“I don’t read the news anymore.” by Sasha at her desk


Wednesday, February 29, 2012
8:17pm
5 minutes
All My Sons
Arthur Miller


She can’t believe that I’ve never had a Flaky. She can’t believe that I don’t have cable, that I don’t eat Mars bars and that I am unfamiliar with Daffy Duck. I smile. “I don’t read the news, either…” I say, guessing that nothing could shock her now. “What?!” She says, in that husky, trashy voice. “I don’t read the newspaper. I choose my news sources and I choose when and where I read them…” “But – ” She puts on red lip gloss in the bathroom mirror. “Ignorance is bliss?” She says, smiling without showing her teeth. “Hey, have you ever seen that movie with Meg Ryan?” “Which movie?” I say, tying the laces of my shoes. “I don’t remember what it’s called…” She’s tucking in her shirt. “Where she fake orgasms in that restaurant. You know, with that other guy…” I look at my watch.

“I don’t read the news anymore.” by Julia at Starbucks


Wednesday, February 29, 2012 at Starbucks
5:37pm
5 minutes
All My Sons
Arthur Miller


When I saw that they are removing people’s sweat glands now, you know, from under their armpits, I was like, HOLD THE PHONE. HOLD THE PHONE AND DO NOT PUT THE PHONE DOWN or why ever else one chooses to hold the phone in the first place. It’s a terrible metaphor now that I think about it because, couldn’t I hold anything else? The phone is not even hot, like a hot potato. We could be saying HOLD THE HOT POTATO. Or like…Don’t pass the hot potato JUST YET because there is a MASSIVE moment of realization occurring here and we should really all be a part of it. The phone. Anyway. Even though I hate the saying, I said it. I said the saying. I said HOLD THE PHONE and truly thought for a minute about having that procedure done for myself. I sweat. I have shirts that just don’t ever get dry because the sweat is so heavy that the shirt knows better and just remains perpetually damp. This, I believe, is nature’s way of telling me that I will be punished with an uncomfortable clamminess until I do something about these monster sweat glands that are effectively taking over my life. I could get them removed completely and start raising my arms when I dance again, or do a freaking cartwheel without worrying that people are like, Right, that human should never do sports because…Because I can’t help staring at them and they automatically appear to be insecure and nervous. I’m not nervous!! I’m just either too hot or too cold and I sweat because my glands are ENORMOUS.
So here I am, considering this procedure FOR REAL, PEOPLE, and then it dawns on me. WHAT IF THE SWEAT STARTS SQUIRTING OUT OTHER PLACES!? Now, to that I say, HOLD THE PHONE!

“Don’t forget to use the floss” by Sasha at Loft 404


Tuesday, February 28, 2012 at Loft 404
4:31pm
5 minutes
The Shining
Stephen King


Gary! Gary. We were at the dentist not even a week ago and remember what he said?! It’s not just about halitosis anymore. It’s about the plaque from your teeth travelling down your throat and entering your bloodstream and causing plaque EVERYWHERE. Do you want plaque everywhere, Gary? Do you want to have all of your insides absolutely covered in plaque?! You don’t have a lot going for you, okay. I’m going to be completely honest here. Yes, you have nice eyes. We got that. Nice eyes only take you so far. A severe plaque situation would really mess a lot of things up. Do you think you could rock-climb in Arizona with a plaque situation? Or whitewater kayak those rapids you’re always taking about?! NO! The answer to that is not in the grey-zone. It’s black or white. It’s PLAQUE.

Are you picking up what I’m laying down here? This isn’t funny. It’s not something to laugh about… Stop laughing!

Floss your damn teeth.

“Don’t forget to use the floss” by Julia at Sambuca Grill


Tuesday, February 28, 2012 at Sambuca Grill
8:54 pm
5 minutes
The Shining
Stephen King


Maybe he was trying to be nice. I think he had a lot of trying to do after he told me and Lisbeth that we couldn’t take dance lessons because it would make us obsessed with our bodies. Lisbeth was only four, so she didn’t see what the big deal with obsessing with one’s body was in the first place, and I weighed only eighty pounds—which was considered too few for an eight year old my height anyway.
I think he meant well, truly. He always wanted us to do “real sports,” he said, “like play soccer or tennis.”
My dad, if I haven’t yet mentioned, also wanted Lisbeth to start calling him “Larry” and for me to call him “Buddy”.
He thought, after he drove my mom to the airport for what he had convinced himself was only her little rejuvenation trip (since she proved to never return from Cancun), that we should have individual relationships with him now. I was reticent to give him the satisfaction of calling him a name that meant he was my friend. I called him Hal, which was his real name, and Lisbeth called him “The Liar” because I taught her to say it so he would feel bad for punishing us for his mistakes.

“And a passport.” by Sasha at R Squared Cafe


Monday, February 27, 2012 at R Squared Cafe
5:26pm
5 minutes
Far to Go
Alison Pick


When I was leaving palm trees and avocado shakes, waves and camels with plush pillows on between their humps, the man at the immigration desk at the airport in Agadir asked me to stay and be his wife. “I have very nice garden for you…” He said, smiling wide. How do you know that I want a garden? I almost joked but decided against it. Humour so often gets lost in translation. Or perhaps he would take this as a “yes”. “You have such beautiful eyes,” he stood up to look deeper. He came close to my face. I could smell his breath. I laughed. He didn’t. The line forming behind me was growing and I could feel a blush rising from my collar bones up to my forehead. “I had better go…” I said, looking at my passport on the counter in front of him. He slowly stamped a page near the back and said, “If you change your mind you come back to me. Mohammed.” He kissed my hand, muttering something in Arabic. “Remember the garden!” He called after me as I walked away. “There are orange trees!”

“And a passport.” by Julia at R Squared Cafe


Monday, February 27, 2012 at R Squared Cafe
5:26pm
5 minutes
Far to Go
Alison Pick


Shannon asked me to borrow my passport before she went away to Florida. I swear to God she is the dumbest person I let myself associate with. I was like, “Shan, do you even know what a passport is?” Because obviously if she’s asking for mine, she’s never seen one in her entire life of being the dumbest person I know. She was like, “Jill, don’t be so rude! You know I do.” I was like, “Okay, do you think it’s a good idea that you steal my identity while trying to get into another country?” And she was like, “I’m not stealing; mine’s just not ready yet.”

God. It’s one thing lending your friend your driver’s license because you still have both your G1 and your G2 cards illegally. You can give your friend the G1 if she’s like, underage. That’s what we did in highschool when Sarah couldn’t get into any bars in Montreal because she was still 17 and hating her december birthday. Mind you, that one’s not easy either. She went before me, the bouncer looked at it, clearly didn’t care it looked nothing like her, then I went, gave him MY card, and he paused for what felt like 10 minutes analysing it. Finally he said, “I feel like I’ve seen this before,” and he was so skeptical. I was like, “yeah, well if you are ACTUALLY looking at it, IT IS ME. THAT’S MY HAIR.” And sarah was just laughing and already shooting her first tequila back with a guy named Pierre (or at least that’s what he said).

