“A utopian vision” by Sasha in her bed

Wednesday November 15, 2017
11:47pm
5 minutes
from a quote by bell hooks

“He’s in Kingston Pen with twenty three years left on his sentence. That’s where he is. Now. You have a choice. Are you going to follow in his footsteps? Or, are you going to blaze your own trail – succeeding in your final year of high school, coming in top of your class at George Brown Culinary School? Getting a fine job under a celerity chef at a high-end restaurant? Being promoted to sous within your first year?” Stephen’s voice is booming. Cynthia looks at me. I look at Cynthia. We’ve both stopped worked. We are riveted. We are electrified. Holy EFF STEPHEN YOU ARE A GOD AMONGST US SIMPLE FOLK.

“We can’t get nothin’ tomorra.” By Julia in her bed

Tuesday November 14, 2017
11:08pm
5 minutes
Grapes of Wrath
John Steinbeck

J is beside me reading Grapes Of Wrath. He wants to read out loud but I’m not in the mood. I tell him I just want to let my mind think itself to sleep. I’ve been very good at doing that. I close my eyes or keep them open and I tell myself, okay, think of all the things you need to do tomorrow. And then suddenly I’m asleep before I’ve gotten to the good parts. Listen to J read. Go to the water. Say I’m feeling full instead of busy. Call my mother. I think I’m quite lucky. Some people can’t sleep because of thinking too much and here I am using it as a game. Sometimes sleep has to be a game or I will avoid it. J is the one who helps me the most. He knows when it’s is to sleep. He knows when I’ve had enough for one day. I forget how to bring myself to the edge of tonight and tomorrow when I am alone. I fall asleep on the couch 5 times before I drag myself to my toothbrush.

“I didn’t hear that part” by Julia on the 84

Monday November 13, 2017
4:08pm
5 minutes
overheard on the 84

Oh he says he loves me needs me wants to squeeze me
Holds me shows me deep down knows me
Dreams me means me in betweens me
Wants me likes me day and nights me
He says a lot of things
Forever and always
Lots of love love love
He says he can’t live his life without me can’t stop won’t stop hugging up on me
He says something after that and before
But I do not hear them
Over the noise

“Powerful, self-actualized women should feel no shame” by Julia on F’s couch

Sunday November 12, 2017
9:38pm
5 minutes
Communion
Bell Hooks

When speaking
When listening
When choosing not to have a baby
When changing her mind about having a baby
When saying no
When saying yes
When crying
When asking the bus driver for help
When helping
When wanting to be alone
When wanting to be with him
When wanting to be with him even though he still forgets
When speaking
When listening
When making dinner
When waking up
When brushing her teeth
When taking a long shower
When touching herself
When asking to be touched
When deciding not to give an answer
When deciding not to justify her feelings
When not justifying her feelings
When saying no
When saying yes
When speaking
When listening
When wanting someone to hold
When wanting to be fucked and never called again
When fucking and not calling
When talking about her dreams
When breaking down in the supermarket
When buying a box of cookies

“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.

“finally coming home” by Julia on Bec’s couch

Thursday September 21, 2017
1:45am
5 minutes
from a text

you keep telling me you’re on your way but you’re not. that’s cool. i’ll wait. just sit here by the beer stuffed chicken i made for you. cause you told me you liked it. cause you said you’d be home for dinner.
i get a text every 25 minutes or when you remember that someone is expecting you. things get carried away. timing is all wrong. you’re just caught up in the excitement. the roads are bad now, better wait. i thought about throwing out the chicken so you could see how you messed up, but i was raised way better than that. maybe i’ll put it on your pillow instead. tuck it way in there so you keep finding the juices dripping all the way down. my mother never said anything about bed chicken. you send a message saying you’re finally coming home and then an hour later i get the same message. i don’t respond. i don’t know how. if i write anything it’s going to be a lightening rod. if i write anything it’s going to be the end of me.

“Christian Science Reading Room” By Julia on the 9


Wednesday August 23, 2017
11:07pm
5 minutes
from a storefront on West Broadway

At the Christian Science reading room I wait for Melody to meet me in the lobby. She says she’s coming with a big bag and to get ready. Melody’s ideas make me sweat. She’s been planning something for a while it she says she needs my help now. I always get sucked into Melody’s warped world. I swear she’s not from here. Like, I’d say Vancouver but what I mean is earth. I’m worried she’s got something slightly off centre in her bags. A little light spray painting would be ideal but I know it’s going to vibrate more than that. Everything she does has a pulse. If the pulse of something dangerous were trapped in a bag for too long.

