“I have no pity!” by Sasha at Loft404


Monday July 30, 2012 at Loft404
3:56pm
5 minutes
Wuthering Heights
Emily Bronte


Miles: I have completed this project on dinosaurs. My main focus is on the Anchisaurus, which was a long-necked early dinosaur. They were about the size of a dog. Most people think that all dinosaurs were massive, bigger than elephants or something, but that’s not at all true! There were even ones that were the size of birds… But I don’t remember what they’re called. Historians think that Anchisaurus most likely hopped around like a kangaroo. No pouch though. No baby in there! Anchisaurus were plant-eaters. No hamburgers for them! That’s a joke. You’re allowed to laugh, you know. They lived 195,000,000 years ago. That is a lot of zeros, right? The world was a completely totally entirely different place.
My brother thinks that the Anchisaurus deserve no pity. I say, “YES, they do.” Extinction is a terrible fate. He was trying to explain to me that it’s natural in evolution but I don’t get it. Why? Why is it?!
Mr. Singha: Miles, can you please stick to the presentation? You’ve only got a minute and forty seconds left –
Miles: No, but I am asking you a question here… I mean, if extinction is a part of evolution then that means…
Mr Singha: What was the Anchisaurus top predator?
Miles: I don’t think you’re understanding me…

“I have no pity!” by Julia at Starbucks


Monday July 30, 2012 at Starbucks
8:10pm
5 minutes
Wuthering Heights
Emily Bronte


Oh my god, I feel what I feel and I know the kind of crying you’re doing right now. It’s the kind that only happens out of sheer shame or embarrassment and since you’ve started, well, hey, you might as well go all the way. I know that crying because I do that crying. I do the extreme emotional response thing and then the too far to end it thing, and then always always the sorry won’t mean anything now because I’m too far already so I’ll just keep crying and yelling and hoping my point somehow gets made thing. It doesn’t. It won’t. People will think you’re just emotionally unstable and learn to expect your kind of volatility. So when I see the extreme response you’re giving, I’m not impressed or anything. I’m just well aware that we’re more alike than I thought, and I just know how to hide my issues a tiny bit better.
You think we’re all stupid. I at least accept that I’m coming off as a crazy person. And it’s hard because I can’t believe anything you say because I just picture myself saying it, knowing the whole time that it’s all an act.

“Santa Cruz” by Sasha at her desk


Sunday July 29, 2012
11:28pm
5 minutes
ad for Healthy Planet
NOW magazine


I got good fast. That was the thing, right? So this guy emailed me, Henry… something, and he said I should come down to LA for awhile… See what I could do there, you know? You can only get so far online… I think they have scouts on those sites and if you’re winning every game over four months… They notice. I told Henry my life was here, and that my sister was sick and it wasn’t likely that I could leave Montreal… Next thing I knew there was a first class ticket in my mailbox. I was young! I was… twenty three. I talked it over with my parents and they… freaked. They didn’t know that I’d been playing to begin with, right? There’s this hype about kids gambling and that it’s addictive and stuff. I was never addicted. I’m not addicted now, even. As Henry said, I have a “gift” and usually people get pissed if you give up on a gift, right? It’s a little different in my line of work. Henry started calling me every morning asking me if I’d made my decision. Finally, the morning of January 3rd, 2004, it was freezing cold in the house, Sally was coughing up a lung, my mother was screaming, the dogs were barking and I told Henry, “Yes.”

“Santa Cruz” by Julia on the 505 going west


Sunday July 29, 2012
10:17pm
5 minutes
ad for Healthy Planet
NOW magazine


You remind me of a song I used to play
over and over in my head
used to signal a good day
without warning, just shy of boring
you’d be the music that I played
you’d be the real life that I craved.
You remind me of a dance I used to watch
over and over in my head
used to signal a good day
without falling, just shy of calling
you’d be the music that I played
you’d be the daydream that I craved
You remind me of a picture I used to paint
over and over in my head
used to signal a good day
without dripping, just shy of ripping
you’d be the colors that I sprayed
you’d be the beauty that I braved
You remind me of a poem I used to write
over and over in my head
used to signal a good day
without lying, just short of crying
you’d be the words that I displayed
you’d be the syntax that I remade

Found you once and tried to keep you there
One day in Santa Cruz
One day when all was golden and bruised
A peach for me, a heart unused

“enjoy fast, easy and convenient” by Sasha on her couch


Saturday July 28, 2012
11:02pm
5 minutes
the back of a Rogers bill

January: We are both reading horoscopes on the subway, you laugh, naked snow angels, donuts in the parking lot near Finch station, peppermint patties, The Neverending Story, breakfast sandwiches in bed.
February: Fiona Apple, trying to learn Spanish via tape on my mother’s Walkman, you finally called me back, -23 Wednesday morning walks to work, touching tongues.
March: You ask me to go snowboarding and I say no, still trying to learn Spanish, sanding your dresser and painting it red, planning the weather patterns for spring, you are crowned king of both coffee making and french kissing.
April: You buy a new bike and name it Rudolf, I meet your father, I enrol in Spanish classes (you mock me), crocus buds lead to daily Instagrams, “Step back, here comes the nighttime,” your phone gets cut off and so I pay your bill.
May: I start eating fish because you want to make me Miso Salmon, you find a job at a used book store, we book tickets to Barcelona in September, I am getting good at Spanish, you decide to cut your hair but don’t actually do it, we get drunk together off of whiskey I stole from work, you lecture me on karma.
June: Your father commits suicide, you go back to Victoria for two months to be with your sisters, you are terrible at writing e-mails, I work seven nights a week (you hate that), a regular tells me he’ll pay me to blow him (I don’t tell you), I send you a homemade postcard with a picture of my naked snow angel and on the back I write “I will fly to you.”

“Maximum 30 begins” by Sasha at Sorauren Park


Friday, July 27, 2012
4:18pm
5 minutes
Road Sign on Chelsea Street, Toronto

I remember when your Mom made pancakes for dinner… It was when she couldn’t think of something other than breakfast foods. It was when she was tired. It was… I remember hearing her small “yes” when she flipped each one, the batter-y side searing in the hot pan. It was better at your place. My house was dirty laundry and swear words. You house was your younger brothers, muddy boots on the back porch and pancakes for dinner.

The night the condom broke we were fifteen. You knocked on your parents door. Your Dad was visiting his family in Hong Kong. Your Mom pushed past you and came to me, sitting on your single bed, sheets tightly wrapped around me. “Everything will be okay,” she said, holding me to her. You stood in your doorway in basketball shorts and watched us.

“enjoy fast, easy and convenient” By Julia at Sambuca Grill


Saturday July 28, 2012 at Sambuca Grill
5:50pm
5 minutes
the back of a Rogers bill

Allie baby, pass me the potatoes. Need to make this dinner quick cause I’ve got another lady I’m going to kiss tonight. Now don’t get all excited, you knew I liked a complex situation when you met me. You both wear the same perfume, did I ever mention that? So don’t worry, cause when I’m with her I think about you just as much as I think of her when I’m with you. I’m not asking you to change anything. Don’t go on and throw that spray out. I like it! It keeps me on my toes. Keeps me guessing. Keeps me deciding. I told you once before that I might not be able to decide between you and her but I’m feeling a slight disturbance in my usual mental patterns. You could be the one, kid. You could be the game changer.
I think I’m going to write a song about you. Nice and easy cause you’re a convenient inspiration, sitting all curled and lacy for me every single night.
I’ll make sure you hear it before it goes big, now how does that sound?
I even started already with a first line. It goes, “Allie baby, you’re the one I’m with now, Allie baby, you’re today and not tomorrow.” how do you like it? A little spicy tangy sugary sweet for ya? I mean every word too. I mean it. You’re a beautiful thing, ain’t ya?

