“put a person” by Julia on the 506 going east


Sunday, December 30, 2012
1:40pm
5 minutes
Oxford Dictionary of Current English

Put a person in the windows of your shops, your restaurants, your main attractions.
Get the people to see the person, come inside and buy things.
That’s the way it should go.
You do not have to pick a person that is unattractive.
That’s a dumb idea.
People like to see good-looking people buying things. It shows that they have needs too.
You don’t want someone too attractive, however. They will detract from the experience.
People don’t like to see a person who is too good-looking buying things. It’s weird. It just makes everyone feel uncomfortable and no one knows why.
What you need is a friend of yours, that you think is nice looking, but also real, and give them just $10 dollars so they can buy things, but not too many things, and it will look natural and easy going.
The key to life is to get other people to pick you as their person.
To be the thing that they want because it’s the thing that they need.
Making sense?
It’s a cycle.
The world is a cycle, not a coincidence.
You just need to find windows that need people, and put a person, or more than one, right smack up against them.
It’s a good idea. It’s one of those things that seems simple because it is simple.

“Why is she following this river” by Julia on her couch


Saturday, December 29, 2012
2:29pm
5 minutes
Fool’s Bells
D’anna


Because she can’t help it. Woke up this morning, couldn’t feel her feet, went to find them. There. Now she’s in the river.
She said the water felt hot, like lava. Said she could stand it as long as she breathed…
Waiting for the sun to set, she says to herself in a calming tone:
Shhh.
Shhh.
This is not the end. This is not the end. This is not the end.
The stars from last night echo in her mind’s eye. Blink once for yes. Twinkle twice for no.
Yes. No.
Remember when it was so simple?
The hard rocks are not rough, but they keep their place without moving.
She is deep now. She’s letting the rush swallow her legs and memory all at once.
Where is the wind now, she wonders. Is it here?
She does not feel the breeze. It’s a trapping sensation that keeps her limbs tight.
She couldn’t feel her feet, went to find them.
Now she’s here.
Now she’s in the river.
The silent crushing of her everday’s dream. It is weighing on her every internal organ.
Crying out: PICK ME. SAVE ME. NEED ME.
It goes on and on and the mood is changed from wishful longing to regret.
Just plain regret.
And then she’ll dry off her toes, rest easy on her back, and count the flying snowflakes, trying to find a place to perch.
Will this hold me forever?
Will this keep me safe?

“Directly above and below” by Sasha on the couch at Knowlton Lake


Friday, December 28, 2012
7:09pm
5 minutes
Rookie Year Book One
Edited by Tavi Gevinson


A: I’m not sure how to tell you this… I’m… I just… You know, I’m going to be heading down to PEI for Christmas with my parents and I was thinking… I just, I, I – I don’t think it’s working, Beth –
B: What?!
A: I, I feel like we’re on… different tracks…
B: I’m not fucking horse, Adam –
A: It was a metaphor…
B: No it wasn’t –
A: I feel like you have this idea of what I am and how I should be and when it all comes down to it I’m none of those things!
B: What things?
A: How can you be acting so… clueless right now?
B: Give me an example.
A. sighs, deeply.
A: You hate my job.
B: I don’t care about your job! I… I think it’s stupid that you’re at that toxic wasteland all the damn time but –
A: Example number one!
B. rolls her eyes.
B: That is a bullshit example.
A: Example two! Directly above your head is this little bitch spirit that whispers mean things in your ears. I see it! It’s in a nasty purple taffeta dress! And I know who put it there!

“Directly above and below” by Julia at the Eaton Centre


Friday, December 28, 2012 at the Eaton Centre
4:43pm
5 minutes
Rookie Year Book One
Edited by Tavi Gevinson


Somewhere above me, a sky sings. It’s the Lord’s prayer. The Lord of prayers that I don’t believe in anymore. It still sings. It sings for other people, not for me. I asked it to stop but you can’t control the whole world. It’s not as easy as it sounds. Someone else asks for it, and thy will be done, etc. etc. I’m just another number to them. The church, the people who pray, the believing ones. I’m the number 666 to most of them because they don’t see my logic or my rational. They like to pretend that I’m still a number worth saving. Worth turning into something holy, like 3, or 333, or some multiple of the aforementioned numbers that keeps me in the good books.
The good book is something I’d like to avoid if I can…
It kept me from nightmares when I was 6 (interesting) because I’d put it under my pillow to warn the underworld that I was armed and I wasn’t kidding. It kept me from ending up with a guy who would have ruined me when I was 16 (6 again. Curious.). And it kept me from falling off the edge when I was only hoping to land feet first when I was 18 (nobody’s perfect). Somewhere below me, a man in a red suit dances around, laughing, at every inappropriate thing I’ve ever said or done, and he’s taking credit for it as if it were his idea or initiative. The sky above me sings, the man below me dances. What song does he hear, I wonder sometimes. The one that plays from my youth, or the one that I’ve crafted since then?

“would be more accurate.” by Julia at Sambuca Grill


Thursday, December 27, 2012 at Sambuca Grill
5:56pm
5 minutes
http://www.thesartorialist.com

No, a shit-hole would be more accurate. I told Rich that if we had to stay away from the city for eve one night, I would only do it if we could sleep in an actual structure. I told him hotel, motel, or condo, pick one. Now of course, given the option, Rich would choose a hotel too, but since he was convinced that this was a camping trip, of course he’d have to go ahead and pick the dingiest and most degrading motel in the history of the universe. He pushed open the jammed door to our room and I swear to you that dust mites multiplied. He was all chummy, trying to get me into a good mood, but all I could see were what appeared to be blood stains around the bed, and the fact that the mini bar looked like the last time it was stocked was 1993.
“Nice, isn’t it babe? I chocked on the cloudy air. I said, “Hurry up and die already so I can run off with all your money.” He laughed, pulled me into him, and kissed the top of my head.
“Ugh!” I said. “We’re already starting to smell the way the walls feel.”
“You’re being a baby.” He said to me with a smile. “Don’t worry about your nails, we’ll get you some new ones when we get back to the city.”

“supplement” by Julia on her couch


Wednesday, December 26, 2012
12:21am
5 minutes
the Emergen-C packet

Jackie’s sick again. Nearly coughed up a whole lung at dinner. Poor girl. She doesn’t believe in washing her hands and I can only guarantee, based on my life’s experience, that that’s the one wrong thing she’s doing.
She thinks it strips your hands of their natural oils and things. I never met someone like her and when Ian brought her home, I could tell from our very first exchange that she was different. She looked like a beautiful alien: large eyes, white blonde hair. I wanted to smack her in the forehead just to see what a pretty thing like that would look like when she cried.
Ian told me she was a true angel. Well, in my humble opinion, I never met an angel who’s so clearly without the luck of God.
Every time she moves she winces, trying to stifle the moans. Her body aches, I can hear her trough the vent. Was hoping Ian would convince her to take some cough medicine or a Tylenol, but she’s pretty persistent on only putting natural things into her system.
Jackie’s nice enough, don’t get me wrong, just a little misguided, I think. She could afford to supplement some of her wacky ideas for a spoon of Buckley’s.

