“No one knows what the” by Julia at her desk

Tuesday January 21, 2020
2:02pm
5 minutes
Lost Dog Creek
Brian Doyle

Don’t call me Dottie, only my lover calls me that. It’s Dorothy to you, and I will stand by it. No one knows what the reason is and that’s because it’s just none of your business. I’m supposed to be a lady, is that right? I’m supposed to follow some invisible set of pre-determined rules made for me by whom? Men? I won’t give you the pleasure of thinking you’ve had me beat. I don’t follow rules no matter who sets them, I play my own game. If you knew me, you would know that I stay true to my word, but you don’t so you won’t ever get that great luxury.

I’m a damned good friend, I’m loyal as they come, and I’m a lion when I need to be–and sometimes just because! If I were man would you be waiting for an explanation? If you didn’t have your own set of preconceived and limiting notions would you be expecting anything at all? I don’t care if you don’t think me sweet, or nice. In fact! I’d prefer it. I don’t like those silly labels, some sort of map that I’m supposed to study to know which place to head, left or right or, let’s be honest, back back backwards.

If you knew me, which you don’t, you would know how lucky you really are.

“The judge sighs.” By Julia at the airport

Monday December 23, 2019
2:57pm
5 minutes
At the Arraignment
Debra Spencer

Being vegetarian doesn’t necessarily mean healthy. I’ve seen vegans live off of oreos and french fries. I’m not judging that, I’m fine with it. What do I care if someone wants to do sugar for beeakfast lunch and dinner. Some people are more than their label, is what I’m saying. There are also feminists who want to kill all the men. They say they’re for equality but they have some unresolved anger too. The name isn’t cut and dry just like it’s not fair to say that every indigenous person opposes the pipeline. That’s simply untrue. And racist, isn’t it? To group people together without asking individuals how they feel?

“she honestly does not have those impulses” by Julia at her dining table


Wednesday November 16, 2016
8:48pm
5 minutes
Dear Sugar Radio


I used to say no when I was younger
Labelled difficult
Used to feel everything so strongly
labelled irrational
emotional
sensitive
weak
My sister is 7 and I am 5 and she is having her first Holy fucking communion
I am 5 and she is 7 and she is wearing white, hair in a bun, dressy shoes, holding a rosary
holding attention
getting gifts
for being older?
For having hair that cooperates into a bun?
I am 5 and she is 7 and I have to smile in photographs because my dress is being cute and that is my only job too?
I say No to the photos and to the people fussing over her and to this stupid fucking dress that is not cute enough to keep me from scowling
Labeled younger sister
labeled difficult
irrational
sensitive
jealous
I am 5 and my sister is 7 and everybody loves her more than me
and no one explained this part to me
and nobody warned me about the shadow
and nobody told me I was allowed to feel anything
Nobody heard No and thought
that’s right
let’s not betray ourselves
let’s feel what we feel
and still love each other

“Are you sure about that?” by Julia at her dining table


Wednesday February 3, 2016
7:15pm
5 minutes
Right Hand Man
Stacey Kaser


Kenny carries his wife’s handbag around the house when no one is home. He loves the way it looks. It elevates so many of his outfits. He doesn’t feel ashamed but he doesn’t want to tell anyone. No. Scratch that: he does feel ashamed and is dying to tell someone. Melanie might wonder if he had other things he was hiding from her, but Kenny could promise her without lying that he just thinks he should be able to wear it without any labels attached. Kenny has had this conversation with Melanie inside his head before. It can only go one of two ways. The first being “I wonder what you’d think if I chose to do this.” “I’m totally cool with it because it doesn’t mean you are any less you.” OR…”I have this thing I like to do.” “I cannot be with someone who does what they do without putting all their things into neatly organized boxes.” Kenny believes it’d be the former, but he doesn’t know for sure.

“Return for redemption” by Julia at Belly Acres


Saturday April 12, 2014
6:41pm
5 minutes
from the can of Magners

I wanted to be seen in a particular light so I used to say certain things and have opinions about things that I would then speak out loud about. I wanted people to believe that I was one way. That I was only one way. And I suppose now that I think back on it, I think I wanted to be thought of a certain way because I didn’t want to do any more learning about myself. When people think of you in a certain way you start to behave in that manner and you start to embody what it is others see. Then you don’t have to do any more work. You just have to do what people expect and say what people think you’re going to say. It’s easier. And harder. Because as soon as you have your own thoughts or epiphanies about the outside world, you have to keep those to yourself. Nobody wants you to be what they don’t know how to label.

“strengthened from within” by Julia at Belly Acres


Sunday, September 1, 2013
7:16pm
5 minutes
an Organix Shampoo ad
FLARE magazine


Henry was waiting at the bus wearing his Sunday best and his first ever pair of prescription sunglasses. He was seeing the world with new eyes, literally, and couldn’t be happier with his commute to work. Henry liked his job just fine, never complaining about the long monotonous hours, the meticulous details of the mundane routine. He had learned to understand that his work was just a means to an end and that it wouldn’t solely identify him or put him in any particularly labeled life box. He was wearing his best suit to prove to himself how important it was to dress for success: to not save fancy outfits for the “better day” or “better situation” because if it never came, then you also never would have gotten the chance to wear the suit. Henry felt very confident in his positivity. He noticed how great it felt just at the same moment a car drove too closely to him, splashing him with left over rain water.