“books about people living on the street” by Julia in The Loop, Chicago

Saturday September 8, 2018
10:39pm
5 minutes
Searching, results
Shawn Syms

I walked into a bookstore today. The shelves were lined with post-it-notes telling me which staff member recommended which book. The girl working the counter had a tattoo of a strawberry wearing sunglasses. She recommended the Miranda July and I thought she and I would be friends. Mariella, the store owner, had recommended a few books about the housing crisis and single room occupancies. When I asked the girl with the same lipcolour on as me if she had read Mariella’s recommendations, she got real quiet and said, Mar used to live on the streets. She built this place so it’d be here for anyone who might need it. That’s why we’re open so late.

“the sum total of the courage and the integrity” by Julia at the studio

Tuesday, June 19, 2018
5 minutes
10:37am
A quote by Eleanor Roosevelt

We can walk into the mouth of our lover with gratitude
and compassion or wake up on the wrong side of the bed
with a vengeance that travels in heat, and ready.
I remember this when I am late to the day after a long
night of bad decisions and I am too ashamed to greet you
in your half way done morning, specific goals set, etc.
I come out with a new tail tucked between my legs and you
stop your structure and stretch out your arms to me,
welcoming, grateful. You say how lucky you are and you
say it with skin and smile before words leave your lips.
I remember this when you are late to the day and I am
awake before you and running and weaving and juicing
and you come to me with the same openness but my first
instinct is to keep running, make you catch up, make
you feel bad. We can walk into the mouth of our lover
with gratitude and patience if we remember how important
time spent gazing at each other really is. We can choose
this in the morning, at night, and in the afternoon. You
do this and you teach me. I thank whoever is in charge
that you do not dole out grades to match the student.

“Do everything as slowly as possible” by Julia at her desk

Friday, April 20, 2018
11:00pm
5 minutes
The Art of Aging
Sparrow

Get here later, take your time
ask the elderly man if he needs
to borrow your elbow while getting
off the plane
bring him to the luggage carousel
and wait for his bags to pop through
the shute so you can help him pull
them off
Be the kindness that I know
Be the patient peace
Let the family of five go ahead
of you in line for the taxi
do not ask your driver to put a
rush on the ride home
Lover, I will be waiting for
your arrival with all the
bounty and welcoming of a midday
reunion
I will kiss you like time is
not the enemy
I will be close to sleep but
being closer to you will keep
me rested until we are in each
other’s arms
Stop for french fries if you’re
hungry and bring your bags up
one by one
Do not worry about the clock now
I will be here when you get here

“The process is afterall like music,” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Friday April 6, 2018
9:14pm
5 minutes
Käthe Kollwitz
Miriam Rukeyser

I wonder where the grace
note will come in amidst
the banging and bruising
If I’ll be sitting
at my desk
on the sidewalk
and you’ll suddenly come
to mind
and you’re finally smiling
not that I can’t hold
the grief or the grey
but you’re smiling
and it lifts me
from where I am

I sail over
the rooftops
towards the water
towards where you
are and you don’t
have poems
or words
you don’t even
know I’m there
but I am
I am

“She warned me, ‘Have nothing to lose.’” by Julia at her desk

Thursday April 5, 2018
8:25pm
5 minutes
Among Women
Marie Ponsot

tucked a daisy in my jacket pocket and said “this is for a rainy day”
didn’t seem to mind that it might not last that long in denim like this
i forgot it was in there and went about my day
picked up apples from the market
peeled the sweet potatoes that were growing eyes
the night became a different world
me in my own skin and bones rustling about the tiny kitchen
she, i decided, blessing newborns and the dying with her sweet
the next morning i awoke to the sun burning the sky and drawing sweat
from my neck
the pillow was wet and the seagulls were loud
I did not bring an umbrella
and of course, as it happens here, out of the blue
it started to rain
i understood what ‘out of the blue’ meant for the first time
shoved my hands in my pockets to keep dry
and there it was, waiting for me
a wilting daisy, still more alive than me

