“the shedding of lint” by Julia at her desk

Saturday August 10, 2019
8:02pm
5 minutes
Laundromat
Carmen Pintea

We walk every morning toward a cinnamon bun and
everybody stares at you, watches you. I am but
a thread attached to your coat pocket, I do not
unravel, but lead, I lead you to the cinnamon bun
so you can walk without bumping into all the people
who are falling in love with you.
You and your gap-toothed mouth, little air bubbles
flying out, like an angel or a dream.
It would seem like you are drifting but that’s because
the people watching you give you lift by grabbing time
by the throat so she will slow down and let them see you
better. It is not magic. It is not good.
What’s good is a cinnamon bun and that is all you want
this morning, like every morning, not to be watched or
crossed or lifted from the earth, you have been begging
for dirt in your toe nails since the last time someone
tried to convince you that you were theirs.
It wasn’t me, I wouldn’t do it. I know what it’s
like to have the whole world needing something from
you that you can’t give them because it’s made up
from the inside places they hide all the wrong ideas.
I know because I wasn’t always a thread, I wasn’t
always a help, I wasn’t always so sure of how to
leave my house and find the cinnamon bun.
But because this lint sheds form the lining of our
hearts in the same way, I take you. I show you how.

“she’s in a shoe store with her friends,” by Julia at her desk

Friday August 2, 2019
9:42pm
5 minutes
Some Notes Against the Burden of Representation
Rahat Kurd

She’s waiting for her dad because on Saturdays her dad takes her to lunch.
He takes her to the food court and lets her pick: Chinese food, or New York Fries.
He’s sweet to her on these days, shows her off to his employees.
They talk about her hair, how it’s like his, how she looks just like him.
She’ll help him rearrange the shoes in the window after she wipes down the clear shelf.
She feels like she’s helping him. He’ll likely redo it after she leaves.
The faster the shoes get organized in the window, the faster he can take his break.
He is sweet to her on these days, doesn’t tell her how to do it better.

He throws his tie behind his shoulder and dives in to the burger, or the chicken balls.
He asks if she’s done any good shopping yet and she tells him about the earrings she bought; little ladybugs
She won’t remember what they talked about years from now but here in this moment she thinks she’ll never forget.
Next Saturday she should ask her friend if she wants to come, he says he’ll drive them.
Maybe they could catch a movie at the Cineplex Odeon in the afternoon.

“It Helps To Ask” by Sasha at her desk

Tuesday July 23, 2019
5:32pm
ECK Wisdom on Inner Guidance
Harold Klemp

It helps to ask those
who have come before
how they did it
Not that we are all the same
or that what worked for her
will work for you
but

in asking something
moves in the gut
in the heart
in the glow
above the crown
something moves that’s
been longing

to move
to extend finger
and toe tips
creak of the back
tightness of the hip
move move
move
move
move dear body

in ways you didn’t think
to be possible or
possible for you

move towards the grace
of the opening

“They backed off right away” by Julia at the Little Green Ranch

Tuesday June 24, 2019
9:19pm
5 minutes
From a text

We tell each other our personal stories so we can push against Big things like Big Pharma and in your words, Big Dental. Say no to flouride and do not let them talk you out of it. We now know that shit is way more expensive and the dentists can’t even give you a good reason why you should use it when you ask them, sunglasses on and everything.

You say what you learned and I say what I learned and then we bind it all together in a book for the future us or the future’s future.
We help prepare each other for battle in case anyone gives us push back when we assert our opinions.

One day if we forget the way we used to do things, we’ll consult the book and nod familarly at what we already know somewhere deep in the core of us.

“Proven ability to develop lessons plans” By Julia at her desk

Sunday May 26, 2019
5:24pm
5 minutes
allianceforarts.com

Hi I’m here for the workshop teaching position.
I have a shit ton of experience with kids and with teaching.
I have worked with some real piece of work asshole youth
in my time, but I find that if I see them as real people and not their
attitudes, I can get them to open up. It’s easy to be shitty
when you don’t believe you matter in the grand scheme of things.
Some of the lesson plans I’ve developed have really fucked
with my own understanding of writing, and taking risks.
I mean, they say the best way to learn something is to teach it.
And once in a workshop I got the kids to teach each other something
and that shit was the real deal.
They were so open, and chatty, and they had this light, you know.
They are a lot more willing to dive in than they get credit for,
so you know, I just filled the pool with shit they wanted to
swim in. It’s supposed to be fun but it’s also supposed to be
honest. I’ve been doing it now, for Christ, 10 years now? I
started leading them when I was just out of university, and I
got to work with a bunch of 6-8 year olds.
They didn’t even have a curriculum, but by the time I left
they were all so fucking thrilled to keep discovering.

Sorry, the position is already filled? Because I dropped the f bomb?

