“He pushed a baby carrot through the hummus” by Julia at her desk


Saturday, March 31, 2012
11:14am
5 minutes
The Uncoupling
Meg Wolitzer


You find out about half way through knowing someone that they’re riddled with unpleasantness. They don’t smile as often as you assumed they did. They don’t offer to help you out of bed every morning just because one time they happened to be right there when you were waking up. They don’t like hearing news that you’re sick because it makes them feel bad about themselves and they don’t know how to offer any sympathies or advice, because they’re too busy seeking those things out for them. Them, them, them. And all you want to do is bake an apple crumble, open a bottle of Veuve without a good reason at all, and think about the times you used to have with yourself when you weren’t taking care of others. And when this half way moment presents itself to you, you won’t know what to do with it. You’ll think it’s just a phase, or a coping mechanism, but it’s not. It won’t pass, it’ll just get worse. The only thing that will surprise you anymore is the fact that they cannot for the life of them (heaven forbid for the life of you) get their heads out of their own asses long enough to give you a fucking hug and tell you, even if they don’t know if it’s true, or possible, that hey, everything is going to be okay. They will only continue to disappoint you and you will be angry with yourself for not catching these slighted behavioural patterns earlier on in your relationship. When, for example, they were only dusting around the books instead of the whole shelf, and only buying milk that they can drink because they forget you have an allergy.

“You’ve got an appointment” by Julia at El Cafecito


Friday, March 30, 2012 at El Cafecito
4:36pm
5 minutes
The Stone Angel
Margaret Laurence


I’ve been waiting for hours. I’ve re-knitted Barney’s toque and handwritten a letter to Barack Obama that I have edited and folded into a crack in my purse. They don’t care about people here. I saw a girl without any shoes on pass out two-bite brownies to all the staff and now they’re chatting about their weekends or their children.
I’m sitting here quietly because I’ve never been a verbal complainer. In fact, when I was giving birth to my third, the nurses all took bets that I would be last to go into labour because I was so calm and silent. Then I went first, popped Mitchell out within 30 minutes, and then got yelled at by two different lady nurses that I had cost them some money. I didn’t even laugh at these silly women trying to pass the time. That’s what they’re still doing and I can only imagine they’re bored in real life because they keep creating drama here.
Barney’s scarf will be a gift for next Christmas by the time I get in to see a bloody doctor for my… for my issue.

“You’ve got an appointment” by Sasha at El Cafecito


Friday, March 30, 2012 at El Cafecito
4:36pm
5 minutes
The Stone Angel
Margaret Laurence


Your mother found a lump in her breast in the shower, shaving her right armpit. She didn’t have very much hair there anymore, after so many years of waxing. She lathered coconut shaving cream and in doing so discovered the seed of sadness that would eventually kill her.

You’ve got an appointment at the hospital for your first mammogram on April thirteenth and not only are you grateful that it’s not a Friday (you inherited your father’s propensity for superstition) but you’re glad that you’ve got an exam the day before because you’ll be far more concerned with a good grade on your Biology final. You have never “Run for the Cure” and few people know that your mother is dead. You steer clear of talking about family in general. You hate the sad eyes and small moans of supportive sadness that your mother’s death inspires in people.

Sitting in the waiting room on April thirteenth you remember the sound of your mother clanging around the kitchen at five preparing for dinner, while you were upstairs in your room. Your father did not enjoy waiting more than ten minutes for food once he was home from work. Things are different now.

Our book! these five minutes: volume one


On March 18th we launched our book, these five minutes: volume one. Thank you to all who came out to support and have purchased books and magnets since!

If you would like a copy of the book, a single story magnet, or both, please e-mail us at thesefiveminutes@gmail.com.

Pricing:
Book $8
Magnet $4
Book and Magnet Special $10

Shipping:
(Items are shipped from Canada)
Ship to:
Canada $2
International $3

“Outside, the heat had grown ferocious” by Julia at her desk


Thursday, March 29, 2012
1:12am
5 minutes
Crime and Punishment
Fyodor Dostoyevsky


These are the things that I’m scared of.
I’ll tell you, but I’ll disguise them so you’ll never know for sure if I’m being honest.
From this moment on, I will carefully construct lies, grandiose statements, inaccuracies.
I will breathe in truth and breathe out excitement. Stories. Profound moments in time.
These are the things that I’m scared of.
I’ll tell you and then I’ll have to kill you because you shouldn’t know any of these secrets in the first place.
This game we’re spinning? I like this game…The one where I tell you everything that’s wrong with me on purpose and you think I’m just being playful. Or, the one where I tell you only false things and you think all of them are real…
I can’t decide which one I like more. Which game gives me a bigger thrill or confidence or validation.
But then…you will never know me.
How can you?
I’ll have crafted you into the person I need you to be. You will not love me naturally. You will not love me at all.
These are the things that I’m scared of.

“Outside, the heat had grown ferocious” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Thursday, March 29, 2012
10:29pm
5 minutes
Crime and Punishment
Fyodor Dostoyevsky


Turn up the violin music and let me hold your heart
Outside it’s sweltering again
Yesterday it snowed
Giant Jason Pollock flakes
Leaving red and blue stains on my cheeks
Today the sun burns hieroglyphics onto our shoulders
We have no choice but to shed t-shirts and short shorts
It’s so hot
Yesterday’s icicles make puddles
I see my naked reflection
And the sun
Above me
Singing ancient wisdom that I wish I could understand
You
Standing far away
Jumping on the spot
So as to not burn the bottoms of your feet
I wish that I could sing like Otis Redding
You’d hear me then

“This is a quiet place” by Julia at Little Nicky’s Coffee


Wednesday, March 29, 2012 at Little Nicky’s Coffee
4:47pm
5 minutes
Metro Toronto front page
Wednesday March 28, 2012 edition


Broke into Alan’s apartment on Thursday. I went with the intention of getting back my red jacket that I left there half by accident, half on purpose. I didn’t want to call him, especially after he said, “Do not call me”, but I’d be damned if I was going to let that son of a bitch give his new girlfriend my vintage blazer to wear. Fuck, you know. B and E is a crime and I’m a felon now, I know this, but sometimes logic evades me. I didn’t even get my fucking jacket because I was distracted by his open lap top, open e-mail browser/remembered password because he’s too stupid to change it, and I found out where he was that night. Yes the asshole part of me was like “I should go there. I could just show up ‘coincidentally’, and the hurt part of me was like ” well, shit, that was our favorite restaurant”, and the smart part of me (and by smart I mean irrational) deleted every e-mail from his new girlfriend so the first one he would see would be from me…

“This is a quiet place” by Sasha at Loft 404


Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at Loft 404
2:32pm
5 minutes
The front page of the Metro
Wednesday, March 28th, 2012 edition


Your place is a quiet place
Is a real place
Is a safe space place

Your place is a good place
Is a soul place
Is a swelling heart space place

Your place is a new place
Is a over-the-moon place
Is a high-in-the-sky space place

Your place is a warm place
Is a full place
Is a cool breeze space place

Your place is a tea place
Is a cozy place
Is a “bless you” when you sneeze space place

You place is a dream place
Is a rest place
Is a “I am home” space place

“I did not reply” by Julia on the 505, going west.


Tuesday, March 27, 2012 on the 505, going west
12:02am
5 minutes
Jane Eyre
Charlotte Bronte


They were sitting quietly and I thought that it was because they felt weird with me around. Not that I could have gone anywhere. After all, it was a small diner and I was the only girl on. He asked for a Blue and she wanted a Coors Light. I brought them glasses, which they didn’t use, and offered them our signature scones because they just looked so damn sad. They politely declined, so I gave them their space, figuring they’d let me know when they needed me. And yet, at the same time, I got the impression that they were dying to speak but only 30% of me was sure.
As I was polishing loads of cutlery he piped up. “Is it usually this packed in here on a Sunday afternoon?” It took me a second to process it as a joke as we were the only three people in the diner, and Eddie was taking a smoke break because they weren’t ordering food.
I laughed, finally, trying to explain that they had just missed the lunch rush. It was a lie, but somehow I didn’t think they’d mind. He said, “We’re not from here. We thought it looked cute.” I asked where they were from thinking, ‘Of course they want to chat. Tourists.’ “Sudbury,” she said, her first words to me in twenty minutes. “We’re visiting the hospital for sick babies.” “Oh,” I said, not quite sure what she meant. They looked too young to be parents of any babies, let alone sick ones.
“Our son has eye cancer. He’s eight months old.”

