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

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

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

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

“silence flourishes sea-green.” by Julia on the 9

Thursday April 18, 2019
3:32pm
5 minutes
Overdose
Seamus Dune

It’s a flash of light and boom I’m in front of a bunch of humans and boom none of them are laughing and boom wasn’t I funny before this?

They say be a teacher, you’d be a great teacher, but I am too much like the dark side of my mother when teenagers are making me yell over them. I said a few times boom and again boom but nothing, they weren’t interested because, and I know, they were uncomfortable.

Teach! They say, as if boom it’s so damn easy.
The silence though, after a dreamy patch of vulnerability, is enough to
stitch my chest up ugly, leave a mark the size of my old me and keep me jagged, string hanging. My head is the only place silence won’t inhabit and the rest of me can’t handle it. I guess I have some core strengthening to do.

One kid did make me laugh today and that part was very good.

“we are hanging out” by Julia on the 15

Friday December 14, 2018
3:48pm
5 minutes
From a text

It’s nice that you’re here.
All of us, we, think it’s nice. Nice that you say nice all the time. Nice that your hands are always wet for some reason. All of us, we, are curious about you. We’re all together and then there’s you. We’re all hanging out now. We, all of us, are making a memory. You’ll say it so we’ll just stop you right there-it’s nice. Soon you will be a part of what we do. Soon you will fix the leak in the boiler room. Soon you’ll be prepared to leave the stratosphere that you have come to call nice and never look back.

“Go paint yourself” by Julia at her desk

Friday June 1, 2018
11:54pm
5 minutes
From a L’Oréal ad

Go paint yourself red and stand out in a field telling ghost stories
This is how you will terrify yourself into standing

Go paint yourself yellow and swim in the ocean like a giant bee
This is how you will see under the coral and into the sweet

I don’t know the rules to this game so I just made them up
I don’t know what painting yourself will do
Maybe make you feel like a real human
Humans are the only ones who can paint themselves
who can write poetry
who can throw things

We were built to throw things

I will go and paint myself the colour of a Louisville Slugger and then throw a hard ball across the grass
This will go over well
This is what we are meant to do with symbolism

Real humans muse about the throwing configuration of our arms
Of anything else we choose to launch

“the life of his human counterpart” by Sasha at the Tempered Room


Sunday August 7, 2016 at the Tempered Room
3:48pm
5 minutes
Unsaid
Neil Abramson


You are an undiscovered star who moves with
the spring and fall shift shift step move move grow
Take a walk on the wild side says your human counterpart


You smile because we don’t know wild on earth
You get brighter and brighter every day and even your eyes can’t
quite adjust Your human counterpart carries her child
on her back and sweats orange juice
Your human counterpart doesn’t feel bright but her child
lives off her milk and you
the star
believe this to be actual magic.

“a dozen individuals aged” by Julia at her dining table


Tuesday May 24, 2016
9:51pm
5 minutes
Harbor
John Ajvide Lindqvist


Across the street I spied a man who had been resting on a bench. He was sweating from his brow and was hunched over, defeated. He didn’t have a cane, or a walker, but looked like he could have used one. He was convincing himself he didn’t, surely. I quietly watched him from my bus stop. He didn’t know anyone was paying any attention to him. He tried to get up a few times without the help of the bench. He couldn’t seem to do it. The struggle in his face was clear even all the way over to where I sat pretending to read my novel. It looked like his body had been slowly betraying him for a while but that he had only just now started to deny it. I remember working with a man who told me once that when you get old, your body stops matching up with your mind and you can’t control yourself the way you used to. He told me that it may be frustrating for those of us who can still easily get to our destinations to have to always wait behind the ones who aren’t as mobile, but it wasn’t to be disregarded that it was far more frustrating for them.

“you smiled at me” by Julia at her dining table


Monday May 23, 2016
4:22pm
5 minutes
Sunny
Bobby Hebb


There were so many people lined up to get your autograph outside the cinema. It was cloudy but hot. I wasn’t planning on waiting for you but I was wearing my nice yellow sundress with a matching yellow head-scarf and I remember thinking it was too good to be wasted on just meeting Debbie and her boyfriend, Charles at the diner. Suddenly I was hit with the convincing thought that I could have you. I think I was moving as little as possible to avoid sweating through my sleeves. I didn’t want your autograph. I wanted to smell your skin. I wanted to get so close that you would have no choice but to touch me. I had dreamed of that moment and was replaying it over and over again in my head as we waited for you to emerge. Some women were already crying. You were making us wait for no reason in particular. I think you were preparing for the mob. I was preparing to envelop you.

“I honour this privilege” by Julia at the bus stop


Sunday May 22, 2016
5:15pm
5 minutes
from a birthday card

I heard him say it to himself when he thought I had left for the evening. He was reciting it in the mirror, getting ready for his big night. I crept in the house quietly, I had forgotten my wallet by the island. I don’t know why I had left it there but I didn’t want to impose myself. Just a few quiet steps while he rehearsed his speech in the bathroom. The one I had begged him to do for me because I wasn’t able to go. He said no. He didn’t want me anywhere near it. I tried to go as fast as my curiosity would let me. He repeated one line over and over and I wanted to hear him get it right. “I honour this privilege. I honour this privilege.” My hand was reaching for the soft leather while my mind tilted toward him in the bathroom. I felt the wallet graze my hand and I quickly realized that if I could go in this instant I would have a secret but nothing to be sorry for.