“would be more accurate.” by Sasha on her couch


Thursday, December 27, 2012
5:17pm
5 minutes
http://www.thesartorialist.com

When I think about the end of the world I think about lots of bubbles blowing out of volcanic mountaintops and the sound of crashing waves all over and lots of songs like those from my auntie’s vinyl collection and fires. Fires, fires, fires, everywhere. It’s not scary, really, it’s more moving and emotional and terribly dramatic. My mama believes that it will be the end of the world in four days and so she’s living on McFlurries alone. She’s buying whatever she wants and smoking a lot of stinky smelling type cigarillos. So far her purchases include: a large pink bag, a six pack of beer from Mexico and high heeled boots. I’m not sure how these things connect or, even, if they do at all. She’s been talking about this day for awhile now, usually when a bit sauced and a bit slutty. She’ll then go out for what she calls a “night on the town”. I don’t mind being left alone in the condo. I watch sneaky type movies and eat her expensive “grown-up” sweet n’ salty popcorn. The next day she feels guilty and hung-over so she can’t even get mad about those naughty things that I do. When I think about the end of the world I think about my mother in her high heeled boots, laughing like a witch-woman.

“supplement” by Sasha at her desk


Wednesday, December 26, 2012
12:06am
5 minutes
the Emergen-C packet

My grandfather says the following. It treated me well. Trust it.
“Supplement your post-secondary education with travelling the globe, especially to the tiny spots that are mostly untrodden and left alone, the ones that are small dots on the map in unbolded script. Go to a restaurant there that is not on a main road and ask the waiter to order you his favourite dish, as well as a glass of their best wine. Try their coffee or their fish or their pesto or their lamb shank – whatever the specialty. Talk to your waiter. Ask him about his family. More often than not, this will result in an invitation to his home. If so, buy a gift for his wife and a toy for his children. Here is where the magic will take place. They will want to practise their English and you will want to try more of that delicious local specialty! Stay late, after the children are asleep. Share that cigar. Take the long way back to your hotel and stop to look up at the stars, or listen to the ocean, or smell the laundress hard at work pressing tomorrow’s shirts and slacks. The next morning go for a long walk, around the winding streets, up the mountainside, down to the water. Find me a postcard in a shop. Even though I’ll be long dead, mail to me, I know it will find it’s way to wherever it is that I am.”

“Delicious” by Sasha at her desk


Tuesday, December 25, 2012
1:25am
5 minutes
The Gluten-Free Vegan
Susan O’Brien


“Stop saying that!” My father hisses. He’s referring to my use of “Jesus Christ” in the same way you might use “Shit!” or “Damn it!” When my father was eighteen he was sent to a Monastery to live with priests and monks and learn about restraint and meditation. His mother couldn’t deal with her sons rebellion, in the form of late night break-and-enters and too many girlfriends. He’d lived with the men of God for seven years, calling them all Father, as his biological one had drowned in a sailing accident. My father knelt and prayed many times a day, wearing his small gold cross around his neck with greater pride than he ever had in me. He once said, “Jennifer, if you truly want salvation,” (I was talking about going to do aid work in the Congo), “turn to the Lord, not a bunch of sick children.” I wasn’t looking for salvation, but he didn’t get that. I was looking for a way out of the town I’d been raised in, of his house, I was looking for a way into myself.

“Peace at Christmas” by Sasha at Nadeem’s parents kitchen table


Monday, December 24, 2012
1:32am
5 minutes
a line from a Christmas Card

“Don’t forget to leave out the cookies for Santa!” He said, tilting his head a bit to the left, as he always does when making a firm point. He must’ve learned it from his father. I don’t do that sort of thing. “And milk!” He adds, almost shouting. He’s on his way up the stairs to brush his teeth. “And Mom!” I can tell that he’s already got his toothbrush in his mouth, “a carrot for Vixen!” He doesn’t care for Rudolph, as most four year old boys do. He’s all about Vixen. He’s drawn this reindeer from every angle and given him a bright blue nose. “Vixen thinks that board games are dumb,” he says, rolling his dark eyes. “Or does Charlie think that?” I ask, smiling. When I tuck him into bed he asks what time his Dad will be coming over tomorrow. “He’ll bring you to Sarnia at three,” I say, for the fourteenth time. “And will I have a stocking there, too?” He asks. “I don’t know, baby,” I say, tucking in the douvet at the foot of his rocket ship bed.

“Delicious” by Julia on her bed


Tuesday, December 25, 2012
1:29am
5 minutes
The Gluten-Free Vegan
Susan O’Brien


We were practicing our kissing face in the mirror. He was getting mad at me because I kept opening my eyes to watch us do it. Sorry! I said, but if I don’t see it, I’ll never know what we’re doing wrong. Marisha and Tan cannot have a better kissing photo than us, do you understand? THIS IS SERIOUS!
He was getting annoyed. I could tell because he started twisting his beard the way he did when he was annoyed. It was a pretty obvious signal. But I was hell-bent so his twisty ways were going to have to wait. Let’s try again, I said, but this time, let’s do it like we’re alone, like no one’s watching. YOU’RE WATCHING! He said. You’re making me self-conscious and I don’t give a flying fuck if our photo is just ‘sub-par’. DO NOT SAY SUB-PAR to me. THAT IS NOT AN OPTION, JEREMY. He rolled his eyes at me, but I didn’t care. Marisha was broadcasting her cuteness all over the internet by now and if we didn’t have one to mock up the date stamp, then we would just look like second place because she did hers first. LET’S PRACTICE WITH THE WEB CAM! I squealed. We could video tape it and watch it from a couple of angles, and this way I could keep my eyes closed and he would feel a little more at ease. No. He said. This is fucking stupid. I’M DOING THIS FOR YOU, JEREMY! GODDAMMIT!

“Peace at Christmas” by Julia at her parents’ kitchen table


Monday, December 24, 2012
12:30am
5 minutes
a line from a Christmas Card

Came in from the cold, crying and damp. Said to all of us, Merry Christmas, this is it. Told each and everyone of us we were loved. Waited till the drops fell from her coat and formed a perfect puddle in the shape of sadness on the linoleum. She was talking to all of us and none of us. She was making the rounds with a glass of mulled wine in her hand and a handkerchief in her other. Told us it was just hard, that’s all. Told us not to worry because it would pass, nothing to be concerned about. We hugged her, all of us, each one tighter than the next. We spoke softly to her like we would to a child. We smiled in a way that meant we cared but that we also hated to see her that way. She was shivering now, not from the frost, but from the memories. Started talking like him and asking us questions with his accent. It was sweet, we were touched, but then one by one we all got there. We all became sad. We bundled around one another with tight arms and we sang. Silent night. Holy night. All is calm. It was her favourite one. His too. Wished us all a Happy Easter. We laughed. We knew what she meant and so did she. She laughed the loudest, the puddle of sadness slowly drying up with the heat of our collective love around her. Happy Easter! She said again.

