“white wine bottles” by Sasha at The Common


Saturday, March 30, 2013 at The Common
4:29pm
5 minutes
The Toronto Star
PUZZLES Section
March 30, 2013


Snaking down the valley is the Saskatchewan River, moody, changing, wide. The trail along her banks is well kept. A child, three or four years old, holds his sister’s hand. She’s older. Around eleven. They walk together. He’s got red velcro sneakers. She’s got a purple windbreaker. It’s the most beautiful thing I’ve seen in twenty seven years.

“I keep losing my place,” my mother used to say, trying to work through Wuthering Heights. It had been her favorite book. Alzheimer’s gripped her, Herculean strength. She flipped the books pages like fashion magazine, hoping something might stop her, catch her, make her look. “It’s okay, Mom,” I found myself repeating, more for my own sake then for hers. Eventually she said, “Yes, I know that.” Eventually, she forgot about waking up the morning. Eventually she arranged the white wine bottles in her cellar, hoping there might be a party.

“white wine bottles” by Julia on her couch


Saturday, March 30, 2013
2:48am
5 minutes
The Toronto Star
PUZZLES Section
March 30, 2013


Cling clanging on the front porch, the wind chimes hum a dusty tune of almost summer. The pond at the edge of the lawn glimmers. Little flat, black stones surrounding the perimeter. Good for skipping, if the pond were big enough for it.
One rocking chair bouncing back and forth like a human had just got up, or a ghost that had never left. Windows are open, sheer curtains waving back and forth, having a small fight with the wind. The porch is lined with white wine bottles, all empty, long candles stuck in each neck. Victorian and cave-like. Good for when people come over and the banjo is brought out after midnight. The good old days. The days where water and sky would meet, shake hands, then become lovers right before your very eyes.
A shame to shield your face with a wide brimmed hat or sunglasses. Take it in, the chimes sound out. Let the moisture hit your cheeks and bounce down into your collar.

“the finest Led Zeppelin songs.” by Julia at her desk


Friday, March 29, 2013
9:47pm
5 minutes
Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs
Chuck Klosterman


She does, she likes you. She holds your photo up to the light streaming in through her bedroom window and she makes you a promise: to always be yours. She kisses the frame and spins around with it. She’s 11, you’re 14. You don’t notice her yet this way..she has two mosquito bites for breasts, two bruised knees, and her lips are always chapped. She’s just a kid, you’re not yet interested. You know you will be later, when she matures a bit, when the age gap doesn’t feel so big. She loves you. She thinks she does. She doesn’t think the age difference is a ‘thing’. She thinks about giving you the bracelet she’s making out of embroidery floss. It might have a fish tail on it. It might have a heart. It doesn’t matter, you’re the inspiration behind the whole thing anyway. She’s told her mother about you. Didn’t say your name but she described your sandy blonde hair, your big green eyes, your perfect nose. Smaller than hers so she thinks you have it all. When you’re ready for her love, you should play her all the finest Led Zeppelin songs…

“the finest Led Zeppelin songs.” by Sasha at her desk


Friday, March 29, 2013
12:43am
5 minutes
Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs
Chuck Klosterman


Devin doesn’t want to discuss things like the finest Led Zeppelin song, or where to get the best Americano. He’s my newest friend. I’m really happy about it but… he wants to talk about politics. I don’t want to sound ignorant or… apathetic, but, like, I don’t really care about politics, I haven’t really concerned myself with them. I skip those pages in the newspaper, you know? At my family’s dinner table to talked about… my sister’s Cheerleading tournaments and my, my, my choice of haircut. So, we’re sitting in this taco joint, stuffing our faces with guacamole and chips, and he wants to talk about Justin Trudeau. Like, I know he’s running for… something or other, but… I don’t know the ins and outs. Apparently, Devin is on the Young Liberals board or something. “Can you believe what Martin Cauchon said?!” Says Devin, breaking a tortilla chip in two. “No… I can’t!” Shit, I think, now I’m really up shit’s creek without an oar, or whatever. “About Quebec?!” It’s like he’s testing me. It’s like he knows. I try to change the subject. “Best guac, eh?!”

“This job makes me” by Sasha on her couch


Thursday, March 28, 2013
10:11pm
5 minutes
All My Friends Are Dead
Avery Monsen and Jory John


They were at a standstill. They were at that fork in the road where it might turn into a fight or they might kiss, tenderly, gently, on the mouth. “This job, is, is… is who I am,” she said. He shook his head, as he often does when she makes such proclamations. “It is, Tony,” she said, indignant, child-like. You know those times, when you look at a face you know so, so, well as though you don’t? As though they are a stranger? When, really, this face is the furthest thing from it? He looked at her like that. He saw each strand of her hair. Each one. Each one hundred and twenty seven thousand strands. He finally saw the fleck of yellow in her right eye. Good grief! How had he missed it? He noticed how, now, her lips slanted slightly down, when resting, as opposed to slightly up. How they used to do. Tony touched the corner of Marguerite lip. She let him. He was surprised. “It’s hard being so different from you, sometimes,” he said, finally. “I know,” she responded, tears beginning to swirl. “I need you to support me, Tony, even though you don’t agree with what I do.” Tony moved his finger from where it was to the small, gold, cross hanging from his neck. His looked up, tilting his head back, thinking about what the expression might be on God’s face, watching them.

“No, I promise” by Sasha at her desk


Wednesday, March 27, 2013
10:58am
5 minutes
Wild Mind
Natalie Goldberg


When you and I went for that walk, in the ravine, in the October blush, I secretly hoped that we would get lost. If we got lost, we’d get to spend more time together. We would have to huddle close together for warmth. You’d have to share your Gatorade, your pocket knife. We’d forage for wild leeks, and funguses. We’d build a fort out of a blanket that we’d find, a red and blue and white blanket, like the French flag… You’d get a kick out of that. “You are the grizzliest man I have ever met,” I would say, curled into you, under the blanket, a small bonfire burning before us. You’d scoff a bit. “No, I promise,” I’d say, and you’d believe me the second time. It’s something you learned from your mother. Refuse first. Accept second (maybe third). I knew this about you not because you told me. Because I took the time to learn it, because I listened to your deep breaths and your long eyelashes, because I understood the scar on on your cheek.

“from the ground up” by Sasha at Cafe Novo


Tuesday, March 26, 2013 at Cafe Novo
3:32pm
5 minutes
PRODUCT magazine issue
5 February 2013


When we found her she was smaller than Gerald remembered. She’s always been thin, but… She must’ve had a hard time finding food. I don’t know. She was wearing this shirt that had a dreamcatcher on the front. It was too big for her. And yellow fleecy tights, like, a construction workers long johns or something. When I asked her where she’d gotten them she said she didn’t remember. She slept for two days. We kept knocking on the door of the guest room, where she was staying, and offering her food, coffee… Whatever. Gerald even made bacon cheddar waffles, what she used to ask for on her birthday. We thought the smell might make her want to get up. I couldn’t help myself. I went through her backpack. A sketchbook with very… obscure drawings, lines and shading, numbers. A box of tampons. A hat. A dollar store sewing kit. A thing of Vaseline. A PowerBar. We were worried sick. Literally. Sick. I had chronic nausea the whole time she was gone. We’re good parents. We are… We are good.