“I did not reply.” by Sasha at Capital Espresso


Tuesday, March 27, 2012 at at Capital Espresso
5:42pm
5 minutes
Jane Eyre
Charlotte Bronte


I’ve got the coupons organized according to type and then alphabetically from there. For instance, twenty cents off of canned salmon is under “Grocery”. It follows two for one canned peas. Not everything is canned. That was just an arbitrary example. They are all filed in a box that I got at a garage sale a bunch of summer’s ago. I think it’s meant for recipes but I keep my recipes in my old sticker book so they’re easier to see so I have no use for a box for recipes. I bring the box with me when I go to the store because you never know when you’re going to need something and then have a coupon for it! Which is a total score. Too bad they don’t make coupons for non “thing” things. At least I haven’t found any. I have never found a coupon for a nice handshake or a good kisser. Yesterday, however, I clipped a coupon out of the Villager (it does not matter that it isn’t my neighbourhood paper, no one has to know), for floor wax. I didn’t even know that floors liked to be waxed! That must get awfully slippery.

“Peacefully on a Saturday” by Sasha at Coffee Tree Roastery


Monday, March 26, 2012 at Coffee Tree Roastery
1:54pm
5 minutes
Deaths, Memorials, Births
Toronto Star Monday March 26, 2012 edition


Peacefully on Saturday, before the streets woke up with groans and engines revving, before bedside lamps were switched on and showered rained hot water on sleepy scalps, John Drummond died in his bed. It was a Sleep Country mattress, purchased for him by his nephew who managed the store on Canal St. John’s wife, Violet Drummond, was downstairs when he died, pouring skim milk over two Weetabix in a royal blue ceramic bowl that could be put in the dishwasher. Violet had always been an early riser.

John wasn’t sick. He wasn’t incredibly old. His only complaints were a bad right knee and residual phlegm in his throat in the Winter. At seventy eight John’s nine grandchildren assumed there’d be many more games of Scrabble on the porch and many more grilled cheese sandwiches with the crusts cut off.

When he died, John felt as though he was, in some mysterious way, awaking from a very long nap. A bright shaft of light reached towards him from the bedroom window. It wasn’t the sun.

“Peacefully on a Saturday” by Julia at Coffee Tree Roastery


Sunday, March 25, 2012 at Coffee Tree Roastery
1:54pm
5 minutes
Deaths, Memorials, Births
Toronto Star Monday March 26, 2012 edition


Born again Christians, baptized in water.
Purify. Testify.
My testimony is a little bit muddy, gotten a little bit damp from the dunk and dive conversion ceremony. Can you help me write another? I’ve got people I want to thank: friends; old and new, family; old and new, god; old and new. I am a new woman. I wear special support bras now. I eat kale chips and crave hummus dips.
I masturbate in private, in my private mind’s cave. No one can know . No one can hear me. I’ve got accidents to report:
broke the law of Jesus thrice yesterday. Tried not to steal that woolen hat, tried not to kick that meowing cat, tried not to stab my brother’s back. Laws and accidents. I’m sorry brings a white coat doesn’t it? A white dress? A white cross? Sorry, sorry, I didn’t mean to, sorry. It’s hard to be good, I’m water logged with the holy spirit, equilibrium is off. Balance of right and wrong is off, I’d like to say what my goals are now.

“Is it so terrible what you and I do?” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Sunday, March 25, 2012
1:12pm
5 minutes
Crabdance
Beverly Simons


I met you on the first overwhelming day of spring. My neighbours children drew picture on the sidewalk in front of the house and I had awoken to their laughter and the bright sun dancing light on my pillow. Rob was already at work. Ever since he transferred we barely saw each other, him leaving in the morning before I was awake and me, gone before he was home. I’d seen you before, riding your bike past my window, at the coffee shop writing on your laptop, buying toilet paper at No Frills. You reminded me of a guy I went to high school with who’d been killed in a drunk driving accident three weeks after graduation. Maybe it was the curly hair. Maybe it was the jeans you wore. I took Vinny, our black Lab, for a walk to the park six blocks away. It was so warm I took off my sweater and tied it around my waist. Someone was sitting on the bench where I always sit. It was you. I briefly considered finding someplace else to go but I’d already let Vinny off his leash and he was running. Towards you. A rush of adrenaline reminded me of riding the roller coaster at the Calgary Stampede when I was eleven. The first and last time I ever let anything whizz me through the air like that. It was terrible and wonderful.

“Is it so terrible what you and I do?” by Julia at The Reef Restaurant in Vancouver


Sunday, March 25, 2012 at The Reef Restaurant in Vancouver
1:47pm
5 minutes
Crabdance
Beverly Simons


Dreaming in each other’s blood
tasting sand on our tongues
breaching yesterday and tomorrow with
the beauty of right now
You and I
This is what we do

Catching bubbles from the clouds
sending drum beats through our veins
eating a moment in time so
it fills us to the brim
I and you
We do this is what

Speaking in code trough eyelash flutters
squeezing our chests to keep the burst in
breaking a contract with god and his enemy
in case we have to stand up and defend
You and I
This is what we do

Floating on air in the deep heat of August
sipping on the future’s promise
watching the clock’s hand dance a salsa
so we can hold our gaze for an instant longer
And you I
This do what we is
We is
Not I am you are we are
One blissful stroll
One aching desire
Is it so terrible, this life we’ve whittled?

“did either of you teach her?” by Sasha at Ezra’s Pound


Saturday, March 24, 2012 at Ezra’s Pound
12:16pm
5 minutes
Matilda
Roald Dahl


Two sisters, one aged twelve, red-headed and freckled, the other aged nine, blonde and tan, sit at their father’s PC desktop computer in his study. Their parents are out at the theatre and won’t be home until 11:30. Prescribed bedtime is 9 but both of the girls (and their parents) know that this will be neglected. “Okay, but how are we going to know how to act?” asks the younger one. “You don’t have to whisper,” says the elder, picking at a scab on her knee, “No one can hear you.” The younger is thinking about what might happen if their mother found out. She soon forgets about their mother and feels quite strongly indeed that HOTTIE18 is a terrible and misguiding name for them. She thinks Persephone would be much better. “Do you want more ice cream?” She asks, watching her sister dab at her now bloody knee with the sleeve of her grey sweatshirt. “No! Geeze, you’re gonna get fat if you keep eating that stuff,” is the red-heads response. She focuses green eyes on the keyboard and types: “So does anyone wanna cyberbang?”

“did either of you teach her?” by Julia at Kafka’s in Vancouver


Saturday, March 24, 2012 at Kafka’s in Vancouver
5:27pm
5 minutes
Matilda
Roald Dahl


I was walking on the beach last Wednesday with my dog, Butch, and I noticed that the sand smelled like home. Maybe because I’ve lived here now for over 3 years and have no plans to move, but for the first time it felt like a place I belonged, not just resided in. Home Sand. They should market that stuff in a soy candle or something and I bet people at Bed Bath And Beyond would go ape shit over it.
Butch took a crap in the Home Sand I was getting nostalgic over and even that didn’t bother me. I never get mad at her for shitting wherever she feels like it. No one ever taught her to pick her spots carefully. Why should we care? Just let my lesbian dog pop a squat on the patches of Home Sand! Butch, her name before I discovered she was into girl on girl doggie romances (proving once and for all that I am a clairvoyant, bitches ), could feel it too. Home in a wind blow; home in a broom shop or an umbrella store.
I sat down on the Home Sand and took out my harmonica.