I told Shannon that if she was being serious I would let her borrow it as long as she didn’t turn me into a felon, and you know what she said?
“What’s a felon?”

“It seems unimportant” by Julia at her desk


Sunday, February 26, 2012
12:23am
5 minutes
The Philosophy of Language
A.P. Martinich


When I open up the time capsule of my life when I die, I’ll be ready.
I will see triumphs and virtues and happenstance and moments of unfairness.
I will be saddened by all the wrong I did even after I knew better.
I will be a little bit more confident knowing that what I did was at least spontaneous.
I deserve what’s coming to me. I can roll over in the dirt, breathe in and out as if meditating on the past, but I will be able to handle it.
Some of it will be good.
I will see all the songs I’ve written in my life time, on napkins, on old receipts, on the backs of greeting cards that I can’t bare to throw away, and I’ll remember all the tunes; humming along to everything, completing the ones that were shoved aside.
I will find the keys to all my old hiding place, maybe some locked up tears, or pussy willow branches that I’ve been saving for a rainy day, or a moment of solace.
I will have lived a little, loved a little, lost a lot, and I will have been what I always said I always wanted.
It’s lucky that it’s so big. I keep adding to it every day: an arsenal of experiences, a shield crafted out of all my good intentions.
It may not seem so important now, but it will be.
When I open it up after a long life’s climb, I’ll have all the time in the world to look at it.

“It seems unimportant” by Sasha siting on her bed


Sunday, February 26, 2012
12:23am
5 minutes
The Philosophy of Language
A.P. Martinich


We were talking about having the baby at home but I’m not really sure anymore. I mean, so many things can go wrong! The teller at the bank yesterday was saying how she knew someone whose sister had had her baby at home and it had gotten all strangled on the umbilical chord or something and had died and then the mother had been charged with some sort of negligence… Or something. Phil thinks it would be all “back to nature” or something but he’s not going to be the one doing all the work so… I would say it should ultimately be my decision.

At the hospital they take the baby from you, though. Right after it’s born. I don’t think that’s right. I guess I should check with Dr. Stevendorf or whatever his name is and make sure that if I say, “No! I want to hold my baby for the first fifteen odd minutes of his life!” he will listen. Doctor’s are not always the best listeners. I know this for a tried and true fact. Promise and pinky swear it.

So that’s the toss up, really. Strangulation or abandonment. Awesome! I’m off to such a great start at being a Mom that I don’t even know what to say.

“Bullets cut the air” by Sasha at the Toronto Reference Library


Saturday, February 25, 2012 at the Toronto Reference Library
12:16pm
5 minutes
The Jungle
Clive Cussler


Walking the alleyways was his favorite, away from screeching mopeds and shouting taxi drivers. He hated how people here pushed one another and seemed to have no sense of staying out of the way. At sunset he walked, slowly, avoiding traffic, counting the stones in the road and thinking about what he would drink when he got home. Wine or scotch. A woman called out to him, “Monsieur! Monsieur!” He bowed his head and kept walking. He needed new shoes. He needed new dishes. He needed more scotch. The woman was following him, quickly. “I don’t speak French!” He shouted over his shoulder. She grabbed him, all dark glinting eyes. She had scar above her lip shaped like a crescent moon.

“Bullets cut the air” by Julia at the Toronto Reference Library


Saturday, February 25, 2012 at the Toronto Reference Library
12:16pm
5 minutes
The Jungle
Clive Cussler


She was sitting on a streetcar just minding her own business, maybe reading the entertainment section of The Star, maybe peeling a clementine in one continuous strip. She had on a bright blue scarf that made her eyes look like lilacs. She knew that. She was told it once by a school teacher who had Asperger’s.
She suddenly looked up at the front as if summoned by a higher power and met eyes with him. He was the tallest man she had ever seen in her entire life. He walked with a slight limp and an instinctive bend which told her he was used to it, and not to feel sorry for him. She watched him quietly, pretending not to notice or care, as if he were just any other human riding to the Exhibition, or maybe to Kensington Market.
He sat down across from her and she studied his shoes. She knew right away how badly he was trying to lead a normal life. He just wanted to wear a winter boot that didn’t look like a clown shoe, and still have a collared shirt with sleeves that reached all the way to his wrists.

“I have a recurring fantasy” by Julia at Rustic Cosmo Cafe


Friday, February 24, 2012 at Rustic Cosmo Cafe
5 minutes
Why I Hate That My Mother Was Right
Karen Karbo


I guess you’d be here as opposed to not. I guess you’d be hugging me and telling me you liked the smell of my hair. I guess you’d offer to make me cheesy eggs even though you don’t particularly like them. I guess you’d take my shirt off slowly so you could kiss my stomach and listen to it gurgle. I guess you’d lay with me on the bed and watch the sunlight hit my eyes and make me squint. I guess you’d whisper something sweet while counting all my birthmarks. I guess you’d wrestle me because you know that’s something I just need every now and again. I guess you’d tell me to read you something that I’ve written and you’d close your eyes so it would sound more like a dream. I guess you’d say that this feels nice at the same time that I would and then we’d laugh because, yeah, we know each other. I guess you’d pee with the door open so you could still hear me telling you about the market and the lady I told off. I guess you’d look at me with smiling eyes because I would always be on the verge of crying or pretending that I wasn’t.

I guess you’d be here.
I guess if I’m thinking about it, you’d be here and I wouldn’t have to wait for you to come home because you wouldn’t ever want to leave in the first place.

“I have a recurring fantasy” by Sasha at The Holy Oak


Friday, February 24, 2012 at The Holy Oak Cafe
7:32pm
5 minutes
Why I Hate That My Mother Was Right
Karen Karbo


Yeah I guess I could say that it’s been an okay week… You know, since our last session I’ve been trying to get out more, like you said, even just for like, breakfast or to buy new ant poison or whatever. I guess… I keep having that recurring fantasy though, the one I told you about? I find myself just spacing completely out and before I know it I’ve torn out all the Obituaries from all those newspapers I’ve been meaning to get rid of… It’s hard to explain. I’m thinking about Max, I guess. I am. I guess it has something to do with that heavy regret of not actually doing the Eulogy. I didn’t think it was a big deal at the time. He wanted me to. He asked me before he… It was too much pressure. I tried. Trust me, I tried so so hard to get it right. I wrote things over and over and nothing was… it. And then I read these Obituaries of people I don’t even know, all these old people, people who got to have kids and get honorary degrees and retire and have grandchildren named after them and I think to myself, “I could have said a hundred and one better things about Max even though he didn’t get to do any of that stuff.” Do they teach you about time machines when you’re at psychologist school?

