“discussing something that’s totally wrong” by Julia at JJ Bean


Tuesday August 15, 2017
5:23pm
5 minutes
foverheard at JJ Bean

You could tell him that his toenails are too long
OR
you could gag everytime his foot rubs your leg

You could tell her that her breath smells like a jar of sleeping shit
OR
you could wear a hospital mask over your entire face

You could tell him there is lemon meringue gooping out of his eyes
OR
you could smash his face into a pillow, like a game, ha ha, wipe wipe

You could tell her that she’s being defensive
OR
you could put her attitude in the bowl of acceptance and underline TRUST over and over

You could say the truth
OR

“others take longer than expected” by Julia at the studio


Monday August 14, 2017
9:52am
5 minutes
from a greeting card

It’s hard to hold each other because we tend to be busy figuring out where to put our hands on our own skin. Where does this limb go? Tucked into the corner of self and hope? Where do we put this paper cut? I don’t know how to give you all of me if my wrists cry out in the night to be touched. Some things aren’t meant to be shared. I have stashed cookies all over this place. In containers above the sink, in baggies nestled in the secret pouches of the living room, in plain sight, behind the placemats. Some things aren’t meant for other people. Once I figure out just how much sneaking I need to do to feel like I haven’t given all of myself away, I move my spots. I stop for a while. I become satisfied with the memory of stealing opportunities that no one needs to know about. I get obsessed with wondering where to hide this hand; this ingrown hair.

“Every day 6-9 PM” by Julia on the 99


Monday April 3, 2017
10:17pm
5 minutes
from the napkin dispenser at Allegro Coffee

Dalia opens her shop at five and waits till six for the people to come. She’s afraid of missing the early bird who considers her the worm. She doesn’t change the sign on the door because if someone comes by it’s a bonus and it’s a secret and it’s more special that way. Dalia doesn’t bring a book to kill the time. She does not believe in killing the only thing that heals all wounds. She doesn’t do anything but sit. Dalia likes to make sure the early birds know they are welcome; that they’ll be fed. Dalia sits there until nine o’clock every night, sometimes ten. Some early birds are really owls anyway.

“the wild nature teaches us” by Julia on her living room floor


Friday March 31, 2017
10:25pm
5 minutes
Women Who Run With the Wolves
Clarissa Pinkola Estes


when my insides echo
when the only thing that can fill me is silence
when the forest begs for a closer look
I may know no home like the moss-covered stumps
like the nurse logs championing life
or the quiet stream carrying the whisper of souls reconciled without debt
we are taught so little about where we come from
some stories are passed down but are not built for us
we are reminded that one size does not fit all
even if the tongue doing the telling is loud

“Improve your English” by Julia in her bed


Thursday March 23, 2017
11:30pm
5 minutes
from an ad on the bus

I can’t explain it well
enough with words.
English words.
The ones I got stuck with.
They are either too short
or too long, too young or
too old. None of us are
speaking the same language.
Even when we are.
What if ‘can’t’ changes shape as we age; what if ‘nos’ become ‘Nos’ as we shed salty skin.
In other languages that I know
I can speak things
I cannot say in the tongue
that I have learned.

“There is a pay parking garage” by Julia in her bed


Friday March 10, 2017
7:40pm
5 minutes
from an email

The other day I gathered up my courage in a ball and I threw it as far as I could. I had to see how far it would land. I was aiming for the open door. When I couldn’t hear it crashing off the sidewalk I wondered if it had gotten squashed by a car or stuck on a branch instead. I pictured it deflating slowly, as it attempted to free itself from the tangle that I had forced it into. I couldn’t help but think that maybe I didn’t have enough courage to begin with, and it wasn’t the right kind of heavy to travel without being carried by the wind. I convinced myself I had to be patient; wait until there was more courage to choose from; pick the strongest looking stuff and stick it to the weaker ones did next time.

Suddenly, I realized, my curiosity had forced my legs out into the street. Out in the street to meet courage.

“As Elizabeth lost” By Julia on SM’s couch


Tuesday March 7, 2017
9:43pm
5 minutes
the Globe and Mail Lives Lived

It had been an hour and Remi still hadn’t called. Elizabeth paced the shiny tile in front of the door. She wasn’t angry because she wasn’t surprised. She’d stopped expecting him to get it together because Allie and Nathan needed one of their parents to show up for them. Elizabeth had given up on Remi a long time ago. She couldn’t keep space for him anymore. A car zoomed by outside and Elizabeth stopped in her tracks. It wasn’t him.

“mini-volcanoes” By Julia in her cabin


Thursday February 23, 2017
10:11pm
5 minutes
from the Ocean Village Activity Book

In five minutes maybe I can remove all of the spicy chip from my teeth with my tongue and clear my mouth of all the tiny volcanoes erupting in my gums
In five minutes I’ll be able to finish the whole bag without meaning to and without effort, trying not to show signs of regret or shame so I can succeed in a more worthwhile game
I will learn the value of enough, I will learn it in my mouth so I don’t spend lifetimes filling my molars with trash to avoid the silence

“gracefully tragic” by Julia on her couch


Saturday December 17, 2016
4:44pm
5 minutes
from the BOOKS section of NOW magazine

I hadn’t thought about them since New Years…as if I had released them with the magic of a fresh start. I don’t remember whose idea it was to each write a list of all our personal tragedies this year and then accept them somehow before lighting them up and letting them burn. To be fair (and maybe a little post-reflective) we were using the term loosely. Nothing was too small but everything seemed so big to not include it. I remember losing myself this year being on the list. It was traumatic because it kept happening. It kept happening in smaller places than a Walmart super store or a Costco. But when I found the list again and reread what I was calling my tragedies, I realized I had luckily lumped some truly graceful ones in there as well.