“I am numb to you.” By Julia on her bed

January 11, 2018

10:41pm

5 minutes

Midwinter

Natalie Crick

It’s a cab ride after a long ride of not speaking. And you are still not speaking to me. I have done all the heavy lifting. At the table, with strangers, painted you in the pinkest of lights. I was talking shop like you’re the bike like you’re the ride. And this whole ride you’ve been avoiding me. Trying your best to bite your tongue and let them hear you noble. And you forget me in the middle of it all. Arm outstretched, fork untapped, drink unclinked, and you do not smile. You make a face at them that looks like good and looks like great and then with me you are alone again. Unriddled by my questions, unannounced as if the couch owned your legs. I am mad for being mad. And for being right. And for being nothing but good. So why does it feel so damn exhausting-to nap during the day and wake up still unloved by you. So tiring to keep this back pocket free in case you slip your hand in, and when you do not ask me how my day was, I know to check for stolen change. Hand in my pocket to protect you against the yell machine, the perfect plane, soaring right back down after take off.

“All tickets sales are final” by Julia on Amanda’s futon

Sunday December 31, 2017

11:16am

5 minutes

From a ticket

I know you and I don’t know each other very well. Aside from the fantasies. Okay, my fantasies. My fantasies of you and me: knowing each other. I almost said ‘nod nod wink wink’ just there. My grade four teacher used to say that. I don’t know why I just told you that. I don’t know what I’m doing right now, I’m sorry. I wish I hadn’t made it weird. You know what, let’s please just scratch what I said. Re re re re-wind! Back to the beginning of time before I ruined everything!

I know you and I don’t know each other very well. I thought I knew you cause my dreams have always been vivid and what I’d even risk calling ‘clairvoyant’. Pisces! Guilty!

“I’ve never been more absorbed in anyone.” By Julia at her parents’ house

Monday December 25, 2017

2:54pm

5 minutes

Elliot, Adam, Elly and Me

Charlotte Joyce Kidd

When I see you differently and you see me the room is shaded pretty like a lilac or a leaf of sage. I haven’t asked for this the way I have been so bold to ask for other things. I have asked for so many now that I’ve lost count. My bones have always wept for this. My dreams have always known. You are crying at the dinner table and I have never felt your pulse as thick. I am crying at the dinner table and you do not turn away. In kiss we are rooted deeply like a fire place, locked. Nothing gets in. Nothing gets out. There is no wondering anymore. About the silence or the motivation. There is no hungry imagination turning dust into villains, holding sweet hostages for ransom. We are a seeing and a knowing now. We rest firmly in this house.

“Back then baby it didn’t seem so strange” by Julia


Wednesday August 16, 2017
10:33pm
5 minutes
Dearly Departed
Shakey Graves


we didn’t use to ask each other anything
shuffled through the corridor with too much heart at stake to risk
we didn’t know what we didn’t know
you thought my favorite colour was blue,might have gotten away with it too if I didn’t walk right on out
it didn’t seem strange when we assumed how each other was feeling
it didn’t seem to bother us too much that all these notebooks were half-filled
now I want to know
I don’t know about you since you don’t know what you don’t know
but I want to ask every question that rolls through mush and makes it out alive
why do you tap your feet like that
why do you forget to book that flight
why do you hate your own eyes so much
why do you lie about how cold your hands get

“Paragraphs of information” by Julia on Nicole’s balcony


Thursday July 13, 2017
12:15am
5 minutes
from a syllabus

Of course I didn’t ask for the ring with the gold flower when she died. I had wanted it since I was small enough to fit in her arms. But I got something better. When I spritzed her perfume in the bathroom I thought I was getting away with curiosity. Turns out my curiosity was too big to ignore. It was the first time she held me. She brought me out of the bathroom with love while I was embarrassed at being caught. Then she gave me the bottle of perfume I had tried on. Just gave it to me. You like it? Here, it’s yours. I cherished that bottle. I kept it in my closet. I didn’t know anything about her-there wasn’t a book about her, not paragraphs of information written about this woman. But I knew the smell of her young skin. I knew the size of her generosity. I knew the way her quiet was her prison. And how she wished she could have given me more.