“When your music ends” by Julia on her patio


Sunday August 6, 2017
5:07pm
5 minutes
Spotify

That feeling when your guts are in your throat
when you want to breathe deeply but nobody will let you
the empty swallow that burns your chest
that makes you wish for more time or a disguise

The last song has to be a good one. Maeve and Alexis lay on the floor touching skulls, feet outstretched in opposite directions. Maeve has been planning for a long time and Alexis knows patience. She goes along hand in hand with everything. She is not a pushover. She just never gets tired. Maeve is close to tears. She doesn’t know which one to choose and everyone is putting their two cents in. Alexis has stopped suggesting options. Instead she lays there without thinking about the clock and lets her friend quietly cry.

“The morning, happy thing” by Julia on her couch


Saturday August 5, 2017
12:59am
5 minutes
The Complete Poems of Emily Dickenson

In the morning, I stood up, naked and sweaty. I walked to the fridge with weight. I felt a stillness. This house has been quiet since you left.

When you were gone I slept on your side of the bed and didn’t wke up once. There could be two reasons.
1)Because your side is better than mine or 2)Because I sleep better when you are gone.

I missed you most in the afternoon when the daylight no longer knew which colour it wanted to be. I watched a video of you singing that made me smile out loud.

“I’m still on the boat.” by Julia on her couch


Friday August 4, 2017
10:57pm
5 minutes
Sea Sick
Alanna Mitchell

I’m trying to read to pass the time. Everybody is taking Gravol. My sister gets carsick on tiny windy roads and gets to sit in the front seat of the good car. I have to sit in the back seat behind the same t-shirt going on twelve days in a row. I don’t know how no one notices the oppressive stench but I can’t seem to pretend otherwise. My sister is not looking forward to the boat ride to go see the blown glass in Venicd. There really isn’t a front seat on a boat. My mother is the same way. Neither of them do well when the waves get choppy or even if there’s a bit of wind.
My uncle has taken us on this exact tour for the third time now and still explains everything like it were the first. I don’t know how no one notices.

“they couldn’t handle you?” by Julia on Kits beach


Friday July 28, 2017
7:10pm
5 minutes
overheard on Kits beach

You walked into your new office right, you stroked your beard, you adjusted your belt, you waved at everyone? Right? You made your presence known? You held a baby ( I don’t know, Shelley from HR can never get a sitter, okay, she’s tired, you cooed at him, it was a good moment, everybody loves a pair of stylish suspenders holding an infant) and high fived the custodian? You walked all the way over to your boss’ desk and you put your foot up on it. You let him see you, right? You look him square in the eyes and unleash the most deadpan almost too-close-to-home joke and you wait, right?
Then…boom.

“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.

“when you sign up” by Julia on the bathtub


Saturday April 22, 2017
9:43pm
5 minutes
From the Aeroplan flyer

The flyers keep filling up my mailbox. I am waiting for your letter. I have to check everyday that the flyers haven’t eaten it.

The summer was filled with mosquito bites and eye licking. You let me lick yours after we did mdma. We took photos of your keys and wallet from underneath the glass table.

You said you’d write and then you never did. I wished I didn’t care. Then you moved. And now neither of us know how to find one another.

“Amusement park adventures” by Sasha on her couch


Tuesday April 4, 2017
10:47pm
5 minutes
From The YouTube video Joe is watching

“You’ve relieved so much of my guilt, Sandy… Thank you so so much.” Julie cut the crusts off of the egg salad sandwiches. “I’m tired of feeling guilty,” Sandy said, popping ice out of a pink tray and into the punch bowl. Julie knew what she meant. She’d been up half the night with Tommy who had had some awful nightmares. Julie had wondered if it was because she’d started back to work. Maybe Tommy wasn’t ready to be left with Consuela. Maybe everything was happening too fast.

“I’m thinking about taking Gabriel and Kimberly to the amusement park on Sunday, would you and Tommy like to come?” Sandy came close to Julie and smiled. Julie could smell her perfume. Something expensive. Lily of the valley and vanilla.

“free health care to” by Sasha at her desk


Monday February 6, 2017
7:21pm
5 minutes
From a #goodnews tweet

Below the freckle below the bellybutton below the clavicle below the hip bone below the knee below the baby toe below the finger tip below the eyelash below the calf below the small of the back below the forehead below the wrinkle below the earlobe below the sole of the foot below the belly below the sternum below the laugh lines below the scalp below the lungs below the liver below the heart

“We heard you loud and clear” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Saturday January 21, 2017
8:19pm
5 minutes
From a text

An eagle with wings spread
blessed the chapel and we gathered
two hundred strong and you stood
at the front between the drum kit
and the electric piano
and you spoke W.H. Auden
while your knees shook and your voice
was strong.

