“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.

“Your vision, values and needs” by Julia on her couch


Sunday November 1, 2015
11:59pm
5 minutes
An ad for a Life Coach

The back of my computer is covered in chocolate icing because…well fuck, because, obviously. It’s been a hard month, alright, I admit that. It’s been one of those times in my life that sounds great on paper–if you get off on misery and if you romanticize inadequacy. I’d like to say that I was surprised to find myself in this situation, but the truth is, I have expected it to come at one point or another because I have never really not been the type to somehow find ninety-nine cent frosting bits smeared across my laptop. Yes it was ninety-nine cents, yes I ate it with my hands, yes I ate it in under four days, yes I did this completely on my own, and yes I enjoyed it and felt that it was, at particular wee hours of the morning, a truly smart decision…
These are tough times.

“If you catch some salmon in October” by Julia on her couch


Tuesday March 3, 2015
11:07pm
5 minutes
Cascadia
Ramon Esquivel


I haven’t told you this but there’s a black cloud that hangs over your head every time you enter a room. It sits in the upper right corner of your human bubble and it looks pretty heavy. I really thought it would pass: the storm would come down eventually (after threatening to so consistently), the grass would be nourished (after being teased with water), and the sun would pop out and say, “Just kidding! I’ve been here all along!” But you never stopped turning shared spaces grey and you never stopped shifting the feeling of an entire room, or influencing the mood of a whole group of people. I suppose I wanted you to know this so you could potentially fix it for your future interactions. Part of me, however, thinks I’m getting good at making up excuses for you.

“a direct violation” by Julia on the plane to Providence, RI


Wednesday April 30, 2014
10:15am
5 minutes
the passenger safety manual on United Airways

Misery loves company, is what I always tell myself when I’m upset. Not in the way you’re supposed to use that phrase–more just so I can feel like somewhere out there, someone is miserable just like me, even if around me everyone’s smiling. I don’t want others to be unhappy if I am–I know that’s how that Kathy Bates film got its name. Misery. And she was–you know, miserable—and she loved—you know, company. I don’t know, it’s just something that helps me. Lollipops also help but I hate asking for those because people just automatically think something’s wrong with me–like in a pedo-way, or a developmentally challenged way.
Well I’d say being here is what’s making me upset. I’m a tad homesick, I hate flying, and a young boy felt me up in the parking lot this morning when I was trying to mail my condolence card for Erica. I mean, it’s not a huge deal, he just grabbed my left boob and ran off as fast as lightening.

“There is an old joke” by Julia at her kitchen table


Friday, September 6, 2013
6:38pm
5 minutes
The Fireman And The Waitress
Dessa Kaspardlov


I catch myself laughing sometimes at the wind and all its misery.
So bleak, so dark, and yet, free, as if it doesn’t even know it’s sad.
I don’t mean to be rude.
But the sounds of violins remind me that I’m better off. That I have exactly what I asked for.
That I don’t need the breeze, even when it’s teasing me.
The universe and I go way back. She gives me what I need and I just put it into a want-cloud for her to brush up against.
I know the symptoms of a happy life.
I own one.
My new happy, shiny life.
I break the news to the insects and to the sunbeams in all their abundance.
I’m having a baby! I exclaim to them.
I’m having a perfect realization baby!
I catch myself laughing.
I know it’s not quite common, or appropriate.
But I asked the dusk to put in a good word for me at the star library.
I take whatever sparkles brightest and I return them whenever I feel I’m done with them.
No one thinks I’m just going to run off with them without payment.
I’ve made sure I held the honesty tight to my chest just in case someone asked me to spell my last name to prove who I was.