“And we’re looking for a few more faces” by Julia on her couch

Thursday December 14, 2017

7:23pm

5 minutes

from an e-mail

Be a seagull swimming with the ducks.

Watch as Little Buddy does not let not being a duck deter her from being with the ducks. Watch as she casually lands amidst the them, plunging, gliding, squeaking. She looks around, not hurting anyone. Not asking for anything. Then slowly she swims closer to them. She joins in, hello, hi, how are you, just another sweet duck here, hello just another regular duck like you, swimming in the pond.

Be a seagull swimming with the ducks. All out of what ifs and better nots.

Maybe we’re waiting for an unlikely friend to be made. A new way of searching for tiny fish to catch.

We’re looking for a few more faces like that. Like the ones who don’t hide theirs to fit in with the others. The ones who risk difference in a pond of same.

“The randomness comes from atmospheric noise” by Julia on the 2 bus

Sunday December 10, 2017

6:46pm

5 minutes

random.org

Yesterday I came home and I heard a buzzing. I stopped. I looked around. You had eyes on me like you were worried. Like I was smelling burnt toast. Or listening to satan sing. I swear I heard it. You said you didn’t and that messed me up. You tried to get me to come to the couch and sit near you but I was rhythmically attached elsewhere. When you tried to tell me about your day I didn’t respond. I heard the buzzing and the room shifting on its axis. I was listening the where it was originating from. The television had never buzzed like this before. The floorboards made me suspicious. We’ve been finding a lot of dead spots lately and for a minute it made sense. But in between tuning in and trying not to make you think I had lost my mind, it lost a little bit of strength. I felt sad then. As if I had lost my chance. Or my baby.

“I don’t want to sit” by Julia on the 16

Friday December 1, 2017
9:29pm
Overheard on the 16

I don’t want to sit and I don’t want to stand. You do the math. Tonight a friend charmed the crowd with her offbeat, non threatening quiet and her sex dripping metaphors. Mmm.
I was getting wet just listening to her talk about egg yolks dripping down the blender. And I thought of you. How one childhood fantasy and a couple thousand viewings of The Show Must Go On has lived inside me for decades and maybe I would like to finally see if you’re down. I think you would be. It was fucking gross but I have a feeling you’d be into it. I used to think about having eggs mashed all over me. I want to tell you more but first you need to sign off. You need to tell me one of your deep secrets. You need to prove that this won’t get wasted or chopped up into tiny pieces or used against me. I mean if I knew already I would let you use anything against me but that’s a BONUS. That’s for good little exhibitionists.

“Can I ask you somethin?” By Julia on her couch

Wednesday November 29, 2017
9:34pm
5 minutes
Cities of the Plain
Cormac McCarthy

The ask from the humming bird’s wing came quick like a home run
There was an ounce of dread in it
a trill that caused the clouds to quake…

We were alone and now we are not.
I could have told you better if I didn’t see your eyes peeling away at me. I wanted to tell you about something beautiful. I wanted to share it with someone I thought would hold it reverent. I could tell you now the version that would ease you. The thought I had and not the moment it made. Like a dog jumping on a trampoline and then nothing. Stopping. Not everything needs to be talked about. I don’t know how to unask you; untell you. I don’t know how to cover up this new hole and pray that no one notices it pulsing here.

“peel and core the remaining apples.” by Julia on the 84

Sunday November 19, 2017
10:55pm
5 minutes
Apples
Andrea Albin

Unra is being asked to pack the kids ” inclusive lunches”
Unra has never heard of “inclusive lunches”
Unra does not have time to figure out what “inclusive lunches” are
Unra is tired of being called a “clueless mommy” by all the other with-it mommies
even if the with-it mommies are inventing ways to make other women feel bad simply because they’re working
the with-it mommies create drama to gossip about because their lives are so small
the with-it mommies meddle too much in their kids’ lives and their kids are brats
the with-it mommies call each other up at lunch because they can’t stand to be alone with themselves when their kids have gone to school
Unra is not a with-it mommy
Unra is sleepless
Unra feels bad enough as it is

“mouth guards aren’t just for hockey” by Julia on the 84

Saturday November 18, 2017
6:46pm
5 minutes
yourdentalhealth.ca

I knew a guy who slept with a mouth guard. Okay I fucked a guy who slept with a mouth guard. I doubt I need to go into detail. He knows where his tongue is let’s just say that. Anyway one night he passed out and left it on the pillow beside me and I threw up a little bit in my mouth and then I had a nightmare about his gummy face between my legs, all clicking and clacking and when I woke up I had vomited again. It really also could have been from the drugs but I wasn’t taking any chances. Anyway that was the last time I called him for a late night.

