“Get used to me.” by Julia at her desk

Tuesday June 12, 2018
7:31pm
5 minutes
From a quote by Muhammad Ali

Thanks for the epiphany, timer.
I guess I’ll tell you about it?
Got only five minutes.
Better not f u c k i t u p.
Better not waste my time.
I haven’t impressed you.
I know this now, this very now.
I know it like it’s the first time.
I haven’t impressed you because I haven’t broken out of my skin.
You call me baby, call me potential in the same breath.
Hug my heart into beating the speed you believe in.
Lift me all the way over your head.
Step back to see where I will leap.
Watch where I will land.
If I’ll fly all the way there or if I’ll launch.
And then I sit back down on the easy steps.
And you have to get your hopes back down from the shelf you put them on.
I haven’t impressed you because I haven’t said yes to the sky.
Better not f.u.c.k.i.t.u.p.
All this wasted time.
All this almost decade for absolutely nothing.
Nothing new.
Nothing nothing.

“I liked watching him BBQ” by Julia in her bed

Thursday June 7, 2018
11:38pm
5 minutes
From a text 

He flips the portobello and my lip risks a twitch
I want to know what he’s thinking
If you could have any superpower…
And he says flying without missing a beat
And I say Let me be invisible
And he asks me why
He does not miss beats
Not any of them
And I say so I can watch people living when they think they’re alone…
He presses down on the mushroom with the tongs and it gives them a little sizzle
I want to be able to see what is going on inside their heads
But why not say your power is mind-reading? That’s what it is.
Because thoughts have the same super power as you do
They never stay too long to be seen
Someone walking back and forth?
That’s forever

“Flying Housewife” by Julia on the 4

Saturday April 28, 2018
10:58pm
5 minutes
www.independent.co.uk

She has wings

Her hands know how to flutter at the end of her arms
Watch how she keeps herself up
Watch how she treads the deepest air

She is getting things done

Busy busy flying throughout the house before her wife comes home because her wife is the only one who leave the house little bird stays inside floats in the living room
Above the coffee table hovering along the shelves lined with baby photographs she is cleaning up the disagreements the mirrors collecting dust in all the ghosts of her lipstick affirmations she is keeping things tidy for when her wife comes home because she doesn’t leave so what excuse does she have not to have the house clean for when she arrives

She moves quickly to avoid getting stuck

She keeps her wings flapping
So she will be ready to use them

“with that thirsty, drink-it-down look” by Julia on the plane

Saturday January 20, 2018
12:28am
5 minutes
For you
Tammy Armstrong

-So should we join the mile high club?

– -I would do it, yeah.

-Oh please, don’t sound so enthused. It’s too much.

– -Well those bathrooms are so small.

-Yeah.

– – And apparently you can get in a lot of trouble if you get caught.

-Yes, you can only join the club if you risk breaking the rules. You can’t just be in the club. There has to be danger. And earning it.

– -Okay fine let’s join then. I’m in. I’ve heard the best time to do it is when the flight attendants are trollying along with snacks.

-Oh you heard that, did you?

“I’ll just call out the names and tell them to wait” by Julia at Pearson airport


Monday July 24, 2017
6:44pm
5 minutes
overheard at the airport

I asked the woman if I could have an aisle seat instead of the middle one they keep putting me on. Last time I got stuck between two giant men and their elbows locked me in while they slept. She told me it was full and likely not possible for me to switch. So in front of everyone I told her I have to go to the bathroom a lot. She didn’t care. Why would she, I didn’t go into details. I didn’t tell her that I
had explosive diarrhea because I don’t but maybe that would have made her feel something for me. I also could have said I’m a barfer but I am not that either. I feel like I let my sister down by saying I was going to declare IBS to get a better seat and then chickening out when the time came. I know this is not a big problem to have. At least I don’t actually have to shit everywhere.

