“microwaved a saucer of milk” by Julia in Ho Chi Minh City

Monday January 22, 2018
5 minutes
Parents
Stephanie Yorke

Growing up I had a friend who used to do “experiments” and mix water and milk in a bowl and then microwave it. Then she’d taste what she made and offer it to her guests at sleepovers. I don’t know why you’d call something like that an experiment. It seems pretty obvious to me what will happen when you heat up milk and water in the microwave. Once when I was over at her house working on our science fair project, she had the bright idea to make the experiment a non experiment. That’s not me summarizing the events either, she literally asked me what my thoughts were on choosing something non-experimental for an experimental assignment. So that’s how I ended up with a booth of Lays original flavoured chips and Lays original flavoured baked chips. She thought we could let people taste test both chips to see if they could identify which was which. Genius.

“This I wore when I met Margaret Thatcher.” By Julia at her desk


Wednesday May 17, 2017
5:17pm
5 minutes
Women in Clothes
Sheila Heti, Heidi Julavits, Leanne Shapton and 639 Others


We didn’t break bread until we had broken each other
into pieces
the stir before sunset set our dining room to
incubation, warming the alibis of forgotten promises
She was wearing sheer nylons with a tinge of lavender
She was wearing someone else’s face, not mine, not hers
Standing on opposite corners of our equally divided turf
we had to wonder, is this artifical power or are you really
stronger there by the kitchen and I better next to the balcony?
The show is going on outside our tiny terrarium of
heart ache and mishandled history
Our secrets, both undone and left spilling
onto the floor that seperates us
from forgiveness and missing
our reservation

“Wherever you are” by Julia on her couch


Saturday April 15, 2017
3:49pm
5 minutes
The Promise
Tracy Chapman


Remy shows up on my doorstep with blood running from his nose onto his once perfect white collared shirt. He doesn’t even notice the bleeding, or that his eyes are wide until I recoil from his touch.
“Krista,” he says, “I’m here, I’ve made it. Let’s get married.”
My heart does a back flip and lands with a thud. I haven’t seen Remy in 2 years. The last time we spoke he told me he was going to get clean. He asked me to wait for him.
Liz is waiting behind the corner with a baseball bat ready to knock him out. I realize quickly that he has already been knocked out-and the likelihood of him doing that to himself, knowing Remy, is high.

“I need a reader” By Julia at her desk


Monday February 20, 2017
11:01pm
5 minutes
castingworkbook.com

I need a reader.
Someone to read fiction from the tattered corners of the used book shop.
Someone to read stories that come from imagination and what ifs.
Someone to read their weight in other people’s words
to understand why we tell stories in the first place.
I need a reader.
Someone to read non-fiction and learn a thing or
two from the life of somebody that isn’t them.
Someone to read in between the lines when the tears come.
Someone to read the reasons why we write or why we feel we must.
I need a reader.
Somone to read me when I don’t want to be read.
Someone to read me when I need to be splayed open
heart on page after page.
Someone to read the furrow line in my forehead as
habit and not anger.
I need someone who loves flipping pages and
learning new things.
I need someone who won’t stop at the introduction
just because they can’t understand the trajectory yet.
I need a reader.
I need someone who will stay up late tracing
skin tags and face creases and bad dream mumble jumble.

“People will say,” by Julia in her childhood room


Friday January 6, 2017
12:45am
5 minutes
from The Province

I didn’t wish you a happy birthday and people will say-probably-that I am avoiding you or doing it on purpose or trying to play games. I’m not doing any of those things-though it’s your prerogative to think that I am. To believe everyone else but me. I didn’t do it this year because I was busy and because I don’t think you’re a good person. I should clarify that I still love you somewhere deep down as the person who first showed me what borrowing my parents’ car was really for; who laughed easy to build someone else up when you knew how much that would matter. I can’t condone the rest of you these days. Maybe not for the last few years. I tried to trick myself but it didn’t work. I’m not a very good liar. Not nearly as good as you.

“The worst kept secret” by Julia on her couch


Sunday August 21, 2016
10:26pm
5 minutes
lifehacker.com

Somebody told me once that discharge was called sperm. Okay it was my sister. We used to fight a lot. She was older. I wanted to do everything she did. I believed everything she told me. I was so confident in her that I never questioned a single thing she said. I admired her. Now we’re older and she tells me when things I believe about myself are just stories. She tells me when she hears me choosing not to love myself. I believe her. I know she doesn’t say things now to break me down. When we were young, she wanted to tease me. But maybe to see how much I could take. How much I would hear before I pushed back. It’s trusting someone outside yourself. She knows everything I’ve never told anyone else. She will always be the keeper of my secrets. She keeps the ones I like next to the ones I never will. She keeps them for me, but she forgets they’re there. She doesn’t see me through eyes of things I wish I didn’t do. She does not love on condition.