“strikes out at the enemy” by Julia at the studio

Friday November 17, 2017
4:50pm
5 minutes
When Things Fall Apart
Pema Chodron

We’ve been waiting for the saviour. Someone who can save us, not Jesus, but someone like that for more of us. We’ve been waiting because what else is there to do? What if we shot all of our guns at the wrong thing? None of us are shooting right now. We’ve made a pact. These are the intentional ones. We are the Intentionals. We don’t want to fight but we intend to win. Win hearts. It’s not a cheesy affair. It’s the truth. Heart is nothing to be ashamed of. Heart is good. Heart is everybody. We can’t take fire on the bad hill. We cannot go to war over diction. We have to speak simply now. No getting lost. We are the intentionals. We’re hosting a potluck next Thursday. Maybe the next saviour will come too.

“SEE ALL” by Julia at her desk

Thursday November 16, 2017
11:33pm
5 minutes
http://www.bestbuy.ca

A couple hundred days ago, Dillon, spelled with two X chromosomes, was walking her unspecified dog along the water’s edge. She didn’t know what kind of dog it was either, so this is very much a don’t shoot the messenger sort of scenario. She was thinking about the lines between Kitty and P in her new play. She didn’t have a name for P yet, but thinking about Kitty and P together made her laugh for obvious reasons. She was thinking about the scene where Kitty tells P she once tried to kill him by crushing up some unidentified pills and stirring them into his fizzy drink. She was able to tell him this in the first place because she was too eager to kill him and not eager enough to find something other than antacids.

“A utopian vision” by Julia at her desk

Wednesday November 15, 2017
11:13pm
5 minutes
from a quote by bell hooks

Call it a quest, yes let’s call it a quest of light. On this quest, well let’s not over use it, there will be many a dark tunnel. Good dark, light, I like that. Dark, harrowing tunnels leading—wait—harrowing? Confirmation on definition? Ah yes, not quite. Dark, dangerous (simplicity, thank you) tunnels. I’m sorry I got myself a bit lost in the harrowing world of diction. Still not right? When can I use harrowing? Ah I see, not for this. But on this quest-oh I remember! It’s a quest but not an overused word quest, a journey, a pilgrimage (ah!) toward the sun! Toward the great bright glow! Here we go now: there will be some rough earth on which to tread but walking makes footprints!

“the sky’s a deep, headstrong blue,” by Julia at her desk

Saturday November 11, 2017
6:26pm
5 minutes
What The Living Do
Marie Howe

Even though I asked it very nicely to stop, the sky would not stop laughing.
Some days it is miserable only benneath the skin. The bones squeek.
We forget that there is more beyond this dome or we never forget and some days we act like we do. We have gotten good at acting.

Miriam and I have been sneaking behind the Hollands’ shed to practice kissing. I told Miriam that she had soft lips and a subtle but effective use of tongue. She told me that I could afford to go a little harder. I was worried if I kissed her any harder I might want to stay kissing her. I didn’t know I would like girls. I didn’t know I would like her. I liked the groaning noises she made. I liked how warm her skin felt, her breath on the side of my mouth like a warning.

“Your nanny today was” by Julia at S and M’s house

Friday November 3, 2017
10:15pm
5 minutes
from a receipt

Sabryn is smart. Like her mother. Sharp, rather (According to the book Drew Barrymore is quoting). Apparently you’re not supposed to say smart. Or tell your kid that they are. I don’t know why. I’m not a mother. I’m someone’s replacement for the evening. I’m their “older sister” who lets them watch one extra show before bed. I’m the one who tells their mother that they’re smart. So their mother will feel good about her job as someone’s mother. Some have been at it longer than others. I’ve noticed that it doesn’t matter if their kids are one or twelve, mothers want to hear that their kids are smart. Sharp. And I only say it if it’s true. I only tell them anecdotes that will make them love their own offspring more when it is genuine. I’m not in the business of lying to parents about how great their children are. They do enough of that on their own. I simply provide a service in which I keep their kids from killing each other while their parents are at the Guns & Roses concert and maybe teach them the joys of MadLibs.

