“Alabama” by Julia at J and R’s kitchen table

Thursday May 16, 2019
7:17pm
5 minutes
http://www.thecut.com

I don’t know what to say. I screamed already. In the presence of my 7-month
old nephew. I didn’t realize until it was too late. I think I scared him.
We’re all scared. To think of a child having to go through more than she
already had forced upon her. This world. Why are we sliding backward? Why
is science and medicine and knowledge progressing and the only thing staying
the same, stubborn, stuck in the mud, is the law.
Alabama. Goddamn.
Heaven forbid our girls get their periods young. Heaven forbid our girls
find an adult worth trusting and who won’t expose their tiny human hearts
to a pack of wolverines, hungry from tasting all the blood they’ve already bled.
We are not moving toward the future with expansion. We are not moving at all.

I don’t know what to say.

“The Movement project” by Julia at the studio


Thursday July 27, 2017
8:34pm
5 minutes
Sophie Spiridonoff’s artist statement

It all started when I was shocked awake by own heartbeat.
Yeah yeah, you want to hear how that managed to happen, well
get in line. You don’t have to agree with or
understand it, even. It’s more about respect, if I were to
choose something.
I had the urge to talk about the body-the relationship we have
to our legs or to our finger tips; our ingrown hairs
I always get someone like you who guffaws
at the underbelly of emotion. You are not an original
critic. All you haters are the same-you hate yourself
the most. I don’t have hate for my body and you’ve
decided you no longer trust me. It’s not unusual at all,
but it makes a movement impossible.

“traumatic for a baby” By Julia at The Marriott In Decatur, Georgia


Monday August 1, 2016
11:59pm
5 minutes
overheard at the Marriott in Decatur

We didn’t want to put any clowns in her room just in case she wasn’t one of those kids that loved them. I’m talking nice clowns too. We didn’t want to risk it-no marionettes (gifts from our friends, sent from Mexico), no figurines (a doll my sister in law built out of a mop head and some satin), no posters, and no photographs. We made the mistake earlier with Keegan and I’m worried about him becoming a psychopath. I blame Stephen King. I blame him and whatever mother didn’t love him enough to give him such twisted ideas. I also blame Charles, who grew up with clowns all over his damn house and never once murdered anything with a heart beat. Charles told me it would be fine, but I wasn’t convinced. There are so many things in this life that pose less of a threat to psychologically damaging a child, like bunny rabbits, and flowers, and Marilyn Manson.

“Her head is down.” By Julia on her couch


Thursday November 5, 2015
9:08pm
5 minutes
An assignment in the marking pile

Walking along the dirt road, she shines her new smart phone flashlight along her feet to light her path.
“Why are there no fucking lights on this street?”
She is so over this shit town, she can’t stand it. She never yelled to herself before. She never was one to talk out loud to nobody.
“Maybe cause this is a perfect place for me to get jumped and attacked and murdered so no one will ever hear me sing the fucking National Anthem at a home game ever fucking again.”
She’s scared because it’s dark and she’s mad because she’s scared. She didn’t want to be here in the first place, fought tooth and nail to avoid it.
“My Bonnie lies over the ocean..”
She clutches her house keys in her right hand, ready to stab the first thing that crosses her path. She hopes all the leaf-crunching she’s hearing is just a raccoon or a skunk. She prays it’s just the wind.
“My Bonnie lies over the sea…”
She hears a quick snap right behind her and stops in her tracks. Her heart is in her throat.
“My Bonnie lies over the o–“

“I know I wouldn’t change much” by Julia at JJ Bean


Thursday October 8, 2015 at JJ Bean
9:09am
5 minutes
Vancouver Metro
Thursday, October 8, 2015


I am revisiting the spot in my brain where I first made the decision to love you. I’m trying to be objective here, so don’t go trying to insert your memories. I know when I told you. I said it first, cause I always do, and I knew you felt it but you were scared of me and didn’t want to be the one to risk it. That’s a pattern for you. I am always the one to risk it. That’s a pattern for me.
In this tiny shoe box in my mind, I can see very little around the moment. There’s no colour. There’s no music. It’s a rainy day and we’re sitting at a bar. I don’t know what we’re drinking. But I know I like you and I know you like me. I’m glad there wasn’t some showy fireworks display going off in my body. It was a simple and true moment and it felt like it had made a home for itself in all the soft parts of me. You said something easy like, Have you ever mixed BBQ chips with chocolate chips? And I said something easy back like, I don’t know how I haven’t done that already. It was somewhere between that and the way you kissed me on the street before you walked away.

