“if she was obligated to say” by Julia on her couch

Tuesday January 9, 2018
10:03pm
5 minutes
Pamplemousse
Dominique Bernier-Cormier

When I asked her if I could pitch her an idea
her eyes rolled back in her skull like a whip and I waited there
patiently for her to nod her head or give some sign that
I wasn’t just wasting all the god given air in her lungs
Finally she motioned for me to keep speaking and I did speak
but she did not laugh and I waited again for it to click
and for her to realize suddenly how funny it really was
She didn’t do anything or she clucked her tongue
and let me know she had heard but
she didn’t say anything or offer up even a small smile
Of course she was not obligated to tell me how smart my
idea was but it would have been nice
It would have been nice if she didn’t need so many proofs
before suspending her disbelief
Of course if I were to tell her that she’d get angry at me
for suggesting that she didn’t have an imagination
but my real question would be regarding her funny bone

“I abandoned their plan” by Julia in her old room


Saturday July 22, 2017
6:32pm
5 minutes
The Chang Girls
Lan Samantha Chang


K and D start laughing uncontrollably. They don’t even try to hush their loud the way young girls seem to know better than adult ones. I keep my face focussed on the blue-lined paper, the margins, the blank space. I steal a glance at them from the corner of my eye and remind myself we aren’t friends anymore and I don’t need to care. They can be talking or laughing about whatever they want and I don’t have to buckle into myself. D snorts her signature sign of enjoyment and K wipes the tears pooling under her cheap mascara. I ignore them. I don’t need them. Suddenly K comes over to me and snatches my notebook right from under my pretending. I scramble for it. I miss.
K throws my book to D and D snorts again. K blows me a kiss.

“two or more writers” by Julia on Bec’s bed


Tuesday January 3, 2017
10:59pm
5 minutes
bcartscouncil.ca

Two or more writers gathered at the table
Nobody inside yet
Nobody hungry
Two or more writers sit together after more than a year of not sitting together being writers at the same place
Sit together now and laugh about old times and give each other hope
Two or more writers or was it two or less writers not knowing how to define themselves
Even if either one would have given the same title to the other
Two or less writers sit together wondering how it is that before two or more writers were more than just writers and more than not writers
Two or more writers gathered at the table
Eggs and toast eaten
Tea and coffee finished

“Can you please bring me my water?” by Julia in her childhood bedroom


Sunday December 25, 2016
11:52pm
5 minutes
Overheard in the kitchen

Young one is half laying beside me, nodding off and meeting sleep somewhere in the middle so it doesn’t have to come all that way.
Older one is propped up against the fire place, figuring it out pen in hand or holding space for the opportunity in case it comes knocking.
Fire starter keeps banging on the wood, offering silly comments, and roasting chestnuts even though they’d taste better if we were still hungry.
Happy heart is stuffed into the love seat, smiling at me every time something deserves an eye roll or a gut laugh.
You are on the other side of me, keeping my leg and my spirits up, holding my water and my elbow, lifting more up than you ever could hold in your two hands.

“And in the business library” By Julia at The Marriott In Decatur, Georgia


Thursday August 4, 2016
1:46am
5 minutes
the Mariott wifi

I want to make a Clue reference here but I don’t know enough about it to give it the credit it deserves. Solid movie. I mean board game. See what I mean? The reason was because if anything is “in the library” I want to say “with the candlestick!” But that might be the end of it. I probably didn’t need to explain it. I’m bad at explaining things. I wish you weren’t here. It’s weird having another human see me this much and you seem to be amused or something or sweet or caring. Maybe all of those things. Thank you for that. There is a list of things I am thankful for. Remind me to send that to you tomorrow. Anyway you were saying something about the library? The business library? Will you be doing your business there? Sorry, I mean, will you be conducting business there? You can say no. You don’t have to laugh either. I don’t want pity laughs! I guess I never learned to take a compliment! Or a clue! I mean get a clue. Except then it doesn’t really sound that good. But maybe that’s okay. Maybe it doesn’t have to sound good.

“The earth’s insomnia” by Julia at her “New York”


Wednesday March 16, 2016
9:04pm
5 minutes
Moonlight
Lorna Crozier


I have been out stealing rosemary again. Middle of the night. I am not sorry. But I do recognize the pattern. It’s not about much more than needing to have it in my home so I can touch it when I want to and it can calm me down. Some people do the very same thing with animals. I mean maybe they don’t go around at midnight and sneak into people’s front yards, but–I mean they feel comforted by the presence of a pet. So what? I don’t have one of those. I make do. I’m fine. Please don’t ever think my problems will be solved by a cat. They most certainly will not. I don’t need something like that. Thank you for the offer of your offer. I miss my fucking mother. I want to call her and cry and let her love me back to life. I want to tell her that after all that rosemary thieving I didn’t even put any in the roast potatoes. Because I wanted to keep it longer in a vase next to my bed. Because I wanted to hold onto her soft voice telling me for the last time that I was her laugh.