“I feel your trace on my skin” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Sunday, December 23, 2012 a
5:14pm
5 minutes
Your Body My Earth
Beth Murch


“You know full well that Georgie can’t make it up those stairs,” Betty hissed. It was almost a whisper but loud enough for my Father to hear. He glared knives at me and I looked down. Georgie laughed and poked me in the ribs. When I looked at her I realized that I might never get out of Belleville. Betty and my Father had met in AA and they married seventeen days later. Betty had red hair, you know, that purple red, and nails with little diamonds on them. She rarely wore anything but skirts and matching blazers, if you could call them that. She chose Britney Spears perfume and pink blush and had had a boob job in her crazy days that had gone a bit askew in her later years. She’d become pregnant a few months after they married, my Father over the moon at the opportunity to do it again, and do it “right” this time. Their new kid would never smoke or shoplift or bite her nails. I’d moved to Belleville to live with them when Georgie was three and a half. She had cerebral palsy. She used braces on her legs. She was both the light of Betty’s life and her greatest demise, more so than booze or poker or a Dolly Parton obsession.

“To learn more” by Sasha at her desk


Saturday, December 22, 2012
6:23pm
5 minutes
Sasha’s November Enbridge bill

We never thought that we’d end up where we did. We never thought that we’d be seven meters off the ground sitting on the top of a tree talking about where our mother might be while the big trucks honked their horns and the drivers called profanities up to us. We pretended not to hear.

I found my brother in the middle of the desert, at Burning Man. We didn’t recognize one another, covered in mud and with painted faces until we were introduced by a woman wearing cat ears, a yellow bikini, and a long tail. We hadn’t seen one another since Christmas 1999, at our stepmother’s house, with all the cousins and the cat that sounded like a cow. My brother had become a man – broad shoulders and chest and a wide jaw, like our father’s had been. We were inseparable from the moment the Cat Lady introduced us. We watched the stars and smoked hash and yelled our hearts out at the man on fire.

He was headed to California to protest the redwood deforestation. I couldn’t imagine returning to Vancouver.

“I feel your trace on my skin” by Julia at Pyrus Cafe


Sunday, December 23, 2012 at Pyrus Cafe
3:24pm
5 minutes
Your Body My Earth
Beth Murch


like a tattoo of i love you, i find myself remembering the beautiful laugh lines, the midnight escape lines, covered in cookie crumbles, covered in a deep baked pie crust.
you’re everywhere.
did you know how good your skin feels?
How could you know?
i want to trace the lies and years of bad decisions in the flesh of your hope, the window of your mind. i want the lies because they are you. the truth is nothing and never will be. truth is easy enough. like a cold night where your legs entangle mine, when you’re sleeping before me. so even when i’ve shed the day, shed my fears, my clothes, i stay warm from the heat of you. from the tattoo, crochet lines of i love you on your skin, imprinting themselves on mine.
permanence never felt so good. you are the infinite lines of everything i’ve always always wanted.
you know before i can tell you.
you’re the sky scape passing by me on a grey hound bus, the ever-present hum of the motor and the wheels.
The thing that keeps me up at night because feeling you when i’m awake is nothing short of your promise.

“To learn more” by Julia at her desk


Saturday, December 22, 2012
5:30pm
5 minutes
Sasha’s November Enbridge bill

Typical Sandy. She was bending down to tie her shoe laces and when she burped she threw up all over the new tiles in the hallway. I said to her, Sandy, are you okay? And before that I also said, Goddammit Sandy. She was upset by it but she wasn’t really sorry. I guess for her throwing up all over someone’s brand new entrance way is a regular occurrence. I was mad at myself because I thought I had poisoned her or something with bad shrimp cocktail, or a rotten cashew. I was blaming myself the whole time because I didn’t want to blame her. Cleaning out the grooves and the grout had me cursing her name more than once. I spoke to her husband, Lee, afterwards, and he said she just has a very weak stomach. Also that she was sorry. I suppose it’s better late than never. I was expecting to never hear those words from her. Turns out she was pregnant and Lee just didn’t want to say anything in case it was too soon to announce something like that. I almost called him a moron. I was biting my tongue, trying not to say, WHY DID YOU LET YOUR PREGNANT WIFE EAT STEAK TARTARE? But I didn’t. I suppose he was just as sorry as she was.
Well, my tiles are fine now, if you were wondering.

“THIS WILL NEVER LAST” By Julia at her kitchen table


Friday, December 21, 2012
4:55pm
5 minutes
The Harbourfront Centre Season Guide
Winter 2012/2013


“Sure, I’ll call you,” she says, and winks. He’s a bundle of nerves and he’s sweating through his favourite white deep V T-shirt. Surely she’ll call. She has to. She says she will.
She’s a mermaid. Long red hair, hour glass frame, peach perfect lips.
He thinks about what she looks like in the rain, in the shower. His imagination is unstoppable.
He returned her cashmere scarf to her last week because she left it at his coffee shop, on the window sill. She left her e-mail, he he gave her his number. They met up to make the exchange and he cracked a witty joke that made her shoot hot chocolate out of her nose. He remembers feeling like he was high…
He told her he wanted to take her out for dinner. “Sure, I’ll call you.” That’s what she said and that’s what she says. Over and over he replays the image: her beautiful, laughing, winking; Him smiling awkwardly, sweating trough his favourite white deep V…

“THIS WILL NEVER LAST” by Sasha on the GO train heading West


Friday, December 21, 2012
5:43pm
5 minutes
The Harbourfront Centre Season Guide
Winter 2012/2013


Mothers have this sixth (or tenth) sense when it comes to their children. They see various things tattooed to their offsprings foreheads at the different stages of their lives, in a plethora of colours, in varying fonts. For example – “I will grow out of this”, or, “I’m sorry I’m so mouthy”, or, “Tell me you love me”, or, “This one will never last, don’t worry!” You get the drift. With Cathy’s eldest Kenneth it was the latter and it concerned his most recent bleach blonde conquest, Jacquie. They were in the same Calculus class at night school. Kenneth had dropped out of school at fifteen and decided that he’d rather wash windshields, sleeping on the street in and around Bathurst and Queen, shaving various parts of his head and cutting wholes in his clothes (or did they just happen given his lifestyle, wondered Cathy.) Every so often, during those two long years, Cathy would bring him a cooler of food and a warm sweater. He had little to say to her. It felt like knives in her stomach. Now, it was Jacquie – gum-popping, eyes glaring, breasts on display for all to try not to stare at. Kenneth was living in their basement and now so was Jacquie. She was six years his junior but he said that “girls mature faster than guys so… no biggie.”

