“Intelligent, quirky, passionate” by Julia at her desk

Tuesday May 15, 2018
11:44pm
5 minutes
from Quill and Quire

Let them see all the good colours
the ones that the sky knows in the morning
and when the sun decides to sleep
Let them see them in me
Let me

I am too tired to write a lie
Everything is coming out neon green
If I had more time I would spin a web of almost truth
And you might get caught because it wil be beautiful
It will blow your friggen mind out of your skull

let them choose brains over braun
quirk over perk
passion over rations
Let them pick the harder one to be
Let them learn how
Let me

I wish the bed didn’t sink in the middle
I wish Chicago wasn’t trying to recruit me so persistently
I wish the edges of this soft made you cry for once instead of me
I wish I didn’t need to do everything in the same line format

BREAK THE FOURTH WALL AND DO NOT OFFER TO PAY FOR DAMAGES
DIP SUGAR INTO A SALTY THING AND BOW DEEPLY
VOLUNTEER TO GO FIRST
T
R
U
S
T
YOUR EMOTIONAL LIFE WHEN IT IS HOOKED UP ALL THE WAY DOWN YOUR SPINE

“People who boast about their I.Q. are losers.” By Julia on the 98

Saturday March 31, 2018

6:10pm

5 minutes

A quote from Stephen Hawking

In the 4th grade I was a times tables genius. I won around the world so many times I had to give some of my suckers away. By the time I got to the 5th grade I became so deathly afraid of graphs that I had to excuse myself to the bathroom anytime we played games that required the use of them. By the 6th grade I stopped remembering math class as a place to learn and turned it into one where I could practice my stand up routine. I think that’s when I realized I was funny. When all the kids in my class were being tested for the special skills test, I was deeply saddened when they didn’t ask me to do it. They were going to decide if those kids needed an individual education plan and I had high grades and I felt smart, but it was not enough to get the fancy folder with my name on it. I wondered why they thought that numerical testing was the only way to determine if we were gifted.

“shit and eggshell” by Julia on the 9

Sunday, March 4, 2018
10:13pm
5 minutes
My Life Smells Like This
Amy Bloom

You are no longer sleeping here-I beg the smart side of my brain to seize the opportunity: Paint the fucking thing shit brown and eggshell, a reminder of just how useless you were. The smart part of body buys the brushes, borrows a roller and a tray, sticks colour swatches to the wall. The other side, the middle sister side, sits on the edge of the bed and seizes into a chemical tear bath. The salty breath is held there like a brown paper bag was trying to keep it from floating away. Laboured. Inconsolable. The smart side of my brain has it all figured out: Leave, let leave, let live, live, leave. Do not pick up the phone. Do not keep slippers in the room that fit only the feet who walked out on you. Don’t do it. Don’t ask the other side for grace.

“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.

“A cherished pastime” by Julia on the 99


Tuesday March 21, 2017
9:08pm
5 minutes
from a Facebook post

Samar shows me the sweater she’s been knitting since last Tuesday after learning how last Monday and I’m embarrassed because I’m impressed because she’s seven and it’s stunning. Samar tells me that the sweater if for her sister because she doesn’t want her to think the world is cold. I ask her what she’s reading these days and she pulls out the biggest book I’ve ever seen. She tells me she’d rather save reading for another time though because now would be a good opportunity to teach me how to knit since I liked her sweater so much. I’m embarrassed again but this time for being behind on my own life. I didn’t know what knitting was when I was seven. I wasn’t relying on the smell of books to calm me down.
I causally mention to her that knitting is a good balance to reading because you get to wield a weapon. Samar laughs at this and for the first time today I feel smart.

