FUCKING. SAY IT. She was shaking now, trying to make direct eye contact. She realized when she asked him if he still loved her earlier she didn’t look him in the face when he gave his response.
How fucking easy I make it for him to despise me, she thought. I never look to see if his eyes are lying.

“Last night I was like fuck it” by Julia at Bicerin Espresso Bar


Friday, June 5, 2015 at Bicerin
3:26pm
5 minutes
from a text

Oh you want me to start with you? Tell you all the things you could be “working on?” How bout you just fucking man up and look around you for once in your life. Maybe just take two seconds to acknowledge that there are other people in the room, that I’m in the room. did you think to ask how I was doing? Did you think to maybe put aside your own needs for somebody else? Don’t answer those…They’re what we call “rhetorical questions”. They don’t need answers because I KNOW THE ANSWERS. You keep disappointing me. Do you know that that’s what you’re doing? Don’t answer that either.
I told you I didn’t want to start because I knew I would get petty and start naming off all the shit I think you’ve fucked up. I don’t think I’ve even asked you for that much and you still make it feel like I’m begging for the moon. I don’t want the fucking moon, okay, all I want is a little common courtesy. Or..I don’t know, not common. Special courtesy for once would actually be very nice, seeing as though you subscribe to the notion that the other kind is too common to even give to me.

“coconut oil and coconut sugar” by Julia on the 505 going west


Sunday May 31, 2015
10:47pm
5 minutes
from http://www.simplyquinoa.com/vegan-coconut-oil-chocolate-chip-cookies/

You can’t make fire with rain
(her)
STOP with the analogies
(him)
Just let me LIVE
(her)
I am trying so hard, believe me
(him)
Yeah, you’re not a martyr at all
(her)
You make me seem so horrible
So fucking horrible
(him)
I don’t know who this person you see is, but I swear it’s not me
(him again)
It takes horrible to know horrible
(her)
What?
Why would you say that?
(him)
I don’t know
Maybe you resist being horrible
because you are horrible
(her)
I didn’t mean that
Please don’t leave
(her again)
PLEASE
(her)

“That’s amazing, honey,” by Julia at her desk


Tuesday May 12, 2015
1:22am
5 minutes
Almost Unendurable Beauty
Jocelyn Evie


I don’t believe you, Brendan, how the hell am I supposed to believe anything you say? Not just what you say but how you say it. You never mean anything.
…Aimless pacing
…Wandering
…She does
…He watches
What are you even talking about, Maggie? I mean things. I mean what I say to you, of course I do.
…Veins bulge
…Slowly threatening to pop
…His do
…She watches
Because I feel like you’re pulling one over on me all the time. The way you say shit, like “That’s amazing, honey” when things aren’t amazing, or when I’m clearly upset about something and you tell me “well, there’s always tomorrow”. Like what the hell am I supposed to do with fucking tomorrow when today I feel like dying and you can’t even see that?
…Heart fuming
…Coat wearing
…She is
…He isn’t

“It showed from the start” by Julia at Saving Gigi


Friday May 8, 2015 at Saving Gigi
3:10pm
5 minutes
Fat Woman
Leon Rooke


I could see he was angry at me-clenched teeth, fist pulsing at his side.
“Is everything okay?” I ask him, test him, provoke him.
“I’m fine,” he says quietly, not looking fine at all.
“Okay,” I tell him, “Let me know.”
I watch as his current anger subsides and he can see me with the soft eyes he first had for me again.
“I’m really scared I’m always wrong and the times I’m so desperate to be wrong, that’s when I’m afraid I’ll be right,” I tell him this with my eyes cast down at the broken green bottle at our feet. “That’s what I’m always feeling.”
He takes me in his arms and exhales into my hair. “It’s okay now my baby. I’m not mad at you. I swear.”
“Okay, good, ” I say, “And just FYI your beard is scratching the shit out of my forehead.”
He releases me.
“Jesus, Tara. Jesus fucking–”
“Don’t be mad,” I say, “I’m sorry.”