“my flight leaves for Edmonton” by Julia at Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre


Thursday June 8, 2017
9:17pm
5 minutes
overheard at Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre

“Did you pack her neck pillow, Dana? You know Mom can’t travel without it.”
“I packed it, Leigh, you can officially back off now.”
“I’m telling you she won’t even set foot on the plane if she doesn’t have it.”
“What did I just say? I’ve already got it. You left very detailed instructions. Very detailed.”
“She hasn’t left the house since Dad got sick, much less the province.”
“I know that, I will make sure she is as comfortable and distracted as possible.”
“You’re not going to slip her any of your little…pills…are you?”
“What makes you think I’m still taking those little pills?”
“Dana.”
“I’M NOT TAKING THEM ANYMORE! Why does nobody trust me around here? I can’t escort mom to fucking Edmonton, now?”
“Well maybe because you like to make things about you.”
“You are such a little cunt, Leighanne.”

“the new thing in us” By Julia at Bean Around The World


Thursday July 28, 2016 at BATW
7:10am
5 minutes
Letters To A Young Poet
Rainer Maria Rilke


She hopped to her seat at the back of the aircraft and chuckled to herself as she heard the voice in her head refer to it as an aircraft. A craft that belongs in the air, she thought, how magical. Someone thought this thing up and then built a bunch of Popsicle stick models out of it before building the real thing.
She was anxious to get home for her brother’s surprise 30th that her whole family was apparently gathering for. He was the one who invited her to it in the first place, but they were close and couldn’t keep secrets from each other. Her brother had found an envelope in the garbage that had the details on it. She was excited to get back to her life as she knew it best for a little while. Familiar streets and faces, going strawberry picking with the family, spending quality time with her dog.

“what you can expect” by Sasha at Harvest Community Foods


Monday, January 18, 2016 at Harvest
5:32pm
5 minutes
from an e-mail

I wouldn’t say no to you becoming a seagull and riding a wind pattern West. Because that’s what you need. Because your wings are achy from underuse.

I would kiss your feathery cheek and whisper, “be safe.”

I would watch as a feather fell into the water and I would strip off my clothes and run in even though it’s cold out now and I would catch the feather in my teeth and carry it to shore.

I would wonder when I saw other seagulls in the weeks to follow if perhaps it was you or a new friend.

“But it’s long, you have to go way down” by Julia at YVR


Saturday, December 26, 2015
7:52am
5 minutes
overheard at YVR

-It’s a long walk to your gate, Meliss, you want me to come with you?
-No you can’t come with me, dad, that’s after security.
-I know, you’re right. You sure you have enough snacks?
-I have two bananas and a bag of your trail mix. I think I’m going to be fine.
-Okay well you know that in security you have to take off your jacket and make sure your pockets are empty. They might make you take off your shoes so just be ready for that and if you are unsure just ask someone or read the signs, they should be posted everywhere–
-Dad. It’s okay. I’ll be fine.
-Okay I love you.
-I love you too.
-Call me when you land please. You know as soon as you can turn your phone off airplane.
-I know dad, I will. I’ll be okay. I’m not scared.
-No, I know I know you’re not.

“I am a taffy snob” by Julia in the stairwell of the Artscape Youngplace building


Saturday May 30, 2015 at the Artscape Youngplace Building
4:01pm
5 minutes
From a text to Julia

I was in Halifax when I tried my first piece. Salt water. Perfect Melting New Religion. I bought 6 lbs of the stuff and threw out a pair of running shoes and a flask so I could fit it into my suitcase.
Emmy said, “I would have taken those shoes!”
Taryn said, “you know you can buy that stuff in Ontario too, right?”
But I knew it wouldn’t have been the same. It was like entering a childhood backwards, and experiencing something that was never mine but felt like it was meant to be. Now I don’t go for any old taffy. And why would I? I don’t hate myself for Christ’s sake! Why would I walk if I could run? No scratch that–FLY.