“This job makes me” by Julia on her couch


Thursday, March 28, 2013
8:52pm
5 minutes
All My Friends Are Dead
Avery Monsen and Jory John

I’m a different person now than I was, Melanie says to Rick, her high school sweetheart with a really obnoxious neck tattoo of a pink flamingo laying on a beach. You must be different too, she says as she slurps back the peanut butter smoothie she forced him to buy her. I’m just seeing life as it is you know? Nothing weird about it in my opinion. Rick doesn’t respond. He is busy flicking the dead beer bug back and forth across the coffee table. He shoots, he scores. Don’t you think time is running out a bit for you? I mean, I’ve moved on and you’re still…you know…working at the same place. Rick looks up from the table. I’m just doing what I need to do. Never mind what I’m doing, Mel, you can do what you want. I’m not saying you’re wrong, Ricky, I’m saying you’re too bored with life and you always have been so if you just applied yourself to looking around and thinking, oh hey, I might be good at something else, then maybe you’d have a really good career in Talk Radio or something. Rick stares at her blankly. I guess Roger has nice 9-5 job then? He’s a real man, I’m assuming? Makes you really happy and brings you lots of tulips?
Melanie hides her half smirk. He doesn’t bring me tulips, she says. Orchids sometimes, though.

“No, I promise” by Julia at Starbucks


Wednesday, March 27, 2013 at Starbucks
10:56am
5 minutes
Wild Mind
Natalie Goldberg


Last time I tried to write you a letter I fell asleep beside a candle and burned the entire left side of hair off. I woke up to the smell of it smoking and I was actually happy because I thought I was dying, or dead already, just waiting for my instructions in hell. Then when I realized I was fine, I was just half bald and burnt, I fell deeper. I suppose it’s clear that I’m not doing so well. I’ve felt a pit in my stomach for some time now, and I’m pretty sure it’s growing into a tree. Peach or pear, I’m not certain. It hurts though. It’s a very branchy tree, sort of poking into my side every time I move or sing. Sort of like the thing that only wants to exist as long as it’s the only thing I can feel. Sort of an only child, or youngest of 6 kind of tree. Anyway I’m writing you now because I wanted to tell you I won’t be writing again, or attempting to. I’ll just wait till you reply but I won’t be doing any more of the things like this where I have to access my inner…ouch. It’s that tree again…

“from the ground up” by Julia at Sambuca Grill


Tuesday, March 26, 2013 at Sambuca Grill
3:29pm
5 minutes
PRODUCT magazine issue
5 February 2013


Building a life together, me and him, him and me. Asking to borrow tools like a hammer, a wrench. Never owned stuff like that. Never knew much the point. He was supposed to know. He was supposed to reassemble my bookshelf and couldn’t figure out how. He was supposed to change every light bulb but couldn’t seem to get the wattage right. He was supposed to be the one to build me a deck, or host a night of barbecuing, and shoot projections onto the garage door for parties and late night summer romance.
He didn’t know how to do anything. He was good at keeping me from ripping my own flesh off, but never did his taxes, never mowed a lawn in all his life. To be attentive, I suppose, is a very nice quality.

“disentangle yourself from your selfish self” by Sasha on her couch


Monday, March 25, 2013
12:39am
5 minutes
If
Rumi


I don’t care about the across-the-way neighbour seeing my bare breasts, or my naked round belly, or even a faint shadow of pubic hair. I want the blinds open in the morning. Since my hair started to turn grey, since I stopped dying it a colour that it never truly was, I care a whole lot less about what other people think. It’s taken forty eight years. As a young one, I would wrap a towel tightly around me and change my clothes in the Fitness Centre bathroom. I only chose that Centre because it had private shower stalls. It mattered more than the fact I had to drive thirty minutes and there was a much nicer gym a few blocks away. Those were my priorities. When Marta, my lover, looks at the wrinkles on my cheeks, she says, in that glorious Dutch accent, “Your wisdom!” She strokes the creases like she might do to a baby’s dimples,

“disentangle yourself from your selfish self” by Julia on her couch


Monday, March 25, 2013
12:37am
5 minutes
If
Rumi


I hear your voice in my ears like a faint buzz of a distant fly; irritating me while I sleep, while I sit, while I pray. I can’t rid myself of you. The inner battle is a fight I keep trying to win. I can’t win with you: flies are hard to beat. I’m annoyed by how much I care, how much I tend to hold on to stupid things. And there you are, crying your tears, manipulating me into always always loving you. I’m not doing that anymore. It’s a thought I have almost every day, and yet…
The whisper of your staged pain makes me want to burn my own flesh off my arms, my legs. I can’t do this anymore.
The drone of your pre-meditated lies, your idea of making nice or making nice enough. I won’t do that anymore.
Somehow today is different than the one before it. Than the one before that, and so on and so on. Somehow it is bigger and filled with light. Light enough that I can really see you. I can really see your mouth turned up in a smile, but your eyes flickering with rage and jealousy and deceit.
I liked you better in the dark.
I like everything better in the dark.
I will not apologize.
I’m not doing that anymore.

“St. George” by Julia on her couch


Sunday, March 24, 2013
12:06am
5 minutes

St. George Subway

Sid was cutting the cuticles from her toenails while watching the nightly news. One more murder, she mumbled out loud with her turban toweled head cocked to one side. She had been waiting for her gluten-free carrot cake to be done in the oven but couldn’t help herself and had to keep opening the door to check. She was thinking about it again when the phone rang. Sid didn’t want to answer it, she wasn’t expecting anyone. But she did in spite of herself. She waited on the line while a man ran off some uninteresting facts about car dealerships and how buying a car is as important as adopting a baby. Sid never wanted a baby but her belly was growing with every new day and she found herself watching a lot of disturbing news stories or terrifying slasher films. She was getting acquainted with the idea of death so she’d be better equipped to handle it if it ever threatened her existence. Or her baby’s.

“Your efforts” by Julia on the 506 going east


Saturday, March 23, 2013
2:43pm
5 minutes
A quote by Jody Hayes

Heard Liam and Hannah fighting again. I could hear it through the walls, the vents.
She threw something at him, you could tell it was expensive. I didn’t want to listen but I didn’t really have a choice. Saturday morning, sleeping in, or trying to. There it was, just right above me. Liam wasn’t saying much but then every now and then he’d grunt and yell and I got worried for Hannah in case he was getting violent with her. Hannah liked to swear very much. She rotated between throwing vases and nasty words around the apartment. I guess she enjoyed the way the anger looked, all plastered to her walls like a Pollock painting.
Liam wasn’t a very talkative person. I only ever heard him speak if I was home, trying to watch a late night movie, and he was up, trying to yell at his girlfriend because she didn’t respond to his texts quick enough. That’s when I heard him the most. I thought about getting ear plugs but then I realized, I might actually miss their sounds of sadness and anger, passion and desperation, if I ever did.

