“36 000 residents” by Sasha at her desk


Sunday March 30, 2014
3:12pm
5 minutes
Westjet In-flight magazine

I hear all the little voices, in all the little heads, the voices that say, “Fake it til you make it!” and “Don’t forget to look both ways before you cross the street!” I hear the voices of the women in their clicky-clacky shoes when outside they’re laughing and inside they’re screaming, “MOOOOOOORE!” They’re hungry. I hear the dog voices and the cat voices and the thirty six thousand children voices. “I want to win!” “Don’t be late!” “I’m scared!” “I hate you!” “Choose me?” It’s loud. Yes. So I go to the swimming pool at the community centre and I “dead man’s float”. My ears, under the water, my face just above. It’s quiet. It’s just my little voice. I am finally alone. I whistle and the lifeguard smiles and when I walk across the cold blue tile to the change rooms I can hear her little voice saying, “I wish I knew that song.”

“wishing you” by Sasha on the Queen car going west


Saturday March 29, 2014
7:02pm
5 minutes
from a tweet

He kept them in the second drawer of his desk, the desk having moved fourteen times from house to apartment to house to apartment in the last twenty seven years. “I’m doing this once and for all, Dad,” she said and he grunted. “Don’t blame me if you find something you don’t want to find,” he turned on the TV. She hadn’t been to see him since Christmas. When she called, he always said, “All’s well, all’s well.” “Why aren’t you honest with me, Dad?” She asked, “I could’ve come sooner.” “I don’t wanna worry you, Christine… You’re living your life.” He stunk of defeat, his green golf shift tight across his belly. In the drawers of his desk she found stacks of unpaid bills, or overdue payments, of notices from the tax office and the bank. She called Ned. “You need to get here very quickly,” she said and Ned told her to relax.

“36 000 residents” by Julia on the plane to Toronto


Sunday March 30, 2014
3:08pm
5 minutes
Westjet In-flight magazine

I’m happy to report that I’m leaving. I’m leaving this town. I’m leaving my job. I’m leaving my life. I’m leaving my rotten running shoes. I’m leaving my favourite tree in the city. I’m going. I’m going to a new place. I’m going to be happy. I’m going to start over. I’m going to find a human I can love more than myself. I’m going to dye my hair the colour of autumn.
I’m learning. I’m changing. I’m growing. I’m committing. I’m living.
It took a long time for me to decide.
Mostly because I hate flying. I hate waiting. I hate the pressure building in my sinuses. I hate the people who bring their uncomfortable babies. I hate the idea of having to sit in an aisle seat and get my elbows bashed in by someone named Darla or Emmanuel.

“wishing you” by Julia at the Sheraton in St. John’s


Saturday March 29, 2014
2:09am
5 minutes
from a tweet

She made sure she had lots of band aids in her pockets. She hated those blisters she got every time she had to walk for a little longer than usual. She wasn’t holding on to any of that gauze. It was a waste of time. It didn’t stick to her skin. She tried. The real issue was re-learning how to walk so her shoes didn’t rub because she couldn’t afford new ones that didn’t rub which would have fixed the problem perfectly. It was all about the pressure. And the angle. And the weight. And the other stuff. The other other stuff. She didn’t want a blood pool in her heels just because she was in desperate need of an ice cream cone.

“give oneself up to” by Sasha on her bed


Friday March 28, 2014
12:38pm
5 minutes
The Pocket Oxford Dictionary

It’s complicated. To talk about. It’s complicated because nothing worth anything isn’t. But, it’s simple, really, because everything is simple. Everything. I said, “Mom, let’s go to the pond. Let’s take a dip,” and she shook her head and then, a few minutes later, nodded. Like usual. She’s slow to open. She’s not a “yes”. She’s a “maybe”. And we go. In the station wagon. And I play her the songs I’m crushing on. And she bobs her head. She doesn’t say much. She does say, “I like this one,” and “You need a haircut”. We get to the pond and there’s no one else there. i’m happy. She knows what this means. “No bathing suits, mama!” I shout, stripping off my clothes and flinging them in the trunk. I dive into the water and wait to hear her splash a moment later. She doesn’t. “Mama?” I call, surfacing. She’s holding her cellphone. “What’re you doing?” I tread water. She looks confused. She’s pushing buttons. “I’m trying to take a damn picture,” she says and I laugh.

“allow my worlds to collide” by Sasha on her couch


Thursday March 27, 2014
11:12pm
5 minutes
from The Pillowman program in St St. John’s NL

“I’m glad that you’re out of your funk,” said Sam, standing over the stove, stirring the oatmeal. He was right, this time, I had been in a funk and I was now, slowly, coming out of it. Sam had found me, the previous day, in the bathroom, dressed in a pair of his boxer shorts and my Canucks jersey, sipping a bourbon and reading Virginia Woolf. It was ten in the morning. “What’s the matter?” he asked as he sat beside me, taking the glass from my hand and slowly pouring the contents down the bathtub drain. “i feel hollow inside… Like I’m made of clay and I was poured into a cheap mould and I’m… hollow inside.” It was the best I could do to explain. “What can I do?” Sam asked. “Make lasagna?” It was the only thing sure to cure this feeling. “Okay…” I heard him start the car to go to the market. I smelled the tomato sauce simmering. I emerged from my cave when I heard the cheese bubbling

“give oneself up to” by Julia at the Sheraton in St. John’s


Friday March 28, 2014
8:30pm
5 minutes
The Pocket Oxford Dictionary

It started with a 2 hour phone call with my mother on the other side of the country. She was happy to hear my voice and all the things I was doing. Told me once, maybe twice, maybe three whole times that she was proud of me and that she was on my team. I know it’s cause she doesn’t want me to think for a second that I can’t or that I shouldn’t be myself. She wasn’t told those things by her mother. She didn’t get to have her skills endorsed by someone who counts, and by someone who matters…the way she does for me.
I told her I got her strength.
I told her I got her heart.
I told her I got her love for people.
I told her I got her good.
She said she hoped that was true.
And I told her I got her modesty too.
It was one of those phone calls that make you cry more than once, more than twice, more than three whole times in one conversation. And that’s because she moves me with her words so I can move others with mine. And so she can say that I got my love for story-telling from her.
Just like I got her lips.
Just like I got her nose.