“Maximum 30 begins” by Julia on the 510 south


Friday, July 27, 2012
5:55pm
5 minutes
Road Sign on Chelsea Street, Toronto

shut up with the lies
with the useless adages
what do you want from me?
i’m busy dancing it out
letting the hair on my head sweep the floor
losing what it is
don’t care
you had on rubber gloves
make me laugh why don’t you?
ha
ha
ha
yes
that’s about the last of the hate words
lash out
lash me
i’ll cry underneath my brand new sunglasses
you say i look good in yellow
well maybe i should cry out loud
to your face
tell you why i’m mad
something about too many raspberries
too many jars of things i can’t pronounce
you wanted this day
you called ahead and reserved us a fight
said you knew we were going to have a big one later
how did you know?
testing out your green thumb again?
trying to plant a sorry tale for us to scream over?
tell me what i’m going to say next, mr future teller
tell me where i’m going to leave my keys
why i’m going to eat only half of the sugar doughnut
why i’m calling you now and will hang up when i hear your voice
i am rolling down the hill at a million miles per hour
what’s your excuse?
got a hot flame attached to your shorts?
not those ones
the other ones
the ones i wanted you to wear
i wish for kindness from you now
enough of the patterns
the cyclical playing of our emotions on repeat and on extreme
too loud
the noise
the volume
say you’re sorry
now say it again for me
i don’t want to say it to you right here
i’ll wait till the heat leaves my eyes first

‘The city has fallen hard’ by Julia at the Second City Training Centre


Thursday, July 26, 2012 at The Second City Training Centre
5:39pm
5 minutes
Toronto Life Best Restaurants 2012

Jaw dropping fast, she came, she went.
She has a baseball mitt on her lap.
A little jaded from her childhood, a little excited by her future. She is off to see the game. The little league game. The team of players she knows no one from. The league that is still about fun…
She used to play.
They called her “wheels” because she’d steal bases faster than lightening. She would dive, she would throw her face down first. Got a lot of bruises and a lot of skinned knees. But “wheels”, that was the best time of her life. Now she sits. They call her just plain Betty Anne now. She’s on her way to see the game. The one near her house but not close enough to walk. Betty Anne thinks about the kids she never had and wonders if instead maybe they would have preferred soccer. She dreams in dust, grass, and sunflower seeds. She wishes her bum knees didn’t ache in the rain and in one of those tournaments she would have pitched a no-hitter.
She’s sitting beside a little boy. She drops her mitt by accident and he bends to pick it up, looking at the worn leather before looking at her worn face.
“Thank you,” she smiles. “Thank you very much.”

“He tried it once himself.” by Julia on the subway going east


Wednesday, July 25, 2012
5:45pm
5 minutes
Let The Great World Spin
Colum McCann


To kill himself. That’s exactly what I meant.
There’s no beating around the bush. He put on “Tonight” from West Side Story and he made it so it would repeat repeat repeat…and he’d have the peace he needed first to let go. I can recount the whole thing to you to the tune of that song. Every word just somehow plays along. I think I may always see it when I hear the music. I’m the one who found him. I’m the one who didn’t think it was strange to hear the same song over and over again. He did that from time to time; found songs that he liked and would listen to them softly so it would act as underscoring to his daily routines and habits. I simply misread the situation. He wanted to go…
Maybe I somehow truly knew..and I left him there long enough to make his own choice—so he’d know he was sure. It was out of love. It was out of loyalty to his needs. But then I had the instinct: the music sounded eerie. I opened the bathroom door slowly and there he was on the last stretch of his fight. And I looked at him in the eye–and told him he should stay.
We haven’t talked about it since.
That was over fifteen years ago. I think we’re both different now. I think we’re both better, even. I think sometimes with one small look and one pounding heart, you can change the course of your own and someone else’s life.

‘The city has fallen hard’ by Sasha at the Fringe Creation Lab


Thursday, July 26, 2012
5:14pm
5 minutes
Toronto Life Best Restaurants 2012

At the stop sign she accelerated and knew she might get caught
At the Market she stole a peach pie
When she knew that she should not
She gave the finger to a man
Who got all in her way
She didn’t have a boyfriend
They’d all been afraid what she might say
There was fire in her eyes from the moment she was born
As a toddler she never smiled
And always seemed forlorn
As a girl she got more spunky
She cussed and scowled and swore
She had a lot of toys but wanted something more
You see her mom and dad were busy
Morning, noon and night
She wanted someone to play with
Or even to pick a fight
And now that she’s all grown
With a bank account and car
She searches for this ‘something’
Indeed she searches near and far
One day maybe she’ll learn
It’s never too late to start
What it is she’s after
Is buried in her own heart

“He tried it once himself.” by Sasha at her desk


Wednesday, July 25, 2012
5 minutes
Let The Great World Spin
Colum McCann


Her doctor told her that she should enroll in some sort of class, something to keep her inspired. She went online and got lost. At the grocery store she saw a handwritten ad that said “Learn Spanish! Have fun! Salsa!” She’d liked Mexico when she visited as a fourteen year old with her Aunt Stacey and Uncle Garth. She liked tortilla chips and salsa. She got home and washed her hands. “Buenos dias!” She whispered. She dug into her pocket and pulled out the little tab of paper she’d pulled off of the ad. A mans voice answered, “Hola?” “Hola…” She said and then, quickly, “it’s Kate.” Some very quick Spanish words sang into her ear. “Do. You. Speak. ENGLISH?” She said very slowly. The man laughed loudly. “Of course! Hello!” She relaxed. “I would like to – ” she coughed. “You wanna learn some Spanish Mrs. Kate?” The man said. His name was Juan. He was from Mexico. “Yes please!” She said. They arranged to meet at the Reference Library the following Tuesday morning. She would pay him thirty dollars for an hour. “Adios!” Juan said before hanging up. She found herself whispering his name over and over as she put away the dishes from the rack.

“‘Reow reow’ I said to my mom” by Sasha at Trinity Bellwoods


Tuesday July 24, 2012
5:53pm
5 minutes
The Geek That Followed Me Home
Julia Pileggi (age 7)

Let’s remember to forget about last nights hypocrisy
Let’s shake our hands of the Outkast on the boombox and the hot dogs on our breath
You’ve got more over there
It’s greener
Cleaner
More fine things
You’ve got a kid here
I’m a KID
I don’t even know how to tie a tie or make more than $8.50 an hour
I woke up to a dream
Of your hands on my face telling me to come
I know you like me near you
You want to teach me to shave soon?
I haven’t told you yet that my Dad left my Mom when she was full with me
He went back to Chicago
Or that’s what she tells me
Tells herself
Whispering into a pillow she’s had since she was small
I represent something relevant
To you

“‘Reow reow’ I said to my mom” by Julia at Halifax Airport


Tuesday July 24, 2012 at Halifax Airport
6:41pm
5 minutes
The Geek That Followed Me Home
Julia Pileggi (age 7)

I am in a mood today. Do not wave at me, even if all you mean to say to me is hello! I’m serious. I’ve had a whole can of worms open up on me and I don’t think I can stand it if one more person asks me if I want to sit down! A mood of all colours. Of rainbow colours. Of Laurentian pencil crayons. I feel very unsupported today.
I feel like people have an ulterior motive when speaking to me today. As if I know what is what more than they do. I don’t know more than they do. I’m also just a bit miffed because I missed my cousin Albee’s stint on the national news. They were running his segment, and it was his first in three years (because he was in a coma) and I missed it because I didn’t set the proper alarm! Simple as that. I missed his first and final media resurgence! I should have thought about it before, but I had on my oven mitts(because I was baking a strawberry rhubarb pie) and I was distracted by how good I looked in an apron–as somebody’s house wife! I never thought I’d be one in real life so I guess I was getting really excited. Albee’s not my favorite cousin either, I just wish I could have seen him for the story.

“simple as Kleenex” by Julia on the dock of the south battery marina in Halifax, NS


Monday July 23, 2012
4:41pm
5 minutes
the Fringe Guide in NOW Magazine

Ask me if I want a diamond ring, hundred promises, dress me up in someone else’s bridal dream, and ship me off to a Caribbean cruise and a basket hill of debt/champagne.

Go on and tell me it’s supposed to be perfect, go off without a hitch, make a mark on my history and my photo album, keep me longing for the days I was at my most beautiful.

Watch me shake my hips with a thousand family members I haven’t met yet, thousand cocktail shrimps being eaten by the minute, thousand dollar bar tabs because who can celebrate without a couple shots of tequila?

Tell me again that I’d be crazy not to, wished I would have, should have thought more about the video/slideshow/organized crime/organized gift giving, card sending thanks, toasts dripping gratitude and appreciation for the love, money, and masquerade.

That’s exactly what I want. Little salt on my tongue to make the taste even stronger, satisfaction for my mother, point of pride for my father, fancy dresses for my sister, cool limo ride for my brother, and a whole exception to the rule for me, you, the future, our future, and everybody else’s forgotten night of may 2014.