“It is such a relief” by Julia at her desk


Wednesday October 7, 2015
9:51pm
5 minutes
Wit
Margaret Edson


When they took my blood to see if I was a match I remember holding my breath for a very long time and thinking that if I could get through this, I would be a different person. Stronger. More…everything. I was not referring to getting through the needle part. In fact, the needle part was the only part that I was sure I would heal from if the rest didn’t…pan out.
I also remember praying, and I was not a prayer. I’m still not. But at the time, that’s what brought the most comfort. I don’t want to question why certain words came out of my mouth because it was such a relief to get them out of my head that I would have said yes to anything if it had helped as much as praying did. I don’t like needles. I never did. I didn’t have to have them until I did.

“Overthinking it” by Sasha in the cabin on Galiano


Sunday, June 21, 2015
9:11am
5 minutes
from a tweet

“You’re overthinking it, Cece!”
“Am not!”
“Just do it!”
“AH! I’m scared!”
“Just jump! We’re all waiting for you!”
“But – ”
“Shit or get off the pot, honey!”
“Be quiet, DAD!”
“You can do it, Cece!”
“Ce-ce! Ce-ce! Ce-ce!”

Cece jumps, after thirty six minutes of prompting and agonizing and feeling rushed and feeling afraid. She jumps and the water’s colder than she expected. She sees a flash of the woman she never imagined she’d become. She sees strong arms and a heart unencumbered by potential betrayal, or loss, or ecstasy. When she surfaces, Felix is there and he kisses her on the cheek and says, “You did it, Cec. You actually did it. None of us thought you could, or would, we thought you could, I thought you could, but I didn’t think that you would.”

“the wisdom of the world” by Julia at Jess and Rick’s kitchen table


Sunday, April 18, 2015
7:12pm
5 minutes
http://www.onbring.org

On my way to the edge of the world I found myself
dangling there
one foot over the part where it’s dangerous
too far to come back from
and one foot teetering on the earth beside it
that’s where I was
that’s where I found myself
Melting into my own choices
left alone to face this vastness
and my own devices
but what I found I started to like
what I found I started to love
what I found I started to nurture
cause she was lost before
and she was scared
and suddenly I heard her prayer
and her promise to make time a priority
not to waste or to kill it, but to welcome it
And I was her just days ago falling
Or wanting to
over the edge of the world where I didn’t recognize my own thoughts
My own gifts
nothing mattered at all
Then I took a drive by my old memories
and I conjured up the spirits of my past
asked questions like, oh, do you remember me?
And if you do, can you spare a hope or two?

“performing like ‘bungling idiots’ ” by Julia at Creperie Du Monde


Wednesday January 7, 2015 at Creperie Du Monde
5:18pm
5 minutes
The Times
Wednesday January 7, 2015


take off the mask
take it off, leave it there on the table
leave it there where I can see it
leave it there so I can see you
you look scared underneath it all
underneath the thing you were wearing
wasn’t it uncomfortable?
wasn’t it suffocating?
but you needed it to perform the magic tricks and the lying dance
you needed it to put on the show, to give you courage to see it through
I understand the whole thing
I understand your motivation
audience, lights, camera, inaction
you don’t want to show me your real skin
you don’t want me to reach out and touch you in case it feels too real
I want to know what you look like
I want to know what your naked emotions do to you when you can’t control them

“You steal the water from the valley” by Julia at Bar Roma in Monteleone


Tuesday September 16 2014
5:35pm
5 minutes
Screenplay
Sid Field


An abstract painting is stuck in my mind-I think it’s an artist unknown and I think I dreamt about it this morning. It has lines across it like a grid and speckles of what I’m interpreting as gold or light are all winding around the thick grid’s lines. I think I’m happy to be in this memory but I can’t tell because I’m trying so hard to peace it all together to figure out what it means, and I know you’re not supposed to do that with abstract paintings. I know you’re not supposed to do that with abstract paintings. I know you’re supposed to just look at them and feel something, usually lifted or weighed down, happy or sad. When I see this painting in my head, I see it perfectly and I calculate it imperfectly. I become obsessed with the measurements, the directions, the reasons. I don’t know if I feel anything because of it other than confusion and attraction and my wondering of this angers me because then I’m stuck figuring out my feelings instead of just feeling them. I put down my guard for a second and a taste of honesty slips through. I can’t catch it in the air–I don’t dare welcome whatever might change me.

