“cupcakes” by Sasha in High Park


Thursday, November 29, 2012 in High Park
4:30pm
5 minutes
The Lawblaws ad
on the back of NOW Magazine


He doesn’t lick the spoon because Grandpa Finnegan used to smack his hand and this trained him well. He sets the oven to three hundred and fifty degrees and pours the melted chocolate into the batter that waits, patiently, on the granite countertop.

Even in the fifties and sixties, baking was a man’s job. His grandmother and mother, aunts and female cousins played Crazy Eights and Gin Rummy while the boys learned about kneading dough and the science of baking soda. Grandpa Finnegan would visit and bring with him Maldon Salt and thick British molasses. He would smuggle these goods and others in his carry-on luggage and lie to the airport security about health and special needs and about manners regarding ones elders.

Today, Finnegan long gone, he makes cupcakes for his daughter’s ninth birthday. Recently divorced he is over the moon that he got to host the birthday. Ten third graders will be arriving in the late afternoon for manicures and Earl Grey tea… and cupcakes, devil’s chocolate cupcakes. Finnegan’s recipe.

“regal and graceful” by Sasha in her bed


Wednesday, November 28, 2012
8:11pm
5 minutes
Shamanic Experience
Kenneth Meadows


She wears a ’67 Nikon around her neck
Her strand of pearls
More precious than the ring left by a generation
Gathering dust faeries on her dresser-top
She wears a ’67 Nikon around her neck
She is always ready
Pointer finger poised
F-stop set to “take me right and slow”
She knows light like you know Maxwell’s voice
Singing you through hormones and heartbreaks
She knows shutterspeeds like you know the highway
Coming home late
Coming home feeling full and tired
She walks your city because you don’t anymore
Regal and graceful
Alone and happy
Independent and searching
She never thought she’d find home
But she did
Here
Snapping chestnuts and fresh bread
Baby hands and dive bars

“They’d terrified and thrilled me as a child” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Tuesday, November 27, 2012
5:46pm
5 minutes
The Girls Guide To Hunting And Fishing
Melissa Bank


When I was a child, eight or nine, eight and nine, I think, I had horrendous nightmares. They always started the same – my mother, sister and I were at our country home, nestled in the woods. This was usually a place of comfort and play but in these night-time terrors, the creaky floors and barely locked door became beacons for danger and fear. A large red-headed man would push the door down. I would always be the only one to hear him. I would be frozen in fear and therefore unable to alert my sleeping family. He would find me first, my room straight ahead from the stairs. I would usually wake up before he got brutal and violent. Crying, I would gather all of my courage to get to my mother’s room, a few steps away. Poor woman. She slept even less than I did those years. She would soothe me back to sleep, checking downstairs to make sure no one was there, offering me water and a back rub. My fear didn’t translate in daylight, at sleepovers, at my Dad’s new apartment.

“They’d terrified and thrilled me as a child” by Julia on the 506 going west


Tuesday, November 27, 2012
10:46pm
5 minutes
The Girls Guide To Hunting And Fishing
Melissa Bank


I wasn’t very good at horror movies as a kid. Neither was my mother. By my third midnight trip to their bed, I was locked out to be left sobbing outside their door and feeling sorry for myself.
I’m not sure whose idea it was to sneak into their bed. I don’t remember consulting with anyone about how to deal with nightmares caused from watching or thinking about scary stuff when I was six. It’s not like she stroked my hair and sang me a lullaby to help me sleep. She just slept, uncomfortably, and I slept perfectly fine in their bed made for two, not three.
I tried watching less scary movies, but then my imagination just sort of…took off. In no time, I was convinced I had seen the devil’s silhouette on my bedroom wall, and every loose article of clothing on the floor was a monster ready to murder me. I even slept with my bible underneath my pillow for a couple months, convinced I’d be safe from evil (assuming all evil creatures were literate).

“acute and chronic conflict” by Julia at Sambuca Grill


Monday, November 26, 2012 at Sambuca Grill
6:16pm
5 minutes
Public Outreach Guidelines for MSF

Andie: If I die before I wake up, what would you do?
Ben: Are you being serious?
Andie: Yeah, I’m curious. Would you cry?
Ben: Yeah.
Andie: Really?
Ben: Why wouldn’t I cry, I can’t cry?
Andie: No, it’s good. I’d want that.
Ben: I know you would
Andie: What do you mean, “I would?”
Ben: You love the drama of everything. If someone’s not crying you think they’re not sad or happy or embarrassed or whatever you are when you cry.
Andie: Do I cry that much? Don’t answer that.
Ben: Yes.
Andie: Sorry okay, I’m hot blooded and passionate. It’s the way I was programmed.
Ben: Would you cry if I died?
Andie: In your sleep?
Ben: Does it matter? Yes. Any place or time that I die, would you cry.
Andie: I don’t know.
Ben: What?
Andie: I don’t know. I might turn into one of those hysterical laughing people. Or the ones who just go mute when they’re in so much shock. I might never talk again.
Ben: You would cry. You of all people would…have to!
Andie: But I’d be so broken I wouldn’t be me. I’d be the person who can’t cry.
Ben: I don’t like this. I think you should just cry.
Andie: Don’t you see? It’s better if I don’t. And then I never fully deal with you. And I carry my sadness over you forver. Until I die. Of a broken heart. Because of you.
Ben: …Alright, fine.

“Every week.” by Julia at her kitchen table


Thursday, November 22, 2012
10:11pm
5 minutes
NOW magazine box

Your beard is getting long again and though I like the way it looks, I hate the way you use it as an excuse not to kiss me. Every week I tell you, just trim it now so it’s not such an endeavour later. Every week I tell you that. And it’s not that you don’t kiss me, you do, but they’re those cute kisses that last for about 2 seconds. You probably kiss your sister longer. So. It’s a bit off-putting, I guess, for a lack of a better word, that you don’t shave and then we don’t kiss, and then when we do you say it bothers you or it’s too itchy. SO SHAVE. Why is it such a foreign concept to you? I shave. I shave my legs, and my underarms. Not every week, no. EVERY DAY. I wash, I scrub, I shave, and I do it so that no matter what you will look at me and say, damn girl you sexy, or damn girl you’re really taking care, or just, damn girl, and then you smile or something. See I just need a bit of verbal affirmation. You. You need to be moved to do something. To have a job interview or a special family function. Not my family functions. Oh God no. That would involve kissing all my relatives wouldn’t it? And that would go ahead and irritate your freaking bearded face, wouldn’t it? And that would just, for no other reason except for it being inconvenient to you, bother you.
I’m mad.
I don’t know if you’ve noticed.

“acute and chronic conflict” by Sasha at Cafe Novo


Monday, November 26, 2012 at Cafe Novo
2:55pm
5 minutes
Public Outreach Guidelines for MSF

We sat side-by-side and Jeremy tapped his foot. The couch vibrated. I put my hand on his knee, our signal that he’s shaking things. He kept doing it. I removed my hand. “Jer…” He looked away from me, towards the wall, towards a picture his mother had painted us for our first anniversary – a bluebird playing in a birdbath. He’d been fired from the plant in August and was looking fatter, sadder and balder by the minute. I didn’t want to say that it was okay, I made enough to support us until the New Year, I even made enough to buy him a gym membership and therapy sessions. We speak different languages now, now that he’s fatter, sadder and balder.
“Jer…” His name reminded me of what he used to be, how he used to feel, what he used to smell like – bright, firm, cherries and warmth. He looks at me and hold my eyes, lacklustre and dark. “What?! Why do you keep saying my name. What is it?” I stand up and prick my finger on the cactus we have on the bookshelf by the window. A small spot of blood comes. I’m thankful for it. I suck my finger. Jeremy sighs. I taste iron and DNA and disaster.

