“which are past their upright peak” by Julia on L’s couch

Wednesday February 27, 2019
8:46pm
5 minutes
Tulips for Barbara
Ann E. Michael

Casey was not the most popular in high school. She had friends on both sides which automatically put her in the middle. Her fiery red hair was a constant conversation; love it hate it, sorry you didn’t luck out you’re so lucky. People knew who she was and liked who she was and that seemed good enough. For a while.

When Casey ran for president of the student council, she put up posters of her dressed in funny costumes, a tutu, giant bows, an 80s ensemble courtesy of her mother (even though she didn’t need a reason to wear any of it). She played up her small town charm and people either loved it or hated it, of course keeping her right in the middle. She hoped to win so she could stand somewhere other than on the sidelines. Casey wanted to be big.

“Rule # 17: Act a little stupid.” By Julia at the studio

Thursday June 14, 2018
5:03pm
5 minutes
The Queen Of Hearts
Kathleen Hawes

She is desperate to speak to someone in French. She goes over to Chantal’s desk because Chantal will talk to anyone and she wants to speak French too. Le Sandwich. I understopd that one, Sans Probleme. Whatever. Let them speak in the secret language that I should know after four years of taking it in high school. After getting the French award at my grade 8 graduation.

At first I thought she was a miserable cunt who hated that I shared a cubicle with her. Maybe she thought I typed too loudly. Maybe she resented my youth. I can see now she might not have known how to express herself properly in English. I wish I didn’t spend so much time hating her back.

She smiles at me on her way to Chantal’s desk. She puts a little French in my name as she passes.

“don’t trip on the stairs” by Julia on the couch


Tuesday June 13, 2017
11:02pm
5 minutes
The Ocean At The End Of The Lane
Neil Gaiman


Kit can’t stand the new shoes Lou brought back from Iceland. She hates the way the toe catches on concrete and splits the difference between leather and sole. Lou tries to tell her that they were custom made and one of a kind. Kit thought about hiding them in the laundry hamper, pretending somebody stole them. She couldn’t throw them out. She wasn’t a monster.
Lou has been bringing home gifts more and more lately. Obviously trying to atone for taking her away from all her friends. When Marnie got sick, the sky opened up and took some more things that Kit didn’t want to give away. Gave her some things she didn’t need, stuck with a stepfather who didn’t want to stay.

“always easier to leave it at home” By Julia at The Vancouver Public Library


Tuesday February 23, 2016 at the VPL
6:49pm
5 minutes
abeautifulmess.com

Been fucking trying to leave it at home. Been fucking trying not to swear anymore either but as you can see, things have been a little bit rough these days. My asshole of a manager has decided that not only are we no longer allowed on our phones during work hours, but now we have to write a fucking positive message about the “team” each night before AND AFTER our shift. FUCK. How do you not swear when your life is a complete fucking joke? Tad, his fucking name is TAD. And Fucking TAD has so many fucking brilliant ideas for community building, such as embodying bullshit in the most unappealing human way this century has ever seen, or for making us walk through the back doors before we sign our lives away for 4-8 hours in a “light” and “baggage-free” way. Fucking Tad likes to tell me, “Leave your bad attitude at the door, Tegan, this place is a “frown-free” zone!” I want to fucking punch him with a fork. In the throat. Repeatedly. Until fucking forever and ever Amen.

