“climbing into theirs” by Julia at the studio

Monday June 11, 2018
12:45pm
5 minutes
Suburban Bitch Curse
Akhim Yussef Cabey

I think I want to justify anything and everything and I can because I do
I am I am
I can I can
And you can justify all my bad habits with a knowing smile
a smile that makes me wish I had waited to tell you the truth about me
I find myself climbing into their skin to have compassion
I was told that’s how to heal the heart
You tell me gossip is useful and I laugh because the sweethearts
in my past life have told me the opposite
but I am so glad that I have met you and you’re saying this
so I have someone to bitch to, moan to, try out some of my new jokes about humans existing alongside the flaw of one another
We are all existing alongside the flaw of one another and isn’t that so damn beautiful?
Anything we do can sound lovely when underscored properly
I would choose The Digger’s Waltz and you might pick a different one
My lens could be nicely rose coloured and you
are allowing the side of me flourish that I don’t think everyone should see
Flourish
Bloom
I am afraid of so much and being so little
How can I be better if I keep myself small
I will climb inside my own skin to find out and you will always be the platform
that I get to wonder out loud to
I wonder if anyone wants to climb into mine?
If you do?
If you already have

“Let us briefly consider the back” by Julia at her desk

Tuesday June 5, 2018
7:05pm
5 minutes
The Other Side
Sarah Ball

Built for carrying heavy all up and down the stairs
Used to holding tension in the crevices that can’t be reached without injury
The smoothest skin on the weakest part of me
The softest muscles bending forward and forward and the other way
Let us, if we might, consider how we can’t see it but must trust it’s there
even when it feels like it’s been buried under all the heavy
carried up and down the stairs
I would watercolour the shit out of yours, painting tiny villages along your spine
planting flowers at the base of the hinge that folds you
I would write you the sweetest words with the nicest flowing pen
straddling your hips, using your bum as a seat
and I would breathe life into you that you will never see without the help of a mirror
but will have to trust is there

“the fortifiers of human agency” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Tuesday March 27, 2018
11:10pm
5 minutes
On Being

it’s a being human problem
slump of the shoulders
puff of the chest
rise of the belly
imagining the world
without us

that’s the thing
the world will continue
it’s us who won’t

another species extinct
makes a low down
low down headline
(lowline) shows the priority

when it’s us
no one will report
or will they

trying to carve hope
out of despair
belief out of devestation
trying to hold the future
the anger
the explaining that of which
there’s none

it’s a being human problem
one moment the rapturous joy
of love and a slice of orange
the next moment
this

If you believe it has been lost, stolen or compromised.” By Julia on her couch

Wednesday December 13, 2017
6:11pm
5 minutes
BC Revenue Services

There’s that ring in the ears…

When a thief fears being stolen from, or a liar paranoid of being lied to.

We all find our cells interlocked with the cells of the mirror. The truth scares us because we have not told it. The worry of someone who is capable of taking something that doesn’t belong to them is because we know we have already waited for the perfect umbrella to be left behind. The perfect chance to live, risk, live.

There is no scolding.

No judgement.

No scorn.

No blame.

“I could be wrong” by Julia in her bed


Friday September 8, 2017
12:45am
5 minutes
overheard at 16th and Oak

I do not like to be right
whole world can challenge me on that
might think I don’t know how to be wrong
that I won’t stand for it
I am
not
as
strong
as the world might think I am
I still Leave drippings on the burner
I still Set off the fire alarm after asking other hands to be more careful
I still Pee sometimes before pulling down my underwear
I still Find myself wearing my heart on my cheek like a cat scratch
I do not like to be right
oh how the kingdom does fall when I get what I want
and I do not want to be right
there is not enough time in a day to beg for the opposite
nobody gets it
they don’t know how painful it is
how lonely
how sad
Not just about other hands
about who I thought I was
The reckoning tastes a little
too much like an avocado
on its last day in the basket
before becoming
nothing
but
waste

“bigger than my hand laid out flat” by Julia on the other chair


Monday March 27, 2017
9:29pm
5 minutes
from an assignment

If we’re trading in gesutures…
I extend my hand
I look you in the eye
I wait for you to meet me
you take my hand
we do the cheorgraphed move to symbolize greeting
shake
and drop

You raise your head high above my head
I aim to connect
with my flesh on yours
we do the rehearsed beat to symbolize rhythm
and how we like to make sound out loud
every now and again

If we’e trading gestures…
I’ll give my laugh
for his lips

“You know I will oh baby” by Julia at her desk


Friday March 17, 2017
9:33pm
5 minutes
Never Had A Dream Come True
S Club 7


For almost two years we have been meaning to go to Burgoo. For almost two years the blue name lit up on the front of the restauant always called to us. Tonight, we finally make the dream a reality. We had heard good things from friends and locals. And it’s Friday, we want to get out of the house, we want to spend time together, it’s raining; it’s going to be Burgoo. And then we sit down, read the menu, and we realize…that we have spent almost two years assuming that it’s a burger place. There were no burgers. Because Burgoo is a stew from Kentuky that has okra in it.