“treats cognitive complaints” by Julia at her table/couch

Wednesday May 22, 2019
5:33pm
5 minutes
From a med school whiteboard

they always got the prescription pad ready
tell them you aren’t
feeling
like you and they write something that will make you feel like even less
what about sleep?
Doctors seem to
forget about
that one
Or someone to talk to
or listening to the underground communication network of an old growth forest
some birds have healed me before
yeah
birdsong in the morning
the slap of a hardball on leather
the crack of a bat
the perfect thumping sound a wooden spoon makes when it taps on the bottom of the pot

“no one can remember” by Julia at her desk

Sunday April 21, 2019
8:03pm
5 minutes
Anthem
Terese Svoboda

We reach back into our skulls for candy or god or something that smiles at the past of us. There are no guarantees for this existence and no one can remember every single warning sign. I don’t think that’s how it works. If we could then hindsight would be out of a job. It would be sad to see something imperative for lesson learning rendered useless.
It, is, after all, everyone’s biggest fear. We want our lives to have purpose, to affect change, to be worth writing down.

We want our children to need us, our parents to see us, and our friends to rely on us. And in turn we rely on them. It’s a cycle of life we would be silly to ignore. We need each other. We keep one another useful by our belief that we cannot navigate this realm alone. We were never designed to in the first place.

“the host raised his glass” by Julia on the 4

Tuesday January 15, 2019
6:54pm
5 minutes
Notes on Surrender
Krista Bremer

Petra was a beer lover. She was the kind of person who knew better than to cheers another with an empty glass. Even if she wasn’t thirsty, she would pour herself a sip of something to seal the deal. On the night of Kat’s engagement she had already drank her share before the thing even started. Still reeling from finding her boss dead in the foyer that morning, she knew she would need a little help getting through her best friend’s party.
Dylan wasn’t the nicest guy in the world, but to leave the world lonely, just steps away from the Naloxone?

“A master-beggar art thou.” by Julia at her desk

Tuesday January 8, 2019
10:13pm
5 minutes
Kim
Rudyard Kipling

I don’t want your money but if you send a cheque I’ll cash it
I don’t want your pity but if attention’s coming I’ll stash it
So many times I’ve said I wouldn’t stoop so low
but every day is turning me into a master at limbo
surprise yourself with pleasantries or avoidance or a feeling
never say never cause the holy spirit’s teething
wants a bite of my earthly flesh and all the lies I let in
this is how you get on your knees and pray for all the sinning
I don’t want your money but I’ll take it if it’s there
cause I don’t like to waste things like guilty almost care
I’d rather have your praise but I guess beggars can’t be choosers
I used to crave the fame when I was caught up with the losers
Now I don’t know where I am supposed to be going
Put the money in the hat and hope it don’t start snowing

“heaven is great, earth is great, people are great” by Julia on her couch

Wednesday January 2, 2019
10:21pm
5 minutes
Living the Wisdom of the Tao
Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

There’s a man I walk by everyday on my way to the grocery store. He has a different sign all the time but I know he’s asking for help. I’m waiting for the day he transforms from his sidewalk seat to a radiant standing man with a flowing robe. He will smile at all of us with his kind warm heart and say, “Sorry fuckers, don’t have room on this trolley for the inconsiderate.” Then all the people going in and out of Whole Foods will think about things for a minute. And I will be just like them. Because I have ignored him. I don’t even know what he looks like. I feel bad that I don’t want to give him anything so I walk with my head high in avoidance. I am aware enough to know that I am avoiding the aspect of myself that needs help, the one that doesn’t want pity, the aspect that is not making enough money. I am him and he is me and this lesson is a little too late learned for flowy asshole Jesus.

“in addition to the obvious benefit” by Julia on her couch

Tuesday, November 27, 2018
9:20pm
5 minutes
Nurture
Erica Chidi Cohen

you wouldn’t forget it if you posted a reminder above your desk or on your fridge
maybe you need to post a reminder on the place you put reminders
no shame in needing some help
we all need each other
it’s not a secret
we are each other
(might want to write that one out in bold marker so it pops)
but the woman says she will pray for me and when I say good cause I could use it she says, you might want to try praying yourself you know
like she’s lived double my lifetime or something
I roll my eyes at how obvious it sounds
I used to pray all the time
I guess she’s not wrong
I did pray myself out of a fatal car crash once on the highway
I remember how fast I was going and how little control I had
I didn’t know how stupid I could be until that moment
jesus’ name soared out of my mouth as high as I soared in that 96 toyota

“It is a highly awkward effort” by Julia on the Brown Line

Sunday September 16, 2018
5:55pm
5 minutes
How to Unthink (In Two Movements)
Jill Boettger

The bedsheets wake up bloody and somebody’s name gets cursed for choosing white. Not my name, I’ll tell you that. The first tears are muted into the pillow at 6AM. The second at seven. The stomach starts talking to me around ten after eight and starts yelling at nine. So far universe: 5, me: 0.