“Detour 23” by Julia in a park in Lowertown, St Paul, MN


Sunday Aug 3, 2014
2:21pm
5 minutes
from a Pembina Hwy sign

Of course he left me. I was impossible. I smoked too much. I drank too often. I woke up late. I forgot to dust the underside of chairs, or books, or picture frames. I refused to water our one and only basil plant. I watched it die a slow death everyday by ashing into its pot. I left the TV on throughout the day. I only took long hot showers. I got Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup stains on the couch, the bed, and the wall in the front foyer. I coughed up phlegm and spat it into drinking glasses that were next to me. I dog eared every page in every book he loved. I scratched his DVD player so it no longer worked. I took the car out to the border just so I’d have something to do. I never filled up the tank for when he needed it. I chewed my nails and left the ripped bits on the kitchen table. I swore in my sleep. I never ever thanked him.
Of course he left me. I was impossible. I wanted him to go. Sometimes better people are out there beyond the comforts of “love”.

“be this comfortable” by Julia on the river walk in Minneapolis


Saturday Aug 2, 2014
4:27pm
5 minutes
dipped from Joe’s wallet

Hannah and her teddy bear were stranded on the side of the highway, holding a rescue seance and trying really hard not to cry. Somehow Mom and Dirk thought it was a good idea to leave the Walmart without first checking if she was with them. Hannah and her teddy bear were playing house in aisle 19 and she had accidentally fallen asleep while pretending to sleep on one of the mattress. Usually she heard when someone is coming and “wakes up” right as they walk past her, but today wasn’t very busy at Walmart and Hannah had been laying with her eyes closed, so comfortable clutching her teddy bear close to her body for a long time and eventually she was having real night dreams while Mom and Dirk looked at hunting equipment. When Hannah finally woke up for real, she couldn’t figure out where she was.

“intently and furiously” by Julia on her couch


Thursday March 5, 2014
10:50pm
5 minutes
We Did
Brian Doyle


I’m scared of you. I’m scared of your blisters popping in the bed while we’re sleeping. I’m scared of your hang nail getting caught in my hair. I’m scared of your allergies and intolerances rearing their ugly heads. I’m scared of your arm hairs falling into my soup. I’m scared of your penchant for guns and your ability to hit targets. I’m scared of your jeans ripping during an important speech or ceremony. I’m scared of your water glass sitting out all night and you drinking the dust and room particles. I’m scared of your insatiable appetite. Your inability to be silent in your sleep. Your misunderstanding of perfection and standards. Your disbelief in anything but the justice system. Your left big toe nail that never fully grew back on.
I’m scared of you. It’s a furious fear. An intense one. I’m scared of you dying before me.

8. Open your closet.” by Julia on her couch


Monday February 11, 2013
11:31pm
5 minutes
The Artist’s Way
Julia Cameron


He was staring into my hairline as opposed to into my eyes. I think he was scared because one is green and the other is yellow like the sun. If he didn’t know how to handle it, I don’t blame him. I still don’t know how to handle it. I keep thinking my left side is possessed by the devil. When I see myself in the mirror I get a little worked up. Anyway he was avoiding my eyes. He was trying to invite me to his event. He was being awarded for something, thought it’d be nice if I could go with him. But I stopped listening and started counting out my outfits. 7. Black dress gold trim makes me look sexy. 8. Black dress black trim makes me look generic. 9, black dress no trim makes me look? Did he even say this was black tie optional? If it’s optional I’ll be wearing jeans. Maybe I’ll ask my hairline. She’ll know better than me.

“They’d terrified and thrilled me as a child” by Julia on the 506 going west


Tuesday, November 27, 2012
10:46pm
5 minutes
The Girls Guide To Hunting And Fishing
Melissa Bank


I wasn’t very good at horror movies as a kid. Neither was my mother. By my third midnight trip to their bed, I was locked out to be left sobbing outside their door and feeling sorry for myself.
I’m not sure whose idea it was to sneak into their bed. I don’t remember consulting with anyone about how to deal with nightmares caused from watching or thinking about scary stuff when I was six. It’s not like she stroked my hair and sang me a lullaby to help me sleep. She just slept, uncomfortably, and I slept perfectly fine in their bed made for two, not three.
I tried watching less scary movies, but then my imagination just sort of…took off. In no time, I was convinced I had seen the devil’s silhouette on my bedroom wall, and every loose article of clothing on the floor was a monster ready to murder me. I even slept with my bible underneath my pillow for a couple months, convinced I’d be safe from evil (assuming all evil creatures were literate).