“If we changed the rules of our games” by Julia in Hội An

Friday January 26, 2018
9:16pm
5 minutes
The Mercy Seat
Norman Ravvin

Now that we’ve changed
the rules I don’t cry as much.
As if my face can tell
you how I feel without
losing any water without
causing a drought somewhere
else deep down near the well of me
Now the well of me is full
and happy looks like patience
or a bucket
or forgiveness on the conveyor belt
switched on at high speed
You are coaching and playing
at the same time sometimes
and this is a rule you
have always known to follow
I can learn from this
I can play better too

“let it come through.” by Julia on the 99


Saturday April 29, 2017
12:26am
5 minutes
From a quote by Jackson Pollock

I have been swallowing words of wisdom in case it looks like I think too highly of myself. She never asked for what I thought but her eyes told me she could use it. We don’t have to speak if we can’t improve the silence. I learned that somewhere. Maybe my sister said it once. Maybe she heard it from a good book or a peace keeper. I am working on communicating without speaking. I let the people who need voice give voice. I am working on letting it come through with skin and smiles and sound effects

“Don’t turn off your computer” by Sasha at Platform Seven


Wednesday April 13, 2016 at Platform 7
4:43pm
5 minutes
from the update installation screen

I showed you love like moss thick under bare feet
tangled just like we are
all roots and flowers all held tight
all reaching

I showed you patience like a watched pot like
the new moon and the tide in and out in and
out all smiles and sighs and gulps
all dirty fingernails and guitar solos

I showed you lavender bouquets blinded by the
streetlights the kitchen is the only alter I’ll
pray at the great divide somehow smaller
amongst tarragon and cinnamon

“vow to scrap” by Julia at Platform 7 Cafe


Tuesday, December 22, 2015 at Platform 7 Cafe
11:29am
5 minutes
Overheard on Gerrard St.

I think I know why
I don’t want to say why
I think I know why I can’t keep the moments from turning into monuments
To keep the steam from turning into smoke
To keep the cut from turning into scar
I think I know why I don’t want to say why
I think I know why I can’t
I’m sorry
You say don’t be I’m trying to remember that
You say don’t try I’m trying to remember not to do that either
It’s taking some time
I am not sorry I am not trying
I think I know why
I think it scares me more than it might scare you
Human beings dancing without the proper shoes
Eagles flying without wings
You work hard to keep my wound a slice
To keep my throbbing a pulse
To keep my hyperventilating a breath
I think I know why
But I don’t say why

“for a variety of reasons” by Julia in a car


Friday November 6, 2015
11:45am
5 minutes
Overheard at Moii Cafe

Carmen is sitting on the kitchen sink, banging her feet against the cupboard to the rhythm that she’s humming in her head. Boom badoom, boom boom badoom.
Ely stares at her with a sideways smile and his head cocked to the side. He’s in love with her. She’s the most fascinating thing he’s ever seen in his life.
Carmen feels his gaze but acts like she can’t tell. She pretends to be in her own world. She likes the attention Ely gives her. She likes that he likes her and that she could be bad, or better, and he wouldn’t even notice. She likes that he doesn’t hold her to a particular standard. She likes that he isn’t like everybody else.
Ely wants to kiss her but hasn’t felt like she’s invited him yet. His body remains tense and leaning against the counter. He casts his eyes down when it gets to be too much.
“Are you afraid of me or something?”
Carmen’s legs still going, boom badoom, boom boom badoom.
“Me? No I’m. I’m not afraid of you or something. I’m. I’m not afraid.”
“Well why are you way over there, then?”

“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.

“see discuss contemplate” by Julia at her desk


Saturday, October 17, 2015
10:55pm
5 minutes
A Toronto Public Library card

Can I ask you something?
I say this to you right in the middle of a long and delicious make out.
Right now?
You ask, eyes still closed and hands still wandering.
No, I’ll wait a couple weeks, as you were.
I keep kissing you, a little more preoccupied than before.
What? What? You have to say it now.
You are no longer kissing me. Your hands have found a stagnant position on each side of my face.
Nah, forget I said anything. It was stupid! Where were we?
I shove my tongue down your throat and you reel away from me like I just tried to lick your eyeball or something.
Hey, hey, what are you doing? What’s going on with you?
You’re still holding my face, searching deep into my eyes, hoping to find something better than what I’m giving you right now.
I just wanted to ask you….If you…I wanted to ask you if you ever…fuck…just if you…
I am looking anywhere but your face. It’s harder than I thought it’d be.

