“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.

    “not quite ready for viewing” by Julia at her dining table


    Monday May 2, 2016
    9:45pm
    5 minutes
    from leoawards.com

    Miriam is working on a masterpiece she is not quite ready to show. She has been behind the curtain for 7 years and she is inspired every day to try and improve it, to make it better, to make sure that it’s perfect. She is getting so good at making the mistakes go away that the masterpiece may soon be on display without flaw and will of course be appreciated more. Miriam does not consider that people waiting for her to complete this masterpiece will have many expectations. She does not let that bother her as she is preoccupied with ensuring that her art is living, breathing, and winning. It must win what ever ribbon is awarded to the winner of the production of a masterpiece. Surely a blue ribbon for dedicating so much time to one thing because there was a vision? Miriam could use a blue ribbon. It’d be nice to be reminded why she stays inside creating without ever showing others her work. Must be a reason why she never feels like it’s good enough to offer.

    “you can work on in your backyard” by Julia at her dining table


    Wednesday March 23, 2016
    11:21pm
    5 minutes
    viralnova.com

    Mom calls me from the subway and her phone keeps cutting out because she’s standing on the steps half deciding whether or not to hang up or go and catch her damn train. She calls me back every time and I can’t get any work done or any listening done because we manage to sneak in one or two conjunctions and then there’s static. She’s scared of going to the doctor because she’s convinced they’re going to tell her she’s dying. She’s afraid of cancer. She has no visible symptoms. She is just afraid so she made the appointment. She’s not saying any of this. She’s talking about aunt Rene’s cockatiel and how the Chinese garlic situation has fucked with her tomato sauce. I want to tell her to go and to listen to them tell her that she’s fine but I can’t actually promise anything of the sort. I picture her attached to the subway stairs for hours, clinging in between the knowing and the unknowing of every single thing on this planet. I picture how she feels when she decides the reason she can’t get herself to go is because her only kid is too busy not reading in between her lines to go and be there for her. I put on my shoes.

    “The earth’s insomnia” by Julia at her “New York”


    Wednesday March 16, 2016
    9:04pm
    5 minutes
    Moonlight
    Lorna Crozier


    I have been out stealing rosemary again. Middle of the night. I am not sorry. But I do recognize the pattern. It’s not about much more than needing to have it in my home so I can touch it when I want to and it can calm me down. Some people do the very same thing with animals. I mean maybe they don’t go around at midnight and sneak into people’s front yards, but–I mean they feel comforted by the presence of a pet. So what? I don’t have one of those. I make do. I’m fine. Please don’t ever think my problems will be solved by a cat. They most certainly will not. I don’t need something like that. Thank you for the offer of your offer. I miss my fucking mother. I want to call her and cry and let her love me back to life. I want to tell her that after all that rosemary thieving I didn’t even put any in the roast potatoes. Because I wanted to keep it longer in a vase next to my bed. Because I wanted to hold onto her soft voice telling me for the last time that I was her laugh.

    “A single breast winking,” by Julia on her couch


    Monday February 29, 2016
    11:32pm
    5 minutes
    FWD FWD
    Robin Evans


    In the shadow of chaos she emerges from her pain, long enough to sit up straight and shake off her darkest parts. Sinking in grungy bathwater, reeking of self hate and self punishment, she lets out a wail, a song of her finned underwater comrades. She is touching ocean floor and stratosphere. She is marking both sides of this earth so she can find her place in between them again.
    Her mouth is opened and sound falls out like one last hope-one last plea. She is begging herself to save herself: No muskets, no smoke, no hugs, no rope.

    “Inside our homes there is usually” by Julia on her couch


    Sunday February 28, 2016
    11:44pm
    5 minutes
    from a magazine cutout/em>

    Inside our homes there is usually less noise, more quiet, less hate, more love.
    Usually.
    Tonight there is more crying, less calm, more shaming, less light.
    We are both nothing and everything, trying to love each other’s nothing and everything.
    You do a better job with it than I do. When I am absolutely nothing nothing, you are still everything everything.
    I ask you why you are so nice to me.
    You answer with a forehead kiss and a squeeze.
    I tell you you haven’t left enough space for me here.
    You answer with a squeeze and direct eye-contact.
    You will not let me take any prisoners.
    You are so happy to be brought on board when I remember that you deserve that.
    We are each other’s everything. We are our own nothings.
    I have to remember that part too.
    If I’m painting broad strokes of the everyday, there is usually more laughter, less pain, more teamwork less fight.
    It depends on many things.
    The things that usually happen 100% inside of me.