“It goes on one at a time” by Julia at Peterborough Inns & Suites

Saturday October 28, 2017
12:36pm
5 minutes
The Low Road
Marge Piercy

It goes on one at a time

Defence Wall Window Lock

And the others are free to sleep

The moon is tired of being yelled at with such little purpose and she doesn’t tell anyone where she’s hiding

Let them protect themselves

Let them ask better questions

The night will not be given out for free anymore

Starting now there will be mandates

scrawled in the canopy of the highest tree and the only way to learn them will be to grow

To reach

To notice

Regular standing upright thinking feeling walks into the hardware store and buys all the essentials for building a dream team of proper readiness

The moon does not spill over

“seems plausible to me” by Julia at Peterborough Inns & Suites

Thursday October 26, 2017

2:26am

5 minutes

from a quote by Susan Sontag

I love you impossible love song impossible time spent impossible rain storm

I dream of your home in the woods

where you held me without glue

and the hands of our freedom chose to wrap around each other’s

I love you impossible heart break impossible mud puddle impossible first day of spring

I keep your wandering parts in view

I know where your legs are itching for peace and where they are too big for your doubt

I know because you let me know

You let me see

You give me sight

All the eye lashes curled up

folding at the lid

making space for something impossible to get in

“She insisted I make no special concession” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Wednesday October 25, 2017
5:43pm
5 minutes
from Swing Low
Miriam Toews

I told you. She expressly insisted that I make no special concession! Yes, yes, I know that she’s my daughter but she articulated in her own words that she wants me to treat her as I would any other student. Mr. Black. You must listen to me. I know that defacing school property results in two weeks of detention, and probation for the rest of the year. Elizabeth is old enough to know better. I’ve already apologized for her behaviour, as I would with any of my students, but she must take responsibility for her actions. This has gone too far! Mr. Black. Please don’t look at me like that. Please.

“She insisted I make no special concession” by Julia at Peterborough Inns & Suites

Wednesday October 25, 2017

3:21am

Swing Low

Miriam Toews

Invited me over for tea and sandwiches

Said the sandwiches are going to be first priority and tea very much second

I didn’t know what that meant

I went over for tea and sandwiches

hoping for a few easy laughs

crusts cut off and tucked away

Opened the door and shushed me upon entry

Said the baby was sleeping

But there is no baby

Led me into the dining room and turned off the light

Turned off all the lights

Sat me down in the middle of the room and asked me all my thoughts on God and grape jelly

The tea didn’t make an appearance at all

The sandwiches might have only been a metaphor

Nobody was allowed to use the toilet

Take escape in the next room over

The only one that had a lock

“beneficial to anyone” by Julia at Peterborough Inns & Suites

Monday October 23, 2017

9:44pm

5 minutes

from an email

Can’t drink anymore. When I do I’m no use to anyone. Can’t remember simple words. Yes and no get confused. No looks a lot like yes. No gets put on the shelf as decoration.

She told me years ago it was time to trade in the bottle. Said my body didn’t like it. She was right. My mother replaced it with structured silver. Said to take a shot of that every morning before I make any other bad decisions. I always had a good memory. I could tell you the birthdays of all 30 cousins and at least 5 aunts and uncles. I could tell you phone numbers of friends and loved ones up until 2008 (I got a cell phone late). I could tell you what you were wearing when we met. How your hair was.

“research purposes only” by Julia on the Canada line

Sunday October 22, 2017

9:23pm

5 minutes

from an Air Canada survey

I’m really good at guessing the time about things. This includes travel time (on foot) and what time exactly I’m going to be starting on the next thing after this first thing is done. I think it has something to do with always managing to glance at the clock (or stove, microwave, etc) when it’s 12:34. Every time. I know a lot of people say they see stuff like this (5:55 or 11:11) but I swear on my life I do. I always try to see if there’s a message in it. It’s 12:34, is there something I’m missing? Is there something I’m supposed to be doing and the clock is giving me a hint? So anyway I guess times and I notice time and I try my very best not to kill time or waste time but to hold time and love time and ask for its forgiveness every now and again. I try but I’m not perfect so sometimes I catch myself killing time and then I feel all kinds of bad about that. I have to think, what did time do to me that I want to kill it so slowly?

“I wanted to go on sitting there” by Julia on the 84

Friday October 20, 2017
6:10pm
5 minutes
Rebecca
Daphne Du Maurer

Kenneth and I haven’t spoken since last winter and he knows why. I don’t like it when people call me sensitive when I’m just feeling my feelings. I don’t go around telling everyone who seems to be under reacting that they’re insensitive. They’re entitled to their own way of expression. Obviously. I’m not trying to take that away. But Kenneth knows how I feel about the word and how I don’t like being labelled emotional when I am simply being alive. Yes, of course it goes back to high school. The girls thought I was a loose cannon, fine, that’s what I became. I put on a real show for them too. Throwing pencil cases and screaming, crying a lot. They thought I was a nut job. And to hear someone say that I’m sensitive after knowing that the word only sticks a knife into my heart, really makes me whirl. I wish I could have stayed still, sat there without bubbling up, but I’m not that kind of person. And yet I am a kind person. And he was wrong to try to tell me how to respond. He was wrong to even put me in the position. Anyway he’s probably enjoying Gran’s oatmeal crisp right now. Sitting happy and quiet without me.