“he takes my mouth in his” by Sasha on the GO Bus


Sunday July 22, 2012 on the GO Bus
4:34pm
5 minutes
Liliane
Ntozake Shange


I hated taking buses. I had thirteen dollars, an elastic band that smelled like broccoli, an expired condom and a hairless Mexican worry doll in my back pocket. That was it. I’d had my pack stolen in Whitehorse at a hostel where the guy at the front desk went by “Midnight”. Wouldn’t be surprised if it was he who took it, actually, dirty underwear and tampons and all. An Aussie with a wicked mustache who’d been sleeping on the bunk above me for a few nights cheered me up by buying me a six pack and a pepperoni pizza. That’s what I said I wanted when he asked what he could possibly do to make me stop crying. I think he thought he might get some action out of it. Loser. I hated taking buses not because I’m a snob or a priss or anything. I get carsick as a cat on a roller-coaster. I’ve puked more times than I would like to count on winding mountain roads while everyone else is losing their mind at the view. Hardly! I guess I should say that I was trying to get to Nelson. Easier said than done, what with thirteen dollars. The saddest thing about losing the pack was my camera… Not so much the camera, but the pictures of the Midnight Sun.

“he takes my mouth in his” by Julia at Hamachi Steakhouse on the Halifax Waterfront


Sunday July 22, 2012 at Hamachi Steak House
2:49pm
5 minutes
Liliane
Ntozake Shange


He breaks open the space between my lips and his and he tells me that distance is for people who don’t want each other. I pull his shirt collar and he steps into me. I can’t see his eyes but I can feel his gaze on my mouth, watching the words form. Tells me that the almost kiss is what turns him on. The moment in between contact and not. He says he could stay an inch from my mouth and get hard just like that. I can feel the longing get tighter, the anticipation flooding over me. I hate that it’s true but I know what they mean when they say Weak In The Knees. He says something else and I don’t care what it is–I say mmhm to him under my breath so it’s low and a little bit raspy. He grabs my neck and pulls me just half an inch closer. It feels like the force he’s using would cause this lingering to end, the kiss to begin, and the rest of it to just follow suit. It doesn’t. We keep our eyes open, our lips parted, our foreheads touching, because we know the best part is coming. If we can hold out long enough. I think he’s going to be the one that breaks, but I surprise myself. It’s me. I lightly touch his lips with mine, and he takes my mouth in his.

“model new age child” by Sasha at High Park


Saturday July 21, 2012
9:12am
5 minutes
Notes to Each other
Hugh Prather & Gayle Prather


“You’ve lost your mind,” says my mother, peeling the shell off of a hot soft-boiled egg. I’m eating slices of cheese from her plate and rubbing my belly. It’s a habit once you know that there’s someone in there. You want to say “hi”. “What do you suggest I do?” I asked. My mother was born in Essex in the 50’s, she is not ever lost for solutions to situations that might be deemed “tricky” or “impossible”. “Do you have any idea how hard it is, Rebecca? You won’t sleep for three years. THREE YEARS.” She jams her toast into the egg, indignantly. “Jason just doesn’t know if – ” “There’s no more room for not knowing. As soon as that sperm smacks that egg – ” “Mom!” Small pieces of yolk fly out of her mouth. “Rebecca,” my mother squints her eyes, “it’s not nearly as idealistic as you think. It’s full of shit and puke and scabs and screaming. TRUST ME.” I’m starting to get the feeling that my mother has regrets that go beyond high-waisted bellbottoms.

“model new age child” by Julia at Kayla’s kitchen table, Halifax NS


Saturday July 21, 2012
7:03pm
5 minutes
Notes to Each other
Hugh Prather & Gayle Prather


Fit him with all kinds of new clothes. Yeah, exactly, tell him not to worry about his future or working for anything he has. He’s new, he’s a new kind. He’s going to be fine just breaking into the world and leaving without even so much as a trace to be remembered by.
That is sarcasm.
That is a warning.
You will read the books first and then welcome him with anxious and afraid arms. Loving too, but afraid mostly. You will tell him everything you think he needs to hear and if he doesn’t listen you’ll blame it on your lack of volume, the force behind the words, etcetera, etcetera.
That is not sarcasm.
That is a prediction.
But what you can do is challenge, whisper truths, accept realities, and hope hope hope.
What you can do is give him a home that has the essentials and the things he wants but doesn’t have yet. You can give him a desire to work, to try, to succeed.
I would have liked this same courtesy. I was met with a drug addiction and girls’ clothes too small for my growing body.
They didn’t want to give me efforts. They wanted to get rid of them. they wanted to forget me all together. That’s not their fault. They did not want to be parents.
But you do.
You have the amazing power to fix something like this.
Fix it before it turns into something that needs to be fixed.

“It’s always been a big deal,” by Julia at Conrad’s Beach


Friday July 20, 2012 at Conrad’s Beach
3:25pm
5 minutes
The Wedding
Nicholas Sparks


Got a phone call from Melissa. She’s getting married and she wants me to be her maid of honour. Trouble is, I don’t think I’ve hated anyone more. I told her I would call her back but I’m planning on just leaving the country so I don’t have to ever see her again. We’re not friends so I’m not really sure if she thinks we are or just has no one else to ask. Then I have to plan everything so she can look great and at the end of the day I’ll still hate her. I’m distracted now, I apologize. Please, go on. I want to hear everything about Thailand. But seriously, I will not even show up to the reception. Like, good luck getting me dancing at the wedding of the girl I can’t stand. She’s going to want orange and black or something lame like that because it’s happening in October. And I don’t look good in orange. Red heads wearing orange screams pylon and if she’s going for a look just to make me look bad, then it just proves my point earlier on why I hate her. So how long were you there for again?

“It’s always been a big deal,” by Sasha at her desk (Toronto)


Friday July 20, 2012
10:09pm
5 minutes
The Wedding
Nicholas Sparks


“Lower your expectations and you won’t get so goddamn disappointed,” my father would bark, barely glancing up from his crossword puzzle. “The problem with Tallulah,” I would overhear him say to my stepmother, “is that she thinks the world is greater than it actually is. It’s a never-ending disenchantment…” My stepmother would coo sympathy and then bring me digestive biscuits and warm milk before bed as if to somehow soothe my always-let-down heart. I didn’t listen to my father. Not when he told me that I should really go in to something more “secure” like real estate or finance (I went to dance school), not when he told me that I should treat my cancer with radiation and chemo (I went to a healer in Mexico and have been cancer-free since 1964) and not when he told me to lower any one of my sky-high expectations about life (I just celebrated my seventy-seventh birthday and got a lovely dragonfly tattoo on my right hip).

“That’s the boy I fell in love with” by Sasha at the table on the porch


Thursday July 19, 2012 at
8:23pm
5 minutes
Infinite Ache
David Schulner


I want to say, “You’ve gotten thin, Al…” What I actually say is, “Is it just me or is this coffee burnt?” I want to say, “I have never forgiven myself for how cruel I was to you.” What I actually say is, “How’s Amanda? Last I heard she was at Western?” I want to say, “no one has ever kissed me like you.” What I actually say is, “Is it just me or are more girls going into science nowadays?” I want to say, “I know that your mom committed suicide. And that you found her. That must have been hell.” What I actually say is, “Remember Arlene Duncan? She finally got that nose job she always talked about! I ran into her at the bank the other day… She looks like a Cabbage patch doll.” I want to say, “I can’t remember the name of our song but I hum it to myself all the time and I think about your big wonderful hands.” What I actually say is, “You never were much of a talker, were you, Al?”

“Now shall I show you the grief of my mind.” by Sasha in the hammock at Knowlton Lake


Wednesday, July 18, 2012
3:41pm
5 minutes
Everyman
Anonymous


It’s hard for me to explain a few things – the time I went to India and had my mind blown open by poverty and divinity; the sound of my son’s first laugh; the grief of being the one to realize first that it was over between me and his father. Other things are much easier. Words are easy for me, they are comfort, they are a strange partner but a partner nonetheless. I didn’t want to go to Book Club so I didn’t. But it had been three months now and Monica, my therapist, suggested it might be a good idea. “You find joy with those women and sharing book together,” she’d said. “Yes, but they all have husbands,” was my reply. Monica smiled, although I am pretty sure if we’d been friends she would have rolled her eyes. “Didn’t you say that Val and Tim were separated?” She always had an answer. I hate that. “Val smells like tuna and doesn’t clip her toenails regularly.” I blew my nose. “Go to Book Club,” she said and glanced at the clock. Time’s up. I’d spent the morning making lemon loaf, a recipe that I’d kept tucked in my journal as a reminder that citrus could once again make it’s way back into my life once I left my son’s Dad. I ate almost a third of the batter out of the bowl with a tiny spoon that had been your grandmother’s, I think.

“sustainable future” by Sasha on the couch at Knowlton Lake


Tuesday, July 17, 2012
9:25am
5 minutes
The 11th Hour DVD case

Jeremiah turned to me on our wedding night and said, “Do you think I should find a new job?” I laughed and kissed him and laughed again. The truth was I did think he should, or could try at the very least. At that time he didn’t know that the seed of our first son was inside me and that the cost of diapers and baby things would outrun his salary as an assistant to the butcher on the other side of the city, the richer side, the whiter side.

