“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.

“the channeling of heavenly love” by Julia at her dining table


Tuesday November 8, 2016
7:51am
5 minutes
sunnyray.org

But of course he’ll leave before we resolve anything because he wasn’t meant to stay. He didn’t pack anything for overnight. He didn’t bring a toothbrush or his stamina to fight. He didn’t want to get cozy in the curve of me because he was afraid he would want to stay and he couldn’t stay. He had already committed to his other life and I was not welcome in that one. I had to ask him, Why Did You Come Back Then? And he told me, I Felt A Pull On My Heart Like I Was A Puppet and I Couldn’t Lead My Own Way. I asked, What Kind Of Pull? A Cosmic One? The Kind You Have In A Dream? He told me, It Was The Channeling of Heavenly Love And It Made Me Want To Find The Source. But of course he’ll leave before we both understand what that means, and of course he won’t consider that the source is quite obviously me.

“preceded by chaos” by Julia at her dining table


Monday November 7, 2016
10:51pm
5 minutes
from a tweet

It’s a scary place to be in when it’s not pretty. Not pretty aka not functioning aka not safe. That’s it, it is not safe inside my head right now. There are a lot of spelling errors and stress about deadlines. Things are in full swing: there’s scheduling and penciling things in, magnifying glasses and red pens everywhere, everyone is at their desk taking calls, all hands on deck. And then you look over to the self-care desk and for some reason she’s not there? Like she slipped out to have a smoke or something and nobody else is equipped to step in. Everyone is panicking that they won’t get their thing done on time so they don’t want to abandon their post for even a second to go figure out if self-care is coming back at any time soon? Or if she has DIED SOMEWHERE? No, of course not. They’re all eating chips for breakfast lunch and dinner and throwing candy corn at the walls because obviously it’s so stupid, but it’s inexplicably appealing. Some of them haven’t even washed. Some of them are looking at old photo albums from high school and are just fucking WEEPING.

“a dozen individuals aged” by Julia at her dining table


Tuesday May 24, 2016
9:51pm
5 minutes
Harbor
John Ajvide Lindqvist


Across the street I spied a man who had been resting on a bench. He was sweating from his brow and was hunched over, defeated. He didn’t have a cane, or a walker, but looked like he could have used one. He was convincing himself he didn’t, surely. I quietly watched him from my bus stop. He didn’t know anyone was paying any attention to him. He tried to get up a few times without the help of the bench. He couldn’t seem to do it. The struggle in his face was clear even all the way over to where I sat pretending to read my novel. It looked like his body had been slowly betraying him for a while but that he had only just now started to deny it. I remember working with a man who told me once that when you get old, your body stops matching up with your mind and you can’t control yourself the way you used to. He told me that it may be frustrating for those of us who can still easily get to our destinations to have to always wait behind the ones who aren’t as mobile, but it wasn’t to be disregarded that it was far more frustrating for them.

“it could not establish” by Julia at Liberty Bakery


Tuesday October 27, 2015 at Liberty Bakery
3:38pm
5 minutes
the Iphone internet connection message

It served as a perfect reminder that we’re fallible. I guess you’re gonna want to know what the perfect reminder was, but it’s not time to share that information yet. All you need to know is that we need reminders that we’re fallible because we get ahead of ourselves all the time. We do. We get angry for not achieving something right away or the right way, and we beat ourselves up for not being successful. But we’re not perfect. We need to hear that on a regular basis. We need to hear it, believe it, then put it to some psychedelic music and listen to it while we’re in the shower: let it seep into our skin ike the smell of garlic trapped in our finger tips after a night of vampire avoiding, or casesar salad dressing making, or influenza preventing. We need to know it like we know our own names so when we’re called it, we don’t act like we don’t recognize it; we open the door and let it in.

“Elevated stress response” by Julia at Liberty Bakery


Friday October 2, 2015 at Liberty Bakery
2:57pm
5 minutes
Epigenetics
Richard C. Frances


I’m racing.
My mind.
My heart.
My muscles.
I’m working overtime and I’m over that.
I don’t have quiet.
I don’t know peace.
It’s bad.
I’m too soft for things that are this hard.
I watch my dreams turn into nightmares.
I wake up all twisted in my comforter.
I wake up buried deep in my own grave every morning.
Every night.
Every time.
That’s the worst part.
Because I can’t explain it.
Not to you.
Not to me.
Not to anyone.
There’s nothing I can relate this to.
I’ve never died but it feels close to that.
It feels like fighting to stay alive.
But mostly fighting to die.
Time is racing.
I am racing.
I am running from myself.
And running out of running.