“fake snow on Douglas firs” by Julia on the Subway heading West


Thursday, February 23, 2012
4:39pm
5 minutes
The Kite Runner
Khaled Hosseini


No one wants you to see what’s in their bags when riding close quarters together on the subway. No one wants you to know what they’re reading, what they’re writing, or what they’re listening to (Unless you’re that person who blares episodes of The Real World on their phones without using any ear-buds). If people looked inside my bag they’d probably be a little distraught to find a ripped up and half eaten box of chocolate covered hazelnut hearts. Maybe I did go to the dollar store on my lunch break and maybe I did buy them for myself because I got fired from my job and instead of needing a drink, I needed to extend the sadness of my situation by also getting fat and consequently feeling even more sorry for myself. Or maybe my fiance bought them for me on Valentine’s Day and I’m just exhibiting self-control and taking my sweet time eating them. Half a chocolate every other day, one whole one if I worked out that morning.
Maybe they’re love chocolates not sorrow chocolates.
…And maybe the letter that crying twenty-year old is writing is a ‘thank you’ and not a suicide note.

“fake snow on Douglas firs” by Sasha at Thor Espresso Bar


Thurssday, February 23, 2012 at Thor Espresso Bar
1:06pm
5 minutes
The Kite Runner
Khaled Hosseini


The river had salmon then.
Now we see just “fish”
packaged in styrofoam and saran.
We don’t even know her name.
Smokestacks outstack haystacks.
House of Visa Master Amex cards.
Huff and puff and blow the house down!
Cabbage patch kids with dollar sign eyes and bellies with gemstones
Always hungry
Never full.
Forget about the future!
We’re now now now!
The NOW generation!
Generation XYZzzzzzz!
Forget about miniature golf lanes!
Glow in the dark bowl!
Light me up NOW! ow ow ow.
Soothe me NOW! ow ow ow.
NOW we’ve WON!
2012 palindrome.

The river had salmon then.
We don’t remember our own names,
the ones our mothers chose so carefully,
Measuring star charts and heart beats and tiny fingers and toes.
Poseidon sings his Tom Waits timbre,
Grieving the faceless fish.

“The year after the end” by Sasha on her couch


Wednesday, February 22, 2012
9:17pm
5 minutes
The Lucifer Effect
Phillip Zimbardo


We were still thinking about grapefruits the year after the end. When we first met, you said you didn’t like them, that they “weren’t your bag”, that you were more of a “tangerine kinda guy”.

By the end of that winter I had you hooked like a fish on a line.

When you heard that some people sprinkle theirs with sugar or drizzle them with molasses you were horrified. “Why would you mess with a good thing?” You asked, completely perplexed. “Nature’s best work…” was one of your favorite things to say.

It was the coldest day of the year. I went to the market to get a few things: pine-nuts for pesto, half a dozen eggs, garbage bags and yes, four grapefruits. Two for today and two for tomorrow. You’d called in sick to work and were at home watching some new Ninja show on your laptop in bed, sniffling and sneezing like a kid in a pepper patch. “No grapefruits?!” I shouted at the stock boy. He hung his head. “Something with the supplier of all the citrus fruits,” he mumbled, stacking boxes of granola.

“The year after the end” by Julia at her desk


Wednesday, February 22, 2012
2:26am
5 minutes
The Lucifer Effect
Phillip Zimbardo


I saw him in the moonlight
He was flicking his cigarette into the air and blowing smoke at a single star
He was quiet in his container
Self organized chaos
I dreamed in that moment that he would look up from his billowy freedom and see me
If he came over I wouldn’t know what to do
The dream only goes so far
It starts with him pushing the wispy hair out of his eyes, then looking at me as if I were his secret
And then I just stop because if you saw what I saw you would know that it’s a lot
Enough
Too much even
I felt this way from seeing his shadow alone
Maybe I’m a ticking bomb
The kind of man who falls asleep while driving, who cracks his knuckles in public, who yells at the nurse who’s taking his blood pressure
Snap
Twigs
I could be strong for him
My one and only
If he would just look up I would start believing again
…in humanity
…in fate
…in luck
He’s burning a hole through his jean jacket and it’s on purpose, I can see it now
I don’t know if this makes him more tragic or just more beautiful
I want to give him my skin
He can rip it if he wants to
Burn it if he needs to
I don’t care anymore
As far as I’m concerned it doesn’t belong to me
Tick tick
He’s on the verge of finding me here finding him there
And then where will we be
I’ll just fall down dead and he’ll just walk on by
Never knowing that in these brief but extended seconds of my longing
That this is the most he’ll ever be loved in his entire life

“Where did you go to school?” by Julia at Sambuca Grill


Tuesday, February 21, 2012 at Sambuca Grill
6:54pm
5 minutes
Sacred Heart (from Emerald City)
Jennifer Egan


Grew up in a little town. Oh, gosh, I bet you probably haven’t even heard of it. It was called Ilderton… Not sure if it’s even still around, but, yeah! Ilderton! The area code was 666 and I’m not even joking. We weren’t evil at all, that’s what was so funny about it. We just sort of figured it was an inside joke with God. Or the mayor…

I hated my first school! Ugh! They made us sing the national anthem in English AND French! I could never remember the French words. They also made us share our snacks with each other to facilitate a “community”.
Once I brought a peanut butter and jam spreadable. You know those crackers with the tiny holes in them, the container with peanut butter and jam all swirled together, and that little red stick to spread on the crackers? I was going to share mine with Eddie, who was in a wheelchair because he never had real legs, but when I went to get it from my lunch bag, it was gone. Somebody in the class took it and it was really sad because I already explained to Eddie that it was the best kind of spreadable. Usually it’s just a fake cheese that people only liked because they got to press two crackers together and squeeze the cheese through them so it looked like thousands of tiny bugs or when you pop out the blackheads on your nose…

“Where did you go to school?” by Sasha at her desk


Tuesday, February 21, 2012
6:53pm
5 minutes
Sacred Heart (from Emerald City)
Jennifer Egan


Beyond meal blessings and bell ringings
Beyond gardens growing honey and rhymes
Beyond rainbow walls and encouraged dirt-under-fingernails
This place does exist
Beyond these brick-by-bricks walls
Pedagogy we think is best
Burning textbooks
And carving paddles to steer clear through roughest water
Write in ink that flows with words that are truth
Impermanence is the main lesson
Re-tell history using a nine-year-olds brilliant words
This place does exist
Beeswax and choir songs and Mahabharata Bible myths
Vikings warring Pharaohs
Joan of Arc caresses Martin Luther King Jr.
Moving a young body moves an older body well
Oiling and staining and re-naming and choosing
This place does exist
I finger-knit my salvation
I melt metal to shape a dream
I sand down rough edges
I paint a future that has yet to be the fluffiest cumulous cloud

“The last of her breath” by Julia at Sambuca Grill


Monday, February 20, 2012 at Sambuca Grill
2:36pm
5 minutes
Diary
Chuck Palahniuk


She used it up on blowing balloons for her best friend’s birthday party. She used it up on the phone call to the caterer and the phone call to the florist and the phone call to the band. Sher used it up on the deviled eggs, the recipe she stole from Martha Stewart but was planning to say was her own. She used it up on cleaning the house better than her mother would. She used it up on the drive to the bank to withdraw cash to pay the delivery men and the drive to the supermarket to pick up last minute napkins and plastic forks and the drive to the salon to get her nails done. She used it up on hanging white frost lights across the living room. She used it up on the panic attack she had after the first guest arrived and before the second. She used it up on the attitude that this was going to be the best party in the history of the world. She used it up on the idea that if it fails, she fails. She used it up on the outfit planning, the laundry, and the outfit planning. REPEAT. She used it up on the candles that didn’t go well together, that made her house smell like a burning pumpkin, that made her house smell like an amateur was designing it.
She used it up.
The last of her breath.
On the painstaking possibility that this year would bring joy and not pain… and that people would remember she did this even though it was actually her birthday too.

