“the hell days” by Julia on the 99

Saturday November 3, 2018
9:52am
5 minutes
Soil, Sun, and Soon
Daenna Van Mulligen

I thought daylight savings was yesterday. I was worried I missed out on that one feeling a year you get when you realize you had an extra hour of sleep. When I woke up I still felt tired. These are the hell days. When 7am looks like 4am and there seems to be no real good reason to leave the bed. Except for all the reasons that catch up before noon. The ones you should have written down the night before. The ones you should have already internalized.
Some of this grey has seeped into my good intentions. It’s like a drop of water landing perfectly in the dry speaker of your phone. Everything sounds blurry. You want to throw the whole thing away and start over. But the hell days don’t let you start over. They make you travel to the bottom of the bottom to show you just how deep this sadness lives. They want you to look it in the face and apologize or something. For what, I’m still not sure. It wants you to see what you’re getting good at avoiding.

“change the towels in the bathroom” by Julia at the studio


Monday July 31, 2017
4:54pm
5 minutes
Amelia Bedelia
Peggy Parish


Mona in the bath tub on her knees, scrubbing.
Finds a collection of black mildew. Furrows
her already furrowed brow. She curses his
name under her breath, Fucking Dennis and your fucking
lack of purpose in this life except to make me
fucking miserable. She hasn’t washed herself in
a week. She’s protesting. Maybe one of these
nights Dennis won’t try to stick his dick in
when she’s asleep on the couch. He tells her his
mother is going to inspect the bathroom and Mona
laughs as if she cares. But here she is, in the tub,
on her knees, bleeding for a man who does not bleed
for anyone but himself. And his mother.

Later, the kitchen tile is spotless and the food
is on the table. Dennis lies and says he’s
been working hard all day.
At what?
Drinking. Complaining. Leaves out the only
parts that are true.
His mother pulls a sprig of rosemary out of her mouth
and spits into the tomatoes. Mona’s lips turn upward.
Dennis throws a chicken leg at Mona’s face.
I told you my mother hates rosemary.

“the way you would like them to appear” by Julia on her couch


Tuesday March 22, 2016
9:18pm
5 minutes
on the artist program guide site

A woman just crashed into a table behind me. I didn’t look up. I don’t know for sure that it even happened but I sensed it in some way and then I accepted it as not my problem. I hope I don’t go to hell for this. Like people say there’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women. Well is there a special place for women who sense that other women around her are in distress but don’t actually have concrete evidence or even a witness account that that’s the case? I mean. If I can be real for a quick second, I very well may have invented that there was even a woman behind me at all. I felt the room’s energy shift. I also could have had a heart palpitation and confused it for someone being hurt? Maybe I’m the hurt one? Like is this even an issue. I’m sure she’s fine. No one around me has changed their activities. Either it didn’t happen or she didn’t need help in the first place. It’s not fair to invent victims. I’m simply saying if I had turned around to just see, I could have better assessed my destination as hell or otherwise.

“She expected me to be in jeans” By Julia in Brooklyn


Friday, July 31, 2015
2:17am
5 minutes
from Sasha’s transcriptions

As if to say I had already fucked everything up for everyone, she looked straight down her nose at me and slightly shook her head. Not a full shake. Just enough to really shame me and make me wish I hadn’t needed to even come. Stevie was on the other side of the lounge and she was sending over her best “Sorry, Delia” eyes. I think at one point she mimed tightening a noose around her neck out of solidarity but even she knew she had no idea what hell I was in. Stevie happened to meet one of the suitors who liked her care-free, dress-code breaking, entirely beautiful, but way too young looking face and had told the monitor that Stevie was free to remain as she was. I on the other hand didn’t get so lucky.

“And I have been in Heaven” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Tuesday October 14,2014
4:03pm
5 minutes
from a quote from Isaac Asimov

I’ve been to heaven in the shape of knowing what I want.
I’ve been in the sky when the ground is moving and I’ve stayed up up up.
I’ve been to hell (not yours)
Mine
It looked like the sheen of a toilet bowl and smelled like a stiff neck
I’ve been there
Just as you have
I don’t know your place and you don’t know mine but we find the space between
The one that’s catching wind and slides across the floor like a domino

“I’m from a lot of places” by Julia at her desk


Friday November 8, 2013
11:30pm
5 minutes
overheard from a customer at Sambuca Grill

I’ve been to the moon and back! The moon and BACK! I’ve settled for a million white lies painting my bedroom a colour I could stand looking at. I’ve been to the MOON. I’ve dreamed in shapes and numbers and it made sense to me. I’ve found my way through your brain while you’re sleeping and mumbling something about pink hot pants. I went there. I went there and I came back, and every time I come back to whatever back is, it’s different. So I’ve been to a lot of places. I’m from a lot of places, really. I’ve been to the sun and back! The SUN! THE SUN! I’ve filled my belly with worry and words and perfectly dewed grass blades in a park, in a backyard, in a green house. I’ve let my mind wander to find the key to the secret dwellings of the universe. I wouldn’t have gone by myself. I’ve taken good trips and bad trips and told everyone around me that I was going to stay there. They wouldn’t understand but they’d think it was a good idea if I seemed so hell-bent on it. I’ve been to hell and back, to heaven on earth, and heaven in heaven, which though similar, are very different things. I’ve been to here and there, and I’m from everywhere. From the moon, from the sun.

“No, I promise” by Julia at Starbucks


Wednesday, March 27, 2013 at Starbucks
10:56am
5 minutes
Wild Mind
Natalie Goldberg


Last time I tried to write you a letter I fell asleep beside a candle and burned the entire left side of hair off. I woke up to the smell of it smoking and I was actually happy because I thought I was dying, or dead already, just waiting for my instructions in hell. Then when I realized I was fine, I was just half bald and burnt, I fell deeper. I suppose it’s clear that I’m not doing so well. I’ve felt a pit in my stomach for some time now, and I’m pretty sure it’s growing into a tree. Peach or pear, I’m not certain. It hurts though. It’s a very branchy tree, sort of poking into my side every time I move or sing. Sort of like the thing that only wants to exist as long as it’s the only thing I can feel. Sort of an only child, or youngest of 6 kind of tree. Anyway I’m writing you now because I wanted to tell you I won’t be writing again, or attempting to. I’ll just wait till you reply but I won’t be doing any more of the things like this where I have to access my inner…ouch. It’s that tree again…