When the deep weakness punches back from the reflection in the mirror I know I am on an up-cliff climb without a rope. The first person to get hit in a street fight is usually the one who loses.

Somehow the angel card that gets flipped up from the pile by no one with fingerprints is
Acceptance.

It wasn’t me, I’ll tell you that. You said it wasn’t you.

Acceptance.

“books about people living on the street” by Julia in The Loop, Chicago

Saturday September 8, 2018
10:39pm
5 minutes
Searching, results
Shawn Syms

I walked into a bookstore today. The shelves were lined with post-it-notes telling me which staff member recommended which book. The girl working the counter had a tattoo of a strawberry wearing sunglasses. She recommended the Miranda July and I thought she and I would be friends. Mariella, the store owner, had recommended a few books about the housing crisis and single room occupancies. When I asked the girl with the same lipcolour on as me if she had read Mariella’s recommendations, she got real quiet and said, Mar used to live on the streets. She built this place so it’d be here for anyone who might need it. That’s why we’re open so late.

“Angel texted” by Julia at the studio

Wednesday July 4, 2018
12:26pm
5 minutes
V.I.P. Tutoring
Vanessa Hua

Angel texted, told me to look where I was going and to read while sitting down. It made sense. The text was very much related to a thing I was about to do carelessly. It came right on time.
Angel is always watching over me. I think she thinks she has to. She thinks she has to cause her name tells her she should. I tend to listen to what Angel has to say. If she tells me to wait until the next morning to make a hard decision, I listen. Angel knows how to get me right in the soft. She sent me an e-mail yesterday after waking up at the crack of dawn. She said the sky was “milk-blue” and it melted me. I love when milk is used to describe things, like the sky. I picture Angel knowing more about the sky than anywhere else. Maybe I think she’s from there and her name was given because her mother was a clairvoyant and there’s magic and stardust in her smile. I might name my kid Sunshine so she brightens up people wherever she goes and everyone thinks she’s ‘of the sun’ because her name makes them believe. I could name her Honesty so people are reminded to look inward. But that might be too heavy a burden to carry. What if there is shame? What if she reminds people they have lived in this life with secrets? Maybe she’d remind everyone that we have all lives our lives with secrets.

“My mother, who lost her teeth” by Julia on A and W’s couch

Friday June 15, 2018
9:29pm
5 minutes
What We Lost
Brenda Peynado

I’m praying to anyone who will listen but also to anyone who has the follow through. Not sure if god gets how deeply uncomfortable it is to have a uterus, so I’d rather talk to someone else. I catch myself calling out for my Nonna. She knew how to live with discomfort. With pain. With problems. She was a freaking magician. A soldier. A person with no teeth and the strongest gums you’ve ever seen. Flapping words around her mouth like weapons. Like violin lessons. She kept her dentures in a yellow cup over night. She once moved her entire living room around with a broken arm because “it had to get done.” And no it did not have to get done. Nothing did. Everyone told her to sit down and rest for once. I’m calling on her now because she didn’t have an off switch. She’s probably making god’s bed while god is still laying in it. She did not let anything stop her. Not even a little bit.

“Do everything as slowly as possible” by Julia at her desk

Friday, April 20, 2018
11:00pm
5 minutes
The Art of Aging
Sparrow

Get here later, take your time
ask the elderly man if he needs
to borrow your elbow while getting
off the plane
bring him to the luggage carousel
and wait for his bags to pop through
the shute so you can help him pull
them off
Be the kindness that I know
Be the patient peace
Let the family of five go ahead
of you in line for the taxi
do not ask your driver to put a
rush on the ride home
Lover, I will be waiting for
your arrival with all the
bounty and welcoming of a midday
reunion
I will kiss you like time is
not the enemy
I will be close to sleep but
being closer to you will keep
me rested until we are in each
other’s arms
Stop for french fries if you’re
hungry and bring your bags up
one by one
Do not worry about the clock now
I will be here when you get here

“she will not live long.” by Julia at her desk

Wednesday, April 18, 2018
11:21pm
5 minutes
june 20th
Lucille Clifton

Mary-Beth gets a chicken
and she loves her with
all her heart because that’s
what a chicken does
to a person

You wouldn’t think it
but it’s true
They are bringing
chickens into senior citizens’
homes to help fight all
the loneliness

Mary-Beth lets Fiesta
(That’s her chicken’s name)
sit on her shoulder while
she is playing checkers with
Anthony and Robin
Fiesta helps her heart beat
to more music than ever
and she also helps her win
at checkers

“Bill and Madge” by Julia on her couch

Sunday, March 25, 2018
11:24pm
5 minutes
The Wreck Up Ahead
Poe Ballentine

M: Billy, come down here, the darn TV went off again!

B: So turn it back on again dear Liza!

M: Har har very funny. It won’t stay on, I already tried.