“Is it coffee time yet?” by Julia at the Greyhound station in Kitchener


Sunday, April 5, 2015
6:05pm
5 minutes
Overheard at the bus station in Kitchener

After you left the guy and girl had a fight of some sort. I heard him, the guy say, I heard the guy say that it was all her fault. I know for a fact he said..he said..”you’re going to get what’s coming to you.” And then he said “And you think it’s over but it’s not over.” So you didn’t miss much.
I didn’t follow Ancastor like you told me to. I didn’t want to approach him while I was at the bus station because I didn’t know if he would hit me or not. But I did certainly get a sense of that girl and guy who had been fighting. I chose in the moment not to follow Ancastor for you because he had a dog with him as well. He always brings the dog. Those two are inseparable!
But no, I didn’t do what I was supposed to do. You’re correct. I said you were correct. But you promised me a Tim Hortons triple triple if I got some information for you. And I did. I certainly did!

“twists the whip” by Julia at her desk


Friday April 3, 2015
8:17pm
5 minutes
The Zurau Aphorisms
Franz Kafka


Twists the whip
Gets it ready
Practices in the mirror
One, two, Go on three
Takes one for the team.
His own team
He’s the captain and the coach
Ready
Ready
Ready
Today’s the day
The song sings in his head
Right now is the only thing that matters
Manic energy
Checking his watch
Tick
Tick
Boom
He’s off
And running
Twists the whip
Cracks it in the air
No more practice shots
It’s real now
It’s real life
Dangerous
Destructive
But he has his weapons
He has his tools
Don’t forget to breathe
He hears his mother’s voice in his ears
Don’t forget to feel
The magic urgency fuels him
It’s exactly as he imagined
Only nothing like he hoped
Twists the whip
Gets it ready
Now he’s ready

“You saw her bathing on the roof” by Julia in her childhood bedroom


Sunday March 1, 2015
11:56pm
5 minutes
Hallelujah
Leonard Cohen


I’ve seen all your parts
Tarnished and familiar
Bruised from being too sensitive
And taking a world’s beating
You glow sometimes
under the proper light
When the pain is dimmed down low
And you feel safe in you skin
When you trust yourself enough
To thank your demons for their good fight
And to put a stop
to any future breakage
I’ve seen all your parts
Bathing in the haze of the moon
Your heart creaks
when it’s been walked over
That’s how you recognize the enemy
That’s how you know when to rebuild the wall
And the faint memory of it cracking
Keeps you far away from me
Even though I’m here to hold you
Even though I’m here to hold you

“And it’s taking me a second so I’m sorry.” By Sasha at her kitchen table


Friday February 27, 2015
10:07am
5 minutes
Lungs
Duncan MacMillan


– You’re making that face again…
– What face?
That face.
– It’s just my face. I don’t know what you –
– It’s not just your face! I love your face. You’re making that face you make when you know you should apologize –
– I’m not gonna apologize –
– Then stop making that face.
– You’re making a face too, you know!
– Oh yeah? What does it say?
– It says “I’m smugggg…”
– Ha!
– It isn’t funny. I’m mad.
– I know that –
– And I’m offended that you think something’s off with my face. I always thought it was one of the few things I have going for me –
– HA!
– WHAT?!
– You’re spiralling…
– I know… It’s taking me a second to apologize because it’s not that black and white. It’s not just “SORRY! MY BAD!” and then let’s go watch a movie!
– Okay.
– Stop.
– What?
– Stop being so –
– Calm?
– …
– …
– I’m sorry.
– Thank you.
– …
– Your face is back now!

“gals give some sneaky hints” by Sasha on the plane flying West


Tuesday February 24, 2015
6:35pm
5 minutes
blog.muchmusic.com

Don’t get your back up all hunchy
I’m not tryna make a big mess
I’ve got this cat’s cradle across my body
And you’re fighting fighting fighting
The war-cry was the radio
Set to a station I don’t like
The advertisements are the liquor
Ouch ouch ouch
Paper-cut across the boundaries
Blurry and sweaty and new
Ouch ouch ouch
No one’s bleeding
It’s going to be alright
Eventually the clouds change
Yup
That always happens
Eventually we change
Yup yup
Ouch ouch ouch
That always happens