“your hand in mine” by Julia on her bed


Saturday August 20, 2016
2:08pm
5 minutes
Heard in a song on Co-op radio

I catch myself believing I deserve better when I grab your hand in the crowded street and you pull away after only a second. I grab your hand as a gesture to show you that in this sea of people, I cling to you. I reach for you. I choose you. I remind you every chance I get that I am proud of you. That I am proud to be with you. That the touch of your skin connects me to the only things in this life that matter. And you might miss all of that if you’re not expecting to see it. If you think holding hands is something to be taken for granted. Or to be done differently, perhaps. On days like this I swim along the shoulders of other people when I think of how lonely it is to love you. How far I’ve pushed my heart into opening and how tired she is from never being cradled back. I don’t think I’m allowed to ask for more. I need so much so much so much.

“gathering the medicine you need for re-birth.” By Sasha at her kitchen table


Monday, April 4, 2016
10:32pm
5 minutes
Mosaic magazine
Spring 2016


Voices in darkness.

“Wake up! Wake up!”
“Can you hear them?”
“No one’s there! It’s the echo of your own voice!”
“Wake up! Wake up!”
“Shhh…”
“You’ll wake the children!”
“Wake up!”
“You’re dreaming again… Go back to sleep. Go back to sleep!”

Darkness wakes me. Puts me to sleep. Wakes me. Puts me to sleep. Darkness makes takes no prisoners. Darkness shakes my bones til they rattle.

Water drips. A bat’s wings brush my leg. Where’s my blanket? It’s cold. A hand reaches out into nothingness.

Voices in darkness and then a match.

“Shhhh…”

“It’s all my fault.” by Julia at Platform 7 Cafe


Wednesday, February 24, 2016 at Platform 7 Cafe
3:19pm
5 minutes
from an e-mail

I have asked for clarification for the last time from Robbie. He is toxic and hearing his explanations of why he’d prefer to be with Patricia over me has stung for the very last time. I used to need to hear it from his mouth. I’d say, Let me hear it from your two lips, Robbie, tell me exactly why you need her. I want to hear the truth about the tiny heartshaped birthmark next to her left eye that has “cast a fucking spell on you. His earnestness is poisonous and it gets into my veins deep where it can torment me long after I’ve turned off for the night. Gets in my dreams. I thought knowing the words, hearing his reasoning would put this whole thing to bed. I thought it would give me closure or at least act as a critiquing sounding board. I wanted an excuse to get better. I think I also wanted an excuse to blame myself. I am good at taking on Robbie’s shit. I am so good at it I’ve carved out a special place in my life where I store all his stupid behavior and his shitty treatment of me. I take it off the shelves of my heart when I need a reminder that I’m so deeply human when it comes to him—or maybe because of him.

“I’ll mesage in a bit” by Julia at 49th Parallel


Thursday September 17, 2015 at http://49thcoffee.com/
3:20pm
5 minutes
from a text

I let go of that misery that used to haunt my dreams
I left it at a bus stop
or something
equally as insignificant
Where did my mind go
when I dropped it off in the rain
I think about calling it back
When the knowing sets in
Don’t need it anyway, I’m a better man
A better man
Don’t think it’ll hurt anyone
It was designed for me
I didn’t want to carry it
but I got used to its weight
and warmth
Left alone with it and it would tear me
down the middle
Maybe now I’m a sum of those two parts
Don’t think about it anyway, I’m a better man
A better man
Sleepless nights caused by sleepless demons
I would lay awake wishing I was gone
Now the air is clearer
When I remember to forget
I left that version of me there
I’m a better man
A better man

“It’s almost magic” by Julia at 49th Parallel


Tuesday September 15, 2015 at http://49thcoffee.com/
6:08pm
5 minutes
from a vintage ad for American Cyanamid Company

I have been throwing my love up, shooting it into the air, pew pew, pew pew
You have been catching some, letting some fall
I ask you, don’t you want this? Too much? Not right now? Check your box, X, x, X
I send it up in smaller doses, shoom! Shoom!
You lift your hand and grab what lands there, the rest fluttering down to the earth
I ask you again, don’t you see I’m giving you all of it? Pick ONE: Maybe, No, YES
You smile down at your hand as if you’re only noticing now that it’s tingling

“But a song” by Julia at Ryan’s place in Calgary


Sunday, August 30, 2015
11:29pm
5 minutes
from a poem by Roy Croft

Sing to me little bird and I will count the promises on all the strands of hair on your head
I will love you forever
I will want you
I will help you
I will hold you
I will need you
I will please you
I will defend you
I will preserve you
I will encourage you
I will enjoy you
I will inspire you
I will charm you
I will disarm you
I will guide you
I will follow you
I will dare you
I will give you
I will remind you
I will kiss you
I will soothe you
I will understand you
I will accept you
I will protect you
I will learn you
I will study you
I will know you

“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.