“the last of her breath” by Sasha at Dark Horse on Queen West


Monday, February 20, 2012 at Dark Horse on Queen West
4:11pm
5 minutes
The Diary
Chuck Palahniuk


Toby is reading Rolling Stone magazine in the waiting room and wishing that someone still knew what good music was. Rebecca comes in. He hasn’t seen her since grade school. She was more beautiful then. Women are funny creatures, thinks Toby. Their beauty and their breasts and their effortless elegance and their ability to grow babies. She takes off her coat like a ballerina. Or an ostrich. Toby doesn’t want to be caught staring so he resumes reading something or other about Jennifer Lopez and Miguel whats-his-face. Or Ricky “she bangs she bangs” or whoever. Her hair is a different colour now and Toby wonders whether she dies it or not. Women.

“Toby Rosenbaum?! Is that you?!” Rebecca flings her hair over her shoulder and for some reason Toby feels like he’s been caught stealing. Or eating too much cake in private. “Rebecca! Man oh man! It’s been… awhile!” She glances at the receptionist and then at her gold watch. “You just never know who you’re going to see, do you!” She’s almost shouting and an old man across the room scowls. “How’re you keeping?” asks Toby, not really wanting to know the answer. Is she divorced? “Last I heard you were in New York?” He says, suddenly aware of his long-ish fingernails. “Oh, that was short lived…” Rebecca looks down at her shoes and fusses with the laces. “I’ve been back for over, seven years…” The way that she says “seven years” makes Toby think that she just pulled that number out of her head, arbitrarily. Maybe it’s her favorite, he thinks.

“selling mainly hotdogs” by Sasha at R Squared Cafe


Sunday, February 19, 2012 at R Squared Cafe
3:14pm
5 minutes
Fast Food
Eric Schlosser


When we stopped at the roadside diner somewhere along the 401 you were already cursing under your breath and praying to your dead uncle Cody. We’d spent the last twenty seven minutes fighting about what radio station to listen to. You wanted some evangelical shit because you thought it was “fascinating and informative”. I wanted Brahms or Schubert. Piano music or something. Inside the diner you order onion rings and french onion soup. Onions for one and all! How fantastic! I loathe when you eat onions and you’re doing it to spite me. I know it. I can taste it on you days later. I swear. You ask me when I’m not eating and I say, “You saw me eat half that box of granola bars when we were fighting. Remember? You bitched at me about the wrappers on the floor of the car?” You slurp your soup defiantly. A small piece of onion falls on the table and I wipe it up for you with napkin. “Why don’t you get a beer or something – ” you say. “Have you ever seen me drink a beer?” I eat one of your onion rings, despite the fact that it will give me heartburn the minute we’re back on the highway.

“selling mainly hotdogs” by Julia at her desk


Sunday, February 19, 2012
11:49pm
5 minutes
Fast Food
Eric Schlosser


I met a boy once who was selling hotdogs on the corner right outside my house. I didn’t want to walk by him everyday without buying anything, so one day, I don’t know what happened, I just had to. I asked him for three, thinking it was an appropriate amount for never buying any until now. He looked up at me and he was smiling with his head cocked slightly to one side. He was smiling but I could tell he thought I was crazy. He sort of looked around behind me, seeing if I had kids that I was buying the other two for. I didn’t. He kept the smile the whole time, as if to say, It’s weird you’re buying three, but I also think it’s kind of nice. Maybe he was just smiling because he loved people. Or selling hot dogs. I stood there taking my time to dress each hotdog differently so he might still think they were for other people. I don’t know why but I felt like I had to be in his presence for a little bit. I asked him how business was, and how long he’d been doing it. He just smiled. That little smile, and he said, not bad, and then, just a little while. And I said, I think you’re doing a really great job here. You’re important to this street. You should know that. That you’re needed here.
I don’t know what came over me. He wasn’t asking for my pity, or for my encouragement. He was just a boy selling hotdogs on the corner right outside my house.

“Asian-spiced” by Julia at her desk


Saturday, February 18, 2012
7:06pm
5 minutes
The menu at Supermarket

I sent a message to a wrong number this morning and when I found out it wasn’t who I had thought, I sent a simple “sorry” and assumed that was it. Moments later I received a message from the wrong number saying “Well its nice to get a message anyway…:)”. Now I don’t know this person, nor their story, but the sadness I’m feeling right now from a stranger’s incorrect grammar and smiley face on my phone is really sticking with me. I can’t do anything. I can’t say anything. I’m stuck in one spot because I can’t stop thinking about this person I’ve never met… this woman, or man, or teenager, or elderly person with text messaging aptitude, and if they’re okay or not. Who, when answering a phone call says, “Sorry, I think you have the wrong number, but it was nice to get a call anyway” ? I can’t think of one person. So this one person that I am thinking of, feels like they could use a whole lot more than just a little misdirected message from a stranger a couple of area codes over. This person, a Charlie, or a Ming, or a Shannon, or a Lee. This person, a doctor, or a mother, or a waitress, or a kid. This person, the only thing I do know, likes it when people say “hi”…and maybe even needs it.

“Asian-spiced” by Sasha at her desk


Saturday, February 18, 2012
1:12am
5 minutes
The menu at Supermarket

Over pho at the Golden Dragon you tell me that you’re thinking about going to a tiny village in Cambodia for a year to learn from a master tailor how to make men’s suits. I laugh at first and then watch you suck back a noodle and realize that you aren’t joking. “A year?” I ask. “You really have to master something like this,” you say, “I don’t want to just half-learn something. I’ve gotta be able to do it here, without any help. On my own.” You seem so casual. You seem so “no biggie” about it. The light in the restaurant it too bright and I hate how loud the people beside us are talking. “It’s only a year,” you say, munching on a bean sprout bit by bit. “That’s a long fucking time,” I say, squirting hot sauce into my bowl. “Look, it’s just an idea. I didn’t say I was going for sure.” You stand up and go to the bathroom. I think about the first time we met, when you told me I reminded you of someone you grew up with in Johannesburg. Your hair was still long. I liked it like that. I wonder who it was that I reminded you of. I wonder if you looked at her the way you look at me. When you sit down again, smelling of cheap hand soap, I say, “I’m sorry. I’m excited for you. I really am. You’ll make great suits.”