“we are in a war to the death” by Julia at her desk


Wednesday February 18, 2015
2:30pm
5 minutes
The War of Art
Steven Pressfield


We have been at odds, all three of us, since that summer when Jenna decided to strip. We weren’t prudes, Angie and me, we just got angry that she didn’t want to finish college. “It’s to pay for college, you idiots,” I remember Jenna spitting at us. “Well what’s the fucking point of paying for it if you’re not going to keep going?” Angie got pissed at everything, but for once, her anger was justified. We had spent our entire senior year helping Jenna get her shit together. We worked in shifts at her house, Angie tutoring her in Calculus, me practically writing each of her English papers for her. Jenna was a smart girl but she didn’t want to try very hard. Yeah, yeah, likely story; it seems they’re all smart until they’re not. Jenna wasn’t stupid, but she did have a knack for making some pretty questionable life choices.

“Start a group play team” by Julia at her parents’ kitchen table


Saturday January 17, 2015
11:32am
5 minutes
from a lotto 649 ticket

We’ve got a good team
We fight the bad guys and we cuddle a lot
We make jokes about the mean ones and we tap forks before we eat
We make sure no negativity gets in and we play catch in the park outside our house
We build barriers so no harm can enter and we kiss like two puzzle pieces that were meant to complete the other
We don’t leave the bedroom cause it’s safer inside and we double dip our honey hands into the bag of liquorish chews
We’ve got a good team
We laugh and we live and we squeeze and we breathe
We do it together and no one can stop us
We do it together cause we know winning is really only happiness and happiness is winning

“and back to discipline” by Julia on the couch at the Coren’s country house


Friday December 26, 2014
1:43pm
5 minutes
Uncle Fred in the Springtime
P.G. Wodenhouse


Wake up. 6am. Decide. Wake up? 6am? Sleep longer. One hour? One half hour. Wake. Wake up. Wake up and start. Day needs. Lists. Wake up. 6:16am. Decide. Move. Go. Start. Coffee. Skip it. Banana. Second banana. Leftover popcorn. Start. Go. Teeth brushed. Floss? Not today. Not tomorrow either. Fuck. Buy toothpaste. Buy deodorant. Troll living. Stop troll living. Out the door. Go. Get moving. Groceries. Find recipe for butter tarts. Try to look everywhere. Go to store. Back. Back to store. Buy butter. Buy butter tarts. Fuck it. Fuck. Check list. Clams. Clams? Oh, clams. For the sauce. Build the sauce. 4pm start. Ready for 6pm. 6pm. Decide. Decide to wash. Tomorrow maybe. Maybe tomorrow. Change sweatshirt. Tomorrow buy new sweatshirt.

“Thunderbird” by Julia on Jenny and Andrea’s lawn


Monday September 29, 2014
3:41pm
5 minutes
Jess’ imagineNATIVE tote

Roaring at me, this fucking thing. I’m like Beatrice, please, I can’t focus with your teeth in my neck. That’s what it feels like, this fucking thing, screaming so close that her gums might as well be rubbing my ear drums. I could slap her away but that won’t shut her up. Not even a little bit. And I’m not a bad guy. So fucking Yip Yip Yip, but she doesn’t seem to get what I mean. Too abstract, I’m being with her. But this little Chihuahua won’t let up and I’m not in the mood cause I smoked this thing and I don’t even know what it was, but clearly I needed it. Beatrice, I’m like, Beatrice—I think you either need to take a sweet shit or get fucking laid.

“We can help you” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Sunday August 31, 2014
8:28pm
5 minutes
a TD bank envelope

She says, “What are you doing?” I say, “I’m cleaning the kitchen…” She says, “It wasn’t even dirty to begin with – ” I say, “It doesn’t get dirty because I clean it every day and that way nothing can get out of hand.” She says, “You’re paranoid. You’re pretty much a paranoid schizophrenic.” I say, “That’s a really mean thing to say…” She say, “I’m not saying it to be mean. I’m saying it to be real.” I say, “I’m not even cleaning the fucking kitchen! I’m watching Game Of Thrones! I did’t want you to judge me because it’s two in the afternoon and I should be doing something productive!” She says, “It’s Sunday! What the fuck is wrong with you!” I say, “Why did you even call me?” She says, “To see if you wanted to have sushi tonight…” I say, “So?” She says, “Do you want to have sushi tonight?” I say, “I guess…” She says, “Great! New Gen?”