    “KEEP REFRIGERATED” by Julia on her bed


    Saturday February 27, 2016
    8:12pm
    5 minutes
    From the tetra pack of arugula

    Darling waits for me outside the gym after I’m done my sweat with a big juicy bag of fresh spinach and a muffin devoid of anything delicious in it. Darling really knows me; knows I’m desperately trying to value myself and stop feeding my fears with unnecessary carbs or sugars.
    I swat my hand at Darling as if it were no big deal at all that I had just cycled all of my aggression out for the 2nd time today. Darling smiles and offers me a perfect little towel with the tag snipped off. I know I’ll never have to go one single day without Darling picking me up after a sweat, or a shop, or a mental breakdown on the I-5. Today I want to cry but I don’t know if Darling has brought the necessary preparations for it…

    “It’s all my fault.” by Julia at Platform 7 Cafe


    Wednesday, February 24, 2016 at Platform 7 Cafe
    3:19pm
    5 minutes
    from an e-mail

    I have asked for clarification for the last time from Robbie. He is toxic and hearing his explanations of why he’d prefer to be with Patricia over me has stung for the very last time. I used to need to hear it from his mouth. I’d say, Let me hear it from your two lips, Robbie, tell me exactly why you need her. I want to hear the truth about the tiny heartshaped birthmark next to her left eye that has “cast a fucking spell on you. His earnestness is poisonous and it gets into my veins deep where it can torment me long after I’ve turned off for the night. Gets in my dreams. I thought knowing the words, hearing his reasoning would put this whole thing to bed. I thought it would give me closure or at least act as a critiquing sounding board. I wanted an excuse to get better. I think I also wanted an excuse to blame myself. I am good at taking on Robbie’s shit. I am so good at it I’ve carved out a special place in my life where I store all his stupid behavior and his shitty treatment of me. I take it off the shelves of my heart when I need a reminder that I’m so deeply human when it comes to him—or maybe because of him.

    “Re posting it” by Julia on her couch


    Sunday, January 17, 2016
    9:55pm
    5 minutes
    from a text

    There are a lot of young girls hanging out at the corner store with their ripped jeans and their big black eyeliner.
    My mom thinks those are the girls I’ll want to hang out with so she gives me run around warnings like, “Beth, don’t take any shortcuts home from school.” Or, “Make sure you don’t walk with your face buried in your phone in case someone wants to steal it out of your hands and you don’t have the time to stop them.”
    I guess she has a point or something. Better to pay attention.
    I can tell she’s saying anything she can that doesn’t sound controlling or narrow minded about other people. She doesn’t want me to know that she knows what girls like that are like and only has her gut instincts as a barometer. There’s no proof, no real reason other than she’s deathly afraid of me getting hurt, or falling into the wrong crowd and changing all my core beliefs.
    I can’t begin to talk to her about what’s going on in my life.
    So I tell her, “I will not take shortcuts home from school.”

    “Cookie duty” by Julia on her brother’s old bed


    Wednesday, January 6, 2016
    1:35am
    5 minutes
    Overheard at Platform Seven

    Marta was busy teaching herself Spanish on her new audio learning app. She had her headphones in at all hours of the day and out of nowhere she’d blurt out a “Donde esta el banio?” or a “buenas noches!” even if she was in the middle of a conversation or an activity that did not require Spanish. Marta’s little sister, Leah, had asked her to help her make cookies for her bake sale and Marta told her “me gustaria help you”. Marta pictured herself making cookies for Ambrosio, the ridiculously hot life guard at the community pool who was the reason for her Spanish lessons in the first place.