“the house full of good smells” by Julia on her couch


Friday, March 21, 2013
2:01am
5 minutes
The 100 Mile Diet
Alisa Smith and J.B. MacKinnon


My daddy used to say it, used to say, Oh what a happy home! Taking in the smells of me mum’s cooking, coming back from a long day at work, he was, trying to make ends meet for me and me brother and me mum. What a good dad! Always bringing us home some nice treats. Sometimes a biscuit from the market or if we were good, a nice old basket of perfect plums. I liked the plums the best because it meant he was in a good mood, had all the time in the world to fix us up a proper treat. My daddy would come home with such a happy tone, yell up to me and me brother, waiting at the front door for us to run down and crawl into his skin with our laughter. Such a good dad. And me mum would wait there in the kitchen, looking on at us all, saying, well is it him or is it the lord Jesus saviour man? Sounds like it could even be Santa Clause! We’d laugh then, and come running back to show her how nice the plums were, or the jam, or the crisps from his secretary Marsha. She’d say, Not before dinner, it’ll spoil your appetites! And we’d look up at our dad with those big old eyes and wee-one hope, and he’d shake his head at us with his eye on me mum, and say, now you know we can’t be too hasty! Your mum made us a proper meal tonight. Tonight we’re going to celebrate being absolutely alive!

“name the sand” by Julia at her kitchen table


Thursday, March 21, 2013
12:43am
5 minutes
Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul


Think I wrote your name on my heart once, left it there, stamped it there, tried not to expose it to direct sunlight, didn’t want it to fade, waited till it was healed enough, the scarring, then pierced a hole through it, attached a string and a promise, and then took it out for walks with me. Think that’s what happened. Wasn’t trying to be poetic, it just ended up that way. Wasn’t trying to keep you forever, but the thought of my heart being so naked? It just needed a name blanket to keep it warm. It needed an anecdote or a sweet inspirational quote otherwise it wasn’t feeling good. It wasn’t happy. Your name made it happy, rock a baby to sleep by humming You Are My Sunshine into her ear, doesn’t know how sad that song really is and just falls into dreamland as if it were the best thing in the world happy. That kind doesn’t even exist in everyday life. I’m sure of that.
Think I used and HB pencil to write your name, knew that my heart wouldn’t be a good surface for an eraser so it would be safe, saw it scrawled in the sand one summer on Conrad’s beach near Dartmouth and knew I had to have it for me too, knew that it should be hidden away, tucked neatly into bed with the sheets all pressed with care, silent most of the time so it wouldn’t distract.

“St. George” by Sasha on the subway going West


Sunday, March 24, 2013
5:20pm
5 minutes

St. George Subway

It’s a morning routine. Like orange juice. Like washing your face. We make eye contact. You – standing on the platform at St. George station. Why don’t you ever get on? Me – sitting near the window, facing forward, trying, for the millionth time, to complete a Sudoku in the free newspaper. Why don’t I learn? Today you’re carrying a little girl. She’s got pigtails. And a pink snowsuit. Is she yours? Is she borrowed? You must catch my brow (furrowed), because you smile (large) and turn the girl. You whisper something in her ear (“wave!”) and she does, like the Queen might. She’s got freckles. I smile, because really, who can resist a child with freckles? We pull out of the startion with a screech and I turn today, which I’ve never done before, watching you both wave. I think your name is probably Julian. A name I used to think I might one day name a son, but now that the great clock in the sky has decided for me that I won’t be having one of those, I’ll give you that name. It’s yours. And her name? Bridget. Yes. Absolutely.

“Your efforts” by Sasha at her desk


Saturday, March 23, 2013
11:02am
5 minutes
A quote by Jody Hayes

Helen and Kurt are finding laughter illusive, again. Used that word, “illusive” on a crossword puzzle on Saturday and it stuck. I’m trying to find ways to use it… I don’t know from seeing, the illusive laughter, I know from listening. We’ve been neighbours for thirteen years, you know. I’ve gotten used to the ups and downs. I don’t hold that glass to the wall. This building is old. It begs neighbours to know the snores, the blender, The Rolling Stones… You name it, I’ve heard it. They had a rough go in 2005. Might’ve been the transition into being empty nesters. I never thought that Kyle, their son, would get into University… I mean, he was a strange boy. Got into some College Program up North for Golf Course Management. Who knew that was even a thing? Ran into Helen in the entrance way a few days ago. She barely smiled. To think, I gave that woman my oven to use on Christmas for seven years in a row! And I water their plants when they go to Cuba! She barely even smiled. “Hi Helen!” I said. She just… nodded. What she was saying “yes” to, I never could say. Kurt seems to be away more now that he retired. I always know when he’s gone because there’s less hot water on our floor. Helen takes very hot baths.

“the house full of good smells” by Sasha on the subway going west


Friday, March 21, 2013
1:21am
5 minutes
The 100 Mile Diet
Alisa Smith and J.B. MacKinnon


I don’t know if you’ve, like, noticed? But, but, but I’m practising the practise of mindful self-improvement. You know… “Dance Like No One is Watching” and all that? It’s going well? I guess. I mean, I’m adding chia seeds to my oatmeal and that really takes it to the next level and like, like, I’m trying to “sweat once a day” like those Lulu bags say? There’s, like, a lot of wisdom on those bags! Basically they are like, the Deepak Chopra of all carrying devices, you know? And I’m, like, thinking of booking a ticket to Iceland because I heard that the people there have, like, a higher consciousness. I can only imagine that the landscape begs the Icelandic people to have some sort of raised faith in the… everything! You know? And, and, I changed my alarm sound from All the Single Ladies to, like, this incredible meditation bell? It’s just magic. It really changes how my day starts and, like, that’s a really important time, you know, to like, like, get things going on the right track.

“name the sand” by Sasha at her desk


Thursday, March 21, 2013
12:39am
5 minutes
Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul


She looks at me like she knows something I don’t. Like she’s got a secret. Or a yeast infection. “Fiona is… really creative,” she starts in. Is this woman, no, girl, is this girl even old enough to be teaching? “Excuse me but… how old are you?” She blushes. How cute. “Twenty-five.” “Did you fast-track?” There’s a pause. She briefly glances at my left hand. Yes, thank you, we are still together. “Um, no? I… I did the concurrent education program at York…” “Oh…” I say. I’m not impressed, or, maybe I am. I don’t know. “Fiona is really a leader in the class. She is so happy to be the boss!” It’s like she thinks I don’t know my kid. It’s like she thinks that she knows Fiona better than I do. “What are you saying?” “That she’s a real extrovert!” “I know that.” “Of course you do – ” “Why don’t you tell me something that I don’t know about her…” “The function of parent-teacher time is that…” “Interviews.” “Pardon?” “Parent-teacher interviews. That’s what it’s called. What we’re having here.” “Actually we have recently updated the title, the name. We felt that “interview” was too formal. It’s really about us having a nice chat, some time together… chatting about the child, your child… Fiona.” Is she sweating? “I see…” I say, but I don’t. I don’t see the point in that progressive education bullshit. “Let me get right to the point,” she says. “Fiona has been… uh… she’s been removing her… taking off her… undergarments.” I laugh. “Oh?” “It’s… becoming a bit worrisome… as, you know, she’s such a leader… Some of the other girls, her friends, are starting to follow suit…”