“Die this way” by Julia on the 505 going west


Tuesday, April 21, 2015
11:34pm
5 minutes
from a song on the radio

I haven’t figured out how I want to go. Some might say that’s a very good thing. It’s morbid, I suppose, to dream up what the best way to leave this earth is. If death is like life, then it should be my choice. It should be for me. But death is not like life, or it wouldn’t have a different name. Death is not for us. It’s for those that have to bury our bodies, spread our ashes, visit mausoleums, script out pretty eulogies. If it were just for me, then a shot to the head would have fit nicely. Something dramatic, quick, loud, messy. It would have been a nice match. But it’s not just for me. And so going peacefully in my sleep is also off the table. People don’t do well when death sneaks in and swoops down and silently exits. People want to know that it’s there so they can bring the right flowers, or the right last words.

“twists the whip” by Julia at her desk


Friday April 3, 2015
8:17pm
5 minutes
The Zurau Aphorisms
Franz Kafka


Twists the whip
Gets it ready
Practices in the mirror
One, two, Go on three
Takes one for the team.
His own team
He’s the captain and the coach
Ready
Ready
Ready
Today’s the day
The song sings in his head
Right now is the only thing that matters
Manic energy
Checking his watch
Tick
Tick
Boom
He’s off
And running
Twists the whip
Cracks it in the air
No more practice shots
It’s real now
It’s real life
Dangerous
Destructive
But he has his weapons
He has his tools
Don’t forget to breathe
He hears his mother’s voice in his ears
Don’t forget to feel
The magic urgency fuels him
It’s exactly as he imagined
Only nothing like he hoped
Twists the whip
Gets it ready
Now he’s ready

“A woman staggered into” by Julia at her desk


Thursday April 2, 2015
1:12am
5 minutes
Focus
Daniel Goleman


A woman staggered into a room filled with people locked in their cages. She was reluctant at first but when she arrived, she decided to follow through with herself.
She glanced around at all the bars, and ropes. Sad. Sad. Helpless. Sad.
She went about her business, gliding from one side of the room to the next, opening jars of jam and tasting her fruit-dipped fingers. She made eye contact with every single one of them. What are they doing here, what do they need? Why. Why. Helpless. Why.
Her freedom made them angry. And their hurt hearts thudded loud for all to hear.
Her self-awareness and self-love made them wish they could turn off their 80% brain.
You Are Not Good Enough. You Must Let Others Win. You Are Not As Important. Don’t Bother Trying To Achieve What You Desire. Forget Your Passions. Kill Your Dreams.
The smell of her lightness was pungent to the lot of them.

“Jeff Jones, I’ll kill you!” by Julia on her bed


Wednesday April 1, 2015
2:36am
5 minutes
Bulk Basics

I have had it up to HERE with you JEFF JONES. Oh don’t smile at me you smug piece of shit, I will end you before you can even raise your eyebrows in that cocky ass way one more time. That’s right, I’m angry. I’ve said it and I stand by it. What were you thinking? Seriously, do you have an explanation or are you going to play the “This is just who I am BULLSHIT CARD?” Cause it is bullshit. You afraid or something? Is that why you’re so guarded and so resistant to help? Cause you secretly hate yourself? Well guess what, we all hate ourselves sometimes if not at all times so I don’t give a shit if you feel a little less self-love. It’s NOT AN EXCUSE, JEFF FUCKING JONES. Even your name makes me recoil. It’s such a pretentious name. You remind me of that two first names guy, Jeff David, from high school that everyone liked because he had spiky hair and a bad attitude. He was an asshole, Jeff. And just because you share the same name doesn’t mean you have to share the same behaviour. Now. Let’s discuss it. I don’t want to even HEAR any excuses!

“Traditionally served with rice” by Julia on her bed


Tuesday March 31, 2015
12:42am
5 minutes
overheard at Culprit Coffee Co.

There’s a stinging silence as he introduces his family to the love of his life.
He had expected this and prepared for it, but it is still happening. It is still real.
She is not the same as him (Thank God) in more ways than one.
They’re the reasons he loves her so deeply. They’re the reasons he needs her, specifically her, and why she is irreplaceable.
She calls him on his shit and challenges him when he’s being wishy-washy.
She teaches him about sharing, and avoiding waste, and saving money.
She always makes eye contact when they’re speaking.
She makes him want to play and explore and experience.
She also happens to be a hazel eyed red head with perfect freckles and a collection of fashionable wide brimmed hats.
His family wants something different for him. Something closer to what they know.
Something traditionally served with rice.