“unable to sleep one night” by Sasha at her desk


Friday, March 23, 2012
12:34am
5 minutes
The Alchemist
Paulo Coelho


Whenever you are in the room I hear a quiet cello. It’s no different tonight. I couldn’t sleep so I ease out of bed so as to not wake you. You’re finally sleeping. It’s as if you’re my newborn and the Olympic accomplishment of you sleeping is enough to thrill me. I sit on the couch that your parents gave us for a wedding present cross-legged and wait for the kettle to boil. I’m glad that you went off your meds, at least I keep saying that. You’re glad. With a smile, you say that you feel like yourself again. I keep finding myself wondering when you’ll come home. You are home. You’re upstairs sleeping. But… I started going to that support group for the partners of people with mental illness but you know how I get in crowds… It’s not a crowd but it’s a group and that doesn’t make me want to share. Ramona the therapist tells me that I can’t expect breakthroughs. But I was raised to expect the unexpected and dream wild so that’s what I keep doing.

“One of my greatest regrets” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Thursday, March 22, 2012
3:14pm
5 minutes
Bossy Pants
Tina Fey


You’re scrap-booking newspaper clippings of your claims to fame
You’re glueing each corner down with the precision of a surgeon
You’re looking through old Vogues found at the bottom of your sisters closet
For a phrase to clip and glue at the top of the page about us
“LOVE”
“BETRAYAL”
“FIND THE NEW YOU”
Something like that would do it
You don’t find anything appropriate
After sixteen minutes of looking you give up
You go to the kitchen and make coffee in the coffee pot you gave me and then kept
You remember this
Now
For the first time
You don’t feel guilty drinking your coffee and staring out the window in your kitchen
You go back to your scrap-booking
Looking for the front page feature of your heartbreaking wanderings
You know it’s there somewhere
You find it
You kiss the photograph of yourself wearing sunglasses

“you with a fever blister and myself with a sty” by Sasha at her desk


Wednesday, March 21, 2012
12:56am
5 minutes
Everything Good Between Men And Women
C.D. Wright


It’s raining cats and dogs. I can hear the truck coming down the long driveway and I’m trying to make the house look presentable in under two minutes. Impossible. Two kids under the age of four pretty much means that nothing looks presentable. Ever. “Shit!” I say when I stub my toe hard against the bookshelf in the living room. “Crap. I mean, crap.” I say, just in case Oli can hear me from where he’s sitting on the floor, colouring. “Honey?!” That voice. I physically cannot even answer. “Rebecca?!” My mother comes in looking concerned. “I called,” she says. “You didn’t answer.” She goes over to Oli and picks him up. He looks perturbed. “Give Granny a kiss,” she commands him and he turns away. That’s my boy. “Where’s Sally?” She violently rubbing something off of Oli’s cheek and he looks on the verge of tears. “She’s napping upstairs…” I put a Goodnight Moon back on the shelf and hang up a red cape on by the front door. My mother is making her way into the kitchen “Gosh, Becca, this house is a mess!”

“One of my greatest regrets” by Julia at Toronto Pearson International Airport


Thursday, March 22, 2012 at Pearson International Airport
6:25am
5 minutes
Bossy Pants
Tina Fey


Oh baby I’ve been thinkin’ bout you
From your scar on your shin to the hole in your shoe
Oh baby, you know that it’s true
I regret not saying that I need you

I’m waiting to tell you that I’m waiting for you
You think you can find some alone time in your mind, well you’re wrong
The voices, one-two keep you awake
I’ll tell you and everyone I know that you’re the one if I ever leave this crowded brain long enough to go insane out loud

Oh baby I’ve been thinkin’ bout you
From the tears in your lap to the red and the blue
Oh baby you know that it’s true
I’ve got something to say and it might be overdue

I hate this
I hate this more than ever
I only think silence is relative
Maybe because it’s quieter in my head than I thought it was
So many noises
All I can hear are the sounds of the years gone by without you knowing

“you with a fever blister and myself with a sty” by Julia at The Croissant Tree


Wednesday, March 21, 2012 at The Croissant Tree
5:28pm
5 minutes
Everything Good Between Men And Women
C.D. Wright


I’ll tend to your wounds if you ever admit that you keep throwing yourself off the roof.
You say the wind takes you, but I don’t buy that. You think it’s easy watching a man jump from the roof of my own house every three days and never hear ‘I’m sorry’ out of him? Not easy. Not even a little bit.
But I love you, so I get the bandages and the sling, and the gauze, and the antiseptic spray.
You smile weakly and say, “Thanks, love. It stings less when you touch me.” And I smile back and say, “Some pretty strong wind lately.”

You want to leave me. This is something I know is true, but you don’t have the guts to just say it so you put your life in jeopardy to get out of breaking my heart.
Did you know that if you died my heart would break then too? Have you ever considered that?
The wind brings you to your knees and you still can’t say that you threw yourself off, that you jumped, that you flew.
You think I don’t know that your brain is attached to your legs.

“The first twenty minutes or so,” by Sasha at Annapurna


Tuesday, March 19, 2012 at Annapurna Vegetarian Restaurant
2:13pm
5 minutes
Once Upon A Time In Italy
Christopher Frayling


The first twenty minutes or so are always the worst. You should see my boarding passes, they are always torn into tiny bits or shredded around the corners like tassels on a leather jacket. Take-off is agony. Once we’re in the air, once we’re actually flying, I’m usually kind of… okay. Getting up there? The worst damn thing in the whole world. God bless whoever has to sit beside me because they are getting sweat on, they are getting cried on and they may even get barfed on. My shrink once said that fear can do incredible things to the human body. Yeah… It’s all realllllly incredible. The flight attendants often think that a nutritious meal will make it all okay. The last thing I want to do is hear the jangle of that cart coming down the aisle. That smell… Ugh, I feel nauseous just thinking about it. And holy cow you’d better hope I don’t have to pee. That jail cell bathroom is a claustrophobia attack waiting to happen!

So that’s why. I can’t come visit. I’m sorry. It’s just never going to happen.

“The first twenty minutes or so,” by Julia on the 505 going West


Tuesday, March 19, 2012
10:18pm
5 minutes
Once Upon A Time In Italy
Christopher Frayling


So he announced his engagement to Rhonda on Christmas Eve, and we were supposed to be all happy and accepting all of a sudden. It’s not a very good idea to spring something like this on your kids when it’s supposed to be a happy day. I was mad at my father for thinking news likes this would be a gift in itself. I said, “Sounds great, Dad, are you and Rhonda happy?” Which is not what I wanted to ask but somehow I’m glad that I did because what I would have asked would be along the lines of, “Is Rhonda’s ass insured because it’s as big as J. Lo’s, but in a bad way.”
He said, “Yes, very happy, Amy,” And so I said, “Well I’m happy for you.”
Then he told me and Jared that Rhonda would be joining us for Christmas dinner so let’s all welcome her into our little family. Jared was like, “Cars, cars, blah, blah, cars, cars” but I was like, “Okay, she better bring us a great gift because she’s ruined my holiday, that’s for sure.”
Instead I smiled sweetly… which by the way is probably the last one in my life, so he better have liked it.

“Union Square” by Julia on her couch


Monday, March 19, 2012
1:10am
5 minutes
Union Square
Neil Labute


It’s a little place far away, I’ve been dying to go. I think I have enough money. Been saving since I was nine. Not for this, but for everything. Just been saving. Got over four dollars and that’s just in coins alone. Probably more. I never count it anymore because it just takes so long. I’ve got to go there. I’ve got to take myself and just leave this place so I can be there where the smiling is. The smiling. Something my sister told me about. She said that’s where she was going when she was leaving me here. She said she’d come back for me like every sister in every movie or book or stupid song says to the younger sister. I believed mine just like they all did, and when I realized she wasn’t coming back for me, coming back at all, I started saving. Just so I could go find her. Maybe not even to hug her because I’m still upset from the lies I believed like a chump that she turned me into. Instead, on my way to that little place, I’m going to stop off where she is, no hugging, and tell her I’ll be right back but then I won’t be. I won’t be right anything. I’ll be right away, right gone, right there, right now. She’ll think it was fate that I found her again, and she’ll spew some more lies like she’s so happy we’re together again, and she knew it would work out.
And then I’d steal her leather jacket, or her car, whatever means more, and I’ll just keep on driving or running to that little place she made me want all these years.
Funny thing is, I don’t believe this will ever even happen. She could be dead by now. She could be married with twins.