“Serving 4 blocks” by Sasha at her desk


Thursday, December 20, 2012
12:46am
5 minutes
From the back of a Godiva chocolate bar

I’m not sure where to start, really. I think it started somewhere near Whitehorse – the snow, the hail, the big buffalo clouds. My cell phone lost reception and I was afraid that if I pulled over the other cars on the road wouldn’t be able to see me and I’d be more at risk. I’d never driven so many hours before, I’d never been alone, province after province, stopping for tea and a “hello” with gas station attendants, just to make sure my voice still worked. I could barely see the road in front of me. I was crying and praying, neither of which I do regularly by any stretch of the imagination. I decided I needed something divine, I needed an intervention. I turned up the Arcade Fire. I took a deep breath. With my eyes on the road and one hand on the wheel, my other hand reached around in my pack for the chocolate bar that Fran had given me before I left Salt Spring Island. I ripped open the package and broke off a square. I laughed out loud at the insanity of my desire to drive to the North. I laughed at my unwavering desire to make it to the Reservation before the end of the month. I sucked on the chocolate, just like Fran taught me, the flecks of sea salt and caramel melting on my tongue like angel snowflakes.

“Serving 4 blocks” by Julia at her kitchen table


Thursday, December 20, 2012
11:44pm
5 minutes
From the back of a Godiva chocolate bar

A hundred pretty ladies wearing aprons and artificial curls in their hair were discussing the annual block party. Kimberly, a saucy blonde, was dividing her white computer paper into sections, and Matilda, the tiny brunette was playing hangman with her self. Matilda didn’t want to be coming to these meetings without an idea, but she couldn’t bear the thought of sucking up to Kimberly just to be heard. Instead Matilda never spoke. She wanted the society ladies to come crawling to her when she made it seem like she had something they all wanted…
Kimberly handed out a square of perfectly torn paper to each lady present. She told them all to write down one word.
Matilda looked at the paper for what felt like hours. She didn’t want to write the wrong word. Right now, she sensed, was the perfect opportunity to show these mousey, stuck up, manufactured women what she really thought.
Kimberly went around collecting the papers. She began reading out the words when she saw fit. “Apples. Good choice, Meridith. Ooh, Gifts. Nice job Linda.” She walked by Matilda with a smirk on her face. “Let’s see ladies. What’s the good word from miss Matilda Matthews?” Matilda handed over the square, a fire burning inside her. Kimberly looked down in shock. “Oh my Lord,” she whispered.

“appreciate something different.” by Julia at her desk


Wednesday, December 19, 2012
6:11pm
5 minutes
shutterbean.com

It’s all too real and blurry. It’s all to shake and hurry. It’s all too warm and furry. It’s all too break and bury.
One of those things was written in a letter to me from my grandmother. She died before I was born, but was documenting her life so that I might have some semblance of her in mine. She had bright red hair, even in her old age. She dyed it, of course, but it looked like it wanted to stay vibrant for her anyway. I only got to read the letter when I turned 18, so it held some mystical properties that I believed would save me. My grandmother was filled with wisdom and ideas. She used to talk to animals just to work her thoughts out. She lost her hearing by the time she made the video so it’s very loud and very shouty. God love her. She was one of a kind. Always telling people around her that she knew she wasn’t beautiful because she was able to make others laugh. Apparently, according to my grandmother, beauty and comedy didn’t co-exist.

“appreciate something different.” by Sasha at La Merceria


Wednesday, December 19, 2012 at La Merceria
4:28pm
5 minutes
shutterbean.com

When Steve invited me to go to the office holiday party with him, I wasn’t sure whether it’d been a dare or a prank or something. I could almost hear all his friends laughing together, cheers-ing beers, bits of nachos flying out of their goonish mouths as they said, “HAHAHA! Isn’t that going to be nice for Bill! He’s not going to know what hit him! HAHAHA! What a silly little fag!” And Steve would smile sheepishly because he would feel a bit bad… He’s not completely terrible, he’s just confused…

When we went out for wine at the oyster bar on Fifth Avenue I thought that I saw Steve blush. It was the first moment I thought he might have a heart made of something other than coal. I’d been working at the firm since September and it had taken me this long to be invited out. I was surprised when it was only he and I. Conversation didn’t exactly flow. “So… You’re gay, right?” Steve said, sucking back an oyster like the brute that he can be. “Yes, Steven, I am.” It was matter-of-fact, as it should be. “Huh…” He said, keeping eye contact as he slurped back another. “Get into these before I eat them all, Bill!” Steve said.

“Cheerful cherry” by Sasha on her couch


Tuesday, December 18, 2012
12:27am
5 minutes
http://www.lilyboutique.com

She was a cheerful cherry
Everyone told her so
But inside her heart was wary
She couldn’t make it glow
You might call her a name or two
You might think she’s quite fake
But she’s not sure what to do
What to say or what to make
One morning on her daily run
She felt something in her shift
Maybe it was the orange sun
Or the frost starting to lift
Maybe it was the season
The dark turning to light
Maybe it was a simple reason
Maybe the timing was right
She realized she had nothing to lose
And ran down to the lake so sweet
She took off her socks and shoes
And dipped in with her feet

“He’s made sex about” by Sasha at R Squared


Monday, December 17, 2012 at R Squared
11:21am
5 minutes
Using Sex Tape of Ex is Downright Insulting
Toronto Star, Monday Dec. 17, 2012


He’s made sex about all of his unresolved issues with his… body,” she spits out the last word like a watermelon seed and it lands on the coffee table. I watch it, “body”, sitting so carefully on top of the National Geographic. I want to say something but I don’t want to council her, a bad habit I’m trying to give up for Lent, or my thirtieth birthday, I haven’t decided. “Maybe sex is about the body…” I pick up the small black seed and put it in my own mouth, tasting hers, it’s kind of erotic, but maybe that’s just because we’re already talking about sex and I’m sort of turned on. “He never takes his shirt off! Do you know how dumb guys look naked from the waist down?” I slowly spit the seed into my hand and decide that later tonight I’ll take the streetcar to your house and plant it in your front yard.

“Cheerful cherry” by Julia at her kitchen table


Tuesday, December 18, 2012
12:25am
5 minutes
http://www.lilyboutique.com

Saying you’re sorry doesn’t mean you’re actually sorry. It means you understand what to say in order to get someone to stop being mad at you, but it doesn’t, for even one second, mean that you are. That you feel remorse, that you wish you had never done the thing you did. It means that for the moment, you’d much rather not argue. That you’d much rather give in and pretend like you know you did something wrong to win the affection of the person accusing you of doing the wronging. We are stupid humans. The amount of energythat we donate to the act of forgiving and being sorry is just plain stupid. We all know somehwere deep down, that no one is perfect, that people are going to hurt us, and most of all, that no one has the capacity to change, even if we think they do or should assume that they do in order to get to sleep at night. It’s a convincing game we play. We try to tell ourselves there is good and that the good is not only coming from within, but from all four corners of the world. The people who are smart enough say they’re sorry. They smile and let a single tear fall. Their appology is tangible and they manipulate the rest of us with their cunning ways. We are left to decide who in fact is truly sorry. And if we can be honest with ourselves, we’d know that not one of us is. Not even ourselves, the thing we think is above all else. No one is sorry. For sorry means that those actions will not happen ever again.

