“Age is a work of Art” by Julia on her bed

Tuesday July 17, 2018
11:40pm
5 minutes
from a Banyen Books bookmark

It is an ever changing thing today I got older and younger during the same conversation

I see myself reflected sometimes so young in her eyes

And when I see her as wise and older and let her be, she is kind

Remarkably kind

And generous with her heart

And that is age painted pretty

That is the poster child the reason why, the trailer for the good show kindness is age and love is old

Love is young

Love is ever changing

I hear myself laughing the way she does and I know we are born from the same legs, mixed in the same sky

“I analyzed four rape jokes” by Julia at Pearson airport

Thursday January 4, 2018
7:38pm
5 minutes
Shrill
Lindy West

One of them was funny. I’ll give you that. I can say this because I’m a woman. Because I have certain rights. Because #metoo. Because I don’t want to cry at every mention of the word rape. Out of four, one was funny and the rest were painful. I am a woman and I laughed so sue me, I’m not even sorry. I’m a little sorry. I wondered if I was bad immediately after I let myself smile. The smile turned into a laugh so what was I supposed to do? Be a brittle bag of inconsolable? Who does this help? I am genuinely asking. I am a woman and I don’t know. I am a survivor and I don’t know. Who am I supposed to ask?

I am a woman and I don’t know.

I analyzed all four of the rape jokes. That is my job. I am paid to do this. And I don’t know who decides that this is work or not. That this falls under my job description or not. Am I supposed to give it to someone who doesn’t know even more than I don’t know?

“happy, noisy, Elephant” by Julia at her desk


Wednsday May 31, 2017
10:28pm
5 minutes
Snip Snap Pop-Up Fun
tiger tales


You have tugged my hairs out again and I am
wishing you were dead
In the same hour I notice sudden breast tenderness
and that I do love you
Earlier you popped your face into my work zone
and I nearly called the cops
What a lovely chance to talk about consent
and we both laugh at how
your kisses are never quiet
I could not ask for something more than that
I think, if it’s being categorized,
it would be filed under Lucky
or Happy Noisy Elephant

“let it come through.” By Sasha on her balcony


Saturday April 29, 2017
1:41pm
5 minutes
From a quote by Jackson Pollock

LET IT COME DOWN
that acid rain
LET IT COME THROUGH
those brilliant unicorn
bubble dreams
LET IT COME OUT
the savage and
the succulent
LET IT SHAKE
all those beautiful
jiggly bits
LET IT GO
LET IT ALL GO
LET IT SCREAM
HErE I aM
I aM aWaKe!
LET IT KNOW
the very pearl
of wisdom
that lies in the
very centre of the earth
is the sound of
your laughter
head thrown back
eyes closed
the very pearl of wisdom

“Mangiamo Italiano!” by Julia at Starbucks


Tuesday June 14, 2016 at Starbucks
6:52am
5 minutes
The front page of the Westender

They are sitting around a long table, glass bottles filled with fresh spring water from the well down the road. They are drinking Limoncello before noon. They are cracking jokes in dialect, English, Italian, and a combination of all three. They are sprinkling extra Parmigiana on their pasta shuta, adding extra wine, cheaper than water, to their tiny cups. Some of them add sugar. Some of them fall asleep while drinking it…
They are pouring olive oil on everything, going up for seconds before there are none left, and passing the soft bread, still warm from the hands that broke it just seconds ago. They are telling the same stories that have been told for decades, still expecting the same laughs, the same response even though everyone there has heard them in rotation. They are quiet and trying not to eat as much, or quiet and trying to take it all in, or quiet because there is so much love and it speaks volumes in the moments where only faint chewing is audible.

“Inside our homes there is usually” by Julia on her couch


Sunday February 28, 2016
11:44pm
5 minutes
from a magazine cutout/em>

Inside our homes there is usually less noise, more quiet, less hate, more love.
Usually.
Tonight there is more crying, less calm, more shaming, less light.
We are both nothing and everything, trying to love each other’s nothing and everything.
You do a better job with it than I do. When I am absolutely nothing nothing, you are still everything everything.
I ask you why you are so nice to me.
You answer with a forehead kiss and a squeeze.
I tell you you haven’t left enough space for me here.
You answer with a squeeze and direct eye-contact.
You will not let me take any prisoners.
You are so happy to be brought on board when I remember that you deserve that.
We are each other’s everything. We are our own nothings.
I have to remember that part too.
If I’m painting broad strokes of the everyday, there is usually more laughter, less pain, more teamwork less fight.
It depends on many things.
The things that usually happen 100% inside of me.

