“Trying to comprehend” By Julia on her couch

Tuesday October 10, 2017
9:36pm
5 minutes
from emmadawn.com

I am writing this with my bad hand, Amy. I am trying to see how my thoughts differ. Where my bad hand has always wanted to go. My stomach has grumbled three times in a row. One for the refried beans. One for the salty beef. One for this guidance. I let everything happen as slow as it means to. Images dance sweetly, pirouetting across my eyes. I can see something clearer like dreams or the next good idea. I think you should try it. I think you will find it thrilling. What’s not moving too fast to catch. What’s the whole point of documentation. I write it to get it down. To keep it here. I like it enough to make it stay.

“Rivers till I reach you” by Julia at her desk


Thursday August 3, 2017
6:36pm
5 minutes
Rivers and Roads
The Head and the Heart


I heard the seagulls laughing last night. I don’t think they wanted to be. I don’t know if anyone else noticed. No one seemed to be ducking or running, or telling them to piss off. Maybe it was subtle seagull warning signs meant for the clarvoyant. Maybe that was their gentle way of peeling back the scales on the eye I keep hidden. I thought about listening but then I was too afraid. I did run for a bit. I decided to stay on the sidewalk even though the path up the hill would have been faster. You asked me nicely, that’s the only reason why I don’t do it anymore. Anyway, I just wanted to let you know I’m fine and the world might be ending but it hasn’t yet so, all good. And if you want, I can try to let you know if I hear it again. I’ll try to read the room.

“I didn’t want to wait in that line either” by Julia on the plane


Friday July 7, 2017
6:25am
5 minutes
overheard at Vancouver international airport

Dear JT,

It’s almost time to say goodbye. We’ve all been awake since four in the morning on account of a sweaty sleep and a flight to catch. The bed has new sheets but you won’t feel them till next week. I slept without clothes and it was still an inferno. I am almost glad you weren’t there. of course I’d rather see you, and even now as I write this, I regret saying that. I think Emmett will be fine on trip-we got him one of those thingy spinnings? I don’t know what they’re called but I’m sure you’ve heard of them. They’re everywhere.

“when you sign up” by Julia on the bathtub


Saturday April 22, 2017
9:43pm
5 minutes
From the Aeroplan flyer

The flyers keep filling up my mailbox. I am waiting for your letter. I have to check everyday that the flyers haven’t eaten it.

The summer was filled with mosquito bites and eye licking. You let me lick yours after we did mdma. We took photos of your keys and wallet from underneath the glass table.

You said you’d write and then you never did. I wished I didn’t care. Then you moved. And now neither of us know how to find one another.

“We’ve got your back” by Julia on her couch


Tuesday April 26, 2016
11:30pm
5 minutes
from a Suburu ad

Got a letter from Marie the other day. It was written on a series of post-its, unnumbered,disordered, and accompanied by a stack of photographs. She sent me a photo of her new belly button ring with a big “SORRY!” Written on the back in red lipstick. Another of her dog, Kate, and her just waking up. She looks happy in that one. She also sent a photo of her and Iris swinging a toddler between them. On the back she wrote “this ones a good one” and I have no idea what or who she’s talking about. Her post-its had her dreams scrawled on some but not all, a list of all of her current measurements, and a haiku about mint chocolate with a bunch of sparkly cow stickers.

“feel free to talk to me” by Julia at her dining table


Tuesday April 19, 2016
9:36pm
5 minutes
from an e-mail

Dearest Dot,
I am wearing the friendship bracelet you sent me in your last letter as I write you this letter in response. It is beautiful. You have such knack for colour coordination and choosing the coordinating colours that suit me best. My favourite part is the little H stitched in. How did you do that? You must send a tutorial for me to try in your next letter. Before I forget, I wanted to enclose some photos of me and my family while we were camping at Driftwood Beach this summer. I think you’ll find a pleasant surprise in the photo with me and Elsie holding her fetch ball in her mouth! Won’t spoil the surprise but I wanted to give you a heads up to look for it. Joshua tried to kiss me again behind the big elm tree in my backyard. I told him that if he keeps doing it I’ll have to find someone else to be in my play. I heard Benjamin and his brother, Nick, wanted to be in it but are too shy to talk to me. I wonder why that is? I like talking to everybody! I hope that you feel like you can talk to me? I mean I know you do because you always write back! Well I hope you know that I want you to feel free to talk to me about anything. Even this request!

Until next time,
Heath Heath

“No I’m glad you did.” by Julia at her dining table


Wednesday, April 6, 2016
11:24pm
5 minutes
from a text


This cute 17 year old just offered me a toke of his spliff and then told me if I wanted he would buy me chicken wings and show me the place that will change my life. I took a hit and I said “yeah alright” to the wings because I’m no idiot. I think he knew I was older but assumed just by a year or two and not a decade + two but I’m not in the business of walking people through life. If you have a question, ask it, if you think I’m a radiant and sexy 19 year old who will still be taken in by a high schooler’s charms then that’s what you think. Who am I to tell him I’m a little too old for him or that I’m in a relationship? He didn’t ask maybe he doesn’t want to know. Maybe he doesn’t care. I’m not going to be presumptuous. Maybe I’m going to kiss his soft baby lips after he buys me chicken wings. Maybe I’m going to give him my phone number so he can text me how much he needs me.

