“okay okay okay” by Julia on the reading chair

Sunday, July 10, 2016
5 minutes
Overheard on the street

It’s the eleventh time (maybe the twelfth) that he’s told me he loves me today and it’s not even noon yet. I think he’s covering up for something. Overcompensating like he does sometimes when he becomes afraid of me. I catch a glimpse of myself being hugged in the mirror, (bent low) by his unavoidable embrace. I say, okay okay okay and he lifts me up, hurt on the inside, and in his eyes. You don’t want me to love you? I catch reflection again and there is hurt on me too. I do, I say, just not parallel to the floor like that, not crumpled up in a ball that makes my back ache. Sorry, he says, I didn’t mean to hurt you. Okay okay okay, I say, I know, no one ever means to. I give myself a time out so I can be far away from him and his love that doesn’t know how to feel rejection. I don’t want to be the thing that twists his insides when he’s happy and makes him drift off to sleep dreaming about my funeral. I tell myself, in exactly five minutes (maybe six), I will go back over there and squeeze him with the honest love I’ve been keeping from him.

“This never happened before.” by Julia on the 99

Monday April 11, 2016
5 minutes
overheard on the 99

You tell me you love me like a bazillion times a day and I say it back maybe once? Twice if I’m in a good mood. I wonder it it bothers you that I say I love pizza more than I say I love your lips or your hands or whatever nice shit you say to me. You don’t seem bothered. You seem normal. Not even phased. I assume because you must believe you’re hearing me return your sentiments every time you say them cause otherwise your heart would need mending. And I’m saying you seem fine so I imagine you feel great about needing to express yourself so much and being with a person who needs coffee before speaking to you and who wants to be left alone for the first 40 minutes after returning home. I used to think saying I love you meant meaning it. If you asked me now I’d say it had nothing to do with that.

“Ich liebe dich” by Julia at her desk

Friday, April 12, 2013
5 minutes
The Norton Scores
Edited by Roger Kamien

It means I love you in German. It means I love you, Dylan. I wasn’t trying to be weird but I thought if I learned how to say I love you in every language I could just tell you one day, you’d be impressed, and that would be that. It’s just. Okay, it’s weird, but Marissa knows how to say I love you in every language because she works at RIM and there are a lot of different people there. Anyway she told me how she learned them, memorized them really, then said them to her boyfriend, Rich, and he was really touched. Like I’m not going to give you the gift of languages and then pretend like that’s the only thing I’m giving you for your birthday the way Marissa did, but I just thought you’d think it was cute that I tried to learn so many things for you. But I also know how to say it in Mandarin! Why don’t you care if it’s in Mandarin or not?! I think that’s the coolest one. Do you know how hard it is to speak Mandarin?