“seemed to love us anyway” by Julia on her couch

Friday, March 16, 2018
11:53pm
5 minutes
Beauty: 1976
Ruth L. Shwartz

We stole little things from her vanity-a ring, a sample bottle of eau de toilette, a hair pin. It didn’t look like she would notice them gone. There were so many more important things to notice. After she told us about the robbery and how they found Granite’s debit card being used in six different diners in two days, we felt bad. Here she was telling us about how people keep stealing from them, and we were there, stealing from them. It was so easy to convince ourselves she wouldn’t notice on account of how many stories we’ve been forced to listen to for the 60th time. People who tell the exact same story to the exact same people year after year are not the look around and see what’s new about the room kind of people. People who are so damn sad do not have time to count their broaches, or their Jean jackets.

“Jobs for college students” by Julia on M’s front porch

Sunday March 11, 2018

7:08pm

5 minutes

Seediness

James got me a job working the phones at the writing centre after he heard me give an improvised tour of it even though I had only just walked into the place five minutes prior. He liked my spunk and I liked that he needed someone to replace him while he worked out or read a book to his kid over lunch hours on Mondays Wednesday and sometimes Fridays. His wife let him see her during the days because she didn’t want her getting used to seeing him only before bed. She was convinced that’s how you give a child nightmares. I presume she meant when he couldn’t make it at nighttime, as understandably, he sometimes would not. I used to steal pens and post its and I never felt bad about it. I guess I thought James wouldn’t care because I assumed he did the same thing. I felt like a rockstar scheduling students in for their one on one essay appointments. I wasn’t there enough to be invested, but I wanted James to feel validated by his instinct of me.

“I abandoned their plan” by Julia in her old room


Saturday July 22, 2017
6:32pm
5 minutes
The Chang Girls
Lan Samantha Chang


K and D start laughing uncontrollably. They don’t even try to hush their loud the way young girls seem to know better than adult ones. I keep my face focussed on the blue-lined paper, the margins, the blank space. I steal a glance at them from the corner of my eye and remind myself we aren’t friends anymore and I don’t need to care. They can be talking or laughing about whatever they want and I don’t have to buckle into myself. D snorts her signature sign of enjoyment and K wipes the tears pooling under her cheap mascara. I ignore them. I don’t need them. Suddenly K comes over to me and snatches my notebook right from under my pretending. I scramble for it. I miss.
K throws my book to D and D snorts again. K blows me a kiss.

“She said my mistakes made her feel confused” by Julia on her couch


Sunday February 14, 2016
6:24pm
5 minutes
Dear Mr. You
Mary-Louise Parker


I braid my hair long down my back and I glance down to see which flower I want to put in. I let the blooms speak without forcing them to make themselves available to me. I feel the sun peaking out of the clouds just to watch what I do, see what I choose, why. Little purple one, I think. I don’t want to make the wrong decision. Marissa doesn’t like it when I choose wrong. She yells, stomps her feet, says I didn’t teach her anything and her whole life is a joke. I hate to think of angering Marissa or showing her that I haven’t been paying attention. I’m trying. I really am. I feel like she has her minions looking out on all corners of this place to see that I’m doing what I am supposed to. She’s blackmailed the trees, she’s sleeping with the whole sky it seems. Nobody crosses her. Everybody fears her. I listen to my belly, rumbling on luck near empty. Little purple one, woven into the base of my braid. I do not question myself in this moment. I hear wind chimes in the distance congratulating my bravery. Last time Marissa saw me right after a big decision, she scanned my whole body up and down looking for where exactly she might have failed me.

“I worry for a moment that he’s coming back” by Julia on the 4


Saturday February 13, 2016
6:10pm
5 minutes
The Valley
Joan Macleod


I have this spine tingling hair whispering feeling that I won’t be alone here for long. The way I know when my body needs to throw up: the cues, the signals, the deep understanding of when things are in order and when they are even slightly off. I read the room, literally, spiritually and I know that if I want it I have to move fast. I can do it safely if I do it now. I can avoid being caught in the act, avoid improvising a reason, response, defense, if I just focus and mind over matter everything. I scan my surroundings, two doors, one camera, three potential stations for pick up, four paths to and from said locations to confuse and distract. I choose route two and I walk with a clip to station one. I pick up necessary tools in completing future steps with most ease and comfort. I scoop my hands into the deep bag, careful to only pull out enough to fit in both of my hands when cupped.