“make strong choices on the fly” by Julia at her desk


Sunday November 8, 2015
10:18pm
5 minutes
from nativeearth.ca/w28series/

Okay so I started taking this improv class-that’s what they say, it’s so cool, they don’t even finish the word. It’s every week on Tuesdays and the class is 3 hours long and it is the best thing in my entire life. It’s so funny. People really are hilarious in this class so I never feel like it’s a waste cause I’m always laughing and sometimes till I’m crying and that is the best feeling. Our instructor, Vijestica is a hobbit sized woman and she has a big laugh that starts, I am convinced, in her groin. She’s always snorting and shooting snot out of her nose because she loves to laugh and gets us really excited about our choices! In improv you learn how to YES AND which means nothing is wrong and everything is a good idea and you say yes to the first choice that comes and just keep building on that until you’re really rolling with it all and the jokes just flow and the laughs just follow. Vijestica says this is a safe place to leave the everyday at the door. I am so glad to leave my everyday at the door because working in a cubicle the size of an outhouse in my everyday is actually the thing that might kill me. It’s awful, there’s no silliness or fun, only deadlines and people telling me “nice maroon sweater, Alma,” or “Did you eat my peanut butter tuna sandwich, Alma?” Here, in improv class, we all just smile and tell each other how great and brave we all are.

“I wake in the middle of the night” by Julia at Grange Park


Wednesday, July 8, 2015
3:45pm
5 minutes
from Between Gods
Alison Pick


There’s a ghost in my room and she’s been haunting me since last Wednesday. She won’t let me sleep the whole night because she’s only interested in getting what she needs. I told Cass before she slept over that she might not get a good sleep because this ghost has been haunting me lately and Cass looked at me like, “duh, there’s no such thing as ghosts.” But I’ve been feeling her while I lay there in bed when she wakes me up at the same time each night. I first feel the breeze by my face, and then I hear the laughing. Cass would have to see for herself, so I just stopped mentioning it all together. Sure enough me and Cass are sleeping soundly head to foot, then I feel the breeze. It’s 2:02am. I look at Cass and she doesn’t even flinch.

“I wake in the middle of the night” by Sasha at Moksha Yoga Vancouver


Wednesday, July 8, 2015 at Moksha Yoga Vancouver
9:11pm
5 minutes
from Between Gods
Alison Pick


I wake in the middle of the night and he’s got me by the throat. He’s playing around of course, don’t get the wrong idea.

“You’re a koala when you sleep. You look like a baby koala,” he says, whisper-breathed.

Groggy, I rub sleep from my eyes and roll on top of him. “What time is it?” I say, kissing his stubbled cheek.

“Who cares!” He grabs my ass.

We’ve only known each other twenty weeks. We moved in together after three.

“Oh Cassie,” my mother said. “You’ll get yourself in a real pickle!”

The first time we had sex I was hit with a bout of hysterical laughing part way through. Maybe it the sounds he made, maybe it was delirious fatigue, maybe it was that I loved him but I didn’t know what to call it, so it came out like laughter.

He started laughing, too. We had to stop, we were laughing so hard. He said my “vagina muscles were strangling his wang,” so I climbed off of him and just kept laughing.

“I checked and it looks good.” By Julia at Starbucks


Thursday March 26, 2015 at Starbucks
6:32pm
5 minutes
From an email

I hate sometimes more than I want to
More than I ought to
More than I need to
It fills me up
Enough to skip my second meal
And try to nap for 25 minutes
Before I have to get somewhere
I don’t like when people refuse to laugh at my jokes cause they have no sense of humour.
I know it does not mean they are wrong or right if they don’t find me funny, but the ones who smile without showing their teeth don’t like to be showed up by someone in front of a group of someones. I guess that shows weakness. I guess that shows emotional unwillingness.

“we realize we can’t eat money” by Julia at her desk


Saturday March 21, 2015
6:24pm
5 minutes
from an Indian Proverb

It stops me in my tracks for a second. We can’t keep it, eat it, turn it into fuel and be nurtured by it. We can’t take it with us, weave it into our bodies, make it anything but what it is. It stops me. It stops me in my tracks. When the world is spinning so fast it looks like it’s still..
That’s how it hits me, moves me, like a tectonic plate. I don’t know what I need usually -to remember this. A baby’s laughter, the oil painting of a woman breast feeding her new-born, a warm hug that lasts for at least 6 seconds, the poetry I buy with the currency of my tears. I am energy, I eat energy, I do not eat money. I wear artistic expression. I do not wear money. I think in hearts and hope. I do not think in money.

“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’ll try and take it off” by Sasha on the 99 heading East


Thursday January 29, 2015
6:36pm
5 minutes
overheard at Mina’s Fabric

M: I’ll try and take it off but I’m not making any promises.
W: How could you promise me that? Realistically…
M: Good point but, like, you know what I mean.
Pause.
W: Look, I never meant to let things get like this.
M: I know.
W: And I’m sorry for what I said about your beard…
M: It’s not a big deal –
W: I’m sorry though.
M: I appreciate that. I really do.
Pause.
W: It’s growing on me…
Pause. They laugh.
W: I didn’t even mean to say that.