“Late last night I heard the screen door slam” by Julia at her dining table


Saturday May 21, 2016
11:19pm
5 minutes
Big Yellow Taxi
Joni Mitchell


You were leaving trying not to let me hear you trying not to let me hear your heart stop wanting me
I waited there trying not to stop you trying not to tell you that I would try to be better you packed up your items you packed up your clothes you packed up all your reasons and you did your best not to wake me
You were leaving trying to avoid another argument of he said she said I said you said of all those times we laughed at how foolish we had been
I was sobbing there in my pillow on my side of the bed afraid to move an inch and realize it was real after all crying tears of apology into the mattress trying not to let you hear me trying not to let you hear my hollow chest echo as the tiny pieces of my heart fell to the bottom
You were leaving there was nothing I could do and you were leaving me so there was nothing I could do.

“Be wildly generous” by Julia at her dining table


Friday May 20, 2016
6:15pmm
5 minutes
from Julia’s notebook

My grandmother had been staying at our house after her hip surgery. She was sleeping in my room and she liked to spend her time organizing my bookshelves and my underwear drawer. One day she called me into our room to show me her latest clean-up effort. All of my underwear, she showed me, beaming with pride, were folded and stacked neatly according to size, colour, and functionality. I was 16 at the time and I had been wearing thongs for a couple years by then. My grandmother pointed to each stack reminding me “These ones are your nice ones, these are for staying at home only, and these ones are for your ‘holidays'”. She was pointing to the tiny stack of thongs and she was clearly referring to my ‘romantic encounters’. I remember, before I could defend or deny, she brought her finger to her lips, shushing the air as if to say “I won’t tell anyone, don’t worry.” I raised my eyebrows in relief and mouthed the words “thank you.” She smiled wide and squeezed my shoulder, thrilled to keep my business just between us. The truth was, I wasn’t, actually wearing thongs for my ‘holidays’ as I hadn’t had any ‘holidays’ yet, but I just never mentioned that to her. I could tell she needed my secret more than she needed my honesty.

“It’s a little big now” by Julia on the 84


Thursday May 19, 2016
8:14pm
5 minutes
overheard at Kafka’s

he was cooking dinner on the island
he liked to call it his ‘cutting station’
where he did most of his cutting
not me
i liked to use the counters by the fridge
i don’t really like the feeling
of floating in the middle of something
just dangling out there
alone
he asked me what my favourite thing to eat was
when i told him i said but it has to be the way
my dad used to make it
he said not to worry
he said he would take care of me
when i looked at his ‘cutting station’
i couldn’t see one ingredient that matched
the items i told him
all the things necessary to make
my favourite thing to eat
i tried not to be bothered by it
or to worry
he said he would take care of me and
i had to
trust him
but i could smell the veggies cooking
and i could tell that he wasn’t
getting
it
right
and so i was bothered by it
and i did worry
and i missed my dad
in that moment more than ever
nothing is the same after your favourite loves die
not life
not dinner

“I make him feel guilty.” by Julia at Lindsay’s house


Wednesday May 18, 2016
10:44pm
5 minutes
Burner Season
Ellie Sawatzky


Kev and I haven’t spoken since last Wednesday. It’s been a week. I told him I wanted to see how long we could go without engaging with each other. He was angry that I even suggested something like that. I didn’t say it but I wanted him to know how I felt. How when I want intimacy, conversation, attention, I have to practically beg him for it. I wanted him to know what it felt like to live with someone who didn’t “put out” emotionally. So far it’s been brutal for both of us but I don’t know who’s got it worse. I decided on purpose that I would avoid him to teach him a lesson but I’m not sure if I’ve now pushed him away instead. When we have to share the kitchen, Kev reaching up to the top shelf to pull down his favourite cereal bowl, me underneath him grinding flax seeds, we don’t make eye contact if we can avoid it. I don’t know what he would do if I looked him in the eye, but I do know that if he met my gaze I would have a hard time keeping my mouth away from his. This distance, despite my efforts to remain unmoved has made me want him more than I am maybe willing to control. I have been fighting myself for 7 days: Make him come to me, or make him come for me.

“our minds drift to the beach” by Julia at her dining table


Tuesday May 17, 2016
11:08pm
5 minutes
health.amhosp.org

I didn’t have my swimsuit. I purposely didn’t pack it because I didn’t want to be forced to wear it. Dale said that she wouldn’t swim either in solidarity but I didn’t want her pity as much as she was trying to be a good friend. I told her to go ahead, enjoy herself. I sat on the beach in light billowy pants and a white camisole. I could hear everyone laughing in the night, splashing in the ocean. Suddenly my head felt wet. I looked up and Terrence was standing there, dripping his salty midnight water all over me.

“Yes?” I looked up expectantly.
“Come in with us.”
“Nah, I don’t have my suit.” I said, shrugging my misfortune of an absent bikini.
“Come on, Leigh, that’s a sorry excuse. Didn’t you know that skin is waterproof?”