“Seems stressed always.” by Julia at Platform 7


Tuesday, April 5, 2016 at Platform 7
5:12pm
5 minutes
from a text

You can find me in the poorly lit coffee shop scratching at my scalp, tiny flakes of dandruff floating into my keyboard as I type a letter to your mother that I will likely never send. I have escaped the confines of our bachelor apartment, spent the $2.75 on a coffee that reminds me that people are dying in places all around me, and have been here since the place opened. Miller is working a double and doesn’t ask me to leave or buy a sandwich. When he sees my crumpled forehead and my dandruff start to pile up in between the space bar and the track pad he knows to keep his distance. I am writing a letter to your mother and in it I am breaking up with you and I am breaking up with her. I am telling her why first so you can’t spin the story. I don’t want her to think less of you but I think she should know the truth. It’s taken a lot of my energy to think of the right words. I already have the right reasons. They’ve been living inside of me as long as your Taco Bell leftovers have been sitting in the fridge, collecting mold, being avoided like the plague.

“the window is open” by Sasha on her couch


Monday February 8, 2016
10:14pm
5 minutes
from the song playing on the radio

Dear Jazz,

Here’s a picture for you. Shitty chow mein is on it’s way from this little hole in the wall place on 14th. I am not wearing pants. The window is open and I’m smoking inside because I am a badass and I HAVE MY OWN APARTMENT! I can’t believe it’s actually happening – this moment that I’ve dreamed about for the last century. I don’t miss the smell of my Mom’s stupid perfume and I don’t miss my brother’s asshole face in the morning and I DO NOT MISS sharing a house with idiots! It is pure peace and serenity and independence having one’s own space – a whole bachelor! A whole five hundred square foot refuge! PLEASE tell me that you’re coming for Thanksgiving?

“I FIND MYSELF SO INTERESTING” by Julia on Jess’s and Rick’s couch


Saturday, January 2, 2016
2:43am
5 minutes
Mickey
Chelsea Martin


Dear Self,

Damn good job so far. I am proud of you. I have enjoyed being the voice inside your head, but also the fly on the wall that listens when you’re focused and thriving. I think your determination to find yourself inside yourself is incredibly inspiring. You should be proud of you too. You have not given up on your quest for truth and I like that about you. It makes things fun. I especially like it when you challenge your previous notions, opinions, behaviours, and desires. It’s very thrilling! Sometimes I hold on tight and secretly wish that you drove more gracefully but I have to admit that I would resent you for never risking anything. Nice balance! It’s a little new, isn’t it? But I’m impressed with how little the newness prevents you from investigating and fighting for yourself. I love you a lot. I’m excited for what’s next.

“It’s already 10 o’clock!” by Julia on her couch


Wednesday December 2, 2015
6:00pm
5 minutes
said by Joe

Time is flying by and I wish he would just look up from that damned banjo of his for a second to notice that I am no longer interested in dicking around. When you meet the person your heart chooses to love and accept and be challenge by on a daily basis, why waste a single minute of that time after you’ve made up your heart to do something about it? I don’t think he believes that I love him and only him. I think he needs me to write it down and mail it in a letter! Maybe that’s what I’ll do, put it on some pretty pink stationary, spray it with my Eau De Toilette, then shove it in an envelope and seal it with a kiss! Telling him, you better hurry up and marry me quick before I change my mind about you, mister!

“Letter Writing” by Julia at her desk


Thursday November 26, 2015
11:44pm
5 minutes
from the specials board at Our Town Cafe

Dear guy from the Turkish market buying one kilo of sun-dried tomatoes while wearing a safety vest,

You may have just stolen my heart, permanently, and I’m okay with that.
See I was looking for someone new to give it to, after I got it back from the guy I lent it to without knowing. I was tricked into telling him things about me and letting him see a version of me that most people don’t want to see, or shouldn’t see, or…Oh…now I wish I hasn’t mentioned that part at all cause it’s a bit embarrassing…..
Umm….If I hadn’t written this in pen, I would have erased the aforementioned weirdness but because I hate the way stuff looks scratched out, I will leave it in hopes that you don’t actually mind a little oversharing every now and again.
Back to the important matters at hand, guy wearing a safety vest.
I love sun-dried tomatoes so much and to see you buying them in such a large quantity is incredibly heartening. I can only begin to imagine what you’re planning to do with so many beautiful tomatoes. My biggest fear is that your wife or girlfriend or mother sent you here to buy them for the big party you’re announcing your future plans with a woman other than me at.
….Oh boy.
I wish I could erase that part too.