B: Did you unplug it, plug it back in, wiggle the cord, and say a little prayer?

M: Billy, for Chrissakes, get down here!

B: Say it, Madge.

M: Say what?

B: The magic words. All of em, in a row: Billy, my one and only, I need your help.

M: Are you out of your goddamn mind? Why do you think I’m asking you to come down here in the first place you egomaniac!

“It was a wild weekend” by Julia on her couch

Friday October 13, 2017

5:33pm

5 minutes

cnn.com

Holy balls I can’t hear out of my left ear and I am not even mad. I thought I would be devastated if I lost my hearing but I’m fine. I think that’s what happens when you get older. When the real things matter. Anyway I’m not even bragging just trying to make peace with the things that are out of my control. Been cleaning more these days. Been organizing everything I can. They say it’s best to organize things that don’t have a heart beat. Cause you can’t control anything with one but sometimes you still need to put things in their perfect order. I’m upset that Lara is sick. She won’t tell me how bad it is but I know she’s been going to the doctor’s office more and more. At first I thought she was just pregnant. That would have been a whole different jar of worms and I think it’s safe to say now that a baby would not be the solution.

“a friend, and all around super amazing person” by Julia on the 84

Thursday October 12, 2017
9:44pm
5 minutes
from the bunz faceboook page

I’m

Vouching

For you

Like you deserve it

Like you’ve earned

some kind of love

like this

Thank you

is something you

can say to me

if you’re looking

for words after

all this is over

Thank you

will never get old

I can’t say I’ll

forget that if you

weren’t who you are

I wouldn’t be thinking

twice about helping

you but you’re lucky

I already love you

You get the friend

discount of me not

slapping your ass all

the way to next Tuesday

Some people would

be through with you

Some people would

ask to see your

transcripts

and driving records

“I’d be fucking rocked if I were you.” By Julia on the 4

Wednesday October 11, 2017

8:54pm

5 minutes

From a text

He forces my wrist until it is twisted up and screaming quietly. He wants me to get into the bathtub. I don’t know why. I let him hold my arm and push until I am kneeling beside the tub and looking in. He keeps pointing. I keep imitating him. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do but he is strong for six and this is the first time we’re in a bathroom together. He looks at me like he’s trying to tell me about his pain. His face is contorted and his eyes are loud. I look back at him with as much heart as I can muster. Tell him with my smile he’s not alone. That I’m here. That I’m sorry he’s trapped inside his head with so many feelings and not enough words. He grabs me by the wrist when I try to open the door. He brings me back to the tub. I am breathing loud enough so he might hear it in his skin. I want to save him but I don’t know what from. He is crying without tears. I tell him, it’s okay. It’s okay.

“May all that is unlived in you” by Julia on her couch

Tuesday September 19, 2017
9:47pm
5 minutes
To Come Home To Yourself
John O’Donohue

calling all angels!
I wouldn’t want to go my whole
life never having done that
just in case
maybe it would make something
a little bit more beautiful

I believe that we’re half this
and half that and when the sun
sets we all know what good
looks like
I’ve always felt connected to a vibration more than a heaven
and I think we must all see the magic in one another as surely it does recognize the magic in us

we could all use a little help
a little lift
and lucky lucky
we all have a team warming
up on deck
ready
And damn from high up can
those eyes see

“When your music ends” by Julia on her patio


Sunday August 6, 2017
5:07pm
5 minutes
Spotify

That feeling when your guts are in your throat
when you want to breathe deeply but nobody will let you
the empty swallow that burns your chest
that makes you wish for more time or a disguise

The last song has to be a good one. Maeve and Alexis lay on the floor touching skulls, feet outstretched in opposite directions. Maeve has been planning for a long time and Alexis knows patience. She goes along hand in hand with everything. She is not a pushover. She just never gets tired. Maeve is close to tears. She doesn’t know which one to choose and everyone is putting their two cents in. Alexis has stopped suggesting options. Instead she lays there without thinking about the clock and lets her friend quietly cry.

“associated with anticipated use” by Julia at the studio


Tuesday August 1, 2017
9:04pm
5 minutes
from a GOLDEN artist colours box

I can’t talk to Hollace anymore. Ever since he started forgetting to line both of his eyes I knew something was wrong. Now it’s like he’s buzzing just beyond me but in a glass bubble that keeps him out of reach. He doesn’t seem to want my help and I don’t know if I could help him anyhow. He thinks he’s doing a good job of faking it. He is to most people. Most people can’t tell his personality from his warning signs. He’s tricking almost everybody into loving him. He sometimes gets close to getting me but then I catch him. He’s lying through his sweat, and I see him up close no matter what frame he’s in. In the locker room I put earbuds in but no music. I want to hear what kind of breath he uses around me.

“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.