Bent over the plywood coffin
that your father will be cremated in
“sometime later this week”
you said goodbye to the body
that helped to make your body
the body that protected and
didn’t
the body that caught babies
and treated wounds and stitched up
bodies that bleed like his body did

“A failure to be my best self” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Sunday January 15, 2017
6:22pm
5 minutes
Becoming Wise
Krista Tippett


When I broke into your home, your roommate was fucking her girlfriend. I wasn’t sure if I should stay, or go, or pretend that this was a normal way to spend a Wednesday evening. I knew that you were in China, and that a million different people were taking you out for every meal of the day. I knew that you hadn’t texted me back in exactly seventy six days. I get in your room, the moaning and screaming coming through the wall, and I’m not even sure what to do, I’m not even sure what I want. I take off all of my clothes. I climb into your bed. I drink in your smell.

“People will say,” by Julia in her childhood room


Friday January 6, 2017
12:45am
5 minutes
from The Province

I didn’t wish you a happy birthday and people will say-probably-that I am avoiding you or doing it on purpose or trying to play games. I’m not doing any of those things-though it’s your prerogative to think that I am. To believe everyone else but me. I didn’t do it this year because I was busy and because I don’t think you’re a good person. I should clarify that I still love you somewhere deep down as the person who first showed me what borrowing my parents’ car was really for; who laughed easy to build someone else up when you knew how much that would matter. I can’t condone the rest of you these days. Maybe not for the last few years. I tried to trick myself but it didn’t work. I’m not a very good liar. Not nearly as good as you.

“leftover Hamburger Helper garbage” By Julia on her couch


Tuesday December 13, 2016
5:51pm
5 minutes
Summer OF My Amazing Luck
Miriam Toews


Danika and I couldn’t believe her mom would let us have the house to ourselves for the weekend. The ENTIRE weekend. We were drunk on freedom and cotton balls and anything from the medicine cabinet that we could have turned into crafts or art. The first night we both had double chocolate fudge ice cream for dinner and a can of whipped cream EACH for dessert. What a life! We didn’t think to get an emergency number from Danika’s mom before she left, or find out where exactly she was going to be for this long without worrying about her 9 year old kid and her best friend. My mom would never let us stay by ourselves. So we didn’t tell my mom that Danika’s mom left a note on the kitchen table that she had scrawled in messy writing saying “Gone for the weekend, Hamburger Helper on the stove.”

“Welcome Home Party” by Julia on her couch


Friday December 9, 2016
12:27am
5 minutes
from an e-mail

There was a banner hanging in the front window that looked like his kids had helped make it. I drove by once, forgetting, and saw it. It made me feel sick. I realized why we said we wouldn’t put ourselves in each other’s reality. It was not only dangerous for the one who lives there, but painful for the one who doesn’t. I saw it though, and it sickened me. I couldn’t believe I had played a role in such big deceit of people who missed him so much even though all this time he was sleeping in another woman’s hotel room. And crafting a lie, and withholding the truth. And I helped trick them. I m helped to sneak him away from his family.

“don’t get it in your eyeball!” by Julia in the air bnb in Winnipeg


Tuesday October 25, 2016
9:41am
5 minutes
from a text

I shared an attic with my brother one summer during a heatwave in Italy. We didn’t know what we were getting ourselves into. All we had was a spray bottle filled with heating water between our beds and we didn’t know how badly we would need something in between us. When your brain is melted there is just a puddle where your patience should be. We were puddles of annoyance and sweat and sleepless.
One night we were both aliens to each other, trying to rest, delirious from the air trapped somewhere in a tiny cloud inches from our skin and far enough away from all roads carrying oxygen. He sprayed me with water which was our ritual. I sprayed him back. We did this for 5 minutes or 5 hours and laughed the whole time. Nobody knows why. Something about enough being enough. Something about my eyeball. Something about the first time we didn’t hate each other.

“special thank you” by Julia at her dining table


Saturday October 1, 2016
9:11pm
5 minutes
a Vista print ad

Today Corinne told me to look into his face and tell him what I appreciate about him. I was like, Corinne, I don’t have anything to say that he hasn’t already heard. And she told me I was resisting because I didn’t like that I was being told what to do and not to let the work I have to do on my control issues and ego get in the way of making my partner feel loved. I told her that maybe if she was staring into her husband’s face she would get it and that to do it on command isn’t natural and that he won’t be offended if I save it for when the moment is more organic than this curated experience. Then she told me that every minute I spend resisting her, I spend double the time resisting myself and my feelings and the truth that I might actually have some that I’m too afraid to visit.