“with one hundred hands each” by Julia the VPL


Thursday March 16, 2017
6:20pm
5 minutes
Age Of Bronze Betrayal
Eric Shanower


Hold me like the sun is going down for the last time–
like the nights are long
like the mornings are extinct.
Keep me alive under a dead moon–
under a baren sky
under a hurt wing.

With one hundred hands you will know enough
how to close the door without waking me
how to prepare a tea without asking me
how to teach my skin what it’s worth.
With one hundred hands can you memorize my scars–
how the thick one reeks of curiosity,
how the raised one is a reward for the brave?

“Would you like to try?” by Julia on the reading chair


Saturday January 14, 2016
9:21pm
5 minutes
Overheard at Sweet Cherubim

I am in love with the way your skin stretches over machine
and keeps your bones warm
I am moved by your seeing spots and your seen spots and your perceived spots.
I like the way your muscles know just how to come into use without being used to embarrass your flesh.
I fully endorse the sounds you make that sound like happiness and the ones you make that sound like pain.
I am in love with your stomach solving problems and storing information in the most organized of ways.

“she honestly does not have those impulses” by Julia at her dining table


Wednesday November 16, 2016
8:48pm
5 minutes
Dear Sugar Radio


I used to say no when I was younger
Labelled difficult
Used to feel everything so strongly
labelled irrational
emotional
sensitive
weak
My sister is 7 and I am 5 and she is having her first Holy fucking communion
I am 5 and she is 7 and she is wearing white, hair in a bun, dressy shoes, holding a rosary
holding attention
getting gifts
for being older?
For having hair that cooperates into a bun?
I am 5 and she is 7 and I have to smile in photographs because my dress is being cute and that is my only job too?
I say No to the photos and to the people fussing over her and to this stupid fucking dress that is not cute enough to keep me from scowling
Labeled younger sister
labeled difficult
irrational
sensitive
jealous
I am 5 and my sister is 7 and everybody loves her more than me
and no one explained this part to me
and nobody warned me about the shadow
and nobody told me I was allowed to feel anything
Nobody heard No and thought
that’s right
let’s not betray ourselves
let’s feel what we feel
and still love each other

“Hey hey hey” by Julia on the bus


Tuesday November 15, 2016
8:48pm
5 minutes
A Rufus Wainwright song


I forget if I’ve already told you…that I can’t do this? I have mentioned that to you, right? Well at any rate, I can’t, and I won’t, and if we have to have this discussion again we most certainly will not ever be doing it. Not ever because that will be breaching all of the serious codes and I do not go back on the promises I make to myself. I mean, hey, yeah, I used to. Up till even last week I was still showing up all lie-faced and comfortable. But since I’ve made the positive changes in the direction of my one bright and shiny future, I have been signing a lot more verbal contracts with others and myself and I’m actively avoiding saying yes to things that do not bring me joy or help or heal or offer positive light. So this thing we’re doing, this date, or this donut, is not for me. This is not for me.

“Not to be pulled savagely” by Julia on her couch


Monday November 14, 2016
10:36pm
5 minutes
Canvas
John Coyote


These days I am built out of gossamer drenched in oil
I sit heavy with stillness
My bones are chalky inside their covering
Nobody knows how to hold me
The air is thick with loneliness
And every voice outside my head that tries to calm me sticks to my unease and pulls savagely
And I am without fortress
Even fresh lines and hot ink bind me
I am old and new at the same time and my centre has moved to another spot that I don’t have a compass for

“Unmasked” by Sasha at Nadeem’s desk


Thursday October 27, 2016
7:56pm
5 minutes
A Manitoba concert hall sign

There is nothing about you that I don’t want to consume there is nothing about you. Your mistakes are the most delectable because they convince me that you are in fact human. Flesh, shit, bones, brains, heart, sinew. I learned about human when I started gorging on junk. Sugar, shit, bones, brains, salt, salt, sinew, guts. I learned about human when the world fell apart when my Dad left. I tempted human when I fucked anyone that made good eye contact. I chased human when I moved far far away.

“I head straight to the office” By Julia on her couch


Friday August 12, 2016
10:19pm
5 minutes
Instyle Magazine
May 2015


For the third night in a row I have come home from the office and screamed into my pillow-I don’t know how much longer I can take it-I am starting to look forward to coming straight home from work—
I found his lies in the back pocket of his jeans. I asked him why it took so long for him to get lazy. Why now? Because I know he wanted to be caught because he wanted to tell me why and he wanted to tell me it was because of me. So. I asked him and he told me he was no longer happy. As if that’s supposed to erase 4 whole years of loving someone. Because to love someone for four years breaks your heart on the best of days. As if being no longer happy excuses the sneaking around and justifies the betrayal. It is a betrayal because I trusted my heart with him. It is a betrayal because he knew it would hurt me and he did it anyway.

