“it is like a stage fight” by Julia on Amanda’s couch

Sunday May 5, 2019
9:09pm
5 minutes
The Book
Alan Watts

I do not like this. Stage fighting shouldn’t scare me to the point of distraction, nor remove me for being too fake. Who is in charge of the execution? Is it lack of fear, is it abundance of trust?
That’s what I don’t like about it. The absence of trust in front of all of us like it wasn’t wholly necessary. Good lighting sneaks up on you as the container for the room and if it’s good you won’t notice and if you don’t notice, then you’re in the moment, on the ride, following the thread, chasing the sequence because it becomes your only desire. Good stage fighting is the same. It is part of the story, it aids, it allows. If you do not trust and you show me this I will lose my light. I will watch as the part of me that wanted to join you, withers, pulling me out. It’s not my job to keep the thing together, only to follow it, to go with you, to be where you are. And where are you? What is the thing holding you away from this bravery? Why are you on stage in front of me if you left it at home this time? I want so many things but I want this now because I know the feeling. I know it so deep. I want to be where you are.

“Why though” by Sasha on the walk to Granville Island

Saturday May 26, 2018
11:43am
5 minutes
From a text

Marina asks a million questions and it isn’t even seven. I don’t want to sound ungrateful, I mean we wanted her so bad, right, like we tried for three years and I was beside myself, I was so sad… We wanted her so bad. But the questions, man, I can’t fucking take it! I don’t know why the sky is blue?! I don’t know why grass grows up?! I don’t know how tree root systems work! Good grief, I barely know how to solve a fraction! She’s only three! What am I going to do when she’s seven… or nine… or fifteen!? Like, I’m freakin’ out! Why why why why why why – like, I’m losing my mind, I tell ya!

“the hands upraised” by Sasha at her desk


Friday November 25, 2016
11:54am
5 minutes
The back of a Buddha greeting card

I couldn’t sleep again last night. I don’t usually have this problem, toes touching the warmth of your calf, stretching into a dream. I woke you from almost-sleep, “I have the scares,” I said. We stole the line from our eight year old friend because kids are the most articulate in my books. Before I woke you from almost-sleep, before we brushed teeth and put socks and underwear into the laundry hamper, I had been edgy and grating and needy with you, asking “Why?” over and over, even when it wasn’t called for. Mostly when it wasn’t called for. Before the sixty three “Why’s” we had seen a play about a brothel in which a woman is sold into sexual slavery. Our friends were in it. On the way there, I sang along to the radio in the car as the rain slapped the windshield. We held hands. The play was really good, really painful, really vital – which is more than I can say most of the time. Maybe all the “Why’s” I threw at you were easier than the “Why’s” I really have, the thundercloud ones and the screaming ones and the throat closing sob ones. I’m sorry. You don’t have answers because there are no answers, you can’t give me the answers I need, you shouldn’t ever have to. Hands upraised, reaching for something, reaching for meaning, reaching for why, reaching for God.

“Destroy the evidence” by Julia on her couch


Saturday, July 26, 2014
3:20pm
5 minutes
Cards Against Humanity


Paper trail, burn it up, up in smoke, burn it up

-How’s your book coming?
-My what? I’m not writing a book.
-But I saw your receipts. The ones from the coffee shops.
-Well since when do lattes mean I’m writing a book?
-I know you don’t actually drink the coffee.
-Yes I do!
-No you just like the way it looks beside your laptop. That and I know you don’t write anywhere else.
-That’s not true. I write. I write at parks sometimes.
-Why are you hiding it, you never keep these things a secret.
-Oh my god, fine, it’s about you. Okay? Happy?
-You’re lying.
-What do you want, exactly?
-I just want to know what you’re working on. It seems very sneaky all of a sudden and it makes me anxious. It makes me anxious thinking about what it is you could be doing.
-I told you, it’s about you.

“The healthiest things” by Julia at Gertrude Park


Friday July 25, 2014
11:09am
5 minutes
Food Rules
Michael Pollan


Darlin’ I’m slippin’. I’ve been feelin’ off these days, you know? Can’t help myself from makin’ tiny trips to the garage. I hid all kinds of bottles in there, cause you know your mother, she was always all over me for bein’ thirsty. One, you know, I don’t know how I did it, but I found it way up on the top shelf there right by the trophies. Almost fell right off, I had to climb so high. And I brought that one down, and it took me a minute, but by the time I got my footin’ I noticed it was actually empty. Why I was keepin’ an empty bottle so out of reach is beyond me, but that’s the problem. If I don’t even remember why I was hidin’ certain things, then maybe I also have more than I thought. More bottles on top shelves. More uncovered memories I at some point in my life tried very hard to bury. But guess what the truth is. I haven’t once had a sip yet. I’ve been starin’ at those bottles but that doesn’t mean I’ve been hittin’ them. Doesn’t mean I don’t want to though..

“I’ve breathed the mountain air” by Julia on her couch


Tuesday, July 22, 2014
10:49pm
5 minutes
I’ve Been Everywhere
Hank Snow



I’ve been so angry. I have been, it’s been a mercury is rising sort of thing, and I swear, that if the real me doesn’t happen, I’ll be your worst nightmare. I’ve been that way. Blinded sight, twisted light, couldn’t write that way. Where the only thing that calms me is the fight, that way. I couldn’t control it, I wouldn’t, shouldn’t, didn’t but I sold it. And it’s too late to try and get on its level just to scold it. It’s out of me and gone, the anger, the angry, the anger, the angry, the anger in me. That one we’ve seen. That thing I’ve been.