“Spilled secrets” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Wednesday March 26, 2014
10:42pm
5 minutes
Atlantic Business Magazine
Jan/Feb 2014


You put your secrets on the shelf
Next to the coriander seeds
And the Moosewood
And you close the cupboard door
And you forget that they are there
Until you’re reminded
Like a leak in the roof when the rain comes
Suddenly
And all of a sudden
You’re flooded
You’re not quite drowning
But definitely unable to breathe
You’re gasping
You fall to the floor
Your back against the drawers that house the chopsticks
And the tea towels
You look up
You realize
Your secret spilled

“allow my worlds to collide” by Julia at the Arts And Culture Centre in NL


Thursday March 27, 2014 at The Arts And Culture Centre in NL
1:15am
5 minutes
from The Pillowman program in St St. John’s NL

I had a moment of desperation when the zipper on my jacket busted. And I was standing in a wind storm. And you were far away from me. And I couldn’t even call you if I wanted to. That’s when I knew that if I didn’t have you, I would have, cheesy as it sounds, nothing. You were around whenever I needed you to be. And I didn’t hold on tightly enough because I didn’t think I had to. You did everything right. And I didn’t understand what that might have meant until I was left searching for some semblance of your spirit. I went through every old purse, hoping I had a photo of you somewhere. Why didn’t I print any photos of you? Why didn’t I do that? I should have known better. When your phone crashes or your computer explodes, you realize how many things you should have backed up. I should have backed you up. And I think I mean that figuratively and literally cause if I had just reminded myself of how great you were, and stood on your team every chance I got, I wouldn’t be left wishing for anything. Because I would still have you. You would be right here. And I would have someone to hold me.

“Spilled secrets” by Julia at the Sheraton in St. John’s


Wednesday March 26, 2014
10:39pm
5 minutes
Atlantic Business Magazine
Jan/Feb 2014


of course there are spilled secrets all over this place. you think i don’t know that? I know that. I know everything about this place. when i was little i used to run this place. you’re laughing but you don’t understand. i was in and out of room corners and closets and hiding everywhere. nobody knew where to find me and i was damn good at staying hidden until i knew no one was watching for me to come out. that’s how i learned about everyone and everything because i got real good at keeping my mouth shut and my ears wide wide open. i got good at breathing with my mind and not with my lungs. i know about each wall plastered with its tiny mosaics of truth and shame. i know about mom trying to hide the pistol and about dad shouting out for annabell, my sister before he went and not me. i know more than you can possibly imagine. and everyone knows one thing or two, but not me. i know each fold in each sheet like it was my nanny, i know each speckle on each mirror like my own shadow. i could fill rooms of books with what i know here. and that’s why i’m so hell bent on leaving now. not that anyone would stop me..not anyone but the secrets. they whisper to me when i sleep. they haunt my dreams like nightmares that are made up by crazy men in their libraries. only they’re real. they’re so real they could kill me just by being in my head. i have a song i sing right before bed so i don’t hear them. i had to invent something when i was young to make sure they didn’t.

“submerged regrets were ready to overflow” by Sasha at the Library at College and Crawford


Tuesday March 25, 2014
3:39pm
5 minutes
The New Yorker
Feb 17, 2014


You got the sense, when you looked at him, that he had all these submerged regrets, ready to overflow at any second… I’m not talking about the sister thing, I think we’ve all talked about that enough… It was the other stuff, you know, the missed opportunities or whatever. I don’t know. And then I’m like, who are we to even think we have any right to talk about this guys life?! Like, really? He had a choice and he made it. It’s not like he was one of those kids and you can say, he just needed some guidance. He was sixty three for Pete’s sake! Sixty three years of trying to find a better way… I heard a girl at the second hand shop on Princess St. saying that if only he’d this and if only he’d that but… We don’t know the half. I don’t think we even know a thing about a thing when it comes to someone with a bit of fame, a bit of notoriety… So that’s it. That’s the last I’m gonna talk about it. You have my word on that.

You know that I danced with him at Prom? Oh yeah… Smelled like rum…

“Inn of Olde” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Monday March 24, 2014
9:45pm
5 minutes
from the sign for Linda’s in Quidi Vidi, NF

She thought she was something that she wasn’t. She was trying, for his sake. “Sure,” she’d said, “let’s do it.” It was his dream to hike the Torres del Paine in Chile and how could I hold a guy back from his dream, or be left behind. “There’s no pressure,” he said, “you have to do something like this for you.

She’d never been so hot in her life and her thighs were chafed and her heels were blistered. He was happier than she’d ever seen him, smiling like it was the best day of his life. “It’s the best day of my LIFE!” He said, as he stretched in their tent every morning. She groaned. “Come on, trooper,” he pushed her shoulder, “let’s make breakfast…” She wanted to bite him, to punch him in the stomach, to push him down as he sped down the trail faster than she could. She wanted to break up with him, the reason she was out here in the first place, the reason she was tired and sore and angry. But, then what? They had seven more days to go.

“Touch anywhere” by Sasha on her couch


Sunday March 23, 2014
5:14pm
5 minutes
the Air Canada seat screen

When I meet Ray, he comes to his turquoise door in a red, velvet sweat suit, the hooded jacket unzipped to just above the convex beginnings of his belly. He wears wraparound sunglasses. He dies his hair a dark auburn and combs it a bit like Elvis. “Hi Ray,” I say, like I’ve done this before. “Come in!” He says. He shows me around his bungalow that looks like it belongs in Greece, or Las Vegas. Ray lives in a suburb of Buffalo. My friend Kitty tidied up Ray’s garden every spring because he liked to have big barbecues for his neighbourhood and wanted it tidy. His house is organized in its overwhelming chaos – stacks of phonebooks and newspapers, but the newspapers were bound. The recycling is in piles of “like” thing (frozen pizza boxes were collapsed neatly and stacked together, for example) but looks like it hasn’t been taken out since 1998. He was a chihuahua named, Franny, which, if I’m not mistaken, was also the name of his wife.