“Union Square” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Monday, March 19, 2012
12:03am
5 minutes
Union Square
Neil Labute


Called to the stand
Not proverbial
Called to the Stand
Get up Stand up Stand
Called to the stand
Where truth spills from tongues
Like candy floss pop rocks
Sugar so sweet your teeth pop
On the stand she suddenly forgets
On the stand she forgets that her Mama never kissed Santa Clause
On the stand it’s all white beard, red lips
And she’s cryin’
She’s wailin’
The judge calls “ORDER”
But it’s a kindergarden class coming in from a thunderstorm
The judge calls “RECESS”
But it’s soldiers lined up like toys
Push one over and they all fall
Domino
One last witness to the stand
Stand up
Heels click
One photograph
Clutched in trembling hands
Union Square
Mistletoe

“typhoid attacked me” by Sasha at The Inner Garden


Sunday, March 18, 2012 at The Inner Garden
7:50pm
5 minutes
Midnight’s Children
Salman Rushdie


Sometimes things stalk you and you don’t know until they are breathing down your back, hot and smelling of ham and gravy. This is what occurred on Wednesday. On my way home from work (same old, same old) and I’m thinking about Monica Newman. God. Sounds like a movie star. Monica Newman. Great ass. Monica… Then I feel this presence, this looming. Not quite a shadow, more like a thunder cloud about twenty minutes before rain. I turn around and there he is. “Jesus! Alton! You effin’ scared the living shit outta me!” He’s eating a sandwich from the Sunset Grill. “I gotta bone to pick with you,” Alton says, spitting bits of ham in my face. “Oh yeah?” I say. “Yeah!” Says Alton. “I hear you’ve been making googley eyes at my girl Monica!” Aw crap. That rain’s just about started now.

“typhoid attacked me” by Julia at The Inner Garden


Sunday, March 18, 2012 at The Inner Garden
7:50pm
5 minutes
Midnight’s Children
Salman Rushdie


I was up all night with a fever, fucking fever, thinking: Who the hell am I going to get to water my fucking daisies?
I was in this trance dream, breathing in and out like a rabbit on the search of Nirvana. I might have eaten a golden delicious apple at some point of the dream but who gives a shit; I was zen and boy was I dreaming.
I slept in cycles. 1 2 3 and Red Blue and Yellow. I threw up my life’s experiences in one fowl purge and realized I had not yet danced with a clown, or a man, or a risk. I was up all night with a fever,FUCKING FEVER, thinking: Who the hell am I going to promise I won’t die to? Certainly not my ex-boyfriend, Alistair. Fucker wouldn’t take me dancing if I paid him in sacks of back rubs and cotton candy milkshakes. I was dying with the thought of killing him in his sleep. Truth is, he never hurt me. He just opened my eyes to the type of calamine lotion worked best on a broken ego. Fucking Alistair. I’m delirious and he’s the only fucking thing I can think of. Must of been one of those situations where they sting you, then die, then leave the fucking stinger in you so you never stop feeling them.
What a smart asshole he was.

“Nor did she wish it otherwise,” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Saturday, March 17, 2012 at her kitchen table
2:32pm
5 minutes
Parzival
Wolfram Von Eschenbach


You’d better ask to harvest my eggs so that you’d be able to have that kid we’ve always been talking about. Even if you don’t ask I’m going to go ahead and harvest because we have that technology now and just because I’m going to be dead doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t still have that kid… with the long eyelashes and the dark hair and the blue eyes and the quirky intelligent sense of humour. The kid will be an amazing speller. On the weirdness scale, that will make up for it’s propensity for far out spirituality. But you didn’t ask. You didn’t ask and so I went ahead and booked the harvest and handed over a ridiculous amount of money and the doctor asked where my husband was and I said I didn’t have a husband I had you. But you were at work. The doctor said it probably wasn’t the best idea to do such an invasive procedure when I was already in such a state but I gave him that look that is usually saved for you and my mother only that really showed him I meant business and not to insult me with that type of question again. I laid on the guilt and added, “I don’t have much more time. Please don’t waste the precious moments I have left.” That’s all it took for him to harvest like a farmer in September. So you should know that my eggs are sitting in some vial or petrie dish or something in Mount Sinai Hospital and if you ever decide you want to have that kid that’s what they’re there for. And I don’t like things going to waste. And this is pretty much by dying wish so…

“Nor did she wish it otherwise,” by Julia at Second Cup


Saturday, March 17, 2012 at Second Cup
12:55pm
5 minutes
Parzival
Wolfram Von Eschenbach


Rebecca is a bimbo. Plain and simple. Literally, she is so simple it astounds most people.
She likes to eat asparagus raw, and makes lasagna without browning the beef first.
Some wonder how she’s managed to survive all these years without killing someone, or getting lost in a forest somewhere. Others wonder why nobody has told her yet.
Rebecca seems happy; ignorant, but happy. She doesn’t seem to mind that her tea bags never fully steep (doesn’t know you have to boil the water first), or that Kleenex is not a suitable fiber substitute.
She doesn’t seem to want it any other way.
But when Rebecca finds herself alone, she writes beautiful violin music and paints roses from a paint solution she herself concocts. Okay, okay, so maybe it is because she is asleep and these are her dreams, but you can’t blame a girl for trying.
Rebecca truly likes giving her money away to the homeless, or to Jehovah’s Witnesses, or to anyone who asks, really. She doesn’t see the point of keeping it. She doesn’t see the point of much, but yes, that is beside the point.
What we don’t know is that Rebecca is actually afraid of her own belly button.

“6. Mentally thank your body” by Sasha in her bed


Saturday, March 17, 2012
5:26am
5 minutes
The Secret is in The Rainbow
Ruth Berger


1. Concrete floors are unforgiving, both for lower backs and for dropped trays of glassware.
2. When you play music to a cancer cell it’s structure changes. (Mozart or The Rolling Stones?)
3. Fever has multiple deplorable symptoms, the worst being that as the body’s temperature increases there is often a feeling of bone chilling cold.
Never know how much I love you
Never know how much I care
When you put your arms around me
I give you fever that’s so hard to bare

4. “Burnout” does not just reference parking lot tire tracks made by testosterone-filled teenagers but fatigue and illness resulting from prolonged stress, work, and said concrete floors.
5. The sun will rise at 7:26am. Two hours to go.
6. Mentally thank your body for the miraculous things it does without you even being aware. Thank you, Kidneys! Hallelujah Spleen! Muchos gracias Queen ticker, the Heart!

“6. Mentally thank your body” by Julia at Dufferin Station


Friday, March 16, 2012
12:12am
5 minutes
The Secret is in The Rainbow
Ruth Berger


Got a whole stack of magazines that I look through once in a while. I think, yeah, fashion is cyclical, it’ll still be in style and if it’s not, it will soon enough. Every time I go through them, even though some of them are over four years old, I find something new.
Take today for example. I went through it to see if the nail polish colours were coming back in style-like certain golds. Instead I find a recipe for marzipan. Now, you may not understand the significance of this find, but for me it was like the skies opened up, a chorus of angels started singing, and my life was changed. FOR THE BETTER. Some of these things are individual so if you’re looking through your old magazines, be prepared to find some that speak to you but won’t necessarily speak to me.

In that instant I mentally thanked my entire life up till now, thanked my bones, thanked my mouth, thanked my body. It felt like a realization and from something so minute…But the minutia is what made me aware. As if I’d been avoiding it before. As if I’d been neglecting the small possibilities because they weren’t big enough to notice.
It’s funny even, isn’t it? Marzipan? I know, I know. Marzipan.