“stop making assumptions” by Julia at her Mom’s desk


Sunday, December 27, 2015
7:57pm
5 minutes
The Four Agreements
Don Miguel Ruiz


On some days when the hearts are full and the bellies even fuller
we will think the thoughts of a mind that is empty
because comfort takes the driver’s seat and warmth is possible from all directions
Some of us with full bellies also have full senses of self
and like to take any opportunity to be the loudest in the room
It will be difficult to ignore these bellies and these loud laughs
It will seem impossible to have a positive thought about them
But nothing is impossible
and we must be able to remember that when our hate wants to step on a stool to be easily seen
We must ask ourselves if it’s not worth saying, is it worth thinking?
The closer we examine these moments, the easier it becomes to be good at handling them
We do not want to assume that the loud bellies are seeking to harm
We do not need to assume that they have a particular agenda in mind
Only that they are in need of love just as much as we are

“participate in all activities” by Julia at Platform Vancouver


Wednesday November 25, 2015 at Platform Vancouver
2:50pm
5 minutes
from http://www.playwrights.ca

We hear laboured breath, thumping, pausing, groaning, then more thumping, some light twinkling, then a thud.
Mom’s got the Christmas box out and she’s ready to go.
We hear a lot of rustling, then a small shriek, a giggle, and the crash of a thousand holiday CDs hitting the floor.
She’s going to turn this house into a merry one if it kills her. And it might. All that stuff is heavy and mom has always had a terrible back.
My brother looks at me.
“Should we go and help her?”
I don’t respond.
I don’t want to.
“You can go if you want,” I tell him.
“Well why don’t you want to help, too?”
“Because I hate Christmas,” I tell him.
“You hate everything.” He says back, resuming his video game.
Suddenly we hear Rosie O’Donnell’s Christmas album blaring.
“If we help maybe we won’t have to listen to this garbage that Mom likes.” My brother tries again.

“A boy in my algebra class nicknamed me “terrorist”” by Julia at English Bay Beach


Saturday September 12, 2015
8:01pm
5 minutes
https://broadly.vice.com/en_us/article/life-as-a-hairy-muslim-girl-after-911

I think Luke heard it from his dad or something. Luke is always coming into class with his big words and his big hate and it sounds like stuff his dad says. My dad says that Luke’s dad is a vessel of pure sadness. I don’t get how he thinks he’s sad, cause Luke’s dad is always yelling and screaming and swearing and stuff and that seems like he’s pretty angry to me. Sad is when you cry and when your nose leaks and your stomach gets that empty feeling. How do you get that sad empty feeling when you’re always filling your stomach with cans of beer?
Luke is always saying things to me or to Ruby about our skin and about our voices. He laughs and his face goes all red when he holds my arms behind my back and calls me a “terrorist.”

“a boy like me calls his mother.” by Julia on her patio


Monday, July 20, 2015
6:19pm
5 minutes
http://www.howlround.com

I HAVE A DOG! Daddy saved a little black one from the shelter and brought him home for me TO KEEP! Mom said play nice with Joseph. Daddy thinks it’s better to call him Joseph than mom’s name, Peanut. He laughed when I picked it and looked at me with big Daddy eyes. Peanut is not the winner! I tell mom this and she storms back into the kitchen with the dish towel over her shoulder and tears in her big mommy eyes. Don’t worry about it, she likes to make things about her, Daddy tells me. She’s just mad you didn’t like her name, but guess what, Joseph didn’t like it either. Daddy goes into the kitchen after mommy. How could you, I hear her yell to him. Dammit, Karen, I hear him say back.

“There’s something I need to explain to you.” by Julia on her bed


Sunday, July 19, 2015
1:14am
5 minutes
Sputnik Sweetheart
Haruki Murakami


I’m not the light you thought I was
I am the cloud
The dark one
I am the cloud
The dark one
I am the cloud
The dark one
There is hate in my heart
There is anger in my belly
I feed them
I nourish them
I grow them inside me like a backyard tomato plant
I choose them over bravery
I choose them over peace
I don’t have excuses for this anymore
I would have once tried to explain
Why I am or why I have them so close
Some excuses
Some lies
Some carefully constructed reasons
Some backtracking
Some omissions
Something tangible to give you
So you can take home and look at it
To remind you that I tried
But I’m not the light you thought I was
And you should know
Before you count on me to glow

“I checked and it looks good.” By Julia at Starbucks


Thursday March 26, 2015 at Starbucks
6:32pm
5 minutes
From an email

I hate sometimes more than I want to
More than I ought to
More than I need to
It fills me up
Enough to skip my second meal
And try to nap for 25 minutes
Before I have to get somewhere
I don’t like when people refuse to laugh at my jokes cause they have no sense of humour.
I know it does not mean they are wrong or right if they don’t find me funny, but the ones who smile without showing their teeth don’t like to be showed up by someone in front of a group of someones. I guess that shows weakness. I guess that shows emotional unwillingness.