Jeremiah was born in Jamaica and came to Canada with his mother and little sister when he was twelve. He still had the Island lilt, an insatiable thirst for tropical fruit and an internal clock sent permanently to “snooze”. In the early years of our marriage we celebrated the differences of our upbringings over and over again, delighting in learning one another’s traditions (“candy on Halloween? But why?! Any excuse for a treat, you Canadians…”) Now, twenty-two years later, I worry less about a sustainable future. He never quit that job. He kept it and inherited the shop when the owner decided to move to Florida. He provided, albeit modestly, for our family, from the beginning until now. I see my husband and I laugh and I kiss him and I laugh again.

“Smoke gets in your eyes” by Sasha on the dock at Knowlton Lake


Monday, July 16, 2012
4:47pm
5 minutes
The Wisdom Of Whores
Elizabeth Pisani


Today I found the truest joy I have ever felt. Washing dishes. Don’t get feminist theory on me. Don’t think I’ve got a ring on the finger, a bun in the oven and an apron tied round my middle. Let me explain.

We’d eaten avocado, cucumber and old cheddar sandwiches and each had a fresh ear of corn. He’d shucked them on the porch, flinging each husk as high as he could over the rail, down into the gully. There weren’t many dishes. Just a few. He said that he would do the washing up, as I’d made lunch. “No,” I said. “I don’t mind”. What I meant was, “I want to”. Forever a martyr, I was practicing actually saying what I meant but mostly failing at it. There, at the sink, watching him read The Dharma Bums and stroke his six day stubble, I felt the warmth of the water over the insides of my wrists. Heaven. I felt the sun in my skin from the morning on the dock. Heaven. I felt a full belly and a watered tongue. Heaven. I scrubbed corn cornels off plates and bits of avocado green from the cutting board. I focused. I breathed. I felt my feet on the oak floor. Good gracious God, what a blessed life I live.

“this is an automated email” by Sasha on the couch at Knowlton Lake


Sunday, July 15, 2012
2:14pm
5 minutes
Megabus Ticket to Kingston

It comes every Monday morning, the first thing I see when I sit down at my desk. As if working in a four by seven cubicle isn’t bad enough. It’s like one of God’s little jokes. No one’s laughing, big guy! GIVE YOU SPERM FOR $1,000,000! I don’t get it. I’ve hit UNSUBSCRIBE. I’ve even called the number at the bottom and yelled into the phone, “Take me off of your sperm list, goddamnit!!!” A timid little girl voice with a heavy Indian accent replied, “Thank you for calling, may I place you on hold for a moment?” Without waiting for my reply, she did. “NO!” I called into the receiver, “You may not place me on… ANYTHING!” Charlie, my boss, poked his head over my cubicle wall (if you can call it that). “Is everything okay there, buddy?” He asked. He always calls me this term of endearment even though I am continually excluded from the golf games and the pints on Thursdays. I am not his “buddy”. It usually is used to soften some sort of blow – “Is that report on it’s way, buddy?” or “So I don’t know if you remember but I said I needed that breakdown completed two days ago, buddy!” I hang up the phone. “Uh, sorry Charlie, I was just, uh, sorting something out…” He glances at my computer screen. I can’t get got my finger to the mouse pad fast enough.

“That’s the boy I fell in love with” by Julia on Air Canada Flight 620 to Halifax


Thursday July 19, 2012 at
7:31pm
5 minutes
Infinite Ache
David Schulner


He had eyes like the ocean, sky, sunset all at once. It was so weird. It was like he could see my soul, and the future, and he was okay with that. I looked at him and my heart started doing the Macarena. I wish it was a cooler dance, but it just was what it was. He made me feel like a beautiful and rare fish, just swimming around for his enjoyment. God. It was a weird feeling. I asked him his name, because I needed to know what account he wanted to rent his movie from. He said it wasn’t important and just flashed a perfect white smile. A smile made in orthodontist heaven. I smiled too, and then I looked around to see of anyone was watching. There wasn’t. I smile again and we both leaned in forward, instinctively, and I said, “no one has to know.” He repeated what I said in a whisper and I was convinced that he was going to be my boyfriend for the rest of our lives. He asked me my name and I coyly said “it’s not important,” kind of like a call back to his cute line, and he smiled then left. I don’t regret not telling him my name because I think he and I are meant to be, and worst case scenario he has to at least return that movie…

“Now shall I show you the grief of my mind.” by Julia at Baldwin Coin Laundry


Wednesday, July 18, 2012
10:22am
5 minutes
Everyman
Anonymous


Candles. Wanted to light some. Wanted the moon to feel welcome. Wanted it to dance for us. Thought it would be a nice surprise. Thought I’d pick you up at the bus station. Didn’t have time. Got stuck folding clean laundry. Got stuck doing the same things. Telephone. Wanted it to ring. Wanted you to sound happy to hear me. Wanted you to announce something thrilling. Thought we’d spend the night together. Thought I’d take a hot bath. Thought you’d pace back and forth in your kitchen. Thought we’d live like a movie. Thought it’d be the scene where we can’t stop thinking of each other. Got stuck, you said. You got stuck at your brother’s house. Got stuck installing tile and more tile. Got stuck. Wanted things to be perfect. Wanted apologies to sound like Beethoven’s 5th. Wanted the sand in the hour glass to stop being so quick. Wanted a lot of things. Forever. Thought it’d be easier to achieve. Thought you’d want what I want. Wanted you to want me. Wanted the sun to stay sleeping until we called him. Got stuck. You did. You got stuck. I did. I got stuck.

“sustainable future” by Julia at Grange Park


Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at Grange Park
3:17pm
5 minutes
The 11th Hour DVD case

These snot nosed kids keep feeding the pigeons where I’m trying to do my damned crossword. I can’t stand their mothers, the ones who tel them to do it in the first place. The ones who supply the bread. One of the kids just yelled “You want it, come get it!” and I had to cover my water in case they knocked it over. I’m scared, I think, of getting pooped on by a flock of dirty birds. They just fly and poop and I don’t particularly enjoy having to return to my home mid afternoon just to change because a bunch of spoiled children can afford to waste perfectly good sandwich bread on a bunch of savage pigeons that eat wherever they goddamn well feel like it.
I tried to give them nasty looks but they were a bit cute and I’m not the kid-hating type. I’m sorry about that before. I was displacing my anger. Obviously kids only learn from their surroundings. Trouble is, these days, kids are surrounded by their parents, which coincidentally, are all a bunch of idiots. Just need my afternoon crosswords, that’s all.

“Smoke gets in your eyes” by Julia at TAN on Baldwin


Monday, July 16, 2012 at TAN
3:00pm
5 minutes
The Wisdom Of Whores
Elizabeth Pisani


You were standing too close to the fire pit and you wanted to see a vision in the puffs of smoke all around you. What a good person you are. Not just for the fire but for a lot of things. One of them being that you visit your mother every Thursday so she’s not alone. I think that’s really nice because not a lot of people do things like you. You do things like you and I think that’s what makes you you. I don’t know if people would say the same thing about me. Not if they knew how bad I was on the inside. Not if they knew just how many bad thoughts I have running around in my head. But you, you’re different. You make babies smile even when they’re crying. You help old ladies with their grocery shopping. You always talk to the bus driver so his shift goes by faster. Day maker. You’re a good day maker. And if it’s okay I’d like to keep you around for as long as possible so my days could be made better too.

“this is an automated email” by Julia at Little Nicky’s Coffee


Sunday, July 15, 2012 at Little Nicky’s Coffee
4:15pm
5 minutes
Megabus Ticket to Kingston

i wanna write you a letter, tell you everything, tell you everything i’ve been thinking. i’ve been wanting to write one, old fashioned like, old fashioned and sealed with a stamp, sent in the mail. just like them olden days when people didn’t hang out online for the entire night. i wanna let you in on a secret: we are causing our end by being so distant. don’t you wanna know what my voice sounds like? don’t you wanna see how i write my Js? you won’t know how to read this letter, and that’s okay because it’s different than what you’re used to. won’t know how to adjust your eyes to the light if they’re not being blinded by a white computer screen.
i wanna write you a letter, tell you something you actually should know. not those things that feels real common. you should know certain things. i’ve been thinking. i’ve been wanting to write one.
but then i also have to give you my home address in case it gets lost in the mail. is that dangerous? it never used to be. so dangerous now that someone so much as likes my penmanship and tracks me down at my home because i wrote it on the envelope.