“I’m ecstatic to announce” by Julia on the reading chair


Friday September 30, 2016
7:34am
5 minutes
a Facebook post

There’s a new woman in my father’s life. He has been hiding it from me since they started seeing each other and maybe he had good intentions and maybe he was just being a coward. Either way, I got a Save The Date in the mail for three proposed coffee occasions that the new woman in my father’s life would like me to choose between. I think it’s funny that she chose not to even bother sending a singing telegram! Who doesn’t love getting an embossed card in the mail with tiny kitties in silver dresses, asking me, not to meet her, but to pick a time that I’d like to meet her. Then what happens when I send this back? Wait two weeks to get another Save The Date for a cappuccino and a butter tart?

“two complimentary movie passes” by Julia at her dining table


Thursday September 29, 2016
7:44am
5 minutes
cycleto.ca

I come home with a smile on my face and I kiss you on the mouth
You say you missed me
You say this day is better now that I’m back
You ask how the conference was
You ask if I got any swag
I bounce around my tote bag (swag) and pull out the pens (swag) and post-it pad (swag)
You are impressed and I am impressed with my ability to stock up on office supplies
I would otherwise refuse to purchase
Then I reach in and pull out two tickets
You ask me what they are and try to pull them out of my hand
I snatch them away and tell you These Are Not For You!
You try to get a closer look at them and I keep them at arm’s reach
You scowl and cross your arms when you see what they are
You Won Movie Tickets?
I smile again, being coy for some reason
Maybe I Did
Awesome Which Movie Are We Seeing?
I put them back in my bag
These Are Not For You

“in a less than forgiving city” by Julia at her dining table


Wednesday September 28, 2016
7:32am
5 minutes
vancouveractorsguide.com

I came to the place in myself I always worried I’d find. The part that doesn’t have patience for people who don’t pull their weight, the part that doesn’t feel good about having to remind a group of adult children how to get by. Maybe I should have signed up for this in advance. If I had chosen to help people maybe I wouldn’t hate them so much. If I worked in a place where my help was needed…

I am so disgusted with the hole in my chest that comes from resenting other people. I don’t want to admit it but I need help too. I guess that’s where the pain comes from.

When I was in elementary school, I was often ahead of the class and I cared about school and being great. I was always assigned to work in pairs with the students who didn’t understand any concepts, or who didn’t like being there. When I asked the teachers why I couldn’t be put with someone who was going to work hard and push me to be better, they all told me the same thing: You’re a strong student, you don’t need help as much as they do.
So when did anyone look down at me and think, well there’s some potential, why don’t we try to lift that one up? Why didn’t I ever hear, well she could use a mentor or an opportunity?

“two beautiful faces” by Sasha at the Airbnb in Montreal


Wednesday September 21, 2016
10:12am
5 minutes
Overheard on Av. Girouard

the NICU beeps and wails and whispers
the nurses scrubs have cats and flowers on them
the babies are so small
so new
how were they ready to be born?
the babies are so strong
so new
they were ready to be born
at least that’s what i
tell myself
washing a pear for my sister
filling her water bottle
rubbing her neck
at least that’s what i
tell myself
walking by the darkened rooms
code indigo taped on the door
mothers and fathers and families
like angel zombies
tired eyes and microwave dinners
sanitize the hands

“Exactly!” By Julia at her dining table


Wednesday August 10, 2016
11:16pm
5 minutes
Overheard in the Inside house

I won’t ever fully know why
not the colour of the moon that worries me
the one that knocks me dead and vinegar
not the salty lines left lining the walls in the room where you
where you
where you don’t know me
where you don’t see what I think I would see your shoes
where you don’t recognize
me when I’m me. When I’m
not the ache in my chest when
I feel most unseen by you
not the moments of triumph that feel so
if only because the others were mercury and iron
paling in comparison
but I do know
but what I do know in this place
is that I am misery’s companion
by choice
by decision
by the map of my mother’s tears
and I unchoose myself at the speed of you

“Take a day trip.” By Julia at her dining table


Monday August 9, 2016
10:25pm
5 minutes
odysseyonline.com

Take a day trip
remember the road and the smell of the car and the first song playing when you start
Take a trip to a place you’ve never been and take photos
that make you cringe to do in your own neighbourhood
Sing each other your favourite lyric
record yourselves in conversation
forget that you’re recording
lay on the grass
Get a little bit dirty
Take a trip
Leave the disappointing
and ridicule
and pipe dreams
and anxiety dreams
aside