“I put a little twist in my hips” by Julia at her desk


Thursday, October 15, 2015
6:37pm
5 minutes
Never Been In Love
Elliphant


I throw on the Sam Cooke cause I know that’s the glue that holds us together when we’re tearing each other apart. I let him sing out and I wait before I come near you. I’m not afraid of what you’ll do to me, but what we’ll do to all the love we’ve been keeping safe between us all these years.
You’re on the broken futon with disappointment shooting through your back and a scowl on your face.
“I hate it here” you say. “I know” I tell you. “How many more days–” I bring my finger to your lips to quiet your uneasy mind. Not right now, I say, but with my body. I put a little twist in my hips and I dance beside you and your furrowed brow. Come on, I say, but with my smile, encouraging you to forget your anger for just a second. Dance with me, I suggest to you with my eyes closed, arms overhead reaching for the unknown. I don’t open them until I feel your body sway with mine. The moment of pain between us slowly turning into dust…

“Distant, tired, but holding her hand” by Julia in the car


Wednesday, September 9, 2015
5:06pm
5 minutes
http://lennyletter.com/lena-dunham-first-short-story/

He coughed into the crook of his elbow and tried not to make too big of a deal of it. She glanced at him from the side of her eye, the way she did when she was trying to read his e-mails without him noticing. He was growing tired of her testing him and she was growing skeptical of his patience.
Maybe if you didn’t worry so much about EVERYONE else for a change, you’d be—
He hadn’t prepared himself for a blow out. Had been priding himself on containing it all and picking his battles, in fact.
Forget it. He walked a bit in front of her.
What would I be? JUST. FUCKING. SAY IT. She was shaking now, trying to make direct eye contact. She realized when she asked him if he still loved her earlier she didn’t look him in the face when he gave his response.
How fucking easy I make it for him to despise me, she thought. I never look to see if his eyes are lying.

“When, Finally and inevitably,” by Julia at Barb’s house in Vernon


Tuesday, September 1, 2015
5:28pm
5 minutes
Bits
Louis Taylor


I’ve seen the sun, he was locked away, hiding.
I whispered to him often, reminding him to take his time.
I said hello to him every morning, and I bowed my head down deep.
He didn’t want to come out.
He didn’t want to be my guide.
Sometimes facing the day is hard for everyone.
But he was there and I could tell that he needed to set himself free.
I knew because I had lived that way before.
I knew because revealing feels bad before it feels good.
I knew because in the shadows no one can see your smile, or the one you think you’re wearing.
Then after all my meditations and salutations and exaltations, I asked him quietly if I should go.
I leaned in close to catch it: he didn’t want to be left alone.

“She locked me in a room until I said a password” By Julia at her desk


Friday, August 7, 2015
12:03am
5 minutes
from a story on The Moth

Come on Sid, I said, face buried into the wall. I’m right here. Right beside you.
I don’t want to come out, she said.
You don’t have to, I told her. Don’t do anything you don’t want to do.
Do you hear that? She asked me. Whispering just loud enough to make out.
What do you mean?
I didn’t hear a thing.
The music. It’s beautiful..you don’t hear it?
Describe it to me, I said, leaning my head back toward her.
It’s like a snowflake, dancing, and spinning, and falling softly on a bed of rose petals.
Beautiful?
Yeah. You should hear it, Ray.
I’d like to.
You’d truly feel it, she said.
It’s okay, I told her, don’t worry about me.
It’s not something I can keep, she said.