“Choosing what is important for her” by Julia on the 504 going west


Friday March 27, 2015
1:08am
5 minutes
Sasha’s notebook

When Andrea lifted her head from steering wheel she didn’t know where she was. She didn’t know that she had just crashed her cream coloured Toyota corolla into a city transit bus, inhibiting 50 people from getting to work on time, or to school, or to the first job interview the two or three people were able to secure since getting back on their feet. She felt her stomach doing summersaults, regretting in that instant her choice to consume only spicy salami cut up into thick round chunks for breakfast. She saw smoke all around her and thought it was only a dream; the rising and falling of a dragon’s breath, heating his layer and keeping himself warm in his cave.

“I checked and it looks good.” By Julia at Starbucks


Thursday March 26, 2015 at Starbucks
6:32pm
5 minutes
From an email

I hate sometimes more than I want to
More than I ought to
More than I need to
It fills me up
Enough to skip my second meal
And try to nap for 25 minutes
Before I have to get somewhere
I don’t like when people refuse to laugh at my jokes cause they have no sense of humour.
I know it does not mean they are wrong or right if they don’t find me funny, but the ones who smile without showing their teeth don’t like to be showed up by someone in front of a group of someones. I guess that shows weakness. I guess that shows emotional unwillingness.

“I checked and it looks good.” By Sasha on her couch


Thursday March 26, 2015
5:35pm
5 minutes
From an email

“It’s okay,” you say. “I’ll be fine,” you say. “I know that you didn’t mean it,” you say.

None of us think we’re prejudiced. But we’re programmed to prefer what’s like us. But we’re taught that they are safe when they smell the same as we do, they are trustworthy if they speak our language and eat our kind of food.

I looked and it doesn’t check out. I am ashamed of the places where I am closed to difference. I am speaking this because I want to shine a light there, I want to say, “Look, I am a pretty progressive woman, but there are still moments where I am boggled by my own distaste for “difference”, where I am perplexed by my incapacity to understand!”

This is a quiet war cry from a red couch in a beautiful apartment in a towering house in the most expensive cities in the country.

“Their smiling faces touched” by Julia at her dining room table


Monday March 16, 2015
5:47pm
5 minutes
Still Alice
Lisa Genova


In the window fog she traced his name with her pointer finger and drew a heart around it. Finding herself rereading the same last paragraph of his letter over and over again, she knew she wasn’t going to rid herself of his memory with any ease at all. She stopped herself for an instant, glanced out into the passing world outside her moving train, and came back into the present moment. She had been talking about him as if he had not only left her, but left this earth all together. Then, a tiny ember of hope flickered inside her. He wasn’t even gone, just away. Just away from her. His final words to her,the ones she’d been revisiting each time without effort, were suddenly so clear to her: “In time we fade and in time we’re built anew.”

“landed immigrants” by Julia on her couch


Friday March 13, 2015
6:39pm
5 minutes
from http://www.banffmediafestival.com

Touch down acquaint orient
Reorient
Find the water
Where’s the water?
Friendly Sir
Morning coffee spill parade
Left then left then left then straight
Breathe in this city
Ask all the hard questions
Where am I going?
Why am I going there?
Fear leads and buries
Don’t follow blind
Don’t assume
Ask all the hard questions
Can you help me?
Can you show me?
South then east then south then east
Home now, a strange word
Invented
Reinvented
Depending on the day
The time
The hour

“People and shopping” by Julia at Dreyfus Cafe in Clapton

Saturday January 10, 2015 at Dreyfus Cafe in Clapton 4:03pm 5 minutes from a map of London So one time my dad took us, my sister and brother, and I, you know, all three of us, to the mall and we were supposed to meet Santa and whatever. But there was this huge line so we were being huge brats, you know, all three of us, my brother and sister and I. So my dad’s like, nope, not dealing with spoiled rotten apple children, so he yells at us right there in the line for fucking no good Santa and everyone in the world stares at us like we’re animals in a cage or something, fighting each other with teeth and claws out.. And then my dad looks around like it’s the first time he realizes he’s awake that day, and he just starts to laugh. He throws his head back and cackles so hard that all three of us, my sister and brother and I, all start laughing too. Just howling. Losing it. And people are still looking at us like animals in a cage only this time we look like possessed creatures who love each other. When we stop laughing my dad says, let’s go take a sleigh ride instead! So we go and we end up having to wait in an even longer line…but this time with much more enthusiasm.