“You change when you want to change” by Julia at her dining table


Monday May 16, 2016
10:35pm
5 minutes
huffingtonpost.com

Eden was on her way to change it for good. She had thought about keeping it, of course she had. But she also needed to listen to her spirit and stop letting her be trapped by a name that didn’t fit? Eden didn’t choose her name and most of us don’t change them, but Eden wanted something that felt more like the her she had become and gotten to know. Eden’s best friend, Jack said that we aren’t suited to name ourselves which is why we are given a name before we can see. Someone else takes away the pressure for us and we get to just be. But Eden didn’t believe that it was meant to be that way at all. That maybe if she just had more understanding and open-minded parents in the first place, they would have let her choose her own name eventually, and she would have made it clear enough to them what it would be through repetition and attraction. She was doing it today whether people agreed with it or not. She at least waited till her mother had died before she decided to do it.

“Throws it up in the air” by Julia on the 250


Sunday May 15, 2016
4:00pm
5 minutes
basketball commentary

Of course Chris wanted to play basketball. He was tall, everyone around him basically told him that was all he would be good for anyway, so yeah, he liked it a lot. It never hurt his knees to jump, or his shoulder never popped out. He was tall so it was a fun sport and he liked it a lot. When his dad started talking to him more that felt real good too. Chris wanted to be better at other things. Better suited. He wished someone had said, your hands are so big I bet you’d make a wonderful pianist. Nobody ever gets everything they want. That’s what you know going in. What you believe because it’s the one thing that hasn’t changed.

“If you have already completed” by Julia on the 99


Saturday May 14, 2016
5:39pm
5 minutes
The Canadian Census

So I walk on the bus and there’s a woman in a jean ball cap flipping through flyers and ripping out coupons. She’s sitting by the window, taking up two seats to do this and there’s nowhere for me to sit. So I say, very politely, excuse me may I sit there? And she grumbles to herself and then instead of moving her papers off the aisle seat, she moves herself over and makes me climb over her to get to the window. I’m already miffed, but then the bus jolts and I go flying into her flyers which makes her grumble even more. I make it a point not to say I’m sorry. If I don’t say anything I can’t say anything mean either, right? Then she moves herself to another seat near by, and she keeps clicking her tongue like she can’t believe “this person” and “this person” is clearly me, even though I’m just on my phone writing a grocery list for later. Then she moves herself again to a completely different seat, complaining to the woman beside her that I’m going to give her cancer for being on my phone near her!

“it could not establish” by Julia at Liberty Bakery


Tuesday October 27, 2015 at Liberty Bakery
3:38pm
5 minutes
the Iphone internet connection message

It served as a perfect reminder that we’re fallible. I guess you’re gonna want to know what the perfect reminder was, but it’s not time to share that information yet. All you need to know is that we need reminders that we’re fallible because we get ahead of ourselves all the time. We do. We get angry for not achieving something right away or the right way, and we beat ourselves up for not being successful. But we’re not perfect. We need to hear that on a regular basis. We need to hear it, believe it, then put it to some psychedelic music and listen to it while we’re in the shower: let it seep into our skin ike the smell of garlic trapped in our finger tips after a night of vampire avoiding, or casesar salad dressing making, or influenza preventing. We need to know it like we know our own names so when we’re called it, we don’t act like we don’t recognize it; we open the door and let it in.

“good energy vibes” by Julia at her desk


Thursday, July 16, 2015
12:31am
5 minutes
From a text

When you walk into a room I can hear you without knowing you’re there. It’s funny, this feeling. I know you’re around yet I haven’t seen you at all. What do you call that? What kind of connection is it when your skin perks up all tingly and awake without fully understanding why? My back is to you and your presence greets me. I wonder if you feel me the way I feel you. Is it your smell? Are we horses, sniffing each other’s flesh and taking each other in? I don’t know if it’s because I want to sense you so I do. I read somewhere that we never can fully know someone else, but I think I know you. I think I know when you’re near because I know you like I know me.
Because you are me.

“take her children to church” by Julia at her desk


Thursday June 4, 2015
1:01am
5 minutes
Vogue
October 2014


She wakes up early in the morning, before the sun does, before the man does. He sleeps like a bear anyway. He wouldn’t notice if the house was on fire. He wouldn’t notice if his testicles were dipped in hydrochloric acid. For the record she has considered both options. She decides on sneaking her babies out without causing any physical pain. She doesn’t want to add to her little ones’ suffering. God knows they’be been through enough. She dresses her sleeping children as best she can. Georgia’s eyes flap open and she knows if she’s to wake anyone, Georgia’s the best one. She loves secrets. She’ll be good at helping her get the other two ready. She doesn’t even worry about the snoring bear. Georgia is quiet but she is curious. She puts her fingers to her lips and smiles with her eyes.

“Those were the worst nights” by Julia at her desk


Tuesday June 2, 2015
12:44am
5 minutes
overheard at Higher Grounds

Trains pounding through the thin night air and landing directly beside us in bed
Mosquitoes trapped between the broken screen door and the hot summer sunset
Newborn babies trying to name their pain at every single hour
Flash floods and terrible eaves
Basement apartment and a new soggy sofa bed complete with rain-water swimming pool
Wasps building nests and forever homes in our nest and forever home
Staying up late fighting over who would get the window side
Staying up late fighting over who would get Tess and who would get Jinx

“evil, greedy, deluded, fatally flawed.” by Julia at her desk


Friday May 22, 2015
11:21pm
5 minutes
Talking Masks
Adam Seelig


After I wash my face at night, I don’t really want to see other humans until morning. It’s not that I don’t want them to see my face unmasked, without colours and expressions painted on, it’s more than that. It’s about time and space and holding that for me in a sacred way which for some odd reason at any other point in the day doesn’t feel as possible. Maybe I’m greedy. Maybe I want my born like this, woke up like this, go to bed like this face for me and only me. Maybe it makes me feel closer to the earth and to my mother and to my truth. It’s strange because this ritual has turned me into a monster. One knock at my door and I’m hissing like a cat with her claws out ready to pounce. I can’t say “Nobody’s home” or “Nobody that you will recognize is here”. Though I am good at it, I don’t want to lie. So I answer with my secret night time alone time me time face, and there’s a scowl where my lightness just was, a cold stare where my openness used to be.

