“my Swahili instructor” by Julia on her couch

Wednesday January 23, 2019
8:16pm
5 minutes
Archipelagoes
Rochelle Smith

You can learn a new language at any age. You can learn one in your 20s, in your 30s, up till the day you speak no more. It’s not one of those things on the list that become impossible after celebrating a certain birthday. It won’t be easy, but it won’t be impossible. Some things on the list that become impossible after a certain age are the following: doing the splits if you are not a gymnast, birthing a baby, moving a couch, and pulling all-nighters. I purposefully did not include exact ages because every body is different and there are exceptions to even vaguely set rules.
I know for a fact it is never too late to quit smoking, or cut out certain issue-causing foods, or take up growing pot in your backyard. There is no limit to how much you can surprise yourself in this life— no matter how many stories you make up and believe.

“First Sunday in May” by Julia at South Philly Bar and Grill


Sunday April 20, 2014 at
8:01pm
5 minutes
Blue Cross Broad Street Run sign

I envisioned arriving with orchids for her cause those are her favourite. I was hoping she’d forget I forgot to call her on her birthday, but more importantly that I “forgot” to tell her I was moving to Kelowna. I wanted to tell her, and I was planning to but then she got sick and I thought that if i told her she’d get sicker. This way she’d think I was just some snot-nose kid who didn’t have time for her, instead of believing that I was leaving even after I knew. I guess she knows now. I guess either way I lose and she thinks she raised some terrible version of the kid who was actually going places a few short years ago. She asked me one night how I thought I was going to get away with it, and I told her I was planning on being better at faking all the bullshit that she wouldn’t have approved of. So then when it was Mother’s day, I was going to surprise her with a visit and tell her I was sorry cause it was a pretty selfish thing to do. And it would be a real sad story if the sickness had gotten the best of her and there was no first Sunday in May for me to make amends. That would have been real sad. Instead she just moved from her house that I grew up in and “forgot” to tell me where she was going. That’s the problem with not having a telephone number. Things don’t always work out the way you envision.