“I met my first savant 52 years ago” By Julia on the A train


Saturday, August 1, 2015
3:30am
5 minutes
http://blogs.scientificamerican.com

I didn’t want to meet him. I wasn’t really in the position of meeting someone outside my own brain let alone someone outside my own comfort zone. I tried to be sweet but I came off as this precious little bitch with an agenda and a superiority complex. He was kind. He played me the song he wrote on his banjo and asked me if I thought if sounded genuine enough. I couldn’t lie to him so I told him it sounded like heaven and I wished he’d never stopped to ask me about something I was clearly already thinking about. I hate when people push their shit on you. I didn’t really know sweetness. What I knew was that he cared about my opinion and what I knew was that he didn’t actually need to hear what my true one was. That should have been enough of a warning sign but I stuck around anyway. I waited till he sent me a photo of him wearing army pants to call it off.

“that’d be a mess” By Julia on her patio


Monday, July 13, 2015
7:10pm
5 minutes
In The Boom Boom Room
David Rabe


I’m thinking about what I’ll make you for dinner when I see you again.
See, I’m debating between ribs and chicken cause you really liked them both the last time. Maybe I’ll make you both with the special sauce and the arugula salad. You went crazy for the arugula salad. Or the chili shrimp. I could make you the chili shrimp. I want it to be special. Seeing you again after all this time, I mean, It has to be special right? It can’t just be thrown together. It has to be thought out. What a mess it’d be if I made all the dishes you liked but not well because there was a lack of focus. I tend to focus poorly when there’s more than one thing to focus on. I’m thinking about seeing you again, and kissing you again, and cooking for you again, and that’s very hard for me. It’s very hard not to let my mind wander. My mind’s a mess. You know it feels especially cluttered these days. Need someone to go in and do a spring cleaning, get all the cobwebs down, reorganize all the big issues so I don’t have to trip over them just to get to the good ideas.

“I sent you an email” By Julia outside Darkhorse on Spadina


Sunday, July 12, 2015
4:14pm
5 minutes
from a text message

Of course you haven’t responded yet! I’ve only sent you the most life-changing e-mail of all time. I shouldn’t have to resend my thoughts, but your lack of response is truly IRRITATING to say the least. How do I know where I stand. It is more important to know where I stand then how you feel as I’m the one who has put my heart out on a limb here and now it’s just DANGLING, don’t you see? I don’t know if you’ve drafted a response or not even because I refuse to log into your account like last time and check for myself. We all know it ended badly last time, and let’s just say once you know, you can’t unknow. But I am going a bit mental waiting for you to either confirm or deny your feelings for me. I know it sounds trite, but do you think of me the same way I think of you? Don’t answer this question. This one is riddled with self-doubt and neediness. Just answer the one I thoughtfully crafted for 3 and a half hours. YEAH! THREE AND A HALF HOURS! It took a long time to articulate. I wanted to be clear without being over-explicit. You are ALIVE, right???

“How’s that bite on your neck?” By Julia at Belly Acres


Sunday, July 5, 2015
10:09am
5 minutes
Said by Joe

The bathroom floor is covered in dead earwigs and it’s only fitting that earlier Edwin and I overturned a giant rock to investigate an earwig community, business as usual, frantic and overwhelming. Edwin told me how when he was younger he’d keep going deeper into their hub and see just what goes on further away from the light. When he told me that I fell a little bit more in love with him. There was an understanding I guess that wasn’t there before. A glimpse into his young and detailed mind.
I feel like I’ve seen them live a full life, come full circle from under the rock to making their way into this bathroom. They’re not as threatening or disturbing now. They’re just inching to get by like we are: hidden and safe from any distractions or dangers, then fully exposed out in the real world, trying to survive.