“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

“change has alway happened in the margins” By Julia on her couch


Sunday August 8, 2016
10:00pm
5 minutes
Becoming Wise
Krista Tippett


I can’t recall his clothes but I remember his hands and the way his neck smelled. I held him for longer than I would have if it were anyone else. I held him longer than I would have but long enough for him to feel welcomed. I don’t blame him for seeking us out, looking for a safe space to exist among us but not within us. I wanted him to feel wanted. And brave. But also I wanted to reward his bravery. I wanted to include him the way he so desperately needed to be included. The way I so desperately needed to be included instead of just passing. The way I would never have asked for what he asked for even if what he asked for was exactly what I needed. I can’t remember his drink, but I remember his face. And his voice. And his smile.

“the life of his human counterpart” By Julia at The Deklab County Public Library


Sunday August 7, 2016 at the Deklab County Public Library
2:14pm
5 minutes
Unsaid
Neil Abramson


It was hard to see him through the rain but I didn’t have to see his face to know who he was. Michael kept his head down as if the stream of water cascading down his hair could shield his eyes. I knew that he was crying. I knew that stance anywhere. I hadn’t seen him in months and still knew he had gotten a hair cut too. I wasn’t sure if I should approach him first or wait for him to see me. I didn’t want to disrupt whatever praying he might have been doing. I didn’t want to interrupt his ritual of getting right with himself before he came to find me. The life of his human counterpart was just as complex, and he knew that too. Hell, from behind the heavy sheets of rain pouring down on us, I’m sure he could see that I was doing my work to get right with myself just the same as he was.

“everything I possibly can” by Julia at Starbucks


Tuesday July 12, 2016 at Starbucks
6:28am
5 minutes
from a text

I sit on the edge of my nothingness like it’s a cloud and I’m in love with it. I am cotton candy insides and I’m melting away leaving a trail of rainbow guts and tie-dyed blood. There is nothing wrong with my nothingness and for the first time in all the time there ever has been, it is peaceful instead of not. Acceptance of nothingness is a road with bumps and potholes and with poor lighting sometimes but usually free of other travelers because it’s a long one and there is enough room for everybody. There is a space now between yesterday’s pain and tomorrow’s worry and it’s all here all now- all everything I’ve been avoiding- because feelings are attached to beliefs and those things get stuck pretty hard as a system that limits me if I let it. I dangle my feet off the edge of nothingness now like it’s a dream and I’m no longer trying to catch it. No flash photography here to capture it, just smiling into the places that can be so easily filled with words words words.

“spread the word” by Julia at Starbucks


Monday July 11, 2016 at Starbucks
7:01am
5 minutes
from an e-mail

There are crazy people everywhere. Waiting to get on a bus, complaining about a dirty table, screaming about the bugs in their hair. Some days I am this way. I can see myself reacting, overreacting to things and I don’t recognize my face. It’s like some crazy person has hijacked my body to do all their crazy things. I know it’s me, but it feels like a movie or video game. My therapist says I can’t be held responsible for things I do or how I behave outside my “window of tolerance”. She says that trauma can lead to the window being broken wide open and that’s how things become blurry; hard to control; hard to keep rational. I told her, I don’t know how I could do it, I never wanted to do it, and she said, well it’s that “window of tolerance” thing we talked about and would you like to go back in time and speak to your six year old self right now?

“it would be like not listening at all” by Julia at Starbucks


Friday July 8, 2016 at Starbucks
6:49am
5 minutes
When I Am King, Dilly Dilly
Don Cummer


I wake up everyday already loving you, you’re at, let’s say 20%. You know, like a server at a restaurant: I go in and I give you the benefit of the doubt, I start you at a 20% tip and if you mess up by being rude, I knock a couple percent off. I have no ill intentions, I don’t go to a restaurant expecting to be disappointed. I expect kindness. I expect good food. I expect thoughtfulness. And I expect, sometimes more than I should, a freebie of some sort. And then because I’ve eaten out at other restaurants before, I compare this service to that service to this service to that service, and I know when I’m not being treated right. I also know because I was a server once too, and it’s not hard to remember what was involved in a customer experience job. I wake up everyday at the top of my love for you. And then you forget to buy the garbage can again, or print off the movie tickets, or you bring home the light mayonnaise even though I specifically asked you NOT to get the light mayonnaise, for reasons that don’t need to be stated here. I’d say you’re lucky if you’re getting a base tip of 15% by lunch time.