“Divide that list into needs and wants” by Sasha at Lit on Ronces


Friday, February 17, 2012 at
12:32pm
5 minutes
Real Estate Section, The Grid
February 16-22, 2012


1. A ginger cat = Need
2. A broom = Want Need
3. A coffee table made out of a stump = Want
4. A friend who also likes pork rinds = Need
5. The mirror with the Bon Jovi sticker = Want

Please don’t judge me. You said we should practise honesty so that’s what I’m doing. You said we need to prioritize more so that’s what I’m doing. You said we should make more lists (that’s why you bought that whiteboard for the kitchen). You said we need to make it clear what is a NEED and what is a WANT. No matter how many cups of tea I make you and no matter how many times I pick up your socks without yelling at you, I can’t say I’m sorry enough. I knew a joint bank account wasn’t a “super” idea. I never should have said that. There’s a reason why I don’t have credit cards, did you ever think about that?!

“Divide that list into needs and wants” by Julia at Lit on Ronces


Friday, February 17, 2012 at
12:32pm
5 minutes
Real Estate Section, The Grid
February 16-22, 2012


Needs and wants. This is real. We’re doing this.

Need: You, me, on a beach, on a trip, on a vacation. ASAP. Need, need, need.
Want: The moon in my hands so I can see your face glow the way it used to.
Need: Pizza. That’s it. Plain and simple. My body knows it, you know, everybody knows it.
Want: Rose hip oil to moisturize my face with. So effing expensive.
Need: You to sing to me when I feel anxious.
Want: A puppy that will love me.
Need: A cat that won’t.
Want: The flexibility of my 12 year old hips and the determination of my 15 year old crush on Daniel Adams.
Need: A new pair of underwear that doesn’t remind me of high school or dying.
Want: A mask to wear out to family functions that smiles and laughs without me actually having to.
Need: More time. Today, tomorrow, always.
Want: Green jeans and a shirt that flatters my new waist.
Need: A massage from you or from someone you pay.
Want: Chocolate covered ginger because I know you won’t go near it and I can have it all to myself.

“in allegiance with gravity” by Sasha at R Squared Cafe


Thursday, February 16, 2012 at R Squared Cafe
11:43am
5 minutes
Mysteries, Yes
Mary Oliver


In the wingspan of a heron,
In the quickening of it going exactly our way,
We rely on gravity.
We use bridges of bones,
tiny ones,
to get us across the river.
In tunnels of turmoil,
Down on our knees,
praying to the moon.
We catch a glimpse of a firefly,
We hear a loon call,
We remember the size of the Big Dipper
And the Small,
The feeling of the first hand we held.
We wipe tears from our cheeks,
And dirt from our knees.
We stand like a sunflower,
Face reaching for the light.

“in allegiance with gravity” by Julia at her desk


Thursday, February 16, 2012
6:09pm
5 minutes
Mysteries, Yes
Mary Oliver


Maybe you could wait for me. I feel like I’m falling lately.
I feel like I’m going to die young.
1) You don’t believe that
2) You hate that I’ve just said it even if it’s not true
3) You agree with me.
I think you agree with me. I think my mother knows it too and that’s why she calls me everyday and always says “drive safe” even if I’m not going to be in a car. Some mothers know these things, some don’t. Mine does. We’re connected.
That sounds hokey, I know, because, how is it such a rarity that my mother and I are connected? It’s not. It’s not rare. It just is. Cosmically, I think. In the realm where we’re so different but somehow so much the same.
I feel like maybe you’re not sure if I’m trying to get sympathy or if I’m trying get attention. I’m not upset by this fact, I just know it’s true.
Some people in their lifetimes feel closer to the ground. Maybe that’s me. I can already feel the pull on my legs. Gravity won’t let me stand much longer. I’m supposed to do a few things first, I’m sure of that too, but I’m not one of those cases where you’ll read about the woman who lived to be 98 years old and had 45 grandchildren. I won’t have grandchildren because I won’t have any kids to begin with.
Again. I’m not sad. I’m not worried. I’m not doing anything differently. I’m just living with a slight glimpse into my future and I can see the age I am when I die. I’m young. But I won’t burden you with numbers.

“I can’t, I’m not playing, I never do.” by Sasha at Jimmy’s Coffee


Wednesday, February 15, 2012 at Jimmy’s Coffee
11:42am
5 minutes
Little Women
Louisa May Alcott


I can’t help myself. You’re just as handsome now as you were when we first met. Now we’re reading the stacks of books we didn’t have time for when we were young. I’ve taken up millinery. You find me felt and ribbons at garage sales and the Salvation Army. You write songs about your father’s childhood in the mountains. You play them for weeks until you’re ready to record them on the laptop that our son bought for you. You love listening to what you’ve recorded over and over. Before bed, you play me your latest. Me, in my red light cotton nightshirt from Bali. You, shirtless in grey sweatpants with the bottoms cut off. You close your eyes, listening to your own old man voice. “It sounds different than when I was twenty-two,” you say, laughing.

Before falling asleep you say to me, “What was the best part of your day?” I take a deep breath. “It’s a tie,” I say. I can feel you smile. “Making spaghetti sauce to have in the freezer for the rest of the winter…” “And?” You say, “And hearing you re-record that song seventeen times,” I answer.

“This is not silence” by Sasha at her desk


Tuesday, February 14, 2012
7:02pm
5 minutes
Gift
Leonard Cohen


Right. This isn’t silence and I’m not waiting. Righttttt. You’re talking to yourself again. Punching the air and making fish faces at the poster of Mohammed Ali on the wall. You don’t even see me making circles with my fingers in the glass of water that Baptiste gave me when I went to him in the office and said, “is there anyway I could borrow a water bottle or something?” I flick the small droplet left on my fingertip towards you. “Isaiah!” I say quietly. You’re watching two guys fight in the ring. “Isaiah…” I stand up and walk over to you. You pretend not to see me in your periphery. You take off your T-shirt and I wish, as usual, that you aren’t as attractive as you are. “Isaiah.” You finally see me, you finally meet my eyes. “What?” You say, pretending not to notice that I cut my hair. And got my nails done. And wore a red sweater. “Why are you here?” You’re watching the bigger guy in the ring pummel his opponent. I can barely find words. “You said…” Punch. The smaller guy falls to the ground. “You said that…”

“I can’t; I’m not playing, I never do” by Julia at Starbucks


Wednesday, February 15, 2012 at Starbucks
5:36pm
5 minutes
Little Women
Louisa M. Alcott


I am running
you are running
we are running
not together
not in time
from the restless
endless
heartache
from each other
I am dying
you are dying
we are dying
not together
not in time
from the restless
endless
heartache
because the moon tells you what you should feel
because we dance even though we’re broken
because the shell we are afraid of becoming is a vacuum
because the rain eats away at every good thing there is
I am hiding
you are hiding
we are hiding
not together
not in time
from the restless
endless
heartache
I am returning
you are returning
we are returning
not together
not in time
from the restless
endless
heartache
because the answer is never good enough
because the dream is always interrupted with tears
because the book eventually ends
because the shield that we have is made out of eggshells
I am running
you are running
we are running
I am dying
you are dying
we are dying
I am hiding
you are hiding
we are hiding
I am returning
you are returning
we are returning
from the
restless
endless
heartache
from each other