“change has alway happened in the margins” By Julia on her couch


Sunday August 8, 2016
10:00pm
5 minutes
Becoming Wise
Krista Tippett


I can’t recall his clothes but I remember his hands and the way his neck smelled. I held him for longer than I would have if it were anyone else. I held him longer than I would have but long enough for him to feel welcomed. I don’t blame him for seeking us out, looking for a safe space to exist among us but not within us. I wanted him to feel wanted. And brave. But also I wanted to reward his bravery. I wanted to include him the way he so desperately needed to be included. The way I so desperately needed to be included instead of just passing. The way I would never have asked for what he asked for even if what he asked for was exactly what I needed. I can’t remember his drink, but I remember his face. And his voice. And his smile.

“the life of his human counterpart” By Julia at The Deklab County Public Library


Sunday August 7, 2016 at the Deklab County Public Library
2:14pm
5 minutes
Unsaid
Neil Abramson


It was hard to see him through the rain but I didn’t have to see his face to know who he was. Michael kept his head down as if the stream of water cascading down his hair could shield his eyes. I knew that he was crying. I knew that stance anywhere. I hadn’t seen him in months and still knew he had gotten a hair cut too. I wasn’t sure if I should approach him first or wait for him to see me. I didn’t want to disrupt whatever praying he might have been doing. I didn’t want to interrupt his ritual of getting right with himself before he came to find me. The life of his human counterpart was just as complex, and he knew that too. Hell, from behind the heavy sheets of rain pouring down on us, I’m sure he could see that I was doing my work to get right with myself just the same as he was.

“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.

“comrade in arms” By Julia at her dining table


Sunday July 31, 2016
9:25pm
5 minutes
from a text

I asked Lindsey if she wanted to come to my sister’s citizenship ceremony and she told me she wouldn’t miss it. When I reminded her that it was this week, she told me it was a date. When I called her that morning asking what she was going to wear, she gave me a detailed description and helped me choose a necklace for me over the phone. So when she didn’t show up for the ceremony I knew something wasn’t right. I called her a million times and it went straight to voicemail. I was freaking out, trying not to let my sister see me. I had a terrible knot in my stomach. Nothing was making sense, the room was spinning, and I was struggling to stay standing. My sister caught my eye and looked concerned. She motioned for me to leave. I nodded, I ran, I stumbled out of the auditorium and into a burst of fresh air. When I saw Lindsey standing there I almost threw up. She was holding her throat so the blood wouldn’t spill out.

“We’ll discuss some of the best” by Julia at her dining table


Saturday, July 23, 2016
1:12am
5 minutes
vancouvertrails.com

On the walk home tonight you grabbed my hand so I wouldn’t tumble down the hill and told me you were seriously considering buying a camper van.
It was a nice moment.
I could tell you more about what I was thinking inside my head when you said it.
I could say that I wanted to know you forever right then and there. I could say I wasn’t sure all this time because I was convinced you would find a reason to leave me but then I was. And it felt different. It felt different than being weary of you. It felt different being so completely certain.
But I didn’t say any of those things. I smiled at you. I gripped your hand tighter. And I looked into your eyes with a deep sadness for all the moments before I doubted you. The moments before I doubted you could love me as much as I loved you and as much as I needed to be loved.
So I think that was enough.
I think that was all I needed to do.
And then we came home and baked some tortilla chips because why the fuck not.

“We got a good surge” by Julia by her bed


Thursday, July 21, 2016
12:16am
5 minutes
overhead at The Rickshaw

Because there was an opening
we stood up tall on a mountain and opened our mouths to the wind
We wanted to
We wanted to shout
out
all of the sadness and all of our lungs
Just in case she was listening
Just in case she was sorry
I dream of her in reds and yellows
In basil and lavender
In honey and lace
She is perfect still in a world where compliments cannot buy her
I dream of her in here yes today please
She is gone like a feather from a wing
And I can only let my agony
into the wild
As a ghost
As a whisper
As a lullaby

“a dozen individuals aged” by Julia at her dining table


Tuesday May 24, 2016
9:51pm
5 minutes
Harbor
John Ajvide Lindqvist


Across the street I spied a man who had been resting on a bench. He was sweating from his brow and was hunched over, defeated. He didn’t have a cane, or a walker, but looked like he could have used one. He was convincing himself he didn’t, surely. I quietly watched him from my bus stop. He didn’t know anyone was paying any attention to him. He tried to get up a few times without the help of the bench. He couldn’t seem to do it. The struggle in his face was clear even all the way over to where I sat pretending to read my novel. It looked like his body had been slowly betraying him for a while but that he had only just now started to deny it. I remember working with a man who told me once that when you get old, your body stops matching up with your mind and you can’t control yourself the way you used to. He told me that it may be frustrating for those of us who can still easily get to our destinations to have to always wait behind the ones who aren’t as mobile, but it wasn’t to be disregarded that it was far more frustrating for them.

