“My mom calls him that” by Julia at her desk

Monday May 14, 2018
11:53pm
5 minutes
from a text

My mom used to call my brother Terminator 3. That was before Terminator 3 came out. Is it out? He used to do some pretty Terminator-like stuff. Once he wiped his bloody nose on the neighbours clean white sheets drying on the line in the backyard. That one was pretty bad.
He’s probably the most devoted kid she has though. He lived at home for a while and mowed the lawn for a while and picked up groceries for a while and payed their credit cards for a while. Now he’s the designated driver when I come home to visit. He picks me up at the airport even during a blizzard and he never seems put out by having do something for family. He had to get hip surgery recently and ended up staying at my mom’s house while he was healing. He got to ring a little bell too when he needed something. He loved that. But my mom thought it was really funny so she loved it too. I don’t think she calls him Terminator 3 anymore. Now he gets his real name. I guess ever since he grew into himself he’s been pretty okay to be around. When I go home he tells me some of the same stories over and over again but that might have more to do with genetics than anything.

“All my friends are having babies” by Julia at the studio

Wednesday April 4, 2018
2:57pm
5 minutes
Overheard on the 99

All my friends are having babies and I am more concerned with how good my freaking nails look these days. It’s taken a long time to like my hands. How do you like a hand that squeezes too hard, that breaks the good mugs, that spends most of its time down the front of raggedy sweat pants? These hands have never housed nice nails. These nails have never looked this strong. Some days I couldn’t tell if it was blood underneath them or just ketchup chips. It’s all I can think about because it’s like they belong on someone else’s body. Someone else who, say, might be having a baby. I’m used to seeing chips and tears and skin peeling off where it shouldn’t. They were not the hands that held soft things and kept them soft. They didn’t know how to stay one colour when stepping out into the cold.

“Bowl of acceptance” by Julia in the guest suite


Thursday, December 31, 2015
5:31am
5 minutes
Overheard in the Living Room

Honouring our mother we stare deep into our blood with a little wink and a hug saying “we can only go forward now.” Your heart rests just above mine like it was designed to. You came first, you reached up to the sky where you saw endless possibilities and I reached up to you because I believed you were as high as I needed to go. Now we lead each other, honouring our mother, giving her the gift we refused to when we were young.
“Please don’t fight.” “Why can’t you two be kind to each other?” “Tell me, do you treat your friends this way?”
We didn’t know it at the time that we weren’t treating each other like anything but ourselves and we both had a lot of figuring out to do. We threw self-blame and self-hate and self-wondering because we were each other’s mirror and we saw ourselves reflected back through shades of green in a way we couldn’t understand.
I let your heart shift around on mine to find its spot. I keep you there like a stamp of time and a promise of forever.

“I look at the sky recalling” by Julia at MAKE coffee+stuff


Wednesday July 23, 2014 at MAKE
3:21pm
5 minutes
A Memory Returns
Bobby Ferguson


It was my first sip of coffee and I remember thinking it was so bitter I couldn’t see straight. Why anyone would ever drink that stuff was beyond me. I saw all the adults drinking it and they seemed to be having a great time. But I was never interested much in the smell, or the aftertaste, or the colour of teeth it somehow also transformed. I took a second sip to show I was big, I guess. Bigger than I was feeling. I wanted to fit in, I wanted them to stop thinking they needed to spell controversial words around me. I was a very good speller anyway. It just made them look stupid if I’m being honest. I wanted to shout from the tiny kid’s table that felt like it was a mile away from all the fun that I could understand what they were saying; that I could follow along and offer an opinion every now and again if they’d let me. So I took another sip and swallowed down the fuzz that formed on my tongue when I drank the stuff. I could feel my head start to get a bit light and I remember thinking, huh, this stuff isn’t so bad once you get past all the gross parts. Each sip brought me closer to the adults in the room thinking I was beneath them just because I was younger. Each sip made me feel all the more alive.
I still don’t drink it. I thought I might be the type to take it up after all, but I wasn’t. Turns out I didn’t need to do something I didn’t like to make me feel big.