“Handmade Robot” by Julia on the reading chair


Saturday November 29, 2014
11:29am
5 minutes
from a pamphlet

This is the boy that you made
Created
Breathed life into
He hates you
He hates everything
This is the boy
You made him out of spare parts
Springs
Scraps of materials
Assembled to look like art
Feel like art
Love like art
He hates you
For wanting him to be art
He’s just a robot boy
He’s just a boy robot
He dreams in metal and ink
He swears in screws and bolts
This is the boy that you made
Created
Breathed life into
He doesn’t want to hate you
But he wasn’t programmed to change
He’s just a boy
A robot boy
A little boy robot

“exit only” by Julia in Piazza del Francia


Tuesday October 28, 2014
4:21pm
5 minutes
from the side of a tper bus

He entered a room filled with mirrors. The instructions said he must look within before he could exit the game. He knew how this worked. A hundred minutes ripping apart all his flaws just to realize he was fine all along and didn’t need to inflict any self harm to find that out. So instead he tried to see what features he liked about himself; starting with the outside to make it easier when he got to the inside.

Decent enough eye shape. Not an almond. But almost. Long eyelashes-like a fawn, or a prostitute. Standard cheekbones (thankfully). One big bottom lip and one almost normal looking top lip. Straight teeth. Really straight. Should smile more. Will note that.

“That really hurted!” by Sasha in her garden


Sunday, July 27, 2014
7:09pm
5 minutes
overheard at Gimli Beach


THAT REALLY HURTED! WHY YOU DO THAT? I WAS JUST SITTIN’ AND NOW I’M BRUISED!
THAT REALLY HURTED! WHY YOU DO THAT? I WAS JUST LAUGHIN’ AND NOW I’M NOT!
THAT REALLY HURTED! YOU’RE SUCH A MEANIE! I’M TRYIN’ TO BE NICE BUT IT’S HARD!
THAT REALLY HURTED! LOOK HOW I’M BLEEDING! YOU GOT MY GOOD AND NOW I’M DOWN!
THAT REALLY HURTED! WHY YOU DO THAT? I HATE YOU RIGHT NOW! BUT I’LL LOVE YOU LATER.
THAT REALLY HURTED! YOU REALLY GOT ME. WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO MAKE OF THIS?
THAT REALLY HURTED!

“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.

“Inn of Olde” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Monday March 24, 2014
9:45pm
5 minutes
from the sign for Linda’s in Quidi Vidi, NF

She thought she was something that she wasn’t. She was trying, for his sake. “Sure,” she’d said, “let’s do it.” It was his dream to hike the Torres del Paine in Chile and how could I hold a guy back from his dream, or be left behind. “There’s no pressure,” he said, “you have to do something like this for you.

She’d never been so hot in her life and her thighs were chafed and her heels were blistered. He was happier than she’d ever seen him, smiling like it was the best day of his life. “It’s the best day of my LIFE!” He said, as he stretched in their tent every morning. She groaned. “Come on, trooper,” he pushed her shoulder, “let’s make breakfast…” She wanted to bite him, to punch him in the stomach, to push him down as he sped down the trail faster than she could. She wanted to break up with him, the reason she was out here in the first place, the reason she was tired and sore and angry. But, then what? They had seven more days to go.