“I love kittens!!” by Julia at Our Town Cafe


Sunday November 22, 2015 at Our Town
3:14pm
5 minutes
from a text

Dear Diary:

I love kittens!! Mom said if I finished reading my new book that she got me (it’s called: KITTENS) and ask Auntie Genie about the responsibilities around raising an animal friend as a pet, she MIGHT, maybe, will POSSIBLY consider letting me go to the shelter (where they keep the kittens from dying before they’re old enough to take care of themselves) and learn about some of my favourite ones. When I told her that I promised I would and would make sure I was very well informed about kittens and EVERYTHING they need before I asked her to get one, she said, Now, Izzie, this is not a YES or a NO it is a MAYBE, and it is ON CONDITION. I Know I know I know already. She is “non-committal”. Just like my father was. Or at least that’s what Auntie Genie tells me. She told me that FACT when I asked her once if he left because he was allergic to me. She said, Of course not, but that would have been a better reason.

“It wasn’t good in the first place” by Julia at Kafka’s


Saturday, October 10,2015 at Kafka’s
3:35pm
5 minutes
overheard at Gene Cafe

I am making amends with my old self. I want to say I’m sorry for all the pain I’ve caused her. She was young, she didn’t know any better. And she tried. Oh, she tried. She wasn’t trying to hurt me and I see that now, she did her best, even though she was not well-rested. A lot of decisions made after not enough sleep. And a lot of decisions made, without the right things to eat. Putting toxins in her belly, instead of love, she did her best. She did what she thought was enough.
I am making amends with my old self. She was young, she didn’t know better. And she tried. Oh, she tried. I can see her efforts now. Holding up a cracked mirror. I can see her clearer. She was just looking to find a little peace. A little more ease. A little more release. And sometimes it was hard and she dug her heels in, she didn’t want to deal with the repercussions of the universe. Oh, how do I blame her? She hadn’t met me yet. So now I can forgive her. She did her damn best.
I am making amends with my old self. I’m sorry for all the harsh words I’ve said. She was young, she didn’t know better. And she tried. Oh, she tried. I should be offering thanks. I should be offering an olive branch. I should be inviting her to stay the night if she needs to visit again.

“Then the chicken to fry” by Julia on her couch


Saturday, August 15, 2015
4:17pm
5 minutes
Women Work
Maya Angelou


Hi Dad,
How’ve you been? I already hate that I’ve started this letter with a pleasantry, but I didn’t even know if I should write this in the first place and now I’m doing it so let’s just see how it goes. I actually don’t need to know how you’ve been. Sorry for asking that. I saw a chicken and waffles place on 5th and Carmichael last Friday and haven’t been able to concentrate on my life because it’s something you are somehow attached to now and forever and I’m a bit fucked up about that for some reason. I went in, I ordered a huge plate of the stuff and then cried into my fried lunch for about 12 minutes straight. I wasn’t planning on telling you that but here I am writing you a letter I didn’t plan on writing to you either.

“wrote a long great piece” by Julia on her bed


Friday, July 17, 2015
2:47am
5 minutes
A tweet by Sheila Heti

Dear Edith,

Your last letter was hard to read and yet I find myself rereading it every day; sometimes twice. I didn’t know there were so many things you found unpleasing about me. After all this correspondence, I suppose two people can fight just as they would if they saw each other face to face as often. I am understanding of our closeness and though I’d like to believe our relationship is immune to the casualties of constant interaction, I see now that it is not special or unique at all. Part of me likes that it is not because it takes some of the pressures of perfection away. I know now that if you can hurt me, I can hurt you, and that doesn’t make us love each other any less. What I struggle with is the fear that you have felt this way for some time and my once beloved qualities have now added up to an amount that is undesirable to you. Please, Edith, if you would, respond in honesty: Have I been bothering you for long? Or have you just recently noticed my flaws? I wonder this for if it’s the latter then I have to ask: Is everything in the right place with you? Sometimes, my dear Edith, we see ourselves in others…

“Our backyard garden plot” by Sasha in the passenger seat of a Car2Go


Saturday, June 26, 2015
11:32pm
5 minutes
From the back of a photo from Sarah

Dear Jemima,
I put in the garden this weekend and I can’t thank you enough for sending over those seeds. I can already feel them growing. It’s amazing to look over the raised beds and think of the cuttings from Babs and the seeds from you… You’re both growing so close! I like that a lot. I bought a huge bunch of garlic scapes at the market and I’m going to make them into pesto. They’re so pungent! Do you think I should roast them first or something? Garlic and parm and stuff? Whenever I’m in the kitchen I think about you and how easily all that stuff seems to be when you’re doing it. You effortless beauty. I’m always second guessing every move. I’ve got to try to be more confident, I think. Have you got a garden this year? I know it’s a commitment, but I don’t think you’ll regret it.

“Their smiling faces touched” by Julia at her dining room table


Monday March 16, 2015
5:47pm
5 minutes
Still Alice
Lisa Genova


In the window fog she traced his name with her pointer finger and drew a heart around it. Finding herself rereading the same last paragraph of his letter over and over again, she knew she wasn’t going to rid herself of his memory with any ease at all. She stopped herself for an instant, glanced out into the passing world outside her moving train, and came back into the present moment. She had been talking about him as if he had not only left her, but left this earth all together. Then, a tiny ember of hope flickered inside her. He wasn’t even gone, just away. Just away from her. His final words to her,the ones she’d been revisiting each time without effort, were suddenly so clear to her: “In time we fade and in time we’re built anew.”

