“whose eyes are a thousand blind windows:” by Julia in Amanda’s kitchen

Tuesday August 7, 2018
11:52pm
5 minutes
Howl
Allen Ginsberg

We wait for each other to stop speaking
silence drifting between us in our car seats
Sometimes saying nothing is saying everything
How shame lives in my cheeks when I can’t
“say nothing”
“say nothing”

We spend three hours staring into each others’ eyes
separated by green tea and a key chain
and some blurry tears streaming without warning
We don’t call me what I am but later I feel it
The reckoning of too much information shared
Too much honesty not yet checked in the echo

We both say how lovely it is and how sad it was
and how soon we will do this again
nobody is crying now
The summer night too hot for tears to puddle

“If you have troubles” by Sasha in the bath


Thursday August 17, 2017
11:06pm
5 minutes
from an e-flyer

It’s been a long time since I brought my notebook into the bathtub
It’s been a long time since I cried til my eyes bled
It’s been a long time since you told me you loved me
It’s been a long time

It’s been a long time since I took myself out for ice cream
It’s been a long time since I talked to my Mom
It’s been a long time since I laughed til I was red
It’s been a long long time

It’s been a long time since I knew I was certain
It’s been a long time since I sweat through my shirt
It’s been a long time since I saw a bald eagle
It’s been a long long long time

“silent as the folds of the yellow” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Tuesday April 18, 2017
5:40pm
5 minutes
Up
Magaret Atwood


He held me last night while I wept
nimbus and grey “Transitions are hard for you
honey” He said and I denied it and I swept it
under the wool couch pillow that used to belong
to a stranger’s grandmother A stranger mother
haunting the beige and the brown

I looked myself in the eye like I would a
daughter this morning Right there into the
middle into the black
“You can do this, my love,” I said and I
felt the hot water rise again boil again
It had been quite some time since I spoke
to myself with such tenderness

“Before Tampa ” By Julia in her bed


Friday February 10, 2017
12:34am
5 minutes
The Edge of the World Connie May Fowler

Before Tampa and after Tampa
that’s how they categorize it now
there’s a bucket for before and one for after
a line drawn in the proverbial sand
a hope and a hazzard

Kins and Mickey layed on the couch with each other’s feet in their laps
Kins squeezed behind one of Mickey’s ankles and Mickey fought off the tears for the third time that afternoon

“An often overlooked side effect” by Julia on her couch


Wednesday January 25, 2017
12:04am
5 minutes
from a tweet

I guess you’d dismiss the tears if you saw them
mistaken them for fears of feelings of the sort that don’t garner recognition
Aren’t they our body’s most tuned in sensor?
I want to know what they say about crying in places that aren’t here
I want to know which animals cry and what that means
I want to know why I cry when I cry differently than acceptable or out of
Nothing in particular
What am I doing with so many feelings released from the gum ball machine that is my control panel
My heart
My soul
My something
Something that gets flooded
Something that can be broken
Something that exists more than just to fill buckets

“the world is ending” by Sasha at JJ Bean


Wednesday November 9, 2016 at JJ Bean on Cambie
2:06pm
5 minutes
From a tweet


I have cried all the cries
and all the fears
endless rivers of grief
a chasm in my chest the size of an orange man

I have raged on my bed
and my body
and my love
I have lost hope

A violent collision of
faith and doubt
I’ll go listen to music tonight
eat a muffin
write my daily write

A sadness has descended
that I haven’t known

The privilege of self reflection
of whiteness
of able body
cis-gender

The privilege of a bed to rage
a body to move
a love to hold and weep and hold
six dollars for an americano and
a peach oatmeal muffin

On my walk here
I searched the eyes of people I passed
in a way that I don’t usually
with a tenderness I have been conditioned
to withhold
I searched the eyes of a pregnant woman
wearing purple
and grey
I smile

“And she put her arms around me,” by Julia on her couch


Tuesday, July 7, 2015
12:12am
5 minutes
A Complicated Kindness
Miriam Toews


My mother hates to see me cry. She doesn’t hate to offer me money, or sneak a 50 in my coat pocket when she thinks I’m not looking, even though she knows those exact things will make me cry, but when I start with the tears, it breaks her abundant heart. She doesn’t want to make me feel bad. She just wants to love me. But I feel bad because I’m self-hating and dramatic, and I cause trouble where there doesn’t need to be. She wishes I could see me how she sees me and that only means so much since I’m her baby and she’d look at me and see Mother Theresa even if I burned an entire nursery school with the children still in it to the ground. I know this because when I told her I had deep, steadfast, secret thoughts about poisoning Auntie Ellis because she scolded me in public one time, she put her arms around me and she squeezed me with so much love that I started to cry. Then she wiped my face with her kisses and said, “I would want to do the same thing if I were you.”

