“The biggest personality among this trio” by Julia at her desk

Wednesday November 7, 2018
9:09pm
5 minutes
High Living
Jacqueline Ranit

I have to write about something positive. It’s been a long time and maybe some of you are noticing. Or not. Maybe none of you are noticing because none of you are reading these. You used to but maybe life got in the way which is to say got in the way of me. For you all it means is that you have one. A life. And that’s wonderful for you. I think everyone deserves that. I wonder if you’re out with your new family now that you’re not reading these. I wonder if you’ve ever thought to check in and see how I am doing. I might have been very honest in these and could have been giving you the real keys to my under belly but you might be busy is all. You might have other things to do, going to fancy picnics, ordering pizza on a Wednesday. Well in case you’re reading this, things are going really really good for me. They couldn’t be better.

“she continued to cook into the early evening” by Julia at her desk

Wednesday October 31, 2018
5:33pm
5 minutes
A quote from Pasquale Cusano

there’s a book i’m reading
about a woman’s love affair with food and cooking
you gave it to me
it has all the lines you like underlined
you used pencil mostly
but sometimes pen
I think that’s bold of you
it makes me read it through your eyes
it makes me think of you read and what you think about things
material things-as in you don’t seem to care much one way or the other
I wonder if you take notes during phone conversations
or pause the movie a bunch of times to record your favorite lines
I wonder how long it takes you to get ready in the morning
if you’re the kind who owns a steamer because you need a steamer or if
you’re the kind who wears wrinkly shirts because you don’t have a steamer

“Ordinary men and women” by Julia at her desk

Tuesday, May 29, 2018
10:00pm
5 minutes
Northern Ireland: The Case Of Bloody Sunday
Carole-Anne Upton

We sit at the cottage and eat breakfast built for two. You and me. One ordinary woman and one ordinary man. We tap forks the way we taught ourselves to love. Out loud. Ceremony. A reminder of all the good between us. You have managed to make perfect eggs and I have done the kale this time good enough to write about here. You can see the mountains from where you sit and in the reflection of the print above your head, I can see them too. They look nice.
The day is a heart beat away from making us wish we wanted to stay here. You are busy thinking of how to live somewhere else. I am wondering a lot at the thought of you going. What kind of letters will you send me? Ones filled with sorry, or sweet, or cash. I hope the latter. I don’t think my jobs pay enough for me to live in this apartment without you. Who will I eat my ordinary breakfast with? With who will I sit on my ordinary couch? Do phone calls and text messages keep the love alive? We will find out. One ordinary woman and one ordinary man.

“it really is used” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Monday September 5, 2016
11:32am
5 minutes
from a schedule

Sometimes I think about you. I wonder strange things. Are you drinking enough water? Do you have any tattoos? I don’t wormhole down a Google search or a Facebook stalk. I languish in the space between questions about how you might have changed, the shape of your lips, the smell of the back of your neck. It is there were I find stillness, in the wondering. It is there I find comfort, and trust, and faith in the goodness of us. Are you drinking enough water?

“an unexpected family thing” by Julia on her bed


Monday, July 25, 2016
8:13am
5 minutes
From a text

Annie calls me from the other room to see if I’m awake. I am. But I ignore the ring. Letting it finish its tune before I toss in bed some more to make it seem like I’m still asleep. Annie hasn’t been sleeping well on the couch, even though she says she has been. She makes sad squealing noises throughout the night but doesn’t remember doing it. I know she isn’t well but I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do. I told Jeremiah about it and he told me he needed at least eight hours sleep to get through his day and if he could sleep on the couch, he would. I told Jeremiah I would sleep on the couch if he would let my sister sleep on my side with him in the bed. He looked at me like I had just swallowed too many blue pills. He shook his head slowly from side to side and said, I don’t know, Lisa, I don’t know.
For the first time I wonder if Jeremiah is attracted to Annie. Or if he is trying to assert his power.