“I see four stages” by Julia on the bench outside Baldwin Laundry


Friday, July 10, 2015
4:08pm
5 minutes
On Writing Zion
Maureen Stanton


Day One:
listening at the door to see if Alistair is still crying into his pillow
making sure he knows he can talk to me if he needs to
hoping that if he needs to he doesn’t bring up Deb
knowing that if he’s going to, he’s going to bring up Deb
preparing to talk about Deb
hand-washing the kimono Rufus stole for me at the charity drive
listening to Marco Beltrami to help focus my intentions

Day Two:
Consoling Alistair again about Deb
Using kind words with him like Easy Does It, There There Sweet One, I’m Not Going Anywhere
Wearing the kimono in front of the mirror to test it out
Deciding to wear the kimono loosely tied when dealing with Alistair
Figuring out ways to move my body naturally so as not to arouse suspicion when dealing with Alistair
practicing the look of genuine understanding and concern mixed with attraction

“work its magic” by Julia at her desk


Saturday May 2, 2015
10:58pm
5 minutes
from seriouseats.com

Sometimes you just gotta wait and see, feel the earth steady under your feet, breathe in the moon, and wait. Last night I had an exchange with her. The moon. It was a silent, telepathic one. I went outside, I brought my favourite lighter, and I sparked up a conversation…among other things. I exhaled, dedicating the smoke right at her. She was cloaked in clouds and didn’t respond right away. I asked her, with my intentions only, if she wanted to join me. Couldn’t hurt to ask, even if the answer was no, it couldn’t possibly hurt me at all. She didn’t answer then and there. So I waited. I waited, I smoked, I sent my signals to her trying to tug her in my direction. Come get high with me, I willed. Take a load off. We don’t need the brightness of you every single second. Then suddenly, after all that patience I was practicing, she came out. She tossed aside her persistent body guards and she winked at me. I guess the waiting paid off.

“One male one female” by Julia at her desk


Wednesday March 11, 2015
2:38pm
5 minutes
from an online acting breakdown

It was everything and nothing
One male
One female
She cradled his heart gently in her palm
He unraveled his entire soul at her feet
Everything
And nothing
One male
One female
She held his sobbing head
On her lap
In the dark
He poured out his deepest secrets
To the folds of her jeans
To the softness of her thighs
Everything
And nothing
One male
One female
She waited until he was able
He held tight to her patience like a wounded bird

“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

“this is the best place” by Julia on her bed


Wednesday February 4, 2015
10:29pm
5 minutes
castingworkbook.com

Shying away from the old heartache song
I don’t take too well to that kind of thing anymore
It hurts a bit in places that I didn’t know I had
So I let that tune play on elsewhere
I don’t tell it to stop cause I know it has to keep going
But I send it some peace so it knows It’s not personal
When I meet grace again, I’ll hum it softly
Maybe I’ll mouth the words
That’s when I’ll be able to have it quietly on repeat in the background
Underscoring my day to day
My dishes in the sink
My clothes on the line
My what ifs, if onlys
My midnight snack of whiskey and war

A photo of Jack and Daisy by Julia on Katie’s couch


Sunday January 11, 2015
12:17am
5 minutes

Jack and Daisy

Held my hand out for you and I waited
Hours went by and I waited
Days turned into butterflies and I waited
Still
Like the night
Like the only moment between us that you wanted to paint
I stood there, facing the light
Hours went by and I tortured myself with thoughts of you
Of your smile
Of your depth
Of your tiny birthmark hidden in the crack of your upper lip
Hours
Days
Lifetimes went by and I waited
My arm got tired from holding onto an escaped hope
It had flown away into the wind long ago
My heart got tired from beating for both of us
My head got tired from trying to convince my body to have patience
To wait there for you until you were ready
And finally
I left
I left you there with the rain cascading down
All the veins of every heavy hearted tree

“you either get it down on paper, or jump off a bridge.” by Julia at Camera a Sud in Bologna


Monday November 24, 2014 at Camera a Sud
1:10pm
5 minutes
from a quote by Charles Bukowski