“scoop up all the trash” by Julia on her patio


Thursday May 7, 2015
10:04pm
5 minutes
from http://www.ecokids.ca

Community service. As if I should have to serve the community for doing one thing against the legal system. Like one tiny thing, and they make you serve the entire community with your penance and your time and your new shame. There are so many people doing illegal and stupid things. SO MANY. They’re not serving the community, they’re not even worried about having to. I mean, a service to my community would be warning everybody about where not to smoke hash in this city. Tell people where not to speed. Now these are services people want. The community doesn’t give a flying fuck if I rake up some completely docile leaves. Leaves don’t bother people, why is that one of the tasks? The community doesn’t care if I scoop up all the trash in the park. There are city people who get PAID to do that so they’re not going to suddenly feel like a big weight’s been lifted off them if I, the apparently guilty, offer a bunch of hours to essentially take away job opportunities from someone who actually needs the work.

“scoop up all the trash” by Sasha at Higher Grounds


Thursday May 7, 2015 at Higher Grounds
3:29pm
5 minutes
from http://www.ecokids.ca

Don’t pick a girl who wants you to treat her like a princess. I did, and look where it got me. Broke, broken-hearted, broken set of toes… Damn. Still got my cowboy hat and still got my pride, though. No one can ever take those two away from me. Look, Sandro, I don’t wanna freak you out, but, like, you pick a girl who wants you to treat her like a princess and you’re never gonna be happy. I mean, I don’t think life is really about being happy, but it’s about being, like, peaceful or something. It’s only when you’re scooping up the trash of your life that you realize – you did everything for her and nothing for you. You’ve spent almost a decade sucking up to someone who wishes she were royalty. She’s not! If you’d just stuck to your guns and told her that when you first got together, “Honey, you’re from Campbell River, you’re never gonna be Cinderella, get over yourself…” maybe things would’ve worked out a little differently. I want the best for your Sandro, I don’t want what happened to me to happen to you… I mean, what am I supposed to do now? I’m forty two. I’m supposed to start over?

“Summer road trip” By Julia at the Bloor/Gladstone Library branch


Thursday April 30, 2015
4:24pm
5 minutes
from a magazine article

Oh I’ve got that urge again to take off and just go somewhere that isn’t here. Been travellin’ every year now it seems and I do not want to stop that now. Got a good case of wanderlust, now that’s for sure. Been feelin’ that itch deep down for a while. Been keepin’ tabs on it, and it’s inchin’ its way on up to the surface again. I can’t tell you how anxious stayin’ put makes me feel. All these things I have to get done here because I keep puttin’ them off, seein’ the world, exploring myself. Some people might say that I’m runnin’ away but I can honestly say to you that for the first time, that’s not what this is. I think I’ve found what I’m supposed to do. I’m supposed to live outside this place and exist in a transient way sort of like a sailor or a thrill-seeker. But I also have plans to put my skills to use while I’m away. I’m not just spendin’ all my money on food or booze or whatever. It’s more calculated than that. It’s about makin’ that connection’ with other humans on a level that I can’t quite explain.

“WOMAN SENTENCED FOR BUTT INJECTIONS” by Julia at her desk


Saturday March 28, 2015
1:19am
5 minutes
An unknown transit newspaper

Not a crime, is it, to want a better backside? I don’t know when butts became so in demand. What makes a great butt? I know the answer is one that can have a bowel movement whenever necessary. I know about functionality, let me tell you a story. Oh you really want a story? Shoot. Once upon a time, there was a human being that could not have a bowel movement and it really really sucked. The end. I mean, where do you go from there? And I’m not talking about the humans who don’t have pleasant bowel movements, cause that is a very different category. I am convinced there is no such thing as a human who can not expel waste from the usual place. I believe that if there did exist such a creature it would be an old wives tale. But…then again, I don’t read the news so I only know, in total, like, a handful of things about this world, and butt conditions is definitely on the speculative list

“How is one to know—with strangers?” by Julia at the Dufferin/St. Clair Public Library


Saturday March 14, 2015 at the Dufferin/St. Clair Public Library
3:10pm
5 minutes
The Midwich Cuckoos
John Wyndham


Caught her staring at me from underneath her sunhat. She was trying to catch glimpses of me incognito but I could see her there, plain as day, paying all her attention to me, avoiding everything about herself. In her slight defense, I would be sneaking glances at me too if I were her. From an objective perspective, I was talking about some fascinating things. People always seem to perk up when they hear the words “wild” “unbelievable” “mind-blowing” “freedom” “sensual” and “magic”. I didn’t want to shame her for watching. After all, it was my choice to leave my house and interact with other human beings. You can’t really blame someone for wanting to see how another person lives, talks, eats, breathes, shares, listens, reacts, lies, sinks, falls, achieves, succeeds. I was curious about her too; sad girl hiding behind her over-sized beach hat.