“Life Lessons From 100-Year-Olds” by Julia at the studio


Sunday July 30, 2017
8:59pm
5 minutes
Youtube

1)Don’t go to bed with makeup on
2)Don’t go to bed with strangers
3)Don’t go to bed
4)Tell him how you feel
5)Tell her what you want
6)Listen to your body
7)Listen to her body
8)Be gentle with his body
9)find the joy
10)Give thanks
11)Visit your parents when you can
12)Write the date on your journals
13)Leave if you want to leave
14)If you want to stay, then really stay
15)Spend the money on quality items
16)Speak to children with respect
17)Watch a sunrise
18)Kiss in public
19)Refuse to let other people decide for you
20)Save yourself
21)Don’t save the red ones for last
22)Kiss your own body parts
23)Take initiative
24)Practice your cursive writing
25)Give thanks

“quite desperate to escape all the people” by Julia on her couch


Saturday July 29, 2017
12:39am
5 minutes
The Humans
Matt Haig


Melissa throws a party for her sister by accident. She doesn’t mean to be in charge but she’s the most capable and everyone knows it. She tries to stay out of it and offer mild help here and there but ends up running the show with a forced smile and a couple stollen tokes. I feel bad that she gets stuck with all the planning. All the dark stuff. All the alone. Her parents don’t call her to ask about her health. They don’t wonder how she’s doing after finding out she needs surgery. They don’t wonder how she’s doing after going through surgery. Instead she’s the reliable one. The one everyone calls when they need to complain. Or throw a baby shower. Or pick up her nieces from dance camp. Melissa tries to be sweet for her sister. For her sister who doesn’t even care about being at the party thrown in her honour.
When I finally manage to get her alone I ask her. Why are you running? Where do you plan on going? Do you need any help?
She laughs in my face and tells me I’m her funniest cousin.

“if indoors, stay indoors” by Julia at her desk


Monday June 26, 2017
10:56pm
5 minutes
from the Central 1 credit union emergency response plan

The man in the green hat was shouting loudly on his cell-phone as he jogged his small dog around the pool and back and back and back.
We watched as he panted into somebody’s ear and didn’t know who to feel more sorry for. Dog included.
I looked at Lexi and knew I would not always love her. I smiled and tugged her shirt at the v.
We stayed there for a while, counting times he reached to yank up his boxer shorts poking through with his phoned hand.
When we walked home I intentionally stepped on the back of her foot and made her yelp.
I kissed her sorry, so sorry, so so sorry.

“All my creative juices” by Julia at the bus stop


Wednesday June 7, 2017
6:10pm
5 minutes
overheard on the patio at Mercury Espresso Bar

squeeze me like a lemon
watch me ooze out all of this bright
pulling my skin apart to spill out
eager like a baby deer
bursting forth from her mother
ready to walk wrong and everything
use every part of me to help-
to decorate, to brighten
do not throw me away after the good stuff
transform all my busted flesh
into a body scrub for later

“borrows and ruins your clothes” by Julia on couch


Sunday May 7, 2017
9:38pm
5 minutes
from a tweet by Mara Wilson

Jess helps me get ready to go out and meet my co-star, the director, and the show runners. She lets me borrow her black pumps and the sheer olive top that looks great with my faux-leather pants. She lends me jewelry. She boosts me up.
I arrive, nervous, to the cocktail bar. I am tipsy after the one drink I let him order for me. I almost leave my bag.
At the restaurant I am drunk again. I order a dish but I have no idea what I’m getting. The drunk laughs. The drunk tries to hide her shame that she ended up just getting a pasta. The drunk spills pasta in cream sauce on Jess’s sheer olive shirt. She stains it. She almost leaves her bag.

“Every day 6-9 PM” by Julia on the 99


Monday April 3, 2017
10:17pm
5 minutes
from the napkin dispenser at Allegro Coffee

Dalia opens her shop at five and waits till six for the people to come. She’s afraid of missing the early bird who considers her the worm. She doesn’t change the sign on the door because if someone comes by it’s a bonus and it’s a secret and it’s more special that way. Dalia doesn’t bring a book to kill the time. She does not believe in killing the only thing that heals all wounds. She doesn’t do anything but sit. Dalia likes to make sure the early birds know they are welcome; that they’ll be fed. Dalia sits there until nine o’clock every night, sometimes ten. Some early birds are really owls anyway.