“Is this my tuna?” by Julia at her desk


Wednesday, March 20, 2013
11:39pm
5 minutes
The woman on the phone in the bus shelter at King and Yonge

I made a sandwich for Billiam. I call him Billiam because I can’t decide who he is sometimes. A William? A Bill? Okay, so in my head he’s both and he responds so I’m sure it’s fine. He likes to call me Sandy and that’s not even a derivative for my name. I was called Alison by my mother, Katarina by my grand mother, and almost all my friends call me nothing at all. They don’t address me. They don’t really need to, I know when I’m being spoken to, when something is directed at me. When you don’t have a defining name you learn to just listen better with every part of your body. Sort of like a sensor that becomes red when your attention is needed. I don’t know where Billiam got Sandy from but it doesn’t bother me. It makes me feel like I’m more complete when I hear it, if I’m being honest. Alison never stuck as a child so I’m not attached to it. I often wonder what my life would be like if my mother waited to name me so my personality could develop first. The name should always come second. Not first. Now I think I act more like a sandy but I don’t know if I actually am one. Billiam is definitely a Billiam. So I made him a sandwich…

“Is this my tuna?” by Sasha at Dark Horse on Spadina


Wednesday, March 20, 2013 at Dark Horse on Spadina
1:49pm
5 minutes
The woman on the phone in the bus shelter at King and Yonge

You’re an abstract painting, in reds and yellows, mustardy yellows, hanging on the wall in a persons home, a large wall. You’re not in a gallery, or a museum. You’re not in a restaurant. You’re in a home. A home whose inhabitants are tall, and lean, and surprisingly strong-willed, with tight smiles and pressed pants. They have tuna salad sandwiches with the crusts cut off, a cucumber salad on the side for lunch, in the dining room, near you, near the painting. They bought you at a silent auction for three thousand and five hundred dollars. “A steal,” he said, at the time. You’re rarely looked at anymore. You’re rarely noticed. Except when their daughter brings home a friend from graduate school, who “Ohh’s” and “Ahh’s” over you, over the beige leather couch, over the Persian rugs. Don’t feel special. She also does it about the meal, most of which was purchased at the specialty foods store nearby. You, abstract painting, feigning pretention, gobbling any compliment you can get your frame on.

“you’re attracted to dangerous, unbalanced people” by Sasha at Cafe Novo


Tuesday, March 19, 2013 at Cafe Novo
2:23pm
5 minutes
Plague
Michael Grant


“Let’s just be real here. You’re attracted to dangerous, unbalanced people,” my sister says to me, as a Korean woman with the nickname “Kitty” scrubs the calluses off of her feet. “You’re ticking me!” My sister, says, bordering on an accusation, but with a smile. There’s a People magazine open on her lap and the massage feature of the chair is causing her breasts to jiggle. “You never liked my friends…” Is the only thing I can think of to say. “Really? Reallllly?” She stares at Kitty, trimming her toe cuticles. “That is totally not true. I love Gabby. I love Rebecca. I loved loved loved Fredrick.” The Fred card. Of course. “Please don’t involve Fred in this,” I say, masking my hysteria with a growl. “He was, actually, probably the most dangerous and unbalanced person I’ve ever been close to. Excluding you.” Kitty glances up from my sister’s feet, her brown eyes darting from me to her, me to her. My sister’s getting married on Saturday. Brett, my soon-to-be brother-in-law, is a rock-climber. He works at MEC. He smells like bicycles. They are the epitome of “opposites attract” in a terribly exciting and ever-so-slightly tragic kind of way.

“What should I do with my life?” by Sasha at R Squared


Monday March 18, 2013 at R Squared
11:09am
5 minutes
Writing Down The Bones
Natalie Goldberg


I had a heartbreaking time. Yesterday. Not today. I’m over it today. Kinda… Not the whole day, yesterday, but part of it. A sliver. You showed me something. Bright. Glowing. You said, “They’re doing Aladin on Broadway! I’m finding a way to audition. I’m going to book it and that will take us to New York and then you can just sit in on classes at NYU and Columbia and see where it is that you really want to be!” It was a dream-promise, made of marshmallow and cumulous sunshine. Through this statement you showed me that I don’t dream as big as you. I’m a realist, in most ways. I have to stop myself, daily, from saying, “Are you fucking kidding me? There’s no way that’s going to happen!” There is a way. For you, there is always a way. Yeah. Okay. Let me get my head around that. I don’t, I don’t allow myself to dream huge. It’s riding the line of being a conscious choice, actually. Less disappointment that way, less let-down. What if I fail? What if you fail? You don’t care. You don’t see it as failure. So what if we fail. The brave I so admire, you, dive off, high up, and aren’t thinking about the “if” of the bellyflop.

“you’re attracted to dangerous, unbalanced people” by Julia on her couch


Tuesday, March 19, 2013
2:11pm
5 minutes
Plague
Michael Grant


Marlene met Adam at a truck stop in Kirby, Vermont. She told him she was a doctor from Canada. Didn’t bother mentioning she was a single mother from Morgan. He didn’t seem like the type that would take to kids well. Especially ones with developmental issues and who need to sleep with a mouth guard. Marlene was in love with Adam from the smell of him alone; Gasoline and cookies. She liked that rustic dirty kind of scent, the one that made her feel like she was being taken care of. Marlene didn’t have that growing up. She always did the taking care, never had it for herself. Adam said he was just a plain guy on a road-trip. She was dying for him to ask her to go with him. For a moment Marlene let her mind drift off to a place that didn’t have cheerios attached to her underarms, or grass-stained overalls. She smiled through her clenched teeth. Tried to think of every medical term she ever heard in case Adam wanted to know something about her career or the “practice” as she first put it. Not sure why she even chose to play a doctor. She knew she didn’t seem like the surgical type. Maybe she was just a GP, driving her own beat up red Oldsmobile.

“What should I do with my life?” by Julia at R Squared


Monday March 18, 2013 at R Squared
11:09am
5 minutes
Writing Down The Bones
Natalie Goldberg


I’ve got all these plans, all these super duper big–WOAH– and cool plans! I’m gonna–I’m gonna–I’m gonna make a boat. TUT TUT TUT. And teach goldfish how to S.I.N.G. (That’s sing.)
That’s SUNG!
Oh great! Today is a blank cheque. But my life? You want to know? Okay, I’ll get serious:
Write a book, a novel, a collection of short stories, a collection of micro-stories–tiny ones–like speckles, like stars! Check! Not blank cheque. Check mark! Great.
A collection of one-liners, a coffee table book with witty retorts…
A song, an album, a musical, a play, a stage-play, a radio-play, a screenplay, a memoir, an article, an essay, a promise.
Oh, Should. Not Want. I get it.
I’ve got all these plans.
Learn to bake, learn to do simple math, learn to eat bananas before they go bad so I don’t feel guilty when I have 60 stacked in the freezer and still don’t want to make banana bread.
Should. SHOULD.
Be happy? Hoity-toity bitches gonna judge me for that? It’s the best answer you hoity-toity bitches.
Be honest. Don’t judge.
Be Real. Don’t judge.
Be Bad. Don’t judge.
Be brave. Don’t judge.

