“We’ll do exactly as it says” by Julia on the reading chair

Saturday June 22, 2019
7:05am
5 minutes
The Couple Next Door
Shari Lapena

If there is a map I haven’t seen it. I operate under the assumption that there is no guidance. I know about maps logically but in my bones there’s something different.

I can always trust the little push inside my stomach nudging me this way and that. I am often told to look at the map and follow exactly what it says but looking alone confuses me. Following it feels like another thing entirely.

It gets in the way of my experiencing things in the moment the way I like to. It makes me feel unsettled as if I’ve denied a great truth. It has something to do with letting somebody else’s route lead me. As if I’m not able to carve out a route of my own.

Maybe maps are there for those who like to compare and contrast notes. Or to see what’s availble first before choosing to follow a way off the beaten path.

“two complimentary movie passes” by Julia at her dining table


Thursday September 29, 2016
7:44am
5 minutes
cycleto.ca

I come home with a smile on my face and I kiss you on the mouth
You say you missed me
You say this day is better now that I’m back
You ask how the conference was
You ask if I got any swag
I bounce around my tote bag (swag) and pull out the pens (swag) and post-it pad (swag)
You are impressed and I am impressed with my ability to stock up on office supplies
I would otherwise refuse to purchase
Then I reach in and pull out two tickets
You ask me what they are and try to pull them out of my hand
I snatch them away and tell you These Are Not For You!
You try to get a closer look at them and I keep them at arm’s reach
You scowl and cross your arms when you see what they are
You Won Movie Tickets?
I smile again, being coy for some reason
Maybe I Did
Awesome Which Movie Are We Seeing?
I put them back in my bag
These Are Not For You

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


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

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

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

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

“Preach” by Julia on the 99


Thursday May 26, 2016
11:25pm
5 minutes
Overheard on the 99

Mickey and I were laying in her bedroom listening to Eminem and painting our nails. Her mother had called us once to come down for breakfast but we weren’t hungry because we had just finished a pack of Oreos and a pack of cigarettes. Mickey’s mother always smelled of canned ham but she worshiped on Sundays and Mickey wasn’t supposed to miss it. Mickey told me it didn’t matter, let her keep calling until that woman strains her voice and has nothing left for Jesus. Mickey’s mom had 3 other kids to get ready before service so she didn’t call on us as much as I thought she would. Mickey was already putting on her plaid vest with the fur and opening her window so we could bust out the heavy Sunday green. Mickey glanced at me from over her shoulder, a cigarette stuck to the dry part of her lower lip. She said “you’re lucky your mother doesn’t bug you when you’re just trying to have a good time.” I laughed for a second. Then I told her, “you’re lucky your mother is alive!”

“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.

“from bridges to clouds” by Julia on Amanda’s patio


Monday, June 22, 2015
8:16am
5 minutes
theawesomedaily.com

My sister, Monica, loved a book when we were growing up: Bridge to Terabithia. I never read it but I didn’t have to cause my sister told me all about it 2 billion times and it was somehow my favourite book too. I would have favoured anything that already had my older sister’s stamp of approval. She knew good books. I trusted her. Monica also knew how to french kiss and told me to practice on the crook of my elbow. She said that space there felt the most like a mouth that I could get. She was right about that too. She was very wise and so I waited for her opinions before I gave mine. When I told Monica that I wanted to shave my head like her, she told me I should wait until the full moon to decide cause in that moment I wasn’t making the decision for me.

“Overthinking it” by Julia on Amanda’s couch


Sunday, June 21, 2015
2:10am
5 minutes
from a tweet

When Alana showed up everyone else had already taken their pill, or their half, or their second by that point. She was the only one who was seeing the world the way she was and she didn’t know if she wanted to even be there. Someone offered her some M and she took it in her hand but didn’t put it in her mouth. She wondered about leaving with the pill and doing it completely by herself so she could experiment with the environment and have access to recording devices. Alana couldn’t stop pre-planning and she was getting excited by all the possibilities of finding herself away from these people. Some guy with a bow tie danced past her and told her she looked exquisite in the moonlight. She smiled and said, “so do you”, and she meant it, but she wanted to mean it the way he did. She debated where that would best occur.