“I honestly don’t remember” by Sasha at her desk


Saturday, July 14, 2012
9:27pm
5 minutes
Road Trip Diary
rookiemag.com


I’ve already told you! I don’t remember! Okay… But… Is the recorder on this time? Huh? Is it? I don’t ever want to tell this story again ever. Ever. Okay? So we were walking home. Who? My sister Eva and me. Our mother died three months before and all of our other family is in the Ukraine so we… I am her guardian now I don’t care if I’m not eighteen! I had met Chad at… a party. He gave me drinks and told me that I was hot. He asked me if I’d like to go out on a date and I told him no. Then he came to my house with flowers and an iPod. Eva was at school… What was I supposed to do? He was my… boyfriend. He helped us. He’s not a bad person. My mother wasn’t rich or something. We didn’t have a lot of money. Chad told me that he could move us into a better neighbourhood. He gave me and Eva cellphones, fancy ones, with the internet. He made sure we had a full fridge with really good Canadian food things. In May, after my birthday, he told me that Eva went away. I freaked, I mean, she’s my little sister, she’s a girl. He said he had someone taking care of her and that she was okay and that she would call me the next week. She never called. My first visitor was an insurance broker. He talked for a long time. I didn’t… I didn’t get what was going on. I… I’m not an idiot but I love Chad so it’s…

“I honestly don’t remember” by Julia on her patio


Saturday, July 14, 2012
9:14pm
5 minutes
Road Trip Diary
rookiemag.com


Wellllllll…..Elena said that Cory said that his brother’s best friend was going to jail. I don’t usually believe Elena because she lies a lot and also likes to exaggerate because she’s not very fun in real life so feels the need to make up stories, but this time I do because she looked me right in the face and said it to me straight. So I believe that Cory’s brother’s best friend, who just happens to be named Craig, like my brother’s middle name, is actually going to jail because he has trouble written all over him, and not just like, in a metaphor kind of way, but like, literal tattoos of the word “trouble” all up and down his arms. It’s exactly like he already chose his path in life, which I think is okay I guess, if you’re like, not going to jail. I’m not going to jail because I don’t have trouble written all over me, metaphorically or literally. Elena was upset that Craig was going to jail because she thinks it wasn’t his fault, but like, it has to be his fault because he never smiles and it’s just so obvious. I met Craig once, but it was by accident. And he like, wellllll, he wasn’t mean, he just wasn’t nice. He probably doesn’t remember me anyway, which is a really good thing, because I could really do without him coming after me once he gets out of jail, you know? Like, I don’t need any jail followers following me. That would just be so awful because, hello, that’s how paranoia sets in and like, how am I supposed to live my life without fear if I always have fear? I didn’t tell Elena this. I’m not stupid.

“Jessie folded her arms across her chest.” by Julia on the 506 heading west


Friday, July 13, 2012
3:56pm
5 minutes
Ex-Zack-ly
Beth Cruise


Sweat dripping down my face. I’m a mess, this mess we’ve created, I’m it.
You can push on my buttons. Red for stop. RED FOR STOP. Green for go. GREEN FOR GO. Yellow for help. YELLOW FOR HELP. And I’ll jump out of my skin and into yours. And I’ll think your thoughts for you so you can rest. And I’ll RED. And I’ll GREEN. And I’ll YELLOW.
Sweat. It’s still dripping. Hard day. Cold shower. This mess, I’m in it, I’m still in it. What do you need? Lube your body up in aloe vera. Why not press the release–let the air cool your face. Who’s playing on the radio? I Told You So or Bob Dylan or Same Thing so it doesn’t matter?
I could breathe easy if you slept for once. You don’t sleep. You’re awake in this mess, this mess we’ve created. You’re in it. I’m it and you’re in it.
I’ll never get home. Don’t want to get there anyway. Feel my sweat stick to everything it touches. Our skin connected through good intentions and sweat. Just dripping sticking sweat.
Home hurts. I’ll avoid going there.
Here feels alright. In the in between, the yes yes no.
I’m in it. I’m it. This mess. This sweat.

“Jessie folded her arms across her chest.” by Sasha at Dark Horse on John St.


Friday, July 13, 2012 at Dark Horse
3:12pm
5 minutes
Ex-Zack-ly
Beth Cruise


It started with a slow rumble somewhere deep within her, past her bellybutton but before her spine.

Jessie made apple crumble with slightly wrinkled apples found at the bottom of her crisper. She wanted to make something more fancy for the potluck but realized she wasn’t fooling anyone, she simply was not at all fancy. She’d found a dress at a garage sale by the beach. She’s heckled the old woman down to two dollars. It was red and had small blue flowers across the bottom embroidered by hand. Jessie imagined a small Guatemalan woman stitching while her baby slept. Jessie didn’t usually wear make-up (except when she got a pimple and needed to cover it) but tonight she got out her mother’s old Avon kit. She painted her lips to match her dress and spread purple eyeshadow across her lids. She used mascara and powdered her nose. She almost didn’t recognize herself.

Jessie took the crumble that had been cooling on the countertop and put it into her bicycle basket. It was still muggy out even though it was late now.

“I own my own mind” by Sasha at her desk


Thursday, July 12, 2012
1:43am
5 minutes
Wild Mind
Natalie Goldberg


Honey?! Honey, I’m home! … Honey?! I’m fucking starving what’s for dinner?! Where’s George?! … I’m just going to make a snack or something ‘cuz holy shit it was a day and a half. I lost the Sinclair case. Fucking douchetards making me sweat until the last minute and then they offer it to fucking Deborah. I hate her! I really do. And I don’t use that word lightly, so don’t pull that preachy shit. Is George at my mother’s? I should call. Do I need to pick him up? Honey!? I was thinking that I don’t really give a fuck anymore and we should book that trip to Hawaii. I mean I have been busting my ass at this place and it’s not paying off so… Might as well do what I actually want to do. Maybe my mom could come? To look after George? And we could go hike the volcanos and surf and get all tanned and fit and stuff?! HONEY?! Come downstairs! I feel like I’m talking to myself!
The phone rings.
Hi Mom. I’m great, thanks. Just got home. Is that George? I thought…Kevin’s there?! Shit. No, it’s fine, I’ve just been talking to myself like a fucking idiot… I thought – Oh. He’s… Okay – I’ll just order in. I’m fucking hungry, I don’t want to come all the way there. Mom, no I’m fine, I just…

“The shogun dog” by Sasha at Loft404


Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at Loft404
5:12pm
5 minutes
LCBO’s Food & Drink
Summer 2012


Smack dat ass an tank da people fo bein alivvvvvvvve
Smack dat cheek an tank God dat you are alivvvvvvvvve
Make a move t’jump and you hear six billion people sayin “higherrrrrrrrrr!”
Shake it til it drops b’it don break
It make more pieces of dreams den da tings you fly by nighttimes
I not tough I talk tough I talk tough
I stake the take and I dooooooo
Difference between me and you is I won’t take a no
Evah
Evah nevahhh nevahhhh a no
You wanna say a no to me?
You wanna say a “in your dreamssss” to me?
I tank you fo DAT
I tank you fo makin that bar ‘igher fo me cuz I’ll pull chin-ups on your suppose freedom
I smack dat face that says
“You too young”
“You too ugly”
I smack dat and I send it so fa’ away it don’t know it’s ass from it’s mouth an then you in realllllllll
trouble

“with equal cheerfulness I can wait” by Sasha at her desk


Tuesday, July 10, 2012
12:14pm
5 minutes
413-415, Leaves Of Grass
Walt Whitman


For K.H…

I’ve eaten all the crusty bread. I’ve had two glasses of Chardonnay. It’s too late now. No. It’s not. The waiter comes over.
“I’ll have -”
“Another glass?”
“Yes… Please – ”
“You don’t have to feel obliged. It’s okay for you to just sit – ”
“Thank you but I would please like another – ”
“Of course.”
He leaves. One of his apron strings is tucked into his pants. The people around me are chewing slowly. Their faces are illuminated by candlelight. The Jazz gets louder. Too loud. Lipstick starts smudging.
“Nevermind!” I call. Everyone stops their slow chewing and looks. At me. The waiter comes over.
“Of course. Would you like your check?”
“No! No. No, I will wait… Thank you.”
“Of course.”
A woman in a red pantsuit looks at me and smiles like you smile at a puppy or a librarian. The door opens. It must be him! There’s traffic. It must’ve been traffic. I check my phone so that it doesn’t look like I’m waiting. It’s not. Him. It’s a beautiful man and a beautiful woman about to eat beautiful food and have beautiful conversation. He’ll probably propose. She’ll probably cry.

