“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.

“the important mother” by Julia at her desk


Tuesday, June 16, 2015
11:47pm
5 minutes
Back of the Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar bottle

She wasn’t a very good mother, I can say that without even feeling the slightest pang of guilt. Wanna know why? Cause she wouldn’t let me love her. Not even a little bit. She made me call her by her first name. She didn’t want to be a mother, you understand? She didn’t want me at all. She used to send me to school with half used packets of Sweet And Low. And that was it. No PB&J with the crusts cut off, not even bologna and mayo. Sweet and Low, not ever the full packet. And that’s what she expected me to eat. Or that’s what I thought. It took me longer than it should have to figure out that she was trying to get me taken away from her. She thought maybe the teachers would see what she was packing me for lunch and send a note home, a warning, then maybe get a social worker to come and break the door down or something while she was watching Days of Our Lives. I guess every system failed me, cause I was never questioned. Maybe Deena’s first mistake was sending me to a school that couldn’t give a fuck about me either.