“By a man’s fingernails,” by Julia on her “deck” steps


Tuesday August 5, 2014
9:54pm
5 minutes
a quote by Sherlock Holmes

It was unnecessary, really, for them to be so curt with their neighbours. They had, the neighbours that is, up until that point, made sure to smile each time they saw them and to greet them with a tiny wave-usually the small female neighbour did the hand gestures; the small male neighbour liked to nod his head ever so slightly. They hadn’t come over with a casserole or any baked goods out of kindness or welcoming. They simply said hello with their body language and were probably a little too hopeful that they would eventually be met with a similar greeting by the new couple who had moved in just down the hall. They did, after all, share a kitchen wall and a parking lot. When they saw the small female neighbour pacing back and forth in front of her kitchen door, they could tell she was distraught. A hello wouldn’t have been appropriate anyway. They knew exactly what had happened between her and the small male neighbour just moments before. Their shared kitchen wall was anything but thick. She had yelled at him because she had burnt her hand on the hot pan straight from the oven. She had already been having a bad day, and they assumed that was the straw that broke it. She looked up from her puffy eyes, sensing the newly arrived couple’s presence. Hopeful. Always hopeful.

“I’ve breathed the mountain air” by Julia on her couch


Tuesday, July 22, 2014
10:49pm
5 minutes
I’ve Been Everywhere
Hank Snow



I’ve been so angry. I have been, it’s been a mercury is rising sort of thing, and I swear, that if the real me doesn’t happen, I’ll be your worst nightmare. I’ve been that way. Blinded sight, twisted light, couldn’t write that way. Where the only thing that calms me is the fight, that way. I couldn’t control it, I wouldn’t, shouldn’t, didn’t but I sold it. And it’s too late to try and get on its level just to scold it. It’s out of me and gone, the anger, the angry, the anger, the angry, the anger in me. That one we’ve seen. That thing I’ve been.

“YOU A LIAR” by Julia on her couch


Friday, July 18, 2014
11:32pm
5 minutes
overheard on queen st west


OH I HAVE HAD SO MUCH A YOU THAT IT IS ENOUGH NOW. ENOUGH, NOW, ADRIAN. WHY YOU GOTTA BE SO LIKE THIS ALL THE TIME, HUH? NOBODY EVER EVEN TAUGHT YOU HOW TO ACT, HUH, ADRIAN? ENOUGH BECAUSE IT HURTS MY HEART AND ENOUGH BECAUSE IT HURTS MY EVERYTHING ELSE EVEN MORE, ADRIAN. YOU HAVE BEEN A BAD PERSON. BAD LIKE THE WORST WEATHER. BAD LIKE THE RAIN, ADRIAN. YOU A LIAR. YOU A LIAR AND NOW I KNOW IT AND NOW EVERYBODY KNOWS IT. WHY COULDN’T YOU BE GOOD? WHY DID YOU MAKE ME BELIEVE YOU WERE GOOD WHEN YOU NEVER COULD BE GOOD. NOT EVER. YOU LIED. YOU A LIAR. YOU A LIAR TO ME. WHEN I FIRST SAW YOU I THOUGHT YOU WERE MY ONLY. AND NOW. AND NOW I AM FIGHTING TO BE ALIVE WITHOUT THE YOU I THOUGHT YOU WERE GOING TO BE. SO NOW I AM DONE. I AM SORRY BUT I AM NO MORE OF WHAT YOU THOUGHT I WAS. I WAS DIFFERENT BEFORE BUT NOW I AM DIFFERENT FROM THAT TOO, ADRIAN. YOU SHOULD HAVE GIVEN ME THE LOVE THAT I WAS SUPPOSED TO HAVE. YOU SHOULD NOT A LIED TO ME. REMEMBER WHEN I PROMISED YOU I WOULD BE YOURS? YOU DON’T EVEN REMEMBER THAT, DO YOU ADRIAN? I PROMISED AND I AM NOT A LIAR, YOU A LIAR. YOU THE ONE THAT MAKES ME WISH I DIDN’T EVEN KNOW YOU IN THE FIRST PLACE. IT IS ENOUGH NOW, ADRIAN. I WANT YOU TO BE SORRY. I WANT A SORRY FROM YOUR LIPS. CAN YOU PLEASE TRY TO BE SORRY? CAN YOU PLEASE TRY TO SEE MY HURT NOW THAT YOU GAVE UP ON ME AND YOU TOGETHER?