“Has it really been almost 100 years” By Julia at Gene


Friday December 11, 2015 at Gene Coffee
1:51pm
5 minutes
from a Facebook post

Hard to believe she hasn’t come back to get her coat yet, it’s the dead of winter! After all these years of doing coat-check, it STILL surprises me that some people don’t think to call the last venue they went to to even inquire about a missing jacket in x size, x style, x cetera. Some people don’t remember how they got home the night before so to them they think their coat could be literally anywhere. But the ones who know for sure they left it at an establishment and DON’T CALL must be very embarrassed about something because they sure as hell don’t want to show their face the day after a holiday party or a bachelorette. I have held one beige coat, size small, trench style belt, for almost 100 years now and still nobody has claimed it. So I have decided that if it’s still hanging in my coat check come the new year, I’m going to take it home. I’ve been eyeing it. And there are cameras in the coat check room so once I even turned off all the lights and tried it ON. Now I know it fits. It would be useful to me. Not just theft to thieve! But! There’s a chance that someone might still come back for it and how awful would it be to have just taken someone’s jacket right before it was about to be reunited with its owner.

“You were the scene of the crime” by Julia in Brooklyn


Saturday, July 25, 2015
1:51am
5 minutes
Trailer Park
Jenn Grant


I’m starting to wonder what world this is. I thought I knew but the colours keep changing and I’m no longer sure of where I am. It’s hard to keep tabs on your existence when Consistency laughs in your face while she sunbathes on her vacation at Coney Island. Nothing really matters. You hear her hum this, chuckle this to the sand, and to the mango flowers ready for purchase on the boardwalk. She sees the truth. It’s not easy and you should know it. So I’m starting to wonder what world this is. Is this the one where blood can be shed for no reason at all? Where my things are your things solely on account of you wanting them to be?

“I see four stages” by Julia on the bench outside Baldwin Laundry


Friday, July 10, 2015
4:08pm
5 minutes
On Writing Zion
Maureen Stanton


Day One:
listening at the door to see if Alistair is still crying into his pillow
making sure he knows he can talk to me if he needs to
hoping that if he needs to he doesn’t bring up Deb
knowing that if he’s going to, he’s going to bring up Deb
preparing to talk about Deb
hand-washing the kimono Rufus stole for me at the charity drive
listening to Marco Beltrami to help focus my intentions

Day Two:
Consoling Alistair again about Deb
Using kind words with him like Easy Does It, There There Sweet One, I’m Not Going Anywhere
Wearing the kimono in front of the mirror to test it out
Deciding to wear the kimono loosely tied when dealing with Alistair
Figuring out ways to move my body naturally so as not to arouse suspicion when dealing with Alistair
practicing the look of genuine understanding and concern mixed with attraction

“Attackers might be trying to steal” by Julia on her patio


Thursday, July 2, 2015
4:40 pm
5 minutes
from a notice from Google

They rock you from outside your cage
They spit
They leer
They laugh
They drink your blood in a furious rage
They hit
They jeer
They scoff

Run run run
Run run run
Run run run

Run

They steal your words from right off the page
They stab
They fight
They will
They tear your flesh on a live stage
They break
They take
They kill

Run run run
Run run run
Run run run

Run

“we pass the time very well” by Julia at Sambuca Grill


Saturday May 24, 2014 at Sambuca Grill
5:20pm
5 minutes
Sambuca Grill Drink List

we have a garden in the backyard that we’re just waiting to use. the guy who lives upstairs says DO NOT TOUCH and he says it with a sign and also with his lawn gnomes. we are not phased by lawn gnomes. he should have picked a scarier thing like a troll or a baby. we stare out into the yard every night and we plot our moves. we tell ourselves that when he goes away for the weekend we’ll take out our wheelbarrow and bring in some quality garden goods to our side of the house. we say to ourselves that we won’t need to take a lot, but enough of everything. he wants the red stuff and i want the green. we make sure that even in our minds we don’t take too much. can’t be greedy in fantasies because that’s being ill-prepared for realities. we pass the time very well when waiting for the upstairs guy to go away for the night or for the whole weekend. we make shadow puppets on the wall and tell each other stories in cooky voices. we drink flat ginger ale and ask each other questions about the rain forest and the prairies. we put an egg timer on the stove and try not to move until the timer goes off. we touch each other up and down our bodies using only our eyelashes.

“(that was such a cute plan)” by Julia on the 505 going west


Monday, September 9, 2013
6:16pm
5 minutes
We Think Alone
Week 11 from an email sent by Lena Dunham that includes a picture of herself


And then he chased me out of the shop with a broom, yelling something about “inappropriate” or “this is not how the world works, little girl”. I didn’t mean to steal them…I thought they were free and I left once before for what could have been permanently and he didn’t say one thing to me. So who ratted me out? Does it even matter? I never have to go there again. I shouldn’t even care but I’m finding it very difficult to let this one go. He’s just the type that likes rules. That needs rules. And because I’m at the “whatever whatever” stage in my life, the “stick it to the man and live hard and fast” stage, I didn’t think twice about what he might be feeling. And I liked him right away. I was expecting us to have a nice rapport. I didn’t consider him at all…