“a few drops of peppermint oil.” by Julia on the Red Line

Tuesday September 11, 2018
4:27pm
5 minutes
The Incense of Those Rooms
Jen Currin

Misery loves Company so Misery keeps inviting Company over. Together they sway in the dark and call it romance. Call it pretty.
Misery asks Company to stay a while and talk to her while she cries. And she cries Niagara Falls. Sometimes on the inside where her sandwich drowns a thousand deaths. Company loves Misery and keeps telling her she’ll be there. That she’ll never leave her. Company draws a bath and sprinkles in a few drops of peppermint oil. All this running water and nowhere to go. Misery wants to be who she is, find someone who will love her this way. Company keeps Misery from changing. Keeps bringing her baskets of hand picked sorrow. Calls it unconditional. Calls it sweet. Calls it forever.

“I need my medicine” by Julia at S,G, and E’s house

Saturday July 14, 2018
10:05pm
5 minutes
overheard at Genavie’s house 

I need this before I can do this I need the house to be cleaned the old milk to be taken out the practice of preaching

I need many things
before I can be enough

I need the light on
the story told
the writes written
I need the glory of the coming of the Lord

I need my medicine
drip drop in the throat before I can sleep
I need my mom to come
back to come back for me to not leave me here without saying goodbye

I need to watch Annie and pretend that my chance will come too
sing a little while I scrub the bathroom
tell you all the counters I’ve wiped and counting
counting to remind myself I am here and they are comig back
that they haven’t forgotten me
that I am enough

I need my medicine
this healing
this grace

“Jesus do I have to even get out of bed” by Julia at her desk

Monday June 4, 2018
9:26pm
5 minutes
From an interview by Devin Friedman

Do I have to leave this? I’ve built a warm thing to lay in. My head is heavy. My eyes blink slowly. What is it about grey mornings.

Don’t say they’ll turn into something beautiful. It’s always too late when this city decides to help me out.

I think it’s sadness?
It feels like it.
Laying, laying, not moving, sort of staring

I think another body in the bed would change the shape of things.
Make me sink a little toward the middle.
Make me have to get up in the night.
Make me have to come right back and settle.

Today is hard.

If I admit it maybe it will get the validation it needs and move on.
Maybe tomorrow won’t be so needy.
I slept with all my clothes last night.
Sweater, pants, socks.

Another body in the bed would require shorts or nothing.
Another body in the bed would be built like a furnace, jobbed and ready to heat whatever is close and shivering.

I’ll ask Jesus if he knows where to get one.

“Anne would lie for hours” by Julia at her desk

Sunday April 22, 2018
9:55pm
Anne
Joe Hutto

somehow the moment you walked out the door
the clock on the wall sped up twice its usual tick
I am almost sick at how little has happened
in how many hours have magically passed and
the drum of the crows outside my window have
faded into a night that does not need to
interrupt me

I would lie for hours in the bathroom at the
mirror with a false smile and an empty stomach
tell myself a story to keep me busy and away
from that buzzing fridge
I would lie for hours on the bed staring at
the lonely space on the wall where the choices
should go and wonder how I managed to leave
them all tucked in between the books I care
less to read

“stinking up the bedsheets” by Julia at her desk

Monday April 9, 2018
9:15pm
5 minutes
Lonely
Z. Da Costa

I noticed crumbs in the bed yesterday morning
they belong to both of our feet
both of our pajama pants
I don’t know
I don’t hate it
But this lonely has been stinking up the bed sheets
and I know that it only belongs to me
that the nights left unslept are mine
but they’re because of you
I don’t think you will mind sharing this custody
I think your bed has fewer crumbs in it
but it is more empty
I have never been there and left it
I have never rolled my day’s lint at the bottom of your sheets
and then made you sleep alone in it
I noticed your side of the bed doesn’t dip as much
maybe this haunting was all part of your master plan