“The Psych Ward” by Julia at the Winnipeg Fringe Tent


Sunday, July 20, 2014
5:08pm
5 minutes
from a Winnipeg Fringe Festival Program


I didn’t say no. I didn’t say yes. But the whole time I knew. The answer was clear.
Where did you go? Why did you leave? You’re here now. I see you. I’m happy you’re back.
I didn’t say hello. I didn’t say goodbye. But the whole time I knew. The answer was clear.
What can I do? What can I say? I’m here now. I see you. I’m with you once again.
I didn’t say I’m sorry. I didn’t say I wasn’t. But the whole time I knew. The answer was clear.
Which way is up? Which way is down? You’re here now. You see me. We’re together for a while.
I didn’t say baby. I didn’t say friend. But the whole time I knew. The answer was clear.
When can you take me? Where can we hide? We’re here now. We see it. We’re a we like we were.
I didn’t say stay. I didn’t say go. But the whole time I knew. The answer was clear.
Where did you go? Why did you leave? You’re here now. I see you. I’m happy. You’re back.
I didn’t say please. I didn’t say thank you. But the whole time I knew. The answer was clear.
We’re not through, yet, are we? We’re not just July? I’m here now. You see me. With you once again.

“YOU A LIAR” by Julia on her couch


Friday, July 18, 2014
11:32pm
5 minutes
overheard on queen st west


OH I HAVE HAD SO MUCH A YOU THAT IT IS ENOUGH NOW. ENOUGH, NOW, ADRIAN. WHY YOU GOTTA BE SO LIKE THIS ALL THE TIME, HUH? NOBODY EVER EVEN TAUGHT YOU HOW TO ACT, HUH, ADRIAN? ENOUGH BECAUSE IT HURTS MY HEART AND ENOUGH BECAUSE IT HURTS MY EVERYTHING ELSE EVEN MORE, ADRIAN. YOU HAVE BEEN A BAD PERSON. BAD LIKE THE WORST WEATHER. BAD LIKE THE RAIN, ADRIAN. YOU A LIAR. YOU A LIAR AND NOW I KNOW IT AND NOW EVERYBODY KNOWS IT. WHY COULDN’T YOU BE GOOD? WHY DID YOU MAKE ME BELIEVE YOU WERE GOOD WHEN YOU NEVER COULD BE GOOD. NOT EVER. YOU LIED. YOU A LIAR. YOU A LIAR TO ME. WHEN I FIRST SAW YOU I THOUGHT YOU WERE MY ONLY. AND NOW. AND NOW I AM FIGHTING TO BE ALIVE WITHOUT THE YOU I THOUGHT YOU WERE GOING TO BE. SO NOW I AM DONE. I AM SORRY BUT I AM NO MORE OF WHAT YOU THOUGHT I WAS. I WAS DIFFERENT BEFORE BUT NOW I AM DIFFERENT FROM THAT TOO, ADRIAN. YOU SHOULD HAVE GIVEN ME THE LOVE THAT I WAS SUPPOSED TO HAVE. YOU SHOULD NOT A LIED TO ME. REMEMBER WHEN I PROMISED YOU I WOULD BE YOURS? YOU DON’T EVEN REMEMBER THAT, DO YOU ADRIAN? I PROMISED AND I AM NOT A LIAR, YOU A LIAR. YOU THE ONE THAT MAKES ME WISH I DIDN’T EVEN KNOW YOU IN THE FIRST PLACE. IT IS ENOUGH NOW, ADRIAN. I WANT YOU TO BE SORRY. I WANT A SORRY FROM YOUR LIPS. CAN YOU PLEASE TRY TO BE SORRY? CAN YOU PLEASE TRY TO SEE MY HURT NOW THAT YOU GAVE UP ON ME AND YOU TOGETHER?

“Feed your creative juices” by Julia on her couch


Monday, July 14, 2014
11:43pm
5 minutes
from a pencil case


First things first-hi, how are you, don’t answer that, are you well, don’t answer that. Second things second-did you return that dvd to that damn store that is always trying to take our life savings, don’t answer that. Seconds things should maybe be first things. Whatever. Hi. How are you? Respect, respect. Did you-okay, sorry. I’m a nag. I was born that way. I have a lot of questions, mostly about things I suspect you’ve failed to do so asking really doesn’t change anything, but god, yes, I want it to. I was born that way! It’s in my blood, my ingrown hairs– Well, if I had ingrown hairs. I know what you’re going to say, blah blah, nobody will want to marry me if I have scars all on my arms, but I don’t have ingrown hairs because those things, those itty bitty life problems are now solved because I wouldn’t settle for leaving them where they belong. I am acutely aware that I have nagged my ingrown hairs so much so that–hi. Hi! I’m sorry. First things first! Rewind! Hi. I’ve missed you. Did you clean the litter box? OH MY GOD. WHO AM I. Don’t answer that.

“they are content with burning my books” by Julia on her couch


Sunday, July 13, 2014
4:42pm
5 minutes
Freud, 1938, Vienna
Lou Lipsitz



So I come home (hard day), the radio’s blasting (of course it is), and Jeremiah is sitting cross-legged on the cold linoleum (of course he is) surrounded by a perfectly stacked circle of all my books. I stand there in the doorway (leaning) just looking at him (confused), while he hums the alphabet song (leaving out J and S, I can only assume), and touches each book as if for the very first time. He’s deciding (magically) which ones he’ll discard (burn) at the final moment (3:33pm), while I question every single reason (mole, laugh, orgasm) why I’m still with him.