“If all your favourite makers got together” by Julia on Lindsay’s couch


Monday March 20, 2017
1:48am
5 minutes
Steal Like An Artist
Austin Kleon


i know anout making things
two hands
heart beating
connected tissue
i would ask about making big things
four hands
hearts in sync
canvas and words
i want to tell you that it’s not all beautiful
but none of it is bad
it makes you
feel alive and
full of possibility
when the minutes are salty
from marinating in think juice
in sweat
mind body connection
collaboration we cling to
we know our own rhythm until
we mix the unknowing
with the craft
i know about making things
there is never only one person

    “periodic assessment” by Julia on her couch


    Sunday March 19, 2017
    8:54pm
    5 minutes
    from a contract

    There was a scrawny boy, from my teaching days, who used to come into my office for extra help on his map reading at recess. He was very worried that he wasn’t picking up on the navigation unit as comfortably as the other children so I worked with him as best as I could and showed him plenty of examples. He seemed to always wear that same confused face even after I felt I had made things very clear. I tried not to get frustrated that he’d come in every day to work on the unit that everyone else had figured out with relative ease. I asked him one day if he thought coming in to see me was helping him. That’s when he told me he had understood the whole time but was afraid of recess because of Tyler, who sometimes tripped him while he ran.

    “Definition of knowledge” by Julia on her couch


    Thursday March 9, 2017
    11:00pm
    5 minutes
    from an email

    Mama says not to ask him for help with opening jars. She says try to do it on your own. She says visualize yourself opening it. She says breathe through it. She says by any means necessary. Mama teaches you the elastic trick and the knife knocking. Says to pop the bottom. Say to run it under hot water. Says to uses a wet rag. Says to visualize yourself asking for help and him looking smug. Mama says don’t let him look that way. Mama says make it a habit you forget how to break.

    “winners are allowed acceptance speeches” By Julia at her desk


    Friday March 3, 2017
    9:11pm
    5 minutes
    http://www.filmfreeway.com

    I can’t believe this is happening. I really, truly didn’t think I would ever live to see this day. I am touched and honoured and humbled by this moment. Truly. I am in shock. I have a lot of people I need to thank: my sister for bringing me my own clothes every week and for reading to me while I couldn’t do much else but lay there. I want to thank my brother for driving into town instead of going on his honey moon. Thank you, that was very meaningful to me and I will never forget it. I want to thank my doctors. Without you, I would still be thinking this was all in vain. I owe you much more than gratitude. Thank you for enstilling a faith in me I thought had been snuffed out. I want to thank my friends for writing to me. Your letters kept me lifted and I will respond to every last one down to the line, I can promise you that. I’m sorry, I’m just-this is inconceivable. It feels like moments ago…and also like a dream.

    “Well I can’t.” By Julia on the 4 bus


    Sunday February 12, 2017
    3:23pm
    5 minutes
    Overheard on the 4 bus

    Tommie was rocking her newborn baby in her arms and humming gently when the telephone rang. She stopped suddenly but decided to keep going so Alex wouldn’t wake up again. She didn’t seem to mind the noise but the motion, or lack there of, she’d definitely notice. Tommie hadn’t been expecting a call or any visitors. Nobody seemed to come around these days. People weren’t too interested in seeing her after she took off without telling anyone. They didn’t understand that she needed to be far away from it all when she delivered. They didn’t want to know why she couldn’t just ask for help. Alex yawned in her arms but stayed asleep. The telephone rang again.

    “confused about her life path” by Julia on her couch


    Sunday January 29, 2017
    8:19pm
    5 minutes
    from Clairvoyance
    Mary Ellen Flora


    There are days that pass that feel lighter than they are because the heaviness is elsewhere. But when the heaviness is back it’s all that there is. Nothing relative. Nothing to compare it to, it is everything and nothing and nothing that is everything. One day last week KT laughed at her self for returning to her desk with toilet paper stuck to the bottom of her shoe. She didn’t mind the tiny thing and wasn’t embarrassed. That was a heaviness is elsewhere kind of day. Today KT can’t stand without crying and can’t smile without lying and so she does neither. Pete doesn’t ask her what is wrong because he knows she will say nothing or everything and both will be either. He knows that it is nothing and everything but he can’t do a single thing to help.

    “I don’t have any change” by Julia on the 99


    Monday January 16, 2017
    10:56pm
    5 minutes
    overheard on the 99″

    I feel like I ask for help the way young me never could and so it comes out young me when I’m trying not to give away that I have lived but maybe just not out loud until now
    I feel sorry that my vulnerability is showing through my tough smile and then when people guess my age they cant believe how many decades I’ve been alive because the kind of asking for help I produce suddenly weighs heavy like a lightening bolt
    Splitting me and all my good sides into halves and then again and then again
    My lightening is as heavy as my sorry is as heavy as my untapped rage, and all the revenge I’ve ever bled out over
    Young me living through now me is so damn sweet it hurts
    It really fucking does
    When everyone looks at you like you’ve just shown them a new wound on your knee or bottom lip

    “I was so annoyed with Wendy” by Julia on the 99


    Thursday December 8, 2016
    10:56pm
    5 minutes
    overheard at JJ Bean on Cambie

    I had to act like I hadn’t just spent a year covering her ass every time she drank too much to come into work. Where’s Wendy? She’s sick, she’s stuck at the airport, she’s adopting a puppy, she’s at a doctor’s appointment, she’s at home waiting for Rogers, she’s at home because there’s a bat in her living room, she’s taking a personal day, she’s helping someone do something, she’s figuring out something for someone, she’s not coming in today, she sends her regards, she’s sorry she has to reschedule, she’s not coming in today. And part of me still felt bad that I couldn’t come up with a more convincing lie. Or that people probably knew because I had gotten lazy with my excuses. But what was worse was she was still so sad and there was nothing any of us could do. Or maybe there was. Maybe I could have said something. Or offered to take her out for coffee just so she’d remember people cared about her.

