“books about people living on the street” by Julia in The Loop, Chicago

Saturday September 8, 2018
10:39pm
5 minutes
Searching, results
Shawn Syms

I walked into a bookstore today. The shelves were lined with post-it-notes telling me which staff member recommended which book. The girl working the counter had a tattoo of a strawberry wearing sunglasses. She recommended the Miranda July and I thought she and I would be friends. Mariella, the store owner, had recommended a few books about the housing crisis and single room occupancies. When I asked the girl with the same lipcolour on as me if she had read Mariella’s recommendations, she got real quiet and said, Mar used to live on the streets. She built this place so it’d be here for anyone who might need it. That’s why we’re open so late.

“I want to walk with you on cloudy day” by Julia on the 7

Wednesday July 25, 2018
9:29pm
5 minutes
Come Away With Me
Norah Jones

I walk out of the council woman’s house and stare a mountain square in the eye.
My jaw drops. The sky cartwheels. The pink drips off the clouds and into my veins. I drink, greedy, like a humming bird first to the bloom.
I tell her I would like to bring you here for an urban hike so you can see this pocket of the city we live in but don’t even know yet.
I think of taking you to the Rosemary sanctuary. I know if I do you will have to pull me away with some force.
The council woman says nobody knows about this place. She knows all her neighnours.Loves Carla’s garden.
Down the road a teenager lighting a joint under a tree asks me if that guy’s okay.
I ask what guy.
That guy down there, she says, the one who just got shot.

“street cake!” By Julia on her bed


Friday August 25, 2017
9:01pm
5 minutes
from a text

I asked your what you wanted and you said street cake. I walked around the city knocking on doors, begging bakeries. Nobody made what you were looking for. I didn’t want your birthday to be memorable in the wrong way so I decided to try making one from scratch. I didn’t know what to do so I asked all the good people of the Internet. They didn’t know either. Finally, I deduced I had the choice of a few things: stick some toy cars on the cake and sprinkle Oreo crumbs for the drive way, or vanilla cream frosting with the word “street” written in icing. I was running out of ideas. Then you called and it all made sense. “Sheet cake!” you said, “I said sheet cake!”

“We assumed he did.” By Julia at the studio


Tuesday August 22, 2017
8:40pm
5 minutes
Equus
Peter Shaffer


Got to the street light we agreed upon and lit up before he could get get there.
The quiet twitched my ear. Listening for night crawlers. The ones with the feather step.
Smoked slow till the light swallowed me. Bathed me. Made me thicker-skinned.
Hair a dusting of lamp and ash. He would smell it on me quick. Always looking for that kind of thing.
Assumed he did on account of all those backs up. Too many. Only two arms on him. Not enough to fend off.