“connected by canals” by Julia on her couch

Thursday October 19, 2017

8:24pm

5 minutes

from the Scuba Diving Pamphlet

In Amsterdam you and Ben took me on G’s brunch boat. We had mimosas. I love that my mom used to babysit you and when we were young we pretended to be power rangers. You have always been blonde and my hair has always had curls. During that rainy October visit I slept on your couch and got lost in Vondel Park after dark. Ben rolled me some weed and we ate the best pancake of my life. The next time I’m in Amsterdam it’ll be for your wedding. I can’t wait to celebrate you and your love. I will tell everyone that I have known you longer than I have known myself. That you and I have lived in the same heart for twenty three years. That you have always been blonde and I’ve always had curls.

“It seems to me an awfully silly thing” by Julia at her desk

Tuesday October 17, 2017

8:47pm

5 minutes

The Mystery of the Blue Train Agatha Christie

I go to pick up his phone right, to go through it and shit? See he’s been pissing me off lately, chuckling to himself, constantly being on his stupid Instagram laughing at god knows whose feed. So I’m like, watch me destroy his life with a click and a swipe and delete delete delete. The first thing that pops up is his alarm. Like why is this interesting, I don’t know, but I’m there. I’m in it. I’m detective what’s his nuts. No, fuck Sherlock, I’m freaking Harriet the spy over here. Anyway I’m like, looking through, like when does this idiot need to wake up? 6:35am? Fine. And then an alarm for 7:35am. Okay. And then one for 8:35am. And 9:35am, like buddy, you’re already late what is the point of all these alarms an hour apart and like, 25 to? So I’m not even on his Instagram and I’m just scrolling and he comes out of the washroom like, what are you doing with my phone? And I’m like, these alarms—and he’s like, uhh uhh you weren’t supposed to see those.

“Show them yourself, your highness” by Julia on the 99

Monday October 16, 2017
10:39pm
5 minutes
from a dream

She opens the door and stands back as she gestures for me to enter. The door is covered in cobwebs. I’m supposed to be impressed? She clears her throat and then starts down the foyer. Her heels are click clacking and I imagine what her tongue looks like when she’s disappointed in someone. I don’t want her to see me looking around so I don’t but I clock everything. Listen for grandfather to signal me the hour. Even time is shrouded in mystery here. She brings me to a tiny room and shows me in. She waits at the door while I put down my bag. I think I’m meant to gasp or cover my mouth in honest surprise. She glares at me with anticipation and I’m still not sure if I’m allowed to speak. Suddenly the door slams shut and she is nowhere to be found. I am acutely aware now that she was waiting for me to leave. The lock thuds in the door. I understand how it looked like I was staying. She sealed the deal for me.

“Space Womb” by Julia at Kits beach

Sunday October 15, 2017
3:49pm
5 minutes
YouTube.com

Galaxy inside me oozing star dust and making plans

Staining my finger tips Milky Way

So when I stamp myself on the backs of all the envelopes I leave a trail of meteor magic behind.

My body amazes me every time I think about it. She is busy holding another human in her space womb. Making space for something good to come, preparing the introductions.

Hello world, this is tiny human and she is going to be a force of fresh air and binaural melodies. She’s going to change the planet and I’m going to be her keeper until she’s big enough to see. In this space womb I am weaving a promise through the umbilical cord and into her tiny soul. I play the music, everybody’s favourite song, and she dances inside me till she sleeps.

She is giant and bossy and funny as hell.” By Julia on her couch

Saturday October 14, 2017

11:22pm

5 minutes

a text

Kitty tells me to say that that I’m the baby and she’s the mum. I say, I’m the baby and you’re the mum. Then she tells me to say I’m addicted to raisins! I say, do I know what addicted means already? And she tells me to just say it already. I say I’m the baby and you’re the and mum and I’m addicted to raisins. She tells me, okay now say you’re trapped in a lemon peel. And I say oh no I’m the baby and you’re the mum and I’m addicted to raisins and I’m trapped in a lemon peel. Then kitty bursts out laughing. She is laughing so hard she gives herself hiccups. She tries to give direction between giant gulps of air. I tell her to take a second and catch her breath and she tells me to hurry up and be funny. I tell her she’s being a bit bossy and she shrieks at the top of the lungs, THAT’S BECAUSE I’M THE MUM.