“some of your visitors” by Julia in London Fields


Wednesday December 31, 2014
6:11pm
5 minutes
http://www.wordpress.com

Some of your visitors have been overstaying their welcome. They have still not brought you a nice bottle of wine and they somehow continue to forget to take off their shoes before going upstairs to the bedroom. What I will say to you, and you know to whom I’m referring, is that certain guests who don’t show appreciation for their hosts’ home will not be tolerated to remain visitors. Some of your visitors have contemplated stealing from you, taking your possessions hidden deep in the over-fridge cupboard when you are in the shower or out picking up items to make their breakfast. This might be a warning. I’d take it as such if I were you.

“with my name on it” by Julia on the overground


Monday December 29, 2014
9:14pm
5 minutes
Little Lord Love
Mary Oliver


It’s mine, it’s mine, can I have it, will you give it, it’s mine, I’m behind, can I will it, can I kill it, will you let it, high and set it, a thousand dreams to forget it, it’s mine, all the time, can I drink it, can I sink it, it’s mine, with my name, can I own it, can I show it…

Sebbie had a crazy way of looking at the world. She was cold a lot. In her bones. So she didn’t know when she was uncomfortable or just unlucky. Instead of saying “it happened for the best” Sebbie goes out of her way to say “it happened for the worst”. I don’t know anyone who goes out of her way to say the “worst” of anything, but Sebbie did. She was trying to stay strong and good and alive and alert. She was trying to win the game of life, and by being a bit nutty, a bit realistic, she believed she was doing it. She was never good at sharing. She had a possession problem. She wanted everything to say her name and to have her fingerprints all over it. She wanted to prove she owned something in this life, not that you can take it with you anyway, but in case you could…she wanted it.

“Ann hasn’t spoken to anyone for a month” by Julia on the overground


Sunday December 28, 2014
4:29pm
5 minutes
rom an AgeUK overground ad /em>


Oh it’s not personal, Lizzie, she doesn’t talk to anyone anymore. She’s always been a quiet girl and that’s nothing against you, okay? You’ve got to get good at not taking her behaviour as an attack on you. She doesn’t even realize it upsets you so she’s not doing it on purpose. Before was different, I’m aware of that. She would give you more room to play and joke and she wouldn’t push you away. But sometimes these things happen. You know what you could do? You could write her a nice letter. Tell her all the things you want and then just let her read it on her own time. That way if she wants to respond, she has your example letter right in front of her. It sort of gives her permission to communicate in a way that she probably hasn’t thought about.

“you can power through” by Julia on the tube heading west


Thursday December 11, 2014
6:21pm
5 minutes
from a Nurofen tube ad

Dear Hannah,
There are lights in the trees here. It’s so nice to be around a place that cares enough to put lights in their trees. Really makes you feel like you’ve found a spot worth staying. They assure you with their details. With their simple adjustment of the everyday. No snow yet! Got a bit lucky there. I know, I know, grow up, buy proper shoes. Boots! I know, I know. You would hate how cold it is without even having snow. My ratty sneaks will live to see another week!(or at least that’s what I’ve been praying for 😉 …sorry!)
I’m finally eating vegetables and drinking more water. The probiotics are helping but I still dream of salted caramel hot chocolate. Today I feel less alone than yesterday. Something in the air I guess. Trying to power through, like you said.
Talk soon?
Miss and love.

-B

“on which the blues would have sounded” by Julia outside the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam


Tuesday November 18, 2014
4:19pm
5 minutes
from a write up on the photograph Interior by Peter Sakaer

My lungs for you, Amelia, are filled with an intoxicating breath. I inhale you once and I am addicted. I must have you again. I must feel you…
Your nonchalance about this awakens something inside me that I had thought I’d put to sleep. It roars within me. It’s suddenly hungry and ready. I’d happily upset my chest stitches for the chance to please you. Against doctor’s orders to remain still and to avoid heavy instances of “sport”, I will pursue you with my fullest self–mind, body, spirit. And it will require all my dedication but you are worth it. 2 extra weeks in the hospital with despicable food? I can stand it–Nay! I embrace it!

“party town ballon time!” by Sasha in the bath


Wednesday November 12, 2014
10:02pm
5 minutes
From a text from Bec

Hey babe,
How’s it going? How was Jenny’s birthday? Party town balloon time?! I wish I could’ve been there. I miss you sooooooooo much. Like, you don’t even know. It sucks being here. My Dad is cool and my Mom is trying her best not to be a bitch but my brother? Oh my god. I honestly think that he’s an undiagnosed sociopath. Like, fully. He’s collecting dead bugs and archiving them on his wall. The wall of his room. My Mom says, “Leave him be…” as though there’s nothing weird going on at all. And he is totally obsessed with video games. He has a TV in his room now and sometimes he doesn’t even come out for meals. Mom leaves food outside his door like he’s in prison. It’s so weird. If I didn’t have Denny’s I would shoot myself in the head. But, I’m saving money, so that’s good. I guess. Ever since that DUI my parents aren’t helping with tuition so… I have to do what I have to do. I don’t want to be a bum my whole life so I have to finish this stupid degree.