“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.

“the porn industry” by Sasha at the kitchen table in Mississauga


Saturday March 15, 2014
12:07am
5 minutes
from a web series break down

I’m not fuckin’ judging him. I mean, who am I. Who am I to judge, I shake my fuckin’ tits and bring assholes beer and who am I to judge him. But I get home and I been lookin’ at that fuckin’ shit all day and, like, I jus… I don’ wanna see that. I threw… I threw his laptop and it smashed and then he freaked, like, he really did and he said to me I better take Clara to my Mom’s place or he was really gonna lose it on both of us… I don’t know what he had on that laptop, why it mattered so much to him. I said I’d buy him a new one if that’s what the problem was… Fuck… He said, no that wasn’t the fuckin’ problem. He said there was things on there that he can’t salvage. Whatever the fuck that means. I had to get Clara from her bed, right, cuz it was late and she was sleepin’, I mean, I’d just gotten home from work and all. Sometimes when I wake her up and she’s dreamin’ she doesn’t know who I am. That really freaks me out. I really hate that…

“the bomb” by Julia on her couch


Thursday December 26, 2013
2:12am
5 minutes
from the cover of NOW

I wished you were coming with us Auntie Di! Please change your mind and stay with us for just a night!
Allie was begging her aunt with the best puppy dog eyes she could muster.
Pleasepleaseplease! I’ll be your best friend!!
I want to, Allie, I really do. But I can’t this time. It won’t be a good idea. Can you trust me when I say that, sweetie?
Dianne crouched down to look into Allie’s eyes. She stroked her hair and smiled reassuringly.
I trust you. But I want to know how come Auntie Di!
Dianne kept smiling even though he didn’t believe herself when she did it.
Baby, it’s complicated. Your mommy doesn’t want me to stay.
Allie furrowed her brow.
She’s mad at you? But I’m not mad at you!

“THE BATTLE FOR CONTROL” by Julia on the 506 going east


Thursday December 12, 2013
9:20am
5 minutes
cover of aux magazine September 2013 issue

And it was a real battle
Hair pulling and ripping
Teeth grinding and popping
Skin scratched and bruised
Clothes torn and stained
It started early Monday morning at the jungle gym
Theresa was hosting a “peaceful protest” about My Little Pony being banned from recess. Turns out teachers don’t like when little girls and boys make believe they’re unicorns.
Theresa was trying to make a difference.
She was calm and she was smiling.
But Nadia didn’t think it was right. For whatever reason, and no one seemed to ask her, she was against the protest from the start. She had rallied her side and there were tomatoes and mashed butternut squash involved.
It had taken about 2 days to fully escalate.
Theresa didn’t know it was coming. Suddenly at the end of lunch, a group gathered around them, black zinc face paint under each of their eyes, and all hands cocked:
ready, aim,fire.

“considered to be” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Sunday December 8, 2013
8:49pm
5 minutes
The back of the Himalayan Sea Salt

She is considered to be civil. And thoughtful. Smiley. Warm. Honest. Kind. But then she punched the one in the white coat, the one with the painted eyes, and all those things flew like geese, north.

“Let’s go outside…” She said. “Okay,” said the one in the white coat. Trepidatious. Excited. On the sidewalk, dotted with cigarette butts and old pieces of gum now black and completely flat, like coins, she smiles. She takes a deep breath. She winds up. She punches the one in the white coat right there, in that soft baby spot, the space between the cheek and jaw bone. Slip. Connect. Spit. Teeth. A mouthful of rose petal.

She walked to the park and puked. She wondered if she might get arrested.