“Attackers might be trying to steal” by Julia on her patio


Thursday, July 2, 2015
4:40 pm
5 minutes
from a notice from Google

They rock you from outside your cage
They spit
They leer
They laugh
They drink your blood in a furious rage
They hit
They jeer
They scoff

Run run run
Run run run
Run run run

Run

They steal your words from right off the page
They stab
They fight
They will
They tear your flesh on a live stage
They break
They take
They kill

Run run run
Run run run
Run run run

Run

“with special guests” by Julia on her patio


Wednesday, July 1, 2015
6:59pm
5 minutes
From a Baroque to Birdland flyer

Ever feel like you’re not even starring in your own life? Lately I haven’t even been guest starring let alone carrying the whole thing. I’ve been having dreams these past few nights that I’m doing the things, going on the adventures, but it’s not actually me. It’s somebody else, someone else’s face and hands, but it’s not me. I watch another human play my role in my own mind’s film and I’m bewildered about that. Why am I not controlling the action? What am I doing so wrong that someone else has to step in and take over? I think it’s obvious, I haven’t been taking initiative in getting things done. But in my dreams who is this other person? It’s not someone I recognize. Is it my alter ego? My true self? My active mind? My true personality? Is it the me I wish I was? The me I’m supposed to be? The me I will be? The me I am when I’m being honest?

“Power protects power” by Julia at her desk


Saturday November 1, 2014
3:13am
5 minutes
From the program notes for Saint Joan at the Arts Club

sometimes you don’t want to do anything. you just want to put on red lipstick, dance around in your walk in closet, and tie your hair up in funny ribbons. you don’t want to do anything good I mean. In that you don’t want to do anything that might further your life, or your learning. but we all do it, I think. we all need a little break from our objectives and from our own minds. we need to know that there’s something to come back to, but we wouldn’t know that if we never left. so sometimes it’s not a bad thing at all to put on 6 shades of eyeshadow just cause you don’t have plans on a Friday night. or to sit watching clips of Jake Gyllenhaal kissing beautiful women on youtube. nobody can judge it because nobody can say that they aren’t guilty of the alone behaviour that keeps them sane, or if nothing else, amused. because uniqueness breeds uniqueness, and power protects power. and if those things are true, then magic alone time inspires magic alone time. maybe that last one doesn’t make sense. sometimes you just don’t feel like making sense.

“The realist canon” by Julia at her desk


Thursday October 23, 2014
1:14am
5 minutes
Realisms of Redress
Natalie Alvarez


saw that pretty little thing reading in the corner
the edges of her book tattered
the pages ripped and curled
she had a bookmark made out of a piece of toilet tissue
making me smile
knowing she likes to read in the bathroom
and why not?
why not read in the bathroom?
she wasn’t looking at anyone at all
not distracted for even a minute
the book was a good one
I couldn’t tell which one it was
the cover was a solid forrest green without any writing
but she didn’t stop even to sip her tea
probably purchased just to have something on her table
a place holder for the idea of multitasking
she was wearing a potato sack
or at least she could have been
I wasn’t looking at her outfit
I was busy trying to see inside her mind
wondering if she could see me seeing her
wondering if she was in fact so distracted by me
that she had to pretend to keep reading
to prevent herself from turning red
or if she was engrossed
in love
with the words on the page

“Who wrote those poems?” by Julia at Parco della Zucca


Friday October 17,2014
3:18pm
5 minutes
Advanced Italian Grammar
Marcel Danesi


I might have been dreaming them. They seemed to fill my skin to the brim causing slight tremors and excessive use of metaphors. The sky was speaking directly to me and she was nudging me, trying to give me the answers without incriminating herself. She nodded. She winked. I couldn’t get the message because I was half listening and laugh-halfing and she gave up on me before I could say Ah, yes, I get it now. Laugh-halfing happens in between sleep and awake: a backwards place where the mind cannot meet up with the body. It tries, but wires get crossed and signals get lost. Sometimes I don’t hear the sky, I hear Nina Simone instead. But the body doesn’t know how to move. Just to describe movement with colours and poems.

“SO COLD” by Julia at MAKE coffee+stuff


Saturday June 21, 2014 at MAKE
1:49pm
5 minutes
a postcard at MAKE coffee+stuff

Hadn’t thought about Missy since last winter when I remembered how much she loved the cold. She somehow disappeared from my life and my mind quicker than she came into it. Them. Both things, in which she was sort of a permanent resident. A fixture. A thing that made me crazy and wild and irrational. She was always going on about getting the right jacket and then just sucking the rest of it up. I told her I had grown up in the cold and ‘sucking it up’ was just not enough. She said if you’re going to complain just move already! And then I understood what everything in the world meant. Something about not wishing for things that are outside of you or wanting things that aren’t in front of you. We choose everything. We choose the temperature we stay in, we choose the people we spend time with, we choose to love or not love someone. We choose to be happy. Missy had that fully realized and she was living it. She chose me one second and the next something else. I’m still alive. I missed her for a while. But I understood that right now is something different from right now every time the second hand on the clock shifts right. Then I thought about getting a really proper jacket and just sliding down some snow hills face first. Cause, you know, choices.

