“Gloriousness and wretchedness need each other.” By Julia in her living room

Friday March 22, 2019
8:13pm
5 minutes
A quote by Pema Chödrön

Said the Hellstorm to the Artist:

You will be damn insufferable and someone needs to come and wash you out, oopsie whoopsie itsy spider, time to crawl on back up. Said: don’t you remember where your boots are? Pull up the straps and go jump in a puddle. You do remember fun, don’t you? You need me as much as I need you. All that summoning of me you do, I’m just coming since you called me. I’m a good friend. Ever heard of loyalty? That’s me. I make you damn clean again. Sparkling. Smooth out your edges after so long of bruising myself against them. After I pelt you and you resist me, over and over again. I make you soft and grateful. You can thank us both for that.

“as I grow old and my friends leave me.” by Julia on the couch

Thursday July 19, 2018
1:30am
5 minutes
Psalms For Praying
Nan C. Merrill
As I grow old my friends leave me wanting them more
I get cravings for their hearts to soar
And for their souls to laugh
I want nothing more than their rise
Their absolute and inevitable rise.
And my friends leave me.
They leave me when I have stopped needing them
They leave when I am no longer hunting them
They know I do not stay loyal on only one shoulder
Carry the weight of knowing them on both
I want to be your last leaving friend
And you can let me love you that way

“Who taught us to embrace life” by Julia at Kits Beach


Monday May 30, 2016
5:08pm
5 minutes
from a bench memorial plaque

There was a gleam in his eye as he let my brother put a cold grape into his hand. He was looking at me with a challenging look like he was about to do a trick and wanted to make sure he had my attention. I started to shake my head, smiling, telling him I knew he was up to something and I didn’t like whatever it was. He put the grape into his mouth and chewed it around for a second. Then when I looked away, he spat it out onto my leg. I looked up at his smug face and it broke my heart. Maybe that’s what the last visit between us was supposed to be like. Jokes and silliness. Him trying to make me laugh. Even at his least self, he managed to let me remember him exactly as he was when we was his most.

“We’ve never found the evidence” by Julia at her dining table


Sunday May 29, 2016
2:10pm
5 minutes
Thunder Head
Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child


According to Elliot, Sharon was supposed to be coming home from work at exactly 5:06pm. We had, according to Elliot, up until 5:00pm to do what we needed to do, and get out before anyone noticed a thing. I told Elliot I wasn’t sure I wanted to go through her things. I didn’t know if I might find some troubling things that I would only realize too late in the game that I wasn’t equipped to deal with what I learned. Elliot told me not to be afraid of the unknown. He said that’s what was making me so paranoid in the first place, and either I suck it up, go in there and be an adult about this, or I could go home and live the rest of my life wondering if I was being lied to. He had a point.
“You sure your sister won’t be home before 5:00?” I asked one last time, secretly hoping he’d say no.
“Marcus, my brother. please,” Elliot started, “Why would I lead you astray? You really don’t trust anybody do you?”
As I was about to check myself for being so caught up in the what ifs, we heard a car pull into the drive way.

“Anytime, night or day” by Julia at her dining table


Saturday May 28, 2016
10:33pm
5 minutes
All I Have To Do Is Dream
The Everly Brothers


Call me mouth filled with peach cobbler
I’ll come running
Call me curlers in, kettle on the stove screaming
I’ll be there
Call me moments before sleep
Or moments right after
Call me as my dreams play on
As my body drifts off to stillness
And I’ll throw on a pair of jeans and show up
Call me when you’re high
Call me when you’re low
When you know you’re wrong
When you need someone to tell you you’re right
When you want to laugh
When you need to cry
When you don’t have a reason at all
I’ll drop what I’m doing to make time
Call me when it’s my fault
Call me when it’s yours
Call me to tell me your crazy dream
Your biggest fear
Your funniest joke
Your most embarrassing moment
Your favourite recipe
Your new discoveries
Your life hacks
Your revelations
Your promises to me
Your promises to yourself
And I’ll come running
I’ll find a way to meet you
Because I know
Without a doubt
You would do the same for me

“I think his wife is pregnant. Or, she’s really heavy…” by Julia at her desk


Wednesday April 29, 2015
7:13pm
5 minutes
Overheard at Higher Grounds Coffee House

We had been waiting impatiently at Connie and D’s place, running out of things to keep us busy while they proceeded at the hospital. Aunt Laura told us that Connie appreciated our concern and was touched by us all wanting to be there for her. She said as soon as there was news we would hear from her. It had been 5 hours already. We had cleaned the house by that point, watered all the tomato plants, played two whole rounds of Monopoly, and still we hadn’t heard from Aunt Laura. When Michael called me in a panic about his sister, I was out on a run. I was training for the marathon coming up in May. So instead of running home, I ran to Connie and D’s so I could sit with her brother and try to keep him from freaking out.