“We’ve never found the evidence” by Julia at her dining table


Sunday May 29, 2016
2:10pm
5 minutes
Thunder Head
Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child


According to Elliot, Sharon was supposed to be coming home from work at exactly 5:06pm. We had, according to Elliot, up until 5:00pm to do what we needed to do, and get out before anyone noticed a thing. I told Elliot I wasn’t sure I wanted to go through her things. I didn’t know if I might find some troubling things that I would only realize too late in the game that I wasn’t equipped to deal with what I learned. Elliot told me not to be afraid of the unknown. He said that’s what was making me so paranoid in the first place, and either I suck it up, go in there and be an adult about this, or I could go home and live the rest of my life wondering if I was being lied to. He had a point.
“You sure your sister won’t be home before 5:00?” I asked one last time, secretly hoping he’d say no.
“Marcus, my brother. please,” Elliot started, “Why would I lead you astray? You really don’t trust anybody do you?”
As I was about to check myself for being so caught up in the what ifs, we heard a car pull into the drive way.

“a signal he was about to shut down.” by Julia on the 9


Thursday May 12, 2016
10:48pm
5 minutes
Bolt
Russell Wangersky


I remember asking him if he wanted to sleep over–it might have been the third or fourth time. We had just gotten home from a nice dinner, I had just peed myself in the laundry room and was cleaning it up with dryer lint while he waited for me upstairs in my room, you know, just a casual Friday night, and I thought he was going to say yes this time. I was cautious, I made sure the moment was right, made sure I was feeling his vibe, and then boom: another no. I assumed naturally, as one does, that it was either because he could smell remnants of secret urine off my legs (though I had washed them well enough in the bathroom sink before returning to my room), or that he was about to break up with me.

“he couldn’t explain or understand.” by Julia at her dining table


Thursday February 4, 2016
8:07pm
5 minutes
4000 Days
Warren Fellows


It was like yesterday, I remember it like yesterday.
Sunny was in the yard playing with her mason jar filled with tiny snails. She was calling them funny names like Gabrielle and Inmim. I watched her babysit them like they were her dolls. She liked to explain things to them in Spanish, in case they ever needed to be able to do the same. But then there is a flash in this memory, like two films stitched together to edit the problem in between. There was a problem in between. There’s a second vision as strong and detailed as the first before the flash. Thea and Perry are crying in my living room and everyone is screaming Sunny’s name. Thea is wearing the locket she gave to her and shaking her head back and forth so furiously it looks like it might spin off. Perry is holding her hand and clenching his jaw. He is smiling but he doesn’t seem to be able to stop.

“Are you sure about that?” by Julia at her dining table


Wednesday February 3, 2016
7:15pm
5 minutes
Right Hand Man
Stacey Kaser


Kenny carries his wife’s handbag around the house when no one is home. He loves the way it looks. It elevates so many of his outfits. He doesn’t feel ashamed but he doesn’t want to tell anyone. No. Scratch that: he does feel ashamed and is dying to tell someone. Melanie might wonder if he had other things he was hiding from her, but Kenny could promise her without lying that he just thinks he should be able to wear it without any labels attached. Kenny has had this conversation with Melanie inside his head before. It can only go one of two ways. The first being “I wonder what you’d think if I chose to do this.” “I’m totally cool with it because it doesn’t mean you are any less you.” OR…”I have this thing I like to do.” “I cannot be with someone who does what they do without putting all their things into neatly organized boxes.” Kenny believes it’d be the former, but he doesn’t know for sure.

“awaken in the morning’s hush” by Julia at a Sichuan restaurant on West Broadway


Tuesday February 2, 2016
3:18pm
5 minutes
Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep
Mary Elizabeth Frye


Over the years that I’ve known her, Shawna has never arrived anywhere on time. I don’t think she’s particularly proud of this habit, but I’ve also never seen her try to fix it. She apologizes, sure, don’t get me wrong, but she is always, always late. I wonder what she does every morning before she meets me or gets to her appointments. We meet at 11:30 because she can’t get there any earlier. I seriously wonder what her schedule looks like, what she prioritizes, what she lets slip away. I’ve also never once been to Shawna’s house. It’s so mysterious but perhaps I am more curious because I want to see if any of my speculations are true: does she make the bed twice because she can’t help but jump on it after she makes it the first time? Does she stay up all night, victim of insomnia, and finally catch her sleep when the rest of the world is waking up? Is she hiding a small family of raccoons in her basement that she doesn’t want anyone to see?