“It was a wild weekend” by Julia on her couch

Friday October 13, 2017

5:33pm

5 minutes

cnn.com

Holy balls I can’t hear out of my left ear and I am not even mad. I thought I would be devastated if I lost my hearing but I’m fine. I think that’s what happens when you get older. When the real things matter. Anyway I’m not even bragging just trying to make peace with the things that are out of my control. Been cleaning more these days. Been organizing everything I can. They say it’s best to organize things that don’t have a heart beat. Cause you can’t control anything with one but sometimes you still need to put things in their perfect order. I’m upset that Lara is sick. She won’t tell me how bad it is but I know she’s been going to the doctor’s office more and more. At first I thought she was just pregnant. That would have been a whole different jar of worms and I think it’s safe to say now that a baby would not be the solution.

“a friend, and all around super amazing person” by Julia on the 84

Thursday October 12, 2017
9:44pm
5 minutes
from the bunz faceboook page

I’m

Vouching

For you

Like you deserve it

Like you’ve earned

some kind of love

like this

Thank you

is something you

can say to me

if you’re looking

for words after

all this is over

Thank you

will never get old

I can’t say I’ll

forget that if you

weren’t who you are

I wouldn’t be thinking

twice about helping

you but you’re lucky

I already love you

You get the friend

discount of me not

slapping your ass all

the way to next Tuesday

Some people would

be through with you

Some people would

ask to see your

transcripts

and driving records

“I’d be fucking rocked if I were you.” By Julia on the 4

Wednesday October 11, 2017

8:54pm

5 minutes

From a text

He forces my wrist until it is twisted up and screaming quietly. He wants me to get into the bathtub. I don’t know why. I let him hold my arm and push until I am kneeling beside the tub and looking in. He keeps pointing. I keep imitating him. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do but he is strong for six and this is the first time we’re in a bathroom together. He looks at me like he’s trying to tell me about his pain. His face is contorted and his eyes are loud. I look back at him with as much heart as I can muster. Tell him with my smile he’s not alone. That I’m here. That I’m sorry he’s trapped inside his head with so many feelings and not enough words. He grabs me by the wrist when I try to open the door. He brings me back to the tub. I am breathing loud enough so he might hear it in his skin. I want to save him but I don’t know what from. He is crying without tears. I tell him, it’s okay. It’s okay.

“All in your head” by Julia in her bed

Monday October 9, 2017
11:55pm
5 minutes
overheard at the Tim Hortons

Imogen and Harriet are grinding their hips and Imogen likes Harriet and Harriet knows that. The music makes Imogen want more than what she has. Harriet doesn’t want to waste the song. Imogen thinks arching backs and swaying thighs is proof. Harriet wants to be free and enjoy each second because she doesn’t know when she’ll get another one.

The two of them remember this night differently.

“your name is the strongest” by Julia on L’s couch

Sunday October 8, 2017

10:55pm

5 minutes

milk and honey

Rupi Kaur

They tried to call me everything but my name to keep me small. Nicknames that referred to me as Other. As too smart. Too different looking. Too unlike them. But big spirits don’t stay trapped in small towns just because everyone else is.

They learn early which opinions to keep and which to let slide. Sometimes they don’t even know how much they already know about themselves. They don’t realize they’re bursting at the seams but they are. They’re not changing to conform. They’re not easily bent. They’re busy trying to stay loud while being silenced.

“how on earth an idiot like that could be trusted” by Julia at the bus stop

Friday October 6, 2017

10:19pm

5 minutes

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings Maya Angelou

Wally took off work early again and decided to pick up Dallas and Dax from school even though they still had two periods left. Of course the school doesn’t think to notify me since one of their “guardians” is given my permission. I don’t like him going around there trying to be the hero for two teenage boys who are desperate for their father’s time. He buys them double cheeseburgers and milkshakes while I have whole chicken thawing on the counter. I told him he can keep his privileges if he keeps his drinking under control. I really didn’t want to drag my kids through court to prove to them that their daddy is a fuck up. So far he’s been okay, but I know he’s still polishing off a 24 every two days. That may seem like a small amount compared to some, but these are my kids.

“Vampire bats also appear” by Julia on the 84

Tuesday October 3, 2017
6:52pm
5 minutes
Dust
Charles Pellegrino

Kinney and I are taking her boys trick or treating tomorrow night. They refused to go with Chet and I don’t blame them. He looks like Beetle Juice to me too. K thinks we should dress up as vampires or something. She doesn’t want to go as Mom for Halloween when she goes as Mom for everyday. I’ll wear your clothes and go as you, I tell her. I don’t want to be a bat. Fine, she says her eyes dead in thought, you give me your fishnets and I’ll go as you. I don’t wear those anymore, I say, but Kinney doesn’t care. She’s dreaming up a costume that has less to do with me and more to do with her enacting some fantasy of me. In her mind I’m the fun one. In her mind that means wearing fishnets. I don’t want to burst her bubble.