“What you learn today?” by Sasha at her desk


Thursday, March 15, 2012
5:13pm
5 minutes
The Help
Kathryn Stockett


Chrysanthemum flatline buzz buzz buzz
Doctor’s orders: kiss the back of a medicine man hand
They called for thunder and lighting
Inverted
Might be silence and dark
I learned balance of twin crystal balls in open palms
I learned sidewalk mirages and phantom rainbows
I learned stepping up and stepping back are sometimes the same thing
I awoke from a dream
Swimming in the Adriatic
Phosphorescent fish circling my kicking feet
I didn’t have to come up for air
I opened my eyes
Coral and seahorses
Starfish and whales

“after the murders” by Sasha at the park


Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at the park (Adelaide and Brant St.)
3:42pm
5 minutes
From the Article Was Lizzie the killer?
The Metro Wednesday March 14, 2012 edition

No more name calling now that Mr. Riley’s back. No more midnight snacks of toast and honey. No more full bathtub baths because he says that it’s a waste of perfectly useful water. Since when was bathing not useful? Are we in Elizabethan England or something? No more Fun Fridays. We still learn on Fun Fridays, it’s just the fun kind! My cousin Elizabeth thinks that boarding school is very romantic and olden days. She thinks that it must be so much easier without parents breathing down your neck. I keep trying to tell her that it’s not at all easier, in fact, it’s terribly worse. My class was known as “Mr. Riley’s girls”, even when he was away and Miss Ballentine had us. I hate it. We are in no way, shape or form “his” girls. Anything but! Miss Ballentine said that there was no reason why we couldn’t take our lessons outside. Sunshine does a growing brain good. Miss Ballentine also said that anyone who tried to tell a young lady that she was better off in the kitchen or changing diapers than at college or university had better watch out because she’d come after them. Mr. Riley often mutters, “Useless cows”. He thinks no one hears him. I do.

“What you learn today?” by Julia on the subway heading West


Thursday, March 15, 2012
7:11pm
5 minutes
The Help
Kathryn Stockett


There’s a new set of rules, cool cats
don’t be hasty, just taste them and tell me
Are they good enough to eat?
Swat them flies, they’re all bad guys, getting stuck on your brown rice pudding.
I’m not kidding, these are times changing, ladies bathing, babies wailing.
Cool cats from the streets, tell me what’s your favourite meat?
That kind that unwinds, or the kind that rewinds?
Yeah.
You understand my cause, catch the drift from the laws, breaching births without pause,
you can tell this system’s flawed.
Yeah.
We’re all too old and too young and too dumb,
so break all the rules,
break every last one.
This is your calling device, your naughty or nice,
your Santa stripped then slipped down the chimney of ‘never think twice’.
I gotcha, I heard,
You’re confused, it’s absurd,
but I want you to see, if you haven’t yet set free,
all your lack of self-worth,
drown it deep in the sea.
All you cool cats will know, this is a one man show,
catch a glimpse in the mirror and it strikes 10 below.
Alone, but not,
because you’re what you’ve got.

“after the murders” by Julia at The Second City Training Centre


Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at The Second City Training Centre
5:39pm
5 minutes
From the Article Was Lizzie the killer?
The Metro Wednesday March 14, 2012 edition

Milo and I wait for our mom to come home and I make him let me braid his hair because he’s little and I’m big. Milo secretly likes when I do this but in front of his friends he yells, “Jordie! I’ll never let you! Not in a million years!” Then when they go he sits between my legs, I put on our favorite movie (which is The Lion King), and we just watch it in complete silence.

Our mom has been gone for two days now. They say she’s coming back but I don’t think that’s true. All our lives she has made us a tuna fish sandwich on Thursdays, and sends us mini pizzas for lunch on Fridays. She didn’t even leave anything in the fridge with a note like usual. It’s harder to pretend like I believe them when they tell us, “Soon, soon” in front of Milo. He’s little and I’m big. I’m supposed to make sure he’s not scared and things. If I have to take care of him and our two fish, Buddy and Angel, then I think I’ll be prepared for it. I’ll take on the responsibility of making tuna fish sandwiches.

“This is the fourth day we’ve been down here” by Sasha at The Toronto Coffee Co.


Tuesday, March 12, 2012 at the Toronto Coffee Company
1:47pm
5 minutes
The 42nd Parallel
John Dos Passos


This is the fourth day we’ve been down here. The strange this is it actually feels like it’s getting lighter. Some of the guys say that it’s because our eyes are truly adjusting and some say it’s ‘cuz we’re getting delirious and high. I don’t feel high. You know when you become a miner that there are job hazards. I’m not a retard. But you think, “It won’t be me.” Steve keeps making jokes about that plane crash movie and how eventually we’re going to start eating each other. Some of the guys have stopped laughing. I wonder if Beth is having pains or if the baby is kicking like last week. Beth must be eating lots of Aero bars and well done steaks. Shit. I miss her. Never thought I would say that.

“This is the fourth day we’ve been down here” by Julia on the subway heading West


Tuesday, March 12, 2012
11:34pm
5 minutes
The 42nd Parallel
John Dos Passos


We’ve started collecting sticks and storing them in a dry container just in case.
Just in case any day now we get trapped down here for good, or for god knows how long.
…Just in case we’re already trapped and are just going delusional for the days where we still had a sense of time, space, identity.
Ray told me today he was planning to whittle one of our fire twigs into a sharp point so he could stab himself in the eye.
This way, he said, he would get to experience blindness before dying.
I don’t question Ray anymore. Ever since he figured out why we were being shipped down here I’ve had a different level of acceptance and respect for him. I don’t even wonder why Ray wants to experience blindness in the first place.
He also told me that he’s glad there are no little girls down here because he’s afraid of what he might do.
I told him he wouldn’t do anything. I’ve known Ray a long time and I know more than I know we’re probably going to die together that he would never, in a million years, be that guy.
When I wake up tomorrow, I’m going to tell him this again.

“a big blonde face” by Julia at Fahrenheit Coffee


Monday, March 12, 2012 at Fahrenheit Coffee
9:57am
5 minutes
Sisters of the Moon
Jennifer Egan


A beautiful woman with eyelashes as long as a spider’s legs was staring at me from behind her bedraggled novel. I kept my eyes lowered out of fear and then out of embarrassment. She wasn’t smiling or scowling, nodding or furrowing her brow. She was just staring. The rational part of me immediately assumed she was just lost in her own thoughts, or a memory too good not relive. She was staring but she was not staring at me. Just into the nothingness collecting around my face and my dyed blonde hair.
Her eyelashes seemed to get entangled when she blinked. So much so that I was afraid she’d never be able to open her eyes again. I attempted a smile, suddenly, against my will almost; as if the smile knew me better than I did.
Maybe she thinks she knows me. She did not smile back. She blinked again, a violent tango of ‘which set of lashes will win.’

“a big blonde face” by Sasha at Fahrenheit Coffee


Monday, March 12, 2012 at Fahrenheit Coffee
9:57am
5 minutes
Sisters of the Moon
Jennifer Egan


When I started naming off the Prime Ministers I knew I’d lost you. You were looking at me with that big, blond face and I didn’t know what else to say. “Useless knowledge,” you muttered and got up from the dinner table, a heaping pile of Spaghetti Bolognaise sitting at your place. “Do you want to know about Sir John A. McDonald?” I said to the Spaghetti. It did not reply.

I heard you running a bath, something you’ve started doing more frequently now. You bring in three or four New Yorkers and smoke half a joint, the only thing emerging from the water – your bulgy knees, your long arms, holding the folded over magazine in one hand and the joint in the other, and your blonde head. I know this because I peek through the crack in the door and watch you in your disgruntled peace.

I get into bed while you’re still in the bath and can’t help saying out loud, “you must be getting pruney.” I’ve left the Spaghetti on the table, partly in case you want to eat it before joining me amongst flannel and nightmares and partly to spite you and make you clean up your own mess.