“The sheriff nodded.” by Sasha on the subway going West


Sunday, November 25, 2012
1:47am
5 minutes
A Lesson Before Dying
Ernest J. Gaines


I know that it’s illegal to skip school here but I don’t care. Those assholes don’t have anything to teach me. I learnt what I needed to know and I left, okay? You make it sound so fucking complicated… One plus one? I got it. Thanks. What’re you going to do… Arrest me? Send me to juvie? It would be a hell of a lot better than home.

I ran away because my Mom decided to redecorate. I ran away because her boyfriend Harry is a fucking misogynistic prick who thinks that women are as dumb as dogs. I ran away because I was tired of being forced to go to their stupid asshole Church. I ran away because I had saved my money that I earned by myself and I choose… Emancipation.

Don’t even get me started on my Nun sister, Carissa. She thought that she’d be pleasing them when she went to the convent. What are we? Pilgrims?! She doesn’t even know what free-thinking is, she doesn’t even get the fact that you can do what you want now, no one can control your mind. I ran away to go and save her.

“The sheriff nodded.” by Julia at her kitchen table


Sunday, November 25, 2012
9:49pm
5 minutes
A Lesson Before Dying
Ernest J. Gaines


I wasn’t going anywhere without Lucy. I would be damned if they locked me up this very moment and I had to watch her watch me get taken in. I knew damn well that Lucy wasn’t going to be coming with me. And suddenly I realized: I couldn’t go either. I was stuck to that girl like glue, you understand. Her freckles, her smile. I was lost in her baby blues the first time I laid eyes on her. She was shivering in the cold, wet from the rain, and alone. And I picked up that perfect little girl, with the coat off of my own back, and I cradled her there. Remember singing to her until she fell asleep, poor thing. Couldn’t stop shaking until she was dreaming. I wanted her to know I was there, and that I wasn’t going no place else because we had developed a perfect bond, you see. I never wanted children. Not in my whole life. I wanted a dog, maybe a cat if I got too lonely, but never ever a kid. Then that day, her tiny body sitting in a pothole on the road? You think I’m going to turn my back on her? Absolutely impossible. Some sorry excuse for a human being left her there on purpose. Couldn’t care for her. Well I couldn’t either, but that didn’t stop me, you see what I mean. I was going to keep this girl alive if it were the last thing I did.
I didn’t want to explain that whole story to the sheriff. Something about his smirk told me he wouldn’t understand. Or if he would, I knew he just wouldn’t believe me.

“nous allons trouver une solution” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Saturday, November 24, 2012
2:08am
5 minutes
PostSecret(Confessions on life, death, and god)
Frank Warren


You unscrew the lid of the jar and breathe in deep. I’m glad I came, but I’m annoyed by how cold it is outside and by the fact that I’m too vain to wear a hat. “Take a sniff,” you say, “this stuff is realllll.” It’s like you use this word, “real”, to say something that goes beyond this place and time… I don’t know. I don’t want to smell the tea but I do anyway, because I always feel obligated to do what people tell me. My therapist thinks that it comes from a closet lesbian mother. I don’t know. So I’m sniffing this tea and you’re telling me about this dream you had where you were in the Amazon and a vine wrapped around your ankles (intentionally) and started to strange you. It wasn’t a nightmare, though, you were clear about that. It was a sign. You put water into the kettle and try to turn on the stove. It’s gas and it won’t light. You bring over an old lighter, the kind that your grandfather might have. “That’s dangerous,” I say. “I know,” you look into my eyes in a disconcerting way, “that’s why I do it.”

“as a result” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Friday, November 24, 2012
12:53am
5 minutes
Letters in Toronto Life
December 2012 issue


As a result of your general attitude I’ve decided to go on strike. I’m not talking picket lines or loudspeakers. I’m talking, strike from doing the things you take for granted – the soy milk in the granola a few minutes before consumption so that it doesn’t hurt the roof of your mouth; picking up your socks from both conventional (bathroom floor) and unconventional (coat closet) places; etc.; etc. Once I’ve stopped doing these things you’ll realize that you had better stop being rude to me.

Snap back to 2003. You though I was the Queen of all good things. You thought the moon was my left eye and the sun was right. You thought I knew all the words in the dictionary. You believed me to be the best cook of both scrambled eggs and tacos. And then… the fall from grace. It was a windy September this past year but… I can’t blame it on that. I can’t blame you, really… but I want too. I can blame Freddie.

“nous allons trouver une solution” by Julia at her desk


Saturday, November 24, 2012
8:27pm
5 minutes
PostSecret(Confessions on life, death, and god)
Frank Warren


If you’re thinking this is it, you’re not wrong, but I also don’t think you’re right.
See. The rainy days are here to make us love the sun, so what’s the sum? Add it up one by one.
You+Me+This+pick the thing. Pick it. Anything. Don’t think, just do. Don’t wait, just pick up the brain that was taking a nap, wake it up, and do it.
How could it be the end? You know what amateur means? I learned that today. I learned it and now I can’t unlearn it. Find out where it comes from. What’s the root word. You don’t speak the language? AMA. Yeah. It’s not that hard. It’s actually easy. Love the thing you do. Love it and do it for that reason. The money? Ha! Wouldn’t it be nice? Or would it? Thousands of dollars in the debt bank. Are they all friends? Those dollars keeping us from being free, from being fine and happy and in love with ourselves? Hope they’re happy. The banks. Keeping a secret from us, trying to keep us where the sun doesn’t shine through the black out blinds.
I’ll spend more money, get the ones that go up and down. Thousands he said earlier. Worth it? Yeah, I said later, it definitely is. Can’t forget the days when it’s bright. Can’t get locked tight in the cave of worry and doubt and panic cause it won’t let you out, it’s manic, and it won’t let you shout, it’s frantic, and it won’t let you. Let’s grab those faces we used to know. Paint them back on the backs of our heads so we can see behind and know it wasn’t nothing then. It won’t be nothing now.

“as a result” by Julia at the Green Grind


Friday, November 24, 2012 at the Green Grind
5:27pm
5 minutes
Letters in Toronto Life
December 2012 issue


Contrary to common belief, I am a very happy individual. You may know me from the furrowed brow section of my face; the one that comes out to discourage you every now again. It’s my thinking face, let the rumours be dispelled! I think with my eyebrows. Or with the top quadrant of my face. Don’t you walk with your knees? Or Talk mostly with your teeth? Welcome to the Freak Show, my friends. Every one of us is a twisted piece of art, and as a result, we stand out. You think I’m angry? I’m not. I’m processing. You think I hate you? I probably do. I’m kidddddding. I don’t. But I look like I do and I promise it’s not just a weird defense mechanism. It’s the thing my face does because it wasn’t taught properly from birth. I literally came out of the womb this way: brows crossed and hands balled into tiny, yet powerful, fists.
I smile with my whole body. Did you ever notice that? The way my laugh shoots into the air and calms the threatening clouds above us? It’s real. At least you know when I freaking mean it. Unlike the people who don’t look upset when they’re thinking, but instead just look overly interested. Overly sympathetic. They probably are, don’t get me wrong. And maybe their faces are just more developed than mine. Emotionally. But can we truly go on and begrudge someone for responding in a way that we don’t like? It’s just their face!

