“sometimes come last” by Julia on L’s couch

Thursday September 5, 2019
9:30pm
5 minutes
Sometimes I Like to Curl Up in a Ball
Vicki Churchill

I have done a lot today. I won’t list it here cause All I Am Are Lists Lately.
I want to talk about something important. Sometimes I don’t want to talk about myself but I start the sentence with I because I know I will be able to follow it. We. I also believe in what is powered by us, what we’ve built, who we are and choose to be. I could write a list about that too but I’ll spare you the details. Nobody wants details unless they’re in them. Like dreams. Like clouds for resting your chin on. You is something to be seen in. If I say You, you get to believe it really is even if the You I am talking about keeps changing. I know about You. I know about I. I know about We. I don’t know about It as much or The, but I know about This. And These. These five minutes, This heart lifting symphony, Those 3-dollar earrings I got in Chinatown that two people took photos of so they could try and make a pair themselves…

“I met Luke after my marriage ended.” By Julia on M’s couch

Thursday January 17, 2019
1:33pm
5 minutes
The Ghost of a Boy
Piper Vignette

You could say I manifested it; the end of my first marriage the way it is written. By that I mean death, and not
some fault of our own. We might have stopped trying. Stopped listening. Stopped seeing Love in the reflection of each other. I think we were lucky enough to preserve our relationship before it got so sad we committed any of those aforementioned acts of betrayal. I think those are worse than cheating anyway. Sex is something I can justify as “not personal”. But I suppose you’re right, if I claim to have manifested my late husband’s death. I guess that is a fault of my own I should be less light-hearted about. My intentions were that he would die and leave me while we were still in love. I didn’t know it would happen so soon or that it would work so well. If I believed in manifesting at all (before this) I would have made sure I had pots of money and enough hair product to last my entire lifetime. I would have manifested some inner peace.

“No, I’ll never come back down,” by Julia at her dining table


Monday February 1, 2016
10:20pm
5 minutes
Salt
Portugal.The Man


I’ve been in a heightened state of something other worldly since I got severe frostbite on 7 of my 10 fingers this evening, or since I had a coffee on an empty stomach this afternoon, or since I walked in the house starved to death to find the chicken still frozen, or since he asked me if I was going to die by talking so fast, or since I let myself cry out all the emotions I’ve ever had or felt or experienced in the last 3 days when doing something that mattered so very much to me. I don’t know what started it. I do know that I invited it in like a little lost puppy with a broken limb. I wanted to take care of it, nurture it, finally love something that wouldn’t push my love away, and not just because it couldn’t, but because it needed it. I’ve had to get cozy with all my sorrys and all my old to-do lists. I’ve had to mourn the loss of something…and I think that something was the thing I needed to let go of to let everything else in. It’s not sad but it feels like it. The emotions are similar in their face, their hands, their eyes, their quake.

“what I could imagine” by Julia on her floor


Sunday, January 31, 2016
8:39am
5 minutes
The New Song
W.S. Merwin


As I lay here, invalid, senior citizen before my time, I imagine the ceiling above me holding all my secrets and hanging each one within the perfect distance of one another. It’s like they all float up there when there’s no where else for them to go. They loom, they threaten to fall, or dangle, tease, disrupt. They’re not all bad, not all good. some of them are not so secret: I am a young person stuck in an old person’s body. I injure myself a lot. I am breakable. I am Samuel L. Jackson. I am worried by this. It still gets pinned on the ceiling even though I just divulged it. I think the real issue is that I keep it a secret from myself-not wanting to admit that I need help with my body and I will need more help as I age. You’d wonder, if you could lay where I am, seeing what I see, if I have any secrets left at all inside me. Are they not all on the ceiling? Hanging at different heights, holding space between them all? Do some of them ever co-mingle? They probably do, but maybe they do it in secret too. Like the one where I am on the floor, feeling old and broken, and I actually like it…

“It is such a relief” by Sasha in the bath


Wednesday October 7, 2015
9:56pm
5 minutes
Wit
Margaret Edson


It is such a relief that Joe and Kelly are out for the night and I have the place to myself. I’m too old to live with roommates. I’m too old, and too quiet, and too grouchy. I eat a slice of Kelly’s havarti and don’t even feel bad about it. I’m feeling ballsy. I’m feeling free. “I’m gonna take off all my clothes and be naked on the couch!” I say out loud. I wait for someone to object, but no one’s there so no one does. I take off my jeans, and my flannel shirt. I take off my underwear from Zellers, when Zellers was still in business. I take off my bra. I leave on my socks, because our floors are cold. I jump up and down a few times and then go into the living room and sprawl out. I smile. God, I feel so good.

“I loved my father” by Sasha on her couch


Friday March 7, 2014
10:07pm
5 minutes
Black Elk Speaks
John G. Neihardt


I loved my father like a raincloud – occasionally, usually when I needed a good rinse of my own self-worth. He was twenty-three when I was born, he was awkward and self deprecating and wonderful only in his embracing of his strangeness. He was also a writer. I refer to him in the past tense because he’s dead. People that refer to dead people in the present tense skeeve me out. Don’t do that. “The only sure thing is death,” my father used to say. He’d even practise his, lying in corpse pose for fifteen minutes each evening on the rug in the hall. It was the only yoga he did. He played basketball with a bunch of punk-ass teenagers at the Community Centre every Sunday. “Keeps me grounded,” he said, but that was debatable. I won’t easily forget when I got the phone call from my Aunt Veronica that he hadn’t made it through his brain surgery. They’d found a tumour the size of a clementine on his left cortex. That’s what the doctor said, “the size of a clementine.” Why he didn’t say “golf ball” like every other medical professional turned me on. I smiled. “Miss Stevenson, I’m concerned you aren’t grasping the gravity of the situation,” the doctor said.

“you crave” by Sasha at her desk


Wednesday February 12, 2014
11:10pm
5 minutes
the bag of ketchup chips

When you get here, you’re trying to stay positive. You think that maybe you’re going to find yourself, or God, or at least a love for push-ups. You don’t think about the cravings – for your mother’s Jerk Chicken, for your wife’s blow jobs, for a ride on an empty subway. My first night in, Mickey tried to take me under his wing, tried to show my the ropes… or whatever. I told him to “back off” and he did. Must have been the tone of voice I used because I don’t swear or anything. Second night in, Joaquin watched me for awhile and then said, “I heard you’re a teacher. You wanna teach my somethin’ nice?” I told him if he wanted to brush up on fractions, sure. Everything else was off of the table. First visiting day, my wife brought me a note from one of my students. It said, “I hope you’re having a nice sabbatical in The Dominican. We really miss you.”