“lured into my childhood home” by Julia at the studio

Tuesday October 9, 2018
1:34pm
5 minutes
The Stray
Stephen A. Waite

Matthew and Mark used to watch scary movies at their house. I used to lay with my head in Matthew’s lap and my legs in Mark’s. I felt like my older cousins were taking care of me. We weren’t allowed to watch scary movies at our house. And after seeing IT with them when I was six, I figured out why. I have always been the dreaming kind. Pisces born on land, a vivid seer of worlds beyond my own. I knew the answers were there. I knew the questions were there. I knew I was making connections and being guided. Of course when nightmares are a regular occurrence, it’s hard to think they serve a purpose other than torture, punishment, torment.
I used to pray before bed to avoid the bad. Pray to override the scary images swirling around in my tiny body. What did Matthew and Mark have? Who did they talk to about their bad dreams? Did they just learn not to remember them? Was it easier to stay quiet and keep watching scary movies? Was watching scary movies less scary than the reality they had to face?

For a while I used to associate their dad with Beetlejuice. One time he came to Mark’s room to tell us to shut up and go to sleep. In the shadows, his eyes looked sunken in. I dreamed about him that night instead.

“See the world” by Julia on her bed


Thursday August 18, 2016
12:01am
5 minutes
From a flyer

Ginny hasn’t left the country. Hasn’t left the city, really. Hasn’t left the space in her head that tells her it’s not safe to go outside. Ginny does’t know which pen pals have forgotten her. She doesn’t know which ones are hoping she’s alright. It’s not safe to go outside. Ginny spins the globe that uncle Andy brings her. Says the world is so big but if you hold it in your hand you feel small. Ginny lets him leave it in her room because every so often he comes by to spin it for himself. Pick a place, any place, he tells her. What kind of place should I pick? Ginny doesn’t go outside. It’s not safe to go outside. It doesn’t matter, he says. This is dreaming and dreaming doesn’t need reasons. But a place that I want to go? She asks. Sure, he says, any place that isn’t right here.

“Who taught us to embrace life” by Julia at Kits Beach


Monday May 30, 2016
5:08pm
5 minutes
from a bench memorial plaque

There was a gleam in his eye as he let my brother put a cold grape into his hand. He was looking at me with a challenging look like he was about to do a trick and wanted to make sure he had my attention. I started to shake my head, smiling, telling him I knew he was up to something and I didn’t like whatever it was. He put the grape into his mouth and chewed it around for a second. Then when I looked away, he spat it out onto my leg. I looked up at his smug face and it broke my heart. Maybe that’s what the last visit between us was supposed to be like. Jokes and silliness. Him trying to make me laugh. Even at his least self, he managed to let me remember him exactly as he was when we was his most.

“it’s not my favourite thing to do” by Julia at the IMA building at Ryerson


Tuesday December 10, 2013
6:52pm at Ryerson University
5 minutes
overheard at Capital Espresso

Margot tells me to “drink my water” because she doesn’t know what else to say. I tell her I feel “sick” and she just says, “drink your water”. It’s not enough, Margot, God. It’s like, do some research, assess my symptoms, and like, be a better person. I don’t think I’m asking for much. But she’s just too lazy to figure out the real reasons we EXIST most of the time that I can’t take her seriously. I tell her almost every day that I have a headache and Margot says “are you drinking enough–” and before she can say “water” which I know she’s going to say, I tell her “NOT TODAY MARGOT. I’M NOT ONE OF YOUR GUINEA PIGS.” She doesn’t usually know what to do when I say things like that, but that’s even better. She once told me I was causing her to have mini heart attacks with my outbursts and I said “what do you think I am, a typewriter?” I got that from an old joke that my uncle used to tell me before he died on the airplane. Margot doesn’t get it, which is the point, because you’re not supposed to, but then she tries to discipline me for being too “rambunctious”.

“might lead you to believe” by Sasha at her desk


Friday October 25, 2013
6:15pm
5 minutes
The GRID TO, this weeks edition

I called you from a pay-phone in Paris, somewhere near the Arc de Triomphe. I expected to hear your voice and feel better. “What’s up?” I said, a backwards siren ringing in my ears. “It’s been a rough few days,” you say and I can hear it, anchoring your voice. “Nathan died,” you say and I remember the stories of your mother’s youngest brother,a heroine addict, living alone, drawing with pen all over his walls. “Oh my God,” I said, or something like that. “He committed suicide, he hung himself. Nana found him.” It had been raining all afternoon and my shoes were soaked through. I’d hoped that you might tell me that you needed me to come home, that you needed me there with you. You’re quiet. “I am so so sorry, Sam,” I say, over and over. “Just enjoy yourself, okay?” you sound stronger, “Do lots of awesome things and then get your ass back here so I can kiss you.”

“photo or canvas prints” by Julia on her couch


Thursday, September 12, 2013
1:33am
5 minutes
from a photography brochure

I think because I bought them for him for his birthday, Al thought he needed to use all the canvases up in one week just to show me that he was appreciative of the gift. Truth is, I didn’t know what else to get him. Everyone else, it seemed, was giving in to all his childhood desires and making sure he was spoiled rotten. Video games, and movies, a couple baseball hats. I didn’t even buy one thing for the kid, just showed up to Amy’s house on Saturday afternoon, early enough that there were still pork sliders left, and watched what he was getting. Then I slipped out of the party kind of sneakily I suppose, and I went back home to my garage. I was thinking about giving him some of my old ones, but when I saw how discoloured they were, I thought, no, I can’t give those to my nephew for his birthday, it wouldn’t be right. So I took myself to the art supply shop and bought him some brand spanking new canvases, two brushes, and a variety paint set. Hell, I didn’t even know if the kid was artistic or not, but I sure as hell didn’t want to be like everyone else keeping him inside and cooped up just so he wouldn’t bother any body. Turns out he likes to paint.