“We emailed back and forth” by Julia on the 99

Monday November 20, 2017
10:50pm
5 minutes
overheard at JJ Bean

There was an email I sent him once. We were still in high school. I can’t remember if this was before or after Natalie locked us in Denise’s storage room, hoping that we’d have nothing to do in there but make out. I was hoping the same thing. You’d think that after he told me he would do it, but it would mean more to me than it would to him, that I’d get the message and move on to another emotionally unavailable 16 year old, but no. I took it as a sign that he was noble or decent or protective of me even, because he loved me. I have had some serious let downs from thinking I was all that before. The fall is always harder from the great height of delusion.
But this email I sent him was a survey. It was designed for teenagers to flirt with each other, confessing their secrets, disguised as “everybody is doing it so here you go.” He answered my survey. He wrote down what song made him think of me. He said “I was born in a small town”. I thought at the time it was cute. Look how well he knows me. But he didn’t know me. I was born in a bigger city than he was.

“We talked at length about it” by Julia at her dining room table


Friday, December 18, 2015
6:36pm
5 minutes
Dispatched To The Derwent
Malcolm Dale


Greer reaches down to pull up her knee socks that never seem to stay at the knee. She leans over in her chair disappearing under the table for a moment while Brody shifts in his spot, uneasy about a lot of things, in addition to the fact that Greer is no longer making eye-contact as he explains himself.
Greer’s stupid socks keep bunching in her shoes! That’s why they never stay up, they are being pulled down but her toes or something equally as lame! She lets out a tiny laugh.
“What? What is it?”
Brody doesn’t like unexpected bouts of laughter. He doesn’t like being the butt of anyone’s joke.
“Sorry, I, it’s nothing, really. What were you saying?”
“No, seriously, just tell me!”
“It’s actually not worth repeating, but, I’m fully listening, please continue.”
Brody starts to chew on the inside of his lower lip. He Has created a patch of bite marks, raised to the touch of the tongue, a tiny graveyard of anxious scars.

“I really like hugs” by Julia on her couch


Monday November 30, 2015
11:00pm
5 minutes
overheard at the Vancouver Poetry Slam

I showered for this. I just want you to know that. It’s that level of important to me. You are that level of important to me. This is harder than I want it to be. I hope you won’t make me explain in different words cause I’m not too good at that part either. I am trying though. You said something to me the other day when you came over to my house with scones or whatever when my roommate was out? You said it’s nice to spend time together outside of work. And I wanted to tell you that I think so too and if I don’t seem like I agree, I just don’t know how to…meet you there quite yet. Not in the way that I want to. If you know what I–because I. You know. I’m sure you know. Also kick butt tonight. I know you’re gonna crush it. All the math and stuff.

“Letter Writing” by Julia at her desk


Thursday November 26, 2015
11:44pm
5 minutes
from the specials board at Our Town Cafe

Dear guy from the Turkish market buying one kilo of sun-dried tomatoes while wearing a safety vest,

You may have just stolen my heart, permanently, and I’m okay with that.
See I was looking for someone new to give it to, after I got it back from the guy I lent it to without knowing. I was tricked into telling him things about me and letting him see a version of me that most people don’t want to see, or shouldn’t see, or…Oh…now I wish I hasn’t mentioned that part at all cause it’s a bit embarrassing…..
Umm….If I hadn’t written this in pen, I would have erased the aforementioned weirdness but because I hate the way stuff looks scratched out, I will leave it in hopes that you don’t actually mind a little oversharing every now and again.
Back to the important matters at hand, guy wearing a safety vest.
I love sun-dried tomatoes so much and to see you buying them in such a large quantity is incredibly heartening. I can only begin to imagine what you’re planning to do with so many beautiful tomatoes. My biggest fear is that your wife or girlfriend or mother sent you here to buy them for the big party you’re announcing your future plans with a woman other than me at.
….Oh boy.
I wish I could erase that part too.