“He’s made sex about” by Julia at R Squared


Monday, December 17, 2012 at R Squared
11:21am
5 minutes
Using Sex Tape of ex is Downright Insulting
Toronto Star, Monday Dec. 17, 2012


He’s made sex about him again. I’ve come to know this thing well. He grabs my tits from over top my work blouse, touches me for 30 seconds, then he whips his dick out. I don’t object anymore. Get it over with, I say. Just do the thing so I can go back to my crossword and I can get you to take out the recycling after you think you’ve earned it. I’m the one who’s earned it. Who’s earned the silence. Who’s earned the sleeping man and the quiet house because I took one for the team. It’s not like I make the sex about me. Just the time it takes. Last time I reorganized my entire garage in my mind. The time before that I planned my outfit for the meeting with the Bruder account.
I don’t need to seem engaged. He doesn’t care! He just has the urge to penetrate me the way someone with a lactose intolerance has the urge to shit immediately after consuming a pumpkin spice latte. I wish this bothered me and that I felt ashamed that I was just a hole to him. I don’t. It’s nothing as much as it should be something.

“He was a rich asshole.” by Sasha on her couch


Sunday, December 16, 2012
7:12pm
5 minutes
Hands Off
An essay by Miranda July


He was a rich asshole, yes, but he had those hands and those eyes and that sideways smile that makes my heart go BOOM BOOM BOOM so loud I think he might hear it. “Ruth? Can you please bring me the Jefferson file?” He says. I pause. I think. I think maybe he glanced at my boobs, bigger since Christmas vacation, and looking particularly good today in a blue striped sweater. “Of course!” He returns to his office and a few moments later I knock, as I always do, the file tucked under my arm. “Here you go, Mr. Jenkins…” I say, unsure if there’s more maybe, unsure if I could go on and not have it be rambly ridiculousness. “Ruth…” He says, when I’m partway out the door, “if my wife calls – ” “Tell her you’re in the conference room?” He smiles that sideways smile and, you guessed it, my heart makes the sound of a very large drum. A very, very large drum. “God, you’re good,” he says. I wish he was talking about something else, that I was good at something more close and nasty than remembering the memos concerning his diamond-wearing, clutch-tucking, lip-smacking wife. “Have you booked Ballentine in for tomorrow morning?” The intimacy of our interactions are thrilling, aren’t they?

“He was a rich asshole.” by Julia on her couch


Sunday, December 16, 2012
11:07pm
5 minutes
Hands Off
An essay by Miranda July


I’m not going on any more dates with any more rich assholes. If I want to be treated to dinner and a couple glasses of Prosecco, I’ll start crashing holiday parties and pig out near the buffet with my open bar, thank you very much. I dated Tim for too long before I realized I was killing my soul every time I saw him. He was nice, but not nice to the waitress, which to me is a clear indication that he was not nice. He snapped at her so much I could have sworn he was a secret percussionist. I almost snuck out the bathroom window the last time we went to a restaurant together. The only reason why I didn’t get out was because there was an attendant trying to spritz me and sell me condoms and gum. The spritz I took, the gum I did not. I didn’t have money to tip this bitch trying to invade my bathroom experience. He was the one with the money, but I couldn’t very well ask him to come with me to the lady’s room just because I had gotten so used to him paying for every single thing that I stopped bringing my wallet. I didn’t realize the attendant would be so cruel. She cornered me into a stall and told me it was okay and that she could wait till I found the money. That wasn’t my finest moment.

‘estate-bottled Italian wine’ by Julia at her desk


Saturday, December 15, 2012
2:41am
5 minutes
La Storia (Italian Wine Then and Now)

Les and Myrna were tour guides, taking groups of no more than seven on their trips to Italy, and Spain, and Italy again because they loved it the most. They had a van built for nine and liked it best when the singles would mingle and all become friends, family, or lovers for the duration of the twelve day tours. Les didn’t speak any Italian and Myrna didn’t eat anything that wasn’t. They talked about the business over lattes and grand marnier cheesecake.
Les carried business cards in his back pocket, trying to sell strangers on the idea of Italy. His friend, Anderson, was on every tour that Les and Myrna led. He was looking for Ms. Right and was dying to turn her into Mrs. Right (nod nod wink wink). Anderson liked to pay for the food bills and bring Les and Myrna engraved flasks or engraved key chains. He didn’t really have any money, but he was losing his hair and wanted to be business savvy about everything. Anderson once kissed Myrna on a tour through Tuscany. Myrna never told Les even though she wanted to. Les never suspected a thing because Anderson drank red wine and Myrna only drank white. He assumed the two would never meet in the middle about that.

“quite fussy” by Julia on the 506 going east


Friday, December 14, 2012
10:37am
5 minutes
Food and Drink
Early Summer 2012


baby eliot has a nice smile. smiles at the moon and the bees. he likes pablum. he likes trees. he likes grabbing earrings and necklaces and resting his hand in aunt D’s cleavage. he thinks he’s a bunny rabbit. he cries when he soils himself, as most babies do. he likes cheerios and chili flakes. baby eliot likes whatever his father likes. he wants to try what his father eats, how is father laughs. he watches and waits until he can practice when he’s by himself…which he does. he is particularly obsessed with dora the explorer and other shows with little girls in them. he likes when it snows more than when it rains. he gets shocked every time a flake lands on his nose. he laughs with life. he laughs with his whole life. when mommy is gone he cries and cries.

“A Bite of Flesh” by Julia at Rustic Owl


Thursday, December 13, 2012 at Rustic Owl
12:30pm
5 minutes
Bone Dream
Moira MacDougall


Starting talking in her sleep. Started racing through her dreams as if she were going to win a medal. This one, not this one, this one, not this one. She was trying to reward herself for the good ones. She was firing on all cylinders to remember every part.
She thinks back 20 years to the one where a witch tried to steal her nightgown with a bow right off of her back, then the one where she dreamed her mother had turned into her father and they were both shaving their same face side by side at the bathroom sink. ‘A nightmare’ she mumbles out loud–only it comes out as “Monster mayhem” or something like “Mrs. Gangl’s teeth” because she’s entranced. She screams at one point-at the dream where she locked the neighbour’s 1 year old in her playroom and waited on the outside till she heard him cry. Then when she opened the door, he would hug her because he was scared and didn’t want to be alone. She screams because that was not a dream. It was a reality. “What is it doing here?” She mumbles again—manifesting itself out loud as “No, Anthony.” She kicks her legs, her body convulsing. She’s almost at the end now. Almost at the morning. Almost at the sun rise.