“10% off” By Sasha at Le Marche St. George


Monday, June 29, 2015 at Le Marche St. George
10:14am
5 minutes
From http://www.hollyhock.ca

You hide your face in your dirty hands. I want to lick your tears like a puppy, but I don’t, only because we’re in public, not because I wouldn’t do something like that. I would. I do. Sometimes when my Traditional Chinese Medicine Doctor asks to see my tongue I worry about the stains of coffee or a banana. I suck back the spit and I hope he doesn’t lean in too close to analyze. I stick it out and he looks, but from his roll-y chair a bit of a ways away. “You’re stressed,” he says, like a Knighting. “Who isn’t?” I think. “Not really…” I say, doing the stress comparison. I was more stressed last time I was there. I am less stressed now, for sure. I spend many more hours lying on the beach now. Less hours sitting (“is the new smoking”) at my table or in a coffee shop, maybe eating a few too many paleo, almond butter cookies.

You hide your face in your dirty hands. We spent the morning building sand castles.

“A rare chance” by Julia on her bed


Tuesday May 5, 2015
12:35am
5 minutes
A Friends of Chamber Music brochure

Am I dying and I don’t know it because I’m crying and I don’t know it? I mean I know it. That’s something I know. But what I don’t, is, is it a threat to my living self if my body is crying but my mental awareness of that physical reaction to something happening in my life… is non-existent? Or delayed, I mean. For one whole hour? Is that too long to go without realizing that tears are pouring out of my face? I mean I know that’s too long, so maybe something big is happening. Maybe I’m releasing all the bad in my body, in my spirit, and then just that kind of peace after the bad is all gone feels like dying. Because maybe that kind of dying is the right kind.

“clearly in the context of the show” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Monday November 3, 2014
11:26pm
5 minutes
from an e-mail

He’s there. He’s there. I run up the stairs of the porch and I remember that my Mom has writing group tonight, she’s across the city in High Park. Shit shit shit shit shit. I get my key into the lock and I slam the door and he’s there, on the porch. Heart pounding, tears real, breath high. I call the police. “Um, hi, I just, I just was followed and the man came onto the porch and I’m not sure what to do because I’m home alone and…” This man is going to kill me. I know you’re there. I see you. Two officers come, ring the doorbell. I creep towards the door, wiping tears. “You called?” They circle the house with flashlight and report back that they didn’t find anyone. No one’s there. I say “thank you”. No one’s there.

“Pumpkins are awesome,” by Sasha on her couch


Friday October 31, 2014
6:52pm
5 minutes
from an e-mail

I was dancing. I was doing my own thing. My friends were somewhere else and I was owning the dance floor. Solo. A guy came up behind me and pulled my hips to his groin. I turned around and said, “No thank you!” and danced away. A guy came up behind me and pulled my hips to his groin. I turned around and said, “Please fuck off!” A different face. Same hands. Same aggression. I left the dance floor and on the way to the bathroom I felt a sob choke in my throat. I wasn’t entirely sure why but I knew it had something to do with me feeling like I couldn’t just dance, alone, without being grabbed. Outside the bathroom door and guy said to me, “You’re fucking hot. How many drinks would I need to buy you to suck my dick?” I burst into tears. Right there. Big ones, not little, sweet, cute ones. He made a few grunts and walked away. I went into a bathroom stall, sat on the floor, and kept crying. A woman in the stall beside me, “Are you okay? You’re probably just too drunk, babe!” I wasn’t. I wasn’t drunk at all.