    “vow to scrap” by Julia at Platform 7 Cafe


    Tuesday, December 22, 2015 at Platform 7 Cafe
    11:29am
    5 minutes
    Overheard on Gerrard St.

    I think I know why
    I don’t want to say why
    I think I know why I can’t keep the moments from turning into monuments
    To keep the steam from turning into smoke
    To keep the cut from turning into scar
    I think I know why I don’t want to say why
    I think I know why I can’t
    I’m sorry
    You say don’t be I’m trying to remember that
    You say don’t try I’m trying to remember not to do that either
    It’s taking some time
    I am not sorry I am not trying
    I think I know why
    I think it scares me more than it might scare you
    Human beings dancing without the proper shoes
    Eagles flying without wings
    You work hard to keep my wound a slice
    To keep my throbbing a pulse
    To keep my hyperventilating a breath
    I think I know why
    But I don’t say why

    “Closed now” by Julia on her couch


    Monday, December 14, 2015
    11:26pm
    5 minutes
    From a Google search

    Nobody is here to take your coat. Nobody is here at all. They all went home. Sanders said they could go early for Christmas. Sanders told them all they had to come to a unanimous decision. At first Donna didn’t want to go early because she was worried she wouldn’t have enough money to buy her son the snowboard he wanted. She cried for about 30 minutes straight until Lise and Desmond told her they’d chip in to help. They just wanted to get out of there. They were worried that Sanders would make them stay the whole night just cause he didn’t have anyone to go home to. Donna finally agreed and wouldn’t stop saying “thank you so very much. Thank you to the moon and back!”
    I’m only here because I was waiting for you…

    “Rainfall warning” by Julia on her couch


    Thursday November 12, 2015
    10:31pm
    5 minutes
    from the weather network

    Hasn’t stopped raining for weeks. Grant called last night to tell me he was sorry and wished he could have stopped by more. I told him not to worry, there were enough people coming by the house to make sure I was getting out of bed. He asked if Mary-Beth made he famous Parmigiana and I said yeah, for the third time. Hasn’t stopped raining since. When I found out, Grant was on his way over to drop off a pair of winter gloves for Owen so he was there when it all hit. He gave me a long hug and told me it was going to be okay. I didn’t let him leave me that night and he’s still acting strange about it. I don’t know why he feels bad, nothing matters anymore. I’m the one who has to live with it, and all I know is life is pretty short so nothing fucking matters. Hasn’t stopped raining for weeks.

    “guiding his life direction” by Julia at her desk


    Tuesday November 10, 2015 at Brendee’s table
    5:18pm
    5 minutes
    from a student’s short story

    Met up with Cheyrl, the psychic, who was really just my friend’s older sister, Talia, wearing a kerchief and staring into lava lamps. She told me she was going to get my life on track, but first we must see the path it’s on right now. I don’t know, maybe Parker was just trying to help, but I didn’t think I needed a psychic to tell me that I was unhappy. Cheyrl laid out a deck of cards with angels on them. She told me to centre my heart’s vision on picking three cards that are spiritually calling to me. I asked her if it’s just a reaction, or do I actually hear something calling me, and if she could please tell it to me straight so I don’t have to get all up in it for nothing.

    “best learning environment” by Julia on her couch


    Monday November 2, 2015
    5:21pm
    5 minutes
    from the post for an English tutor

    Ok, hi, can I ask you a favour? My sister, Mandy is in desperate need of assistance and I do not know if I alone can assist her. Maybe if I explain to you her issues, you’ll be able to better asses if you, in fact, can lend your help, or if you my know someone who is better equipped to deal with the inner workings of a twelve year old than you or I both are.
    Ok, so, realistically speaking, she is unable to remember daily routine information. She does not know the names of her teachers, or if she has been using the blue toothbrush or the yellow one, even though all our lives we have had our very specific colours. She no longer enjoys watching reruns of Punky Brewster, which was her ever-living favourite television program of all time.
    She also refuses to practice her times tables or eat ricotta cheese!