“more plastic stuff” by Julia at Cafe Pamenar


Wednesday, November 21, 2012 at Cafe Pamenar
3:10pm
5 minutes
A Toronto Livegreen ad
on the TTC


I can’t take it anymore! I’m dying a slow and painful death from this disgusting cheese. You said it was gourmet, but I think it’s just gour-meh. That’s even too good. And look, my insults are turning to shit! I have lost every ounce of creativity in my body because it was somehow drained in the course of me eating your cheese, and wishing I hadn’t. Sometimes things need to be thought about before purchasing. For example: Tight boxer briefs from H&M that make you look like hippy-molester who drives one of those white unmarked vans around elementary schools. Another: Those stupid toe socks you bought so you can pick up potato chips when you drop them on the floor while keeping your feet warm. GAG. Or what about: The baby chihuahua that has almost taken off one of my cheeks because I didn’t greet her in the proper way? It’s not just the cheese, okay? It’s what the cheese represents. It’s that you don’t have good taste and I’m afraid that when push comes to shove you’ll just buy me one of those vomit-worthy engagement rings because you think it looks nice. Or worse. You think I’ll think it looks nice. DO YOU NOT KNOW ME AT ALL??? You need to use your head. You need to think about things and assess them, and most importantly, TALK TO ME ABOUT THEM. PREFERABLY BEFORE YOU PURCHASE THEM.

“Every week.” by Sasha at Dark Horse on Queen East


Thursday, November 22, 2012
4:32pm at Dark Horse Queen East
5 minutes
NOW magazine box

I’m painting each star the colours I found in Spain
Reds and blues that forget their mistakes
It takes diligence and patience
It takes my whole arm
So outstretched I can only last for few minute intervals
Before I must rest
And wait
I’m painting each star in the galaxy
I mention it to my coffee barista
He smiles and thinks I’m being
Poetic
or
Ironic
It’s funny
People don’t believe
It’s funny
People don’t trust
When I say
“I’m painting the Milky Way
Tomorrow it will be orange
Look up
Then
Look up
And you’ll see what I mean”
I paint in at dusk and dawn
The magic times
When these stars of mine
Reveal themselves
Open star hearts
Reveal themselves
Unabashed and laughing

“more plastic stuff” by Sasha at Cafe Pamenar


Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at Cafe Pamenar
2:54pm
5 minutes
Toronto Livegreen ad on the TTC

I had put it off for long enough. I had… put it off and off and off until it was pretty much off the map of my current life, somewhere in the Pacific ocean, along with my childhood delight in spiders and an intense University obsession with Japanese food. They swam around there together, not nearly close enough to Hawai’i and palm trees, these things I’d cast off.

We’d thought it would be easier if we classified what we “were” (or “weren’t”) but it wasn’t… easier. It was terribly awful and horrendous. Now we know this.

I have a terrible habit of replaying conversations that I wish had ended differently. I replay them, writing the dialogue of how it should’ve ended or what I could’ve said. It usually involves more cursing and less apologizing. I’ve tried to teleport myself back, to meditate on what got lost and where I am and the tune to my own heartbeat, to say these shiny new words but…

“Wonderstruck” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Tuesday, November 20, 2012
6:02pm
5 minutes
Glow magazine
Winter, 2012


You wonderstruck me hard. I couldn’t believe that you liked yellow, and Joan Baez, and carrot soup. Just like me. You wonderstruck me hard. You walked into the room and it didn’t matter that you were married, or that I was confused about my feelings for my first-time love, or that there were thirteen other people there who thought that they knew us both. We shared a joint on the front steps of that hilarious house with the talking clock and the beef tenderloin. You told me that you hadn’t smoked since last christmas. You asked me for my dealers phone number and I programmed mine into your phone instead, smiling slightly, and mostly thinking about how I wanted to kiss between your nipples, in that special spot, reserved for secrets and sweat. You wonderstruck me hard. It wasn’t because you were fifteen years older and were already a little salt-and-pepper, and it wasn’t because you had exceptional shoes and it wasn’t because I couldn’t actually have you. When you looked at my lips in an inquisitive way things inside me hummed, things inside me that I’d never even felt or known before.

“Wonderstruck” by Julia at Starbucks


Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at Starbucks
12:06pm
5 minutes
Glow magazine
Winter, 2012


She ran as fast as her one good leg and one broken one could carry her. Of course she wasn’t truly running, but she was close–given her situation.

Cass felt a sudden pull on her limbs to move faster. Was it the fear that lingered all day after being awoken from a traumatizing dream about her mother being attacked with an axe? Or perhaps it was the crumpled fortune she clutched in her right coat pocket, after opening a random cookie at the Chinese restaurant and discovering that it was eerily accurate (again, referencing her mother)?

Cass had broken her left leg when Oliver dropped her on the ice during lift practice. She said it was fine, laughed it off even. But now Cass felt like she hadn’t moved her body in years because she was so used to walking places when she wasn’t injured.

This, however, this rattling inkling about her mother’s well-being, was enough to get her going. She invented the lie that she needed to arrive at her mother’s condo by 4:07pm, and if she couldn’t make it, disaster would ensue..

“Omelet of the Day” by Julia at McCaul and College


Monday, November 19, 2012
11:10pm
5 minutes
The Menu
Sadie’s Diner


Turns out, Windex is a thing I enjoy smelling. Thought I would hate it, but it’s comforting to me and now I’m all for it. Isn’t it funny how window cleaner is just known as Windex even though that’s just a brand of window cleaner? Same with tissues. No one calls them tissues. “Pass me a Kleenex?” And cotton swabs! Everyone calls them Q-tips as if that’s the thing that describes the actual item. It doesn’t! What does the Q even stand for?
I don’t care enough to find out. The smell is nauseating now because the man using it is using too much and if he knew better, he would know, just like my mother always says, “A little goes a long way.” You can insert anything into that phrase. “A little Windex goes a long way.” “A little love goes a long way.” “A little tribal man with a coconut goes a long way.” Okay well maybe not anything. I’m talking more about the essentials of life! Next thing you know we’re going to be describing the “essentials of life” with a brand name. I mean, Life Brand technically has already done this. But I’m talking about specific essentials being replaced by one smarmy company!

“Omelet of the Day” by Sasha at La Merceria


Monday, November 19, 2012 at La Merceria
3:55pm
5 minutes
The Menu
Sadie’s Diner


I couldn’t sleep the night before the morning we met, bright and dewy, like we were, once.
I couldn’t sleep the night before we met because I was thinking about the time you told me the mole on my left shoulder reminded you of the prairies, I was thinking about the time you played me Florence and the Machine, I was thinking about how your body felt beside me sleeping – heavy and in-flight at the very same time.
I couldn’t sleep the night before the morning we met, tossing and turning and making a burrito of myself in purple sheets that smell like a cottage, trying to dream something sexy and wonderful but really just seeing your face, under a red toque, smiling and laughing and chuckling, not at me, but so very with me.
I couldn’t sleep the night before the morning we met, so I was already awake when my alarm went off at seven forty five, and I was so tired in that moment and in the moment when I first saw you, it had been thirteen longest months, and I was so tired when I ordered the omelet of the day without knowing what might be contained within in.