“the best of” by Julia on her couch


Saturday, April 2, 2016
11:41pm
5 minutes
from a program insert

How do you know if a toddler is thirsty? They don’t know how to ask for things, they get distracted by spinning and highlighters and drumming on the refrigerator with paper towel rolls. How do you know if they need something? I am wondering because as an adult I never even know when I’m thirsty. I mean I know when I am and that I ignore it and that I have to have an app my phone remind me when it’s time to ingest a life fluid that I know I need to drink in order to be healthy. A toddler is waiting for the adult to give him water isn’t he? Isn’t the little one waiting until she sees her cup to know she could put it to her lips and feel better after she drinks? Do you have to ask every thirty seconds? I don’t want to be responsible for a child’s thirst. Do they just swallow their own saliva, manufactured every millisecond by the gallon? Is there some forum online for this? I don’t want to ask this question publicly if the world already has an answer. It’s not even my kid by the way. I guess that’s why I kind of need to know…

“Did you send the message?” by Julia on her couch


Friday, April 1, 2016
11:19pm
5 minutes
Overheard at Kits Beach

Connie has her overnight bag packed. She laughs every time she thinks of Alison calling it her “satchel”. Alison’s mom always teaches her to use the correct word for things, which is good because Connie can learn from that too. She thinks about her own mother falling asleep with a cigarette in her mouth while watching Wheel of Fortune every night after work. Once she solved a puzzle with only two letters revealed and Connie thought she was faking. She never hears words like “satchel” or “rotunda” or “enigmatic” so Connie didn’t think her mom was even fully watching her word shows. Connie goes into the living room to kiss her mother goodbye. She’s already asleep. Connie covers her in the red afghan and turns off the TV.

“what you can expect” by Julia on her couch


Monday, January 18, 2016
10:21pm
5 minutes
from an e-mail

So my cousin had a baby and for some reason I think she’s my spirit animal.
I haven’t even met her but I have this feeling that we know each other already and that she’s going to want to hold onto my finger so tight.
I don’t know why I think this for this cousin and not the others. I don’t know how this new little baby girl and I will even spend time together now that we live on opposite sides of the country, but if my cousin will let me, I think I want to be her pen pal.
I want to write this girl a letter every day. She’s the only one who doesn’t know me at all. I could tell her all the things I wish I heard when I was growing up. I don’t know how I’d get these letters to her unopened, though. If I were my cousin I’d be reading each and every thing that comes in the mail addressed to my new born daughter. But what’s good, and that I may be forgetting, is that my cousin expects me to be a weirdo and maybe, without thinking too much about it, will let me correspond with his kid because on some level he knows she’d benefit from that.
I will start my “clean slate personal representation” letter the same way each time:
Hello, you are good, you are enough.
Those should be the first words she reads.

“Eye Candy” By Julia in Brooklyn


Thursday, July 30, 2015
12:33am
5 minutes
From a shop in NYC

I waited at the bus stop for you. I looked up a couple new words on my dictionary app: Ubiquitous, Saurian, Apothegm. You were running late, which was usual, and I was early, which was not. I thought of ways to use my new words on you. I thought maybe you’d think I was smart. But then I realized I didn’t just want you to think I was, but know I was. I wanted you to know that I have two degrees and a killer vocabulary. I work at stuff. I didn’t want there to be any doubt about it. Some guy walked close to me and whistled right in my ear. I pointed up at the “No cat calling” sign right above us and then I formed a gun with my fingers and shot him.

“Your premium won’t increase” by Julia at her desk


Friday February 20, 2015
3:29pm
5 minutes
from a radio ad at the Dentist

I didn’t want my mother to know but I had been sending sending cheques to her condo once a month and signing them The Canadian Bursary For Deserved Patrons. She wouldn’t take my money if she knew it was me, and my sister tried to send anonymous money to her condo last July and my mother called in a bomb threat. I’ve had to get creative. She’s stubborn and won’t take money directly, but I have two post secondary degrees so I was not going to let that be the end of it. It didn’t matter how she got it, as long as she just got it. Now she’s able to pay off her medical bills without feeling like a charity case or that she’s not able to take care of herself. After Dad died, my mother tried really hard to prove that she could keep up with everything on her own. When she sees the cheque each month, she thinks in some sweet and sneaky way, my father is sending his love to her. Who am I to ruin that image for a woman who gave up her entire life just to raise two little girls with very big dreams.