“submerged regrets were ready to overflow” by Julia at the Sheraton in St. John’s


Tuesday March 25, 2014
2:49amm
5 minutes
The New Yorker
Feb 17, 2014


You’re mad at me again because I left the stove on for the second time this week. You think I have dementia and you say this to me when you see it’s happened twice. I tell you it was an accident, I have a lot on my mind. I say, I’m not 90, you know. And you don’t laugh at this. You don’t laugh one little bit. I’m sorry, I say, I’m really, truly sorry about doing that, and you don’t say anything which I know is always worse.
You’re not well, Marissa. You tell me that with your head down, sort of shaking it in a “no”, sort of shaking slowly like a really disappointed “no”. I’m fine, I say, and try to force a smile. You leave things around sometimes! I tell you that and you get real angry again. You don’t like that I’ve compared my “dementia” to your carelessness. It’s a different kind of carelessness. It’s more about leaving the back door unlocked after you take out the recycling. It’s more about you forgetting to use a coaster. It’s not life threatening. That’s what you tell me. I argue that the door thing most certainly is, but you’re not having it. This is about my mental health…
Marissa.
You just say my name sometimes like I’ll know what you mean.

“Inn of Olde” by Julia in the van in St. John’s


Monday March 24, 2014
6:01pm
5 minutes
from the sign for Linda’s in Quidi Vidi, NF

You saw it there just collecting dust and you wanted to bend down to brush it off without anyone noticing.
You coughed in that moment. Just enough to distract yourself from what you were doing, thinking, yeah, hey, that’s a pretty good idea, maybe other people will be distracted too.
So you coughed again. And then everyone looked at you because, what, is she sick?
You smiled and you started toward the bathroom. Maybe you could envision the space better in private? You thought that to yourself. You hoped some time away from it would be a good thing for you and for the dust.
You hoped it would start a train of people going to use the restroom as long as they saw someone breaking the ice. The way people always wait to go up for seconds until they see a small girl with an appetite problem go up first and take down two more slices.
You were thinking about that one thing so hard your brain started to hurt.
You left the bathroom with the distraction of entrances and exits.
The crowd had moved so you thought you had an in.
You walked up to it and you looked around. Would anyone even care? You asked yourself this too.

“Touch anywhere” by Julia on the plane to Newfoundland


Sunday March 23, 2014
2:11pm
5 minutes
the Air Canada seat screen

-Is that an invitation, Dana?
-Yeah, maybe. Maybe it is.
-So could you open your arms a little bit? I mean, metaphorically?
-Not really.
-So you’re not ready.
-No, I am, I’m just, I’m …ugh…
-What?
-Nothing.
-Nothing.
-Mhm.
-Come on, Dana, what?
-ffff…It’s stupid. Or I am. I don’t know.
-Stop being…stop being afraid
-Ha. Easy to say–
-I know. But you know once you say stuff a bunch, you gotta follow through.
-Yeah.
-You know, with yourself.
-Yeah.
-So it’s more of a self-help thing. I don’t know.
-I hate that.
-Yeah I heard it when I..uh..I heard it too. It’s not my best work.
-No, but you’re right. It’s true. You’re. hugghhhhh. You’re right.
-Ok I’m going to walk closer to you now?
-Please don’t ask me for permission. Please.

“marvellous night” by Julia on her couch


Saturday March 22, 2014
3:09pm
5 minutes
Moondance
Van Morrison


sitting naked on my bed until it gets too cold to care
writing naked on my bed until the sweat drips from the back of my knees and forms a puddle in my art
the pencil is sharp and i’m not holding back
not this time
not any part of me
the page is naked on my bed until it gets too insecure to stay that way
the story is naked on my bed until it gets cloaked in truth and turns into one of those truth-wearing high society women who roll around in money and make grand entrances
the pencil is sharpened and i’m not erasing a thing
not this time
not any part of me
it’s hot now
it’s cool
it breezes
it wafts
it’s only easy when i give myself fully to the sword
and even holding such a weapon
it’s still the most peaceful thing i can touch

“your grief for what you’ve lost” by Julia at her desk


Friday March 21, 2014
12:44am
5 minutes
Bird Wings
Mary Oliver


Sarah-Jane lost her keys the same morning she lost her mind which was the same morning she lost her fiancee, and nobody knows which order it was. They speculate: they think one obvious event would lead to the next. Some call it Murphy’s law. Some would argue in the same breath that Murphy’s law doesn’t even come close to encapsulating what happened to poor Sarah-Jane.
There were reporters on her doorstep trying to interview her. Sarah-Jane was not really up for talking but the first couple times her doorbell rang she assumed it was family or a casserole and answered it without thinking there’d be cameras. Some people are cold and heartless that way. Not allowed to grieve what you’ve lost in peace and solitude the way she so clearly needed.

“guest starring” by Julia on her couch


Thursday March 20, 2014
9:16pm
5 minutes
The opening credits of a TV show

Do you ever feel like you’re guest starring in your own life? I know that’s one of those loaded questions that make you think far more deeply about things. But I had this thought earlier this morning and I couldn’t shake it. I’m wondering if I am just passing through….
Makes me sound a bit like a ghost doesn’t it? I’m not saying I’m a ghost. Not even a little bit! Just gliding a bit above the ground of where my life is taking place. Kind of watching it from the outside with an understanding of the inside but without fully being able to get a handle on things. I feel like I’ve been paid to be present for one or two episodes of my life each day and then I’m free to do my own thing like sleep or procrastinate or complain. I’m not required to work that hard to maintain some semblance of consistency. Like the main cast does.