“word by word” by Julia at her parent’s kitchen table


Monday January 12, 2015
11:55pm
5 minutes
from a quote by Isabel Allende

You count these words on your fingers if you have to
So you remember how many important things I’m saying to you
Saying to you all the important things
This way you can take inventory
You can make sure you don’t lose any words
That you don’t misplace them
Or have them stollen from you unknowingly
Number one will be I
Number two will be you
(there is no particular order)
Number three will be with
Number four will be joy
Number five will be life
Number six will be finally
Number seven will be breath
Number eight will be harmony
Number nine will be agree
number ten will be and
It’s a phrase
Or a sentence
You have ten words to keep track of
To make sure they stay in good hands
And when you’re good and ready, you’ll weave them into a throw for your couch
A pillowcase on which you’ll rest your head

“performing like ‘bungling idiots’ ” by Julia at Creperie Du Monde


Wednesday January 7, 2015 at Creperie Du Monde
5:18pm
5 minutes
The Times
Wednesday January 7, 2015


take off the mask
take it off, leave it there on the table
leave it there where I can see it
leave it there so I can see you
you look scared underneath it all
underneath the thing you were wearing
wasn’t it uncomfortable?
wasn’t it suffocating?
but you needed it to perform the magic tricks and the lying dance
you needed it to put on the show, to give you courage to see it through
I understand the whole thing
I understand your motivation
audience, lights, camera, inaction
you don’t want to show me your real skin
you don’t want me to reach out and touch you in case it feels too real
I want to know what you look like
I want to know what your naked emotions do to you when you can’t control them

“the waiting place” by Julia at Mosaic Cafe in Clapton


Tuesday January 6, 2015 at Mosaic Cafe
6:56pm
5 minutes
from An Incomplete Manifesto For Growth
Bruce Mau


Oh honey when I see you again, you’ll have flowers in your hair, you’ll have new cities in your smile. I’ll tell the world I knew you once, when you were wild and free. I’ll tell the story to my grandkids, about the day you stole my heart with your laugh and that ripped grey t-shirt you used to always wear. You’ll be older and I’ll be older still, but we’ll find a connection in the space between our bodies, where they once were, between our lips. I’ll know it’s you by the way you tug my hair. By the way you’ll still get mad at the moon for not hanging just your way. And you’ll recognize me by the way I hold your back and make you feel like even dying would be okay. It’ll be years that feel like moments and seconds dressed as decades. But one day, in the fields of light, quoting Leaves Of Grass, I’ll see you again.

“I never have before” by Julia at Laura’s kitchen counter


Monday January 5, 2015
11:21pm
5 minutes
from a tweet by Anne Lamott

I never have before, never known how, never known how
Killed it, squashed it, teased it first, loved it, drowned it, watched it flail, held it first, needed it
I’m the weapon
I’m the
I’m the weapon
Capable of destruction
Of ruin
I never have before, never known how, never known how
Strength in every finger tip, every heart beat, every perfectly unaware laugh, every honest gaze
Looked down deep into the new place being born for me
Long time since it’s been this good
Long long time, didn’t recognize it right away
I’m the reason
I’m the
I’m the reason
And I know it now like a tattoo proving a point
.
.
.
I never have before, never known how, never known how

“Crisis points but also the potential for major realizations” by Julia on Laura’s couch


Saturday January 3, 2015
10:11pm
5 minutes
http://www.mysticmama.com

It’s been a hard day. Even just the taste of this minty ginger honey lime tea I’m sipping makes me cry. Sweet things hurt and hurt things flash in my mind like the worst bits of an unwelcome nightmare. Can I say I’m sorry? Will it do anything? Does it help me? Does it help my hurt thing? I don’t know when the last time my world shook like this. The last time it rattled under my feet making my bones knock against themselves. You there, me here–we live in different moments, in different hopes. To be honest, I’m not even sure if we can both exist at the same time. You’re bigger than me and I’m bigger than you. It doesn’t make sense. It won’t connect like we’d have wanted.
This day…this day….

“to listen to when feeling nostalgic” by Julia at her desk


Tuesday November 25, 2014
1:23am
5 minutes
from a YouTube comment

No, no, I’ve learned by now that I shouldn’t be allowed to be left alone..Not with chocolate. Ok, fine, Deena, not with THE salted caramel chocolate. In the BARS, alright? Because, Deena, don’t. No, cause I don’t want to be forced to admit something. I know who I am, obviously. What am I supposed to say that it’s better than sex? WHO WOULDN’T SAY IT IS? You even would say that it is. And I know this because I see the way your face narrows when you hear me describing it. You’d like to think very much that I believe you’re jotting down notes and observations and judgments about my dependency but I know you’re just drawing one big O and tracing it over and over again. You’re a little hypocrite. There’s no such thing as just one piece, everyone KNOWS THAT, DEENA.

