“there are still shoelaces to be tied” by Julia at her desk

Sunday April 8, 2018
11:15pm
5 minutes
Ten Seconds for Each Year
Fernando Raguero

Wait till your eyes run out of juice
try typing that letter to your friend
see how many times you nod off in the
middle of a good sentence
tell her: there are stillllllllllll swppp
tell her: you are so eeeeeen qqQ hip
She will really appreciate that you didn’t
make time for her earlier in the day
that you were saving up all your creative
expression for the moments in between
sleep and almost sleep because that’s
when all the best ideas come through
tell her: that thought you had about
the cactus and the kiwi eloping
tell her: neck kink and unlimited yawn
tell her: fall onto the bed mascara
still holding all your eyelashes together
Don’t forget about the roasting pan in
the sink or the shoes out in the foyer
or the wet hair drying slowly on your back

“Near Middle: for “Devilish woman,” by Julia at her desk

Saturday February 17, 2018
7:04pm
5 minutes
Errata and Addenda
Rachaela Van Borek

Can’t tell her the truth even though that’s what we both promised we’d do.
When she tells me hers, she apologizes a month later and says, “Maybe when
you asked what I thought that night I shouldn’t have answered at all.”
I tell her “No, you should have, I want you to be honest with me,”
but I don’t know if that’s just because I don’t know what else to say.
I have some ideas about the questions she doesn’t ask me and
I know I can’t tell her what I think so I agree inside that maybe she is right.
A blanket gets thrown at me when I look cold but feel sweaty.
That’s probably on account of all the discomfort.
Some people sweat when they lie.
I put it on my toes and count the minutes before the pizza arrives.
Maybe when we’re eating we will have less time to peer into each other’s
souls and risk ruining a perfectly good family.
Suddenly her phone rings and she answers it in the middle of my good story.
She covers the receiver, tells me that our mother is frying shrimp dumplings again and asks if I want any.
I tell her to tell her yes.
She tells our mother we’ll be right over.
When she hangs up she shakes her head.
“Not sure what Mom is doing making dumplings at midnight.”
“Not sure what Mom is doing thinking we all still live in the same time zone.”

“I can bearly remember a thing” by Julia at N and W’s kitchen table


Saturday March 25, 2017
9:45pm
5 minutes
from a fridge notepad

I can’t remember birthdays unless I write them down–or to buy onions, or to take out the trash. I’m terrible with names and with dates.
I love faces. I’m a faces person. I’ll never forget a face. I know a lot of people like me. We all joke about the kind of checklists we keep. My friend Bernice has a refrigerator notepad with a bear on it that says “I can BEARLY remember a thing” but I’m not sure she’s found the cure because I’ve noticed that every time I go over there the list is completely blank. My cousin Christina sets reminders on her phone, in her email, writes them down on graph paper, and puts sticky notes on her bathroom mirror. She’s very determined to remember. It’s not like she’s not trying. I don’t have a ton of methods. My preferred way of keeping on top of things is to sing myself songs about my tasks for the day that rhyme.

“Has it really been almost 100 years” By Julia at Gene


Friday December 11, 2015 at Gene Coffee
1:51pm
5 minutes
from a Facebook post

Hard to believe she hasn’t come back to get her coat yet, it’s the dead of winter! After all these years of doing coat-check, it STILL surprises me that some people don’t think to call the last venue they went to to even inquire about a missing jacket in x size, x style, x cetera. Some people don’t remember how they got home the night before so to them they think their coat could be literally anywhere. But the ones who know for sure they left it at an establishment and DON’T CALL must be very embarrassed about something because they sure as hell don’t want to show their face the day after a holiday party or a bachelorette. I have held one beige coat, size small, trench style belt, for almost 100 years now and still nobody has claimed it. So I have decided that if it’s still hanging in my coat check come the new year, I’m going to take it home. I’ve been eyeing it. And there are cameras in the coat check room so once I even turned off all the lights and tried it ON. Now I know it fits. It would be useful to me. Not just theft to thieve! But! There’s a chance that someone might still come back for it and how awful would it be to have just taken someone’s jacket right before it was about to be reunited with its owner.