“everyone is committed” by Julia at her kitchen table


Tuesday March 18, 2014
11:21pm
5 minutes
from an essay by Deborah Stein about collaboration on howlround.com

Round the table we sit, Liddy pissed off because she still has to sit at the kiddy table made worse by the fact that her name rhymes with it. Adrianna can’t move her face because of the recent Botox and so Ed keeps making jokes just to see her not laugh. Darla is still in the shitter after eating a wad of mashed potatoes because Tyson dared her to defy her lactose intolerance. Mom is singing her happy song because she’s trying not to go insane and Dad is trying to get the kids to stop trying to undred Liddy’s hair. The food is mediocre and I’m trying to give Liddy looks of encouragement but she hates me most of all right now. Maybe because I left. Maybe because I came back. I never know with her. I sneak pour her a glass of wine and try to pass it over without anyone noticing.

“10 days prior” by Julia on her couch


Friday December 27, 2013
2:04am
5 minutes
Application for a Special Occasions Permit

I guess I’ll stop waiting now. For you and the raspberry jam you promised me. Oh well, I should say, it’s just jam! But goddammit, everybody knows that it isn’t. It’s your word! Your stupid word that I don’t trust anymore. I keep trying to forget, but I can’t. So every new time you don’t do what you say you’ll do, I am just reminded of the thing you didn’t do yesterday, and the day before, and blah blah, etc. Years are too hard to store in my brain! Did you ever think of that? I can’t stack the empty promises onto one another because they are all weird shapes and containing different contrasting contents! Some are hot, and some are very cold. Some are liquid and leaky, and some are little tiny rocks. You did that. I didn’t ask for this. I know it’s not about the jam. I said that, I know that, you know that, we all know that. This angle of me is not one I’m happily displaying to any cameras, or to the kids. I don’t want them to see me hate you but I don’t have the energy anymore to give over those feelings, those resenting feelings for you. I was never an actress. I never ever said I enjoyed putting on a face like that. I know you don’t know what you said 10 minutes ago let alone 10 days ago, but I know. I know so well it kills me each time.

“one time” by Sasha at her desk


Thursday October 24, 2013
3:41pm
5 minutes
A piece of mail from Shoppers Drug Mart

Your cheeks are rhubarb, tart and pink. You’ve just come in from raking the leaves. “Want tea?” I shouldn’t even have to ask anymore. But I do. And you respond – “Yes”. The kettle howls and I find supreme satisfaction in steeping the dark bag, covering it with a small glass bowl so that it stays hot. I check my watch. I wait three minutes. I stretch my tight back as I wait. You’re running a bath. One time, many years ago, I told you that I hated you. Sometimes, when I stretch I hear myself saying those words, they are locked somewhere around the base of my spine. You slide your arms around my waist and smell the secret place where neck meets shoulder. “You smell good,” you say.

“Serve.” by Julia on her other couch


Monday, September 23, 2013
12:11am
5 minutes
www.foodnetwork.com

I hate everything, Age. So what. If you don’t already know this about me, now you know.
It’s not something I’m even ashamed of anymore. I just hate everything. I hate that my feet don’t touch the floor when I’m sitting at my kitchen table. I hate that I don’t tell everyone who I hate that I hate them. I hate that when someone mistreats a server at a restaurant that everyone in the establishment doesn’t stand up and stare them down until they leave. I hate that people are dying every single second of every single day and we spend all of our time reading about celebrities on crappy blog cites. Am I supposed to feel bad about this? I hate. At least I’m doing something. I didn’t say I hated everyone, Age, that’s different. That’s not what I’m talking about. It’s not like that. It’s like…Everything is annoying because it’s a thing. Even things I love, I hate. There’s always something to hate about something you love. Loving something doesn’t mean you can’t find flaw in it. That’s the biggest mistake human beings make. I’m serious, Age! Love doesn’t mean ‘no matter what’. Even unconditional love doesn’t mean that. It just means there’s an abundance of joy and admiration and care and whatever else love is. I’m not denying that love is beautiful. It’s just swell. But it’s not perfect. So there is room to hate things that you love. I love hot peppers and yet I hate that they burn my eyeballs if I touch them right after chopping. If we loved everything without hating something about it, we’d all be just a bunch of idiots.