“rather than something crafted from odds and ends” by Julia at her desk


Sunday November 23, 2014
11:56pm
5 minutes
from a quote by Mary Catherine Bateson

She leaves a note on the kitchen table
Says there’s pizza in the oven and yogurt in the fridge if you’re hungry
I observe her life without her there
Taking it in, seeing how big of a fan she is of Bob Dylan
The sink is filled with a paste of flour and water
Pancakes, she says, taste better at midnight
I wander through her closet, see her obsession with shoes
Shoes and shoes and belts and shoes
I leave her drawers
I don’t go in them even though I want to
Even though I want to know everything
I can’t stop thinking about the kiss she didn’t give my mouth
But the kiss she wrote on paper
I can keep the one she left there
On the table top with a small bowl
A spoon
And a coffee pot on a cutting board
She wants to care for me in her way
And I could stay all day in her dirty kitchen
Scrubbing the stove free of pancake paste
And smiling to myself

“All of it, kid.” by Julia on her bed


Saturday November 22, 2014
3:06am
5 minutes
From a first draft of a screen play

-You like Ray Charles? You like that song he pours his guts into?
-Georgia?
-Yeah, beautiful right?
-Yeah, the best.
-Everything is the best.
-Right now, yes. Let’s die like this.
-Dance for me first. Before we die happy and perfect, dance as if Ray Charles put music in your veins
-Like this?
-Mmm, yeah, like a little bird, flying high and from the inside out.
-I’m your little bird.
-I’m your biggest fan.
-Mmm.
-Let me lick you. You have no lines on your face. The smoothest skin, no lines at all.
-I’m young and I’m yours and I’m a little bird with Ray Charles blood.
-Mmm, yeah. We can die now.
-Some water first?
-Yeah, you drink then let me taste it from your lips.
-Feed you life…like little birds do…
-Yeah, you dance and feed me, little bird, little bird.

“on which the blues would have sounded” by Julia outside the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam


Tuesday November 18, 2014
4:19pm
5 minutes
from a write up on the photograph Interior by Peter Sakaer

My lungs for you, Amelia, are filled with an intoxicating breath. I inhale you once and I am addicted. I must have you again. I must feel you…
Your nonchalance about this awakens something inside me that I had thought I’d put to sleep. It roars within me. It’s suddenly hungry and ready. I’d happily upset my chest stitches for the chance to please you. Against doctor’s orders to remain still and to avoid heavy instances of “sport”, I will pursue you with my fullest self–mind, body, spirit. And it will require all my dedication but you are worth it. 2 extra weeks in the hospital with despicable food? I can stand it–Nay! I embrace it!

“You steal the water from the valley” by Sasha at her desk


Tuesday September 16 2014
11:35am
5 minutes
Screenplay
Sid Field


I would pickle you if it didn’t mean you’d have to be dead. I would pickle you, just as you are, and you’d keep your shape like the best cucumber does. I’d leave out the garlic and the dill. I’d want you just as you are. I would pickle you if it didn’t mean I’d have to stop hearing your songs. See, those songs are the key to my unfolding. When you play that banjo my heart breaks and is whole and breaks and is the most whole she has ever been. I’d pickle you with your hat on, because I love that hat, I bought you that hat at that stand in Brooklyn.

“Skunk in love” by Julia at Nicole’s table


Friday August 29, 2014
12:50am
5 minutes
Nadeem’s version of Beyonce’s “Drunk In Love”

I was talking about skunks with someone I know. You wouldn’t know him, so it doesn’t matter. But my question was, Why do we even have skunks? I mean, WHY do we even HAVE them? It just feels to me that they don’t help anything around them. They just make humans perpetually scared whenever they meet, and make us hate them out of the fear that they will ruin our days, and therefore our lives. And this guys said, They do one thing, but they do it extremely well. And I was like, what do they do? WHAT do the EVEN do? Just feel completely satisfied with the fact that they can scamper from one hiding spot to the next and build like a ginormous home and family in certain areas because no one else will ever disturb their territory? And he was like, YES, ACTUALLY, that IS what they do. And I thought about it. I thought about it for a long time. He was right. He was. They were superior at protecting themselves without violence, without being sneaky. They just know they smell awful, learned to use it as a defence mechanism, and their children grow up to believe that emitting odours is a cool thing to do, and not to care about what anyone else thinks of them.

“get a rise outta you!” by Julia at The Forks


Tuesday July 1, 2014 at The Forks
8:41pm
5 minutes
from the Phoenix Rising espresso bag

He started doing it to me when we first met. It was before we were allowed to love each other. Probably because I told a different person and I also told myself that I would be committed to him. The other person. I had met him first, he was my first real relationship. It wasn’t a forever thing but it was a then thing. So was he. The other other person. The one I wanted to love but wasn’t allowed to yet. I would look at him while he glanced around the room taking everyone in and learning something that even they didn’t know about themselves with just one silent look. I would hope that he was looking at me like that. From the inside out. And I would dream about leaving the person I had for the person I wanted but didn’t fully know the magnitude of that desire at the time. And he made sure that I kept wanting him. Because he’d tell me things that I’d believe just because it was coming out of his mouth, when really he was just seeing how much I would allow. I didn’t know there was such a thing as learning someone from the inside out. He showed me that. He once took off his glasses and convinced me that his eyes were wonky without them. He asked me if I thought he should get contacts. I said no.