“Everything is all right” by Julia on her couch


Sunday, March 17, 2013
2:34am
5 minutes
Dharma Bums
Jack Kerouac


She sits by the window reading her favourite book this week for the second time. It’s about mystery, and passion, and deceit. Her book, that is. It’s a good one because it makes her stop to think about what it is she actually wants. Relatively speaking, of course. She wants daisies to be brought in bunches. She wants an impromptu car ride to the hill, or to a swimming pool where illegal night swimming happens every Thursday. She gets caught up in it all. Yearning for Mr. Abbotsford to casually ask if she’d like her lawn…mowed Or her sidewalks…shoveled. Mr. Abbotsford is the closest thing she has to The Gardiner. The Contractor. The Mailman. All of these dream-boat men exist in her book, but in real life she has to take care of her own yard. Not so glamorous when the fantasy gets squandered by reality. She keeps her nose buried deep in the pages, afraid to look up. Afraid to get anything done.

“Everything is all right” by Sasha at her desk


Sunday, March 17, 2013
11:30pm
5 minutes
Dharma Bums
Jack Kerouac


She smells like tangerines. You instantly love her. If you showed me that love I would keel over in laughter (and, maybe, tears), I would keel over in gratitude to God. “You smell like onions and tuna fish, Mom,” is what I get. First Grade Teacher love, okay. I get it. She smells like tangerines, she gives you yellow happy face stickers when you do well on a spelling test, she’s the one who is telling you that you’re smart, you’re creative, you’re special. “Miss Fleck says that it’s going to be an early spring!” You come home with a crepe paper flower crown on your head. “Miss Fleck says that we should give away half our Halloween candy to the Sugar Fairy!” You do, incredibly, with the self-restraint of a monk. Right down the garbage shoot. “Miss Fleck says that even though there’s that war on terror going on, everything is going to be all right!” You are smiling, one of your front teeth wobbling so much I can’t help but smile too. Miss Fleck, bright blue eyes and short cropped hair, I am glad that you are teaching my boy. Tangerines. Ha.

“I didn’t have a word for it” by Sasha at her desk


Saturday, March 16, 2013
9:12pm
5 minutes
Everything Bad Is Good For You
Steven Johnson


You took your time going down the steep side, towards the lake, with the trout and the laughter. I walked behind you, in case you fell backwards, which, in hindsight, isn’t the smartest, but… Oh well. I don’t have a word for that day, or the day before, when we finally got down to it and started working. It was Boxing Day when you’d said, “Let’s put together your family tree for real…” I thought you were kidding, I thought, “Why would you want to put together my family tree? Why would that even interest you?!” But I said, “Sure,” and didn’t think much of it. We drove up to my aunt’s cabin on Georgian Bay and brought all the books, the folders, the cassette tapes of my grandfather talking about the “Old Country”. We were smoking a joint on the dock. “Have you even put together a family tree before? Is this your first time?” You smiled and ashed into the lake.

“I didn’t have a word for it” by Julia on her couch


Saturday, March 16, 2013
2:37pm
5 minutes
Everything Bad Is Good For You
Steven Johnson


I had a word for it. I guess I would have called it ‘Hate’ or something like that. It tasted of Ketchup chips and white grapefruit juice. It was sort of sweet and salty and bitter and refreshing and dangerous all at the same time. I thought of it when I thought of you. I was different then, when we first met. I had something unique and good about me that I couldn’t possibly still have. Now I’m dark lips, dark mind, and eternally pissed off that the TV stand collects dust directly after having been wiped clean. I see the world through a lens that doesn’t offer much hope. I learned to be a critic in school, and now all I can enjoy watching is the embarrassment and failure of others. I have a word for it. ‘Hate’s’ the closest thing it could be without telling you what word I actually mean here. It’s something cold, needs a sweater. Like a knit or a fleece. It doesn’t travel well in packs; it’d rather be left alone staring the wall and imagining a person staring back. It has no love, I think, which is why it is so grey. It colours itself in with a yellow highlighter, dying to be the type who can pass itself off as ‘blonde’. It’s not, though. Neither am I. I’m just a brunette with a typewriter, and the only keys that still work on it are H, A, T, and E.

“you now take a pose” by Julia at Saving Gigi


Friday, March 15, 2013 at Saving Gigi
2:35pm
5 minutes
Beet Salad
Bryan Demore


Course you want to fly away and visit your ancestors. Trust me babe, I get it. Everyone needs to get away sometime. They all say…ahem…we all say we need to leave this city and just go find ourselves. Why would we say that if we didn’t need it, truly. You know? But you leaving for a whole year, backpack or no backpack…is it the best idea? Will you actually be visiting your ancestors? Or will you just fly to the neighbouring country with a bunch of young hostel-stayers from Australia and take photos of you all wearing head wraps and smoking from a hookah pipe? None of which would be bad, by the way, but if we could all just be honest about what we expect out of these trips…or what the purpose is, you know, then it might just be a bit better. I mean, here, I wouldn’t say I’m going to France to visit the art. That would be maybe like, I don’t know, 2 percent of my entire trip. The rest would be shopping, and touring, and have I fully connected with myself?
Babe, no, I’m on your side. I’m not saying you can’t also find yourself while shopping, but just, hey, let’s be a bit real. And like, if we’re being real, then maybe we can assess if we really need to be gone for a whole freaking year. By we I mean you. Yes.I know this has nothing to do with me. This trip. It doesn’t.

“you now take a pose” by Sasha at The Good Neighbour


Friday, March 15, 2013 at The Good Neighbour
2:11pm
5 minutes
Beet Salad
Bryan Demore


You carry a small hardcover notebook in your back pocket. Your jeans are faded around the outline of it. Most people think that it’s a wallet, or a cellphone. I am the only one that knows the truth. You keep your pencil in the inside pocket of your jacket, navy green plaid. It’s mechanical, the anti-thesis of you, but it’s efficiency is a constant inspiration. Sometimes you smell like last night’s whiskey, and sometimes you smell like bathwater with epsom salts, and usually you smell like shaving cream and Orange Pekoe tea. I want nothing more than to steal your small hardcover notebook out of your pocket, and take your dreams, your ink, your lines and your sketches. I’ll build something with them, I promise you that. I’ll build something you couldn’t even think of. It will be strange and towering and most likely held together with fishing wire.