“imagining our future.” By Julia at her dining table


Wednesday February 10, 2016
10:19pm
5 minutes
CBC.ca/books

When I think of our children, we only have 2, you win, I see one with little curls, one with glasses, and both with big innocent loving smiles. How bad would it be if I pictured our kids frowning? They’re not, though. They’re so happy. They have your heart. They have your never ending optimism and your family first attitude. They have my temper, both hilarious and terrifying. I like that they snarl at things as much as they laugh. They don’t give up when enough is enough. They don’t understand “enough.” Maybe I shouldn’t be proud that they’re miniature versions of a trait I’m trying to eradicate. But I am. Anger is an emotion that creates change, carries it, lifts it up, and shoots it to the moon. I think Alanis said that. The part about anger being the vessel for moving forward.

“A boy in my algebra class nicknamed me “terrorist”” by Julia at English Bay Beach


Saturday September 12, 2015
8:01pm
5 minutes
https://broadly.vice.com/en_us/article/life-as-a-hairy-muslim-girl-after-911

I think Luke heard it from his dad or something. Luke is always coming into class with his big words and his big hate and it sounds like stuff his dad says. My dad says that Luke’s dad is a vessel of pure sadness. I don’t get how he thinks he’s sad, cause Luke’s dad is always yelling and screaming and swearing and stuff and that seems like he’s pretty angry to me. Sad is when you cry and when your nose leaks and your stomach gets that empty feeling. How do you get that sad empty feeling when you’re always filling your stomach with cans of beer?
Luke is always saying things to me or to Ruby about our skin and about our voices. He laughs and his face goes all red when he holds my arms behind my back and calls me a “terrorist.”

“What kids want” by Julia at Kibune Sushi


Friday September 11, 2015
6:48pm
5 minutes
from the front page of the Globe and Mail
Life and Arts section


What kids want is to be born into a family that wants them. Then after they’re alive in this world, after they’ve traveled from one distant universe to the one we all share, they want to be held and warmed up, and spoken to very softly. They need someone else to carry their spongy bones for a while so they can rest after their long journey. That’s not asking too much. That’s the least we can do. And after they feel like they’ve been shown a kindness or two, they start to want a couple more things. They want love and they want home and they want patience and they want security and they want comfort and they want ice cream and they want to cry and they want to laugh and they want to shriek and they want to imagine. These and all the other things they want, are the things we can give them. They don’t ask for everything. They don’t need that. We do all the complicating. We do all the blaming.

“Dessert is an apricot tart” by Julia on her bed


Thursday May 21, 2015
11:40pm
5 minutes
SAVEUR magazine
issue 152


And happiness is a sailing ship
the ocean strong
the wind fair
gliding across the water
a beacon of hope
a sign of peace
we all tilt our strained chins to the earth
and we sigh
breathe out
that’s the final taste
that’s the summer sun warming up the frigid ground
And dessert is an apricot tart
the filling sweet
the pastry light
being passed around the after party
a moment of indulgence
a gesture of great care
we all throw our anchored heads back against the sofa
and we laugh

“laugh-out-loud funny.” By Julia on Amanda’s couch


Wednesday January 14, 2015
3:51pm
5 minutes
From the i ❤️huckabees DVD case

Come on tell me a joke.
Well what do you want, funny ha ha, or funny, ah-hah!
I don’t know the difference. They’re the same, both funny.
No, one will bring laughs, the other, realizations! In a moment you could be like, “ohhhh righhhhht” or “ha ha ha ha”.
You’re ruining jokes for me. You’ve just put a structure on humour.
You asked me to.
No, I asked you to tell a joke and you just reduced it to types and shit.
I’m trying to please you.
I just wanted to hear a joke you thought was funny.
I don’t know any good jokes.
Well say that then. Don’t say, which type of moment are you trying to have, a good one, or a seemingly less good one. Who would choose the seemingly less good one.
It’s not less good, it’s about preference.
If I preferred the type of laughter I was going to have I would just type it into the internet.
There you go ruining a perfectly good human moment.
Ha ha!
Really?