“All my friends are having babies” by Sasha at her desk

Wednesday April 4, 2018
10:56pm
5 minutes
Overheard on the 99

you won’t know me when you finally decide that i’m worthy and i’ll put a german shepherd in charge of my heart who will bark when you come close because that’s what i’ve got to do and i’ll do it because that’s the kind of person i am now. surprise. will you have thought long and hard about how to punish me (silence) how to hurt me back (silence) how to make me feel so low that your lowness is lessened is lighter. is your low less? is your low light? good good i’m glad for you i want the best for you i want the light for you. it’s been a long time. you won’t know me and the shape of my new face new world new days in and out in and out flying to see my lion home alone again nights alone thinking of the soup i’ll make the tea i’ll brew the better tomorrow better tomorrow. thinking of the babies i’ll have and hold and bundle and cradle and never let know this lonely this guilt this shame this bad call not the worst it’s okay it’s okay. i love.

“boys can be dangerous.” by Julia at the studio

Monday, March 19, 2018
3:57pm
5 minutes
Undue Familiarity
Ellen Collett

It is under the covers of this empty bed where I feel the most like nothing.
Where are your knotted legs to wrap mine around?
Where is the soupy whisper in my ear telling me I am good enough already?
Boys are so damn dangerous
when you let them love you so good
the lack of them creates chaos in the sweet stream
A kink in the neck now from piling up your pillows
it is my back, desperate
to be held by something other
than this muscle spasm, kidnapper and cruel one
I rub the void between my legs until sleep takes me
I wake up wet from the dream that I said I’d meet you in
I used to think I slept better when you are gone
but when I let you love me so good
the sheets change all of their demands

“packing slip” by Julia on E’s brother’s couch


Saturday August 12, 2017
10:28pm
5 minutes

from a receipt


Henry is moving out of his condo and into a nursing home. He is not happy about it. He is so full of resentment his hips hurt. Nobody wants him. He doesn’t get to play with his grand kids. Nobody is going to come visit him. He’s going to die there in the home without a family to comb his hair or make sure his eyebrows don’t grow out of his face sideways. All because of his one and only fall. Now they’re saying he can’t be left alone. It couldn’t have been the bacon grease on the floor that he slipped on, not a chance. It had to be because his body is giving out on him. Because his limbs don’t listen to his brain anymore. It’s always a reminder that he is becoming more of a burden to his family every single day and needs constant supervision.
Henry doesn’t want to go. He doesn’t want to start the next chapter of his life refusing to forgive himself.

“I don’t know if it’s important or not, but it might be.” By Julia on her couch


Tuesday February 7, 2017
9:54pm
5 minutes
from Gerald’s Game
Stephen King


I can’t beg you to ask how my day was the way I can’t
give myself my own
nickname
Every time we collide heavy in each other’s presence you are forgetting
that I am coming from my own set
of rules and interpretations and
it wouldn’t hurt you to wonder what another person’s world is like
It wouldn’t hurt anyone but me if you didn’t
We could look into each other’s eyes all night and still
not
ever see another person

“your hand in mine” by Julia on her bed


Saturday August 20, 2016
2:08pm
5 minutes
Heard in a song on Co-op radio

I catch myself believing I deserve better when I grab your hand in the crowded street and you pull away after only a second. I grab your hand as a gesture to show you that in this sea of people, I cling to you. I reach for you. I choose you. I remind you every chance I get that I am proud of you. That I am proud to be with you. That the touch of your skin connects me to the only things in this life that matter. And you might miss all of that if you’re not expecting to see it. If you think holding hands is something to be taken for granted. Or to be done differently, perhaps. On days like this I swim along the shoulders of other people when I think of how lonely it is to love you. How far I’ve pushed my heart into opening and how tired she is from never being cradled back. I don’t think I’m allowed to ask for more. I need so much so much so much.