“I own my own mind” by Julia at her desk


Thursday, July 12, 2012
11:49pm
5 minutes
Wild Mind
Natalie Goldberg


That doesn’t mean I don’t think sometimes on the pleasantries you and I would have if we saw each other again on the street.
Hi.
Hi.
How are you?
Good how are you?
Good!
Good!
So you’re doing well?
Yeah just working.
Yeah.
You?
Same working.
Going away for the summer?
Nope you?
Yeah.
Yeah?
Yeah.
Nice to see you!
Yeah nice to see you too!
Have a great time in New York.
Thanks you too. I mean thanks.
No problem.
See you later!
Yup see you!
And it would be charmingly awkward and uncomfortable for anyone else who has to witness it that is outside of us.
They don’t know so they can’t say.
I’ve decided on this conversation without involving you at all. I’m sorry about that. I know I shouldn’t discuss our interactions without you, but this was one of those things that needed to creep out of me first before I see you so it’s not even worse. I’m just trying to take control of my own mind. Is that weird? I just want to know that it can be left alone for a few minutes without getting into trouble. Otherwise it would sound like something different.
Hi.
Hi.
You ruined me.
You ruined me too.
I didn’t mean to hurt you.
I know.
You do?
Yeah.
Okay good me neither.
Yeah?
Yeah.

“The shogun dog” by Julia at her desk


Wednesday, July 11, 2012
1:13am
5 minutes
LCBO’s Food & Drink
Summer 2012


I am on my way to meet you. You’re waiting for me. You think you know what I’m going to say. I think the same. I know nothing. I am afraid of the air, the breeze, the night sky.
I don’t want to say goodbye to you. That’s not what I’m on my way to say.
You don’t know that.
But you think you do.
I am intensely concerned with making sure you know how much I value you. If you don’t know, I am not doing my job properly.
I rub chili peppers across my lips sometimes so that it distracts me from wanting to kiss you.
I know that’s wrong. The wanting to kiss you part. I respect you. I’m just trying to do us both a favour.
I am on my way to meet you. You’re waiting for me. You think you know what I’m going to say. I think the same.
I am nothing. I feel like you’ll be better off without nothing, which I suppose means you’d be with something.
You’re allowed to interpret this. It’s not supposed to be anything. It’s probably sounding like a love letter written in code. I’m sorry, but I actually don’t think that’s what this is either…
Just dance it out. Just let the truth dance on out.
I wish you didn’t like being so great to me. I wish you didn’t like trying so hard. I am a little bit confused by all of the feelings.
I feel a few things, but they’re covered in pumpkin innards. I don’t know what that means. I don’t want you to find any meaning in it anyway.

“with equal cheerfulness I can wait” by Julia on the 505 heading west


Tuesday, July 10, 2012
11:34pm
5 minutes
413-415, Leaves Of Grass
Walt Whitman


For K.H…

Somebody once told me that blinking exactly when the clock strikes midnight is one of the best signs of luck a person can get.
I don’t believe it, personally, but it’s really nice to think that there’s a plan out there or a formula that people just have to, by chance, understand, in order to be happy.

I saw you on the street at exactly midnight. I thought you were my dream because it had been so long that my days had gone on without you. You wore a smile and nothing else…and I blinked.
I blinked to see all of you. I blinked to convince myself you were there. You hadn’t opened your smiling mouth to speak at all. I knew. I knew right then that speaking wouldn’t matter. That the only thing I could do was tell my heart to sing something to yours and hope that your heart was willing to listen.
That the only thing I could feel was what you were feeling…only less. Because I’m not you.
Right then, though, I wish I were, just so you could feel what I was feeling, and for a minute, I could feel what you were feeling so you wouldn’t have to.
The smile on your face, the blink on mine.
With a patience, we stood. With a readiness, we waited.

“he needs at least a couple of months off” by Sasha at her desk


Monday, July 9, 2012
12:15am
5 minutes
Front Page of the Metro
July 9,2012


He’s been recycling ideas again
And they aren’t his own
He dreams them
And sees them
And knows them better than the imagination that gave them
He’s been recycling dreams again
He thinks he knows what’s best
What’s cheapest
What’s “cool”
He makes an omelette in the morning
Spreads a rap song between the two eggy sides
He hears the sound of hope
But shrugs it off
Nothing
Nothing now
He’s been bringing back overalls
And striped T-shits
and Bon Jovi
He recycles and recycles and hopes that someone might notice
She does
Quietly
Slowly
One day and then another
She watches him
And knows that he is everyone that’s come before

“he needs at least a couple of months off” by Julia at her desk


Monday, July 9, 2012
12:11am
5 minutes
Front Page of the Metro
July 9,2012


He’s been having those stress attacks. Those ones that make his eyes shrivel up in his head and he can’t see straight. He works too hard. Been working too hard at work and can’t seem to get his priorities in check. He gets home, nurses his migraine, sleeps, then wishes he hadn’t because that’s when the dreams come. The dreams where his best friends are his enemies and they are all out to get him. And then he has a baseball bat. And then he wakes up in a cold sweat. Stress manifested. Anxiety amplified.
He wakes up and has to do it all again.
He’d rather be listening to Brahms and reading along in the tattered book of scores he signed out from the public library.
Letting the melody wash over him like a cloud. Waiting for each harmony to make sense on the page as it does in his ears.
His ears are fine, his headaches are gone. He could use a little time off from the place that makes his heart hurt.
He could feel a little more calm every now and again. With it on repeat. With the idea of painless living on a cyclical track that keeps reminding him he could be very free. He could be very free very soon. He could be very free from everything.

“She was asked if she was aware” by Sasha at her desk


Sunday, July 7, 2012
1:13am
5 minutes
“Quote…Unquote”
Nigel Reest


I know the tune by heart but I always forget the words. I was born with a wild imagination, slightly finger-like toes and a heart murmur. My star sign is Aries. I am “of the air”, okay? So don’t go yelling at me if I forget things. It’s in my nature. Am I aware that the sky is falling? Yes. Do I care? No.

You are born, you do some stuff (this is the part that is supposed to really matter) and then you die. That’s a given. It’s like most people forget this. I don’t. I’m more often than not thinking about the fact that I am marching towards my death, trying to feel important, trying to get my name in the newspaper at least once, trying to have sex in one adventurous place, trying to eat some greens and drink at least eight glasses of water a day. I fail at most, but at least I try.

If you haven’t thought about what song you want playing when your coffin comes down the aisle, you better get on it. If you haven’t burned all completely personal documents and journal entries, light ‘er up. If you haven’t written to your favorite lover and told them they were wonderful, why are you just sitting there, get out a PEN!

“in such cases, we have highlighted those parts” by Sasha at Loft404


Saturday July 7, 2012 at Loft404
4:52pm
5 minutes
The Norton Codes
Roger Kaymien


I’m not sure when it started but when it did it was a fast and risky. I saw myself one day and realized that I was no longer a “girl”. I was “WOMAN”. All capital letters. I had to focus on getting the womanly parts of me up and out. Out with the days of the week underwear with overstretched elastic! In with bras with cups! Out with Miranda, the doll I’d had since I was born! In with Seventeen Magazine! My brother looked at me like I was crazy. Nope. But man, was I womanly. I’d only been at it three months or so when Lucas told me he has a surprise for me behind the garbage bins.

My brother wondered why I was late coming home from school. He smoked a joint and called his girlfriend, Natasha. They would talk for hours about God knows what. When I still wasn’t home at 8:45 my brother finally got off the phone and walked down to the swingset at the end of our street. It wasn’t a park. It was just a swingset. He looked around and swung for awhile.

“She was asked if she was aware” by Julia at her desk


Sunday, July 7, 2012
12:35am
5 minutes
“Quote…Unquote”
Nigel Reest


Didn’t seem to notice the dying oregano plants in the living room, or the fact that the dishes were piling up in the sink for days and it was her turn to wash them.
She was, for all intents and purposes, distracted. Amused by the musings in her head. Getting carried away with redundancies.
There is a subculture that she falls into. Lazy, disturbed, underdeveloped. No, not that one.
The one that writes poetry about root vegetables. No. Not that one either.
She was building one of those apologies in her skull that would be sure to last her until morning. She didn’t want to go away but the road she was on was a moving one so she said hello and goodbye to opportunities new and old, respectively.
She has a feather parka on in the middle of July. She was asked if she was aware that it was July. She scoffed and bent down to show them the baby bird’s beak that was holding together the zipper on the back of her dress. She scoffed and asked them if there was any way she could ignore the last ten years of her life and pretend like they never happened.