“I remember” by Julia at the TUA Artists’ Retreat at the Fringe Creation Lab


Sunday, August 25, 2013
2:02pm
5 minutes
From the writer’s workout warm-up

I remember the feel of your morning skin more than the taste of your kiss. It’s something that eases me, that keeps me from spinning into the unknown. You lay there, sleeping, mumbling something to me or yourself, about me, or yourself, and I know you. Your skin: cool from the ever-blowing fan because of the air conditioner we never ever purchased. Your skin, inviting and honest, cloaking your masculinity, your desires, your rage. I remember that feel, that cool sticky skin feel, when I hate you. When I wish you never told me you loved me. When you break my bracelet because you can’t help yourself but play with the dainty things that are strewn across the dresser we share. That’s when I crawl back into those pretty morning moments, and I’m still, laying there behind you, counting your freckles and believing that I could not want for anything but this.
Your heart, a beating, living thing beneath the skin. I’m intrigued by its rhythm and the secrets you hold close but only let me see when you’re sleeping away. I remember.

“I’ve never noticed that before” By Julia at Belly Acres


Saturday July 27, 2013 at Belly Acres
12:14pm
5 minutes
Napier’s Bones

Her hair was a burnt orange. like something you’d see in a candle or an autumn-themed living room. She hated it, though. She had thought about really burning it and seeing what people called it then. She thought that obviously no one had seen burnt orange in real life because maybe then it wouldn’t be such a conversation piece. No one in her family had her colour. Her younger sister was born blonde. Even still, she was not the pretty one. She had to work very hard to be noticed around little red, as they lovingly called her. Little white had to wear more makeup, do more stand out tricks just to be noticed. Little red was the better looking sister but she didn’t actually realize. She hated her hair. She thought about dying it and who she’d be after it was all gone. The only desire she had was to make it black as snow white’s. Even if her skin would disappear immediately after (being so pale and unmatched in colour for dark dark hair).

“in places like London” by Julia in her backyard


Sunday, July 14, 2013
10:02am
5 minutes
For Selma
Langston Hughes


That’s where we went and I found out I hated you. Sort of a last minute decision to go and then I was excited I went, but soon after all you could talk about was money and clothes and shit you do that’s better than me and how you thought I wasn’t grateful because I criticized the paintings hanging in your brother’s hallway. I didn’t know they were yours. I knew they were shit but I
didn’t know you painted them. So sorry. But like, not really. And I hated you because your hair was always perfect. And I hated you because your tolerance for alcohol and smarmy men was higher than mine. And I hated you because you smelled like almonds even after drinking. I don’t like feeling inferior to you. I don’t like feeling like you decide when I get to laugh or cry. I’m mad still, I realize this now. And I don’t want to go back to London. I didn’t get to see all of it because I spent the majority of my time thinking about ways to poison your croissantwiches or your shampoo. I was so angry that I forgot why I started to love you in the first place.

“Lily and Gigi” by Julia at Nova Era Bakery


Monday May 27, 2013
11:15am at Nova Era Bakery
5 minutes
names dipped from a class list

Lily is the one who hates people, right? The one who wears her hair in braids and gets nervous when she sees someone smiling? Oh shit, is that Gigi? Yeah, now I think it is. I’m pretty sure the last time I saw Gigi she was sitting at a table by herself and I walked up to her and asked if I could sit down. That little bitch said no and then tried to stab me with a fork. Gigi. It’s for sure her. It’s hard, though, they look identical…yes, I know they’re identical twins–obviously. But like–there’s no differentiating–there’s no weird mole or twitch–and now that I think of it, they both wear braids and they both hate people. I want to blame their mother but she’s actually such a delight–long wavy hair, she likes to wear teal jumpsuits that show all of her lovely cleavage. She tells Lily that no one likes her sourpuss face because people don’t like ugly children–or was she saying it to Gigi…Goddammit! Why do I care? Anyway. Happy 5th birthday to both of you little shit storms. I hope you live long and happy lives and that one day someone will take pity on you and be able to fall in love with you.