“where the water is still” by Julia at Starbucks


Thursday July 7, 2016 at Starbucks
6:59am
5 minutes
Cranes and Egrets
Marlene Cookshaw


I will meet you there at our favourite spot
the one where we feel like we’re in our own little world
early in the morning before the rest of the ones who need the sun
even see it
where the water is still
where the sail boats line up so perfectly
camping on the ocean
When you need to remember why we chose each other
when you need to feel big in your smallness
I will
I will always.
I will meet you there
at our favourite spot
where the moments feel full
and little ducks rest on rocks
the one where we’re one
with each other
and with the sky

“behind your kiss” by Julia at Starbucks


Wednesday July 6, 2016 at Starbucks
7:05am
5 minutes
When I touch you; Peter Ilyanov
Diana Brebner


Behind your kiss I can feel
the thing you’re trying desperately
not to ask me.
Did you do it?
Would you do it?
Do you still love me?
Am I enough for you now
that you’re bigger
than you used to be?
Don’t ask don’t tell;
maybe something I taught you,
maybe something you taught me.
But your lips leak your secret,
parting the seas
every open close pucker and smack.
Each breath
you take
parts the seas for the truth
to spill
out
into
my
mouth,
drowning me,
or begging me to swim.
I watch you sometimes
from behind my eyes,
searching for meaning
and a reason.
Do I need to answer everything
for you?
Have you never looked
inside yourself
for something you need?
Will you ever be enough
for you?
Your tongue licks and flicks
all the possibilities of honesty
to the roof
of
my
mouth.
Behind your kiss,
there is a flood coming.
Ask me no questions, I’ll tell you no lies;
maybe something you taught me,
maybe something I taught you.

“dies in slow motion” by Julia at Starbucks


Tuesday July 5, 2016 at Starbucks
7:06am
5 minutes
In Search of Agamemnon
Bruce F. Fairley


Cut to me, 4 years old–MAYBE 5– and all the tiny humans in Mrs. Beliveau’s class have just come back from an assembly. We don’t have enough time to learn anything, not that we really ever did, so Mrs. B. tells us we can play on the structure if we can change as quickly as possible into our gym clothes. I see no one is on the structure and for some reason today I need to be the first one. So I strip down and throw on my shirt and I go running up to Mrs. Beliveau to ask her if I may “board the spaceship” (because we were in kindergarten and that’s what we called it, even though it looked nothing like a spaceship)and she looked down at me and said, “you may, as soon as you have some pants on.” And I looked down and I was standing there in my orange-starred underwear, in front of everyone, made to be aware of shame for the first time in my tiny life. I did whatever Macaulay Culkin got hired for in Home Alone then proceeded to die in slow motion; my face a shade of fire that burned me to death.

“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.

“a sneak peek” by Julia at her dining table


Saturday,January 23, 2016
6:57pm
5 minutes
a Facebook Post

I’m teaching my kid about privacy. Started with me locking my bedroom door because she wasn’t aware that there were any differences between my space and hers.
It’s heartbreaking. It doesn’t feel good to hear her scratch at the door and blame herself for being locked out. I think it’s a good lesson, I guess. Or I thought it was. I don’t know what it means except that I’m illustrating how my kid needs to ask for permission to exist….
I don’t want my kid to think she needs to ask someone else before she can do what she wants. Not that she should always get to do what she wants..Or should she? I don’t know what I’m supposed to be teaching her. Is she going to grow up thinking there were no doors open to her when she was just being herself? Is she going to think that I am only available for her when I decide, and not when she needs? Is that a good thing? Independence or something…I don’t know now. Maybe my kid is teaching me about understanding. Maybe she’s teaching me to stop looking for structures to follow. Maybe she’s teaching me to trust myself.

“This man does not speak for me” by Julia at her dining table


Friday,January 22, 2016
11:49pm
5 minutes
medium.com

Do I irritate you? Sitting here with a plan to speak every 28 seconds to say something to that will convince you of me?
Halo haze of truth and depth. You see me and I let you. Is that a good idea?
Do I irritate you?
You have to prove to me that you’re not accidentally in love with me.
I demand this of you the way I demand smokers step outside my home before pulling out their lighters.
I need you to tell me, to show me.
The things that confirm you’re not here because you forgot to look somewhere else.
That you’re not too afraid to look somewhere else.
I need.
I don’t have to explain why. You want me to. It’s easier.
But pass this test first.
Then you can turn it on me.
Pass this experimental mission and I’ll find my feet.
The earth. I’ll love her again.
The steady and the strong.
You lay kisses on my cheek when I believe I’m doing the right thing.
And my guts betray me.
And my skin starts to lie to you.

“I’m going to leave the room” by Julia on her couch


Thursday,January 21, 2016
11:17pm
5 minutes
said to Sasha in rehearsal

I don’t wait for your pain to subside before I break more bad news directly to your heart passionate and raw abrupt and insensitive you just need to know the truth someway or another and I don’t want to tip toe around you or lie or lie or ever ever lie so fast and hard no thought given to sparing emotions the words hit you deep in the windpipe and you only have time to react not to analyze or to hurt and not qualify it I wish I could say I was sorry but I’m not because life is a juggling act and you don’t get to choose which feelings you keep up in the air and which ones fall I know it isn’t easy because I practice taking the news myself asking all the tough questions right after another so I let my guts respond without my rational getting in the way recognizing importance and value based on my insides churning or making space