“I’m in Bali! I was greeted by a rat.” By Sasha at Vancouver General Hospital


Tuesday October 7,2014
1:45pm
5 minutes
From a text from Bec

Dear Mom,

I’m in Bali! I was greeted by a rat. Normally that would really freak me out, but I was charmed by it! It was actually kinda cute! Monica and I are getting along okay… I might travel on my own for a bit, though. I’m good, don’t worry. I’m healthy. I haven’t been bitten by any snakes. Monica’s “seeing” this guy, Felix, he’s from Australia and he smells like that weird massage lady that used to come to the house… He’s a huge mooch, he tags along everywhere and he doesn’t pay for anything! I don’t get it because Monica made a huge deal when we left New Zealand that she was on a budget and no more eating out and we had to get jobs and… Felix is an ass. I’m sorry but he is. The most awful part is that we have to share a room. The three of us. I feel so gross. They make out until I put my earplugs in and I’m sighing so loud and, like, it doesn’t seem like she is getting the hint! Who knows what they do then. Sorry if this is TMI. I’m really losing it. I want to come home. I don’t know how I thought I could do this for a whole year. My backpack is falling apart. My feet have the nastiest, like, infected blisters… I need a haircut so bad.

“All of you come here” by Sasha on her futon (on the floor)


Sunday September 21, 2014
10:43pm
5 minutes
Overheard at the beach in Levanto

Hey,

I’m writing because Skype is bullshit. When your face freezes I feel like I’m losing something I never truly had and I can’t bear it. So, what I was saying when we got cut off is… I’m glad that you’re taking care of yourself but I worry about Bubble Syndrome. You know, that thing that happens and is awkward to talk about when you forget to call your father and you forget to text me and you end up in the bubble of your own head, of your own Halifax and it’s… painful. It’s painful the most, it’s the most painful for you, I think. You have this notion that you’re taking care of yourself, that you’re holing up with your work in a good way, but, be careful. Sometimes it’s not good. Sometimes it’s nasty and you smell like a hedgehog. Eat spinach and stuff, okay? If you only eat beef jerky and barbecue chips you will get scurvy. That’s not even a maybe. That’s a for sure.

“a rebirth or maybe a leap” by Julia on the beach in Levanto


Monday September 22, 2014
12:20pm
5 minutes
from Jess’ email to her family

I wanted you to know (ocean air)
That I’m doing some growing
That I’m doing some growing but not away from you
In the distance of Here to There I have laid down tiny cut outs
Of my heart for you to follow
Trace back to me when you need
Or when you can’t sleep
If the letter written in my hand
The one I write for you (mountain springs)
Never reaches you
There will be another route
For you to find your way
Back to me
And this space has a fullness
Because I am making sure I water it
Swelling with the blood that pumps my joy to yours (sky eternal)
A tiny river that you can swim through
If the road around it gets too rough

“(Warning: This is going to be personal)” by Sasha in her garden


Tuesday June 24, 2014
10:25pm
5 minutes
mytinysecrets.com

Dear Jenni,

How are you? How’s Nashville? Are you a big star yet? Haha! Candice said that the two of you Skyped on Sunday and that you found a really nice room in a big house with some other singers. LUCKY! Really, though, I’m glad to hear it’s going well for you.

Okay. Warning: This is going to get personal. So, Steve and I finally talked last night. Oh my god, Jenni, it was crazy. We were at Candice’s and her and Topher were on the roof doing who know’s what and Steve and I were left alone in the backyard. He initiated it. Crazy. Totally crazy. He was like, “So, I guess we should probably talk about everything that happened and how I was a total dick to you when you really needed me.” Those were his exact words, I’m not even exaggerating or anything! So we talked and he said that he feels really bad for not showing up for me or coming to the appointment or helping to pay for it. I didn’t play it all cool style like usual. I was totally crying and it was okay, he was okay about it. We hugged and he kissed my cheek and he said that he really wants to support me from now on. CAN YOU BELIEVE IT? I don’t think we’re going to get back together or anything. I just think we’re going to be friends… But you never know.

“do not expose” by Sasha in her bed


Sunday April 6, 2014
12:34am
5 minutes
from the back of a pack of gum

He found a letter from his father, to his mother, in her underwear drawer. It remained in the envelope in which it had arrived. The postmark read “August 2001”. Thirteen years ago He was looking for a bra, one with three small hooks on the back. He wanted to practise opening it. He’d put it on one of Ella’s life-sized dolls and try his best. That way, when it came time to take off Katherine’s, he’d be really good at it. But, he got distracted. he found that letter from his father, to his mother. Her line had always been, “Your father took off when you were five, and that was that.” Ella asked questions, sometimes, but it just made their mother pissed off. “That was that,” was supposed to suffice. He felt the hot rush of adrenaline, of being caught, of finding out the truth. He felt bad for his mother. He felt bad for himself. He tucked it into the pocket of his shorts and went up to his room, bra completely forgotten. He sat on his bed and read the first line. “Dear Reece, I’m sorry I’ve been such a stranger.”