“you smiled at me” by Julia at her dining table


Monday May 23, 2016
4:22pm
5 minutes
Sunny
Bobby Hebb


There were so many people lined up to get your autograph outside the cinema. It was cloudy but hot. I wasn’t planning on waiting for you but I was wearing my nice yellow sundress with a matching yellow head-scarf and I remember thinking it was too good to be wasted on just meeting Debbie and her boyfriend, Charles at the diner. Suddenly I was hit with the convincing thought that I could have you. I think I was moving as little as possible to avoid sweating through my sleeves. I didn’t want your autograph. I wanted to smell your skin. I wanted to get so close that you would have no choice but to touch me. I had dreamed of that moment and was replaying it over and over again in my head as we waited for you to emerge. Some women were already crying. You were making us wait for no reason in particular. I think you were preparing for the mob. I was preparing to envelop you.

“I honour this privilege” by Julia at the bus stop


Sunday May 22, 2016
5:15pm
5 minutes
from a birthday card

I heard him say it to himself when he thought I had left for the evening. He was reciting it in the mirror, getting ready for his big night. I crept in the house quietly, I had forgotten my wallet by the island. I don’t know why I had left it there but I didn’t want to impose myself. Just a few quiet steps while he rehearsed his speech in the bathroom. The one I had begged him to do for me because I wasn’t able to go. He said no. He didn’t want me anywhere near it. I tried to go as fast as my curiosity would let me. He repeated one line over and over and I wanted to hear him get it right. “I honour this privilege. I honour this privilege.” My hand was reaching for the soft leather while my mind tilted toward him in the bathroom. I felt the wallet graze my hand and I quickly realized that if I could go in this instant I would have a secret but nothing to be sorry for.

“Late last night I heard the screen door slam” by Julia at her dining table


Saturday May 21, 2016
11:19pm
5 minutes
Big Yellow Taxi
Joni Mitchell


You were leaving trying not to let me hear you trying not to let me hear your heart stop wanting me
I waited there trying not to stop you trying not to tell you that I would try to be better you packed up your items you packed up your clothes you packed up all your reasons and you did your best not to wake me
You were leaving trying to avoid another argument of he said she said I said you said of all those times we laughed at how foolish we had been
I was sobbing there in my pillow on my side of the bed afraid to move an inch and realize it was real after all crying tears of apology into the mattress trying not to let you hear me trying not to let you hear my hollow chest echo as the tiny pieces of my heart fell to the bottom
You were leaving there was nothing I could do and you were leaving me so there was nothing I could do.

“Be wildly generous” by Julia at her dining table


Friday May 20, 2016
6:15pmm
5 minutes
from Julia’s notebook

My grandmother had been staying at our house after her hip surgery. She was sleeping in my room and she liked to spend her time organizing my bookshelves and my underwear drawer. One day she called me into our room to show me her latest clean-up effort. All of my underwear, she showed me, beaming with pride, were folded and stacked neatly according to size, colour, and functionality. I was 16 at the time and I had been wearing thongs for a couple years by then. My grandmother pointed to each stack reminding me “These ones are your nice ones, these are for staying at home only, and these ones are for your ‘holidays'”. She was pointing to the tiny stack of thongs and she was clearly referring to my ‘romantic encounters’. I remember, before I could defend or deny, she brought her finger to her lips, shushing the air as if to say “I won’t tell anyone, don’t worry.” I raised my eyebrows in relief and mouthed the words “thank you.” She smiled wide and squeezed my shoulder, thrilled to keep my business just between us. The truth was, I wasn’t, actually wearing thongs for my ‘holidays’ as I hadn’t had any ‘holidays’ yet, but I just never mentioned that to her. I could tell she needed my secret more than she needed my honesty.