“marvellous night” by Sasha in her bed


Saturday March 22, 2014
5:23pm
5 minutes
Moondance
Van Morrison


It’s a really good night for a meatloaf, honey, and don’t try to tell me different. I got some ground beef and pork from the Cattleman’s Market and I’ll mix that up for ya’ with onions and breadcrumbs. I’ll spread bacon and ketchup on top, just how you like it. Honey, what do ya’ like with your meatloaf? A salad? Some potato salad? Steam some potatoes, throw in some mayo and call it a “salad”? Ha ha ha!

I wasn’t meaning to insult you when I said that those ear hairs are getting long. I wasn’t meaning to insult you, honey. It’s just… at the Shop. People were snickering! And I know you don’t like when I sneak up on you when you’re sleeping with the little scissors and try to get in there! You don’t like that! How else am I supposed to…

Okay. I’ll drop it. Honey. I’m sorry. I’ll drop it. Yes. Go read the paper and dinner will be ready in an hour.

Want a scotch? Honey?

“your grief for what you’ve lost” by Sasha on her couch


Friday March 21, 2014
12:04am
5 minutes
Bird Wings
Mary Oliver


You’ve lost a lot of things over the course of your thirty three years. One. An apple on the subway tracks, you gasped as the train boomed into the station, imagining your apple, your perfect, red, Gala apple, becoming pulp under the pressure. Two. You sanity, at the hands of a red-headed woman who claimed to be the mother of his child, your husband’s child (well, okay, you weren’t actually married but you might as well have been), who came with a photograph and a baby book and claims of rights and asthma and child support. Three. Your keys, you were drunk and you were dancing and you put your black bag, small, so small you could tuck it under your arm or hold it in your hand, you put that black bag on the back of the toilet seat when you went to pee and then you stood up and forgot to flush (guilty as charged, every time) and then forgot to see it sitting there, waiting patiently on the dirty porcelain. Four. You dignity, when you cheated on the Biology exam in your second year of University. You were caught. You took a leave. And then returned when you were well-rested, well-travelled, well-aged.

“guest starring” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Thursday March 20, 2014
9:19pm
5 minutes
The opening credits of a TV show

I want to switch the order of the credits
Not that that kind of thing really matters
Well
At least
It doesn’t to you
It does to me
A little
But I hide it
Like an unswept onion skin
Under the stove

I want to switch the order of the credits
Not that credit is even relevant
You deserve as much credit
In what I make as
I do
Because if you’re doing the dishes
And buying toilet paper
And folding my underwear into tiny perfect triangles
I am
Writing
I am
Crafting lines and curls into words that I pretend I’ve made up

I want to switch the order of these credits
Because I don’t make anything alone
The couch helps me by holding me when I’m tired
The water quenches my insatiable thirst
The streetcar gets me there
And
Takes me home
The brown rice fuels me
You
You
You hold my face when I want to quit
And tell me it will be wonderful
You paint the walls of the world
And smile when I snap

“can be eaten off of paper plates” by Sasha at the CSI Annex Coffee Pub


Wednesday March 19, 2014
11:47am
5 minutes
Kinfolk Issue Eleven

He orders a pizza and I’m like, “Cool. Ok. Casual…” And then it arrives and there’s pineapple and I’m like, “Who even eats Hawaiian anymore? Who even does that?” And it’s weird that he doesn’t have a couch… or a coffee table… or… Any furniture but a blow up mattress that’s, like, leaking air, so it perpetually sounds like someone is farting. But then! Then, he gets paper plates from a drawer and I’m like, “What?!” What the eff, you know? So, I pick off the pineapple and he’s like, “Sorry, I shoulda asked…” And I’m like, “No worries! It’s cool!” And then, after dinner, he starts, like, bunny-humping me, cuz’ we’re sitting on the farting bed, right, like there’s no other place to friggen sit! And I’m like, “Slow down,” and he’s like, “Yeah? You like it slow?” And I’m like, “Yeah?” And he’s like, jack-hammering me with his bony hips and he’s all, “You like that? You like that?” And I’m like, “Not really!?”

“can be eaten off paper plates” by Julia on her couch


Wednesday March 19, 2014
8:18pm
5 minutes
Kinfolk Issue Eleven

She tells me every time, “Linds, don’t worry so much, we’ll just by a whole wad of those styrofoam thingies–” and I say, “You mean plates, Mom?” And she says, “Yeah well whatever they are, you know what I mean.”
I say to her, “You know those ‘whatevers’ are not good for the environment, right?” And she just laughs and tells me, “We’ve gotten this far by using them, haven’t we!? Nobody’s quite died yet!” I am at the point in my life where all I want to do is host a proper dinner party without using paper anything. “Cloth napkins!” I remember, “Those are way better. Sophisticated.” She shrugs it off like I’m making the biggest mistake of my life, and I want to wring her neck a little bit and tell her that this is a dinner for some close family and not the end of the godforsaken world. “Linds, you’re just so hell-bent on proving how much better you are than everyone and I worry about that showing through. You don’t want to allante your dinner guests!” “Alienate, Mom. It’s alienate.”

“everyone is committed” by Julia at her kitchen table


Tuesday March 18, 2014
11:21pm
5 minutes
from an essay by Deborah Stein about collaboration on howlround.com

Round the table we sit, Liddy pissed off because she still has to sit at the kiddy table made worse by the fact that her name rhymes with it. Adrianna can’t move her face because of the recent Botox and so Ed keeps making jokes just to see her not laugh. Darla is still in the shitter after eating a wad of mashed potatoes because Tyson dared her to defy her lactose intolerance. Mom is singing her happy song because she’s trying not to go insane and Dad is trying to get the kids to stop trying to undred Liddy’s hair. The food is mediocre and I’m trying to give Liddy looks of encouragement but she hates me most of all right now. Maybe because I left. Maybe because I came back. I never know with her. I sneak pour her a glass of wine and try to pass it over without anyone noticing.