“it’s okay” by Julia on the 506 going west


Friday January 17, 2014.
5:18pm
5 minutes
overheard on the corner of Spadina and Adelaide

Everything’s gonna be alright
The world will stop when it’s time
Everything’s gonna be fine
Don’t hide baby don’t hide
When the tide is resting
When the shore is calm
That’s where you will find me
That’s where we belong
Everything’s gonna be alright
The day won’t last forever
Everything’s gonna be fine
Don’t say never baby, don’t say
When the wind is sleeping
When the breeze is dead
That’s where I’ll take you
That’s where we’ll live instead
Everything’s gonna be alright
The sounds of the night are ending
Everything’s gonna be fine
A dream is just a dream is just a dream

“You’ll always be older than me” by Sasha on the Queen streetcar going West


Tuesday December 17, 2013
12:03am
5 minutes
From a birthday card

Dear Allison,
I want to be mad at you. I want it like SAT scores and peanut butter cups. But I’m… not. I look at you and I see our effing grandmother. I see the photograph of her wearing the red hat and black coat. Your face is shaped just like hers – like the moon. You’ll always be older than me. You’ll always have a birthday in January and I’ll always have a birthday in August. Aquarius and Leo. Those should be our names. Who needs “Allison”! Who needs “Suzie”! I want to be mad at you. You left me here with the depressed dog and our Father, who would rather be playing hockey than making me dinner. I hope University is really great. I do. I really do. I hope you’re kissing lots of attractive boys and that you’re wearing a great pair of boots. I hope that the food isn’t making you hefty. Joking. Joking. I love you, Al. I miss you. See you at Thanksgiving.

“modern doughnuts” by Julia on the 506 going east


Saturday December 21, 2013
5:22pm
5 minutes
From the Jelly doughnut store sign on College

And you could be better than me
cause you have seen the beast in me
and when I am alone I know that it’s right
for me to try to give you over, give you up tonight
My sacrifice for this good world, is setting you free as a bird
to fly with anyone who loves you as much as you love me
I’m scared of keeping you on the ground
I see it cinematically
with your life’s movie credits scrolling by
and the role I play is the Girl Who Ruined You
I am saddened by it all without the shame of admitting it, and it’s something
I don’t admit at all
to any one just cause they’re listening
you should be better than me
do better than me I swear
Life’s too short to hope for someone to give you what you always deserved
you earned all the good things
and I’m not a good thing
unless you’re blinded too….
I wouldn’t want to take, every single chance away from you
So take from me this gift of flight
this opportunity grand
and when you say hello to the night
you’ll know I would follow you there
But you’ll just have a head start
And maybe someone who brings you modern doughnuts from the little shop
down the street for no reason

“You’ll always be older than me” by Julia at Sambuca Grill


Monday December 16, 2013
9:55pm at Sambuca Grill
5 minutes
From a birthday card

Oh darling one, I waited patiently by your bed for you to wake up and take me with you. Wherever you were going would be fine with me. I only wanted to be with you. You pushed me aside and you cast me out when I was too young to protect myself from that. I wanted to be you and you wanted to be anything but. I watched as you made life choices and hurt yourself. I watched as you learned and grew and became a woman of such grace and strength and dignity. I wanted to be like you then too. I never stopped. And I don’t blame you for trying to push me aside. You wanted me to be independent and I grew dependent on you far too early. I knew what opinions I should have but still waited to hear yours first before admitting mine. I asked you for help on the little things, the big things, and the things I didn’t even realize I already knew. You were patient but you weren’t kind. You didn’t see me for my worth until much later on. You didn’t want me to be anything but small and that’s not your fault. I forgive you for the times I felt like I was not enough for you to be happy. I know now that that’s not what you ever wanted me to believe.

“It’s right here” by Sasha at the Fringe Creation Lab


Wednesday December 4, 2013 at the Fringe Creation Lab
5 minutes
1:06pm
an Avision Young ad on a building

I’m gonna paint you a picture of the time you blew my mind
the time you sank my battleship
the time you showed me that there is redemption
and it wears a backwards baseball cap
The picture looks like
You
arriving with indignation
and bad breath
after
being swaddled and rocked
after sucking and biting me dry
shaking your head at the sound of the piano your father’s fingers play
making a stink about the colour of the music
I’m gonna paint you a picture
of what you said



You are the revolution



You are the clock
counting backwards
counting portrait and landscape
counting by letter
painting by number



I look at your chestnut eyes
And I can’t believe I made you

“my oblivious affinity for pies” by Julia at Sambuca Grill


Friday November 29, 2013 at Sambuca Grill
2:12pm
5 minutes
www.localmilkblog.com

I’m looking for a poet to lend my heart to. I know he’ll be gentle with it, describe its core and pulp and colour. I know he will grieve it, believe it, and leave it. I know he will put feathers around it in a cage and display it. I know he will plant flowers in the garden just so it has something to look at. I’m looking for a poet, other artists need not apply. A poet would fear it, treat it with the power of a thousand suns, and try, on occasion, to butter it with compliments and attempt to eat it. I know he’ll treat it as his own, knowing the pain that comes with it if given without an instruction manual. How could I let it touch the hands of any other man? How could I rest easy if I gave it to someone else, when the poet would love it too much to ever hate it? How could I send my heart up the stairs of its bomb shelter and into direct line of fire, or nuclear attacks, or toxic air, knowing full well it would die on impact?