“in such cases, we have highlighted those parts” by Julia on the patio of Sambuca Grill


Saturday July 7, 2012 at Sambuca Grill
3:43pm
5 minutes
The Norton Codes
Roger Kaymien


We have a list of things we want to do with each other before we die. We don’t really want to call it a bucket list because it’s not quite the same thing. It’s the little things. Those small, simple things that we can get really happy over. The first: spending a whole Saturday in bed except for when we order in pizza and have to pay the delivery guy at the door. Second: drawing each other’s face with our eyes closed on a Monday evening after dessert. Third: wearing each other’s clothes out on the town and not referencing it even once. Fourth: writing each other’s eulogy and reading them so we know exactly how missed we’ll be. Fifth: sleeping the entire night touching in some way, preferably lip to lip, but in case that doesn’t work, baby pinkies should be fine too. Sixth: having a water fight. Inside the house. Seventh: planning a trip to the park for the sole purpose of catching at least two frogs, then casting them in a one act drama that we write based on their facial features. Eighth: leaving the house at 3am, after sleeping for three hours, to go smoke a joint on our front porch.

“Worth it” by Sasha at Menchie’s


Friday, July 6th, 2012 at Menchie’s
4:17pm
5 minutes
Toronto Fringe Festival Program

You’re worth every one of my failures and successes, every itch, every hangnail, every crack of the knuckles and lick of the lips. You’re worth the Diamond Jubilee. You’re worth the blood pulsing, the heart racing, the ants on a log at midnight sitting on the kitchen floor by the open window. You’re worth the potential disillusionment. You’re worth chipping my nail polish off, bit by bit, until I look far less together. You’re worth losing sleep. You’re worth traffic and car horns and sirens and dehydration. You’re worth a plane ticket across two oceans and thirteen deserts. You’re worth mosquito bites and a stubbed toe. You’re worth summer in the city. You’re worth grease and charcoal on my hands and Van Halen on the radio.

“Worth it.” by Julia at Menchie’s


Saturday July 7, 2012 at Menchies
4:17pm
5 minutes
Toronto Fringe Theatre Festival Program July 2012

Definitely positively one of those dreams that make you sweat until you wake up because you’re so into it, your body just relates and lets you finish what your heart wants for a good five minutes. Then you wake up and you’re either really happy because you think you actually did what it is you need to do, or you’re really angry because you know it was all a dream and you’ll have to start again from scratch in broad daylight. Who starts from scratch? Some say it’s worth it to scrap and rebuild. Some say it’s better than dreaming about What Ifs. That’s probably true. Unless it’s one of those dreams that make you die and be reborn again in the same time span, learning all your tragic flaws and then flushing your system clean with a positive vibe and a “yes I can”.
Or it’s just a normal dream that doesn’t mean shit because like a vampire it won’t come in unless you invite it in. You have to want to make a beautiful house and fill it with mirrors. You have to be confident that your ability is bigger than your fear. You have to get pretty cheesy corny metaphoric soap opera bullshit on yourself and then just for a minute, believe that you’re anything but.

Photo of boy wearing a fan hat by Sasha at Loft404


Thursday July 5, 2012 at Loft404
5:02pm
5 minutes
photo of boy wearing a fan hat

I got my hat from my Grappa. My Grappa makes buildings out of bricks. He’s so strong. He has such strong muscles he can carry me wherever that I want to go. My Grappa knows the answers to all my questions and if he doesn’t he looks them up in a Google. When he got here from Cambodia he had only the clothes on his body, a picture of his mother and five American dollars. He worked as a mushroom picker. He was very good. Grappa says it’s ok for me to ask questions because that’s the way my brain will grow. I hope it doesn’t come out my eyeball sockets or something because I want to be handsome for Marissa. Marissa came in grade two and always wears black socks. Even with sandals. She smells like fruit loops. I asked Grappa if Marissa could come over for dinner and Grappa says we’ll have to ask her Mom. Marissa’s mom has long nails. She must be a very good back scratcher. She wears shoes that make her taller than a tree. Marissa has so many freckles I can’t stop staring.

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Photo of boy wearing a fan hat by Julia at Starbucks


Thursday July 5, 2012 at Starbucks
4:05pm
5 minutes
photo of boy wearing a fan hat


I’m smart. I’ve got lots of gadgets. I’m entering a science fair and I’m going to win because I’m good at lots of things.
I hate when people say “let’s go play video games”. Why don’t those people want to read? Why don’t those people like to imagine?
I made a self-cooling mechanism. Basically it’s a tiny fan on a visor and when I wear it, I can withstand a lot of heat and humidity because my body temperature is being kept at a constant. That’s not what I’m entering in the science fair though. I’m entering a contraption that allows the eves troughs to be cleaned while dropping bird seed into one of our feeders out back. I haven’t tried it out yet because the science fair isn’t until January, but I know it’s going to work because I have a lot of knowledge about these kinds of things.
My mom helped me with my very first project when I was in the third grade. It was on penguins and she showed me how to present it so it looked appealing to the eye. After that I never had to ask for help because I had a keen sense for learning and also I really like working independently.

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“You’re looking for the perfect nanny” by Sasha at Loft404


Wednesday, July 4, 2012 at Loft404
5:27pm
5 minutes
Improvisation Starters
Philip Bernardi


Posting on Craigslist Beverly Hills
Looking for the perfect live-in nanny! Must be able to keep up with three boys under ten. Preferably non-Caucasian. Must speak perfect English (slight accent acceptable). Preferably good at math (middle child is struggling with fractions). Preferably not too attractive but attractive enough to get ahead in amusement park line-ups. Must be an excellent cook (of American food). Must know how to operate a surround sound system. Must have morals and a backbone. Preferably plays the piano or the flute. Must know how to work a vacuum, a dustbuster, a dishwasher, a feather duster, Windex and a mop. Preferably able to discuss Modern Art (eldest child is a protege). Must have a good grasp on the stock market (husband is in finance and may want to discuss at breakfast). Must play tennis. Must know at least half of the songs from The Sound of Music (youngest child enjoys). Must be willing to shop at Ralph Lauren. Must bring own shampoo. Must be able to handle my incessant chatter and irritating, controlling, over-the-top parenting style. Should have read at least seven books on child rearing, but shouldn’t ever suggest methods of discipline to me.

“You’re looking for the perfect nanny” by Julia at Grange Park


Wednesday, July 4, 2012 at Grange Park
4:44pm
5 minutes
Improvisation Starters
Philip Bernardi


I think you should love your kids.
I think if you don’t you should hate them enough so they have a good memoir to dedicate to you.
I think if my thoughts were recorded, it would sound a lot like mosquitoes at high dusk.
I think if my thoughts were written down they would look like the next Great Canadian Novel.
Not memoir.
My parents love me a whole lot.
I think people should stop trying to tell other people how to live.
I think if people keep doing it, they should at least try to throw in some extreme jokes.
For example: Never ever stroke a pigeon after midnight.
Example number two: Never ever ask a man wearing a blue jean jacket for advice. Unless you want to get fashion slapped.
See how that’s such a joke? I think people should take themselves less seriously.
I think you should dine out at least once every month.
I think that Pizza Pizza counts, and so does the little soup restaurant located in the basement of your apartment complex, also known as the Soup Shop, also known as Not a Shop But A Soup Counter.
You’re looking for the perfect something in your life.
You’re looking for the perfect nanny.
I think you should be your own nanny.
Find whatever qualities you think the prefect nanny should have and have them yourself.
Also. That’s just called parenting.
Also, I’m not even a parent so what the hell do I know.

“Do we have anything to eat?” by Sasha at her desk


Tuesday, July 3, 2012
8:42pm
5 minutes
The Flying Troutmans
Miriam Toews


She keeps a bag of plain Ruffles potato chips underneath her bed. She gets hungry in the middle of the night sometimes and doesn’t want to have to get up.
I had a bad dream that the King of the Anteaters was coming for all the Twix Bars in my mother’s fridge. She would freak. I wake up and I’m scared so I reach under my bed. The bag is there, but it’s empty. What the fuck? I didn’t finish it. Someone’s been in here. Someone has been messing around with my stuff. I’ve gotta put a lock on my door. What am I supposed to do now? I get up. I know my mother will hear me. She has ears like a dog. Or a dolphin. Whichever one has better hearing. That’s my mother. “Val?” My mother shouts. “Bring me a Sprite!” “Didn’t you already brush your teeth?” I ask, whispering, maybe she’s just dreaming. “Shut up and bring me a cold Sprite.” My mother is sitting up in her bed, a mountain of laundry beside her. I go into the kitchen and see a mouse on the counter, happily eating a pizza crust off a plate from dinner. I don’t scream. I don’t even move. I watch him. He is focused. He hasn’t heard me. He eats like this is his last night on earth.