“Textures” by Julia on her couch


Thursday April 28, 2016
8:52pm
5 minutes
from an Instagram post

It’s hard for me not to see you in the wallpaper and feel you in the tile. Your life danced on these floors. Your heart wept in this bed. I feel you in the counter grime, underneath the green dust that has formed a film on the island–the spot where you placed all those freshly picked wild flowers for me. I tell myself it is not over. That you are still here and that I am still here and that this is still our home, the living room still a place where we used to make music, the kitchen still a place where we used to make love. I hear you in the buzzing hallway light, and the hum of the furnace. They sing to me your laugh and I am held there by the beauty of this pain. In moments where I am completely quiet, I can almost even see you reading in your favourite arm chair by the window, legs outstretched and resting on the blue accent pillow.

“starting in the same spot” by Sasha on the 16


Wednesday,January 20, 2016
5:39pm
5 minutes
Overheard at Arbutus Coffee

I can hear your voice through the floorboards, rattling the light fixture that hangs above the kitchen table ever so slightly. The reverberation travels through the light, into the top of my head, down my spine and into my bum, squishy on the seat cushion, on the brown chair. Your voice has the resonance of an oak tree, the pitch of a double bass, the starting spot of the clouds before the sky clears.

“211 Bannatyne ave.” by Julia at Horseshoe Bay


Friday November 13, 2015
11:50pm
5 minutes
from a business card

Remember when I used to come by your work and wait till you got off so we could go get ice cream and caramel sauce and walk the perimeter of the property together before you’d have to go back to your desk and count the hours till you were actually free? Remember how you’d try to take the long way around so you could spend more time with me without saying that you wanted to? Those sticky summer evenings when you would start late and work late and forget which day you were on. Those are the ones I think about when I think about you. Those are the nights I remember how lucky I used to be. Your building looks different now: someone tried to wash off the graffiti and now it just looks uglier. I have to stop myself from going to Nucci’s Gelati so I don’t get tempted by nostalgia to buy you a coconut cone, even thought we were always so disappointed by the shreds that didn’t even taste real.

“unless its roots reach down to hell” by Julia at her desk


Wednesday September 23, 2015
9:31pm
5 minutes
from a quote by Carl Jung

I’m not really sure how I got here. Not here here, just emotionally here. I wouldn’t have expected to end up like my mother but I guess it’s just in my genes. I don’t know if it’s fair to say that even. Like I’m blaming it on her or I’m not taking responsibility for my own life. I just wonder if I am predisposed to overreacting, turning molehills into mountains, turning good things into bad things. That’s what she does; my mother. She’s a hypochondriac and she’s a paranoid individual with a lot less good people in her life to help her out cause of the way she behaves. Now I see myself in her image. No friends. No partner. Nobody to convince me it’s better to be sane…

“This is fantastic!” by Sasha in her bed


Saturday September 19, 2015
11:21pm
5 minutes
http://www.food.com

A sad, small song, sung to the tune of your sadness
I’m as tired as a possum in a puddle.
I’m as lonely as a clam without a pearl.
I’m as broken as a china doll fallen off the top shelf.
I’m lowwwwwwww.

I’m as grumpy as a cat without a sun patch.
I’m as down as the sun after dusk.
I’m as shaky as the leaves after a storm.
I’m lowwwwwww, baby, I’m lowwwwwww.

I’m as minced as a meat pie.
I’m as scraggly as a stray.
I’m as empty as a barrel in a drought.
I’m lowwwwww! Oh baby! I’m lowwwwww.

“My flight was $10, 200″ by Julia at Souzan’s apartment


Friday September 18, 2015
9:40pm
5 minutes
overheard at Parallel 49

You let me fall asleep on you while you do you and read the newspaper or something
Catch the race or something
Eat a cob of corn or something
I nestle in there onto the soft of your body
Ready to greet sleep
Ready to find ease
And I do this so I can feel your heart beat without asking to
And I can breathe into the space of the folds of you while you carry the weight of me
These are my favourite moments
The world stops for me and continues for you
I die a thousand happy deaths laying there in your middle
And you go on living in the comfort of me lifeless, but content