“Old men ought to be explorers” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Sunday, November 18, 2012
12:08pm
5 minutes
East Coker
T.S Eliot


There’s a sale on at the Hardware Store. Fake Christmas trees. Never liked them much myself. Always found them to be a bit… depressing. When I was a boy, we’d walk out into the woods and hack at some poor Douglas Fir or Evergreen or Blue Pine and then drag it through the snow back to the house. My sisters would pick up the fallen branches and sew the little needles into small pillows to put in sock drawers to keep the moths out. I was there, at the Hardware Store, to get mousetraps. This time of year is always the worst it seems. This time of year makes those little buggars crazy and hungry. Was waiting to get the good kind, the kind that snap down and break their necks but had to go for the “humane” traps, something about releasing them back into the “wild”, said the salesgirl. She don’t know that those little buggars will find a way back in, they will.

“Old men ought to be explorers” by Julia on her couch


Sunday, November 17, 2012
10:00pm
5 minutes
East Coker
T.S Eliot


I am young and I am wide-eyed.
Let’s do the thing where I tell you what I love and you dance to the shape of it.
I am young.
Time is my best friend. It won’t wait for me, but when it’s honest, it’s the only thing I need.
I am wide-eyed.
I can be naive when it’s easy to be because the world is better that way.
I love beauty. I love beautiful things.
I love Old men and tiny babies.
I love that old men and tiny babies together makes a moment.
I am young.
I have many ideas about what is and what isn’t.
They are different from what they were when I was young yesterday, young 6 years ago, young when I was new.
Now they seem like the only option.
Then, they seemed like the same thing.
Wide-eyed.
I see the universe when I fall asleep. It’s in the warmest part of my brain. It lights everything up. It makes it okay to be laying down and letting things happen around me.
Let’s do the thing where I tell you what I need and you sing me a song that sounds like it.
Let’s do the thing where young and wide-eyed individuals get ahead by not just dreaming all day.
Let’s do the thing where you and I start.

“Ready to fall” by Julia at her kitchen table


Saturday, November 17, 2012
3:45pm
5 minutes
Tea Tin
David’s Tea


This might be the worst day of my life. My lisp is gone! Do you hear me? GONE. I tried to keep it as long as I could. People thought it was cute and also a bit annoying, but it was mine so now I’m mad that it’s left me. I think I should try to find one more thing that is mine, but that won’t just disappear when it’s good and ready. Something like, a hearty laugh. One that everyone recognizes as mine when I’m in a big crowd. One that’s so great people just try to make me laugh so they can hear it. OR! I could go do some real searching and find a thing that NOBODY HAS. NOBODY. Maybe something like a scar in the shape of a continent. That would be so amazing! People would want to turn my body into artwork! No lisp, no problem! But the scar isn’t even the best, it’s just sort of the best. The real best would be ONE GREEN EYE and ONE BLACK ONE. IS THAT EVEN POSSIBLE? NOBODY has that. I know it. NOBODY DOES. Because if they had, there would be a movie about them and I would have heard of them by now. HOW DO I GET A BLACK EYE? No punching or painting. No fake-ys allowed. I’ll have to do some real research.

“I think you should make your own” by Julia on her couch


Friday, November 16, 2012
1:05am
5 minutes
http://www.joythebaker.com

I think you should make your own mess, clean it up, then forget that it happened. Guess what, it happened, but if you don’t remember, it’s like it really didn’t. You know that feeling? Of remembering something you wish you could forget because it gives you that empty feeling in your stomach even after you’ve had enough to eat? I’m talking about the songs that bring you back in time, the poems that make you cry different tears, the apple crumble that joins your past and present with a tiny gold fork.
I think you should make your own happiness. The kind that the movies try to replicate. The kind that the most beautiful paintings are made of. That stuff, it’s possible, and it’s surrounding you. You should pick up some found happiness and turn it into a wreath so you can hang it on your door and leave it there all year round.
I think you should make your own money. Not in the money sense, in the wealth sense. In the life security sense. In the peace and happiness sense. Oh is that the same as making your own happiness? Funny isn’t it?
I think you should make your own love. Not the one that needs two people. The one that needs just you is good enough.

“Regrets collect like old friends” by Julia on the 506 going East


Thursday, November 15, 2012
7:37pm
5 minutes
Shake It Out
Florence and the Machine


I’m not dead yet. I’m not really prepared anyway so can everybody please just stop talking about the end of the world? I was waiting in line at the coffee shop and people were ordering the most expensive things on the board. Everyone. Not just a couple of loons. Everyone. I was all, I’ll take my black tea please. 2 bucks. If the world is over, I’m not going to spend my last days feeling like shit because I decided to splurge and get one hundred pounds of whipped cream on my morning coffee. These people are mad. How can they have a normal thought in their heads? People talking about–what they’ve accomplished, their legacies. And for what? If we’re all dying together, who exactly do you plan on leaving your legacy for? I haven’t done any of the things I wanted to do. The only comforting thing about that is there will be no one to say, And he was so promising. He could have been great.
No one gets to judge. BECAUSE WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE.

“Ready to fall” by Sasha in her bed


Saturday, November 17, 2012
12:36am
5 minutes
Tea Tin
David’s Tea


There were swirls of music, sitar and voices that sang in scales unknown to her Western ears. She smelled curries and coconuts. As Delhi sped by her, goats and people in bright colours, she thought about her apartment in Washington, she thought about her husband, she thought about making a pilgrimage out of a dream of a place she never thought she’d go.

She wore a white sari and had a gold scarf around her neck. She was speaking in a language unknown to her. She was telling a man, her teacher, her guru, that she felt more free than she’d ever felt before. He nodded and stroked his long grey beard. She felt tears on her cheeks, something strange, something new. She went and sat under a naked tree. She meditated. She breathed in light and breathed out fear.

“I think you should make your own” by Sasha on her couch


Friday, November 16, 2012
12:43am
5 minutes
http://www.joythebaker.com

I think you should make your own heartbeat racetrack
A thousand tiny horses running around your pulse
I would sit in the bleachers and eat popcorn and wear a very fancy hat
I would put money on your heart-horses
A lot of money
Hard earned and cold in my fingers money
Never in a bank money
Money is funny
I would win when you win
Because that’s how it goes with us
And we’d go out for ice cream sundaes
And we’d forget about your dairy allergy
And my desire to order another
And we’d feed the jukebox change
And we’d listen to song after song that reminded us of
All the Wild Horses
And tomorrow would be the same thing
Running and betting and hoping
And listening to the
heartbeat racetrack
Your heartbeat racetrack
Go and stop and go

“Regret collect like old friends” by Sasha on the subway going West


Thursday, November 15, 2012
11:31pm
5 minutes
Shake It Out
Florence and the Machine


I’m not sure why he keeps joking about inappropriate things but he does and I don’t acknowledge it. Really… I do little head-shakes, almost indicating, “Stop. I beg of you, please stop that…” He’s bringing up really bad things like my ex-husband and his new Farrah Faucet wife. He’s talking about the time we went to the Grand Canyon, me and Greg, not me and my ex-husband, and he drank whiskey and… that story couldn’t end well, right? He took a picture of the moon rising above that big crater and he laughed in my face when I cried because I thought it was beautiful… I’m not a slugbucket. I’m not a runtscratch. These are the things he calls me, and I have the dignity to address him by his full name. I call him simply, “Greg”.