“These days it’s hard to get a decent haircut” by Julia in Venice


Friday December 5, 2014
10:54pm
5 minutes
Kinfolk Volume 13

Man sits beside me. Smells like the hair shampoo my best friend Natasha used to use. We’re not best friends anymore. She tried drugs and became best friends with the guys who sold them instead. She told me once, here use my bra. I’m too big for it. Borrow it or just take it cause it’s too small. I said, thanks so much. My mom won’t let be buy one. Says I don’t need it yet. Says a sports bra is fine. But hers never fit me. Turns out she never had anything to fit inside them in the first place. Turns out I did, just I didn’t know it. I was slow to know myself. I was slow to question anyone. Guess it’s cause I believed in people. I trusted in someone’s word. Shouldn’t have. Didn’t need to. Guess it was just a life lesson learned like don’t leave your window open at night without the screen down, or don’t eat a brownie if your friend gives it to you while smuggling a bit of laughter cause she really found it on the ground and now you’re the butt of everyone’s joke. So I look to the man. I say, have you always smelled this way? He crosses his arms and looks in the other direction. Then I know I know how to distract people from the truth. I learned by distracting myself.

“for being born and stuff” by Julia at her desk


Friday March 14, 2014
11:44pm
5 minutes
Nelu’s Birthday Card

When I welcome baby Preston I will tell him, “you’re little and I’m big, so that makes me the boss of you!” He will laugh at all my jokes and tell me I’m his favourite sister with his eyes, and we’ll both giggle cause I’m his only sister! I will take him for walks and introduce him to Mr. Andrews who rakes our lawn, and Mrs. Edwards who helps us cross the street with her bright yellow vest. Then when the grass is dry, I will take him to the park and show him what the sun really looks like! I will feed him chunks of bread dipped in Cheese Wiz, and he will make sure the flies don’t land on our stuff by drooling everywhere! I know baby Preston will drool because my Mommy told me so! She said, “He will drool as much as you did,” and I drooled a lot! Baby Preston is supposed to come from Mommy’s tummy in exactly one week from right now. If he doesn’t show up at 2:22 PM, he will be late for his first big appointment. I will teach him how to always be on time and run when Mommy or Daddy calls him. Sometimes you think you’re already running very fast, but I will show him that he should always run fastest before dinner.

“It’s time” by Sasha at her desk


Wednesday, August 28, 2013
8:44pm
5 minutes
The membership renewal card from National Geographic

When you turned out the light, I lay there, eyes open, trying to find the hole in the ceiling. I knew that that this time, usually, I could see a star through there. Spring had gone and sprung, and it was the first warm night, the first night when I wanted to sleep on top of the down duvet. You were under it, as always, sweaty, but happy as a clam in his shell. I looked and looked, until my eyes stung from searching. No star. I got up, the droop of my naked breast catching the eye of the streetlamp peeking through the blinds. You stirred, and I stopped in my tracks. You made a small moan, and I turned to see the soft curve of your nose, the tip of which is one of my favourite things to kiss. I tip-toe into the kitchen and pour myself a glass of water from the glass jug in the fridge. I hear our neighbours laughing. She shrieks and he tickles, or at least that’s what I imagine. I creep back into the bedroom and step over you, careful not to squish a knee or an elbow. I settle into my pillow, that sacred spot between you armpit and your shoulder.

“viciously funny” by Julia at her desk


Tuesday, August 13, 2013
11:58pm
5 minutes
from the SummerWorks Performance Festival guide

I was told once I could make a whole room laugh. I took that as a compliment. But then I met Andy, and he could make the whole city laugh. He didn’t even know he was funny. He had blue hair on either side of his head that made him look like Bozo the clown in a less creepy and sad way. He was my running instructor and used to wear neon socks every Wednesday because it just made him feel better. He’d take myself along with 4 or 5 other women, and he’d jog us around the park until we were sweating like crazy, and a little less focussed on our current divorce situations. Andy was a motivator, and a hilarious story teller. But he didn’t understand how. I suppose he was just that good at it; at believing in the truth of everything, that he didn’t seem like he was in it for the glory. I think that’s what separates people from the good, the bad, and the bitter.

“genuine liquor bottles” by Sasha on the King car going West


Friday June 7, 2013
6:11pm
5 minutes
Fall On Your Knees
Anne-Marie MacDonald


There’s a joy, a huge crest of joy, with frothy foam on top, foam like the head on the best beer, the beer that we drank on that patio in Vienna, that comes from scrubbing the tub. When I was there, on my knees, sweat forming on my upper lip, the smell of tea tree oil and vinegar lingering in the air, I was the most frustrated I’d ever been, or so I thought in that moment. I let out a, “AHHHH!” and scared the neighbour, who thought that I was in bodily distress, in existential crisis, in spiritual agony. And then, the phoenix from the flame, I laughed, hard and long. I laughed til tears flowed, til tears mixed with tea tree oil and vinegar and helped to clean the soap scum and the tiny flecks of shaved off hair.