“Crisis points but also the potential for major realizations” by Julia on Laura’s couch


Saturday January 3, 2015
10:11pm
5 minutes
http://www.mysticmama.com

It’s been a hard day. Even just the taste of this minty ginger honey lime tea I’m sipping makes me cry. Sweet things hurt and hurt things flash in my mind like the worst bits of an unwelcome nightmare. Can I say I’m sorry? Will it do anything? Does it help me? Does it help my hurt thing? I don’t know when the last time my world shook like this. The last time it rattled under my feet making my bones knock against themselves. You there, me here–we live in different moments, in different hopes. To be honest, I’m not even sure if we can both exist at the same time. You’re bigger than me and I’m bigger than you. It doesn’t make sense. It won’t connect like we’d have wanted.
This day…this day….

“All of it, kid.” by Julia on her bed


Saturday November 22, 2014
3:06am
5 minutes
From a first draft of a screen play

-You like Ray Charles? You like that song he pours his guts into?
-Georgia?
-Yeah, beautiful right?
-Yeah, the best.
-Everything is the best.
-Right now, yes. Let’s die like this.
-Dance for me first. Before we die happy and perfect, dance as if Ray Charles put music in your veins
-Like this?
-Mmm, yeah, like a little bird, flying high and from the inside out.
-I’m your little bird.
-I’m your biggest fan.
-Mmm.
-Let me lick you. You have no lines on your face. The smoothest skin, no lines at all.
-I’m young and I’m yours and I’m a little bird with Ray Charles blood.
-Mmm, yeah. We can die now.
-Some water first?
-Yeah, you drink then let me taste it from your lips.
-Feed you life…like little birds do…
-Yeah, you dance and feed me, little bird, little bird.

“I don’t have any change,” by Julia at Colazione da Bianca


Friday October 24, 2014 at Colazione da Bianca
3:39pm
5 minutes
Overheard at 49th Parallel

It’s the second time someone has come up to me trying to sell me lazer beam lights as if I could really use a green lazer beam light for my every day activities. Yeah, I almost told the second guy, how much do I have to pay you to get my very own travelling discoteque? You know, in case I’d like to bust it out at my next lecture, or, hey, even while ordering an empty brioche at 8am on a Tuesday? But I get it, it’s a job. Gotta make money somehow in this town. But those guys you can say no to easier because, really buddy, lazers? I roll my eyes and they know they’re trying to sell the impossible if their audience is anyone over the age of 4. The harder ones to shake your head at are the ones who just need 50 cents to help buy a coffee or a pack of cigarettes. Those are the ones who hang around for 6 minutes after you’ve said no, hoping that you’ll change your mind.

“I don’t have any change,” by Sasha at 49th Parallel on West 4th


Friday October 24, 2014 at 49th Parallel
11:48am
5 minutes
Overheard at 49th Parallel

I don’t got no small coins
or cumulous clouds
or satisfaction (thank you for the permission to borrow that thought)
I don’t got no music for this shot
it’s quiet
it’s still
that scares me
You?
Sorry lady I don’t have the change you’re looking for
I’ll blast you with cool air
air conditioner whipper snapper
I’ll sip my seven dollar iced coffee drink
I’ll ignore you and your suffering and your need
I’ll put a leaf in your hat and glare
Meanwhile rain’s started
I don’t got no recognition of what’s real
I’m floating above you
See me there?
I’m spinning “sorry” into worry
I don’t got no platform man
All I got is a piece of pavement and the colour of my eyes

“Last date to withdraw” by Sasha at the UBC Library


Wednesday September 3, 2014
1:02pm
5 minutes
UBC Student Servies website

These places, educational institutions, are funny places.
Everyone shuffling – new shoes, new backpacks, new pencils sharpened and ignorantly poking holes in new pencil cases.
Herds and herds of people, few making contact with eyes, or fingertips, or smiles.
We’ve come here for what
For learning
Okay…
We’ve come here for learning.
We’ve come here to further know ourselves.
We’ve come here for time.
I
I’ve come here for time.
For this, for words, for understanding of the why and the when and the who has come before.
I catch a glimpse of you,
also feeling like a fraud,
also feeling lost,
clutching your iPhone like your life depends on it.
I catch a glimpse of you and you catch me
catching a glimpse of you,
Confident and alone and one of millions.