“master of my own” by Julia on her couch


Friday May 23, 2014
1:10am
5 minutes
overheard on the streetcar

Oh My LANTA!!! ABBY!!! You’re looking like a real woman these days aren’t you! I can’t believe it, you’re so tall now. And look at those cheeks! Where did they even go? When you were little you used to have the chubbiest, fattest cheeks, I used to pinch ’em and tug ’em and cover ’em with so many kisses, my goodness, you used to hate that! Oh honey plum, I don’t even blame you! The whole world wanted to squeeze you dry, girlie, oh yes they did. I’m sorry about that now, but oh! I couldn’t help myself, they were just so darn big! And this dress you have on, let me take a look at you. Oh wow, spin around again, that is one heck of a figure you’ve got, now don’t you! I bet you drive all the boys crazy with those legs for days and days! Oh Abby, I used to have legs for days and days before the varicose veins and the knee surgeries, let me tell you a story! You know your father’s the one that bashed in my knee with a baseball all those years ago! I was pitching to him and he hit a line drive right into my bank account! I joke about that now because he felt so bad and all those treatments cost so much money cause I could barely stand! Oh but you!! You look wonderful!!

“Free evening newspaper” by Julia at Sambuca Grill


Tuesday March 11, 2014 at Sambuca Grill
9:33pm
5 minutes
the to.night street box

Charlie and Ray were spying on Lacey again from their bedroom window. Lacey’s room was in perfect view of the boy’s room and they got real good at sitting in the complete darkness just waiting for Lacey to come home from violin practice and..you know..change for bed. Charlie saw her first, and as such was very protective. Charlie knew that Ray was just eager to see her lady business and he didn’t actually appreciate Lacey the way he did..the way she deserved.
Ray was under the influence of her spell binding, maturing body…parts…and he could tell that Charlie was maybe gay or just plain stupid if he turned his face away every time she took her top off. Ray was certain that he would have Lacey to himself one day soon because it looked like Charlie was getting bored of her, always conveniently finding a crossword or a weather clipping from the nightly newspaper to pay attention to just when it was getting good.

“Many words will be written” by Julia in her bed


Sunday, November 17, 2013
12:21am
5 minutes
The Art of Listening
Henning Mankell


It was a thought that dawned on me today as I was picking up my kid from pre-school. I didn’t acknowledge it until I got home and had him safely playing Lego in the living room. By then it was bigger. It had grown. This thought, where once only a small meaning was housed, now had so much more importance. I can’t explain it really. Unless I say “it grew” which, I suppose, is very accurate. It matured and formed its own offshoots of itself without me being conscious of it. Then by the time I was ready to entertain it, it was ripe for the pickin’ and I had no problem taking a bite.
This thought was full and pregnant with possibility. It was welcoming me to answer its knock and yet when I listened at the door, I didn’t hear a thing.

“the finest Led Zeppelin songs.” by Julia at her desk


Friday, March 29, 2013
9:47pm
5 minutes
Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs
Chuck Klosterman


She does, she likes you. She holds your photo up to the light streaming in through her bedroom window and she makes you a promise: to always be yours. She kisses the frame and spins around with it. She’s 11, you’re 14. You don’t notice her yet this way..she has two mosquito bites for breasts, two bruised knees, and her lips are always chapped. She’s just a kid, you’re not yet interested. You know you will be later, when she matures a bit, when the age gap doesn’t feel so big. She loves you. She thinks she does. She doesn’t think the age difference is a ‘thing’. She thinks about giving you the bracelet she’s making out of embroidery floss. It might have a fish tail on it. It might have a heart. It doesn’t matter, you’re the inspiration behind the whole thing anyway. She’s told her mother about you. Didn’t say your name but she described your sandy blonde hair, your big green eyes, your perfect nose. Smaller than hers so she thinks you have it all. When you’re ready for her love, you should play her all the finest Led Zeppelin songs…