    “Final deadline” by Julia in her bed


    Friday October 14, 2016
    11:45pm
    5 minutes
    from the Crazy8s postcard

    I wanted you to be gone before you became a baby deer. I looked at you, sorry. Your tiny legs betrayed you. If I could have helped you I would have. If I could have helped you while helping myself I would have.
    I would have if I could have.
    If I was able.
    If I was happy.
    If I could trust myself.
    If I was happy.
    I didn’t want you to know about the storm. I didn’t want you to worry about getting caught in it.

    “in a less than forgiving city” by Julia at her dining table


    Wednesday September 28, 2016
    7:32am
    5 minutes
    vancouveractorsguide.com

    I came to the place in myself I always worried I’d find. The part that doesn’t have patience for people who don’t pull their weight, the part that doesn’t feel good about having to remind a group of adult children how to get by. Maybe I should have signed up for this in advance. If I had chosen to help people maybe I wouldn’t hate them so much. If I worked in a place where my help was needed…

    I am so disgusted with the hole in my chest that comes from resenting other people. I don’t want to admit it but I need help too. I guess that’s where the pain comes from.

    When I was in elementary school, I was often ahead of the class and I cared about school and being great. I was always assigned to work in pairs with the students who didn’t understand any concepts, or who didn’t like being there. When I asked the teachers why I couldn’t be put with someone who was going to work hard and push me to be better, they all told me the same thing: You’re a strong student, you don’t need help as much as they do.
    So when did anyone look down at me and think, well there’s some potential, why don’t we try to lift that one up? Why didn’t I ever hear, well she could use a mentor or an opportunity?

    “You’re such a big mess” by Julia at her dining table


    Tuesday September 27, 2016
    6:58am
    5 minutes
    Welcome To Your Life
    Grouplove


    I bite my tongue so I don’t accidentally tell you that you’re getting what you deserve right now. I haven’t been one for tact before and I’ll tell you that it’s not an overnight thing for me, but I am trying. Self-righteousness doesn’t become anyone. You’re upset, it’s like you want to cry but you don’t because you know on some level it will just make things worse. My first reaction was to laugh, actually, when you told me. It took seeing you like this for a minute after to realize that my judgments are not very subtle and even you could use some support during this. It’s very hard for me not to tell you that I told you so and that this is a good opportunity for you to get back on track, but my friend Laura is constantly preaching about empathy and you fit the bill for someone who could benefit. But what did you think was going to happen? I can’t for the life of me figure out what was going through your head.

    “I don’t even have kids” By Julia on her couch


    Thursday August 11, 2016
    10:10pm
    5 minutes
    a facebook post

    It’s taken a lot of will power to keep my eyes open and push through. Some days last longer than others. Some days exist only to remind me of how hard it is to get anything done. And if I don’t dedicate myself to it, not every part of me shows up.
    I don’t have kids yet but I know that if I did I would understand lack of sleep even better than I do now. I know that. But until then. I have this.

    “Exactly!” By Julia at her dining table


    Wednesday August 10, 2016
    11:16pm
    5 minutes
    Overheard in the Inside house

    I won’t ever fully know why
    not the colour of the moon that worries me
    the one that knocks me dead and vinegar
    not the salty lines left lining the walls in the room where you
    where you
    where you don’t know me
    where you don’t see what I think I would see your shoes
    where you don’t recognize
    me when I’m me. When I’m
    not the ache in my chest when
    I feel most unseen by you
    not the moments of triumph that feel so
    if only because the others were mercury and iron
    paling in comparison
    but I do know
    but what I do know in this place
    is that I am misery’s companion
    by choice
    by decision
    by the map of my mother’s tears
    and I unchoose myself at the speed of you

    “Take a day trip.” By Julia at her dining table


    Monday August 9, 2016
    10:25pm
    5 minutes
    odysseyonline.com

    Take a day trip
    remember the road and the smell of the car and the first song playing when you start
    Take a trip to a place you’ve never been and take photos
    that make you cringe to do in your own neighbourhood
    Sing each other your favourite lyric
    record yourselves in conversation
    forget that you’re recording
    lay on the grass
    Get a little bit dirty
    Take a trip
    Leave the disappointing
    and ridicule
    and pipe dreams
    and anxiety dreams
    aside