“Don’t tell anyone.” by Julia at her desk


Sunday December 6, 2015
9:43pm
5 minutes
http://www.globeandmail.com/life/parenting

Don’t tell anyone but I love the smell of my own skin. Like the ooey gooey yeasty smell of the inside of my bra after a long day of support and entrapment. I like it like I like the smell of your hands after they’ve been down your pants. I don’t know why but they smell the same to me. Secret Skin. Hidden in plain sight. Terribly crass. Undeniably human. I love the human you become when I’m an animal sniffing the sweat off your thighs. I ache for you to want me like your body has no choice. You tell me you like the smell of my arms, behind my ears, my belly button. I tell you to describe the scent that you like so much. I beg for you to prove it to me that it’s worth risking everything for.
You don’t know what to say except that it’s spicy and reeks of the earth. I am lifted from my bones when I hear you inhale me.

“You can live in Heaven” by Julia in Brooklyn


Friday, July 24, 2015
11:05pm
5 minutes
The Four Agreements
Don Miguel Ruiz


I hear Bryan Adams in my head, playing a song I know I should love. Makes me wonder if I’m checked out or something. Makes me wonder if you’re the one. Makes me wonder if you’re not. I think because there aren’t angels in my version, or glitter bugs, or trumpets or whatever. There’s a couple things I do like a lot, but none of that Hallmark clownshit on your deathbed stuff. I guess I’m going to get a lot of flack for saying that. Don’t care. Not enough to retract it. It’s just been something on my mind for a while is all. You, me, what is perfect, if there’s a perfect, what’s forever, if there’s a forever, if Heaven is where we’re going, if it’s where we already are, if it doesn’t exist at all, thereby ruining everyone’s standards without fully knowing it. I don’t know. Bryan Adams or something.

“OH MY GOD I GOTTA GO!” by Julia at Propeller Coffee


Thursday, July 23, 2015 at Propeller Coffee
2:20pm
5 minutes
Overheard on the Street

I’m the person on the street that annoys you with my heavy walk That spits on the sidewalk
That answers my phone too loudly on public transportation
That lets my phone ring too loudly before I answer it on public transportation
That drops an earring in the parking lot and then is too shocked to offer sincere gratitude when it’s returned
That is obnoxious on a bicycle because nothing is oiled and it sounds like a David Lynch movie
That tries to make other people feel good about their bad choices
That would rather close a window than put on an extra layer of clothing
That orders McDonald’s fries without sodium just because I can
That falls asleep at the library
That takes a shit in public restrooms
That wishes on shooting stars which end up just being planes

“Looking for a therapist?” by Julia on the subway going south


Sunday, April 26, 2015
1:49pm
5 minutes
From a PRS subway ad

There are feelings
Woah like the waves of the sea
And they’re big
Whoosh like the world shifting
Tectonic plates moving
And I have them
They’re in me
Whoosh waving through me
Around my bones
Keeping them cold
Keeping me far away from settling in
That’s the best way to describe
Whoosh
Wave
Whooshing
Is there a cure?
For the feelings that slosh around beneath my skin
Boom begging me to hold on tight
To wrap up my insides
So they stay good and out of contact
With all my major organs?
Does the doctor know this brand of illness?
Oh the waving
Whooshing
Sloshing sick-feelings landslide
Tsunami
and
Evolutionary jolting
Rocking my core
And shaking me from my roots?

“original packaging” by Julia on the 47 going North


Saturday, April 25, 2015
1:36am
5 minutes
From a receipt from The North Face

I came in a box with a manual and a number for an information hotline. Everybody was anxious to use me. To see what I could do. To figure out my functionality, my abilities, my strengths. No one anticipated I’d be difficult to understand. There were pictures and diagrams, step by step instructions and video guides. There was a lot of hype about my arrival and people got cocky. They thought they would all be able to follow the directions and handle me as intended as a highly user-friendly model. All of these expectations were real. But so was I and nobody was quite ready for that part. Nobody was ready for my opinions, my point of view, my perceptions of the world, my critique. They had waited for a presence that would exist like them but not make change. They wanted something in their image but void of their flaws. My maker was a genius. She was smart and designed me perfectly. She included exactly what she should have. But the collective human weakness is greater than the solution to it. Unfortunately for me.

“This is a highly competitive, adjudicated process” by Julia at the Bloor/gladstone public library


Monday March 30, 2015 at the TPL
5:46pm
5 minutes
The BC Arts Council website

I have never been so nervous! I’m sweating behind my knees and I’m gassy like a bagel on a cow’s hip. WHY IS THIS HAPPENING? BECAUSE I CARE WAY TOO MUCH?? IS IT MY FAULT? I just want them to like me. To accept me and recognize me for my efforts. I think that’s a normal human thing to want. But this is big. It’s not just like, oh, you didn’t gain approval, it means, oh, you didn’t get funding, validation, encouragement to continue trying, etc, etc. I’m fully aware of the competition. I don’t want to be the kind of person who competes with the people out there who compete in these things for sport. But can a nobody compete against his or herself? Can this be turned into a positive somehow? I can’t think, I just want this. But did I do enough work to earn it? I don’t know, I’m sitting here waxing ridiculous to a bunch of overly medicated rich people who all equally believe that their kid deserves this over me.