“The sound of cracking bones” by Julia on her bed


Wednesday April 22, 2015
1:01am
5 minutes
from an e-mail

This one is a nod to three old friends from a former existence who found each other again in this current one. Their souls were already promised to one another and they were happiest then when they loved each other without question. There is a story about a hotel room and sharing beds and drugs and jokes and chips. It’s a good story. It started with a road trip and it ended with truck stop ice cream. In the middle there was a lot of laughter and unexpected ease. In the middle middle there was a promise wedged in that this would be how it is. When these three old friends met in a different dimension, they exchanged a round of flat stones they found in the ocean that represented loyalty and acceptance and longevity. There was a grand speech made in that different lifetime that would inspire their strength in this one.

“I haven’t messed with or taken anything at all today.” By Julia at the Bloor/Gladstone Library branch


Friday March 20, 2015
1:07pm
5 minutes
Black Butler
Yana Toboso


Clean As a Whistle Wendy! That’s what they call me. Cause I can be counted on when it’s important (and when it’s not) to be fully present. And to drive people home when they’ve consumed too much! You can call my references, who are mostly my friends, because I’ve been nothing but a good one to them and they know it and they’ll tell you. If you want an example? Allow me to give one through a story. I was not my best self, one day, long ago, and I was finding myself easily persuaded. I would say yes to anything! I would say no to the consequences! But when I was asked if I wanted to put things up my nose like the rest of them, I said no! I said NO to that and I said yes to everything. So I made sure everyone arrived alive! Because It was a very clear choice! Say yes to everything but stand up for one thing. See, black heart and all, but my veins are clear as day! And that’s how I got my name!

“Weren’t you sorry” by Julia at her desk


Sunday March 15, 2015
10:32pm
5 minutes
from Sputnik Sweetheart
Haruki Murakami


Like a ton of bricks falling from the ceiling, right over your bed while you’re in the middle of a good dream. I don’t know if I’ll ever recover from the moment of feeling like nothing else was even happening or existing around me. Just hazy, stabbing light, hacking into my every skin cell.
It was shocking to say the least. The motherfucking shock of my motherfucking life. I didn’t see it coming. Maybe I never wanted to see something like that, and in my head I couldn’t even think it was possible. And then all of a sudden I was sitting at my best friend’s hospital bed, holding her hand and keeping her eyelids cool with my fingertips. I don’t know if I said it out loud, but I know for a fact my heart was singing it. Over and over again like a broken, desperate record: Please don’t die. Please don’t die. Please don’t die.

“Pain has been described as a gift” by Julia at her desk


Monday February 23, 2015
3:06pm
5 minutes
alive magazine
February 2015


I’ll be there when you need somebody
Hold you close when your heart’s been hiding
I will tell you what is inside my bones
Until you feel safe again again
I’ll be near when your strength is over
Pick up the pieces of your broken soul
I will sing to you until you sleep easy
But what do I do when you don’t come to me
Can I sit alone and wait for peace to be
You don’t always want something that you can see
You think you’ve got it covered
But that’s when I believe
You need me
I’ll reach out even when it’s lonely
On the edge of me waiting hoping
I will stay here all night if I have to
Do it again the next until you feel moved to
let it go and build a home again again
Don’t worry I won’t give up
Don’t worry I won’t let it hurt you anymore

“Titus and Louise” by Julia on the 26 going east


Thursday February 12, 2015
6:28pm
5 minutes
a storefront window on Dupont St.

Titus hopes for the days that Louise stops screaming in her sleep.
He wakes up every time and tries to hold her without touching her because usually touching her just makes it worse.
He breathes calmly, affecting her breath.
She breathes calmly, taking on his patterns.
Shhh, he kisses the air around her scrunched face.
Shhh, she exhales after holding it in for too long.
Louise sees the visions right before she falls asleep.
The close up shots of a butcher’s bloody hand chopping hunks of raw lamb flesh.
The bees that sting the inside of her eyes until she’s panicked again.
Titus caresses her face softly to soothe her.
He does this sometimes for hours.
His touch is gentle and cool on her hot cheeks.

“friends to build your community” by Sasha on the couch in Mississauga


Monday December 22, 2014
9:12am
5 minutes
from grooveshark.com

I want to tell you something small. And massive. And yellow. I want to tell you about moving across ice, fawn legged, and reaching up to catch a tired branch and missing. I want to tell you about the shame in my hips, tight and sepia toned, how she hums when the nights are cold, how she moans when the fire has turned to embers. I want to tell you how I see the tired in your smile, how I see the memories of before and the forgetting of now. I want to tell you to stop reading the Tabloids, that slow drip of mediocrity, and I want to tell you that I won’t judge you if you don’t stop, but I will keep shoving books of poetry under your bed in hopes that you’ll find them when you’re most filled with longing.

“you can see a musical” by Julia on Katie’s couch


Saturday December 13
8:44pm
5 minutes
Top 10 London

Remember those days when we were younger than we wanted to believe we were? We had some idea about age and power and coolness and artistry. We convinced ourselves we ran that town, that we made all the decisions, that we possessed a coveted charm. When Connie did her first musical we all showed up and supported her even though none of us thought she was particularly good at singing. We didn’t make her feel bad for wanting something different. We never let those things get in the way of our loyalty.
At the opening night party, she cried gracefully while thanking us for being there. She said it made her whole world feel more secure knowing we were in the audience. I think even Robbie was trying to hold back his tears. It was something special to see us all there, not worrying about anything else at all but each other and our happiness as a whole.