    “an unexpected family thing” by Julia on her bed


    Monday, July 25, 2016
    8:13am
    5 minutes
    From a text

    Annie calls me from the other room to see if I’m awake. I am. But I ignore the ring. Letting it finish its tune before I toss in bed some more to make it seem like I’m still asleep. Annie hasn’t been sleeping well on the couch, even though she says she has been. She makes sad squealing noises throughout the night but doesn’t remember doing it. I know she isn’t well but I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do. I told Jeremiah about it and he told me he needed at least eight hours sleep to get through his day and if he could sleep on the couch, he would. I told Jeremiah I would sleep on the couch if he would let my sister sleep on my side with him in the bed. He looked at me like I had just swallowed too many blue pills. He shook his head slowly from side to side and said, I don’t know, Lisa, I don’t know.
    For the first time I wonder if Jeremiah is attracted to Annie. Or if he is trying to assert his power.

    “in Canada right now” by Julia at her dining table


    Tuesday, July 19, 2016
    7:13am
    5 minutes
    from a Facebook comment

    there are a lot of people holding each other tight and saying how lucky we are
    how we may have wanted to leave before, but we don’t anymore
    how there are places to be proud of and how nice it is that ours is one of them
    that there’s love here
    that there’s change here
    but we have a long way to go
    we are not immune to frightened decision making
    we are not ahead of the charge
    we are far from perfect
    because geography helps, but it can’t do everything for us
    we have to rise up when it hurts to do so
    we have to be better than we were yesterday when it feels impossible
    we have to be examples for ourselves first before anyone else will benefit
    we are lucky
    we are so very lucky
    but luck doesn’t mean we don’t have to keep trying
    for the people who have been silenced
    for those who come here looking for acceptance and still find hate on their doorsteps
    there is love here
    but that’s only one part

    “We’ve never found the evidence” by Julia at her dining table


    Sunday May 29, 2016
    2:10pm
    5 minutes
    Thunder Head
    Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child


    According to Elliot, Sharon was supposed to be coming home from work at exactly 5:06pm. We had, according to Elliot, up until 5:00pm to do what we needed to do, and get out before anyone noticed a thing. I told Elliot I wasn’t sure I wanted to go through her things. I didn’t know if I might find some troubling things that I would only realize too late in the game that I wasn’t equipped to deal with what I learned. Elliot told me not to be afraid of the unknown. He said that’s what was making me so paranoid in the first place, and either I suck it up, go in there and be an adult about this, or I could go home and live the rest of my life wondering if I was being lied to. He had a point.
    “You sure your sister won’t be home before 5:00?” I asked one last time, secretly hoping he’d say no.
    “Marcus, my brother. please,” Elliot started, “Why would I lead you astray? You really don’t trust anybody do you?”
    As I was about to check myself for being so caught up in the what ifs, we heard a car pull into the drive way.

    “Anytime, night or day” by Julia at her dining table


    Saturday May 28, 2016
    10:33pm
    5 minutes
    All I Have To Do Is Dream
    The Everly Brothers


    Call me mouth filled with peach cobbler
    I’ll come running
    Call me curlers in, kettle on the stove screaming
    I’ll be there
    Call me moments before sleep
    Or moments right after
    Call me as my dreams play on
    As my body drifts off to stillness
    And I’ll throw on a pair of jeans and show up
    Call me when you’re high
    Call me when you’re low
    When you know you’re wrong
    When you need someone to tell you you’re right
    When you want to laugh
    When you need to cry
    When you don’t have a reason at all
    I’ll drop what I’m doing to make time
    Call me when it’s my fault
    Call me when it’s yours
    Call me to tell me your crazy dream
    Your biggest fear
    Your funniest joke
    Your most embarrassing moment
    Your favourite recipe
    Your new discoveries
    Your life hacks
    Your revelations
    Your promises to me
    Your promises to yourself
    And I’ll come running
    I’ll find a way to meet you
    Because I know
    Without a doubt
    You would do the same for me

    “Ready to rock?” by Julia at Poppy Salon


    Friday May 27, 2016 at Poppy Salon
    4:01pm
    5 minutes
    People Magazine
    March 2016


    Maggie tells me she doesn’t have time to pick me up from the dentist because she’s too busy cutting the sleeves off of her Van Halen t-shirt and to call someone else, like Mom, or Aunt Isabel. The thing is, Maggie already said she would pick me up and I’m supposed to be having a major mouth surgery that they specifically won’t perform on you if you can’t ensure that someone will be there to drive your drugged ass home. I call Maggie back and this time she answers with one of her character voices.
    “Bonjour?”
    “Maggie, don’t hang up, it’s me. I need you to put your fucking craft shears down and come get me after this appointment or they won’t let me do it. You can cut your shirt in the car. Or just be here for 3:30 and do it anytime else. Please.”
    I can hear Maggie’s eyes rolling back in her head as she decides right then and there to either be a good person for once, or the dick that she usually is.