“How many yaks could a yak pack pack” by Julia at her desk


Sunday November 2, 2014
12:27am
5 minutes
Tongue Twisters at Americanfolklore.net

Casey was trying to write a bunch of rhymes about penguins for her 5th grade poetry assignment. She was having a hard time because nothing really easy rhymes with “penguin”. She didn’t even know why she chose penguins in the first place. She could have picked anything, like leaves, or malls, or berries. She thought that maybe because she did her first major school project on penguins, she’d have some more luck. Only her mom did it all for her cause Casey didn’t know how to research anything yet. She wondered if she could use some of the information from the bulletin board her mom made and turn it into a poem. So far she had “dressed in tuxedos and loving the sky, penguins are classy but don’t know how to fly.” Casey had already crumpled up six sheets of paper cause the other rhymes were a bit lame. She wanted to ask her mom what she thought but that would make two whole projects on penguins that Casey hadn’t done on her own.

“I’d known better” by Julia on her couch


Monday May 12, 2014
12:02am
5 minutes
Stethocsope
A short story by Ben Mauk


Oh yeah I was flying, it wasn’t a dream, I really was.
You can bet on that kind of stuff.
The stuff that feels real but isn’t.
The stuff that you wish was fake, but can’t be.
I once flew in a dream and oh yeah, it was magical.
I was able to get myself off the ground with a couple of good and happy thoughts the way Mary Martin taught me.
I went searching for someone I shouldn’t have been searching for.
He comes up a lot.
Sort of in my mind the way a fly buzzes in your ear, flies into it, out of nowhere.
You try to swat it away.
I do. I try to swat it away.
He comes up a lot.
He comes up so much.
Those are the times the empty feeling of guilt doesn’t haunt my sleep, or my waking states.
Those are the times the guilt doesn’t get to penetrate because I earned the free pass.
From loving him all those years.
From jumping off a tall building and landing in my own heart.
So I see him when I’m not expecting him.
And sometimes I tell him all my secrets even though he already knows them.
I don’t know how he knows but he knows.
He feels the same way about me, sometimes finding me in my dreams too.
And we meet there with a bow tied around the moment so no one tries to unwrap it and waste it.

“a direct violation” by Julia on the plane to Providence, RI


Wednesday April 30, 2014
10:15am
5 minutes
the passenger safety manual on United Airways

Misery loves company, is what I always tell myself when I’m upset. Not in the way you’re supposed to use that phrase–more just so I can feel like somewhere out there, someone is miserable just like me, even if around me everyone’s smiling. I don’t want others to be unhappy if I am–I know that’s how that Kathy Bates film got its name. Misery. And she was–you know, miserable—and she loved—you know, company. I don’t know, it’s just something that helps me. Lollipops also help but I hate asking for those because people just automatically think something’s wrong with me–like in a pedo-way, or a developmentally challenged way.
Well I’d say being here is what’s making me upset. I’m a tad homesick, I hate flying, and a young boy felt me up in the parking lot this morning when I was trying to mail my condolence card for Erica. I mean, it’s not a huge deal, he just grabbed my left boob and ran off as fast as lightening.

“36 000 residents” by Julia on the plane to Toronto


Sunday March 30, 2014
3:08pm
5 minutes
Westjet In-flight magazine

I’m happy to report that I’m leaving. I’m leaving this town. I’m leaving my job. I’m leaving my life. I’m leaving my rotten running shoes. I’m leaving my favourite tree in the city. I’m going. I’m going to a new place. I’m going to be happy. I’m going to start over. I’m going to find a human I can love more than myself. I’m going to dye my hair the colour of autumn.
I’m learning. I’m changing. I’m growing. I’m committing. I’m living.
It took a long time for me to decide.
Mostly because I hate flying. I hate waiting. I hate the pressure building in my sinuses. I hate the people who bring their uncomfortable babies. I hate the idea of having to sit in an aisle seat and get my elbows bashed in by someone named Darla or Emmanuel.