“we are in a war to the death” by Julia at her desk


Wednesday February 18, 2015
2:30pm
5 minutes
The War of Art
Steven Pressfield


We have been at odds, all three of us, since that summer when Jenna decided to strip. We weren’t prudes, Angie and me, we just got angry that she didn’t want to finish college. “It’s to pay for college, you idiots,” I remember Jenna spitting at us. “Well what’s the fucking point of paying for it if you’re not going to keep going?” Angie got pissed at everything, but for once, her anger was justified. We had spent our entire senior year helping Jenna get her shit together. We worked in shifts at her house, Angie tutoring her in Calculus, me practically writing each of her English papers for her. Jenna was a smart girl but she didn’t want to try very hard. Yeah, yeah, likely story; it seems they’re all smart until they’re not. Jenna wasn’t stupid, but she did have a knack for making some pretty questionable life choices.

“virtual environments” by Julia at Katie’s flat in London


Tuesday December 9, 2014
12:20am
5 minutes
from the MLA research guide

Okay so Jordie got a tablet for his birthday and he says there’s an app for literally EVERYTHING. I believe this cause he’s not allowed to tell a lie or he won’t be able to have KD and hotdogs for dinner and that’s his favourite so he always tells the truth. Jordie says that you can watch yourself in an alternate reality if you really wanted to and see how your face looks and how your mind thinks in a different dimension. He says that if you are ready for it, you can also see others there. Jordie says that in a matter of years we will all have a space brain and a human body but we won’t really need our human bodies cause space brains don’t need anything at all but time and mystery. He said mystery but what I think he meant was magic. He gets those things confused sometimes. Mostly because he thinks they’re the same thing.

“I don’t know how that works” by Julia at her desk


Thursday December 4, 2014 at Culprit Coffee
1:33am
5 minutes
Overheard at Culprit Coffee

I have realized too late in my life that I will never know enough. I’m too old to change who I am. I’m beyond the point of learning now. I woke up one day and I was dumb. I am only smart because I know I’m dumb. That is the way I get by. By knowing what I am and admitting it to myself when I have the opportunity. People don’t think I’m stupid because I figured out how to trick everybody. Even myself for a very long time. But now I cannot hide from this fact. I am good at very few things. I have very little knowledge of even the things I do well, let alone the things I don’t. I will never be able to explain facts of the world, geography, history. I will die knowing almost nothing, except for the knowing that I know almost nothing.

“STAY THOUGHTFUL” by Julia at the Holiday Inn in Charleston


Tuesday April 29, 2014
7:45pm
5 minutes
The Holiday Inn note pad/em>

According to Dale, women shouldn’t have to pay for their own meals. Carmella agreed with this notion because she worked as an underpaid nanny and couldn’t avoid the trap of wanting and needing free things.
Dale and Carmella met at the carnival two summers ago when Carmella was struggling to find enough coins to pay for her burrito-dog and Dale had watched with a glint in his eye from a distance. He waited till it was the right moment and came up, placed 2 dollars on the Carny’s counter and began to walk off.
Obviously Carmella had chased after him, wanting to thank him for his heroic act, and Dale knew exactly how it would go.
Hi.
Hey.
Thank you for..you know, you didn’t have to do that..
I know.
(turns back to keep walking)
Wait. That was..
It’s okay.
No, that was nice. Nobody’s ever..done anything like that–
It’s totally fine, really.
For me before. So.
So.
Can I buy you a drink?
I don’t know can you?
(embarrassed laugh, shy eyes)
I could in a couple weeks?
So let’s do it then.
What?
Drinks.
In a couple weeks?
Yeah, why not.
I’ll take you up on that, you know.
I hope you do.
(turns back to walk away)
Sucker.
(turning back)
What was that.
I said I can’t believe I got so lucky…