“experience learn hear” by Julia in the car


Friday Aug 1, 2014
11:34am
5 minutes
from an expired TPL card

According to my brother, who can’t see out of his left eye and carries a knife everywhere he goes, you “really gotta listen to people and their body language.” That’s what he says when he’s trying to explain how to read people and how to protect yourself against “predators” or “criminally insane”. He knows these tricks because he’s been in a ton of fights with other people who also carry knives around. You’ve got to make sure “your eyes are open, your heart is calm, and your fingers are nimble.” Probably in case someone comes at you. But if you’re reading their postures before hand, you can avoid a brawl. That’s what he says. You can avoid getting into trouble if you’re just listening and hearing all the possible signs and all the signals that someone is giving out. My brother says that most people don’t even want the confrontation they seem to be inviting. He says it’s because deep down they’re looking for someone to stop them. He says that “deep down, they don’t want to do it.” So if you can understand the motives before you act on impulse, you could be saving yourself a lot of grief. You could be saving yourself a lost eye too.

“get a rise outta you!” by Julia at The Forks


Tuesday July 1, 2014 at The Forks
8:41pm
5 minutes
from the Phoenix Rising espresso bag

He started doing it to me when we first met. It was before we were allowed to love each other. Probably because I told a different person and I also told myself that I would be committed to him. The other person. I had met him first, he was my first real relationship. It wasn’t a forever thing but it was a then thing. So was he. The other other person. The one I wanted to love but wasn’t allowed to yet. I would look at him while he glanced around the room taking everyone in and learning something that even they didn’t know about themselves with just one silent look. I would hope that he was looking at me like that. From the inside out. And I would dream about leaving the person I had for the person I wanted but didn’t fully know the magnitude of that desire at the time. And he made sure that I kept wanting him. Because he’d tell me things that I’d believe just because it was coming out of his mouth, when really he was just seeing how much I would allow. I didn’t know there was such a thing as learning someone from the inside out. He showed me that. He once took off his glasses and convinced me that his eyes were wonky without them. He asked me if I thought he should get contacts. I said no.

“If you want to change the world” by Julia at Second Cup in Winnipeg


Monday June 30, 2014 at Second Cup
12:15pm
5 minutes
from a poster at Second Cup

I guess stop talking about the elderly as if they’re barnyard animals? I guess don’t say “that chick is just skin and bones” or “that chick shakes when she stands cause she’s just all skin and bones.” I think that’s the first step; to give all people an equal chance at existing without prejudice. I don’t know from where I sand–from where I sit–it just feels like there’s more to talk about than the people we know and especially when they’re not in the room. I was taught that once anyway. “Don’t have conversations with people who aren’t in the room.” I guess that’s about breakups or asking for things, mainly, but it could also mean that it’s better to not talk about someone who can’t defend themselves. There are other steps too-you know–if you want to change the world. First I’d say carry a quarter in your pocket everywhere you go so you can give it to someone who needs it more than you if you have the chance. Second I’d say that praying helps.

“forced to break the locks” by Julia at Sambuca Grill


Friday May 9, 2014 at Sambuca Grill
5:49pm
5 minutes
The TSA baggage inspection notice

Until I knew what I was doing, I was hoping to exist in private. That meant no windows, no doors, no working out in public, no eating sandwiches with too much meat in front of other humans. There was just so much to sort out: How I felt about road trips, if I preferred the raspberry jam with or without pectin, if green was in fact my favourite colour, if I believed in the Lord Jesus Christ as our “Saviour”, if I was able to sleep at night knowing full well I just used air quotes to describe a deity, if I truly did hate jazz or just loved to hate it, how I interacted with sea-life, what, in actuality, was my true cup-size, would there ever be a family reunion that everyone came to willingly, how on earth I had made it so long without proclaiming my love for dandelions out loud.
I knew nothing about myself. I had all these questions, and worries, and paranoid dreams, and I was not about to throw it all away in the presence of other people who might deem said living style as a complete and utter failure…

“36 000 residents” by Julia on the plane to Toronto


Sunday March 30, 2014
3:08pm
5 minutes
Westjet In-flight magazine

I’m happy to report that I’m leaving. I’m leaving this town. I’m leaving my job. I’m leaving my life. I’m leaving my rotten running shoes. I’m leaving my favourite tree in the city. I’m going. I’m going to a new place. I’m going to be happy. I’m going to start over. I’m going to find a human I can love more than myself. I’m going to dye my hair the colour of autumn.
I’m learning. I’m changing. I’m growing. I’m committing. I’m living.
It took a long time for me to decide.
Mostly because I hate flying. I hate waiting. I hate the pressure building in my sinuses. I hate the people who bring their uncomfortable babies. I hate the idea of having to sit in an aisle seat and get my elbows bashed in by someone named Darla or Emmanuel.