“for a variety of reasons” by Julia in a car


Friday November 6, 2015
11:45am
5 minutes
Overheard at Moii Cafe

Carmen is sitting on the kitchen sink, banging her feet against the cupboard to the rhythm that she’s humming in her head. Boom badoom, boom boom badoom.
Ely stares at her with a sideways smile and his head cocked to the side. He’s in love with her. She’s the most fascinating thing he’s ever seen in his life.
Carmen feels his gaze but acts like she can’t tell. She pretends to be in her own world. She likes the attention Ely gives her. She likes that he likes her and that she could be bad, or better, and he wouldn’t even notice. She likes that he doesn’t hold her to a particular standard. She likes that he isn’t like everybody else.
Ely wants to kiss her but hasn’t felt like she’s invited him yet. His body remains tense and leaning against the counter. He casts his eyes down when it gets to be too much.
“Are you afraid of me or something?”
Carmen’s legs still going, boom badoom, boom boom badoom.
“Me? No I’m. I’m not afraid of you or something. I’m. I’m not afraid.”
“Well why are you way over there, then?”

“Hope for summer heat in Ontario” by Sasha on her couch


Tuesday May 20, 2014
11:04pm
5 minutes
The Weather Network

You guys, like you don’ even know! You guys, I was waiting for the bus and this guy says to me, “You got an ugly face!” an’ I’m like, “Is this even happening?” An’ then he says it again, “YOU GOT AN UGLY FACE!” An’ I’m like… Whattaya even say to that, right? “That’s harsh, man,” I says to him and he comes up real close to me, like I smell the hot dog he musta just eaten or whatever and he says, “No disrespect,” an’ I’m like, “Uh, yeah “disrespect!” You jus’ told me I got an ugly face!” You guys, I almost laughed. Like, you don’ believe that someone’s jus’ gonna get in your grill an’ tell you what they think like that! “What’s the poin’ a sayin’ somethin’ like that?” I says to this guy, this dumb guy. He’s like, “Havin’ a bad day, you know. Jus’ havin’ a bad day…” An’ then I think about how I’m havin’ a great day! It’s hot! It’s basically summer! Guys, this guy wasn’t gonna bring me down!

“MOD, MINI, METALLIC” by Julia at Sambuca Grill


Friday January 3, 2014 at Sambuca Grill
2:55pm
5 minutes
vintage shop on College

I haven’t seen her face yet. Just her skirts, and like, her hair from the back. I know I like that side of her a lot. Weird, like, I start imagining her face but there’s nothing specific about her features. You know, I just can’t seem to see those things, and yet, I know exactly what she looks like. Maybe cause I don’t want to wreck her. Or my expectations. Okay and I know that about myself. I can get my hopes up pretty high for practically anything and this is no different. But I don’t want her to fall short of my expectations without her even doing anything wrong. Not that she can. I mean, the girl is beautiful. I’m telling you, her legs. And that’s even when she’s wearing pants. It sounds so dumb to say it out loud, but I think this is how everyone should get to know the love of their life. Like, I’m not stupid and I know I don’t love her yet. Just I also know I could. And easily. I don’t know what she looks like. But that moment when I finally see her face…that first moment…it will be like that moment on Drop Zone where your heart shoots through your body and everything just…drops. That release, the difficulty to catch my breath…Yeah.

“This guy will change your mind” by Julia on her couch


Wednesday, June 19, 2013
11:21pm
5 minutes
The front of the Globe and Mail Life & Arts Section
Wednesday, June 19th, 2013


Yeah, yeah, he’s got the goods, come in from the cold, step out of the woods, this guy, he’s the one, and he knows what to do, he’s got goods for me, he’s got goods for you. Yeah, yeah, he’s got the plan, he’ll turn you from a wandering eye into a wandering man, he can etch a sketch of your face, he can make you disappear, he’s the bartender, says you can’t stay here.
Yeah, yeah, he’s the mastermind, the one who calls the shots, do you drink them, that’s the problem, he’ll drown your throat till your gut rots. He can keep the press at bay, he knows exactly what to say, little lies and little promises go such a long way. Yeah, yeah, he’s got the goods, be what you are, no such thing as shoulds. He’s the one who’ll take your virginity in any situation, got the answers, got the skill set, he’ll school you in meditation. Who is this rare species, is he even real? That’s the jury, that’s the audience, that’s everyone’s spiel. He’s the guy who will help you, he’ll make you better still, he’ll change your mind without you, and without him there is no will.