“Not wanting to be left” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Wednesday, November 14, 2012
10:54pm
5 minutes
The Wooden Horse
Eric Williams


She held tightly to her mother’s hand. Her fear, beyond monsters and snakes and boogymen, was being left behind. It wasn’t as irrational as it might sound. It had happened seventeen times before. She would go to look at the candy isle or trace the pretend diamonds on an earring and all of a sudden her mother would be gone. She didn’t blame her mother, she blamed her mother’s boyfriend Francis. He was the newest addition to their apartment, along with a terrible yellow carpet and large beer steins. She knew that her mother could do better. She knew that her mother preferred her father to anyone else but that she’d lost him, too, at the bowling alley. They gone bowling together and her mother had come back alone.

“Not wanting to be left” by Julia at the Green Grind


Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at the Green Grind
3:53pm
5 minutes
The Wooden Horse
Eric Williams


Adrenaline was pulsing through Abbot’s veins. He had been running to catch the 5:05 bus but had gotten there 11 seconds too late. He was angry now and threw a rock at the moving bus’ windshield to demonstrate his displeasure. The bus driver stopped and pulled over. He got out, a fat almost blue looking man with white hair stumbled down the steps and approached Abbot. Abbot stood firm, wanting to fight this man so hard for not stopping for him earlier. For taking the time now to come out and address him as if his swollen legs and lungs running to catch him 30 seconds earlier wasn’t enough of a reason. The bus driver walked toward him and raised his arm. What was he going to do? Hit him? There were people around. Abbot was beginning to get scared. I WAS LATE. He shouted. Trying to sift through his brain for excuses : my wife is in labour, my wife is dying, my wife is in labour, my wife is leaving on a plane in less than 20 minutes. He couldn’t say anything, not much of a liar. The bus driver grabbed his lapel and started to drag him across the street. Abbot squirmed and squirmed but the bus driver’s grip was strong.
THE STOP IS ON THIS SIDE. The bus driver said, and let go of his coat.

“created a tradition” by Sasha on her couch


Tuesday November 13, 2012
10:47pm
5 minutes
from the back of the Calypso record
Harry Belafonte


I’m not sure where you’re going with this whole psychic thing but… I’m not interested. I’d rather let our lives happen without us being privy to what’s about to happen, you know? I respect your love of that stuff, I really do and I get how it’s helped you to know what’s coming… with that prostate cancer stuff with your Dad. I’m just… When I was a kid my Mom had all these dry erase calendars on the walls with our schedules. Every tiny thing was planned down to Wednesday Waffles and Soccer/Ballet on Sundays for my sister and I. It drove me crazy because… it was more about her needing to micro-manage everything than us living our lives and having a good time. Ever since I moved out I’ve wanted to just… be. You know? For a lot of people adulthood is about learning how to plan and prepare and be organized and stuff. For me it’s about just… doing it. Sans calendar. Sans knowing what’s just about to happen, because… we don’t… ever really know.

“created a tradition” by Julia at Sambuca Grill


Tuesday November 13, 2012 at Sambuca Grill
7:05pm
5 minutes
from the back of the Calypso record
Harry Belafonte


She was crying because her mother lost her birth chart. Somehow she had the other three brothers and their friends’ charts. But not hers. She had it at one point, didn’t put it in the cabinet with all the others. Now she wanted it. Wanted to see it because her birthday was coming up. She was turning 21 and she wanted to make observations. She yelled at her mother, told her she couldn’t have done anything worse. Her mother felt bad, but told her that everything happens for a reason. She didn’t like that answer. She looked up the man. The man who reads birth charts and draws them up as long as he has the right information. Date of birth, time of birth. What else was there? Anyone could do it, but the man, the man had to be the one.
He told her he would draw it up for her tomorrow. Then days passed. Then weeks. He told her he’d draw it up for her in six months, then seven, then nine. She was getting anxious. Why was it taking so long? But the man didn’t give her any excuses. Only that he wouldn’t do it now, but maybe in a year from now.

Maybe she wasn’t supposed to see that birth chart in the first place. Maybe she wasn’t supposed to know that in her 21st year, she was going to die. The man wanted her to live in the moment. The man wanted her to forget everything but right now.

“they descended on him,” by Julia at R Squared


Monday, November 12, 2012 at R Squared
11:15am
5 minutes
Pest Control
Bill Fitzhugh


“What a whiny baby Adil has.” I find myself saying out loud to Eliot as he fixes the clasp of my bracelet while it still sits on my wrist.
“Don’t be mean, Katie.”
“I’m not,” I say, “It’s just honest. He whines, he doesn’t just cry. It’s not very cute, that’s all I’m saying.”
“Don’t be mean.” He says to me again without looking up. “There. Your thing is fixed.”
I shake my wrist like a gypsy to test how strong the new clasp is. Eliot takes off his glasses and stands at the sink.
“Why do you do that?” I ask him, the water cutting out of the tap at first, turning into an even flow in seconds.
“Do what, Katie?” He asks, drying his now clean hands on the dish towel hanging from the stove.
“Why do you wash your hands like that every time you touch me.”
“I don’t.” Says Eliot, leaving the room now.
“You do, actually. It bothers me.”
“It’s not intentional,” he says,coming back into the kitchen.
“Well I don’t like it. Because it makes me feel like I’m dirty.”
“The metal is dirty, Katie, that’s all.”

“Summer block party.” By Julia at z-teca


Sunday, November 11, 2012 at z-teca
6:08pm
5 minutes
The front page of Metro Weekend
November 9-11, 2012


Dancing to reggae beats, come my little lady let’s beat this heat
You’re at my barbecue and I’m done grilling you,
are you single do you want to be my boo?
Okay, great, that was easy–my name is Mark and I’m not sleazy, I really like you, wind is breezy, blowing my love at you if you feelin’ me
I invited these folks so you would come over and play–I’m just gonna say it, it’s the day of all days,
You’re the hottest thing here, I wanted to give you praise, but you think this is a joke and we might go separate ways.
I started thinking about you during the summer block party last year
I am shocked that of my attraction you never did hear
I tell all the guys, I tell everyone, I’m dying to see you in your bikini in the sun.
You are a shining ray, my god girl this is fate, your body is a magnet and I positively can’t wait.
Get it? I didn’t take science
all I know is there’s no silence
In my brain and in my pants
I’m trying to give you a mental lap dance.
You look like you’re enjoying…
all these vibes I’m been employing.
Summer block party, yup.

“they descended on him,” by Sasha at R Squared


Monday, November 12, 2012 at R Squared
11:15pm
5 minutes
Pest Control
Bill Fitzhugh


She wishes she were sick. She wishes laziness were excusable and that people would coo sympathy and love and bring her sweet potato soup and apple crisp. She wishes she remembered the prayer her grandmother would say before bed because she really needs the comfort of God and romanticized lacy nightgown memory. She wishes that tomorrow she might wake up to summertime and orange juice in the fridge and Jon snoring softly beside her. She makes a mistake by calling his brother and asking for Jon’s journal, the one how wrote in every day during his fifty minute lunch break. Why couldn’t they just give him a full hour? She reads it and re-reads it and learns his words by heart. “I like Angela,” he wrote. “But I could never love her.” She sings this line, her only line in his special book, over and over, trying to take a shower but failing.