“When someone’s rude to service staff,” by Julia at Sambuca Grill


Sunday, March 11, 2012 at Sambuca Grill
3:35pm
5 minutes
No More Mr. Nice Guy
Toronto Metro Weekend Edition, March 9-11, 2012
Quoted by Jason Segel


Name: Alison Gateway
Age: 22
Occupation: Server
Hopes and Dreams: Too many to count
Favourite Colour: Sky Blue
Favourite Number: Anything ending in ‘teen’
Favourite Book: The Catcher In The Rye
Why: B/c it’s one of the most banned books in the U.S
Favourite Article of Clothing: Vintage denim jacket
Favourite Saying: “Am I right, or am I right?”
Biggest Pet Peeve: Entitled restaurant patrons
Biggest Turn Off: Men who are rude to their server
Why: B/C it’s clear; they don’t care about others and will consequently not care about me. Also b/c, duh! It reflects on EVERYTHING
Worst Fear: Having a customer yell at me
Biggest Accomplishment: That my personality comes out in my handwriting OR that I’m the only reason why some people dine here
Up For The Future: Leave job, start a business
Life’s Passion: Taking care of animals
Life’s Purpose: To lead by example

“When someone’s rude to service staff,” by Sasha at Lit on College


Sunday, March 11, 2012 at Lit Espresso Bar
2:58pm
5 minutes
No More Mr. Nice Guy
Toronto Metro Weekend Edition, March 9-11, 2012
Quoted by Jason Segel


James is wearing a grey pinstripe suit and a navy blue tie. He has thick-framed black glasses and a haircut that needs more maintenance than a poodle. When we first met he asked my cultural background. “Part Lithuanian, part British, part Italian,” I said. “I knew there was something mysterious in there! Lithuanian, eh?” “Yeah,” I said, topping up his water glass, “Do you have a problem with that?” I smiled. “I’m Latvian. How could I have a problem with it. I love it…” He moved the red wine around in his glass. “What do you do?” He asked, not looking up. I greatly appreciate this question. Always. The acknowledgment that most likely this job is a means to an end and not the end in and of itself. “I’m an actor and a playwright,” I say, and for some reason feel the need to add, “surprise, surprise!” He drinks the end of his wine and says, “I thought so. You have that sparkle.”

“tendency to burn.” by Julia at Sasha’s kitchen table


Saturday, March 10, 2012
10:58pm
5 minutes
Fresh at Home
Ruth Tal Brown & Jennifer Houston


“Oh my Jesus,” she said. My mother was baking fucking apple tarts and she’s never touched an oven in her life. I told her to “be careful, those things have a tendency to burn.” She didn’t listen.

My mother brushes her teeth with Excel Polar Ice sugar free gum and uses dental floss as a decoration in her bathroom.

Ever since she moved back from Indiana and started living with me, I’ve been collecting more balls of pink lint than usual. My mother thinks the whole world should be coloured pink: fucking doused in it. Her towels are pink, her bathrobe is pink. I’m pretty sure her glasses are pink—or rose coloured, you decide.

“Oh my Jesus,” I heard again, this time more panicked.
“These little suckers will ruin you if you look away for just a second.”
Then I heard her humming the Three’s Company theme song and I thought, “Yup, exactly. This house is not big enough for the three of us.” And by the ‘three of us’ I obviously meant me, my life, and her.

“Come and knock on my door…”

“tendency to burn.” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Saturday, March 10, 2012 at her kitchen table
10:58pm
5 minutes
Fresh at Home
Ruth Tal Brown & Jennifer Houston


“Burn bright star light,” he would kiss my forehead and the prickle of his moustache would tickle my third eye. I hated leaving my grandfather’s farm every September. After a summer of gathering eggs, still warm from the chickens ruffled feathers; watermelon seed spitting contests on the porch; reading the entire series of Nancy Drew, the spines of the books murmuring of my mother’s childhood; and hearing my grandfather snore through the thin walls, a lullaby better than any “rock a by”. The first summer my mother sent me there (as she had no idea what to do with my irate attitude), I screamed and cried for the first four days. Once I had sufficiently tired myself out my grandfather slid a note under the door of the room where I would be staying for the next three months – “Are you ready to come out and try some of Sue’s bumbleberry pie? Your piece has been waiting since Monday.”

“Looks like a mess to me,” by Sasha at Cafe Novo


Friday, March 9, 2012 at Cafe Novo
4:58pm
5 minutes
The Shack
WM. Paul Young


Make-up unfortunately turns me more “drag queen” than “pretty girl”. My Aunt Jan said that I inherited my “handsome” features from our great-grandma Bette. I said, “no girl wants to be “handsome” so screw you Bette.” Aunt Jan said never to curse the dead because they might come back and nibble off your toenails in your sleep. Then I’d be the “handsome” girl with no toenails. Jan bought me Revlon mascara and CoverGirl blush in Spring Fling for my fourteenth birthday. When I came downstairs for dinner with the make-up on Jan gasped. Not in the good way. Uncle Sebastian slowly put on his bifocals and said, “Shit. Annie. You like a mess.” He can get away with saying those sorts of things only because his mother was British and he someone genetically inherited her accent. Nonetheless, I glared at both of them, burst into tears and I haven’t touched make-up since. Actually that’s a lie. I put on some lipstick for prom and that’s when the “drag queen” comments started. “Handsome” women are better left untouched by the paintbrush of femininity.

“Looks like a mess to me,” by Julia at Cafe Novo


Friday, March 9, 2012 at Cafe Novo
4:58pm
5 minutes
The Shack
Wm. Paul Young


I think about bees sometimes and I wonder if they’re happy. They are chaotic and a little bit crazzzzzy! But they seem to get the job done and I think sometimes that they’re probably those types that work well under pressure. The types that know where everything is or should be even though from an outside perspective it looks like a terrible mess… one my mom would say, “Eva! I don’t understand how you find anything in this room of yours! It looks like World War III touched down in here!” My mom says that everything looks like or feels like World War III. As if she’s the one who invented that phrase. Also, she combines tornadoes with wars and thinks they can live happily together in a sentence. I tell her, “Mom, stay out of my room! OFF LIMITS TO ADULTS!” And she laughs and then says, “When you’re paying for the room then you can put a lock on the door and I’ll never bother you again.” I bet bees don’t have mothers trying to tell them to hurry up and “bee faster”…haha… or hurry up and “don’t dye your hair green, Eva.” They know what to do on their own, even if they look like they’re going to spin out of control and drop every thing they’re holding because they’ve taken too much in their coats at once because they think they don’t need to make two trips. My mother always says to me, “Eva, don’t be a lazy donkey! Just take two trips!” And then I say, “Mom! You’ll be thanking me in a second!”

“Want a cigarette?” by Sasha at The Abbott


Thursday, March 8, 2012 at The Abbott
4:56pm
5 minutes
Destined To Witness
Hans. J. Massaquoi


He approaches with a sly smile and a trip over some girl’s jacket that has fallen from the back of her barstool onto the floor. I hear him stifle swear words and then look up. Cool, calm and collected. “Care to join me for a cigarette?” He asks. He has an accent. OhmygodshootmenowIAMagoner. It’s potentially South African. Or Australian. Heck, I’m not good with geography, who gives a damn. “Sure,” I say and I attempt to slide femininely off of my bar stool but these poorly designed things are height prejudiced and he has to lend me a hand. Shucks. Once we’re outside and I realize that it’s twelve below I loathe myself for not bringing my scarf or mitts. I get splotchy face in the cold. He should not see my splotchy face. He light up the cigarette and I really wish that I actually smoked so that this wouldn’t all of a sudden get awkward. He hands me a blue lighter. “No thank you,” I say. “You prefer matches?” He exhales his smoke straight up into the starry mysterious sky. Who am I? Why am I thinking about the sky in terms of “starry and mysterious”?! What is this man, this worldly man, doing to me?! “I don’t actually smoke,” I say laughing and elbowing, all “Ha ha ha”. “Then why did you say yes to a ciggie?” A “ciggie”? Must be an Aussie. Case solved! They love nicknames and abbreviations. God, I’m good.

“arrows, fire and flowers,” by Sasha at her desk


Wednesday, March 7, 2012
10:02am
5 minutes
From the poem Poetry
Pablo Neruda


Miguel: Bert and Ernie were gay lovers ferrrr surrrre, man. You see them all up in eachother’s faces with those striped shirts and shit? You know they gots to be homos.
Sandy: Is that a problem for you?
Miguel: Nawwww… I’m jus’ saying –
Sandy: What made you say that?
Miguel chews his gum loudly and looks out the window of the Tim Horton’s
Miguel: I dunno…
Sandy looks at Miguel and waits for a better answer.
‘Cuz, ‘cuz… I’m starting to have a feeling about you, Sandy. I mean what guy even has that fuckin’ name. “Sandy”. It’s a chick name! Are you – Nevermind. Forget it.
Sandy: “Am I”?
Miguel: Are you like Bert an’ Ernie with that guy who I always see you with!?
Sandy: Number one, you are asking me a personal question which, in and of itself, goes outside of the boundaries of me being your tutor. Number two, you asked me like a “fuckin'” child. Grow a set, think up the appropriate way to phrase the question and maybe, MAYBE, I’ll give you an answer.