“hopeful of making amends” by Sasha at Layah & Oliver’s farm


Friday, September 20, 2013
4:31pm
5 minutes
Fresh Meat 2013 program

Dear Wilson,
Writing you makes me think about that Leonard Cohen song that you love. Famous Blue Raincoat. It’s close to four in the morning, but it’s the end of September, not December. It’s much cooler now than when you were here. Autumn has come in like that thug we knew back in Cabbagetown. He was stealthy. Leonard just turned seventy-nine. Did you know that? I saw it on Twitter. Rebecca told me that I really ought to have an account, for work and whatnot. I don’t really understand it. The upside is knowing more useless things about people who I care nothing about. Or is that the downside? You tell me. Wilson, I’m hopeful that you and Rebecca will make amends, that this too shall pass. I know that my seeds of wisdom always irritated you, but I can’t help myself. I’ve enclosed a book that I just finished and thought you might enjoy. Have you heard of Rumi? He was a Sufi mystic. A visionary. I read him on the toilet and before bed. Those sacred times. Thinking of you frequently. Wondering how you are. Rebecca is worried. She speaks of you constantly.

“feel your own feelings” by Julia on her couch


Monday, September 16, 2013
5:22pm
5 minutes
Codependent No More
Melody Beattie


Hi Dixie,

I’ve been thinking an awful lot about you and your wide brimmed hat. It made you look like a supermodel. I just wanted you to know that. Have you given any thought to my idea to make your life into a film? You can absolutely take all the time you need, and consult with your lawyers about the matter, that’s no problem. I’m hoping to start filming in early November of this year, and as I mentioned in our previous correspondence, I’ve begun writing what I think presents itself as a real “masterpiece”. Right now it’s just the bare bones of the project (of course, awaiting your full approval and life rights in writing) but I do believe there’s a lot of quality meat that would hang nicely on the already carefully crafted skeleton. My vision is an artsy film, sort of independent; something to premiere on the festival circuit by next September. When we met you mentioned something about your sister, Aurora’s lung disease. Of course if that is not something you’d wish to see in the film, that won’t be hard to avoid. I, am after all, just trying to capture your true essence.

Yours,
Patrick

“What immortal hand” by Julia at Sambuca Grill


Thursday, July 4, 2013 at Sambuca Grill
3:20pm
5 minutes
The Tiger
William Blake


She’s sorry, you know. In case you never hear it from her mouth or in case she never lets on that she is. She really is. But she’s scared, so you’ll just have to accept that you might not always get to be right outwardly. She’ll take a couple stabs at you, and then she’ll offer to clean the hate off your favourite shirt..but she’s not saying that she knew she was wrong. She’s not admitting that she’s at fault. That she’s responsible for anything. She knows deep down somewhere, but to say it…to say it means to believe it means to really truly feel it. And she does, you can rest easy knowing that she does. But she won’t let you hear it. She won’t give you that satisfaction that you probably need just as much as she needs to make sure you don’t get it. But she’ll come around. She will. She always does. She’ll learn and she’ll be better for it. The time it took her to get over it all and just…plain…apologize..

“Calgary Boxing Club” (image dip) by Sasha outside of Dancer’s Studio West


Saturday, June 29, 2013 outside of Dancer’s Studio West
1:49pm
5 minutes

20130701-003453.jpg

Dear J.,
Here are the boxing gloves. Sorry if they stink a bit, but if you dump a bit of baby powder inside of them, you should be golden. It’s getting warmer in Whitehorse. Finally. Hey, can you tell Debbie that I’ve been trying to call her? Ask her if she got rid of her voicemail. I can’t seem to get through. There was a sale at WalMart and I got a few new pairs of pants, a couple of T-shirts. Have you heard the new Daft Punk? I listen to it at the gym. I was thinking, make sure you take the long route to the Boxing Club. Going up all those steps can get sketchy. Weird people hang out there. It’s near the homeless shelter, right? Be careful. You’re not a pro yet. : ) It takes time. Be patient. J., don’t forget to talk to Debbie, okay? And let me know in your next letter. I love you. Take care of yourself.

