“Angel texted” by Julia at the studio

Wednesday July 4, 2018
12:26pm
5 minutes
V.I.P. Tutoring
Vanessa Hua

Angel texted, told me to look where I was going and to read while sitting down. It made sense. The text was very much related to a thing I was about to do carelessly. It came right on time.
Angel is always watching over me. I think she thinks she has to. She thinks she has to cause her name tells her she should. I tend to listen to what Angel has to say. If she tells me to wait until the next morning to make a hard decision, I listen. Angel knows how to get me right in the soft. She sent me an e-mail yesterday after waking up at the crack of dawn. She said the sky was “milk-blue” and it melted me. I love when milk is used to describe things, like the sky. I picture Angel knowing more about the sky than anywhere else. Maybe I think she’s from there and her name was given because her mother was a clairvoyant and there’s magic and stardust in her smile. I might name my kid Sunshine so she brightens up people wherever she goes and everyone thinks she’s ‘of the sun’ because her name makes them believe. I could name her Honesty so people are reminded to look inward. But that might be too heavy a burden to carry. What if there is shame? What if she reminds people they have lived in this life with secrets? Maybe she’d remind everyone that we have all lives our lives with secrets.

“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.

“a giant note to self” by Julia on the 99

Saturday May 5, 2018
5:16pm
5 minutes
@a_belovedgreen Instagram

Get a screen protector on my phone so the nosy Nancy sitting beside me on the bus stops staring into my life.
Stop judging me Nancy!

Find a banana box to keep my banana from mushing against the inside of my bag.

Find less sexual ways to describe the messes I make.

Thank her with coffee and flowers and an invitation. Don’t forget. She’s a good one.

Keep saying yes until I have to say no. Then say no.

Hound the right people. Be a presence. Bark up the tree and stay there.

Walk before everyone else wakes up. Smell the pine. Breathe the solitude in like a reward.

Stop waiting for the wrong hearts to do right by me.

Ascend gradually. Adjust to new heights. Don’t look down.

“Can we burn something, babe?” by Julia at her desk

Thursday November 23, 2017
11:26pm
5 minutes
Love On The Brain
Rihanna

In toothpaste, above the bathroom
sink, drips a love letter reminder
for us to get our place back in order
In sweat and dirt condensating on
the ceiling, threatens the shadow
How long it has been since we’ve
seen our own reflections instead
of the steamy glaze holding our
finger prints as ransom in the
shape of sorry for forgetting
The new matches that you stole
or that I stole sit on the back
of the toilet ready to become
heroes of the dark and waiting
We must have heard the horns by
now screaming our names to pick
up the dirty baskets and throw
out the hapless paper strewn

“every zit is proof” by Julia on her couch

Tuesday November 7, 2017
10:33pm
5 minutes
The Time I Went Into a Full-Body Spasm for Six Days
Betty Gilpin

Okay so you made the deal with yourself
You know the one where you said you’d be kinder
(including the skin stuff, remember you said?)
and now you’re wondering how long you can pull it off
You ask evethe mirror everytime you walk by it
Will today be the day I decide to love myself
(how could you forget, you do it everytime!)
And then before you know it you’re right there
zapping all those little fuckers with the sharpest
parts of your fingernails and you make dents
you excavate
you dig a hole so big in a face you keep lying to
I want to tell you that every zit is proof
that you are signed up to the self-sabotage
e-mails and you have not unsubscribed yet
Not to hit you while you’re down but you
also said you would start eating better
(as a part of the deal, you know, full package?)
And I will tell you that those chips have
not been eating themselves

“While I watched a yellow caterpillar” by Julia at her desk


Wednesday March 29, 2017
9:19pm
5 minutes
Standing
Shel Silverstein


Sometimes I forget how easy it is to listen to my body. I’ve been living under the impression that there’s some kind of decoding I need to do, some deep analytics about what signals I am feeling and what they mean.
Today I held the hand of a three year old while we ran him to the bathroom. I didn’t think he looked well but he was the one who told me he needed the toilet. I continued to hold his little hand as I watched this yellow caterpillar respond to what his body was telling him without questioning if it were true or right. As soon as it was over, he wiped his face and smiled. He felt better. He wasn’t going to keep thinking about his sick. His stomach had stopped speaking to him. It no longer needed to be heard.

“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.

“No not that fake smile!” by Julia on the subway going west


Friday, August 21, 2015
1:16pm
5 minutes
Overheard at a bus stop

Biddy and me make a pact to bleed each other’s blood and wear each other’s smile. I want to marry Biddy so I can be around her all the time and let her light wash over me and catch me in all the right moments. Biddy plays the violin and when she does the whole world stops. I do all the humming and Biddy plays so I can feel. She tells me that I’m most me when I open my mouth and let my heart sing out. She tells me she can see me growing into the person who’s taking better care of me. She tells me I’m the kind of woman who becomes more beautiful with age and experience and confidence and time. It’s my idea to combine our life force and Biddy smiles with her whole face because she loves all of my grand ideas. She snips a lock of her strawberry blonde curls and wraps it around my finger to remind me that we’ve got each other’s soul close by.

“Then the chicken to fry” by Julia on her couch


Saturday, August 15, 2015
4:17pm
5 minutes
Women Work
Maya Angelou


Hi Dad,
How’ve you been? I already hate that I’ve started this letter with a pleasantry, but I didn’t even know if I should write this in the first place and now I’m doing it so let’s just see how it goes. I actually don’t need to know how you’ve been. Sorry for asking that. I saw a chicken and waffles place on 5th and Carmichael last Friday and haven’t been able to concentrate on my life because it’s something you are somehow attached to now and forever and I’m a bit fucked up about that for some reason. I went in, I ordered a huge plate of the stuff and then cried into my fried lunch for about 12 minutes straight. I wasn’t planning on telling you that but here I am writing you a letter I didn’t plan on writing to you either.

“name the sand” by Julia at her kitchen table


Thursday, March 21, 2013
12:43am
5 minutes
Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul


Think I wrote your name on my heart once, left it there, stamped it there, tried not to expose it to direct sunlight, didn’t want it to fade, waited till it was healed enough, the scarring, then pierced a hole through it, attached a string and a promise, and then took it out for walks with me. Think that’s what happened. Wasn’t trying to be poetic, it just ended up that way. Wasn’t trying to keep you forever, but the thought of my heart being so naked? It just needed a name blanket to keep it warm. It needed an anecdote or a sweet inspirational quote otherwise it wasn’t feeling good. It wasn’t happy. Your name made it happy, rock a baby to sleep by humming You Are My Sunshine into her ear, doesn’t know how sad that song really is and just falls into dreamland as if it were the best thing in the world happy. That kind doesn’t even exist in everyday life. I’m sure of that.
Think I used and HB pencil to write your name, knew that my heart wouldn’t be a good surface for an eraser so it would be safe, saw it scrawled in the sand one summer on Conrad’s beach near Dartmouth and knew I had to have it for me too, knew that it should be hidden away, tucked neatly into bed with the sheets all pressed with care, silent most of the time so it wouldn’t distract.