“your grief for what you’ve lost” by Julia at her desk


Friday March 21, 2014
12:44am
5 minutes
Bird Wings
Mary Oliver


Sarah-Jane lost her keys the same morning she lost her mind which was the same morning she lost her fiancee, and nobody knows which order it was. They speculate: they think one obvious event would lead to the next. Some call it Murphy’s law. Some would argue in the same breath that Murphy’s law doesn’t even come close to encapsulating what happened to poor Sarah-Jane.
There were reporters on her doorstep trying to interview her. Sarah-Jane was not really up for talking but the first couple times her doorbell rang she assumed it was family or a casserole and answered it without thinking there’d be cameras. Some people are cold and heartless that way. Not allowed to grieve what you’ve lost in peace and solitude the way she so clearly needed.

“The play you are about to see” by Julia on her couch


Monday February 24, 2014
11:15pm
5 minutes
The Laramie Project
Moises Kaufman


full of wonder, of joy, of mystery. opens her heart, her legs, her life. there he goes, skipping across the landscape of her body. does he notice her there yet? does he see that she isn’t present, not even a little bit? she shuts it off, shuts him in, and leaves him for dead in all that exploring. all that discovering. full of wonder, of joy, of mystery. little boy, he’s a little boy. he runs back and forth without a destination. he doesn’t care if there or here is the prize. his prize is in the running. and when he doesn’t know any better? he runs even faster. didn’t know what it would feel like. didn’t understand what it would mean. if she up and left her body there, took her mind, but left her body there. left him behind, didn’t ask if he wanted to come. didn’t seem like she wanted him to go with her anyway. when he notices, then it will be a day of hardship. when he recognizes what she did, he’ll fall a little inside his own body and wish so bad that he was not left alone there. those thoughts, too grown up for him to deal with. those dreams, too shattered for him to reassemble them all. full of wonder, of joy, of mystery. both of them started out that way. opens her heart, her legs, her life. both of them started there too.

“NO FUN” by Julia on the 511 going south


Monday December 2, 2013
7:09pm
5 minutes
from graffiti on College Street

THESE ARE THE RULES:

1.NOBODY IS ALLOWWED TO HAVE FUN.
2. EVERYBODY MUST DRAW AN OUTLINE OF THERE BODIES EVERY DAY
3.THERE IS TO BE NO SPEAKING OUT OF TIRN
4.WHEN ITS DARK OUT, PEEPLE MUST HOLD HANDS WITH OTHER PEEPLE
5.IF YOU ARE A BOS TODAY TUMOROW YOU ARE NOT
6. DREEMING IN CULARS IS ALLOWWED.
7.CHOOING GUM IS FYNE IF THERE IS ALSO SHERRING
8.SINGING MUST BE DONE ALL THE TIME, EVEN WHEN YOUR OPSET

“On those grey days” by Julia at Second City Training Centre


Wednesday, January 16, 2013 at The Second City Training Centre
5:35pm
5 minutes
Running With Scissors
Augusten Burroughs


On those grey days where you just don’t want to get out of bed, I think to myself, dark room, dark walls, and try to get myself back to sleep. I don’t want to get up, I don’t want to do anything that involves other people. I want to sleep and sleep and give back to my body. Give back to my mind and just let it dream all day. Those grey days, the ones where the sky is even lovelier than yesterday, the birds only sing in harmony, and the lawn mower is taking the day off, that’s when me and me find one another after being separated, seemingly all the way from birth, and we hold hands with the idea that We Are Enough. I am enough. To get out of bed to even prepare a cup of soup would be a tragedy. To lean over the edge of the warmth and safety and potential imminent back ache to pick up the tissue that had been left there over night would be a disservice. For those grey days are not grey in colour, but in feel. In texture. In one world where ideas and solutions can’t multiply fast enough. It’s the in between, the place where my mind and body go to have a lie down; a rest. It’s the place where no other colour is invited because it would just ruin everything. It’s that.
So on those grey days, I sleep.