“If you want to change the world” by Julia at Second Cup in Winnipeg


Monday June 30, 2014 at Second Cup
12:15pm
5 minutes
from a poster at Second Cup

I guess stop talking about the elderly as if they’re barnyard animals? I guess don’t say “that chick is just skin and bones” or “that chick shakes when she stands cause she’s just all skin and bones.” I think that’s the first step; to give all people an equal chance at existing without prejudice. I don’t know from where I sand–from where I sit–it just feels like there’s more to talk about than the people we know and especially when they’re not in the room. I was taught that once anyway. “Don’t have conversations with people who aren’t in the room.” I guess that’s about breakups or asking for things, mainly, but it could also mean that it’s better to not talk about someone who can’t defend themselves. There are other steps too-you know–if you want to change the world. First I’d say carry a quarter in your pocket everywhere you go so you can give it to someone who needs it more than you if you have the chance. Second I’d say that praying helps.

“forced to break the locks” by Julia at Sambuca Grill


Friday May 9, 2014 at Sambuca Grill
5:49pm
5 minutes
The TSA baggage inspection notice

Until I knew what I was doing, I was hoping to exist in private. That meant no windows, no doors, no working out in public, no eating sandwiches with too much meat in front of other humans. There was just so much to sort out: How I felt about road trips, if I preferred the raspberry jam with or without pectin, if green was in fact my favourite colour, if I believed in the Lord Jesus Christ as our “Saviour”, if I was able to sleep at night knowing full well I just used air quotes to describe a deity, if I truly did hate jazz or just loved to hate it, how I interacted with sea-life, what, in actuality, was my true cup-size, would there ever be a family reunion that everyone came to willingly, how on earth I had made it so long without proclaiming my love for dandelions out loud.
I knew nothing about myself. I had all these questions, and worries, and paranoid dreams, and I was not about to throw it all away in the presence of other people who might deem said living style as a complete and utter failure…

“the good life” by Julia on the 506 going west


Monday April 7, 2014
9:25pm
5 minutes
from a GoodLife Fitness sign

started off with a bang and i thought to myself, why do i live so close to other humans?
you rolled over and you said the same thing, only in spanish, and we both yawned like it was the answer to the universe.
we tried to get back to sleep but the banging persisted. was a saturday morning sleep-in just far too much to ask? i wondered about it with my eyes shut tight, trying to keep the light out. i groaned and thought to myself, next time we should close the blinds before the weekend starts.
you rolled over to face the wall and you said the same thing, only in spanish, and we both yawned like it was a signed contract for future weekends to come.
the banging. the banging. why can’t those tiny bottle-seeking women just come back after 10am after the lazies and the tired have forced themselves to get up?
finally i had had enough. i got up from our warm cocoon and hobbled over to the window holding my bare boobs with one hand. it wasn’t a human at all. It was a squirrel trying to get into our garbage bin.
mother fucker, i said out loud.
you rolled over and said the same thing, only in spanish.

“36 000 residents” by Julia on the plane to Toronto


Sunday March 30, 2014
3:08pm
5 minutes
Westjet In-flight magazine

I’m happy to report that I’m leaving. I’m leaving this town. I’m leaving my job. I’m leaving my life. I’m leaving my rotten running shoes. I’m leaving my favourite tree in the city. I’m going. I’m going to a new place. I’m going to be happy. I’m going to start over. I’m going to find a human I can love more than myself. I’m going to dye my hair the colour of autumn.
I’m learning. I’m changing. I’m growing. I’m committing. I’m living.
It took a long time for me to decide.
Mostly because I hate flying. I hate waiting. I hate the pressure building in my sinuses. I hate the people who bring their uncomfortable babies. I hate the idea of having to sit in an aisle seat and get my elbows bashed in by someone named Darla or Emmanuel.

“wishing you” by Julia at the Sheraton in St. John’s


Saturday March 29, 2014
2:09am
5 minutes
from a tweet

She made sure she had lots of band aids in her pockets. She hated those blisters she got every time she had to walk for a little longer than usual. She wasn’t holding on to any of that gauze. It was a waste of time. It didn’t stick to her skin. She tried. The real issue was re-learning how to walk so her shoes didn’t rub because she couldn’t afford new ones that didn’t rub which would have fixed the problem perfectly. It was all about the pressure. And the angle. And the weight. And the other stuff. The other other stuff. She didn’t want a blood pool in her heels just because she was in desperate need of an ice cream cone.

“give oneself up to” by Julia at the Sheraton in St. John’s


Friday March 28, 2014
8:30pm
5 minutes
The Pocket Oxford Dictionary

It started with a 2 hour phone call with my mother on the other side of the country. She was happy to hear my voice and all the things I was doing. Told me once, maybe twice, maybe three whole times that she was proud of me and that she was on my team. I know it’s cause she doesn’t want me to think for a second that I can’t or that I shouldn’t be myself. She wasn’t told those things by her mother. She didn’t get to have her skills endorsed by someone who counts, and by someone who matters…the way she does for me.
I told her I got her strength.
I told her I got her heart.
I told her I got her love for people.
I told her I got her good.
She said she hoped that was true.
And I told her I got her modesty too.
It was one of those phone calls that make you cry more than once, more than twice, more than three whole times in one conversation. And that’s because she moves me with her words so I can move others with mine. And so she can say that I got my love for story-telling from her.
Just like I got her lips.
Just like I got her nose.