“several thousand feet above sea” by Julia at her desk


Wednesday March 22, 2017
12:12pm
5 minutes
Traveling Mercies
Anne Lamott

I have lived on the edge separating peace and prayer
the whole ship sank but failed to go under
We learned a lot about swimming
and staying afloat
and how they are not the same thing
we sang for the lost sheep
the ones who boarded too early
we mourned for the found hurt
that couldn’t stand on its own two feet
we do not beg for better circumstances
We fight a thing called tomorrow before
it ever walks out of the womb
we only ask questions we know the answer to
And knowing is not the same as knowledge

“I grasped his.” By Julia at a cabin in Tofino


Wednesday February 22, 2017
10:41pm
5 minutes
Learning to Love You More
Harrell Fletcher and Miranda July


It was sudden in the way that sometimes my own pulse strikes me. I saw his tiny face and I loved it instinctively. I loved everything about him without meaning to; I had not prepared my heart for such surrender. He was something like a perfect feeling. A land without time. The best hug. I threw myself at his helpless feet. I grasped his burden like a swatter catching a fly. I have never thought once about anything.

“the best of” by Julia on her couch


Saturday, April 2, 2016
11:41pm
5 minutes
from a program insert

How do you know if a toddler is thirsty? They don’t know how to ask for things, they get distracted by spinning and highlighters and drumming on the refrigerator with paper towel rolls. How do you know if they need something? I am wondering because as an adult I never even know when I’m thirsty. I mean I know when I am and that I ignore it and that I have to have an app my phone remind me when it’s time to ingest a life fluid that I know I need to drink in order to be healthy. A toddler is waiting for the adult to give him water isn’t he? Isn’t the little one waiting until she sees her cup to know she could put it to her lips and feel better after she drinks? Do you have to ask every thirty seconds? I don’t want to be responsible for a child’s thirst. Do they just swallow their own saliva, manufactured every millisecond by the gallon? Is there some forum online for this? I don’t want to ask this question publicly if the world already has an answer. It’s not even my kid by the way. I guess that’s why I kind of need to know…

“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.

“2 hours or longer” by Julia on the plane


Tuesday January 27, 2015
12:30pm
5 minutes
the Air Canada cafe booklet

Saw him standing by the vending machine. He was biting the inside of his top lip again. There’s a little flap of skin that he likes to chew when he’s focused. His fingers were in his pockets fiddling with a twist-tie or a beer cap. I didn’t see in his pockets but that’s the stuff that’s usually in there. I was already late to meet him but I stood where I was, watching him from my hiding place,and wondering if this was the real him. Alone. Unknowingly being spied on. I could have stood there for 2 hours or longer, just making assumptions and being deeply curious about this human. It made me question if anyone really knows anyone at all. If everyone has a secret self that even we don’t know about..

“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

“Same words in another language” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Wednesday October 1, 2014
11:43pm
5 minutes
from a collage in a classroom

You asked if you could cheat off of me
And I said yes
Because it’s what I’m trained for
Golden Retriever
Revolver
Believer
You asked for my answers and I gave them
And when our fingers touched
Three ring lined paper
Thin
like you
Thick
like me
I felt that thunder
That electric sound
That deep growl
I wanted you to stay
You left
Right
You left
Right
You left
I wanted to say
I’ll give you everything
I’ll shape your hopes into cookies
and I will bake them
I’ll paddle to your cabin
and wait
Wait
Wait for you to come back
Late
I’m early
It’s on me
You go
Quicker than laugher
I’m left
Right
Left
Right
Watching your hair move
like water

“finally after 32 years I discover music” by Julia on her bed


Saturday November 2, 2013
1:15am
5 minutes
Sheila Heti’s e-mail in “An email that’s an apology”
from We Think Alone, Week 18 by Miranda July


He didn’t know it but he knew it and it was building there deep inside his veins. Stirring up trouble blood in a couple major arteries. Whisking it till it’s true and thin and rotten and meaningful.
He didn’t want to ask any questions about it or see if anyone felt the same way. He just acted like it was nothing and went about his day doing his thing. His thing in the bathroom, his thing in the living room, his thing in the basement, his thing in the attic. He went about knowing what he knew with thin blood and a trembling mind, trying to play a constant rhythmic sound, or encouraging those sounds to play around him. But there it was every second without fail: the outrage, the catastrophe, the really perfect excuse, the dying plant on the windowsill.