Ahh I’m falling. I’m falling. It’s a good feeling. You replace the A, the L, with two Es. You want to know where I’m going? To the place were my brow furrows…concentration and magic and old habits. You want to touch that spot on my face. Remind me not to clench my jaw, hold tension in my forehead. “Don’t get old before you have to.” And I have that falling feeling. It’s a good one. It’s when the inspiration breathes and lives and stays awake next to a roaring fire.
You steal the wood off the side of the road for me.
Stoking my pilot light with a little consideration, saying, “yeah, you need five minutes to get that beauty down on paper, I give you ten. Take a hundred of them if you want. A million minutes, even, and I’ll be here watching you and making sure you don’t loose that spark. And that you don’t get wrinkly from the thinking and the trying hard to focus right.”
I remember you like that, rocking in your reading chair and sitting content in the million moments reserved for being apart but together in the same room.
I tell you after this “I want to drink a bubbly white wine and I want to eat an oven-baked fish with the head and tail still attached.”
You say you have the perfect one and it’s in the fridge when we’re ready.
“How do you already have what I want?” And you smile into your book and say, “Cause we’ve been here before. We’ve done Sunday like this a thousand times already.”
“Ahh,” I say, “You’re right. I guess it’s good this spot, this falling feeling place.”
You chuckle quietly, reminding me, “You’ve said that before too…”

“We finally took the plunge ;)”by Julia at Bagels and Beans


Wednesday November 19, 2014 at Bagels and Beans
3:56pm
5 minutes
From the Bagels and Beans write up by Ronald Bakker

After pounding back at least one hundred tiny chocolate covered coffee beans, I feel the urge to finally do it–finally just look into his eyes, tell him I’m sorry for making him wait so long but I am sure now, I am excited now, I am positively secure in us now.
He keeps his eyes down on his Japanese style wild salmon and puts calculated bagel bites into his mouth without really looking up at all. I like his eating habits. That was something I could never say before-among a million other things. They don’t bother me anymore. That’s how you know it’s really real. I wanted to do it right then, reward his patience, achieve that perfect moment you spend your whole life constructing.
And he doesn’t respond to my throat clearing, my quirky sighs that signal I’m ready for his attention. I am filled with dread suddenly.

“in the passenger seat” by Julia at her desk


Sunday October 26, 2014
12:33am
5 minutes
from the early draft of a screenplay

Anja sat quietly in the front seat, not wanting to disturb her father while he was lost. She knew she’d only have a few more calm minutes with him before he lost his temper, and she didn’t want to reduce them by saying the wrong thing, or breathing too loudly. Anja had wanted to go up to the cabin with her father ever since she was a kid, but for some reason they never did things just the two of them. Of course Pat got to do everything with their father, and he’d come home shining like the sun after a weekend alone with him. Anja knew she didn’t have much to say to her father, but always assumed that was because she never got to go on these trips like her brother did. If she had had the opportunity, she would have made herself known. She would have told a few jokes and proven how strong she was, and fearless. It felt like the two of them, finally spending some quality time together, had been driving in circles for at least an hour. Anja wondered briefly if this moment would be enough to bring them closer together.

“study and travel” By Julia in her bed in Bologna


Sunday October 5,2014
10:50pm
5 minutes
from a Facebook post

I am at the part of the journey where I want to turn back because my head is swirling and my heart aches a bit. It’s the part you’d recognize in a relationship where right after the Honeymoon phase, it turns into a troubling time. Where the fruit isn’t as sweet, where the “out loud” ideas are nowhere near as good, where the smell of feet begins to make itself present in every room and conversation. I’m there now. It’s like, yes, I know I love it (you), and it’s going to be worth it (us) in the end, but right now the only thing that will make me happy is laying in bed with a stack of dark chocolate and a bottle of limonata. Alone. Completely alone. It’s the hard part where things are really different. You just start seeing the world without that rose and laced veil. Mostly because it’s a lot of work being absolutely and utterly alone. Even though it’s what you want most for yourself so you can be yourself.

“Tutti liberi!” By Julia in Piazza della Mercanzia, Bologna


Saturday September 27, 2014
5:41pm
5 minutes
Street graffiti on Strada Maggiore in Bologna

When the missus takes my hat I fall in love with her hands and the silky smoothness of her fingertips as she lightly grazes mine. I fall in love with her in this instance and in all her past instances-her befores, her before thats. Her shadows following closely behind her-I see them and I love them too, for they know her intimately from the back, even though she barely turns her head.