“This is not silence” by Julia at Spadina station


Tuesday, February 14, 2012
11:43pm
5 minutes
Gift
Leonard Cohen


This is not silence; it’s romance. It’s quiet and it’s powerful, it’s soft and it’s organized, it sets you up for disappointment, it reserves a table for two at ‘Vinny’s’, it requests a long stem and a cute card, it brings peace to a night of sorrow.
This is not silence; it’s magic. It’s quiet and it’s powerful, it’s soft and it’s smart, it gets your hopes up too high to handle, it shows off all the features you hate about yourself, it keeps you smiling because you’ve forgotten you stuck a daisy in your hair this morning and now it’s wilted and people are staring, it brings peace to a night of pain.
This is not silence; it’s gratitude. It’s quiet and it’s powerful, it’s soft and it’s honest, it shakes a hand without touching, it hugs a shoulder without reaching, it breathes life into a selfish thought, it brings peace to a night of sickness.
This is not silence; it’s everything you wish you could say but don’t because it just sounds better when there are no words, no voices, no tears, no falling.
This is not silence

“I wanted to be another” By Julia at Little Nicky’s Coffee


Monday, February 13th 2012 at Little Nicky’s Coffee
5:28pm
5 minutes
Canadian Dimensions
Volume 44, Number 4, July/August 2010


Shooting heroin, I thought, would take me to the level I never knew I always needed.
It was a colour, like violet or fluorescent orange. Couldn’t miss it.
Shooting heroin.
I didn’t have a choice after the rush. I spilled out onto myself in a fit of self-sacrifice.
I could have been something.
I was never a very good swimmer.
It was a that moment I sunk to my bottom’s bottom and watched with my eyes closed all the wrong matter float up around me. I was cleansing. I didn’t want to surface.
I remember in this position my mother’s face as clear as glass. She was smiling or crying or asleep or dead.
It put me at peace like she was trying to connect with me, tell me I was going to be fine (if not now then sometime very soon). I waited there for the storm to come. The storm always comes after the calm.
I braced myself and blamed myself for the reckless road I rode on while I was young, and stupid, and convinced that I was invincible.
I’ve been testing a theory that if I had wanted to be another somebody, someone other than what I am; what I’m turning into, then I truly think I would have been.
I guess want is a four letter word for what If.
What If.

“I wanted to be another” by Sasha at Little Nicky’s


Monday, Feb. 13th 2012 at Little Nicky’s Coffee
5:28pm
5 minutes
Canadian Dimensions
Volume 44, Number 4, July/August 2010


Grass is always greener
Tree is always taller
Sky is always bluer
Hair is always curlier
Or straighter
Depending
I want you want I can’t you can
Come take me away on Aladdin’s carpet
The Land of Milk and Honey
Motown classics grilled cheese no crusts
Down By the Bay
Ride me far far to Never Neverland
Sipping frothy dew and making plans
Completely out of the ordinary
Making angels in the snow
In the middle of the road
Paper mache masks of our parents faces
You wear my Mom
I wear your Dad
Cayenne pepper recalls bear traps
Racoon maps
Caught in the snaps
A mouse sings her aria like she’s in the shower
Showing off her tiny teeth
You on Aladdin’s carpet
Holding up a goblet carved from soapstone
Sudsy champagne spilling

“Princes and statesmen,” by Sasha at Mad Dog Cafe


Sunday, February 12, 2012 at Mad Dog Cafe
1:05pm
5 minutes
Everything Men Know About Women
Knott Mutch


The bell sounded. As it always does. It was deafening. Always is. I heard someone shouting downstairs but I couldn’t make out what they were saying. I never can. When you first get to prison you realize that you’ve got one of two choices – swim upstream or down. I chose down. If you don’t make people notice you then they won’t. They don’t want to. My roommate Jose cracks his knuckles every ten seconds and cries for “Monika” in his sleep. He has three teardrops tattooed under his left eye. He leads the Prison Church Choir. I don’t believe in God. Don’t sing in that choir. When I first got here some of the guys thought I didn’t speak. It took Karl yelling about the sexual preferences of my wife for them to figure it out. Bob Gunder asked me to teach him how to read. I said “no” and then I said “yes”. He asked what my last meal ever will be and I said to him, “My mother’s cabbage rolls, my wife’s mashed potatoes and the key lime pie from Stan’s.”

“Princes and statesmen,” by Julia at Mad Dog Cafe


Sunday, February 12, 2012 at Mad Dog Cafe
1:05pm
5 minutes
Everything Men Know About Women
Knott Mutch


Calling all royalty to please save me from the struggles my pedestrian world presents to me on a daily basis! I am young! I am trapped by my own independence! I ask you to come one, come all, to my tower (it’s just a high rise on Avenue) and fight the evil dragons of monotony and boredom! To take my hand, your soon to be princess, in holy matrimony (or unholy; this girl’s an atheist sometimes), and save me from an otherwise sad existence. All princes! All statesmen! Let the word ring clear: I’m done trying to do anything on my own! I’m done reading about the other girls’ happy endings. I pray to the god that I usually refuse to pray to that your type frequents Craigslist and enjoys leisurely skimming Kijiji Toronto. All of our future happiness (mine and yours) depends on your ability to interpret my plea accordingly. I DON’T WANT A REAL PRINCE. I’m just a single girl who’s done going to clubs and would rather just read the newspaper out loud to someone for enjoyment. Respond today!

“technological determinism” by Sasha at the Toronto Coffee Co.


Saturday, February 11, 2012 at the Toronto Coffee Co.
11:42am
5 minutes
A Short History of Progress
Ronald Wright


I realize this morning
When walking in step with a Tibetan monk
And an old man in a pinstripe suit
And a Hungarian woman pushing a stroller
We all have pacemakers now
Making our paces the same
Making our steps and our beats
Measured and often rushed.
I rush and I do not know why
We have so much time
We have many paces and heartbeats.
We all have artificial intelligence now
So many miles away from a crow call
So many stumbles away from dirt under our fingernails
So many bellyflops away from water.
Intelligence is rooted in the stories that we live by.
No?
In the songs we’ve scribbled on our bodies in disappearing ink.
We all have.

“technological determinism” by Julia at her desk


Saturday, February 11, 2012
6:02pm
5 minutes
A Short History of Progress
Ronald Wright


I’m planning to run away from home when I turn 17. Not because I can’t run away now, but because my little sister could use the extra 6 months with me around. I’m not leaving because my family hates me or my life is hard. In fact, it’s the opposite. My mother bakes croissants, my father loves reading poetry to us, my sister is a smart kid but just a little shy, and I am almost ‘perfect’. Almost. I’ve never told anyone this before, but I don’t think they’re supposed to have me because I’m not good enough. I have been stealing from my parents’ college fund stash for over a year now. It’s in a yellow vase at the foot of the stairs. They don’t have a better place for it because they want us to know they’re trying to give us something wonderful. And it was smart for a while because when I’d walk past it on my way to their room, I’d think, they are so selfless, look how much they’re giving up for me and my sister. But that got old, and I needed money of my own so I could spend it now. I didn’t want to tell them that I never really planned on going to college. I’d rather strip at a sleazy club, or push dime bags in unsuspecting locations. I’m really hoping no one ever learns these things about me because my whole family’s name will be ruined. My mother, who bakes croissants, will cry and be so disappointed; My father, who reads poetry to us will think it was all his fault; and my sister, who’s smart but just a little shy will either turn into a spitting image of me, or never open her mouth to speak again.