“You want to be just interested enough” by Julia at her kitchen table


Monday March 17, 2014
11:54pm
5 minutes
from an interview with Barbara Kingsolver

Don’t let them hear you breathing or whimpering. I know you think it’ll help you establish a presence but it will only make things worse. They don’t want to think of you as a human being as bad as that sounds. They love knowing you can smile on cue no matter what’s going on inside. You can do that can’t you? Well the breathing thing is an obvious one..I mean, breathe, don’t die, but do it subtly. It’s got to go under the radar, completely undetected. And don’t cry because then you don’t look tough. And you can’t show any tears or they’ll eat you up. People don’t remember strength but they do remember weakness. That’s because they automatically start to assume you can’t handle even small situations. They think you’ll need handholding and they don’t want to hold anyone’s hands. If I were you I’d try not to sneeze either. I mean get that stuff out of your system before you walk into the room. And if you’re one of those people who get triggered by the light? Don’t open your eyes.

“everyone is committed” by Sasha at her desk


Tuesday March 18, 2014
3:40pm
5 minutes
An essay by Deborah Stein about collaboration
howlround.com


It isn’t a choice. It is a real thing, a non-choosing, a reality that has to be reckoned with like a cavity or a thunderstorm. I hate people that think everything is choice. Some things aren’t. Go suck an icicle and hum a bit of “om shanti” and goddamnit! I get really fired up about this. I do not choose to be attracted to Reese Witherspoon. It just is. I do not choose to hate pop music. I do not choose how angry it makes me when people stand on the walking side of the escalator. Geeze! I mean, come on, people. I don’t care how much spirulina you take! I don’t care how much you stand on your head!

Maisie believed in that kinda thing. That we choose our fates and that there’s some great-goddness-oh-oh-ah-ah power that makes it all okay. It’s ironic, right?

I can’t seem to bring myself to throw out her seeds and grains and… spirulina powder. I just… can’t.

“You want to be just interested enough” by Sasha at Fresh on Spadina


Monday March 17, 2014 at Fresh
2:12pm
5 minutes
from an interview with Barbara Kingsolver

After it was all said and done, we named you as our CEO. The Coolest Ever-changing Opinions. The Clumsy Effervescent Oracle. We weren’t sure what the letters stood for, just that we liked the ring of them, strung together in a row, like bauble beads on a necklace of our grandmothers’. We crowded around pots of peppermint tea and tried to rationalize our self-righteousness. You told us to quite Facebook, like a kind dictator, and we did. Jon didn’t, too addicted to the Newsfeed of his ex-lover, and he was ousted quicker than an illegal immigrant in San Francisco. You and I made love on the couch and were discovered by Viv and Javier but they just kept on, into the TV room and watched Survivor. We came to the sound of tribal drums and someone called “Elizabeth” being voted off. You also made love to Viv on the couch, and Larissa, and, perhaps Jon, before he was ousted, but it didn’t even matter. Or, it did, but what mattered more was that we had a leader, and that that leader had broad shoulders, ripped jeans, and had been to a commune in Vermont where they make kimchee and grow strawberries.

“Did you just say” by Sasha on her couch


Sunday March 16, 2014
11:27pm
5 minutes
from a status update on Facebook

When you come to my corner
You’ll find a plaid quilt
A green apple
A beeswax candle
And a pinecone.
We will
Most likely
Sing
folk songs.
We will
Absolutely
Howl at the moon.
There will be silence
Like a pearl in the centre of the present moment
And you will ponder
Becoming a monk
Just so you can live
In the heart
Of the pearl
Like the best kept secret
of the
Sea.

“the porn industry” by Sasha at the kitchen table in Mississauga


Saturday March 15, 2014
12:07am
5 minutes
from a web series break down

I’m not fuckin’ judging him. I mean, who am I. Who am I to judge, I shake my fuckin’ tits and bring assholes beer and who am I to judge him. But I get home and I been lookin’ at that fuckin’ shit all day and, like, I jus… I don’ wanna see that. I threw… I threw his laptop and it smashed and then he freaked, like, he really did and he said to me I better take Clara to my Mom’s place or he was really gonna lose it on both of us… I don’t know what he had on that laptop, why it mattered so much to him. I said I’d buy him a new one if that’s what the problem was… Fuck… He said, no that wasn’t the fuckin’ problem. He said there was things on there that he can’t salvage. Whatever the fuck that means. I had to get Clara from her bed, right, cuz it was late and she was sleepin’, I mean, I’d just gotten home from work and all. Sometimes when I wake her up and she’s dreamin’ she doesn’t know who I am. That really freaks me out. I really hate that…

“for being born and stuff” by Sasha on the couch in Mississauga


Friday March 14, 2014
11:48pm
5 minutes
Nelu’s Birthday Card

Once, you drew a few lines and had your mother title it because you didn’t know how to write words yet, you hadn’t yet discovered that words are the same shapes you were already making, but put together like a puzzle, and you called those few lines “birth”. Your mother tried not to laugh because she didn’t want to shame you, she wanted to only love you, she didn’t feed your sugary cereal or ice cream and only let you have pie on special occasions, she put you to bed at seven thirty and made your older brother speak in a whisper until it was his bedtime. Bless you mother and the overflowing bounty of her market basket, market on Saturday mornings, coming home with nasturtium flowers and purple kale and fresh rye bread and coffee that was only for the adults, only for her and Jermaine. Once, you drew a flower and had your mother title it and you told her to call it “death”.