“$1.79” by Julia at Ossington Station


Thursday, March 14, 2013
9:54pm
5 minutes
Receipt
Second Nature Natural Foods


Ha ha, she says as she scrapes the back of my teeth. This is where your soul is. I have my mouth ripped open by a girl that likes to experiment. Do you like my lips? She asks. What am I supposed to say, I can’t talk. Mmhm, I say. Mhm. She says you can touch them if you want to. Nuh Uh, I say. I don’t want to touch her at all..
You have 56 cavities, she tells me. All of them are from candy corn and licorice. I nod slightly. She’s right. How did she know that? I feel like we’ve been friends since birth.
No way..
You have cavities? I ask? Except with her hands in my mouth it sounds like, yerr ahh avaheees? She smiles.
She does. She shows me. From candy corn too, she says. From candy corn and licorice. I smile through spread lips and a bucking tongue. Good. I think. We’re the same.

‘$1.79’ by Sasha at her desk


Thursday, March 14, 2013
7:38pm
5 minutes
Receipt
Second Nature Natural Foods


“One seventy nine.”
“I got… One seventy five… Four pennies short.”
“Then I guess you ain’t gettin’ that candy bar, are ya?”
“Can’t I bring you the four cents tomorrow?”
“Nope.”
“I’m good for my word. I mean, I keep my promises…”
“How old are you?”
“Seven – ”
“You’re not old enough to know about promises!”
“I’m hungry.”
“I don’t give a hamster’s tail – ”
“Please?”
Pause.
“I said, pleasssse?”
“Take the damn Oh, Henry for the love of all things holy n’ get outta my store!”

Felix runs. He runs til he gets to Hannah’s house. He spits in his hands and pats down his cowlick. He knocks on the door. Hannah’s mom answers. Her face looks more grey than usual. “Hello, Mrs. Hunter, is Hannah home?” “Yes, Felix, hold on a sec…” She slams the screen door and calls. Hannah comes down the stairs.
“Hi Felix!”
“Hi Hannah!”
“Do you wanna come in?”
“No. I just -”
Felix hands Hannah the chocolate bar.
“Happy birthday, Hannah…”
“I’m… Not allowed to have chocolate…”
“Oh – ”
“And my baby brother is allergic to nuts!”
“Crap…”
Felix turns to run run away.

“Any siblings?” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Wednesday, March 13, 2013
1:42am
5 minutes
Wit
Margaret Edson


Tal was born four minutes after May. She screamed bloody murder, awaking the children asleep next door. He, on the other hand, gazed into his father’s eyes, silently, a faint smile curling his small lips. This wasn’t some sort of prediction of what was to come – in all of their years they would both rebel, they would both be insolent, and lovely, and indignant, they would both love, and lose, and succeed, and dream. Tal would bite the ends of many pencils, May would drink a few too many tallboys of beer. Believe what you hear about twins, how they’re inexplicably connected, how one feels one thing and the other does, too. It’s truer than the fog, coating the park outside May’s window this morning. She lifts the purple receiver of the phone she’s had since she was a teenager. Her fingers know the map of Tal’s phone number without her brain having the kick in. “Yup?” says a voice more familiar than the sunset. “Tal?” says May, “I forget how many eggs go into Mom’s pancakes… Three or four?” “Three.” Tal is a man of few words. “K…” May doesn’t want to let him go. Portland is too far away. “Have you decided about Easter?” “What?” “If you’re coming back?” “I can’t get away. They need me at the paper.” “But..” “May, I gotta go.” “K…” “May?” “Yeah?” “Love you.” “Love you, too.” They pause for a second. “You hang up first, idiot.” “No, you…”

“find the right words” by Sasha at King’s Cafe


Tuesday, March 12, 2013 at King’s Cafe
5:13pm
5 minutes
from a quote by Jack Kerouac

You’re struggling like a cat on an eavestrough. I am amused. “I’m trying to…” I’ve renounced finishing other people’s sentences. It’s too much work. I gather crumbs into a small pile using my pinkies. “I’m trying to find the right words, you know?” I don’t know. I don’t nod. I blow the pile into oblivion. “Are you bored, Sandra?” You ask. I wonder what the right answer is. “No. Yes. No, no… Yes?” We’re the last people in the restaurant and the waitress is shooting eye-rolls like arrows. I motion for the check, before realizing it’s already on the table. “I’m sorry. I know how… betrayed you must feel.” I finish my glass of wine in a single gulp, a feat, let me say. “I don’t feel betrayed, August,” I say, sure that my lips are stained red, sure that I see through the truth like the clairvoyant at the fair in the parking lot at Sobey’s.

“nor are we talking about thousands” by Sasha at R Squared


Monday, March 11, 2013 at R Squared
11:20am
5 minutes
The War Within (The New Yorker)
Jon Lee Anderson


I’ve got a tickle in my throat, a wish on my lips, a secret in my ear, and a pound in my heart. I’ve got two subway tokens, six hundred dollars in my bank account, a ten ounce Striploin defrosting on the counter, and a message from you, from twelve years ago, on my answering machine. I’ve got one bachelor apartment, one mistake that haunts my walks by the water, two hunded and fifteen Facebook friends, and a sticky note on the mirror in my bathroom that reads, ‘Floss your damn teeth’. I’ve got an appointment at the gynaecologist on Wednesday, night school on Friday, lunch with Talulah Jasmine today…

“debut in London” by Sasha on her couch


Sunday March 10, 2013
12:03am
5 minutes
Deconstructing Sammy
Matt Birkbeck


It wasn’t a fancy place, but it would do. It wasn’t particularly inviting – there was nothing on the walls, except faint fingerprints and scuffs from furniture moving; the kitchen smelt unendingly of old pepper and roasting pork chops; there were most certainly not dimmer switches on the lights. She admired the charm, however, of the smaller-than-usual toilet and the pantry off the stinky kitchen, which seemed to long for cans of tomato sauce from Sicily and jars of Dilly Beans from Granny’s garden. It wasn’t a fancy place, but it would do, at least for the six months that she planned to stay. Six months. With a possible extension of forever.

“Any siblings?” by Julia at Starbucks


Wednesday, March 13, 2013 at Starbucks
5:04pm
5 minutes
Wit
Margaret Edson


She asked me, as she scribbled something into her notebook. Probably something judgmental like, “Patient does not respond well to authority.” Or “Patient refuses to give her real name because she is paranoid that the “people” are after her.” or “Patient is not very interesting as a result of all her hardship. Hmmm.” I bet they write things like that all the time. The “Hmmm” part is the one I’m most concerned about. It’s neither here nor there and I never did well with the in betweens. Or the seeing someone who is vaguely familiar on the street and being able to ignore them. I’ve always given people a second glance, a second opportunity for us to make eye-contact and have an exchange of some kind. I don’t know where this inappropriate and extreme, because I can admit it, loyalty came from. I’m fairly certain I don’t owe the girl I used to know in university, that I just saw on the street(and with whom I happened to share one or two interests/ mutual friends)a single nod or smile, let alone a hello. And yet I give her it all. I smile with my heart like I’ve just seen one of my long lost siblings for the first time in 20 years. Ohhhhhh siblings.
This bitch really knows what she’s doing.