“store solar power” by Julia on her couch


Wednesday November 18,2015
10:07pm
5 minutes
from a tweet by the Globe and Mail

When we’re alone after a full day of kissing my family and eating tortelli you tell me there’s this new game you can’t wait to play when we get home. I don’t know why, but this bothers me. I can’t tell why I’m upset by this. You’re not hurting me by playing. Or are you? I haven’t figured out why my insides are twisting and my veins are pulsing. Am I looking for a reason to be mad at you? I try to delay my response because I’m worried it’ll come out naggy, or pissed off. I would much rather come to the conclusion of my feelings before involving you in an outburst. Is it because I wish I had something to look forward to when we go home? Is it because we have plans when we get home and you’re blowing me off? Do we have plans at all? I’m mad at how mad I am without quite knowing why. I rack my brain for instances to refresh my memory about why it is I can’t handle this decision. It seems like one you’ve made before. I remember that. Or something like it…

“with the theme of fear” by Julia at Coco et Olive


Monday November 9, 2015 at Coco et Olive
3:23pm
5 minutes
ionmagazine.ca

I am not alone in this room
I share my bed with my former self
And all my past mistakes
I lay my head down on the same pillow as the shame that haunts me
I close my eyes and see the me I never wanted to be
The me I never thought I could be
I am not alone in this lie
Sometimes good people make bad choices
Sometimes bad choices make bad people
I watch the blame hang on every corner of every wall
I wait for it to cling to my eyelids and bind my mind forever
He said she said
She does he does
She regrets he preys
He forgets she stays
I am not alone in this guilt
I share my memories with the poor judgement that follows me
And all the wrong I’ve invited in
To stay a while
To live on inside me

“Feed Your Family” by Julia at the Davenport branch of the TPL


Tuesday March 17, 2015 at the Davenport Branch of the tpl
3:20pm
5 minutes
taste.com

Then she slapped the cucumber right out of my hand and all I could do was just stand there with my mouth on the floor. I’m worried about her. This kind of thing hasn’t happened in 6 years now and we all thought she was in a good place. Then out of nowhere we’re right back where we started and nobody knows how to handle it. I don’t want to judge her or act as if she’s some kind of monster, she’s not. But I find myself anxious and confused a lot lately. I don’t know how to help her. It’s not like I can just give her a stern talking to and she’ll change her behavior. This has been a reality for our family for as long as I can remember but when she’s good, she’s really good, and sometimes we simply forget how she used to be.

“He might get lucky” by Julia on her couch


Saturday February 9, 2013
1:26am
5 minutes
Chicken Soup for the Golfer’s Soul
Jack Canfield


I’ve been holding it in. My pee. I know that sounds gross but if you had asparagus for dinner then you would understand and you would be holding in your pee as well. Whatever. Pee once a day, that’s fine. Except it’s NOT fine and I know the more I go the less the asparagus thing will bother me…
He might get lucky. I’m talking about Adam. He might accidentally whack his head off the corner of the table that sticks out in the dining room and suffer a mild concussion, and then some sort of short term memory loss. Or better: long term. Then he’d forget that I was a little bit of a crazy and he’d never stop loving me. Is that a thing? Any of this? Like, I want to know if anyone has ever had to wish an injury on a loved one so they would forget how weird their partner is. He picked me, or something like that, whatever, so. It’s partially his fault. He could have asked me before we went out the first time if I had anything weird about myself that I wanted to tell him. And yeah, if I were trying to be honest, I would have said something like, mmhm, some things. Here and there, might be deal breakers, not sure. And he’d have had the chance to ask more specific questions and then I could tell him then and there that I don’t like peeing when I’ve eaten asparagus, and therefore don’t really enjoy eating asparagus, and also that when I was 6 I locked my baby cousin in a dark room to make him cry so that when I finally opened the door, he would cling to me because I “saved him”. I could have told him all my things in one shot and he could have decided early on about me.