“wishing you” by Julia at the Sheraton in St. John’s


Saturday March 29, 2014
2:09am
5 minutes
from a tweet

She made sure she had lots of band aids in her pockets. She hated those blisters she got every time she had to walk for a little longer than usual. She wasn’t holding on to any of that gauze. It was a waste of time. It didn’t stick to her skin. She tried. The real issue was re-learning how to walk so her shoes didn’t rub because she couldn’t afford new ones that didn’t rub which would have fixed the problem perfectly. It was all about the pressure. And the angle. And the weight. And the other stuff. The other other stuff. She didn’t want a blood pool in her heels just because she was in desperate need of an ice cream cone.

“allow my worlds to collide” by Julia at the Arts And Culture Centre in NL


Thursday March 27, 2014 at The Arts And Culture Centre in NL
1:15am
5 minutes
from The Pillowman program in St St. John’s NL

I had a moment of desperation when the zipper on my jacket busted. And I was standing in a wind storm. And you were far away from me. And I couldn’t even call you if I wanted to. That’s when I knew that if I didn’t have you, I would have, cheesy as it sounds, nothing. You were around whenever I needed you to be. And I didn’t hold on tightly enough because I didn’t think I had to. You did everything right. And I didn’t understand what that might have meant until I was left searching for some semblance of your spirit. I went through every old purse, hoping I had a photo of you somewhere. Why didn’t I print any photos of you? Why didn’t I do that? I should have known better. When your phone crashes or your computer explodes, you realize how many things you should have backed up. I should have backed you up. And I think I mean that figuratively and literally cause if I had just reminded myself of how great you were, and stood on your team every chance I got, I wouldn’t be left wishing for anything. Because I would still have you. You would be right here. And I would have someone to hold me.

“Spilled secrets” by Julia at the Sheraton in St. John’s


Wednesday March 26, 2014
10:39pm
5 minutes
Atlantic Business Magazine
Jan/Feb 2014


of course there are spilled secrets all over this place. you think i don’t know that? I know that. I know everything about this place. when i was little i used to run this place. you’re laughing but you don’t understand. i was in and out of room corners and closets and hiding everywhere. nobody knew where to find me and i was damn good at staying hidden until i knew no one was watching for me to come out. that’s how i learned about everyone and everything because i got real good at keeping my mouth shut and my ears wide wide open. i got good at breathing with my mind and not with my lungs. i know about each wall plastered with its tiny mosaics of truth and shame. i know about mom trying to hide the pistol and about dad shouting out for annabell, my sister before he went and not me. i know more than you can possibly imagine. and everyone knows one thing or two, but not me. i know each fold in each sheet like it was my nanny, i know each speckle on each mirror like my own shadow. i could fill rooms of books with what i know here. and that’s why i’m so hell bent on leaving now. not that anyone would stop me..not anyone but the secrets. they whisper to me when i sleep. they haunt my dreams like nightmares that are made up by crazy men in their libraries. only they’re real. they’re so real they could kill me just by being in my head. i have a song i sing right before bed so i don’t hear them. i had to invent something when i was young to make sure they didn’t.

“submerged regrets were ready to overflow” by Julia at the Sheraton in St. John’s


Tuesday March 25, 2014
2:49amm
5 minutes
The New Yorker
Feb 17, 2014


You’re mad at me again because I left the stove on for the second time this week. You think I have dementia and you say this to me when you see it’s happened twice. I tell you it was an accident, I have a lot on my mind. I say, I’m not 90, you know. And you don’t laugh at this. You don’t laugh one little bit. I’m sorry, I say, I’m really, truly sorry about doing that, and you don’t say anything which I know is always worse.
You’re not well, Marissa. You tell me that with your head down, sort of shaking it in a “no”, sort of shaking slowly like a really disappointed “no”. I’m fine, I say, and try to force a smile. You leave things around sometimes! I tell you that and you get real angry again. You don’t like that I’ve compared my “dementia” to your carelessness. It’s a different kind of carelessness. It’s more about leaving the back door unlocked after you take out the recycling. It’s more about you forgetting to use a coaster. It’s not life threatening. That’s what you tell me. I argue that the door thing most certainly is, but you’re not having it. This is about my mental health…
Marissa.
You just say my name sometimes like I’ll know what you mean.