“catch fire” by Julia on the subway going west


Wednesday, December 12, 2012
12:17am
5 minutes
An ad in the subway

“Shit!” Jo shrieked. “Nobody gets to come in my room! Get it?”
She was pacing back and forth in her black room, keeping her hangnail just hanging–but barely.She had a bad habit of putting her fingers into her mouth and chewing recklessly when she was stressed out or just plain furious. Right now she was both. Her secret box looked like it had been tampered with. Not opened, luckily, as she locked the box and swallowed the key. Literally. She swallowed it. But the fact that someone was in her room maybe getting close to the contents of that box set her on fire. Her insides felt hot and flamey: all cackling and crunching. She wanted to punch a bunny rabbit in its face.
She wanted to run down a crowded street with push pins just in the hopes of scratching someone, or anyone, who got close to her.
Jo stopped pacing. She noticed the window slightly ajar. She ran to the curtains and sniffed them. “BRIANNA!” she yelled.

‘estate-bottled Italian wine’ by Sasha at her desk


Saturday, December 15, 2012
8:23pm
5 minutes
La Storia (Italian Wine Then and Now)

It didn’t matter that she and he don’t speak the same language language. They both spoke wine and pasta, they both spoke kisses and gnocchi, they both spoke rain and skinny-dipping off the edge of the pier. They’d met at the beach in Manarola, she reading a book in English (ashamedly a trashy bargain bin find that she’d actually spend way to much on) and he, hoping to learn her… language. “Where you from?” He’d asked. She’d been used to it. She’d also been used to keeping Italian men at bay by brushing off the question and returning to her espresso, or her pizza, or, in this case, her Poor Little Bitch Girl. He’d persisted. Then she’d realized that he had a scar going across his stomach that she wished to learn about. Scars had been a life-long interest for her, maybe because she had a fifteen inch one of her own on her back from a scoliosis operation when she was fourteen. They’d gone for wine and fish that night, at his uncle’s small trattoria. Now it was twelve days later. She’d cancelled three hostel reservations and four train tickets. His mother called her, “Bella”.

“quite fussy” by Sasha at Cafe Novo


Friday, December 14, 2012 at Cafe Novo
9:45am
5 minutes
Food and Drink
Early Summer 2012


At first I think that they’re all laughing, while I tell them this dream that blew my mind and didn’t let me out of the house for four days, since Tuesday. I think they’re laughing, in that way that women do, when they don’t quite know what to make of something, when they’re nervous, when they’re shy about what they’re feeling in relationship to what exactly you happen to be saying. “And then I bit off each of Henry’s fingers and toes, one by one, and they tasted like mozzarella sticks!” That was the end of the dream. I expected Cynthia to offer her insight, I expected Donna to take my hand in hers and tell me that we’re “all a little crazy”. But no one says anything. Even Julie takes a nervous sip of her white wine spritzer. I hear the hum of the fan and suddenly realize that the Norah Jones CD has stopped it’s relentless repeat. “More wine?” I say, fumbling with the bottle. Every woman shakes her head. I wonder if they’re each thinking about their own strangest dreams, but if they’re afraid to talk details. I’ve never been afraid to talk details. I live for details.

“A Bite of Flesh” by Sasha at Cafe Novo


Thursday, December 13, 2012 at Cafe Novo
11:45am
5 minutes
Bone Dream
Moira MacDougall


Written in Elizabeth’s Grade Eleven Yearbook
I wasn’t sure at first, whether or not you’d want to hear from me, whether or not it would be welcomed twelve years from now when you decide to glance through this manifesto of adolescent life, of snapshots where there’s a little too much acne and eyeshadow, fish faces and questionable fashion choices. But that can’t stop me. That thought that maybe you’re still angry or that you haven’t forgiven me, so many years in the future. I don’t think you’ll find this til then, I don’t see you as the type to go through page by page and read each note that’s been written to you. Not now, anyway. You’ll have a lot of “Liz! You’re so cool! Great job in Pride and Prejudice! You’ll probably be famous some day!” You’ll have a lot of those. But there won’t be a lot like this one, one where a red-haired boy, tall, writes his love in purple pencil crayon because that’s all he can find. Liz, it wasn’t just a hook-up at Ishai’s party. It was a game-changer. Watching you dance that night made me realize that dreams are things that can become reality, tangible and real and true. You taught me that listening to your heart actually leads to goodness. I will always love you, always, perhaps a romantic notion, but it’s true. It’s true.

“catch fire” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Wednesday, December 12, 2012
12:20am
5 minutes
An ad in the subway

There was a great fear. There was a growing tidal wave, a waking mountaintop tip, there was a very huge fear. Sometimes, when she found herself in enclosed spaces (the subway, a tunnel connecting one underground place to another, a cave) she would try to reach out and touch the top, in order to see how far she could go upwards, if need be.

This morning, waiting for the subway (Main Street to Kipling) she had a sudden fear, a great fear, a growing tidal wave, a waking mountaintop tip that she might catch fire. She began to breathe more deeply, she tried her tricks taught to her by a medicine man she used to trust. But the fear kept growing. She stripped off her parka, sure that down feathers catch most easily and threw it down onto the tracks. The people around her snickered and stared. She wore a polyester sweater, a choice she couldn’t believe a short hour ago she thought to be a good one, a red one, even, this polyester red sweater. She quickly pulled it over her head and threw it, too, onto the tracks. She wished, momentarily, that she hadn’t worn pants that were unflattering without a shirt to hide the love-handles.

“33. Make mistakes faster” by Julia on her bed


Tuesday, December 11, 2012
12:27am
5 minutes
The Incomplete Manifesto for Growth
Bruce Mau


Just because the answers look like pretty little humming birds doesn’t mean you need to hold them in your hands and doesn’t mean you need to want them like you do. You can’t hold a humming bird at all, they don’t like that. But they do like to do what they do so it’s probably best if you just let them do it.
A kind of loneliness occurs when you’re told not to touch the birds. Any bird. We think it’s within our rights just to touch them and watch them, and keep them in cages. We find ourselves justified because they represent freedom with wings and we want some of that for us. Caged Freedom is what they become, singing songs of desperation for release, singing songs of melancholy dreams.
They don’t like to be behind bars. How could anything with wings like that? They need the sky at its grandest, its most expansive, its infinite, to catch them and let them fall, and guide them through the night without beacons or signs. They just need to go where they were meant to go. Here, there, tomorrow, today.
Little birdies with their beaks twisted into knots.
The smart ones keep them closed; only this way will we get bored of them and let them go.