“Sarah is currently working” by Sasha on her couch


Thursday March 13, 2014
12:12am
5 minutes
the Wikipedia page for Sarah Hudson

Sarah pauses before she steps. She carefully avoids the cracks. She keeps her eyes down and sometimes bumps in to people. “Sorry,” she whispers. It’s her favourite word. “Sorry.” Excuses bed corners and bad manners, a missed crumb and a missed meet-up with her mother at Starbucks. “Nice hat, Sarah,” says Mr. Chan, who owns the green grocer and once gave Sarah a free bunch of basil because she didn’t have enough cash. “On the house,” he said. “Oh,” she touched the baseball hat that she had borrowed from her father before he left for Yellowknife. “I like it too.” “Canucks a good team. A very good team.” “Yeah, I guess…” Sarah says. Truth is, she doesn’t know if it’s hockey or football or what. “Where’s the cauliflower, Mr. Chan?” She asks, sniffing a naval orange.

“Did you just say” by Julia on the 94 going west


Sunday March 16, 2014
9:18pm
5 minutes
from a status update on Facebook

Said that I would rather write blah blah blah at this very moment in time. Cause Joni’s telling me I have to write down my feelings so I don’t hurt somebody. And I won’t hurt anyone. I know that about me. But Joni thinks that it will help things. I tell her yeah right but she doesn’t let up. She’s tough on me. So I’d rather write nonsense, gibberish you know? Those thoughts don’t want to come out in pretty flowery ways. That’s all I’m saying. That if I had to sit my ass down and pound out a couple sentences about my emotions I might actually hurt someone then. Joni is good to me. She’s patient as shit. She’ll wait all day for me to come out. She wants me to be more free. And I think she thinks I have to let out some aggression or how the world makes me think or whatever. Blah blah blah. It’s more than that. She’ll see through it anyway. She know that Joni. She really knows. If I had to pick one thought it would be..
This pen is a reminder or my strength cause if I wanted to I could use it as a weapon.

“the porn industry” by Julia on her couch


Saturday March 15, 2014
3:07pm
5 minutes
from a web series break down

I come home early from work and don’t tell him, don’t call him, don’t surprise him that I am. I see he’s sleeping on the couch, the News blaring without him even flinching to notice. I never want to see him like this because it makes me feel old, and it makes him seem young. Today’s his day to have the house. We agreed on it before. I told him I wouldn’t be home till 8 or 9, and he said, come when you come! I think coming at 6 is too early for the plans we agreed on and I’m not mad at him for sleeping. I’m glad he is. I just wish I didn’t have to see it. It’s not something I can explain much better than that. But it doesn’t work for me, so I think tomorrow I will come home when I’m supposed to, after he’s had a chance to rest from his long day of lifting. He starts much earlier than I do. 5 AM. I would think if he didn’t nap during the afternoon he would be a zombie by dinner, so I know he does it for me. Especially when he waits for me to come home every night so we can eat together. He doesn’t have to do that, but I think it’s nice that he does.
I don’t want to take away from his day and his time, so I quietly make some crackers and cheese in the kitchen and sit down to the computer. I see the tabs that are all open: Global Tv, Life Hacks, How to get American Netflix, Best Banana Bread Recipes, and Hard..Harder..Hardest.

“for being born and stuff” by Julia at her desk


Friday March 14, 2014
11:44pm
5 minutes
Nelu’s Birthday Card

When I welcome baby Preston I will tell him, “you’re little and I’m big, so that makes me the boss of you!” He will laugh at all my jokes and tell me I’m his favourite sister with his eyes, and we’ll both giggle cause I’m his only sister! I will take him for walks and introduce him to Mr. Andrews who rakes our lawn, and Mrs. Edwards who helps us cross the street with her bright yellow vest. Then when the grass is dry, I will take him to the park and show him what the sun really looks like! I will feed him chunks of bread dipped in Cheese Wiz, and he will make sure the flies don’t land on our stuff by drooling everywhere! I know baby Preston will drool because my Mommy told me so! She said, “He will drool as much as you did,” and I drooled a lot! Baby Preston is supposed to come from Mommy’s tummy in exactly one week from right now. If he doesn’t show up at 2:22 PM, he will be late for his first big appointment. I will teach him how to always be on time and run when Mommy or Daddy calls him. Sometimes you think you’re already running very fast, but I will show him that he should always run fastest before dinner.

“Sarah is currently working” by Julia on her couch


Thursday March 13, 2014
12:09am
5 minutes
the Wikipedia page for Sarah Hudson

She has it in her mind to become the president of the “Tights Club”. Maddy and Addy started the club last year, but Maddy moved away and Addy got in trouble for being in a club. Sarah doesn’t want to tell any of the other girls about her hopes to be the president in case they’re all thinking the same thing. She doesn’t want it to become a competition. Sarah has to work hard to pretend like nothing is going on, and plant the idea in everyone’s head that it was their idea first to have Sarah as the president. Maddy and Addy shared the presidential duties, and because they started it, no one really questioned their authority. The only thing that Maddy told Addy was that if she ever wore non-tights outside of the Tights Club she’d have some serious explaining to do. Maddy only told Addy that because one time Addy did wear non-tights. They were jeans! She wore them because her mother told her that “tights are not pants” and if she was “going to go to cousin Jamie’s house, then she better put on some pants”. Sarah already only wore tights ever. She would make a perfect president.

“I believe that life is…” by Julia at the CSI Coffee Pub


Wednesday March 12, 2014 at The CSI Coffee Pub
10:07am
5 minutes
A writing group warm-up led by Dianne

I believe that life is made up of tiny insignificant dust particles that when stitched together form a quilt of all the moments we pretend we don’t see–or pretend don’t even exist.
I believe that when we close our eyes in the middle of a moment, we capture it better, giving over to the shutter bug in our insides that is in charge of all the remembering.
I believe that life is this: tiny moments, tiny dust, tiny realizations every second– that when we allow them, transform into not so tiny anythings…but the best kinds of love, of want, of joy, of happiness, of pain, of mess, of sorrow, of learning, of flying, of forgiveness, of seeing.
I believe that life is longer than we let it be and more important than we sometimes treat it, that John Steinbeck’s East Of Eden has the secrets to the universe, to this life we’re jumping in and out of, and that if read slow enough and in the right light, we see the God that we wish we knew.