“Summer block party.” by Sasha on her couch


Sunday, November 11, 2012
11:01pm
5 minutes
The front page of Metro Weekend
November 9-11, 2012


So I said, “Aisha, stop bein’ a ho about it and keep that shit locked down!” An’ you know what she said? That HO! She said that she’s happy bein’ who she is if that’s a ho or whateverrrrrr… I just, you know, I just worried about her, right? I’m tryin’ ta show her that I care, right? It’s fuckin’ dangerous gettin’ more than two abortions, that’s what Finney says. Aisha’s had THREE! I mean, I don’t want her getting all bloody on that table and fuckin’ dying or somethin’… She’s stupid, man. She’s an ignorant fuckin’ child. How many times have I told her to go on the Pill? Oh my God, if I had a dolla fo’ every time I’d buy those new Adidas.

“dress them up or down” by Sasha at the Green Grind


Saturday, November 10, 2012 at the Green Grind
4:47pm
5 minutes
People Magazine Style Watch
September 2012


He likes tickling her but she’s self conscious about the face that she makes when she’s laughing uncontrollably. More often than not, she puts a hand over her mouth when she laughs, a secret no one sees but the inside of her palm, soft and usually a bit sweaty. He likes tickling her but she kicks him away and says, “stop it!” enough times that he listens and leaves and thinks, “I wish she’d just let go and laugh for real…” He makes her a piece of toast with almond butter spread thin, the way she likes it, and brings it to her while she works at her desk. “Is there honey?” she says, not looking up. “I think so…” He returns with the jar that they bought at the market from the man who keeps the bees.

“dress them up or down” by Julia at the Green Grind


Saturday, November 10, 2012 at the Green Grind
5:20pm
5 minutes
People Magazine Style Watch
September 2012


Dear Mr. Ryan Gosling,

I am writing to you from Portable 5 which is outside at Holy Family elementary school. I would like to ask you a few things and please respond ASAP (that means AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.) This matter is urgent.

Number 1) You have had too many movies where you don’t speak a whole lot. Is that your “signature”? Mrs. Abrams says everyone has a “signature style”. Mine is playing the bagpipes on my throat while I plug my nose and hum. It sounds very real. Would you like to try this in your next movie?

Number 2) Did you ever have to be in a split class like me? I wanted to be with the grade 5s but they put me with the grade 4s and I’m very disappointed about this. How did you deal with this when you were young? Did you throw a fit like I did, or did you be all quiet like you are in your movies?

Number 3) When you are kissing other girls in your movies are you thinking about famous people, or are you thinking about nothing because kissing is just a waste of time? Or if you like kissing, please let me know why you do. It’s strange that it would be fun because you can’t see the other person very well if you’re that close to them.

Number 4) What is your favourite colour? Mine is blue because I have blue eyes and also like blue backpacks.

“If You’re Thinking About…..” by Julia at her desk


Friday, November 9, 2012
4:59pm
5 minutes
http://www.thesartorialist.com

I am waiting by the stove, trying to warm my hands on the non-existent flame, waiting for you to come home.
How nice this new house is, I think, and rub my hands a little harder. I almost burnt the house down last Friday and I’ve been scared to turn on the burners since. You told me I didn’t know how high the flame was, assuming because I wasn’t used to the gas stove. I remember thinking that I knew more than you about household things and that whatever you were saying was a big annoyance. Turns out I was wrong, you were right, surprise surprise.
You’re at your new job and you’re happier than you’ve been in weeks. I’m happy too. Happy that you’re not already here when I get home, and even happier that for once I can make a dinner before you get here so it’s ready to go when you’re settled and done from your work day.
Sometimes I think about the first time you brought me flowers and how I didn’t water them on purpose because I didn’t like them to begin with. You just thought I got busy, and I’ve been thinking about how easy it was to convince you that I was one way and not another.
It’s cold today and you didn’t wear your scarf like I told you to. I’m standing here freezing because I don’t know how these rads work, and I’m wondering if your neck is too cold right now, or if I was just overreacting.

“If You’re Thinking About…..” by Sasha at Saving Gigi


Friday, November 9, 2012 at Saving Gigi
9:22pm
5 minutes
http://www.thesartorialist.com

If you’re thinking about how much you love the taste of melty cheese, I get it. If you’re thinking about how you wish you’d gotten your ears pierced as a child so that it would be far less painful and terrifying, I understand. If you’re thinking about how much it might cost you to spend the winter in Hawaii, I completely hear you. If you’re thinking about the sound of rain on a tin roof in the woods, I am hearing it too. If you’re thinking about a memory of your mother playing the piano while she waits for the tuna casserole to finish baking, I see it too. If you’re thinking about losing your faith in friendship in Grade Seven when your nemesis decided that she deserved to be friends with your friends more than you, I’ve been there. If you’re thinking about diving into a cool blue lake in the Catskills and finally feeling free for the first time since you lost that faith,and your place in line, and your baby fat, I am so with you. If you’re thinking about making another step towards to the unknown and you feel the butterflies in your stomach turning into bald eagles, I feel them with you, I do.

“which seems to include all persons present:” by Sasha on her couch


Thursday, November 8, 2012
9:22pm
5 minutes
The Art of Pantomime
Charles Aubert


I am looking at myself in the mirror and I am hating my old-new haircut. I am hating the shape of my face (round) and my stupid nose (big) and my fat cheeks (red). I notice a blackhead on my chin and try to squeeze it but nothing satisfying happens at all. I just leave a mark. I can’t believe that I’m this angry about something menial and simple like my face when… Fern got hit by a car when she was rounding the corner onto Jarvis. She was wearing a helmet and everything. It was a big car, a truck-car. There wasn’t even anything they could do. She was dead upon ‘impact’. What a way to go. Poor Fern. She was so pretty. She made the best banana bread. At the funeral everyone is going to talk about how she was the best samaritan this city has ever seen but the truth is… The best samaritan is me. I will hold my tongue, as it wouldn’t go over well if I was making interruptions and such at such an event but… I will know the truth. My face won’t even flinch, ugly that it is. Fern would get that prize because she was pretty and now she’s dead. I have no hope in hell. All persons present will remember her even better, nicer, more gorgeous, sweeter, kinder, ew ew ewwww because she’s dead. “Killed in the line of duty” heroic and romanticized.

“Try working with him” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Wednesday, November 7, 2012
1:24am
5 minutes
Words in the Dark
Paolo Puppa


There was never a reason she left the lights on, she was just distracted, she was thinking about Zachariah. This drove me absolutely crazy because I was able to think about things outside of my own heart, like the planet and global warming. “You left the lights on again,” I leave her a voicemail on my way to the subway. She make apple crisp last night and left me a piece on the kitchen table with a note that said, “Cinnamon = True love”. What she meant was “Zachariah = True Love”. The truth is, I never wanted Miranda dating my brother. He’s my brother. I saw him through pimples and BO and eating two large pizzas for dinner and “second dinner”. When I was born Zachariah is reported to have said to our mother that he’d like to bring me to the Goodwill. These feelings lasted for the first year or so but then he was a really really awesome older brother, the kind that says the right things and is cool enough to earn you a bit of “cred” in middle school. And now my roommate, who only cares about trimming her bangs and buying boots, thinks that she loves my effing brother.