“For their swim records” by Julia at Cafe Uno


Wednesday, October 9, 2013 at Cafe Uno
4:55pm
5 minutes
Super Fish Thorpe
Kaci Tami


I failed swimming lessons when I was 7. Or 6. Or something dumb and young like that. I was told in my first year of lessons that I “Swam like a fish”. That was bullshit. Just something Keri, the swim instructor told all the stupid kids. Truth was I couldn’t grasp it. I would try to paddle like a dog and just end up swallowing too much water. I was afraid of everything, the diving board (even when I wasn’t on it), the stairs, the shallow end. Keri said I was doing fine, but there was something different about her tone. Maybe she knew I wasn’t teachable, even at 6. Or 7. My sister wasn’t doing that well in swimming class either, so guess what, I didn’t care to be that great either. I thought if I was supposed to excel at it, my sister would have already shown me how to do it. My sister is the smart one. She picks up things quick, like baking, or when we were kids, being a leader. I was always fine just tagging along and wearing what she was wearing. Not much for making decisions. I wish I could go back in time and re-learn how to learn because something is still wrong with me. I can swim to save my life, I guess, but that’s only because my aunt Kathy forced me to tread water for an unnatural amount of time because she knew I wouldn’t even know how many minutes had passed. I suppose that was a nice thing she did. Either way. Swimming is still bullshit.

“Become a doctor.” by Julia on her couch


Tuesday, January 15, 2013
12:41am
5 minutes
http://www.stumbleupon.com

Knew this guy from high school. He said he always wanted to become a doctor, or a medic, or something like that. I never saw the use in science classes or math. I assumed I would never be anything close to smart since I didn’t care about anything that proved one was. This guy I’m talking about, we used to have these debates. Mostly about God, and philosophy, funnily enough. We competed for grades but we were in completely separate systems. How could calculus ever be a thing to compete with Lit? It couldn’t. And yet, somehow, he was convinced that I was going to be a problem for him. Like I said, I never expected to become someone you’d associate with smart. I should mention now, I guess, that I am in fact a doctor. The guy from high school? He’s the manager of a Danier Leather and he hates his life. I hated math and science, and then one day, I just decided I didn’t want to hate them anymore. It sounds over simplified, but if you knew me you’d understand. I just get it. I get a lot of stuff so it just depends on what I want to get. Then it’ll be good. I love my practice, truly. I can’t picture myself doing anything else now. Back then the only thing I thought I was going to be was a bright pregnant teenager who taught her future children about bad choices.

“I believe my mother” by Julia at Ossington station


Monday, December 31, 2012
12:22pm
5 minutes
Blurred Snapshots in The History of Forgetting
Lawrence Raab


Dear 2012 Me:

I’M BACK! I’m still me but I’m older this year and GUESS WHAT!? I HAVE BREASTS! They are still small, but from an A cup to a B cup, just the way I predicted. What an excitement. I have joined a VOLLEY BALL TEAM, and I got to even play in two whole games! That’s more than Marie-Lynn because she sprained her ankle and didn’t get to play AT ALL! I have made big plans for this coming year. I have decided that I will not contact my birth mother until I learn to play more than just the theme song to SAVED BY THE BELL on the UKELELE. Last year, I was a little bit more easy going but this year, things are going to be harder. MORE WORK! No playing until the work is DONE. That’s what my teacher MISS SCHMIDT says to me. In private mostly, because during class she’s busy teaching, duh. I have had a GREAT year. A REALLY GREAT year. I learned the word DEFIBRILLATOR and I will learn how to spell it by FEBRUARY 2nd. I have also learned that BIG WORDS do not mean YOU ARE SMART. I am smart, says Miss Schmidt, but I need to stop doodling all over my binders in White Out because it gives her a head ache.
I believe my mother (not my birth one) thinks I should try to stay MORE QUIET, MORE OFTEN.