“No, I promise” by Julia at Starbucks


Wednesday, March 27, 2013 at Starbucks
10:56am
5 minutes
Wild Mind
Natalie Goldberg


Last time I tried to write you a letter I fell asleep beside a candle and burned the entire left side of hair off. I woke up to the smell of it smoking and I was actually happy because I thought I was dying, or dead already, just waiting for my instructions in hell. Then when I realized I was fine, I was just half bald and burnt, I fell deeper. I suppose it’s clear that I’m not doing so well. I’ve felt a pit in my stomach for some time now, and I’m pretty sure it’s growing into a tree. Peach or pear, I’m not certain. It hurts though. It’s a very branchy tree, sort of poking into my side every time I move or sing. Sort of like the thing that only wants to exist as long as it’s the only thing I can feel. Sort of an only child, or youngest of 6 kind of tree. Anyway I’m writing you now because I wanted to tell you I won’t be writing again, or attempting to. I’ll just wait till you reply but I won’t be doing any more of the things like this where I have to access my inner…ouch. It’s that tree again…

“creating a tension” by Julia at TAN on Baldwin


Monday February 11, 2013 at TAN
5:13pm
5 minutes
Sex,Drugs,And Cocoa Puffs
Chuck Klosterman


Dear friend,
I’ve been better, Hannah. I really have. I am looking back on my life right now and can only safely say that I have been happy a total of 3 times in my entire existence. What happened to me, Hannah? Was I not full of life in our youth? Don’t you remember me wishing on stars and running around without shoes? All that hard work trying to be free has not paid off. I’m a solace to no one. I am a slave to the society’s fixed price life option. Beginning. Middle. End. Nothing in between, Hannah! Nothing to set me apart from the status quo. Oh and my mind aches. I am so tired from all the poor decisions and lack luster ideas I’ve been having. What changed, my dear Hannah? What could possibly be different now. Have I aged without grace? Have I chosen a path trodden by too many? Am I an embodiment of my own regret?
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And you, Hannah, how are you?

“supplement” by Sasha at her desk


Wednesday, December 26, 2012
12:06am
5 minutes
the Emergen-C packet

My grandfather says the following. It treated me well. Trust it.
“Supplement your post-secondary education with travelling the globe, especially to the tiny spots that are mostly untrodden and left alone, the ones that are small dots on the map in unbolded script. Go to a restaurant there that is not on a main road and ask the waiter to order you his favourite dish, as well as a glass of their best wine. Try their coffee or their fish or their pesto or their lamb shank – whatever the specialty. Talk to your waiter. Ask him about his family. More often than not, this will result in an invitation to his home. If so, buy a gift for his wife and a toy for his children. Here is where the magic will take place. They will want to practise their English and you will want to try more of that delicious local specialty! Stay late, after the children are asleep. Share that cigar. Take the long way back to your hotel and stop to look up at the stars, or listen to the ocean, or smell the laundress hard at work pressing tomorrow’s shirts and slacks. The next morning go for a long walk, around the winding streets, up the mountainside, down to the water. Find me a postcard in a shop. Even though I’ll be long dead, mail to me, I know it will find it’s way to wherever it is that I am.”

“Serving 4 blocks” by Julia at her kitchen table


Thursday, December 20, 2012
11:44pm
5 minutes
From the back of a Godiva chocolate bar

A hundred pretty ladies wearing aprons and artificial curls in their hair were discussing the annual block party. Kimberly, a saucy blonde, was dividing her white computer paper into sections, and Matilda, the tiny brunette was playing hangman with her self. Matilda didn’t want to be coming to these meetings without an idea, but she couldn’t bear the thought of sucking up to Kimberly just to be heard. Instead Matilda never spoke. She wanted the society ladies to come crawling to her when she made it seem like she had something they all wanted…
Kimberly handed out a square of perfectly torn paper to each lady present. She told them all to write down one word.
Matilda looked at the paper for what felt like hours. She didn’t want to write the wrong word. Right now, she sensed, was the perfect opportunity to show these mousey, stuck up, manufactured women what she really thought.
Kimberly went around collecting the papers. She began reading out the words when she saw fit. “Apples. Good choice, Meridith. Ooh, Gifts. Nice job Linda.” She walked by Matilda with a smirk on her face. “Let’s see ladies. What’s the good word from miss Matilda Matthews?” Matilda handed over the square, a fire burning inside her. Kimberly looked down in shock. “Oh my Lord,” she whispered.

“appreciate something different.” by Julia at her desk


Wednesday, December 19, 2012
6:11pm
5 minutes
shutterbean.com

It’s all too real and blurry. It’s all to shake and hurry. It’s all too warm and furry. It’s all too break and bury.
One of those things was written in a letter to me from my grandmother. She died before I was born, but was documenting her life so that I might have some semblance of her in mine. She had bright red hair, even in her old age. She dyed it, of course, but it looked like it wanted to stay vibrant for her anyway. I only got to read the letter when I turned 18, so it held some mystical properties that I believed would save me. My grandmother was filled with wisdom and ideas. She used to talk to animals just to work her thoughts out. She lost her hearing by the time she made the video so it’s very loud and very shouty. God love her. She was one of a kind. Always telling people around her that she knew she wasn’t beautiful because she was able to make others laugh. Apparently, according to my grandmother, beauty and comedy didn’t co-exist.