“Open your eyes” by Julia in her backyard


Tuesday, June 18, 2013
5:19pm
5 minutes
from the monsters.ca ad on the streetrcar

open your eyes, let the pain out, got to surprise, the tears they won’t come out by themselves.
they’re stubborn there. they’re so so stubborn there.
got to coax them from the source, they won’t make an appearance until it’s do or die or die and do the same things anyway.
open your eyes.
let the hurt out.
there’s the magic feeling of letting it all go.
and you don’t want to do it here.
you don’t want anyone on the porch next door to hear you. you have to keep it low.
open.
open.
and when you get to the big bad parts. you’ll know the rest of what you do is for a reason.
are you alone, in your mind? Did you forget the rules.
i’m waiting to know. i’m waiting to help.
don’t let the situation dictate how you act. You are a behaving human being. you don’t need somebody to tell you where you went wrong. or where you went away.
open your eyes, and see the thing that has been missing.
do you know what I mean?
Do you see it?
Do you know it’s real?
This gingerbread house won’t make itself but we’re still hoping to taste the roof off of one of them anytime soon.
let the tears go.
let the tears out.
open your eyes.

“scarcity into prosperity” by Sasha on her couch


Sunday, May 20, 2013
11:24pm
5 minutes
From the cover of a book on the table

It was cold in the hospital, artificial air-conditioning air, and bright, too bright, the kind of bright light that illuminates every too-open pore and every yet-to-be tweezed hair. She imagines what it would be like if all the fixtures were on their own dimming switches. Perhaps not practical, but she never claimed to be. “Polly?” She rolled over. She opened her eyes. She hadn’t expected Tom to come. They’d only e-mail to arrange drop-off and pick-up of their shared custody Yorkie, West. They each had keys to the others apartment and they’d make a point of not being home for that, there was no need for them to cross paths. He hadn’t sent a note when he’d heard, he hadn’t even added a “P.S.” He hadn’t dialed her number, which she was sure he still knew by heart, and said… even, nothing. He hadn’t called her and said nothing at all but her name. Tom had shaved his head and she thought it made him look intimidating and severe. She’d liked him better with more hair. “I’m sorry I didn’t… I just couldn’t… I didn’t know what to…” He was crying, or, rather, tears were falling out of his eyes. His face didn’t contort the way hers did when she wept. She used the strength from the Codine and raised her fingers up. He walked closer and touched them, with his own fingertips. It was the intimacy of a brother and sister. Funny that they’d been married once, that they’d lain naked together so many nights, that they had thought they’d be buried side-by-side in Mount Pleasant Cemetery one day.

“Peace at Christmas” by Julia at her parents’ kitchen table


Monday, December 24, 2012
12:30am
5 minutes
a line from a Christmas Card

Came in from the cold, crying and damp. Said to all of us, Merry Christmas, this is it. Told each and everyone of us we were loved. Waited till the drops fell from her coat and formed a perfect puddle in the shape of sadness on the linoleum. She was talking to all of us and none of us. She was making the rounds with a glass of mulled wine in her hand and a handkerchief in her other. Told us it was just hard, that’s all. Told us not to worry because it would pass, nothing to be concerned about. We hugged her, all of us, each one tighter than the next. We spoke softly to her like we would to a child. We smiled in a way that meant we cared but that we also hated to see her that way. She was shivering now, not from the frost, but from the memories. Started talking like him and asking us questions with his accent. It was sweet, we were touched, but then one by one we all got there. We all became sad. We bundled around one another with tight arms and we sang. Silent night. Holy night. All is calm. It was her favourite one. His too. Wished us all a Happy Easter. We laughed. We knew what she meant and so did she. She laughed the loudest, the puddle of sadness slowly drying up with the heat of our collective love around her. Happy Easter! She said again.

“The scent of perfume” by Sasha at R Squared


Monday, December 3, 2012 at R Squared Espresso Bar
9:50am
5 minutes
The contained scent of perfume

Even she’s unsure why she’s crying but she is so… that’s the hard part. It’s funny. No, it’s not funny, it hurts and is weird when you meet a crying stranger because our own connected humanity is… right there. I want to reach out and touch her tears with my pointer finger, to get to know her first like this, without words. I don’t, of course. I’m far too restrained and proud and… what… I don’t know, mostly. To touch a woman’s tear. I look, though, at her, unabashed staring. She sees me see her fragile breaking, like a promise or a taut string. So public in her desired privacy. She looks at me and I don’t know why but I move towards her quickly and I embrace her. She smells of cheap perfume.