“Just as they were” by Julia at R Squared


Monday, December 10, 2012 at R Squared
11:43am
5 minutes
Dubliners
James Joyce


Common misconception about Adelaide and Murray was that they were public people. Quite the contrary, I do believe. They were quiet and private. In public they were loud, but they still didn’t share much. Adelaide never talking about Murray’s mind going south-or the time he locked her out of the house in minus -20 degree weather because he thought she was a demon. Why would Adelaide tell anyone anything when the two of them looked so perfectly coupled on the outside?
At family functions Adelaide kept her hand on Murray’s arm. Gentle. Sweet. It looked like they had a simple and easy love that just requires constant contact. She touched him to remind him that she was human. That her body was real, that his mind was the thing that was not.
Murray once stole a bottle of pills and hid himself in the bathroom with them. On the door he posted a note that said, “I’m sorry. I love you. It’ll be over soon.”
Adelaide didn’t listen to bathroom signs. She broke down the door before he could swallow even one.
He cried in her arms all night. It was Christmas Eve.
“Shh,” she told him, “Shh.”

“33. Make mistakes faster” by Sasha at her desk


Tuesday, December 11, 2012
10:07pm
5 minutes
The Incomplete Manifesto for Growth
Bruce Mau


My fingers are dancing a dance of letters
On a keyboard that glows
Potential
Inspiration
Potential inspiration?
Mau thinks that it’s funny or easy or clever or hard or remarkable
And remarkable
And I agree
It’s all these things
We grow regardless
We grow with the moonrise and the sunrise
And the tiny people stomping their feet to a song we think we heard once
We grow incomplete to complete
We grow bones and blood
We grow here and now
We grow up and down
We grow love and love grows us
We grow mistakes and retakes
We grow in spite of the growing and because of the growing
Someone once told me that the hardest thing they ever did
Was
Finish
Was finish
Finishing is the breath
Is the rest
Is the beginning

“Just as they were” by Sasha at R Squared


Monday, December 10, 2012 at R Squared
11:43am
5 minutes
Dubliners
James Joyce


Remember when we used to take ourselves just as we were, broken and magnetic, shaking dreams from our ears? Remember when we were happy with boots that had a few holes and socks with darned heels and toes? When we were young hearts we knew the names for all the crystals, and the constellations, and most of the birds of Northern Ontario. We made eachother every gift, never spending our hard-earned money on “things” we wouldn’t nourish or use. I made you a wish star out of tinfoil and crazy glue and stuck it to the ceiling. “Wish on it before bed,” I said, and you promised that you would. You made me a string with lots of knots and each one was a reason why I was beautiful. You went over each knot until I knew the reasons by heart.

“You know full well” by Sasha on her couch


Sunday, December 9, 2012
11:32pm
5 minutes
First Kiss
Brian Doyle


There was never any reason for the arguing, the bickering, the general nit-picking. Cheryl and Tom made every effort to stop but alas, they simply could not. When I came over for dinner Cheryl was making caesar salad dressing from scratch, chopping anchovies into tiny pieces with a less-than-sharp knife. “Tom!” She called. “This knife! One day soon I’m going to lop off one of my fingers and then you’ll be sorry that you never sharpened it like you said you would!” Tom called back… Was it a profanity? I’m not sure. I can only hope that it was not. I had dinner with Cheryl and Tom every second Sunday. I brought dessert. They did the rest. They didn’t have any children of their own and when I moved to the small town to take over the Blue Street Bakery from my deceased aunt, Cheryl and Tom took me under their joint, bickering wing. Cheryl was a hairdresser, she worked for a woman in the city. She commuted three days a week. Tom was a contractor. They’d married just out of high school. Word is, they were madly in love and actually expressed it and acted as such. Nowadays? I’m not entirely sure why they’re still together. I ask Cheryl as we’re doing the dishes from dinner. “You know full well…” she says. “Actually I don’t,” I respond. “We couldn’t exist without one another, Becky. We would both just drop down dead, I think.”

“You know full well” by Julia at her kitchen table


Sunday, December 9, 2012
10:56pm
5 minutes
First Kiss
Brian Doyle


Any decent guy would have called me back. I’m serious. Decency is like archaic right now. It’s like, extinct or something. Don’t people always say that? That decency is dead? Well it is. It’s like, more dead than that other thing that people also say is dead. I’m just pissed you know? Anyone who knows me, knows that when I put on my mascara, it’s go time. I don’t usually wear it that much, but like, when I do, that’s it. I’m going out, someone good looking is going to see me, the night is going to be the best and last forever, and I’m going to feel really good about myself. But like, last night, I got all ready, I was looking amazing, and Dan was supposed to call me back to sort out our plans or whatever, and I’m like, buddy, just call me back because I need to know the status. And he could have. But he didn’t. So do I not sit there the entire night just waiting for the phone to ring so I have an excuse to make use of the mascara I already carefully applied? Of course. I just sit and wait and watch Easy A on Netflix while I’m like, hoping Dan has the DECENCY to return my call and simply say whether or not he’s willing to brave this effing snow storm to come pick me up so we can go to the Ballroom and effing dance/bowl the entire night. But no. He could have, he should have, but he didn’t. So now I’m like, locking him out. I’m locking him out to punish him for this waste of a Friday that he caused. And if he wants to like, get back in, then whatever about him, he can CALL ME.

“We’re not selling cheese.” by Julia on the 506 west


Saturday, December 8, 2012
6:45pm
5 minutes
Irma Voth
Miriam Toews


We’re not just selling our drawings, mom, we’re selling imagination! It’s different!
Grace was scribbling all over a piece of printer paper with a red crayon. It looked like a picture of a blood clot. I told her it looked like Santa’s Workshop. Grace didn’t know yet what abstract art was, but it’s as if she did. She and her best friend, Lizzy, had been going door to door with their artwork for 3 days now. The first drawings were actually decipherable; cute even. Now Grace had it in her head that she just needed to keep producing work no matter what, and the quality had certainly taken a back seat. I told her, it’s nicer when you sell the ones that mean the most to you–those are the ones people will pay more for. She giggled in her high-pitched 4 year old way.
I made 100 dollars yesterday!
Grace had made 100 pennies yesterday. The neighbours were paying in pennies. Sometimes dimes.
Grace wanted to go buy something exciting with her earnings. I told her, maybe a couple more days first to make it really special.

“We’re not selling cheese.” by Sasha at her desk


Saturday, December 8, 2012
12:08am
5 minutes
Irma Voth
Miriam Toews


It was my first time. The music pumped so hard that my guts jiggled and my heart tried to find the beat in order to sync, somehow. I was there with my friend Coco. We’d met at the Cheese Shop in Kensington market, both of us with our eye on Smoked Gouda. She’d ask for tastes, hinting at fancy recipes and high brow dinner parties and then leave without ever buying anything. They were onto her now. Coco had blue eyeshadow up to her eyebrows. She wore pink platform sneakers and had a small furry backpack. Once inside, Coco screamed. Not in a girlish way, but guttural, beast-like. She was with her clan. She offered me a small pill in the palm of her hand. It was also pink and had a small heart on it. I couldn’t believe that someone like Coco was paying this much attention to someone like me and even offering to share her illicit tiny things. I let out a scream like Coco had but after it was done I wanted to cry more than dance or take E. Coco grabbed my hand and pulled me over to a far corner where her brother Ted was giving away bottles of Gatorade.