“can’t go a day without” by Julia on her bed


Monday March 9, 2015
9:27pm
5 minutes
from a comment on YouTube

thinking about bread
wishing i was better
praying to a god i no longer believe in
touching my hair
remembering
examining my fingernails
snagging my ring on the inside of my jacket
sighing deep and audibly
dreaming about chocolate
playing with my earrings
singing to myself
communicating with my love
apologizing for something
tricking myself into stillness
cracking my back
touching my face
biting my lower lip
smiling
holding space for pain

“I like chocolate!” by Julia on her couch


Sunday February 15, 2015
12:51am
5 minutes
overheard at Caffe W

Woah, that’s, that there is my one and only weakness. My one and only true love…or you know, weakness because I love it. I’m talking about what you think I’m talking about. I’m not the only one and I know that, but it’s still a thing that I have to say out loud before we do this. I just don’t want you to have any false notions about who I am, or what I do, or what I’ll choose when push comes to shove. I choose my beautiful weakness, my beautiful soulmate. And in case you need explaining, it’s not you, or anyone you might know. It’s mint chocolate, okay? Is that what you need to hear to understand fully? It’s a delicious and cool mint chocolate and I would rather die than go a single day without a piece. I was hoping you’d bring it up this early just so I could address this thing before the beast rears its ugly head and you don’t know how to handle it, or me, or the commitment I’ve made to it. This is only a good thing.

“laugh-out-loud funny.” By Julia on Amanda’s couch


Wednesday January 14, 2015
3:51pm
5 minutes
From the i ❤️huckabees DVD case

Come on tell me a joke.
Well what do you want, funny ha ha, or funny, ah-hah!
I don’t know the difference. They’re the same, both funny.
No, one will bring laughs, the other, realizations! In a moment you could be like, “ohhhh righhhhht” or “ha ha ha ha”.
You’re ruining jokes for me. You’ve just put a structure on humour.
You asked me to.
No, I asked you to tell a joke and you just reduced it to types and shit.
I’m trying to please you.
I just wanted to hear a joke you thought was funny.
I don’t know any good jokes.
Well say that then. Don’t say, which type of moment are you trying to have, a good one, or a seemingly less good one. Who would choose the seemingly less good one.
It’s not less good, it’s about preference.
If I preferred the type of laughter I was going to have I would just type it into the internet.
There you go ruining a perfectly good human moment.
Ha ha!
Really?

“clearly in the context of the show” by Julia at her desk


Monday November 3, 2014
12:35am
5 minutes
from an e-mail

I find myself penciling in ideas and then crossing them out before they’ve been fully developed. I don’t use the eraser because I like the way it looks when I’ve had a thought and there’s a line through it indicating that I knew I was wrong and I moved forward anyway. That’s real bravery, isn’t it? I don’t rub out my mistakes, I let them fester there on the page and the challenge is not to let them infect the words not yet written just by being there. The trick is to avoid thinking about it at all, not in a dismissive way pretending that it doesn’t exist, but to accept that it’s a part of the process and to carry on without being discouraged. The same can be done with a pen although it is, for some strange reason, a million times more distracting. In pen it looks like I was one hundred percent certain about what I was writing, only to find out later that it was wrong. That the ideas were not formed fully, that there was thoughtlessness involved. I don’t like thinking I’m thoughtless because the opposite is true. I am careful for the most part, but even being careful won’t dismiss the fact that I am human and I must always move forward.

“Really cute, bright (near markets)” by Julia on the train to Bologna


Friday September 26, 2014
2:21pm
5 minutes
Julia’s apartment research

Hi, I’m looking for this tiny little human? She’s the size of someone’s nonna but in a super cute way not a shrivelled way? Like, she’d be the type to put olive oil on her skin as a moisturizer and as perfume and you’d be in love with her because of it. Only this tiny human I’m looking for is not someone’s nonna, she’s just small like one. And cool in the way that she gave her last fuck away to someone who wanted it more than she did–the way you throw away crusts from a sandwich–like, fuck this sandwich! When you just don’t care anymore? She’s cool and tiny and I met her once and she was carrying this neon tote bag so I thought she’d be easy to describe but clearly you’re not getting it. Oh! And I’m pretty sure she’s a Scorpio. It’s weird cause I always seem to meet Scorpios and then right away I fall in love with them. I’m not sure what it is but something magic, I’m assuming. That’s all I know about her–I wish I could just draw you a picture but I don’t think I really even saw her face. I was obviously too busy looking inside her.