She doesn’t say a word to me but with her silence I can tell she senses me more than she’d like to. She won’t meet my eyes but her skin is lit up and it radiates a heat that comes from fear disguised as indifference. She’s done this before and I’m aware that she knows this too, but old habits die the hardest. She doesn’t wish it were different, she doesn’t try to kill the thing that eats her. I wonder what the missus would have looked like as a girl and I picture her strawberry blonde curls frizzing in the midsummer’s heat.

“Defeating death, embracing love” by Julia on the Greyhound heading to Toronto


Sunday May 11, 2014
3:10pm
5 minutes
Reader’s Digest
March 2014


What am I going to have to do to get you to come out of there?
He knocked gently on the bathroom door and waited there with his head attached to the wall.
She stared daggers silently through him, through the wall.
I’m not coming out. You can stay there all day if you’d like.
He swivelled in his spot, turning so the back of his head was leaning on the door.
She cocked her fingers like a gun and fired.
Can you turn down the fucking Feist, please?
He peeled himself off the door and went to his laptop sitting on the coffee table. He waited.
She waited.
He closed the lid and the music stopped.
K, thanks.
Yup.
It’s not about me, right?
Yup.
Yup it is, or yup it isn’t?
I need you to go away now.
She walked backward feeling the cabinets on her way to the window. When she reached the tub, she climbed in one foot at a time, then drew the shower curtain.
Please talk to me.
No thank you.

“Did you just say” by Julia on the 94 going west


Sunday March 16, 2014
9:18pm
5 minutes
from a status update on Facebook

Said that I would rather write blah blah blah at this very moment in time. Cause Joni’s telling me I have to write down my feelings so I don’t hurt somebody. And I won’t hurt anyone. I know that about me. But Joni thinks that it will help things. I tell her yeah right but she doesn’t let up. She’s tough on me. So I’d rather write nonsense, gibberish you know? Those thoughts don’t want to come out in pretty flowery ways. That’s all I’m saying. That if I had to sit my ass down and pound out a couple sentences about my emotions I might actually hurt someone then. Joni is good to me. She’s patient as shit. She’ll wait all day for me to come out. She wants me to be more free. And I think she thinks I have to let out some aggression or how the world makes me think or whatever. Blah blah blah. It’s more than that. She’ll see through it anyway. She know that Joni. She really knows. If I had to pick one thought it would be..
This pen is a reminder or my strength cause if I wanted to I could use it as a weapon.

“you crave” by Sasha at her desk


Wednesday February 12, 2014
11:10pm
5 minutes
the bag of ketchup chips

When you get here, you’re trying to stay positive. You think that maybe you’re going to find yourself, or God, or at least a love for push-ups. You don’t think about the cravings – for your mother’s Jerk Chicken, for your wife’s blow jobs, for a ride on an empty subway. My first night in, Mickey tried to take me under his wing, tried to show my the ropes… or whatever. I told him to “back off” and he did. Must have been the tone of voice I used because I don’t swear or anything. Second night in, Joaquin watched me for awhile and then said, “I heard you’re a teacher. You wanna teach my somethin’ nice?” I told him if he wanted to brush up on fractions, sure. Everything else was off of the table. First visiting day, my wife brought me a note from one of my students. It said, “I hope you’re having a nice sabbatical in The Dominican. We really miss you.”

“That’s the point.” By Sasha at her kitchen table


Monday January 27, 2014
7:11pm
5 minutes
The Grid Toronto, January 23-30, 2014

If you were to teach me how to knit, you might realize that I have the patience of a toddler. You wouldn’t be as impressed as you are by the words I know. I would drop stitches and curse in ways you thought only truck drivers and prostitutes knew how. You and I, feet tucked under our bottoms, cradled by the couches soft cushions, the hum of the radiator coo-ing us towards stillness, knitting needles clinking together, our balls of wool somehow, magically, not becoming tangled together. When I finally have something to call something, a tiny square without too many holes, you look exceptionally proud. I say, “it’s so slow!” You say, “that’s the point.”