“It’s a little big now” by Julia on the 84


Thursday May 19, 2016
8:14pm
5 minutes
overheard at Kafka’s

he was cooking dinner on the island
he liked to call it his ‘cutting station’
where he did most of his cutting
not me
i liked to use the counters by the fridge
i don’t really like the feeling
of floating in the middle of something
just dangling out there
alone
he asked me what my favourite thing to eat was
when i told him i said but it has to be the way
my dad used to make it
he said not to worry
he said he would take care of me
when i looked at his ‘cutting station’
i couldn’t see one ingredient that matched
the items i told him
all the things necessary to make
my favourite thing to eat
i tried not to be bothered by it
or to worry
he said he would take care of me and
i had to
trust him
but i could smell the veggies cooking
and i could tell that he wasn’t
getting
it
right
and so i was bothered by it
and i did worry
and i missed my dad
in that moment more than ever
nothing is the same after your favourite loves die
not life
not dinner

“I make him feel guilty.” by Julia at Lindsay’s house


Wednesday May 18, 2016
10:44pm
5 minutes
Burner Season
Ellie Sawatzky


Kev and I haven’t spoken since last Wednesday. It’s been a week. I told him I wanted to see how long we could go without engaging with each other. He was angry that I even suggested something like that. I didn’t say it but I wanted him to know how I felt. How when I want intimacy, conversation, attention, I have to practically beg him for it. I wanted him to know what it felt like to live with someone who didn’t “put out” emotionally. So far it’s been brutal for both of us but I don’t know who’s got it worse. I decided on purpose that I would avoid him to teach him a lesson but I’m not sure if I’ve now pushed him away instead. When we have to share the kitchen, Kev reaching up to the top shelf to pull down his favourite cereal bowl, me underneath him grinding flax seeds, we don’t make eye contact if we can avoid it. I don’t know what he would do if I looked him in the eye, but I do know that if he met my gaze I would have a hard time keeping my mouth away from his. This distance, despite my efforts to remain unmoved has made me want him more than I am maybe willing to control. I have been fighting myself for 7 days: Make him come to me, or make him come for me.

“our minds drift to the beach” by Julia at her dining table


Tuesday May 17, 2016
11:08pm
5 minutes
health.amhosp.org

I didn’t have my swimsuit. I purposely didn’t pack it because I didn’t want to be forced to wear it. Dale said that she wouldn’t swim either in solidarity but I didn’t want her pity as much as she was trying to be a good friend. I told her to go ahead, enjoy herself. I sat on the beach in light billowy pants and a white camisole. I could hear everyone laughing in the night, splashing in the ocean. Suddenly my head felt wet. I looked up and Terrence was standing there, dripping his salty midnight water all over me.

“Yes?” I looked up expectantly.
“Come in with us.”
“Nah, I don’t have my suit.” I said, shrugging my misfortune of an absent bikini.
“Come on, Leigh, that’s a sorry excuse. Didn’t you know that skin is waterproof?”

“You change when you want to change” by Julia at her dining table


Monday May 16, 2016
10:35pm
5 minutes
huffingtonpost.com

Eden was on her way to change it for good. She had thought about keeping it, of course she had. But she also needed to listen to her spirit and stop letting her be trapped by a name that didn’t fit? Eden didn’t choose her name and most of us don’t change them, but Eden wanted something that felt more like the her she had become and gotten to know. Eden’s best friend, Jack said that we aren’t suited to name ourselves which is why we are given a name before we can see. Someone else takes away the pressure for us and we get to just be. But Eden didn’t believe that it was meant to be that way at all. That maybe if she just had more understanding and open-minded parents in the first place, they would have let her choose her own name eventually, and she would have made it clear enough to them what it would be through repetition and attraction. She was doing it today whether people agreed with it or not. She at least waited till her mother had died before she decided to do it.

“Throws it up in the air” by Julia on the 250


Sunday May 15, 2016
4:00pm
5 minutes
basketball commentary

Of course Chris wanted to play basketball. He was tall, everyone around him basically told him that was all he would be good for anyway, so yeah, he liked it a lot. It never hurt his knees to jump, or his shoulder never popped out. He was tall so it was a fun sport and he liked it a lot. When his dad started talking to him more that felt real good too. Chris wanted to be better at other things. Better suited. He wished someone had said, your hands are so big I bet you’d make a wonderful pianist. Nobody ever gets everything they want. That’s what you know going in. What you believe because it’s the one thing that hasn’t changed.