“Water music” by Julia on the 84

Monday October 2, 2017

10:03pm

5 minutes

Major Orchestral Works

Felix Mendelssohn

On the night I saw my reflection I was wearing a wolf mask

I looked into the lines of my face

(of the faces that have howled before mine)

And wept for the good me that was left behind

Sorrow mixing with salt

Forgiveness twisted into wave

I opened my throat to give

something that swung

at the pit of me

I did not ask why happiness had been so cruel

I did not beg to be understood

“COLD PRESS BRIGHT” by Julia at the studio

Sunday October 1, 2017
6:22pm
5 minutes
from the EPSON box

Cold press bright
button baby button
we are living in pink
hues and baby blues
baby baby will you
want to watch me grow
another human inside
me and then love someone
you’ve never met
but always known
button baby button

Conversation paused
on the problem
Nobody has written down
the plan for us
the three of us
nobody knew there
would be three
unless you knew
without telling me

Bright press cold
button baby baby
witness this magic
of me carrying a
peice of us both
in my body tell
the ocean we are
ready to cross it
all three of us
rock and wave it
all the way to
the shore to save it
baby button baby

Letters written in
father to be cursive
and mamma to be
subversive
you tell the
jokes and I’ll
tell the truth
you tell the
jokes and I’ll
tell the truth
We have not
always wanted you
but you were baby
worth the change
my mind made

“so you can focus on work at that time” by Julia on the seabus

Saturday September 30, 2017

10:17am

5 minutes

from a text

He’s been getting up early to work on his novel. I think there’s a big plot twist that’s been keeping him going. He leaves me in the bed, kisses my shoulder, and closes the door. I’m awake but asleep. I like knowing that words are calling him from slumber into the most awake he’s been in months. Later, he smiles over at me while he types away, croissant in mouth. I am on in the breakfast nook sipping coffee and reading the paper. I smile back.

I get an opportunity to travel across the country for a conference. When I tell him he gives me a confusing look. Bittersweet eyes.

“don’t go” he says, but I can see that he is excited about me being gone. Eliminating distractions is on his list.

“Are you sure you have to?” he tries once more, a dream or the cure rushing across his brow.

“Know this place?” by Julia on Fa Fa’s couch

Friday September 29, 2017

9:12pm

5 minutes

from google maps

There’s a light that keeps switching on by itself. Demi said not to worry about it cause it was just the spirits entering the space (????????). It is bad enough that a light goes on by itself but one that’s delivering ghosts to my living room? No thanks Tom Hanks. Demi has a couple crystals. She says they help. Help what, I don’t know. The light just went out again. If you had to hazard a guess, would you say that means they’ve left or they’ve fallen asleep? I’m referring to the spirits obviously. I don’t know what’s worse that one is coming and going

or many are coming and staying. How many spirits can this place hold anyway? I’m wondering about capacity, like how much can my own spirit handle. How many before I have to call the fire department.

Demi says they won’t bother me unless I invite them to. She did not mention how to avoid doing this.

“I’m driving so couldn’t really see it” by Julia at Black River Farm

Saturday September 23, 2017
8:33am
5 minutes
from a text

It is not more important to check your texts while operating a vehicle. I believe this. My mother would say, PRECIOUS CARGO BACK HERE, EH? We once were with Justin, watching helplessly from the back seat, when he got caused a minor fender bender cause he was trying to text his girlfriend a shooting star emoji. My mother yelled at him that their stupid love could wait and Justin never really forgave her for that. She was fed up. She had a right to be. His girlfriend broke up with him a week or two later anyway.

“if you have troubles” by Julia on the reading chair


Thursday August 17, 2017
11:02pm
5 minutes
from an e-flyer

“If you have troubles, I know a guy,” Elvira called over, “but he’s out of the country until Monday.”
The window shut behind her and the lights went out. Elvira seemed to sleep easily and often. I supposed if I could I would too. I took off my tank top and threw on Vic’s t-shirt. I liked the way it made my nipples look. I took out my notepad and wrote down “Elvira” and “knows a guy” in two separate bullet points. I wanted to be able to tell Vic she didn’t have to worry. It would have been a nice moment.

“packing slip” by Julia on E’s brother’s couch


Saturday August 12, 2017
10:28pm
5 minutes

from a receipt


Henry is moving out of his condo and into a nursing home. He is not happy about it. He is so full of resentment his hips hurt. Nobody wants him. He doesn’t get to play with his grand kids. Nobody is going to come visit him. He’s going to die there in the home without a family to comb his hair or make sure his eyebrows don’t grow out of his face sideways. All because of his one and only fall. Now they’re saying he can’t be left alone. It couldn’t have been the bacon grease on the floor that he slipped on, not a chance. It had to be because his body is giving out on him. Because his limbs don’t listen to his brain anymore. It’s always a reminder that he is becoming more of a burden to his family every single day and needs constant supervision.
Henry doesn’t want to go. He doesn’t want to start the next chapter of his life refusing to forgive himself.