“Want a cigarette?” by Julia at Cafe 260


Thursday, March 8, 2012 at Cafe 260
3:05pm
5 minutes
Destined To Witness
Hans. J. Massaquoi


I don’t smoke, never have, never will.
I don’t drink, never have, want to try.
I don’t steal, anymore, but I used to.
I don’t lie, to your face, but I could.

This is a confession to everyone who has ever seen me give that look. The look that means “I know you just saw me do something sketchy and I’m going to pretend I didn’t.” The look that means, “I’m screwed”, “I’m an idiot”, “I’m embarrassed”.

I don’t cry, never have, never want to.
I don’t eavesdrop, in an obvious way, so be weary when I have a newspaper.
I don’t laugh, very easily, but I love to.
I don’t pray, any more, but I used to.

This is an amalgamation of my personal Pros and Cons, the list that I’ve created, added to the one that you’ve made.
I don’t feel bad about it, I just feel so-so about it, I just feel “this-is-all-I’ve-got-so-why-fight-it” about it.

I don’t ask for help, never have, never will.
I don’t admit when I’m wrong, don’t know how, never am.
I don’t covet, don’t care enough about you, don’t plan to.

“arrows, fire and flowers,” by Julia at Seor Ak San Korean Restaurant


Wednesday, March 7, 2012 at Seor Ak San Korean Restaurant
1:30pm
5 minutes
From the poem Poetry
Pablo Neruda


In Anna’s hair she wove a chain of daisies all through the back. She decided it was going to be useful while waiting for the bus.
He loves me. He loves me not.
Anna only preferred daisies. Other flowers felt like they were trying too hard; like they didn’t know what simplicity was.
Sometimes she’d stick a single daisy through the space between her flesh and her thumb ring and walk down the street as if she didn’t even realize it was there.
Anna frequently stopped in the middle of the sidewalk and just looked up. She didn’t know why she did this but was hoping someone else would not only know, but understand her reasons.
Anna ate hotdogs from the vendor on the corner, even though she knew it was was the most expensive. She appreciated the vendor’s motives and felt like if he were smart enough to over-charge, he deserved her $3.25 more than anyone.
Today was Anna’s birthday.
She was spending it alone, sipping green tea lattes and sampling cheeses at the new Loblaws.

“They got each other’s sense of humor” by Sasha at Sense Appeal


Tuesday, March 6, 2012 at Sense Appeal
11:58am
5 minutes
I’m Dying Up Here
William Knoedelseder


I live by lists. Some folks live by prayers or Chiclets. Not me. Lists. Got fouteen on the go right now. Let’s see… “Groceries”. “Furniture items for redecorating after Ron’s raise.” “Christmas presents.” “What charities I will donate to when I can afford philanthropy.” “TV shows Ron should tape while I’m at work.” “What bank we’ll put money in when we have money.” I’ll spare you and not rattle off all of them but I will have you know that titling a list is perhaps as important as the items on it. If you don’t have a title you don’t have a thing and if you don’t have a thing then you’re back where you started. Get it? Ron curses me all damn day because he finds my lists around the trailer but I just say, “Ron! If I didn’t have lists, you wouldn’t have a WIFE!” That usually shuts him up. I think I see a flicker of emotion as he ponders what the haydiddle he’ll do once I’m gone. Serves him right. Shouldn’t take me for granted! Shouldn’t take a bowl of cornflakes on the table every morning for granted! And soggy! Just like he likes them! I’m tempted to start a new list. “Things to stop doing for Ron so he’ll learn once and for all.”

“They got each other’s sense of humor” by Julia at Linux Cafe


Tuesday, March 6, 2012 at Linux Cafe
3:21pm
5 minutes
I’m Dying Up Here
William Knoedelseder


She liked to dress up as Batman and he liked to eat Triscuits off of her naked body.
Game. Set. Match.
She liked to speak in tongues when she felt two worlds collide and he liked to grow his beard long enough so he could twist it.
She yelled at him once on the roller coaster from hell and said that if he didn’t get it, she wasn’t going to explain it to him.
He threw up on her shoes that day.
They don’t ever talk about it.
She grabbed a tuft of his underarm hair in a fit of joy and smelled it.
He laughed so hard he made his bowl of soup feel jealous.
She remembers letting ants crawl all over her legs when they sat together in the park. She thought that if he acknowledged it they could finally take their relationship to the next level. She, to this day, thinks he was being too self-involved to notice.
He had. He was filming it the whole time on his phone.
She chucked a wine opener at his head on their first anniversary.
He chased her down the stairs of the fire escape with a spatula.

“Don’t you believe me?” by Julia at T. A. N on Queen


Monday, March 5, 2012 at T.A.N on Queen
4:47pm
5 minutes
Weapons of Happiness
Howard Brenton


I’ve told you so far about my fear of small children, my inability to pronounce pasketty (pasket…pasket…dammit),
my long lasting obsession with Tim Allen, and it was hard for me but I told you about my special unicorn mantra: I am unique; I am peaceful; I am in demand. Don’t you believe me? I’m fairly certain that this is the most honest I can ever be and you’re sitting there sipping your rye, which is odd because until now you’ve been “against alcohol”. And there’s a lot of judgment in your face. Probably some French judgment because either my truths are being lost in translation or you’re using it as a convenient out to just not respond to me.

I understand that this voice sounds a lot like that girl you once knew in Paris, and you’re afraid of getting hurt again, but I can assure you: I won’t attack your penis with a monkey wrench this time! Actually I can do you one better: I promise I won’t, AND that I’ll NEVER EVEN WANT TO. So you can drink rye all you want. Numb the past life of pain you’re stuck in. Do what you have to do, I’m telling you. I’ll still be here when you get back from PTSD Land.

“Don’t you believe me?” by Sasha at Capital Espresso


Monday, March 5, 2012 at at Capital Espresso
10:11am
5 minutes
Weapons of Happiness
Howard Brenton


She wasn’t a smoker or a chocoholic. She didn’t crack a can of Diet Pepsi every half hour or gnaw on her nails. She wasn’t a whiskey swigger or a chip junkie. Some addictions are right out in the open, the sun shining resiliency right into their hearts like a sapling . Other addictions are more hidden, in bathroom drawers and hard-to-reach cupboards. Molly? Molly was a liar.

She couldn’t help herself. Some people will finish a quart of Ben and Jerry’s in their freezer, simply because it is there. Some people pick their nose and eat it, a private pleasure whisking them back to Grade One spelling bees and times tables. Molly tried to tell the truth. She would vow, every morning while staring herself in the eye, via the mirror, while she brushed her teeth, “Today I will tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth.” By noon she was seven lies down and counting.

“I’m allergic to onions,” she told the French waiter at lunch. (She despised the lingering taste in her mouth). “I was just defeated with work last night and couldn’t finish that report,” she told her boss. (She watched four episodes of True Blood and fell asleep with kernels of popcorn in her cleavage).

“they don’t imagine lawnmowers” by Julia at Sushi Couture


Sunday, March 4, 2012 at Sushi Couture
2:47pm
5 minutes
From the poem Please Don’t
Tony Hoagland


There was something in the soup that Vinny fed me. I think it was carrots and I fucking hate carrots. I’m not usually very picky when it comes to food, waste not want not, that whole thing, but carrots? I cannot do carrots. I also cannot do beets, olives, sweet potatoes, turnips, or ginger. Vinny fucking feeds me soup with carrots in there, I’m guessing he’s probably trying to sneak some other shit in that he’s planning on not telling me. You know when you get the feeling that someone is watching you and you turn around and there they are? That’s what this is like. I fucking hate carrots, and I can sense them from a mile away even if they’re cleverly disguised as a hearty and delicious soup. That just makes my blood boil. I know they’re in there, how am I supposed to enjoy anything? Fucking cheap-trick-Vinny. I start imagining what I’ll do to him next time I see him. Throw one of his prized cats under a lawnmower then feed him a nice souffle or a quiche. Fucking try to sabotage me. Fucking Vinny; really brings out the shit in me. The shittiest guy I can be because he’s there the whole time just rubbing his grubby palms together, just waiting for me to fall. Well I’ll tell you something, Vinny may be my only brother, but that doesn’t mean shit to me right now.