“which seems to include all persons present:” by Julia at her desk


Thursday, November 8, 2012
9:16am
5 minutes
The Art of Pantomime
Charles Aubert


Ignored by her and her new haircut in the bathroom.
Thought, that seems odd, then thought again, well not for her, actually.
She had asked me a week ago to go with her to her boyfriend’s concert in North York. Wanted to slap her face it was such a dumb idea. I told her I would let her know and then, poof, I just never let her know.
She was probably still mad at me, hence the bathroom conversation. Or lack there of.
I tried to captivate an audience which at the time felt like it would include everyone in the bathroom: her and I, what a big crowd.
Tried speaking to the room as if to invite all persons present to take part. She put on her face in a calm fashion and made it clear that to her, nobody was speaking at all.
I can ignore her too, I thought, washing my hands for far too long just to seem busy.
She isn’t the only one who can conduct a relationship.
Though, I admit, she was better at it than me because I had been letting her do it for far longer.
Decided, yes, her and I can stop trying to make amends. Too many wrongs done to the both of us, by the both of us, over the years.
I said, So, did you get a new haircut?

“Try working with him” by Julia on the 506 East


Wednesday, November 7, 2012
5 minutes
Words in the Dark
Paolo Puppa


His style was calm and collected. He was very sure of himself but never spoke out of turn, people mistaking his silence for ignorance. His younger brother was a Hallmark card waiting to happen. He was outgoing and energetic, and positively a treat to work with: a natural born leader. From the early ages of 6 and 4 (respectively) the boys spent most of their time together, balancing each others’ personalities. The eldest would craft a plan and he would tell the youngest to help him deliver the newspapers, and then the flowers, and then the muffins. The youngest wanted to run in the muddy corn fields all day. He would make it look so fun that the newspapers never were delivered, the flowers never brought, and the muffins never eaten. The eldest tried to shift, so both plans would exist together. The youngest wanted nothing of it. And it was hard to say no to him because he was such a charming boy. By 10 and 8 (respectively) the brothers had become very distant.

“when birds and angels bleed to death.” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Tuesday, November 6, 2012
7:12pm
5 minutes
Cat and Mouse
Günter Grass


Stop laughing at her bleeding to death! She’s dying there! She’s fucking dying! HELP! HELLLLLP!The doctors aren’t even listening to me. The ambulance won’t stop! It’s going someplace else where they have gold coins! They shove pills down my throat, what about yours? So I said, FUCK YOU and went to the water and took a fucking bath. You keep wondering why I am in a wheelchair but I will never tell that secret. That’s only mine. HELLLLLLLLLLP! There’s a bird dying here and we need to interfere. It’s our business. It’s my business. None of your business why I’m in a wheelchair… Okay! FINE! You gonna be such a sucker about it and cry about it and be a sucker about it! I was bit by a wolf and they had to amputate. THIS BIRD IS DYING!

“when birds and angels bleed to death.” by Julia on her bed


Tuesday, November 6, 2012
5 minutes
Cat and Mouse
Günter Grass


Spirit bird, lend me your wings, tonight I’m flying over the past and picking up the pieces I started but never finished. I’m making a map to lead me to all the places I’ve dreamed about and never visited, marked up in red ink and starred in bright orange to remind me to go. When I get there, to the past, and to the dream places, I’m going to do something. Something big and something exciting and something better than anyone can imagine. I’m going to hold out my arms and wait for something that’s worth putting down on paper, that’s worth praying for when everything else is lost.
When I borrow your flight, I’m going to use it very diligently. I apologize in advance if I ruin any of your feathers in the process. Your wings may turn into the pages of my favourite books: tattered, coffee stained, and torn in all the wrong places. I don’t know how else to read, how else to fly, but to let the words enchant me into a far off land that doesn’t count “worn books” as a thing to mourn over.
I am making amends with myself tonight. I am dressing in a blue cape and I am going to start flying.

“Conducted by Stefani’s avatar” by Julia at R Squared


Monday, November 5, 2012 at R Squared
11:09am
5 minutes
An Absorbing Errand
Janna Malamud Smith


A collection of sand at the bottom of their bed.
They had visited the beach this weekend.
They hasn’t showered.
They hadn’t brushed their teeth.
They were calm and exfoliated, sun kissed and steady.
She slept with her face buried deep in his back’s crevice, the only place without freckles.
He held her thigh as if to keep her there, then he mumbled something about celery soup to her as she shifted positions slightly.
She was still wearing her yellow bikini, because she felt sexy in it, and he was wrapped in a towel from the waist down with nothing underneath.
Their toes were intermingled.
Rough from the sand and smooth from the sunscreen.
It was mid day.
No signs of waking.
No signs of contributing to society, to their home, to anything today.
In her left hand she clutched a tiny twig.
She had found it in his hair before she fell asleep and couldn’t be bothered to let it go.
He started laughing and so did she; sharing an afternoon dream.

“Conducted by Stefani’s avatar” by Sasha at R Squared


Monday, November 5, 2012 at R Squared
5 minutes
An Absorbing Errand
Janna Malamud Smith


He went to the computer, blond wife snoring softly, puppy-like, in bed, dinner dishes in the sink. They’d watched a video and both fallen asleep. “Just do them in the morning,” he’d said and, for once, she’d agreed. The screen shone it’s numbness. “Daddy?” Their daughter, five going on six, squinted at him. “Honey, do you need to use the bathroom?” It annoyed him how when he spoke to her his voice became higher, more like his wife’s. “I had a bad dream.” He carries her into their bedroom and tucks her in beside his blond wife, clutching the comforter like a lifejacket. He’ll sleep in her miniature bed with soft pink sheets and stuffed animals. “Go to sleep now baby.” She does. He returns to the computer.

“quite variable within social groups” by Sasha at The Inner Garden


Sunday, November 4, 2012 at The Inner Garden
7:50pm
5 minutes
Why We Get Sick
Randolph Nesse


I was in a group once, I guess.
A taxonomy. A class.
I was in a group once, I guess.
A long time ago before I moved to the mountains,
Before I lost faith in the Internet and Instant Oatmeal.
Now I meet squirrels rather than neighbours,
A black bear cub crossing the ever enthusiastic stream.
I was in a group once, I guess.
In University I liked a girl in the Mandarin Club and so I joined
Hoping she’d notice me,
Hoping there’d be a connection.
But…
Girls are like dial up,
The modem slow and creaky.
I’d rather rely on centipedes and spiders
Salmon and sunsets.
I met a hiker this morning.
Clean shaven (what an idea!)
He offered me a smoke.
I laughed in his face.
I went back to my tent.
So happy.
Groupless.
So damn happy.
No category but “Mountain Man”.

“fully constructed and ready for use.” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Saturday, November 3, 2012
1:29am
5 minutes
Insomnia
Stephen King


He’s strumming his guitar and, in doing so, he’s stealing music from me. Music is mine, music is what I’m made of, I suckled on Joni Mitchell and Cat Stevens instead of breast milk. I learned to walk to Dire Straits and Bruce Springsteen. Music is mine. He can’t have that. He tells me that he’s writing songs now, that he’s over poetry, that he can’t stop listening to Tom Waits. He tells me that he was looking at my guitar tabs and writing his own. I want to hit him. I want to throw him out the window. This man, whom I’ve sworn love and utter devotion is inspiring the most violent thoughts I’ve ever had. “Nice!” I say. He knows me well enough to know when I’m faking. He always knows. “Honey, what’s up?” He’s tuning the guitar and I want to scream. “I’m going to go out for a bit,” I say. “Really?” He looks up at me like a goat or a child. “I’m… going to go for a walk.”