“I believe that life is…” by Sasha at the CSI Coffee Pub


Wednesday March 12, 2014 at The CSI Coffee Pub
10:07am
5 minutes
A writing group warm-up led by Dianne

I believe that life is like a snail, dragging its own slime, dragging its own house, sometimes getting stepped on and crushed and sometimes living on a sea wall, undisturbed, for five hundred years.
I believe that life is connection to the dead and dying, the remembering, the saving, the fighting for what’s been lost and is not quite yet lost – the great plains toad, the whippoorwill, blue walleye.
I believe that life is words in black ink on a lined Hilroy notebook purchased for ten cents at Staples by my mother.
I believe that all there really is…
I believe that all there really is…
I believe that all there really is
Is love
And breath
And change.

I believe that it’s all messy, and music, all teeth and bone, all muffins baking in the oven, all indulgence, all balance, all now.

I believe that “life” is “now”. From now on, in fact, from hereon in, in fact, my “life” is my “now”.

“Free evening newspaper” by Sasha on her couch


Tuesday March 11, 2014
11:43pm
5 minutes
the to.night street box

We are more beautiful when we’re writing
When our ink is flowing
When we aren’t thinking about what we need from the grocery store
Or spilling chilli oil on the leg of our favourite black pants
(How can black get blacker with a stain?)
We are more alive when we’re moving
Fluid and fast
Slow and steady
Our bodies know what’s right and what’s off
Off centre
Off balance
“Is the apple cider in the fridge off?”
We try to tell our futures in the free evening newspaper
“Gemini”
and
“Cancer”
We try to read the stars
Like palms we know and love
Like hands we hold when the cold comes back

“She looked like anything but a winner” by Sasha on the Queen car going West


Monday, March 10 2014
11:52pm
5 minutes
The Bookman’s Wake
John Dunning


“Where does fact end and fiction begin?” She hears him ask the question but she pretends she doesn’t. “You know what I mean?” She’s thinking about hula hooping her way to another town, another time zone, another temperature. “Elisa?” She remembers how her mother would call her name. She’d be in the ravine behind their house, talking to fairies, telling stories to herself, crouched beside a tree trying to memorize the feel of the bark with her fingers. “Hello?” She remembers answering the phone at her reception job the summer she decided to finally try smoking week – “Hello you’ve reached Hill and Hill, this is Elisa speaking, how can I help you?” “Where are you?!” Graham grabs her face. She’s forced to look.

“Axe throwing league” by Sasha at her desk


Sunday March 9, 2014
9:43pm
5 minutes
overheard on the 72 pape bus

Those dark corners of our relationships where we’d rather not look? Where we’re happy to let dust settle and rarely vacuum? I learned that that’s not such a good idea in the long run. Sam is surfing Buzzfeed like a real animal these days. Right now. He’s on it. I know it’s bad that I look in the window reflection to see what’s on his screen. He doesn’t need to know the “10 Best Study Snacks”! He’s not studying for anything! “Read a book!” I shout. He laughs. So. Here’s the latest. I think Sam’s addicted to the Internet. Not in a funny/cute way, in a ‘Are you okay?” way. The other day, I get home from work, arms full of groceries and library books. He’s on the floor, sitting with his back against the couch and he’s reading a blog about an Axe throwing league. “Whatchu doin’?” I ask. Nonchalant. Totally cool girlfriend. “Looking into an exercise program so I can lose my gut,” he says, eyes glued to the screen.

“Free evening newspaper” by Julia at Sambuca Grill


Tuesday March 11, 2014 at Sambuca Grill
9:33pm
5 minutes
the to.night street box

Charlie and Ray were spying on Lacey again from their bedroom window. Lacey’s room was in perfect view of the boy’s room and they got real good at sitting in the complete darkness just waiting for Lacey to come home from violin practice and..you know..change for bed. Charlie saw her first, and as such was very protective. Charlie knew that Ray was just eager to see her lady business and he didn’t actually appreciate Lacey the way he did..the way she deserved.
Ray was under the influence of her spell binding, maturing body…parts…and he could tell that Charlie was maybe gay or just plain stupid if he turned his face away every time she took her top off. Ray was certain that he would have Lacey to himself one day soon because it looked like Charlie was getting bored of her, always conveniently finding a crossword or a weather clipping from the nightly newspaper to pay attention to just when it was getting good.

“She looked like anything but a winner” by Julia at R Squared Cafe


Monday, March 10 2014 at R Squared Cafe
4:55pm
5 minutes
The Bookman’s Wake
John Dunning


had the soles of her feet scratched up from the running
from the running with no shoes, no socks, no protection
just a little thing
not a lot to protect, small feet, but not a lot
had the lashes of her eyes all stuck together from the mud
from the mud rubbed into her face, from the falling down into the forests,
from the running with no shoes, no socks
from the running from herself to find herself
from the running from herself to find something that looked like home
had the tips of her fingers all bloody and bruised from the snatching
from the snatching of little bits of food from glass cases
from the snatching of little bits of hope sprinkled generously on all the tops of every barbed wire fence
from the running with no shoes, no socks
from the days that seemed warm but chilled her to the bones
had the dream of a future splattered across her face
from the running
from the running

“Axe throwing league” by Julia on the subway going west


Sunday March 9, 2014
7:33pm
5 minutes
overheard on the 72 pape bus
_
I got there and I thought it would just be a bunch of hipsters with lumberjack beards but surprisingly there weren’t any lumberjack hipsters; only real lumberjack lumberjacks. Chris spoke with a northern Woodbridge lilt, and Mickey wanted to show me all his photos or his dog, Carrie, who he said spoke to him more when he wasn’t home. I was staring at the targets thinking “how the hell am I supposed to hit those?”. I was admittedly even scared that I would kill somebody on my first night and not be asked back, much less make it to playoffs. Deter was scoping out the newbies so he was on my back like a hot summer’s day sweat, sort of patrolling me and making sure I was never anything more than uncomfortable. I told the guys I didn’t need to throw in case there weren’t enough for everyone. Deter didn’t like that. He called me soft and told me to “look around”. Shayna was competing against Sid but she had a smile on for me. She came up to me after her win and handed me her axe.