“they don’t imagine lawnmowers” by Sasha at Cherry Bomb


Sunday, March 4, 2012 at Cherry Bomb
1:13pm
5 minutes
From the poem Please Don’t
Tony Hoagland


He’s cutting the grass again. The sun’s not even up yet and he’s out there riding around on that ridiculous thing. It started last winter when he decided, given that we have a corner lot, that it was a necessity for him purchase a snow blower. “Why are you suddenly so concerned with the state of our front lawn, Al?” I asked. “You have your things and I have mine.” He said.

Al sets his alarm based on when the sun will rise. He gives himself a good forty five minutes to mow the lawn. Cherissa next door called to me when I was pruning the hydrangeas. “Al is keeping your lawn so… trimmed, Miranda.” I wiped a sweaty piece of hair from my forehead. “He certainly helps out!” I called back. She came closer, carefully stepping over her row of daffodils. In a hushed voice, “He’s been getting up very early…” As if perhaps I didn’t notice Al getting out of bed every morning. Cherissa’s eyes blinked rapidly. “Is there a problem?” I asked, quickly smiling to cover up the edge in my voice. Blink blink blink. “No.. I mean, it wakes us up,” she said, “but we have our earplugs ready.”

“At last twelve o’clock came,” by Sasha at the Ground Level Cafe


Friday, March 2, 2012 at the Ground Level Cafe
11:58am
5 minutes
Emma and I
Shiela Hocken


We’d been fighting since after dinner. Your voice was horse and my eyes were red. We were both empty of name-calling and relationship projections. You turned on the TV and the Weather report told us a storm was coming from Texas. I imagined a cloud carrying a pistol and wearing cowboy boots. I wished I could remember where all of this started. I was pretty sure it had something to do with your mother. You were watching the forecast for the next five days and then your eyes started closing. You can’t think half an hour ahead let alone five days. Suddenly I loved you more than I ever had. I went over to you and sat on your lap. “I’m sorry,” I said, for whatever I’d said and done that were awful. I heard the rain start. The News came on and they talked about a convenience store robbery in Scarborough.

“At last twelve o’clock came,” by Julia at the Ground Level Cafe


Friday, March 2, 2012 at the Ground Level Cafe
11:58am
5 minutes
Emma and I
Sheila Hocken


A woman without any hair sat across from me at the library. She was reading dramatically from a children’s book but no one was around her. I watched her but I couldn’t keep my eyes on her for too long because it made my heart hurt. I wanted to go and listen to her story but at any minute she looked like she was going to cry and I wasn’t quite prepared to deal with that if she did. I stared at the clock, waiting to meet Jenny so we could study for finals together–half hoping she’d never come and half hoping she’d come every second. The woman spoke loudly and mumbled a lot. When I glanced over I noticed for the first time that she wasn’t even reading, just talking out loud to the air, fighting imaginary demons in public. I felt shame for staring at her, wishing I hadn’t even looked up from my cross word for a second to see her. I waited and and waited now with much more impatience for Jenny to arrive. Someone to share this with, I thought, would be all I needed.
At last twelve o’clock came.

“and childless widows” by Julia at her desk


Friday, March 2, 2012
10:02pm
5 minutes
The Supreme Court on Trial
Kent Roach


She said something about never getting married or never having a baby or never having either. I can’t care about her anymore, whatever it was she was complaining about. I seriously met her twice in my entire life; the first time she threw up on my shoes and the second I ran into her accidentally at the pharmacy. It’s not like we’re friends or even acquaintances. I’m being honest: her life does not interest me. It doesn’t matter to me in the slightest that her husband died when she was twenty-three. I mean, is that really my problem? Is it my problem that she was unable to conceive a child and now lives in a home with other women her age? I don’t know, I’m sure she’s tried to do great things in her life, but haven’t we all? Is her plight really all that sad? I mean, yes, not having a husband or having a husband and then having him die (it’s one of those two things, I’m fairly certain, I just never remember which one) is terrible. I’m not saying it’s not, or that she doesn’t have a reason to be sad. I’m saying that yes, problems in life happen. But not everything is a sad circus where people come to cry. I’d like to think we all have our baggage. My stuff might be a little lighter, sure, but it’s still something. It’s still relative at least. She might have even had a way better life before all these “bad” things happened to her, and I put “bad” in quotes because maybe she’s not that beat up about it. Her life before could have been perfect.

“and childless widows” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Friday, March 2, 2012
4:56pm
5 minutes
The Supreme Court on Trial
Kent Roach


I’m going to start a podcast. It’s the way to get your ideas out now. Eff twitter. Let’s chat! The voice transmits true emotion, that’s why the radio will never be obsolete. Have you noticed that VHS tapes don’t exist anymore? I have! But that radio just keeps transmitting. People will always sit in traffic and be bored out of their skulls and bam! The radio gets switched on! I want to talk to people about how I feel about those imbeciles who choose to file their nails on the subway. I want to talk about how it’s a leap year and I don’t give a care. Why is this one special? Because it happened four years ago?! I don’t give a care! I want to talk about the new diner on the corner, MY corner, and how their coffee SUCKS. I want to talk about Raymond and his terrible cowlick! And you know what? People are going to listen. There will always be people who want to hear other people blather on. Now it’s just a matter of figuring out how.

“Oh God, I’m so depressed.” by Julia at Starbucks


Thursday, March 1, 2012 at Starbucks
7:40pm
5 minutes
Bridget Jones’s Diary
Helen Fielding


I’ve started licking every envelope I can find in the hopes that anthrax is making a comeback and is also waiting for me. I didn’t get the kid that I wanted and goddammit the woman who won him looks almost exactly like me—only she has a job, which I guess adoption agencies value? I thought motherhood would bring me peace. Who knew how cut throat competing for a kid would be? I keep telling myself that without knowing it, I have put myself in the exact place I need to be and one of these days things are just going to start going right for me.
I just wanted that kid so bad! He had green eyes and that would have been a nice thing to tell the other moms at the park or at the post office. Whatever. I already know that I don’t usually win anyway, so it’s not like I’m surprised. Last time I wanted that translation job for the government and a woman, who I swear to god also looked just like me, won because she spoke french “fluently”. It’s not my fault I don’t. Such discrimination, I swear.

Walking on cracks, searching for black cats. Yeah, I’ve been doing those things too. They say if you’re looking for it, you will never find it, so I guess I can hope for that…

“Oh God, I’m so depressed.” by Sasha at the Toronto Coffee Co.


Thursday, March 1st, 2012 at the Toronto Coffee Co.
3:21pm
5 minutes
Bridget Jones’s Diary
Helen Fielding


Moira thinks that Ken is coming home. She keeps talking like he’s coming back. It’s so… depressing. What am I supposed to say? HE’S DEAD, MOIRA. I know, I know. They haven’t found him so we should still hold out hope but really? I mean, who actually has hope right now. Not me! She makes way too much chilli and then doesn’t know what to do with it and then it just goes bad in the fridge. If I had a dollar for every time I come in and go, “Moira! What is that smell!” And she hasn’t even noticed because she’s so saturated in it and gosh darn it, it’s the chilli! How much chilli can one five foot two woman eat… I know that she loves him, loved him, whatever but let’s just get real. Even if he is alive, and I don’t think I need to say again that I think that is highly unlikely, he certainly doesn’t give a rat’s behind about what’s going on here. If he did he would’ve called. He would’ve! I know Ken. He would’ve at least sent a postcard with a Canadian flag or something saying, “Don’t worry. I’m okay.”

BOOK LAUNCH!


We are very excited to announce that we are self-publishing our first book entitled these five minutes: volume one.

We would be so thrilled to have you join us for an evening of excerpt readings and to share in the launch of the second phase of this project.

Light snacks and beverages will be provided.

Please feel free to bring your own wine!

Date: Sunday, March 18, 2012

Where: The Inner Garden, 401 Richmond St. W. Suite 384, Richmond & Spadina

Doors open at 7:00pm

Reading at 7:30pm

Reception to follow

PWYC (Suggested donation $10)

Questions? Email us at thesefiveminutes@gmail.com

Looking forward to seeing you there!

Julia & Sasha