“domestic assault” by Julia on her couch


Thursday November 21, 2013
2:08am
5 minutes
Toronto Star

Erin was crying for what felt like days. She didn’t even know why, but couldn’t stop. Not even for ice cream, or Saved By The Bell. Trust me, we tried. She was on one of those journeys…just…lost on the way to no where. I didn’t want to be the first to give up on her, but I was useless too. I was. I tried all my wisdom out on her the first day, hell, the first hour, and she didn’t stop so..Rachel tried employing some of her own brand but Erin was non-responsive. It was obvious. But still each of us took a turn. Auburn decided not to say anything at all and just hold her, but every time someone touched her she flipped out again. It made it too real. To painful. I tried to be understanding, trying to tell her it would be bad now, but not forever, and that worked for maybe a half second. Then she tried to rip her own eyelashes out. So we all had to restrain her, but she didn’t want to be touched, so…it was a long night. And that was just the first of many like it.

“one morning in late July” By Julia in her backyard


Thursday August 1,2013
5:23pm
5 minutes
The Great Gatsby
F. Scott Fitzgerald


One morning in late July, my friend, my old friend, came home. He was tired from all the lying and all the dodging bullets. He didn’t want to answer questions about his personal life, or his new found freedom, or new found captivity, depending on the day. He didn’t want to go roller blading on the promenade or take pictures of newborn baby birds. He was gone a long while. Some said he spent his time fishing on the Grand or entertaining stories of his sister’s brush with death last December. I believe he was just sitting in his room waiting for the seasons to change. Waiting so he could emerge again with a restored sense of faith and discovery…something to mask his insecurity and guilt with. He was missed, surely, sorely. I was the one who spread rumours of his existence to all our mutual friends. I told them, each and every one of them, and never tired of it, that he would in fact be returning soon enough and that we should call upon our patience so we could be all the more ready to receive him when he arrived. It was one morning, it late July. The tiger lillies were everywhere and the kale grew in abundance in Alan’s backyard.

“What immortal hand” by Julia at Sambuca Grill


Thursday, July 4, 2013 at Sambuca Grill
3:20pm
5 minutes
The Tiger
William Blake


She’s sorry, you know. In case you never hear it from her mouth or in case she never lets on that she is. She really is. But she’s scared, so you’ll just have to accept that you might not always get to be right outwardly. She’ll take a couple stabs at you, and then she’ll offer to clean the hate off your favourite shirt..but she’s not saying that she knew she was wrong. She’s not admitting that she’s at fault. That she’s responsible for anything. She knows deep down somewhere, but to say it…to say it means to believe it means to really truly feel it. And she does, you can rest easy knowing that she does. But she won’t let you hear it. She won’t give you that satisfaction that you probably need just as much as she needs to make sure you don’t get it. But she’ll come around. She will. She always does. She’ll learn and she’ll be better for it. The time it took her to get over it all and just…plain…apologize..

Sensory dip: Little red potato by Julia at R Squared


Monday, January 7, 2013 at R Squared
10:05am
5 minutes
a little red potato (sensory dip)

What a truth, that I’m holding the world in my hands.
Capability and hilarity.
What other tools do I need?
Patience?
I’ll just borrow that from my best friends. They have a lot of it.
Maybe grace?
I’ll get that from my mother. She has so much I bet she grows it on to her rosemary bush and cooks with it sometimes.
Do I need anything else?
Honesty.
Yes.
From the girl who lives down the street from me. She recognizes how crazy she is, but in a good way. She wouldn’t mind showing me how to carry it with me. I asked her once…she thinks I already have it.
The world, my world that I’m holding, feels like I could squish it.
I could puncture it but I would not be using my tools. I’d be using my emotions.
The ones involving fear.
I don’t remember from whom I received it.
Who gave me that?
Surely not my father.
Surely not my teachers.
I can’t remember if I saw it in a store window once, tried it on, and thought it looked good on me so I took it home? Or….?