“find the right words” by Julia at Dark Horse on Spadina


Tuesday, March 12, 2013 at Dark Horse on Spadina
5:06pm
5 minutes
from a quote by Jack Kerouac

Say you love me. Say you love love love me. Say you need me. Say you need need need me. Say you want me. Say you want want want me. Say you fear me. Say you fear fear fear me.
All those words in a song. In a song that sounds like swing, jazz, blues, real and true.
All those words in a poem you write. In a poem that sounds like Di Brandt, same voice, no punctuation.
That’s what I’m looking for. Been searching for years. Almost one hundred tiny years. Dog years maybe. Get me a dog. Buy me a house. Treat me to a nice dinner for one and pick me up when I’m finished.
You can decide how badly I treat you. You can play the record on repeat, dance a circle around your ideas in your living room, and then paint them on the walls the way toddlers do with markers.
It’s because I say I love you. That I love love love you. Because I say I need you. That I need need need you. Because I say I want you. That I want want want you. Because I say I fear you. That I fear fear fear you.
I can’t be the only one. Lonely one. One and only lonely one.
You too.
You can be me so you can free me. I can’t be you. I’ve already tried. I’m asking you nicely. I’m making it rhyme. I’m not wearing day clothes and I’m letting my heart drip drip onto the floor.
Do you want me to spell it out?

“nor are we talking about thousands” by Julia at R Squared


Monday, March 11, 2013 at R Squared
11:20am
5 minutes
The War Within (The New Yorker)
Jon Lee Anderson


-Which way is it? To Snakes and Lattes? Am I on the right side of the street anyway?
-Um, yup. You are. Just keep going. You’ll see it. I’m glad you’re going there.
-Me too. Kay, thanks.
-Bye.
-Oh, excuse me, do you want to come?
-No thanks, I don’t really like it there.
-You don’t?
-No! But you will. Bye!

-Hello light and sound and pedestrians. Your sign says “Traveller, Harmless.” Are you both or just one and I’m supposed to guess your two truths or two lies?
-Um, bro. I’m just trying stuff out. Got any?
-Change? No. I don’t believe in coins. Want a fiver?
-Um, yeah. Okay, thanks.
-No. I’m not going to give it to you…Just wondering if you’re okay with the idea of it.
-Fuck off.
-That’s a bit harmful..The language. My mother used to swear like you. I don’t think she felt justified the way you probably do. Nose ring, big scruffy dog. She was crazy, though.
-Umm…No..Whatever. It’s fine.
-You’re hungry? I’ll buy you lunch. Want me to?
-You’re going to take it back..
-Only if you say no.
-Okay. Yes. Whatever.
-Can I take you out for sushi? Do you eat that? I want to dine in.

“debut in London” by Julia on her bed


Sunday March 10, 2013
1:05am
5 minutes
Deconstructing Sammy
Matt Birkbeck


Without a second glance he walked away from me. He wasn’t trying to be rude, just succinct, just biting the bullet.
I was mad at him when he first left. Thinking he was in fact doing it on purpose. It was easier to hate him that way. I got good memories of us together for free; I didn’t need to be skilled at that. Thinking I was better off without him and believing it were a little more challenging. I tried not to think of his arm veins or the one blonde eyebrow hair that he wouldn’t let me pluck out.
When he walked away he didn’t turn around again to see me. He just sort of exited everything. My life included. And that was it.
I didn’t call or write. I didn’t know how. I remembered feeling like a hundred rats were crawling on my skin, on my face. It felt like the uncomfortable type of fear. The one that you never know if you’re going to get bit…
He never called either. Which is a good thing absolutely. I would have probably told him about everything that happened in my head the moment he didn’t say goodbye, or the time I helped a homeless man when I was in London. It would have all come spewing out.
Those are thoughts not words. They’re better left inside of a brain, too numb to think twice about responding.

“Stab it with a big pointy knife” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Saturday March 9, 2013
11:08pm
5 minutes
No One Belongs Here More Than Your
Miranda July


Micky wasn’t scared of burglars, or monsters, or Jaws the shark, or the Boogeyman, or Bloody Mary, or child-snatchers, or alien invasions, or… you get the drift. Micky was afraid of BACTERIA. Some people see auras, or angels, or dead people (whatever happened to Haley Joel Osment? Micky’s Mom wonders, almost daily). Mickey sees BACTERIA. When said Mom wipes the kitchen counter with a less-than-fresh cloth, Micky watches, in horror, as red glowing germs are spread about, as if that is the point. “NO!” shouts a voice inside of Micky, “Use a paper towel with anti-bacterial spray?” he says, out loud. “Don’t be ridiculous,” says his Mom, “you know I don’t believe in paper towel and anti-bacterial spray.” Micky cringes, and, once again, counts how many years he has to go until he will turn eighteen and leave this infested house. To the “untrained” eye, Micky’s Mom’s house was tidy, perhaps even tidier than most. She did her very best, what with two boys, a construction worker boyfriend and an aging standard poodle. “Lighten up, hon,” said Micky’s Mom, kissing the top of his head. Micky glared. He waited. When she left the kitchen to bring the recycling to the garage, Micky ran to his secret spot, behind the dog food, in the pantry closet. He opened his secret tupperware. He took out his paper towel, his anti-bacterial spray, his rubber gloves. All had been purchased at the Hardware Store, with two months allowance.

“The most powerful thing you can do” by Sasha on her couch


Friday March 8, 2013
1:04am
5 minutes
Creative Visualization
Shakti Gawain


I know that you’ve been focusing on visualization recently. I’m proud of you. I really am. I know that consequently your dream life is more vivid, more technicolor, you’re flying more. You’re seeing the leaves change in a way that you never have. The brown is brighter. This delights you. You keep being tempted to put a few leaves in your coat pocket, very carefully, and take them home and press them, like your grandmother used to do, between sheets of wax paper, tucked into your inherited copy of Webster’s English Dictionary. Perhaps, a few months down the line, you’d even go so far as to make them into greeting cards, like your grandmother used to do.

“Stab it with a big pointy knife” by Julia at London Hotel & Suites


Saturday March 9, 2013 at London Hotel & Suites
7:05pm
5 minutes
No One Belongs Here More Than Your
Miranda July


Eww Isabel, is it still moving? Don’t touch it with your hands. You should use the stick. No wait! Don’t use the stick, you weirdo, it’s not strong enough. Ugh. I don’t want to do it, Isabel, I’m seriously freaking out over here. Stab it with a big pointy knife! Yeah, we should just stab it to make sure that it’s dead! Let’s stab everything!! Just kidding. God. You’re a shit ton of worry warts right now. It’s not very becoming of you. Isabel. Christ! Stop it. I didn’t invite this snake here! That was you! You’re a snake charmer, just admit it! YOU ARE!! You love snakes and you want to tongue kiss one, just say it! Ugh! Disgusting. I’m sorry. I’m freaking out. I’m really freaking out. I lose it sometimes, Isabel, I just get all rangy and start saying weird shit. I’m sorry. Is it dead? Can you please check? Please? I’ll give you my cinnamon muffin. I’ll let you borrow my Rocket Dog mary-janes with the red soles. Please? Don’t make me do it. I promise I’ll never pick on you again. I can’t. I can’t do it. It’s too hard. I won’t be good after, trust me. I’m not just trying to get out of it; I sincerely cannot begin to even think about it. I’m a bit of a baby. I’m scared, okay? I’m effing scared. AND PLEASE STOP LAUGHING AT ME, ISABEL!!