“with MOSS FOLK” by Julia at Kawaii Crepe


Thursday August 7, 2014 at Kawaii Crepe
8:38pm
5 minutes
from the Wooden Shjips concert ticket


I’ve been sitting here with a patch of dead skin in my hands. I thought you would have noticed that my legs were peeling because some of the shapes looked like your favourite states: Minnesota, Alabama, Missouri. You didn’t say one thing about it, so I kept slowly detaching the snake-like-shreds, trying to keep them as long and intact as possible. Like orange peels. Like the backing of a press on tattoo. I guess I was looking for some attention, or to prove to myself that you cared about me and my well-being. I wondered if you wondered why I had burnt skin to begin with. If you thought to ask and discovered that I scalded my legs in a hot bath, if you’d wonder why anyone would think to take a hot bath in the middle of July. I don’t usually do that kind of thing. It just sort of happened as a result of my endless time alone and my desire to feel like anything but myself. Granted, I did feel a little like Virginia Woolf. I wondered if you’d wonder about that part…

“wrongfully convicted of murder” by Julia at her kitchen table


Wednesday August 6, 2014
11:39pm
5 minutes
Blog TO

I think you’ve made a mistake. Surely you could take a minute and think about what you’re doing here? What your “conclusions” will mean for someone. Someone other than you. Buddy wouldn’t have done something like that. I know him, he just wouldn’t have. He wasn’t mean to animals while we were growing up. He’s a bit…special…I know that, but he’s not a murderer.
He was framed. I’m telling you right now that has to be it. Buddy is a good person. He wouldn’t do that. He wouldn’t…be able to. I’m not saying he wouldn’t be capable of killing someone, no, I mean if I’m being honest I think we all are capable aren’t we? I mean he wouldn’t be able to leave someone just lying in the street, bleeding to death. He has compassion, that’s what I’m trying to tell you. It’s not like he’s on the hunt for something twisted like that to give him pleasure. He gets pleasure out of collecting flat rocks that sparkle in the sun. Please. I’m begging you, don’t just throw someone’s life away on a hunch. Innocent until proven guilty. You have to at least give him that. All I’m asking is you consider the possibility outside your “irrefutable evidence”. Isn’t that your job’s sole purpose in the first place?

“By a man’s fingernails,” by Julia on her “deck” steps


Tuesday August 5, 2014
9:54pm
5 minutes
a quote by Sherlock Holmes

It was unnecessary, really, for them to be so curt with their neighbours. They had, the neighbours that is, up until that point, made sure to smile each time they saw them and to greet them with a tiny wave-usually the small female neighbour did the hand gestures; the small male neighbour liked to nod his head ever so slightly. They hadn’t come over with a casserole or any baked goods out of kindness or welcoming. They simply said hello with their body language and were probably a little too hopeful that they would eventually be met with a similar greeting by the new couple who had moved in just down the hall. They did, after all, share a kitchen wall and a parking lot. When they saw the small female neighbour pacing back and forth in front of her kitchen door, they could tell she was distraught. A hello wouldn’t have been appropriate anyway. They knew exactly what had happened between her and the small male neighbour just moments before. Their shared kitchen wall was anything but thick. She had yelled at him because she had burnt her hand on the hot pan straight from the oven. She had already been having a bad day, and they assumed that was the straw that broke it. She looked up from her puffy eyes, sensing the newly arrived couple’s presence. Hopeful. Always hopeful.

“Detour 23” by Julia in a park in Lowertown, St Paul, MN


Sunday Aug 3, 2014
2:21pm
5 minutes
from a Pembina Hwy sign

Of course he left me. I was impossible. I smoked too much. I drank too often. I woke up late. I forgot to dust the underside of chairs, or books, or picture frames. I refused to water our one and only basil plant. I watched it die a slow death everyday by ashing into its pot. I left the TV on throughout the day. I only took long hot showers. I got Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup stains on the couch, the bed, and the wall in the front foyer. I coughed up phlegm and spat it into drinking glasses that were next to me. I dog eared every page in every book he loved. I scratched his DVD player so it no longer worked. I took the car out to the border just so I’d have something to do. I never filled up the tank for when he needed it. I chewed my nails and left the ripped bits on the kitchen table. I swore in my sleep. I never ever thanked him.
Of course he left me. I was impossible. I wanted him to go. Sometimes better people are out there beyond the comforts of “love”.

“be this comfortable” by Julia on the river walk in Minneapolis


Saturday Aug 2, 2014
4:27pm
5 minutes
dipped from Joe’s wallet

Hannah and her teddy bear were stranded on the side of the highway, holding a rescue seance and trying really hard not to cry. Somehow Mom and Dirk thought it was a good idea to leave the Walmart without first checking if she was with them. Hannah and her teddy bear were playing house in aisle 19 and she had accidentally fallen asleep while pretending to sleep on one of the mattress. Usually she heard when someone is coming and “wakes up” right as they walk past her, but today wasn’t very busy at Walmart and Hannah had been laying with her eyes closed, so comfortable clutching her teddy bear close to her body for a long time and eventually she was having real night dreams while Mom and Dirk looked at hunting equipment. When Hannah finally woke up for real, she couldn’t figure out where she was.