“She said the smell in the tent was horrific.” by Sasha at her desk


Friday, February 10, 2012
10:16am
5 minutes
Pope Hats
Ethan Rilly


She had been planning the night of her departure for months. She had two bundles stowed underneath the brush on the way to the Banyan tree. She tasted fear on her tongue and took a giant gulp of water. There was no time for this fear. Her husband snored on his mat. The smell in the tent was horrific. Monique, her youngest daughter, turned over in her sleep and made a small whimper. Should she bring her? She cursed under her breath. Should she bring her? She tucked a piece of dried meat in her pocket. She blew kisses to her older daughter and her two sons, twins, sleeping in a row. She slipped out of the tent. “Mama?” Monique was at the flap. “Go back to sleep, baby,” she said. “Where are you going?” She rubbed sleep from her eyes. “For a walk. I couldn’t sleep…” “Can I come?” Monique began walking towards her. She looked up at the sky and a thousand stars whispered, “Take the baby’s hand.”

“She said the smell in the tent was horrific.” by Julia at Starbucks


Friday, February 10, 2012 at Starbucks
9:06am
5 minutes
Pope Hats
Ethan Rilly


“I’m afraid of bears!” She yelled. “That’s why I’m not going camping with you, asshole.”
Eden was pissed off. and Connor knew it.
“I just want to experience the great outdoors with you! Come on, I’ll keep the bears away.
He teased her against his better judgement.
Eden was pissed, arms crossed, pissed.
“I don’t want your protection. I want fucking bear spray.”
“Bear spray’s illegal, Eden,” Connor laughed.
“Not if it’s used on fucking bears!” She shot back.
“Look,” she started, “I don’t want to go, okay? I’m afraid of bears, I hate getting bit by things because my skin swells up and it looks like I’m in an abusive relationship, I like showering—-IN A SHOWER, I need my blow dryer more than you know, and if I don’t have a fucking cup of coffee before I leave in the morning, I’m not a happy camper.”
Connor laughed again at her accidental joke.
“So would you say you’re a ‘bear’ without coffee?”
“Fuck you. I’m not going with you.”

“Writing practice asks us to be ourselves.” by Sasha at TAN on Baldwin


Thursday, February 9, 2012 at TAN on Baldwin
9:42am
5 minutes
Thunder and Lightning
Natalie Goldberg


You’re laughing in my face again. I’ve just woken up from a dream where everything went wrong and I was the living breathing manifestation of my worst fear – incapability. You’re laughing for a myriad of reasons. You’re laughing because I, like most, am only eighty percent sane. The other twenty percent neither you nor I have figured out. That’s okay. I know you have a point with this laughter. I know you are wiser than you might come across in a first meeting. I’m shaking because you are so filled with truth.

I realize this is just a pen on paper with lines and an orange inside cover. I realize no one is laughing but the violins in the music on the stereo. Myself? Groggy and foggy and achey. Pen! Lead me to salvation nirvana! Stop laughing! Start making me capable and clever and articulate!

“Writing practice asks us to be ourselves.” by Julia at TAN on Baldwin


Thursday, February 9, 2012 at TAN on Baldwin
9:42am
5 minutes
Thunder and Lightning
Natalie Goldberg


I’m the girl you see shucking oysters on the subway, filing my nails in line for the bank, rifling through my own garbage in hopes of finding just a few last cookie crumbs to nibble on.
I’m inappropriately human.
I beg myself daily to look within my core and grasp onto the girl who always arrives early, who wears concealer and has an even skin tone, who asks only smart questions, and who speaks without mumbling.
But here I am, open faced and sun kissed from yesterday’s siesta and I have pit stained shirts and a chipped tooth from a night of poor choices when I was fifteen.
I can’t hide from me as much as you can’t hide from you, but sometimes my obsession with self-awareness is draining.
I know I’m just the the girl you see struggling out loud, rolling my eyes at authority figures, and slightly smacking any car that dares to try and turn right when I have a walk signal.
I’m a mess, and I like listening to classical music during sex.
I don’t know what else there is.
I’m the girl who does things so I can write about them later.
Masochism: it’s a beautiful thing.

“Like angels stopped upon” by Julia at her desk


Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012
9:11pm
5 minutes
The Prelude
William Wordsworth


I wait a little longer than I should, but when you say you’ll be right back, I believe you. I am on the edge of our bed. The one we’ve shared since September of 2009, and I’m clipping my toe-nails right into the garbage can so you won’t have a reason to yell when you return. I think you said something about Marlboro lights and I think I laughed or hummed Auld Lang Syne as if I were trying to encourage your resolution in a backward, twisted, ironic sort of way. I don’t know how long I’ve been here, at the edge of the bed, scrambling to find other activities to keep me interested in staying in this spot. I like to read the backs of shampoo bottles and moisturizer when I’m in the bathroom. Filling my head with ingredients that sound like mystic potion requirements. Not here. There are no bottles here. Here I look at the door and try to read its subtext. Open half: you’re not far from coming home. Open a crack: hope is just a wild fire spreading through my joints like arthritis. I notice my shoes stacked in an order my mother would despise. Maybe that’s why you wanted to go in the first place? I am a collector of soles…hoping I find one or two that are better than mine.

“Like angels stopped upon” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012
2:48pm
5 minutes
The Prelude
William Wordsworth


You walk into a room and there are knives in the wall. Hundreds of them? Different kinds. Are you scared? I was. You walk into a room with blue, plush, velvet wallpaper and a little girl is playing Mozart on a toy piano in the corner. You kneel down to speak to her but she won’t look up from her fast-moving fingers. You walk into a room and a man and a woman are lying, side by side, naked. They’re looking straight up, at the tin ceiling. You realize that the man is crying. You reach into your pocket to take out the handkerchief you always keep there and instead you find a newspaper clipping from the Paul Bernardo trial. You walk into a room and the man and woman follow you. They ask you if they can take your coat. “No,” you say and quickly add, “Thank you.” “Suit yourself,” says the crying man reaching up to a high shelf and removing a huge cookie jar. “Whoopie Pie?” He asks. “We’ve got all sorts of flavours.” The woman kicks him in the shins and grabs the jar. She shoves a mini-hamburger in her mouth, toothpick and all. She does not chew. She shoves Whoopie Pies and bananas, skin and all, in her mouth. She eats one more mini-hamburger, looking right at you. She throws the jar at the wall and a swarm of ladybugs fills the room.