“The most powerful thing you can do” by Julia at London Hotel & Suites


Friday March 8, 2013 at London Hotel & Suites
6:49pm
5 minutes
Creative Visualization
Shakti Gawain


Change your clothes, change your mind, leave no children, leave no one behind. If you have a great idea, let’s hear it, let’s try. If you can’t answer your own questions then stop asking why.
We’ve been gathered here by a man on a mountain, preaching all kinds of truths, flowing free, Trevi fountain.
He’s been telling us which leg to put into our pants first, he has motions for the future, so many he could burst.
We all say YES. We all say yes please, then he fills our tiny heads with a thousand buzzing bees. Let them do the work inside, let them change the thinking tide, if it’s not work you like, then the rest of your life is night. Want to fly? High high high. There are no answers in the sky. Check the ocean, he swears all the cures are there. That’s his second notion; the third and fourth already prepared.
Change your clothes, change your mind, take no children, leave no one behind.
Rally all the troupes and get ready to go to battle, with a hundred hoola hoops, and all huddled just like cattle.
We all want what he tells us to want. We all need what we think we should need. A little girl in pigtails reminds us of our differences indeed.
Small and innocent. And free.

“I really do not know” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Thursday March 7, 2013
11:05am
5 minutes
The Marvelous Land of Oz
L.Frank Baum


Silas didn’t know the answer to the question as to how Jack drowned. What he did know was this. They’d gone out fishing just after sunrise, somewhere around six fifteen. Jack brought live bait and Silas brought lures. Every man has their own style, no judgement there. Silas paddled the boat out, as to not disturb the sleeping trout, and Jack got impatient. “It’s gonna take us til tomorrow morning to get out to the middle of the lake!” He hissed. Silas “shh-ed” Jack and kept paddling. They didn’t talk much, they never talked much. Must’ve been half passed eight when Jack got his first bite, the first bite of the day, actually. It was a big one, his line bending and his arms getting pulled. Silas backed him up. Out they pulled a twenty-six pounder, the biggest fish either men had ever caught. She was slip-slapping all over the bottom of the boat, the hook still caught in her mouth, blood starting to stain the wood finish. “Take out that hook,” said Silas. “Let’s let her suffer a bit, eh?” Jack replied, rolling a cigarette. “Why the hell would you do that?” asked Silas. He watched the fish struggle, watched her gills dance and glitter in the new day sunlight. Jack closed his eyes and leaned back, not a care in the world. Silas took a hammer from his toolkit. He hit the fish between the eyes. She stopped squirming.

“we’re all about” by Sasha at her desk


Wednesday March 6, 2013
2:11pm
5 minutes
The Globe T.O section of the Globe and Mail
The Globe and Mail
Saturday, February 16, 2013 edition


I meant to call sooner. I really did. I meant to call when I landed in London, after Luella picked me up from the airport and took me to Bath. It’s rainy, but warmer than Toronto. Luella has two Yorkies, Muffy and Mo. She cooks for them more often than she cooks for herself. They had beef tenderloin last night. We had pepperoni pizza. Luella has changed a lot since she came to visit. She’s started Spinning, like, Spin classes. I’m surprised that they have that kind of thing here. I think it’s changed a lot since you were back. There’s even a Starbucks! Luella brings home decaf cappuccinos after her classes. The jetlag was bad. I couldn’t sleep on the plane, I ended up watching Life of Pi. It was good. You should go and see it. Take Tabby or something. Hey, so, remember when you offered me those Travellers Cheques? And I refused them because, I don’t know, I was proud, or wanted to think I was independent, or something? I could really use them. I know it’s only been a month or so, but… it’s damn expensive here! I, I hate having to ask, but… I know that I said that I’m all about doing this on my own, it’s my adventure or whatever, but…

“I really do not know” by Julia at Quality Suites Hotel in London


Thursday March 7, 2013
10:33am
5 minutes
The Marvelous Land of Oz
L.Frank Baum


I really have a good feeling about the weather today. Cloudy, but nice enough to walk outside in. That’s the trouble I have with most days; I don’t ever want to leave the house. Not that I’m scared of the outside or anything. I’m really not. I’m just not a big fan of leaving if I don’t have to. Do I have to anyway? Who decides this? I go out when I need eggs or milk, or a hug from someone who doesn’t live with me. I’m not just going to go for a walk to get out. That, to me, is not the best reason. But what, who decides? Today is different, I guess. I think today makes me want to go out for no reason at all and that might be because I just admitted I don’t like leaving the house and I have to prove to everyone that I’m functioning. I am, by the way. I have a dog and I have a job. People think if you generalize things that means you’re really sad. I’m not sad, I don’t need any major pats on the back or whatever. I’m not angry!! I’m not! I really do not know why you’d think it in the first place! Some people just say the truth and automatically they’re deemed a spaz or a help-case. I don’t need help. I just need the weather to be nice enough for me to want to go out and not jog but maybe just stand there, and not shop, but maybe go to the backyard and look at the pear trees. I have pear trees! I’M NOT SAD! I think after all of this I may stay inside. I have a book I want to think about reading and I have a newspaper too.

“we’re all about” by Julia at Quality Suites Hotel in London


Wednesday March 6, 2013
8:31pm
5 minutes
The Globe T.O section of the Globe and Mail
The Globe and Mail
Saturday, February 16, 2013 edition


We’re all about starting fires and dreaming in technicolour. We like talking about ourselves in the third person and we only wear jeans if they’re cuffed and shoes if they’re scuffed. It’s nice. Not to worry about the rest. But it’s also just the way we were meant to be. Starting fires of passion and blood. Starting wars with our inner and outer selves. We know what it’s like. We’re from the same century as you are. We just do things differently. We’re all about loud music played softly. We want to eat crusts first off pizzas so we remember our roots. We’re all about spirituality not religion. We’re all about religion when it’s under the thin guise of spirituality. We’re about spending more money on art than on clothes, on technology than food, on alcohol than institutions. We like the idea of putting crumpled maps on our walls and calling it a destination. We tell stories as if the listener has never heard them even if they have. We don’t say sorry when we bump into someone on the street. We pick up their mitts and we hand them back to their owner with a smile. We know a sorry can only mean so much. We’re all about motels with big backyards for playing hide and seek or having adult sing-alongs. We love sharing space and time and moments. We’re all about that kind of stuff.