“Do we have anything to eat?” by Julia on the subway going east


Tuesday, July 3, 2012
3:35pm
5 minutes
The Flying Troutmans
Miriam Toews


Do you think we’re just going to sit and eat cold pizza for the rest of our lives, Sean? I’m talking about big moves for us in the upcoming months, here, and I’m not really sure that cold pizza helps our case. No! I love the pizza! Don’t get me wrong. If I could have one thing for the rest of my life that satisfies both my hunger cravings and my need for cheese on everything, I would comfortably eat pizza. But I’m trying to get better than myself. I’m trying to scrap my routine a bit because I’m afraid that that is what’s keeping me from trying to do something as an artist. I think if maybe I’m willing to sacrifice something I love for something I love more, I should theoretically be seeing results in the “Life and Career” department.
Oh, and also, I’m really sorry but I think I might have to stop living with you because I haven’t achieved anything yet and it’s been a whole 11 months already.I’m not saying it’s your fault, because I know it’s mine, but I need to change my routine, right? I need to get out of my comfort zone, which, Sean, is definitely living with you, and be brave. I have to say goodbye to certain acquaintances like cold pizza and say hello to opportunity like real life and possibly some real money.

‘investigators and exterminators’ by Sasha at her desk


Monday July 2, 2012
11:56pm
5 minutes
The back of the Ghostbusters DVD

If we were to start at the beginning, which isn’t really possible, given that none of us were here, I’d say there was a bright bright light. By process of imagination and deduction, I would guess that some bugs were born out of that light. The bugs brought movement to the earths surface and this inspired growth of all sorts. Like a blister, but not as nasty. Over thousands of years the bug evolved into dinosaurs and then, one day, the dinosaurs grew wings and there were birds. I know that we are working our way up to humans, we will get there, it takes awhile. It’s not all about us, you know.

“investigators and exterminators” by Julia at her desk


Monday July 2, 2012
11:48pm
5 minutes
The back of the Ghostbusters DVD

I have nothing to say to you. I thought I left the whole Christianity thing back in high school. Guess not.
Okay, God, what is it that you’re expecting to hear from me exactly? I’m just trying to understand so I can give you what you need and we can just move on already. I told you all the stuff I think. For example, it’s your fault I didn’t have any friends growing up, and it’s your fault that the friends I did have were only trying to convert me one way or another. It’s your fault that instead of expressing how I actually felt, I kept it inside and lied to myself every day. It’s your fault that I made my father yell at me when I yelled at him before his birthday dinner because I thought it would be a good idea to pray first. It’s your fault that I’m blaming other things for things I should be taking responsibility for because you taught me how to displace my anger and to give YOU power (which has caused me a lot of problems). For example, it’s your fault that I’m lazy as I gave any volition to you so long ago and now I don’t know how to do things for myself. It’s your fault that I cried myself to sleep after trying to tell my “friends” that “gay people” were “against the bible” and it’s your fault that I trusted you enough to believe something so hideous and painful.
It’s also your fault that I can’t stand to see people getting bullied, or hate crimes, or disrespecting our parents.
Guess one out of a billion isn’t bad…

“But it seemed he couldn’t make new memories.” by Julia at Belly Acres


Sunday July 1, 2012
9:56pm
5 minutes
Scientific American Mind
July/August 2012
Dwayne Godwin and Jorge Cham


Holding old thoughts in his blinking box. Trying to decide if throwing out the old to make room for the new would be worth all the effort.
Locking tight the secrets of past lovers and past lives; making sure the key is his ability to remember…
He can’t say no to those ideas in his head that once puzzled him, amazed him. They are his favorite children and he loves them more outwardly than his others. He cares not that it’s unfair. He loves them without failure and flaw. He showers them with time and money and they glitter for him, entertain him, make him proud of them.
They once rattled him. They now strangle him–needing more and more everything because they’re old and used up and just wasting the space. He’s told them sometimes, “Behave or that’s the end of you, I’m going to throw away my memory key and you’ll be finished. ”
But they know all they have to do is dance a little, put on a fancy hat, and he can’t help but love them strong the way he used to.
There is no room for babies. For toddlers.

“But it seemed he couldn’t make new memories.” by Sasha at her desk


Sunday July 1, 2012
11:30pm
5 minutes
Scientific American Mind
July/August 2012
Dwayne Godwin Jorge Cham


I enlisted before I’d graduated high school. It was hot out that day. Sticky. On the drive to the Mall my thighs stuck to the leather seats of my mother’s station wagon. The recruiter said that I was a “shoe-in”. I didn’t get it.

The night before I left for Basic Training Cassandra told me that she loved me. She told me that she wasn’t sure she wanted to stay together when I was away. She was going to college in Ohio. I punched a hole in the wall of my basement and knocked a photo off of sister and I eating watermelon as kids.

In Iraq I started smoking cigarettes. I started reading. I started thinking about my grandfather and corn on the cob and clean socks. I stopped talking so much. I would lie awake at night and see if I could remember where all of Cassandra’s freckles were. I knew she had thirty eight on her body in the winter. I wondered if she thought about when I proposed over bacon and eggs at the Dipper.

I was gone for thirty two months, without ever coming home. I couldn’t remember how things tasted or smelled or felt. I laughed less. I smoked more. I stuffed tissue in my ears to sleep. I dreamt of watermelon and bellyflops and the smell of Cassandra’s shampoo. I woke up wondering if I would ever make new memories that didn’t involve dust and sweat and vacuum-packed ham.

“I just didn’t know how to explain it” by Sasha at Sadie’s Diner


Saturday June 30, 2012 at Sadie’s Diner
4:03pm
5 minutes
@thejoemancometh
Twitter


I just didn’t know how to explain it… I mean… I didn’t know what to say.
I just didn’t know how to convey it… I mean… I didn’t want you to go away.
I just didn’t know how’d you’d feel about it… I mean… I want to feel your heat.
I just didn’t know the exact wording… I mean… I didn’t want you to think I’m a cheat.

“Sally?!”
“Yeah?”
“Come downstairs! I have something to show you!”
“I’ll be right there…”

I just didn’t know how to explain it… I mean… I didn’t know what to say.
I just didn’t know how to convey it… I mean… I didn’t want you to go away.
I just didn’t know how’d you’d feel about it… I mean… I want to feel your heat.
I just didn’t know the exact wording… I mean… I didn’t want you to think I’m a cheat.

“So?”
“So… What?”
“That’s all you have to say?”
“No -”
“Look, I know we’ve never talked about it, I know that… But -”
“I honestly had no idea…”
“I am fucking crazy about you -“

“I just didn’t know how to explain it” by Julia at Sambuca Grill


Saturday June 30, 2012 at Sambuca Grill
6:17pm
5 minutes
@thejoemancometh
Twitter


From the leaves changing colours to the flower petals prickling my hands as I couldn’t control my need for tactile communication, it was beyond me. Didn’t know how to justify it. Didn’t know how to explain losing my mind and finding yours all in the same hour. Kept on thinking some lightening bolt from heaven would strike me down to give me the epiphany I was waiting for. Hoping for. Looking for. It didn’t so I just kept on laughing as if that were my original priority. I had a day dream that penguins were making a gingerbread house and trying to force me to be their mother. Wendy bird mother. But for penguins. I couldn’t stop myself from
believing just a little that it was possible to be happy without shoes and feet to fill them, and without using words for the rest of my
life. Alice in wonderland, it felt like. Like my brain was puppeteering all of my good and mostly bad choices. Didn’t have a reason for putting on a blue cocktail dress and then pricking holes into the lining with a Swiss army knife. Didn’t have a reason for the penguin imagery or the brief delusions that I was slipping away from this world on an ice patch, glittering in the afternoon sun.

“Within two hours” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Friday June 29, 2012
12:02am
5 minutes
The Loved One
Evelyn Waugh


Back at the start of things, we measured our love differently. We measured it in bags of cotton candy, in trips to the country to go hunting for antiques. Back when things were sepia toned and velvet soft, we measured love in baskets of old handkerchiefs and homemade chocolate fudge. We didn’t care if we were dirty or poor. We found solace in cheap orange juice and picking flowers from other people’s gardens. We were searching for a Heart of Gold and we found it. Now we measure our love in bank account statements and email addresses and numbers on the 649. We’re getting old. We want a two car garage even though we can barely afford one ’94 Nissan. You tell me that you’re going on a trip. Solo. You start running around the house like there’s an emergency. I guess there is, for you. You leave with a kiss on my cheek, hot and a little bit wet. I can still feel it three days later. You’re not back yet. I think about the time when we measured our love like Bob Dylan, like blackberries still warm from the sun. You used to laugh about people like us.