“And now I know he’s not my soulmate” by Julia at Aroma Espresso Bar


Wednesday March 18, 2015 at Aroma Espresso Bar
8:00pm
5 minutes
overheard at aroma espresso bar

The first thing I did was dance. Second thing was shove a Ham and Swiss baked croissant into my mouth. Still dancing. Still moving. Eating dancing moving breathing. Living. That’s what it was. Fear leaving the body. Pain released into a thousand tiny gold flakes, decorating the sky. The ham and cheese croissant was the only thing allowed in my stomach. No more knots. No more anxiety. No more burying my feelings so deep within me they could hide behind organs and slip under the radar. After the dancing eating moving breathing, FREEING thing I was doing, I threw my head back and I just laughed and laughed and laughed. The day felt warm again and I felt whole–like a hot, gooey pizza ready to be devoured by the hungry and the good.

“I think I’m crying from happiness” by Julia in her backyard


Tuesday May 27, 2014
10:23am
5 minutes
from http://www.buzzfeed.com

Maybe it’s because a butterfly is currently sitting on my knee, or because my baby brother got accepted into med school, or because my older brother just flew his first plane by himself. Maybe it’s because life keeps astounding me and I can’t keep up with how good it all is. I broke up with Massi because he was begging me to move to Milan and live there with him while he relaunched his sculpting business. He called it a business so I would feel more secure in moving my entire life to a place I’d have to completely start over. New bank accounts, new driver’s license, new language, new food, new government, new phone plan. Not to mention Massi was a busy man and I’d see him probably 3 times a week if I was lucky. He told me saying no was an admission of defeat for our relationship and for my existence and he said it in such an Italian way that I almost believed him. But he was wrong. I was not giving up on me. I was giving up on the idea that I needed to please someone else. And so maybe it’s because for the first time I’m living independently. Maybe that’s why I’m so happy.

“Freedom to give” by Julia at Sambuca Grill


Tuesday October 8,2013 at Sambuca Grill
5:44pm
5 minutes
Universal Freedom
George Krokos


Hasn’t she had enough, Tom? Maura asked with concern. Please. We don’t need to be so cruel. She needs a couple of dollars, so what!
She needs to learn how to be independent, He told her. That girl doesn’t know how to do anything but let other people do things for her. I blame you for that, Maura.
Me? She replied. How can you blame me? Because I didn’t want to see our daughter suffer and make the same mistakes we did? That’s what parenting is, Tom, it’s about giving.
She can work for her money if she needs it. She can work just like everybody else has to.
This is different, Tom. She’s not everybody else. She’s gone through something traumatic and it would be nice if you weren’t being such a hard ass.
I don’t think of it like that, I told you. If my parents gave me everything I wanted I’d be dead on the streets by now. By her age, if we want to get specific.
Well maybe she’s not like you. Maybe she’s stronger.

“UHAUL” by Julia at her desk


Saturday, August 24, 2013
12:58am
5 minutes
From the front of a UHAUL truck

calendar had the days all crossed out, it was the 1st, she was moving out.
made lots of big plans for the dresser she no longer wanted.
had called a couple guys to come in and do all the heavy lifting.
was looking forward to the new bay windows, the counter space, and the balcony.
promised herself she was never going to live in a basement ever again.
no matter how much debt she was in.
and she was in debt.
she had refused her parents’ money when they offered to pay off her student loans so she’d be interest fee.
she said she was trying to make a name for herself and couldn’t do that if she was relying on handouts.
little post-its-remember-me notes were tacked on every single box.
some of the notes to herself, written by herself, were directions on how to hold the box, or where to place the box.
she didn’t have any faith in the couple guys she’d arranged to have.
she didn’t want any of her precious furniture to be scratched because some muscle bound monkey wasn’t capable of being gentle.
she was panicked, but excited.
she was looking forward to this new house, new home, new life, that she was creating.
maybe, she considered, firing the movers. just doing it herself just in case.