“Be able to talk” by Sasha at her desk


Friday, December 7, 2012
5:32pm
5 minutes
The notebook of Caitlin Fysh

We couldn’t believe our luck when James came to us. We’d been trying for over nine years, two miscarriages and many long cries to show for it. James’ birth mother, Becky, was a high school student in the neighbouring town. She chose us because Don is a teacher and… I guess she liked that. And it didn’t hurt that I was a nurse, travelling the handicapped and elderly in Dublin for homecare. We were in the hospital when Becky was in a labor, for sixteen long hours, something about her small size and no space for our James. They did a C-section eventually, Don and I pacing the waiting room, getting delirious and then excited and then angry and then all those things over again. Finally at five in the morning, the doctor called us in to the nursery. We saw our boy for the first time. He had a full head of dark hair and the tiniest fingers and toes. “Is there a… deformity?” Don asked. The doctor laughed and said that he was in tip top shape.

“Be able to talk” by Julia at The Common


Friday, December 7, 2012 at The Common
10:51am
5 minutes
From the notebook of Caitlin Fysh

Had a talk with my self this morning over a decaf coffee and a chevre and herb scone. I said, hey, self, why you playin’? And I also said, yo, self, stop being such a Lameasaurus Rex. My self was a bit hurt by that because, dude, eff off of me for a second. But I was just layin’ down tracks of truth. SPIN THOSE TRACKS, I said to my self, wiping scone bits off of my lip. SPIN THEM HARD. My self was starting to shake out of shame. She knew she had been a little negative lately. She was feeling bad. I said to my self, listen. It’s all good. I still love you and stuff. You don’t need to worry because I got you, boo, but for real, quit frontin’. Don’t be the opposite of what you are.
And I think that really resonated. I took 4 minutes to glance over my fingers, my rings, my deep nail beds, and the dirt beneath them. I said, homie, is this your new thing? Not bad but not good! Nut up!
And my self was very receptive. Just sort of nodded a long to what I was putting out. And I thought, yeah, you get me, you feel me.
I’m glad we’re having this talk, I said to my self. It’s good to have these check-ins every now and again because we be tight even if we be distant. Ya dig?

“Shotgun Wedding” by Sasha at Tequila Bookworm


Thursday, December 6, 2012 at Tequila Bookworm
5:32pm
5 minutes
from a poster at Saving Gigi

He popped the question between pints of Coors Lite. Not how I imagined it but… okay. Gunther knew the way to my heart and it wasn’t through rooooomance. I said, “YES”, of course and then I said, “Let’s go down to Niagara Falls tonight and get married with the spray going all over us!” I thought it was more of a joke. I wasn’t knocked up or anything. But Gunther? He took me very seriously. Before I knew it the tab was paid (rare) the Civic was filled up with gas (even more rare) and we were driving in the direction of… Buffalo. The Stones tape was playing all scratchy and cool and I was feeling better than I’d felt in… months? Years? Better than I’d felt since I’d been in Mexico when I was fourteen drinking beers with my first boyfriend, Jorge. But that’s another story. We got to the Falls sometime before midnight. Gunther must’ve been speeding like a demon. He’d called a friend of his, Chucky, who’d gotten that Internet certification for his lesbian sister and her union to her lover. Chucky said he’d meet us outside the Wax Museum at 2am cuz he down was the Bingo Hall and couldn’t get away.

“Shotgun Wedding” by Julia at Sambuca Grill


Thursday, December 6, 2012 at Sambuca Grill
9:01pm
5 minutes
from a poster at Saving Gigi

Geri and Jerry were love birds since the first day they met. They were washing cars together for a fundraising benefit–tsunami relief– and had been put on the same team. Thought it was a hoot they had the same name and spent the whole day choreographing dances in the rain because no one was getting their car washed.
It took Geri three days to respond to Jerry’s phone call because she couldn’t decide if she wanted to date someone with her name after all. She was in the middle of deciding when Jerry drove by her house and threw a stuffed bunny rabbit onto her porch with a note saying “it’s not rocket science”.
Geri was impressed. She called him twenty minutes later assuming he would need to get home first or else he’d endanger himself by answering the phone while driving. She said, “Any chance you could come back?” And Jerry laughed. He was around the corner. He picked her up right away, he treated her to the most romantic dinner she had ever had, and then he told her he was in love with her. Geri was more skeptical so she said nothing in return.
She liked him for sure but didn’t know if it was love just yet…

“until it blended” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Wednesday, December 5, 2012
11:25pm
5 minutes
The Down to Earth Cookbook
Linda Maull and Nancy Fair McIntyre


We started talking about our birthdays, a shared love of avocado toast and whether or not we had a preference for the blues or jazz. We started talking over homemade gnocchi and tomato sauce with a tossed green salad. You’d made both. I’d brought wine, a bottle I’d been saving for a special occasion.

“Isaac, is that you?”
“Polly!”
“My god… You haven’t changed a bit…”
“You look… great!”
There was a silence that was heavy but in a beautiful way. Full. A full silence.
“How are you?” Isaac said.
“I’m… It’s been a rough few years, to be honest…” I couldn’t help but being honest with him, I never could.

Both of our spouses had died in the winter. His wife taken by ovarian cancer and my Dan, having been in a battle with lung cancer since the nineties, killed by a bout of hospital pneumonia. The timing was like a snowflake, melting before us, our youth.

“until it blended” by Julia at her kitchen table


Wednesday, December 5, 2012
11:21pm
5 minutes
The Down to Earth Cookbook
Linda Maull and Nancy Fair Mcintyre


There wasn’t any more ice on the ground today than yesterday, which is why it’s so surprising to recount how Rita slipped, fell, and subsequently broke her left hip. She wasn’t old. You’d think that based on the fact that most hip-related injuries generally accompany the elderly. She was 37, which is young, and she was wearing running shoes with very good traction. The problem ( Ah HA!) is that she was wearing running shoes and not winter boots. Or perhaps it was the banana peel that managed to find its way under her feet (but we all know that that’s just a myth….or a friend of a friend of an urban legend). What was it actually? Everyone was dying to know. She was on her way to buy frozen strawberry chunks to make…well wait, no one knows what Rita was planning to make do they? They should. Someone should know. Anyway, it was surprising that she slipped, fell, and subsequently broke her left hip because of the lack of… What WAS it? What was she going to make? Now surely she would have needed much more than frozen strawberries for jam. Was she going to make jam out of frozen strawberries? That’s ridiculous.