“He Was A Spy” by Julia on her couch


Tuesday January 21, 2014
9:54pm
5 minutes
Tweet from The New York Times

He sat on the edge of the bed with one of those listening gun things. You know the ones that are attached to a wire and you can plug headphones in, and then when you point it and hold down the…I don’t know, I don’t want to say trigger, but, I think that’s in fact what it is…anyway you trigger it or whatever and it amplifies the sound of whatever it’s being pointed at? He was trying to listen to Nadia’s phone call through the wall. And I think it was working because he would giggle every few seconds as if he could understand. I didn’t like that he was doing it. I mean, I know he doesn’t care about Nadia, nor can he understand her thick accent. He just likes that his stupid contraption works. I just worry that if he were spying on her, then maybe he’d be spying on our kids, and maybe me. It’s times like that I have to think back to every moment I thought I was alone in the house, and retrace my thoughts to make sure I didn’t say anything incriminating. I generally like to consider myself a good person, but what if I slip, like we all do? What if I’ve said some things I just didn’t mean, or just didn’t mean to say aloud when I thought no one was around. You’d think that if he…found out anything….that maybe he’d confront me about it. Or he’s saving any and all information to use against me when I least expect it.

“I’ll be here with you” by Sasha at her desk


Tuesday January 7, 2014
1:34am
5 minutes
Let’s Ride Into The Sunset Together
Don Burnam


I’ll be here with you
Don’t worry
I’ll be standing by your side
Close enough that you can sense me
Far enough that your independence not be compromised
I’ll be there
Hands in my pockets
Heart tilting towards the Sun
High in the sky
Tickling the snow
Teasing the darkness of this time of year
I’ll be here when you’ve lost your directions to the place you were hoping to go.
I’ll be here with you
Closing my eyes when you don’t want to miss a second and refuse to blink

When you say,
“Remember?”
I will always say,
“Yes.”

“X&Z” by Julia on the 94 going east


Thursday June 6, 2013
9:48pm
5 minutes
from a sign on Harbord

Could it be the alcohol? Is my face red? Am I laughing too much? You’ve got me punch drunk on good vibes, didn’t touch a drop, don’t need to when I’m with you. Got that dyslexic view going on, X&Z and Y Y Y, as long as it stands for Yes. Don’t need to read when I’m with you. Don’t need to see a dictionary and feel the desire to open it up and put sense to what you’re doing to me. Could have recited Flanders Fields in complete and udder gibberish and I would have fallen to my knees in a fit of heat for you. Could it be the alcohol? Is my face red? Am I laughing too much? You’ve got me singing the alphabet backwards cause you’re testing me. Next thing is a tight rope on an empty side street, one foot in front of the other and I could land in a splat of whatever for you and I would have to say that yeah, I passed that test. You can make me do your bidding. Got a shovel? Cause I’ll dig a hole and bury whoever you want with it.

“he comes up with a plan” by Julia on the 506 going west


Tuesday May 7, 2013
12:33am
5 minutes
The back of The Store DVD case

Join the club, she says to him, Join the club, or you can’t be my friend.
He holds the stick high over his head, ready to throw it at Little Tyler who is cowering in the mud. He’s crying, even, or at least it looks that way.
DO IT, she chants, little braid messy from all the running around. This is your last chance.
He can’t throw the stick. Little Tyler. Little Tyler.
He instead, launches the stick in the opposite direction. She screams. What are you doing!
He runs over to Little Tyler and picks him up. He’s a wounded dog, now, and bites at any hands at all. Even the helping ones, because they all blend in and feel the same when you’re scared.
Don’t touch him. He’s being punished, she screams, to nobody in particular, arms flailing, braid swinging.
Little Tyler finally opens his eyes and sees a gentle smile on Chubby Matthew’s face. He opens up. He breathes, for maybe the first time.
Connie, you stop this, Chubby Matthew says to her over his shoulder. No one wants to be in your club anyway.

“Any siblings?” by Julia at Starbucks


Wednesday, March 13, 2013 at Starbucks
5:04pm
5 minutes
Wit
Margaret Edson


She asked me, as she scribbled something into her notebook. Probably something judgmental like, “Patient does not respond well to authority.” Or “Patient refuses to give her real name because she is paranoid that the “people” are after her.” or “Patient is not very interesting as a result of all her hardship. Hmmm.” I bet they write things like that all the time. The “Hmmm” part is the one I’m most concerned about. It’s neither here nor there and I never did well with the in betweens. Or the seeing someone who is vaguely familiar on the street and being able to ignore them. I’ve always given people a second glance, a second opportunity for us to make eye-contact and have an exchange of some kind. I don’t know where this inappropriate and extreme, because I can admit it, loyalty came from. I’m fairly certain I don’t owe the girl I used to know in university, that I just saw on the street(and with whom I happened to share one or two interests/ mutual friends)a single nod or smile, let alone a hello. And yet I give her it all. I smile with my heart like I’ve just seen one of my long lost siblings for the first time in 20 years. Ohhhhhh siblings.
This bitch really knows what she’s doing.