“Inn of Olde” by Julia in the van in St. John’s


Monday March 24, 2014
6:01pm
5 minutes
from the sign for Linda’s in Quidi Vidi, NF

You saw it there just collecting dust and you wanted to bend down to brush it off without anyone noticing.
You coughed in that moment. Just enough to distract yourself from what you were doing, thinking, yeah, hey, that’s a pretty good idea, maybe other people will be distracted too.
So you coughed again. And then everyone looked at you because, what, is she sick?
You smiled and you started toward the bathroom. Maybe you could envision the space better in private? You thought that to yourself. You hoped some time away from it would be a good thing for you and for the dust.
You hoped it would start a train of people going to use the restroom as long as they saw someone breaking the ice. The way people always wait to go up for seconds until they see a small girl with an appetite problem go up first and take down two more slices.
You were thinking about that one thing so hard your brain started to hurt.
You left the bathroom with the distraction of entrances and exits.
The crowd had moved so you thought you had an in.
You walked up to it and you looked around. Would anyone even care? You asked yourself this too.

“Touch anywhere” by Julia on the plane to Newfoundland


Sunday March 23, 2014
2:11pm
5 minutes
the Air Canada seat screen

-Is that an invitation, Dana?
-Yeah, maybe. Maybe it is.
-So could you open your arms a little bit? I mean, metaphorically?
-Not really.
-So you’re not ready.
-No, I am, I’m just, I’m …ugh…
-What?
-Nothing.
-Nothing.
-Mhm.
-Come on, Dana, what?
-ffff…It’s stupid. Or I am. I don’t know.
-Stop being…stop being afraid
-Ha. Easy to say–
-I know. But you know once you say stuff a bunch, you gotta follow through.
-Yeah.
-You know, with yourself.
-Yeah.
-So it’s more of a self-help thing. I don’t know.
-I hate that.
-Yeah I heard it when I..uh..I heard it too. It’s not my best work.
-No, but you’re right. It’s true. You’re. hugghhhhh. You’re right.
-Ok I’m going to walk closer to you now?
-Please don’t ask me for permission. Please.

“while the real work is done outside” by Julia on her couch


Monday February 3, 2014
2:08pm
5 minutes
The Essential Rumi
Rumi tr. Coleman Barks


Get on those steal toes, that hard hat, that tool belt. Get on outside where the real world fights its fights. Protected by the construction of our warm and cozy houses, we sit and we contemplate. We fear the windows when the blinds are drawn, we fear the callousness of strangers we have not yet had the pleasure of meeting. We fear the ambulance and its never-ending cries. We stay indoors, thankful for running water and a steady stream of television programs or movies ordered by e-mail. We don’t leave the couch to see the world in action outside of us. There is a whole big thing out there, and it looks just like your imagination dreams it does. Only worse. Only better. There’s no way of knowing if the dead bolt on the front door stays locked. Just a thought. Just a hunch. That we thank those pillars and roofs and hardwood floors for keeping us safe and sheltered and avoiding anything that might cause us even the slightest amount of pain. There are people living in their nightmares all around, and not in a house with books rescued from the streets. Not in a house with a pumpkin loaf baking in the oven. Not that we should choose sadness. Choose hardship. But we should not stay in our pyjamas until noon, just because our jeans are cold from the wind blowing in through the cracks.

Shoes on grass (photo dip) by Julia at Dovercourt and Bloor


Friday, May 31, 2013
10:59pm
5 minutes

20130601-021029.jpg

They left their shoes in our yard when they came over, Sid. I’m not making it up, how could I make it up? I swear to god, they took off their shoes and they went into our house, went upstairs to the spare bedroom, made love to each other, and then left. Like nothing happened, they left all their freaking shoes. On our lawn. What do you mean? What do you mean, how do I know? I know. I saw the shoes myself, they left them, they enjoyed our room and that’s the end of it. Sid. Listen, they’re not coming back. Because you could see by the way they had scattered them. Like they were arranged in a way that said “this will be the last day they’re worn by us”. It’s just the way–I mean, if you saw them you’d know. But doesn’t it bother you that they didn’t even say bye? That they used our house for their weird things and then left everything else for us to clean up? As if we’d know what to do with three pairs of shoes that don’t fit us.

“To be done daily” by Julia at the Dunn cottage in Keswick


Friday February 1, 2013
2:56am
5 minutes
the exercise guidelines from Evolve Chiropractic

There are some people that I love. They are to be loved daily. I don’t know how to do that. But I know in my bones it’s what I’m supposed to do. Some of them need more love than others. Not in the amount sense but in the times where hugging is involved or snorting out milk at a very funny joke. Some of them simply just need to be told they are. They are loved. Said out loud. Said directly to their faces. I love them and yet it’s sometimes hard to prove. With home baked cookies with hearts on them? With midnight walks across a frozen lake? I want to say yes. I want to know how easy.
But it’s not that simple. It’s not a solution that requires some balloons and some yarn. It might have something to do with tears and not wanting to be anywhere near them when the rain comes. Maybe. I’m not entirely sure. It’s supposed to be nice.