“in addition to the obvious benefit” by Julia on her couch

Tuesday, November 27, 2018
9:20pm
5 minutes
Nurture
Erica Chidi Cohen

you wouldn’t forget it if you posted a reminder above your desk or on your fridge
maybe you need to post a reminder on the place you put reminders
no shame in needing some help
we all need each other
it’s not a secret
we are each other
(might want to write that one out in bold marker so it pops)
but the woman says she will pray for me and when I say good cause I could use it she says, you might want to try praying yourself you know
like she’s lived double my lifetime or something
I roll my eyes at how obvious it sounds
I used to pray all the time
I guess she’s not wrong
I did pray myself out of a fatal car crash once on the highway
I remember how fast I was going and how little control I had
I didn’t know how stupid I could be until that moment
jesus’ name soared out of my mouth as high as I soared in that 96 toyota

“Bible under his arm,” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Saturday August 18, 2018
7:40am
5 minutes
The Unbreakable Thread
David James Duncan

Things got weird when Malcolm started carrying his Bible under his arm. People didn’t take a lot of notice in the first week, thinking it was just some new strange thing he was up to. But a month in, Betty sat her son down.

“Malcolm, why are you carrying around that Lord book all the dang time?!”

Malcolm thought for a moment before answering. Not his usual.

“I’m a Christian now, Mom,” he took the Bible out from under his arm and put it on the kitchen table. “And I suggest that you start reading the Holy Book before your soul is too tarnished to save.”

“What the he – heck, Malcolm! When did this – …?”

Just at that moment Tammy came in the door hollering about lasagna. She was still in her volleyball uniform.

“What’s the matter with you two?” Tammy opened the fridge and drank milk from the carton.

“Resource Recovery” by Julia at her desk

Tuesday May 22, 2018
10:44pm
5 minutes
From an apartment garbage bin

It is as good as bringing Jesus back from the dead
comes with a message and a couple lessons
a few good hugs and whistle tucked at the side of the mouth

Heart strings pulled and twirled around the finger

A lightness of being in a room together without all that unknowing

It is a pulse after a flat line
a dream after insomnia
a hope caught in the wind long enough to blow a kiss at it

The body starts up again after rest
after laying down on the track and wishing

The body breaks free from the wire and builds a blanket fort instead
something soft to land on
something easy enough to lay all the weary and weighted

The sun sets in the sky drawing heat to a close
The shadows paint the city in all their perfect silks and blues and pinks

We eat.

“more than 20 pages” by Julia in her bed


Monday September 11, 2017
12:35am
5 minutes
from bcartscouncil.ca

I found more than 20 pages of post-it notes stapled together
in the garage
top shelf
under dad’s old baseball glove
I liked the style
it got me wondering if I’m the one who did it
maybe all the way back then young me would have wanted to
the writing was worn off save for a few Ands and Obviouslys
I couldn’t make out the phrase
but each square had the same line written in with red ink
for 20 whole pages
it kept going and going
like a man who will answer your questions but never asks you any
I imagined my sister being the author
she could have written her diary out in fragments because of me
it would have been safer that way
everyone knows threatening punishment by way of Jesus
was not enough to scare me from reading it

“Destiny Number” By Julia at The Vancouver Public Library


Thursday January 19, 2017 at the VPL
4:33pm
5 minutes
numerologist.com

I told myself I’d be married at 24 cause of my mother. She was married at 24 and that felt like the best map I could follow since she has never once said she regretted it. I also said I wouldn’t have sex till I was 24 either case of Jesus. Or the patriarchy. Save my sex for someone who loves God more than he’ll ever love me and believes in owning humans as property? Yeah, what a great fucking idea. I was young then. And committed to Christ (by choice, weirdly, I know). And in love with the idea that I didn’t have to make my own decisions cause life was already going to have too many of those in the first place. I told myself that I would have a child by 28 cause of my mother. She waited 4 years to have one after she got married and that seemed smart, and good, and completely doable. I have missed both of these “destiny numbers”(by choice, I know, I know). Somewhere along the way I decided I could trust myself to lead me through it. Sometimes it’s the worst feeling in the entire world. But it’s better than being married with a bazillion kids coming out of my ears. Age, I’ve learned, is just a number that you get to hold for a year. And then–we let it go, just like everything else.

“rub your largest organ” by Julia on her couch


Saturday December 10, 2016
12:27am
5 minutes
from an Instagram post

Marti came to my family in a time of great reducing.
She saw an opening in our fragile hearts, starting lives over in unexpected places, and she burrowed deeply enough that hers leached into ours. She was kind and she was good so it made it more tolerable but she was still implanting her life on ours. She comes to mind when otherwise she would be lost in prayer, when the others were lost to us. After long days and nights she surfaces again. Her kids covered in macaroni, her good intentions folded up in Jesus’ Name, Amen.

“Don’t judge” by Julia at her desk


Tuesday September 22, 2015
9:58pm
5 minutes
from a calendar

Halle and I walk hand in hand down to the end of the driveway. Kristina is on her bike and she looks stupid in her pink helmet. Not because she’s wearing a helmet. But because her helmet has tassels like her bike handles do and it just looks like a the kind of bike a circus monkey would ride. Too many ribbons and too many balloons. Or so it seems. Kristina tries to stop her bike but she hasn’t learned that yet. She’s really struggling. She wants to come talk to Halle and me. Kristina finally gets off her bike and lets it rest on the ground. She also hasn’t learned to use her kick stand yet. Her face is round and rosy and the snot bubble she’s blowing never seems to pop.
“Hi Nathan, Hi Halle. What are you doing today? Want to talk about our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ?”
Halle squeezes my hand. She’s 4 and she already knows that this girl is a quack job.

“OH MY GOD” by Julia at her desk


Tuesday, August 11, 2015
11:18pm
5 minutes
Overheard on Gerrard St.

I’ve been the praying type before! Not really so much now, but before? MY GOD.
HAHA. That was a joke. But in all seriousness, I used to write letters to Jesus. I used to pray asking him for guidance and protection against my nightmares, my fears, my flaws. I had to ask for so much forgiveness just because I couldn’t keep my 11 year old head on straight enough to stop “accidentally” watching the Sunday Night Sex Show, or finding my mom’s electric nail buffer and “accidentally” using it to explore all of my “sacred” places. I said I was sorry at least 15 times a day, followed by a promise that I would be better next time and not do it ever again. I got good at making promises I couldn’t keep.

“say I love your product” by Julia at the CSI coffee pub


Wednesday February 19, 2014 at The CSI Coffee pub
11:50am
5 minutes
Dipped from Julia’s notebook

Deirdre was a door-to-door sales woman. She started off selling makeup and then one find day met Eva, who looked like she was 47 and not the 32 she actually was, who showed her the way and got her into selling knives. Eva trained Deirdre and taught her everything she knew-showing her that “these scissors can cut through pennies,” and “this knife set has a life time warranty.”

I met Deirdre on a windy day in April. She knocked on my door and asked if I was happy with my kitchen, happy with my appliances, my utensils, happy with my life. I wasn’t necessarily unhappy about any of the aforementioned items but Deirdre had a soft pink lipstick on and mascara on both her top and bottom lashes and for some reason, I felt like she actually cared. I questioned myself for an instant before letting her in–still not fully convinced if she was going to sell me on a knife set or on The Lord Jesus Christ as my savior. Chalk it up to curiosity, I let her in, we sat down at the kitchen table and she demonstrated the strength of her blades by cutting through a tin can.