“allow my worlds to collide” by Julia at the Arts And Culture Centre in NL


Thursday March 27, 2014 at The Arts And Culture Centre in NL
1:15am
5 minutes
from The Pillowman program in St St. John’s NL

I had a moment of desperation when the zipper on my jacket busted. And I was standing in a wind storm. And you were far away from me. And I couldn’t even call you if I wanted to. That’s when I knew that if I didn’t have you, I would have, cheesy as it sounds, nothing. You were around whenever I needed you to be. And I didn’t hold on tightly enough because I didn’t think I had to. You did everything right. And I didn’t understand what that might have meant until I was left searching for some semblance of your spirit. I went through every old purse, hoping I had a photo of you somewhere. Why didn’t I print any photos of you? Why didn’t I do that? I should have known better. When your phone crashes or your computer explodes, you realize how many things you should have backed up. I should have backed you up. And I think I mean that figuratively and literally cause if I had just reminded myself of how great you were, and stood on your team every chance I got, I wouldn’t be left wishing for anything. Because I would still have you. You would be right here. And I would have someone to hold me.

“Spilled secrets” by Julia at the Sheraton in St. John’s


Wednesday March 26, 2014
10:39pm
5 minutes
Atlantic Business Magazine
Jan/Feb 2014


of course there are spilled secrets all over this place. you think i don’t know that? I know that. I know everything about this place. when i was little i used to run this place. you’re laughing but you don’t understand. i was in and out of room corners and closets and hiding everywhere. nobody knew where to find me and i was damn good at staying hidden until i knew no one was watching for me to come out. that’s how i learned about everyone and everything because i got real good at keeping my mouth shut and my ears wide wide open. i got good at breathing with my mind and not with my lungs. i know about each wall plastered with its tiny mosaics of truth and shame. i know about mom trying to hide the pistol and about dad shouting out for annabell, my sister before he went and not me. i know more than you can possibly imagine. and everyone knows one thing or two, but not me. i know each fold in each sheet like it was my nanny, i know each speckle on each mirror like my own shadow. i could fill rooms of books with what i know here. and that’s why i’m so hell bent on leaving now. not that anyone would stop me..not anyone but the secrets. they whisper to me when i sleep. they haunt my dreams like nightmares that are made up by crazy men in their libraries. only they’re real. they’re so real they could kill me just by being in my head. i have a song i sing right before bed so i don’t hear them. i had to invent something when i was young to make sure they didn’t.

“submerged regrets were ready to overflow” by Julia at the Sheraton in St. John’s


Tuesday March 25, 2014
2:49amm
5 minutes
The New Yorker
Feb 17, 2014


You’re mad at me again because I left the stove on for the second time this week. You think I have dementia and you say this to me when you see it’s happened twice. I tell you it was an accident, I have a lot on my mind. I say, I’m not 90, you know. And you don’t laugh at this. You don’t laugh one little bit. I’m sorry, I say, I’m really, truly sorry about doing that, and you don’t say anything which I know is always worse.
You’re not well, Marissa. You tell me that with your head down, sort of shaking it in a “no”, sort of shaking slowly like a really disappointed “no”. I’m fine, I say, and try to force a smile. You leave things around sometimes! I tell you that and you get real angry again. You don’t like that I’ve compared my “dementia” to your carelessness. It’s a different kind of carelessness. It’s more about leaving the back door unlocked after you take out the recycling. It’s more about you forgetting to use a coaster. It’s not life threatening. That’s what you tell me. I argue that the door thing most certainly is, but you’re not having it. This is about my mental health…
Marissa.
You just say my name sometimes like I’ll know what you mean.

“Inn of Olde” by Julia in the van in St. John’s


Monday March 24, 2014
6:01pm
5 minutes
from the sign for Linda’s in Quidi Vidi, NF

You saw it there just collecting dust and you wanted to bend down to brush it off without anyone noticing.
You coughed in that moment. Just enough to distract yourself from what you were doing, thinking, yeah, hey, that’s a pretty good idea, maybe other people will be distracted too.
So you coughed again. And then everyone looked at you because, what, is she sick?
You smiled and you started toward the bathroom. Maybe you could envision the space better in private? You thought that to yourself. You hoped some time away from it would be a good thing for you and for the dust.
You hoped it would start a train of people going to use the restroom as long as they saw someone breaking the ice. The way people always wait to go up for seconds until they see a small girl with an appetite problem go up first and take down two more slices.
You were thinking about that one thing so hard your brain started to hurt.
You left the bathroom with the distraction of entrances and exits.
The crowd had moved so you thought you had an in.
You walked up to it and you looked around. Would anyone even care? You asked yourself this too.

“Touch anywhere” by Julia on the plane to Newfoundland


Sunday March 23, 2014
2:11pm
5 minutes
the Air Canada seat screen

-Is that an invitation, Dana?
-Yeah, maybe. Maybe it is.
-So could you open your arms a little bit? I mean, metaphorically?
-Not really.
-So you’re not ready.
-No, I am, I’m just, I’m …ugh…
-What?
-Nothing.
-Nothing.
-Mhm.
-Come on, Dana, what?
-ffff…It’s stupid. Or I am. I don’t know.
-Stop being…stop being afraid
-Ha. Easy to say–
-I know. But you know once you say stuff a bunch, you gotta follow through.
-Yeah.
-You know, with yourself.
-Yeah.
-So it’s more of a self-help thing. I don’t know.
-I hate that.
-Yeah I heard it when I..uh..I heard it too. It’s not my best work.
-No, but you’re right. It’s true. You’re. hugghhhhh. You’re right.
-Ok I’m going to walk closer to you now?
-Please don’t ask me for permission. Please.