“If you have already completed” by Julia on the 99


Saturday May 14, 2016
5:39pm
5 minutes
The Canadian Census

So I walk on the bus and there’s a woman in a jean ball cap flipping through flyers and ripping out coupons. She’s sitting by the window, taking up two seats to do this and there’s nowhere for me to sit. So I say, very politely, excuse me may I sit there? And she grumbles to herself and then instead of moving her papers off the aisle seat, she moves herself over and makes me climb over her to get to the window. I’m already miffed, but then the bus jolts and I go flying into her flyers which makes her grumble even more. I make it a point not to say I’m sorry. If I don’t say anything I can’t say anything mean either, right? Then she moves herself to another seat near by, and she keeps clicking her tongue like she can’t believe “this person” and “this person” is clearly me, even though I’m just on my phone writing a grocery list for later. Then she moves herself again to a completely different seat, complaining to the woman beside her that I’m going to give her cancer for being on my phone near her!

“Professional photography” by Julia at her dining table


Sunday, March 27, 2016
9:13pm
5 minutes
from a flyer

Abigail got my parents a professional photo session for their anniversary. I told her not to waste her money on something like that cause it would be more of a gift for her and not them. She told me that everybody likes having nice photos of themselves and that was literally the end of that. Abi can be so stubborn sometimes. She once hired a clown to entertain at her own kid’s birthday even though he’s scared to death of clowns and spent the whole afternoon crying in the bathtub. She doesn’t want to listen, she just wants to do what ever she thinks will be best. I have stopped questioning if she ever thinks past herself and considers putting somebody before her. I know the answer. She doesn’t. My parents did the photo shoot to appease her because her temper is as unpredictably violent as you can imagine, and they are the most awkward and cringe worthy photos you’ve ever seen, let alone that my parents have ever been in. I want to take her into a sound proof room sometimes and shake the living shit out of her while just screaming NO to her over and over.

“your field of experience” by Julia at her dining table


Saturday, March 26, 2016
5:05pm
5 minutes
http://www.mysticmamma.com/

It’s taking all of Sylvia’s strength not to snip her eyelid skin just to see…
Just to know what it’s like to have a hole to look through when her eyes are closed.
She traces the smoothest part of her face and gathers a fold in the middle with her thumb and forefinger.
She is overcome with an urge so big it starts talking to her..
Nobody cares about the girl with two normal eyelids… ….. …..
Nobody talks about the girl who doesn’t take any risks..
Nobody wonders why the girl without scars has no scars… ……………………………
Sylvia is convinced after the third or fifth hour of debating-daydreaming-conjuring up responses, that it probably wouldn’t hurt much anyway..
She envisions the incision healing quickly.
Assuming it must be pretty resilient skin if it has never been ripped in all her years alive and reckless on this planet….

So far…

“Finding YOUR story” by Julia at her island


Friday, January 15, 2016
8:17pm
5 minutes
Sasha’s notebook

I’ve been looking behind rosebushes in the yard
looking behind cans of old anchovies
looking behind years of deep history
I want to know my truth the way my mother knows my mood
The way my father knows my laugh
The way my heart knows its pace
When I see a unique spot I turn it upside down and inside out
I want some of that textured, layered, magical stuff for me
I see peace and I wonder if she’s just very good at being incognito
So I tear her up and I rip her to shreds
Just in case peace is an actress, just like me
I don’t like playing hide and seek
But somethings are worth hunting for

“good times” by Julia at her island


Wednesday, December 23, 2015
12:13am
5 minutes
from the back of a CD

Memories are being made in our perfect little apartment
I can see you from across the room and I like that I can take in every part of you now
Before I think I forgot to make eye contact with you
We sat side by side so we got used to staring straight ahead
It was more comfortable that way
Now I can see you from a distance
See your smile
Your strength
Your genuine desire to help me
Memories are being made here
We sit on our properly sized couch and remember how things used to me
We are learning to remember our hardships as the golden thread in our tapestry
The through line in our story
The magic of perspective and just-desserts
We can see the mountains from our bedroom window
We can see the ocean from our dining room table
We can see the future of our love expanding when it finally has the space to grow
These are good times
These are our good times

“It has nothing to do with you.” by Julia on her couch


Saturday, August 22, 2015
9:50pm
5 minutes
Art & Fear
David Bayles & Ted Orland


When you come inside from dancing with the moon and making promises to her that you see the light she’s shedding and the path she’s illuminating just for you, your skin tingles with joy and recognition for the you she knows.
Your skin: The protector of your bones.
She is held together tight with a thousand promises just like the ones you made with your Moon Mother. And you can feel each one alive inside you, making their way down your veins to keep you warm.
You can’t live another way. You even feel tempted to shed the skin you’re in but she hugs your limbs in close and whispers, I’m Not Going Anywhere….I Still Know Your Insides.
If you don’t keep the dancing hot and perfect in your hair, and the pure boundless generosity you feel with every concentrated breath, then you might just live on in a different moment and you don’t blame yourself for that either.