“you called me at 5:30, said you couldn’t sleep” by Julia on the 99


Monday August 7, 2017
10:36pm
5 minutes
overheard on the 99

The phone buzzes beside my dreams and I think for a sleep second (which in real life is like, 100 wisps of sand) that you are dying and I am the only one who can love you when you’re dying. I can’t give you money but I can give you that. You want a soft arm to hold when the sky opens up? I can be that for you.
When my body alerts me to wake up (and I always wake up) there is a voicemail from you saying that you can’t sleep. My internal clock knows when it’s time to reach you. It knows 5am like a rock in a shoe.

“Trucker’s Haven” by Julia in the car


Friday July 21, 2017
7:03pm
5 minutes
from the sign at the 401 on ramp

Wendy and Adele try and stuff their pot into the glove compartment before the state trooper gets to their car.
“Stay cool,” says Adele. “Stay so fucking cool, Wen.”
The dark sunglasses slide down his nose, aided by the tiny pools of sweat collecting on the bridge of it.
“License and registration.” he says, his want poking uncomfortable holes through Adele’s ribbed tank top.
She hands him the paper and pretends there’s a wad of gum in her mouth. She bites her tongue not to address how he is addressing her.

“I thought you had it” by Julia on the 99


Monday July 3, 2017
4:49pm
5 minutes
overheard on the 99

Kelsey can’t find her wallet for the third time today and the next person who walks through the door is going to hear about it. Loudly.
She’s late, as usual, and thinking of Type A Andrea who always tsk tsks tardiness as if she has zero human flaws. Maybe it’s not easy for everyone to be on time, Andrea. Maybe some of us are burying a deceased bunny rabbit or deciding to floss for the first time in a year!
Andrea never says anything to Kelsey but her disapproval is as present as that fucking mole next to her nose. Kelsey can tell when she’s misplacing things: money, keys, glasses, blame, when she starts digging at her own friends.Your mole is adorable, Andrea, everybody fucking knows that.

“a certain brand of peanut butter” by Sasha at her desk


Tuesday June 27, 2017
11:41pm
5 minutes
The Power Of Habit
Charles Duhigg


What do we have
we have a jar of peanut butter
we have Nescafe
we have all the will to
change this place for
the better
Oh the better
Oh the better
What do we have
we have tear-away track pants
we have water from the tap
we have the grief of forty two
years between us
What do we have
Oh the better
Oh the better
we have the better of this
the best of eachother

“if indoors, stay indoors” by Julia at her desk


Monday June 26, 2017
10:56pm
5 minutes
from the Central 1 credit union emergency response plan

The man in the green hat was shouting loudly on his cell-phone as he jogged his small dog around the pool and back and back and back.
We watched as he panted into somebody’s ear and didn’t know who to feel more sorry for. Dog included.
I looked at Lexi and knew I would not always love her. I smiled and tugged her shirt at the v.
We stayed there for a while, counting times he reached to yank up his boxer shorts poking through with his phoned hand.
When we walked home I intentionally stepped on the back of her foot and made her yelp.
I kissed her sorry, so sorry, so so sorry.

“wild horses” by Sasha on her couch


Saturday June 3, 2017
10:49pm
5 minutes
From the Microsoft home-screen

Huddled in the closet where your mother keeps bleach, baking soda, laundry detergent, you whisper in my ear that there’s something you need to show me.

I’m wearing purple shorts and a black T-shirt with Phantom of the Opera on it. You’re wearing jean shorts and a stained white hoodie.

“I ate a freezee in less than thirty seconds,” you’d told me earlier, referencing the orange drips. They look like tears, I’d thought, before running to the washroom to check if I’d peed a few drips – sisters.

It’s dark, except for the slit of light reaching under the door. You reach for the button of your shorts.

“and they’ll break your heart” by Julia at her desk


Sunday May 21, 2017
6:14pm
5 minutes
trueactivist.com

My sister gave birth to a beautiful baby a week ago. It is the happiest my entire family has ever been, and I’m including the time my mom caved and let us get KFC the day we moved into our new house. My sister called her Cleo and all of us can swear we’ve never known love until her. Harper’s doing great. She has a glow. She looks as calm as if she’d been a mother her whole life. It doesn’t look as hard as I thought it would be, of course Harper has always been good at figuring things out. Cleo latched right away and seeing my baby sister stroke her daughter’s cheek as they bond there in the rocking chair–it’s all I need to see to send me into a fit of emotion. I am overcome by how beautiful it all is. Even Danya is in awe, and we never thought she’d step foot in our parents’ house since she tried to burn it down in 1994.