“experience learn hear” by Julia in the car


Friday Aug 1, 2014
11:34am
5 minutes
from an expired TPL card

According to my brother, who can’t see out of his left eye and carries a knife everywhere he goes, you “really gotta listen to people and their body language.” That’s what he says when he’s trying to explain how to read people and how to protect yourself against “predators” or “criminally insane”. He knows these tricks because he’s been in a ton of fights with other people who also carry knives around. You’ve got to make sure “your eyes are open, your heart is calm, and your fingers are nimble.” Probably in case someone comes at you. But if you’re reading their postures before hand, you can avoid a brawl. That’s what he says. You can avoid getting into trouble if you’re just listening and hearing all the possible signs and all the signals that someone is giving out. My brother says that most people don’t even want the confrontation they seem to be inviting. He says it’s because deep down they’re looking for someone to stop them. He says that “deep down, they don’t want to do it.” So if you can understand the motives before you act on impulse, you could be saving yourself a lot of grief. You could be saving yourself a lost eye too.

“Pure Life” by Julia in the car


Thursday July 31, 2014
8:44pm
5 minutes
the nestle water bottle

She was PURE LIFE. PURE JOY. I held her for the first time and I DIED. I MELTED. I wanted to stay seated on that wicker rocking chair that didn’t rock anymore FOREVER. FOR HER. She was honestly the best moment of my life. She was PURE LOVE. PURE HAPPINESS. I wanted to build a bubble of warmth and love around her fuzzy little head and hold her until she was too big to want that. That way I could pour all of my undying love into her bubble and feed her with is so she would know how special and worth it and truly unequivocally loved she was. This little thing without opinions of the world yet, without the sadness, the jaded crispiness that comes from getting left behind, or getting told you’re ugly, or getting felt up by a stranger at a sleazy hot dog stand one stupid night in Sacramento. This little thing without pain, and without anger, and without wanting so much that the world seems so unwilling to give. I would have shown her that all she needed to do was sleep there and giggle sometimes and hold my finger. I would have loved her the way I needed to be loved.

“BAM” by Julia at her kitchen table


Wednesday July 30, 2014
7:32pm
5 minutes
Overheard at Trinity Bellwoods park

My mother used to work for Pasquale. Did you know that? I could have sworn I mentioned that around the first or second date. You know, the way things about your family comes up? That was my thing. That was my party trick! You were talking about béchamel sauce which I internally corrected you as “Beshamella” because if it’s not pronounced in Italian I don’t even want to pretend to care. But she wrote out his cookbooks. He spoke to her in Italian, she transcribed them, and BAM! I am now the sole owner of Pasquale’s perfect lasagna recipe which when I make, is an absolute show stopper. I mean, I could have sworn I mentioned it when we went to eat at Neve Sole and you ordered the bruschetta but you pronounced it “brushetta” and I almost lost my mind about it because how many lame Italian cliche jokes do you need to hear before you actually just NEVER pronounce it in a mangia-cake way?

“any kind of company” by Julia at her kitchen table


Tuesday July 29, 2014
4:37pm
5 minutes
wikipedia.org

She swept the living room floor for the third time that morning. She somehow kept stepping in sand, which she thought she had fully cleaned the day before. She put on The Dirty Projectors and made sure to press repeat every time Impregnable Question came on. It felt like the perfect song to listen as she was feeling alone, yet didn’t want to fall too far into a problematic state. This was after eating the raw cookie dough from the tube and drawing a sketch of a bat wearing a clown nose. Every time her phone rang, she leapt from her sprawled out on the floor position to see who it could be. Telemarketing usually. The occasional scam rewards program from Cruises R Us. She was desperate for any kind of company. Any kind that would require a conversation, the outpouring of her emotions and her opinions, and perhaps a hug that would last at least six seconds to ensure a proper connection was established.

“You want to be just interested enough” by Julia at her kitchen table


Monday March 17, 2014
11:54pm
5 minutes
from an interview with Barbara Kingsolver

Don’t let them hear you breathing or whimpering. I know you think it’ll help you establish a presence but it will only make things worse. They don’t want to think of you as a human being as bad as that sounds. They love knowing you can smile on cue no matter what’s going on inside. You can do that can’t you? Well the breathing thing is an obvious one..I mean, breathe, don’t die, but do it subtly. It’s got to go under the radar, completely undetected. And don’t cry because then you don’t look tough. And you can’t show any tears or they’ll eat you up. People don’t remember strength but they do remember weakness. That’s because they automatically start to assume you can’t handle even small situations. They think you’ll need handholding and they don’t want to hold anyone’s hands. If I were you I’d try not to sneeze either. I mean get that stuff out of your system before you walk into the room. And if you’re one of those people who get triggered by the light? Don’t open your eyes.