“Turn up the intensity knob to shit-yeah” by Julia in her bed


Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2012
12:22am
5 minutes
5 Very Good Reasons to Punch A Dolphin In The Mouth
Matthew Inman


I’m going to name my kid Harley. Yes, like the motorcycle, yes, like someone who thinks she’s bad ass. I want my kid to be cool. Names do that to people. Some people say, you look like a Jessica, and if they fucking say that to you it’s only because they know a Jessica who sort of looks like you or sounds like you. No one wants to look like a Jessica. or a Penny, or a Brittany. Those names are generic. Unforgettable. Harley. Fucking right, you remember Harley. you remember Zoe, you remember Buffy, fuck, you even remember Olga for Chrissakes. I’m not saying I want my kid to have the weirdest name just so you can remember it, but so that it helps him through life. The way pretty people just naturally have more luck or money or adoration from strangers. Harley does bad ass things and wears leather jackets. Harley brings long hair back and occasionally rocks an awesome button. Harley eats meat ironically and goes to church sincerely. Harley does the things you wish you could do but can’t because your name is something obvious like Claire, or Jenna, or Sam. These names make people into shit performers, or half-baked activists, or punk rock wannabes because their names leave them always wanting more. That, my friend, is called an inferiority complex. Look it up.

“Turn up the intensity knob to shit-yeah” by Sasha at Ezra’s Pound


Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2012 at Ezra’s Pound
1:03pm
5 minutes
5 Very Good Reasons to Punch A Dolphin In The Mouth
Matthew Inman


The hottest days of summer stuck us together like bubblegum
No desert shoe or red Converse could squish us down
The hottest days of summer
Tank top tans
Bike riding too late too fast too free no hands
The sidewalk patio calls me by name
“YES!” with then strangers now friends
Phone numbers ribboning out of pockets re-setting your heartache
Someone’s got clever fingers on a dial
A speed dial
A sun dial
The intensity knob
Breath is more inhale than exhale in the winter
Staying warm
Staying full up of hot hot air
The hottest days of summer
We exhale dirty laundry
flowers dying in vases left to us by dead grandmothers
messages left on voicemails in voices that are unrecognizable now
What was his name again?
What was his face again?
Even though it’s minus fourteen now
My skin is damp with you
Like when we traded stories of our childhood
braided friendship bracelets
Like when we tapped morse code on the pillow we shared
The hottest days of summer
You are the beginning and the end
The fall and the spring
You spin slower than the earth
So everything looks fast in comparison to you
Standing outside my window
Looking up

“poisoning” by Julia at Little Nicky’s Coffee


Monday, Feb. 6, 2012 at Little Nicky’s Coffee
5:28pm
5 minutes
The World’s First Business Directory for Tamils
Nanda Publications Inc.


You know Atash? That guy, he’s crazy. Just crazy. He’s shorter than me. That guy, he doesn’t have any taste buds, they’re all dead. His whole tongue is dead. And he got raped, eh? But he likes it so spicy, it’s actually impossible. He once asked for my hottest pasta sauce and so when I brought it to him, I put all these spicy spicy peppers in it, and when I brought it to him, he was sweating and he was laughing because it wasn’t even close. It was hot but he can’t taste the spice!
Raped…yeah, that’s what I said. He’s crazy, that’s why; he has crazy experiences.
Okay so you want to know? This random guy, okay, he says to Atash when he first came here from Afghanistan, he says, “Hey, do you want to sleep with my wife?” and Atash, he’s so crazy, he says, “Yes,” right? Because obviously. The man says, “I’ll bring you to her.” so he does, and it’s true, he lets Atash fuck his wife silly. He comes out of the bedroom and he’s tired, right, because of all the fucking, and he’s like, “I fucking love this country,” and then the guy, the husband, he takes Atash, throws him against the wall, and starts fucking him in the ass! Isn’t that so crazy? But Atash, the guy I’m trying to remind you of, is also the guy who needs a five to one ratio of chilli peppers to pasta, along with six Jamaican peppers just to feel like a man.

“poisoning” by Sasha at Grain Curd & Bean


Monday, Feb. 6, 2012 at Grain Curd & Bean
4:43pm
5 minutes
The World’s First Business Directory for Tamils
Nanda Publications Inc.


Mr. Taylor calls Cindy into his office for the thirteenth time that afternoon. She feels nauseous and wishes that she wasn’t his secretary and didn’t have to go. “Yes, Mr. Taylor?” She asks, holding onto the door frame as though if she leaned back she might fall off the edge of a precipice. “Come in, Cindy,” he says, barely looking up from his typewriter. “Close the door behind you.”

At Secretarial School Cindy had the highest word per minute and the neatest shorthand. Every Friday she would bake brownies for all the girls and cut them into tiny squares so that no one would feel the least bit guilty eating them. She got a job the day that she graduated. From there she was scouted by Mr. Taylor’s firm and plucked up, her salary increasing by thirty cents an hour.

“I don’t appreciate how you’ve been talking to my wife,” says Mr. Taylor, taking off his glasses and rubbing the bridge of his nose. “Pardon me?” says Cindy.

“Felix popped another mint,” by Sasha at Jimmy’s Coffee


Sunday, Feb. 5, 2012 at Jimmy’s Coffee
5:13pm
5 minutes
Poor Little Bitch Girl
Jackie Collins


He made sure to do up his fly in the bathroom at Union Station. He popped a mint that his mother had given him in his Christmas stocking. He made sure not to bend the sides of his folder. He made sure that he didn’t have a sesame seed from his breakfast in his teeth in the reflection of the tiny Apple on the back of his phone. In the waiting room he saw seven other brown haired men in jeans and black T-shirts. He was the tallest, as usual. He popped another mint. He nodded at James, who he always saw at auditions. James is notorious for getting callbacks and not booking. Felix is notorious for booking and then fucking up. Like on that Soap… We don’t have to mention it. A woman in a brown sweater with black framed glasses calls his name. “Go get ’em!” whispers James. He walks into the room and there are four people behind the table. His heart beats like a marching band.

“Felix popped another mint,” by Julia at the Bloor Keele Coin Laundry


Sunday, Feb. 5, 2012
4:17pm
5 minutes
Poor Little Bitch Girl
Jackie Collins


Felix likes to watch the same movies over and over again. He particularly enjoys the Look Who’s Talking series which features Bruce Willis and Roseanne Barr as the voices of very cute babies who don’t talk yet. It’s very clever and Felix knows this because he can’t seem to get enough. He doesn’t care that on this day alone, he’s already viewed both Look Who’s Talking One and Three and it’s not even two PM yet.
Felix sits on the couch and eats salt and vinegar chips while laughing hysterically at everything and scowling at anyone who interrupts him to feed him or take him to the bathroom. If it were up to Felix, he’d just wear diapers all day so he could watch without having to worry about doing other things. Food he can do without— as long as he has his chewy mints; the ones he loves because they were also his mother’s favourite. He only eats them because they remind him of her. He doesn’t mind that his teeth are rotting or being filled with cavities. Felix doesn’t even believe in cavities. He believes in Look Who’s Talking One, Two, and Three.