“Are you expecting us?” by Julia at DH Lodge in St. Jacobs


Tuesday, December 29, 2015 at DH Lodge
2:35am
5 minutes
from a Kitchener Utilities Pamphlet

Elliot sat on the couch digging into her scalp, searching for the patch of raised skull flesh she liked to play with when she was nervous. It was a quarter past four and her eyelids sometimes closed for longer than a blink while she waited up for Marco to get back. He was late. He told her he’d be back at midnight at the very latest. She had called him a total of seventeen times so far and counting. Elliot fingered the bump on her head and started to yank tufts of hair out with her finger nails, pulling slowly and firmly on a few strands from the root to the ends. Elliot thought about calling the police. The pendulum of the old cuckoo clock on the wall swung out of tune.

“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?

“wrote a long great piece” by Julia on her bed


Friday, July 17, 2015
2:47am
5 minutes
A tweet by Sheila Heti

Dear Edith,

Your last letter was hard to read and yet I find myself rereading it every day; sometimes twice. I didn’t know there were so many things you found unpleasing about me. After all this correspondence, I suppose two people can fight just as they would if they saw each other face to face as often. I am understanding of our closeness and though I’d like to believe our relationship is immune to the casualties of constant interaction, I see now that it is not special or unique at all. Part of me likes that it is not because it takes some of the pressures of perfection away. I know now that if you can hurt me, I can hurt you, and that doesn’t make us love each other any less. What I struggle with is the fear that you have felt this way for some time and my once beloved qualities have now added up to an amount that is undesirable to you. Please, Edith, if you would, respond in honesty: Have I been bothering you for long? Or have you just recently noticed my flaws? I wonder this for if it’s the latter then I have to ask: Is everything in the right place with you? Sometimes, my dear Edith, we see ourselves in others…

“I was just, like, wondering” by Julia at her desk


Friday, April 10, 2015
11:39pm
5 minutes
Overheard at W Caffe

I’m always wondering
Where will I go
And if I should carry you
With me
Will I know?
I’m always wondering
What will I be
And If I should stay with you
Or leave
Will I see?
I’m always wondering
If I am strong
And if I should hold you close
To me
Will I be wrong?
I’m always wondering
What should I say
And if I can forgive you
For me
Would I fly away?
I’m always wondering
Is this the end
And if I can feel you
With me
Will our hearts mend?
I’m always wondering
Can I be great
And will you please free me
From you
Will I be saved?

“You steal the water from the valley” by Julia at Bar Roma in Monteleone


Tuesday September 16 2014
5:35pm
5 minutes
Screenplay
Sid Field


An abstract painting is stuck in my mind-I think it’s an artist unknown and I think I dreamt about it this morning. It has lines across it like a grid and speckles of what I’m interpreting as gold or light are all winding around the thick grid’s lines. I think I’m happy to be in this memory but I can’t tell because I’m trying so hard to peace it all together to figure out what it means, and I know you’re not supposed to do that with abstract paintings. I know you’re not supposed to do that with abstract paintings. I know you’re supposed to just look at them and feel something, usually lifted or weighed down, happy or sad. When I see this painting in my head, I see it perfectly and I calculate it imperfectly. I become obsessed with the measurements, the directions, the reasons. I don’t know if I feel anything because of it other than confusion and attraction and my wondering of this angers me because then I’m stuck figuring out my feelings instead of just feeling them. I put down my guard for a second and a taste of honesty slips through. I can’t catch it in the air–I don’t dare welcome whatever might change me.