“Optimal health” by Julia on a bridge in Venice


Saturday December 6, 2014
5:49pm
5 minutes
The back of the chia seed bag

Mom got sick, mom changed her diet, mom stopped working, mom ate only air and self pity, mom waited for the mail everyday, mom bought a yoga mat she never used, mom began to juice, mom began to sing, mom began to smile, mom began to coach, mom saw her worth, mom hid her grief, mom preached without being preachy, mom reminded us of our lives, mom made sure we knew we were not too young, mom made sure we knew we could help ourselves, mom started saying I love you, mom started laughing at nothing, mom started seeking alternative medicine, mom started smoking pot, mom started sleeping again, mom started resting again, mom had a million phone calls, mom stayed home in her PJs.

“The professional sailors” by Julia in her bed at Ozu


Monday September 15, 2014 at Ozu
12:16am
5 minutes
from http://www.capri.net

Those boys in their tiny hats
Choosing dance from the inspiration in the stars
The big dipper sings
The Milky Way hums
They close their eyes tight when they actively want beauty
Bringing the excluded ones
All the way from their wall beds
To the centre of the moment
So they can laugh steady and bright
Little ones cheer as if in an arena
The whole team rooting for the single silver thread that binds them

“In love” by Julia at Lauren and Jack’s house


Saturday May 17, 2014
7:42pm
5 minutes
from a button

They were real in love like
Dreams left on the pillow
Like hope floating in a glass jar beside the bed like
skin on skin on skin on skin
And they had each other
And they had the moon
And they were all the world could think of
And they didn’t mind one bit
One bit
They were real in love like
Hot breath in the shower
Like finger traced laugh lines
Like mediocre soft eggs turned into a
king’s buffet
And they had each other
And they had the lake
And they had their wishes even if they had to keep them in a drawer
And they didn’t mind one bit
One bit
Cause oh they were real in love like
Fireworks in January like
Silence in the understanding like
Two spiders with a promise

“I might forget” by Sasha at Cherry Bomb


Saturday February 22, 2014 at Cherry Bomb
9:57am
5 minutes
overheard on Roncesvalles

I’ve been following my heart
Like it’s an old friend whom I trust unconditionally and unequivocally.
You know that friend
Who you call when things collapse and you’ve lost all sense of time and morals?
I’ve been letting my heart lead me by the hand.
I find that she often takes me towards strong coffee and sunlight playing through azure stained glass.
Today, she surprised me with shopping on eBay for black boots and paisley dresses.
We’re poor, so I laugh and shake my head and stick my pinky into the jar of almond butter.
We are well worn for our twenty eight years,
us gals.
We find dead birds on the sidewalk and a sob catches in our throat.
We chase the love that we promised ourselves was truest
Even when it aches
Even when growing pains threaten
And thunderstorms brew heavy.

When I forget that she’s there,
that sweet one,
swollen and ripe like an August peach,
she taps me on the shoulder and hums with a tone that sounds like a cello.

“You don’t have to look at me like that.” by Julia at Sambuca Grill


Thursday January 23, 2014 at Sambuca Grill
3:22pm
5 minutes
http://smittenkitchen.com/

There is a man named Eliot and he had weird fingers but those are not the things I mind about him mostly just his laugh that bothers me I think I wish he had a different one more because the one he has makes me feel less funny it’s so big that’s the problem his laugh makes everything seem like irony or sarcasm and I’m not prepared for that and everything else that comes out of his mouth always claiming that’s funny as if his big laugh wasn’t enough so maybe now that I think of it the laughing combined with his talking is what I dislike most if I had to choose and if I had to be specific what’s the haunting echo you wonder not quite relevant to the man with weird fingers but I’ll tell you it’s his twin he had a twin I’m telling you he killed it at birth because he wanted to be the first one out and the twin wanted the same thing I know it’s true because that’s how his fingers got weird they got that way from sticking themselves so deep into another person’s flesh and bones they get twisted up and there’s no fixing it and now that I think of it is in fact relevant

“it’s not my favourite thing to do” by Sasha at Capital Espresso


Tuesday December 10, 2013
5:18pm
5 minutes
overheard at Capital Espresso

You have a dolphin heart.
I see it when you’re sweeping the floor,
when the sun is rising across your forehead,
when you’re singing in the bathtub.
You have a dolphin heart.
I listen to it when you’re sleeping,
when you’re laughing,
when we’re in the mud of fatigue and rage.
You have a dolphin heart.
I hold it when you’re in need of a big salad,
when you yell instead of cry,
when you remember the time they were rough with you.
You have a dolphin heart.