‘ONE DRY PINT’ by Julia on her couch


Thursday, April 4, 2013
11:55pm
5 minutes
from the cherry tomato carton

Harry sat at the bar hating his name. He couldn’t stop thinking about how old he sounded on paper–how British. Harry’s mother didn’t speak a word of English and heard the name Harry once while struggling to shop for what she called a “water go, pasta stop.” No one at the store understood her-except for a lucky encounter with a shopper named Harry who recognized her needs. “A colander?” He asked, helped her pay for the stupid thing, then smiled and said his name. She didn’t tell him her name. She was private like that. But she felt like she should thank him somehow for helping her the way he did when she felt all alone in a new country. And unlike any one else who’d buy him a nice bottle of wine or something, she named her first son Harry. Harry always hated his name. He orders a pint of Guinness and stared at it while thinking about his assignment due in the morning for English Lit. He shouldn’t have gone to the bar in the first place, but he was stressed out because his roommate, Ryan, had just gotten dumped by his long distance girlfriend. Harry wished he had a name like that. Ryan.

“I didn’t have a word for it” by Julia on her couch


Saturday, March 16, 2013
2:37pm
5 minutes
Everything Bad Is Good For You
Steven Johnson


I had a word for it. I guess I would have called it ‘Hate’ or something like that. It tasted of Ketchup chips and white grapefruit juice. It was sort of sweet and salty and bitter and refreshing and dangerous all at the same time. I thought of it when I thought of you. I was different then, when we first met. I had something unique and good about me that I couldn’t possibly still have. Now I’m dark lips, dark mind, and eternally pissed off that the TV stand collects dust directly after having been wiped clean. I see the world through a lens that doesn’t offer much hope. I learned to be a critic in school, and now all I can enjoy watching is the embarrassment and failure of others. I have a word for it. ‘Hate’s’ the closest thing it could be without telling you what word I actually mean here. It’s something cold, needs a sweater. Like a knit or a fleece. It doesn’t travel well in packs; it’d rather be left alone staring the wall and imagining a person staring back. It has no love, I think, which is why it is so grey. It colours itself in with a yellow highlighter, dying to be the type who can pass itself off as ‘blonde’. It’s not, though. Neither am I. I’m just a brunette with a typewriter, and the only keys that still work on it are H, A, T, and E.

“big red sneakers” by Julia on her couch


Wednesday February 6, 2013
12:36am
5 minutes
Women of Manhattan
John Patrick Shanley


She was a meanie, Mrs. Appleton. She wore big red sneakers and I HATED THEM. Why would a woman her age wear sneakers for children and try to teach a classroom OF children? Obviously it was so she could “get on our level” but I saw right past it, yes I did. She was a loser. THERE. MRS. APPLETON WAS A LOSER. One of those ‘failure at life’ types. She tried, boy did she, but it wouldn’t win us over because we were smart. Such a meanie. Just one of those people who would give Donnie Kits a C just because she didn’t like that he was chewing gum during his history presentation. And once, when I was trying to be ARTISTIC, I ripped the edges of my pastel tree drawing so it would look like the EARTH, she completely made fun of me in front of the whole class and told us all that it was lazy and we should learn to use scissors like adults. I HATED HER THEN. And you’d be sitting there, just minding your own business, just working on multiplication tables, and really for the first time understanding the 9 times tables, when all of a sudden, squeak squeak. There she was behind you, Mrs. Appleton and her snarled up lip and her squeaky too young for her red sneakers. She’d make you feel like you were doing something wrong just by BREATHING on you. And her breath. Ugh! Even her breath was mean!