“For the Canadian Girl!” by Julia at Parco Delle Energie in Rome


Sunday September 14, 2014
5:26pm
5 minutes
From a note from a new friend

When the light in the room was enough to make out who was who but not distinguish any defined features, we traded partners after the daze of wine had begun to take shape, and the after effects of the powder we dropped into our glasses started to tingle our skin. I had wanted him from the beginning but I never let on because it felt unfair to her. She had no idea that he had wanted me too, so I pretended not to notice that our looks across the pool the night before had lasted longer than they maybe should have. Tonight when it was her idea, in love with the drug and the moonlight giving her courage, none of us said no for fear of complicating an easy reward. We moved slowly, finally to each other’s lover and sat slowly down beside the new arms and legs, the new heartbeat, the new pulse. She wanted mine and I wanted hers. I always always wanted hers.

“most honour you” by Julia at Parco Del Colle Oppio


Wednesday September 10, 2014
4:08pm
5 minutes
King Lear
William Shakespeare


A man I can see from the corner of my eye has gone from one side’s fountain to the other side’s fountain back and forth for over an hour now. Sometimes he has his shirt off, sometimes he has it on. He carries a plastic bag with him so I’m assuming from that alone that he stays here most of his time. The first moment I saw him, he was drinking the water and wetting his hands. The second time he was dunking his whole head in it and pouring water down the back of his pants. The third time he washes under his arms. He must have been just trying to keep cool, but he seemed more obsessed with the baptism of something deeper–the purifying of what’s under the skin.

“with MOSS FOLK” by Julia at Kawaii Crepe


Thursday August 7, 2014 at Kawaii Crepe
8:38pm
5 minutes
from the Wooden Shjips concert ticket


I’ve been sitting here with a patch of dead skin in my hands. I thought you would have noticed that my legs were peeling because some of the shapes looked like your favourite states: Minnesota, Alabama, Missouri. You didn’t say one thing about it, so I kept slowly detaching the snake-like-shreds, trying to keep them as long and intact as possible. Like orange peels. Like the backing of a press on tattoo. I guess I was looking for some attention, or to prove to myself that you cared about me and my well-being. I wondered if you wondered why I had burnt skin to begin with. If you thought to ask and discovered that I scalded my legs in a hot bath, if you’d wonder why anyone would think to take a hot bath in the middle of July. I don’t usually do that kind of thing. It just sort of happened as a result of my endless time alone and my desire to feel like anything but myself. Granted, I did feel a little like Virginia Woolf. I wondered if you’d wonder about that part…

“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.

“with/without food” by Sasha at The Big Secret Theatre


Sunday, July 7, 2013 at The Big Secret Theatre
4:12pm
5 minutes
From the label on the vitamin C bottle

“Don’t drink this on an empty stomach,” Nathan says, picking at a scab on his elbow. “Obviously,” I say, but it’s not obvious. He brought it back from Thailand, and it comes in a jar with the kind of lid that has to be popped off, like on a can of cocoa, or paint. I didn’t ask for a gift like this. When he called at three in the morning my time and said, “What do you want me to bring you?” I thought we were in the sarong or jewellery realm. Not this. He didn’t kiss me when I picked him up at the airport. Maybe it’s because Matt was there. When I asked him about it later, he said, “Don’t get all weird on me,” so I figured I should drop it. He got a tattoo of a lotus flower. I hadn’t gotten up the courage to ask why. It didn’t look feminine, if that’s what you’re thinking. It’s one of the most beautiful tattoos I’ve ever seen. I wish that he’d let me trace it for a whole night. He says, “I should get to work,” but he doesn’t have a job yet so I don’t know what that means. “Sure…” I say, glancing down at the tin of tea and back up at him. “Maybe you should wait for me to make it. I can show you the ropes,” Nathan grabs his backpack and his bike helmet. “Yeah, good idea. Why don’t you come over tomorrow night and we can make it together?” “Deal,” says Nathan, smacking me on the upper arm and squinting his eyes.