It’s been one whole year without you and I don’t have a squishy home to lay my head
It’s not the same as it was
I cannot fall asleep on myself and float away
I don’t know where you are
I consider paying an unearthly sum to find you
A flight to the good old days may just cost me ten thousand dollars
Or ten thousand tears

“I’f I’m ever lonely” by Sasha on the subway going West


Saturday February 21, 2015
4:11pm
5 minutes
mirandajuly.com

If I’m ever lonely just send me out to sea
Floating on the water
All the fishes and me

If I’m ever lonely I won’t sing this song
I’ll sit in the dark quiet
Thinkin’ what else might go wrong

If I’m ever lonely I’ll make a pot of stew
I’ll chop up some onions
Nothin’ else will do

If I’m ever lonely I’ll lay in my bed
I’ll listen to the clock tick
And rest my weary head

“If I’m ever lonely” by Julia at her desk


Saturday February 21, 2015
1:01am
5 minutes
mirandajuly.com

If I’m ever lonely, I’ll close my eyes and think of that day in April when I see you again. You’ll be ready to get out of the cold you’re trapped frozen in, and you’ll welcome the melting of all your icicles with thawing extremities. We have done this before. We have stood still in our distant lives and breathed in a time difference for months. Now good morning is still good morning, and good night is still good night, but my here is not your here and your here is not you’re here..
If I’m ever lonely, I’ll write you something sweet on the napkin beside my bed, hum the words to music and turn it into a song I sing inside my head to keep you close. You’ll ask if you can learn the chords that go with it so you can play your version on the other side of where I am.
We have done this before. We have loved from far away for days and days and days.

“I’ve breathed the mountain air” by Sasha on her couch


Tuesday, July 22, 2014
11:42pm
5 minutes
I’ve Been Everywhere
Hank Snow



Let me start by saying, I’m terrible at this kind of thing. I’m terrible at saying what I mean and meaning what I say and… You’re the one that’s good with words. You’re the one who knows how to put thoughts together like a… shopping list. No – … I mean… When your mother left I wasn’t sure where my own damn bellybutton was. I wasn’t sure how to brush my teeth, or make a salami sandwich. I let you down, Tilly. I know I did. I’m – … I’m sorry.

“Virginia” by Sasha in her garden


Thursday June 5, 2014
7:18pm
5 minutes
from a sign on the wall of the Antique Shop

Virginia buys soy sauce at the Seven Eleven and goes home, via streetcar, via walk from the fourth block to the tenth. She drinks it, once she’s safely in the walls of her own making. “Just half a bottle tonight,” she whispers to no one but herself who isn’t no one but someone, but forty three, but two breasts and a million greying brown hairs. She wonders if she could shoot it, through her veins, through her rivers. She wonders if she took a syringe from work if anyone would notice. One of the vets. Three share the practise. Do they notice her? Or, do they just notice the bunny face, the dog paw, the cry of the non-human. Sometimes, just to see, just to try her wonderings out on them, she’ll say something ridiculous. “I ate a whole watermelon for the protein,” or, “have you ever licked the inside of your fridge?” They smile. Funny Virginia, she’s a strange duck, she sees, behind those eyes, a layer of compassion, a layer of caffeine.

“only the sound of the wind” by Sasha at her desk


Friday, April 5, 2013
3:14pm
5 minutes
Misery
Stephen King


It was colder than we’d ever thought it would be. It was colder and damper. The kind of cold that sneaks into your insides, your lungs and your marrow. The kind of cold that’s hard to get out. The kind of cold where you cross your fingers for a bathtub, or a fireplace, or a hot radiator to sit by. There was only the sound of the wind. It might’ve been lonely, but we were there together, Papa and me, and there was nothing lonely about that. He’d grown up on this tundra, with this snow. I’d always wondered why he was sad, the sadness heavy in the air around him, coming out of his mouth. It was because he missed the ice, he missed the sky. “You won’t like it here,” he’d said on the phone, so many times. “I will! I will!” I’d said. “You’re there,” I’d thought.