“Less like a lightning strike” by Julia on the subway going west


Saturday March 8, 2014
8:49pm
5 minutes
an interview with Barbara Kingsolver

More like a gun shot
More like a tooth being ripped from warm gums
More than a giant axe to the heart
More like a life being promised to another
More like heart ache with great similes
More like a dream that started off as a nightmare
More like a wish that turned into a threat
More like a canyon filled up with dirty lies
More like a soft spot being crushed with one squeeze
More like the crippling news of somebody’s end
More like the devastating sadness of ruining the last chance
More like the idiotic blindness from staring into an eclipse
More like a harsh word in the middle of a funeral
More like a meteor hitting the same place
More like a story being killed before its conclusion

“I loved my father” by Julia at her kitchen table


Friday March 7, 2014
10:38pm
5 minutes
Black Elk Speaks
John G. Neihardt


Once he held me in the palm of his hand, said shh shh little sweetie, shh shh my little one, and he sang to me when no one was listening, the songs his father used to sing to him, and he held me there just gazing at the top of my sleeping head, dreaming of the future angel fuzz that he hoped I would get from him, and he stayed in one spot scared to move even an inch, because the smell of my skin made him happy, and he knew if I woke I would want to go to someone else instead.
Once he held me in his lap while I wept crocodile tears, told me he wouldn’t touch the splinter dug deep into my heel, promised he wouldn’t because he knew it would hurt very deeply, and because he knew when he promised I would trust him with no strings attached, then when no one was around, he hummed our favourite song, and pulled the splinter out, saying shh shh little sweetie, shh shh my little one, no more pain for you tonight, no more pain if I’m around.

“Less like a lightning strike” by Sasha at Capital Espresso


Saturday March 7, 2014
3:54pm
5 minutes
An interview with Barbara Kingsolver

It was less like lightning than she expected. It was slow. Like chilli stewing. Or, a crocus opening. It was more like a tumble than a fall.
“I’m going to Guatemala,” he said.
She felt her heart dance downwards, towards her guts, like a maple leaf.
All she could muster was, “But…”
It had all begun to change when he found Savannah. This had happened before, with a previous lover, who’d adopted a cocker spaniel and soon left for the desert. “I’m being called,” she’d said.
“I’m going to follow the sun…” What does that mean. What does that even mean? It rises and it sets every day so there’s really nothing to follow anywhere but right where you are.
She’d been deeply afraid that this would happen, from the moment Savannah had showed up on his front porch in the middle of a snowstorm. “Found a pooch,” he’d texted her and she’d felt a coil in her chest like a snake, waking.
“But… I’m pregnant…” She finally finished what she’d begun to say and this time it was his turn to fall, less like a leaf, more like a six foot three red-bearded man, fainting.

“I loved my father” by Sasha on her couch


Friday March 7, 2014
10:07pm
5 minutes
Black Elk Speaks
John G. Neihardt


I loved my father like a raincloud – occasionally, usually when I needed a good rinse of my own self-worth. He was twenty-three when I was born, he was awkward and self deprecating and wonderful only in his embracing of his strangeness. He was also a writer. I refer to him in the past tense because he’s dead. People that refer to dead people in the present tense skeeve me out. Don’t do that. “The only sure thing is death,” my father used to say. He’d even practise his, lying in corpse pose for fifteen minutes each evening on the rug in the hall. It was the only yoga he did. He played basketball with a bunch of punk-ass teenagers at the Community Centre every Sunday. “Keeps me grounded,” he said, but that was debatable. I won’t easily forget when I got the phone call from my Aunt Veronica that he hadn’t made it through his brain surgery. They’d found a tumour the size of a clementine on his left cortex. That’s what the doctor said, “the size of a clementine.” Why he didn’t say “golf ball” like every other medical professional turned me on. I smiled. “Miss Stevenson, I’m concerned you aren’t grasping the gravity of the situation,” the doctor said.

“intently and furiously” by Sasha on her couch


Thursday March 5, 2014
11:02pm
5 minutes
We Did
Brian Doyle


I will make you a pipe cleaner crown intently and furiously. You are a Queen and you deserve such a thing. I will use purple and green and bright gold. Purple and green, colours you love, and gold, to push your boundaries. You’re getting braver in your old age, with your colour accents and costume jewellery earrings. You will wear your pipe cleaner crown everywhere, even when you’re swimming laps at the pool, even when you’re at the green grocer picking cucumbers and fresh basil, even when you’re sleeping. People will finally pay you the respect you deserve. “Nice crown!” They will say. “What a beautiful headpiece!” They might call.

“Safety pocket” by Sasha at her desk


Wednesday March 5, 2014
10:33pm
5 minutes
the box of matches

I’m not sorry for calling your name in my sleep and waking up my wife. I’m not sorry. See, I never told her about you and I had no choice now and that was a good thing. I can’t blame you on PTSD. I can’t blame you on rum. I can’t blame you on forgetting that I had a wife and twin girls and a blue doored house back home. I’m not sorry.

Okay. I hear you, Eric. But when you arrived today you said you felt “sorry”. That was your word. Why did you say that?

Because I’m sorry that Rebecca feels betrayed. That’s her word. “You fucking betrayed us!” She screamed. And she doesn’t just speak for herself. She speaks for the girls, too. That’s the worst part. And it’s true, I guess. I did. But she doesn’t know what it’s like there. She doesn’t know that Kabul smells like fresh baked bread and that the women have eyes like wolves.