“modern doughnuts” by Julia on the 506 going east


Saturday December 21, 2013
5:22pm
5 minutes
From the Jelly doughnut store sign on College

And you could be better than me
cause you have seen the beast in me
and when I am alone I know that it’s right
for me to try to give you over, give you up tonight
My sacrifice for this good world, is setting you free as a bird
to fly with anyone who loves you as much as you love me
I’m scared of keeping you on the ground
I see it cinematically
with your life’s movie credits scrolling by
and the role I play is the Girl Who Ruined You
I am saddened by it all without the shame of admitting it, and it’s something
I don’t admit at all
to any one just cause they’re listening
you should be better than me
do better than me I swear
Life’s too short to hope for someone to give you what you always deserved
you earned all the good things
and I’m not a good thing
unless you’re blinded too….
I wouldn’t want to take, every single chance away from you
So take from me this gift of flight
this opportunity grand
and when you say hello to the night
you’ll know I would follow you there
But you’ll just have a head start
And maybe someone who brings you modern doughnuts from the little shop
down the street for no reason

“SOARING” by Julia on the subway going north


Monday December 9, 2013
9:44pm
5 minutes
from a Ryerson University subway ad

high above the pain and the suffering I left behind, you can see me there, painting the clouds with my smile and my open heart.
nice and red. and soft too, so it’s easy to look at. easy to take in. each one puffs by me, new now from my artwork. the tears up here are bright blue, almost turquoise. it’s nice when the salt mixes with the sweet cotton candiness of it all. i am flying now. i have been here before. my mind is clear like blowing air through a straw and making the objects on the other side move, even just a little. the forecast is not unbearable, or terrifying. it’s calm and predictable but impulsive without being too harsh. i’ve learned to love my new place in the sky. it feels far away from everything i knew, but no one speaks my language and i never need them to. the money, the time, the regrets all seem to float away. they don’t want to get in the way of my flight. they don’t want to hinder my soul from creeping up from its safe place and being exposed right there in front of me. i let out my expectations slowly from the hem of my skirt, and i do this until the string is fine and coiled around itself. below i see, i left it all there for another moment in time.

“principle monetary unit of Morocco” by Julia on the Greyhound


Monday, October 14, 2013
3:17pm
5 minutes
The Pocket Oxford Dictionary

Don’t know what to say. Don’t want to say the wrong thing and have you be mad at me.
You know?
It’s hard not knowing how to read you. Think you were born with some tricky looking expression that makes it hard for people to understand.
But you’re just like me. Have to remember that sometimes. Especially when flying. Especially, especially then.
You never did end up reading that book I sent you. I know this because I inscribed it and it wasn’t just some Mickey Mouse message. It was one of those real nice and honest ones. One that makes you cry or laugh or both. And I know if you had read it, you would have told me so. You would have hugged me. That’s something I’m sure of.
But you might have just forgotten to, and that’s understandable, being on your way to a completely different country, and having to get sorted right away. Books take less of a priority. But that’s how we’re different, I guess.
Been thinking about that for a while now. See, I would have read the book, and if not the whole thing then at least just the inside cover. Just to see if there was anything written there for me.
Just my principles, I guess. What I value. What I hope for when it comes to the people I love a great deal.
I’m just crossing my fingers you didn’t read it at all..
Might be worse to have you read it and not respond well to it. To think it unfunny, or meaningless to you.

“valid for all countries” by Julia at Second Cup


Friday March 1, 2013 at Second Cup
5:59pm
5 minutes
A Canadian Passport

I want to fly around the world and then decide who I’m supposed to be. My mother did this and she came out alright with lots of beads and insight. She knows things that I wouldn’t want to know. She holds her head high and talks about stone carving. I could care less about casting or stone carving. I don’t care about the battle between them. I don’t mind if it’s slow moving, I want to be in control. I don’t even need to touch down on foreign land, just flying around in my mind’s eye is enough. I’ll get a passport valid for travel in all countries. That would be the best thing. Then nothing would stop me from getting to the gold. At the end of the rainbow or something like that. It’s a dream world I’m flying around. I can go anywhere in this hot air balloon my brain has reserved. My mother can be worldly. And I’ll just have a broadened imagination.
Generations after me will then be able to choose which path they take. Neither is right and neither is wrong.
Make their own path too, go ahead. The only wrong answer is doing nothing.