“quite variable within social groups” by Julia at The Inner Garden


Sunday, November 4, 2012 at The Inner Garden
7:50pm
5 minutes
Why We Get Sick
Randolph Nesse


Here’s a thing: I met you at a laundromat, you smelled of cheese, I liked you anyway. I waited until you were done using the dryer before I told you you had mustard on your cheek and that I thought it made you smell like “Halloween went bad”. Then I looked at you for a second longer and realized I liked your face and the mustard chunk that was on it.
I liked the way you hummed the theme song from Sesame Street and that you did it without knowing how perfectly in pitch you were.
I made a plan in my head to ask you if you had any softener but then I crossed it out because it was dumb and you obviously wouldn’t be the type to use softener.
You were a Mountain Man. Dressed in a sleeping bag that looked like a dress. Your beard was long, your smell was outdoorsy, and I wanted to inch up to your mouth and catch your musk in mine.
Then you did something funny. You stopped the load and you asked me, “Are you a man or are you a woman?”
I blushed and at that moment I thought, “Fuck man, does it even matter?”

“fully constructed and ready for use.” by Julia on her couch


Saturday, November 3, 2012
1:29am
5 minutes
Insomnia
Stephen King


Jamie was sitting on his bed, clipping his toe nails. He was trying to shoot them into the garbage can from three feet away. He was terrible at it. He also knew he was going to get in trouble if Onya found them so he was prepared to blame Blaine, his twin brother, because Blaine deserved it after stealing his Oreo ice-cream sandwich. Onya once hit Jamie so hard on the behind it was red for days. Onya wasn’t supposed to be doing the disciplining but she couldn’t help it. Jamie was bad and she thought he needed to be taught who was in charge. Onya had been working for the Nislands for two years. Onya was Jamie’s favourite one so far. Blaine was very mean to Onya. He kept elastic bands pointed at her at all times and that really made her squeamish. Blaine was worse than Jamie so there was a problem when the two of them were together. Jamie’s mother, Madison, was away a lot, at fancy beaches or on luxurious cruises. She was a pretty woman with a heart of gold and absolutely zero remorse.

“The night as windy and moonless” by Sasha at Cafe Novo


Friday November 2, 2012 at Cafe Novo
6:21pm
5 minutes
Wetlands
Miciah Bay Gault


“Desperado why don’t you come to your senses
Why don’t you love me for who I am”

My father hated it when my mother makes up her own words. He thinks that it’s disrespectful to the artist, he thinks it makes her sound ignorant, who knows what he really thinks. My father spent their marriage correcting her, embarrassing her, “shush-ing” her. It took a decade for her spirit to wilt, last weeks lilies of the valley in vase on the table with browning water and petals falling off. We were little, my brother and I, and didn’t know about the possibility of defending her. By the time I was in Junior High I threw knives at my father’s back with my eyes, willing him to stop. My mother became increasingly silent. She stopped drinking half bottles of beer with dinner. She stopped singing the songs she liked. She stopped smiling. She stopped wearing her hair down around her shoulders. If I’m being completely honest, she was our maid – cooking and cleaning and folding laundry, without a peep. Where she found the courage to leave I didn’t get a chance to ask. But she did. And he hated it. He couldn’t believe it. He took it out on us and he took it out on his work and he came home late. My mother moved to Mexico and opened a taco shop with her lover Juanita.

“The night as windy and moonless” by Julia at Moonbean


Friday November 2, 2012 at
4:33pm
5 minutes
Wetlands
Miciah Bay Gault


I’m here with you, you got a latte and something else that you didn’t want to show me. I don’t care if you need sweets, or things like that. I really don’t. I think sometimes nights like this are freebies and it doesn’t matter what the minute details are. We’re on a hill, we’re trying to get comfortable, patting down mother nature so she doesn’t impale our backs or our hands. We’re here to look at the shooting stars and probably do some tongue kissing. We’re here because a year ago we were here and now it’s time to celebrate that we haven’t killed each other yet. I’m celebrating other things too, but I don’t want you to know what they are just yet. I’ll tell you if my wish comes true. I’ll tell you after the shooting star lights up the sky so we can go home to our warm bed and not pretend we’re the kind of couple that truly embraces the great outdoors. We’ve talked about simulating a camping photo so we look wild and natury. We’ve gone as far as to plan a full event by email and then last minute “had to cancel due to a family emergency” so people think that’s just who we are. It’s fun for us because we know deep down we don’t really care. A good story always happens outside, and we know this too, so that’s why we do it.
Tonight is like an inside joke between the two of us. The sky is clear, we probably won’t see any shooting stars with this smog, and the wind keeps stinging our faces so it’s hard to see.

“An interesting but elaborate theory” by Sasha on her living room floor


Thursday, November 1, 2012 at Starbucks
5:12pm
5 minutes
A Dictionary of Literary Terms
J.A Cuddon

A: Let’s assume that Rose is X and Felix is Y. Add X to Y and what do you get?
B: I don’t know. I’m not really following…
A: You get XY…
B: Okay?
A: And what comes then?
B: I don’t know!
Pause.
A: Z.
B: Z?
A: Yes! Bottom line they can’t be together. It will get vicious and terrible and we need to do everything in our power to not let that happen.
B: “We”?
A: You are on my team aren’t you?
B: I suppose so, but I don’t really intend to get involved in this Rose and Felix business. I don’t see how it has anything to do with me –
A: (Rolls her eyes.) You are my oldest friend. You always have to be on my team. And do whatever it takes to win –
B: Don’t be absurd –
A: I’m not! I’m stating the obvious…
B: You need to stop drinking so much coffee. You’re getting all twitchy and wigged out –
A: Stop changing the subject.

“An interesting but elaborate theory” by Julia at Starbucks


Thursday, November 1, 2012 at Starbucks
6:43pm
5 minutes
A Dictionary of Literary Terms
J.A Cuddon

Candace, she had on ugly waist-high sweatpants with a towel holding her hair up in a turban.
She was saying something about her wisdom teeth while sucking on a red lollipop. I had no idea what she was saying. I mean, I know she was saying something about the teeth, and I could understand her, but I was busy looking at the girl, disaster at best, and I couldn’t focus on anything else.
She was sweet, had nice enough skin–save for a few scars that never healed, you could tell she was a picker back in high school, eye makeup left on from the night before. I didn’t know why I was standing in her living room, except because of the universe’s way of notifying me that I no longer, and without pause, had any care left for this girl. I was there, it was raining. She was already dressed in something more comfortable, not that she had anything better to to change into. It was strange that though I found myself repulsed by her and the mundane mumbleings coming out of her mouth, I was also being drawn in…

“Watering the plants one more time,” by Julia on her bed


Wednesday, October 31, 2012
1:42am
5 minutes
http://www.sproutedkitchen.com

I killed an entire pussy willow tree once. I don’t know, I was just complacent about its general care and livelihood. I cared about it once, don’t get me wrong. But I also killed it once, so again, don’t get me wrong.
I’m not a murderer, per say, but I do not care about living things if they do not have a face. I’m well aware that plants are necessary in terms of staying alive, for humans obviously, but that doesn’t mean I have to go out of my way to nurture them so that they may crowd around my backyard and remind me that I’m “civil”. It really, truly, does not bother me that I am considered an “environmental terrorist” by some of my closest friends who tend to garden regularly and force me to eat rhubarb pies because it came from their field of dreams and they’re proud of themselves for nursing a baby weed into an adult dessert ingredient. I have nursed children, I’ll have you know, and find myself to be very good at it. Not one of the children I have reared have died off when they did not receive enough water that day, or heaven forbid, sunshine. All of my offspring are either living in Florida or Niagara Falls.