“it won’t matter what house I move into” by Sasha on her couch


Friday May 12, 2017
9:51pm
5 minutes
Love Warrior
Glennon Doyle Melton


Gramma takes us in after the house burns down. We move into her attic, me and Kate and Selma. Ma and Freddie McFly go to the Spencers’. Selma says that they might be swingers, but Kate and I say, “please don’t make us picture that.” Gramma never recovered after Gramps died. She doesn’t smile, or laugh, or do the crossword puzzles. She makes us toast with raspberry jam in a little bowl. No butter in sight. “We can just use jam from the jar, Gram,” says Kate. Gramma scowls. Sometimes, at night, when all the lights are out and we are three in a row in the king bed, we hear her whistling the Canadian anthem.

“Did you know?” by Julia on the 14


Sunday April 23, 2017
11:34am
5 minutes
from a bus ad

“Did you know that if you make your bed every day you’ll feel more accomplished? I read that in an article about the army and why they make you make your bed every morning. It teaches discipline and says to the world ‘I value my bed, my rest, my belongings, ETCETERA.’ I have been making my bed every morning, even if I have to get right back in it later to sleep. I have been feeling more accomplished. I like crossing off my to-do list. They say if you start your day with something easy then the rest of your day feels a whole lot more manageable. I told my sister this and she refuses to believe that it works. She doesn’t listen to me about anything. I’ve told her about vision boards and angel cards and manifesting and avoiding night shades but she does not like to be told anything. ”

“Certified manager” by Julia on her couch


Friday April 14, 2017
10:13pm
5 minutes
from a business card

Barry is my boss and also my father. He does not let me take home extra envelopes or paper clips. Once he said I could have the left over pinapple from the staff party, but other than that he’s a pretty big stickler for the rules. He’s the middle child so I guess you could say he was a big advocate for justice. Things always needed to be fair. Barry is a good boss and a good father. He sends me letters when I travel, he walks me all the way to the baggage drop off at the airport. Barry has a picture of me in his wallet singing into a toy microphone. He tells his other emplpoyees very little about himself. I’m the only one who knows his birthday.

“Bad bitch” by Sasha at JJ Bean on Cambie


Tuesday March 28, 2017 at JJ BeanJJ Bean
2:05pm
5 minutes
Overheard at JJ Bean on Cambie

Krista knows how to walk in high heels and does so, day after day, without any visible discomfort or achy lower back. She’s one of those women. She carries a small tin of flaky sea salt in her purse and asks for her salad without salt because she wants to add her own. She probably did a lot of blow in her twenties, but you’d never know it, and she never talks about it, but her appetite is still suppressed. Krista didn’t fuck your boyfriend, that was someone else altogether, let’s not get distracted. She only meets men on Tinder who are a decade older than her and whose salaries are at least ten thousand dollars less than hers. It’s one of many little rules that keep Krista Krista.

“IT’S TRUE!” By Sasha on her couch


Wednesday March 8, 2017
10:49pm
5 minutes
Overheard in the kitchen

It’s true, Jenna thinks. She does hate to disappoint. “I wouldn’t say that’s the primary thing going on here, though…” Dr. Hendricks looks over her wire rimmed glasses and raises her eyebrows. Jenna has been a patient for long enough to know what this means. “You’re full of shit.”

“You’ll need to investigate your feelings about disappointment, Jenna. We’ll do some of that work here, in session, but you’ll also need to keep a close eye on when you’re feeling disappointed, in yourself or in others, and how that effects your behaviour. Are you lashing out more? Are you quiet? Pay attention.”

“You know I’m fallin'” By Sasha at her desk


Sunday March 5, 2017
10:23pm
5 minutes
Everywhere by Fleetwood Mac

I pull up, into my usual parking spot. I didn’t have time to put make-up on before leaving the house and dropping Tam at daycare. I never used to even wear make-up. Look what you’ve done to me, Gurmeet. I put on “Prussian Pink” lipstick and a bit of eyebrow pencil and I can’t believe how fast my heart is beating. I brought my travel mug today, because it usually allows us an extra minute or two of conversation. Steven asked why I’ve started wearing perfume again. I shrugged it off. I said, “I don’t know, Steven! When did you stop flushing your shits?” I think he got the hint. I don’t even like Tim Horton’s coffee. But here I am, walking in, knowing that I’m going to see you, knowing that you’re going to ask me about Tam and if I want an Old Fashioned.