    “create and manage an expense” by Julia at 49th Parallel


    Saturday October 3, 2015 at 49th Parallel
    3:35pm
    5 minutes
    A financial website

    It’s about weighing the pros and cons, making a full spreadsheet of all the good and the bad and deciding if, after all that, it’s worth it or not. In the past I have made some critical errors when deciding major things. I didn’t use all of my resources the way I should have and I refused to consult a professional. BECAUSE I WAS BEING CHEAP. Cheap with my time and with my money and with my investments because I wasn’t treating my investments as investments but as burdens, WHICH THEY WERE NOT. So that’s the short of it, whether you do it or not is up to you. I can give you a couple examples. Of course I can. This information is not mine to have, it’s ours to share, it’s what makes the world go round, ETC. ETC. Okay so in a column you could put PROS: QUITTING MY JOB and in the one next to it you could put CONS: QUITTING MY JOB. You don’t have to write both titles twice, but for the sake of clarity, now you can understand that you’re COMPARING and CONTRASTING here. That’s very important. So. Quitting. Tell me one reason why that would be a negative thing. Always start with the negatives. It’s better, because if you notice yourself struggling to come up with them, then you’ve probably already made your decision. Then, less work!

    “putting on sweat pants and sunglasses” by Julia on her couch


    Saturday September 26, 2015
    10:40pm
    5 minutes
    a tweet

    Harley is sick again. She tells us this. She sips her “fluids”. That’s what she calls them, her “fluids” when they’re clearly as simple as chamomile tea or apple cider vinegar and honey. Harley is always sick and I stopped believing it was true about a year ago. She shows up to our meetings with sweat pants and sunglasses on, drinking her “fluids” and she doesn’t talk above a whisper.
    “Why didn’t you just stay at home in bed if you’re not feeling well?”
    “I don’t want to let you guys down.”
    “Well you’re hurting us more than helping us. You could spread the germs.”
    “I think the contagious part is over, I think I’ve tackled that part on my own already.”
    “Okay, so should we get started? Harley, let’s see your notes for the–”
    Harley is sick again. She tells us this. She sips her “fluids” and gives excuses for not completing her work. I don’t know why we keep her in the group. Maybe because we see that she needs us more than we need her. Maybe because she’s my baby sister and I have to make sure she doesn’t fall off the face of the planet.

    “a work in progress” by Julia on the futon


    Monday September 21, 2015
    11:33pm
    5 minutes
    from a dramaturge’s notes

    I stare into the mirror, I am naked.
    Paint me.
    I hear myself say.
    I am naked.
    Am I ashamed?
    Paint me.
    Do I need clothes?
    Paint me something good.
    I hear myself whisper to myself.
    I want layers of art. Not fabric.
    Paint my heart, thumping.
    And I do.
    Paint my lungs singing.
    And I do.
    Paint my mind growing.
    Paint my skin softening.
    Paint my posture straightening.
    Paint my arms strengthening.
    Paint my smile more genuine.
    Paint my eyes brightening.
    Paint my worries lessening.
    Paint my self-consciousness subsiding.
    Paint my risk taking.
    Paint my understanding.
    Paint my learning.
    And I do. I do.

    “We cannot diagnose or advise” by Julia in the car


    Sunday September 20, 2015
    12:05pm
    5 minutes
    http://www.bcwomens.ca

    I don’t know what day I’m on. I sincerely don’t. I don’t think it’s wise to try and self-diagnose right now, but I do know that I’m somewhere between not good and not getting better. So. There’s that.
    On the plus side, Madeline is coming to visit us on Friday and she’s staying till the following Thursday. She can take care of Dottie on some days so I don’t have to do it. I’m lucky I can pass her off to someone else without it seeming like I don’t want to help. Maddy adores Dottie and she wants to help. I think when she takes her I’ll take myself out to the shed and get some of the sanding done on the old rocking chair. The last time I went to do it I realized I didn’t have any strength in my wrist and I assumed it was just a lack of sleep. We’ll see once Maddy gets here if my wrist has returned to normal, and my mind has followed suit. I could hazard a guess at what I think is going on with me, but like I said, probably isn’t so wise.