“STAY THOUGHTFUL” by Julia at the Holiday Inn in Charleston


Tuesday April 29, 2014
7:45pm
5 minutes
The Holiday Inn note pad/em>

According to Dale, women shouldn’t have to pay for their own meals. Carmella agreed with this notion because she worked as an underpaid nanny and couldn’t avoid the trap of wanting and needing free things.
Dale and Carmella met at the carnival two summers ago when Carmella was struggling to find enough coins to pay for her burrito-dog and Dale had watched with a glint in his eye from a distance. He waited till it was the right moment and came up, placed 2 dollars on the Carny’s counter and began to walk off.
Obviously Carmella had chased after him, wanting to thank him for his heroic act, and Dale knew exactly how it would go.
Hi.
Hey.
Thank you for..you know, you didn’t have to do that..
I know.
(turns back to keep walking)
Wait. That was..
It’s okay.
No, that was nice. Nobody’s ever..done anything like that–
It’s totally fine, really.
For me before. So.
So.
Can I buy you a drink?
I don’t know can you?
(embarrassed laugh, shy eyes)
I could in a couple weeks?
So let’s do it then.
What?
Drinks.
In a couple weeks?
Yeah, why not.
I’ll take you up on that, you know.
I hope you do.
(turns back to walk away)
Sucker.
(turning back)
What was that.
I said I can’t believe I got so lucky…

“Absolutely everybody gets a little something” by Julia at Bull Street Gourmet and Market in Charleston


Monday April 28, 2014 at Bull Street Gourmet and Market
1:23pm
5 minutes
Slaughterhouse Five
Kurt Vonnegut


Toni-Marie-Belle, she said with a crispness in her voice. She should be expecting me in five minutes from now. She sat down and pretended to care about the Garden and Gun magazine that was staring up at her from the coffee table. Ooh, she said out loud, in case someone was overhearing her moments of mostly silence in this waiting room. Love this one. She leaned back breathing out heavily, trying to suspend the air and she exhaled slower than she had planned. Toni-Marie-Belle, she said again under her breath as if she were trying to convince herself that that was in fact her real name. Someone approached her and asked if she wanted water or anything while she waited. She shook her head and at the same time asked, Sweet tea but mostly unsweetened? The small garden gnome lady cocked her head to the side and examined her for a brief moment in time. It means half and half, she told the confused lady. Right, the lady said. Right, yeah, okay.
The garden gnome lady walked away muttering something to herself in a way that was incomprehensible and yet totally audible.

“Absolutely everybody gets a little something” by Sasha at the CSI Coffee Pub


Monday April 28, 2014 at CSI Coffee Pub
11:54am
5 minutes
Slaughterhouse Five
Kurt Vonnegut


“What the fuck is this, Nick?”
“Uh…”
“What the fuck – ?!”
“It’s a… dick pic – ”
“A WHAT?”
“A pic of my… dick.”
“Ohmyogod. Go to your room. Right now. Go to your ROOM!” You’re grounded. You’re fucking grounded.”
He starts to go.
“What the fuck, Nick?!”
Angie holds a picture, clearly taken using a cellphone, printed on a black and white computer printer.
“I didn’t mean for you to… see it.”
“That’s all you have to say for yourself? SERIOUSLY?!”
“I sent it to Julie…”
“I know you sent it to JULIE. JULIE’S Mom came over this afternoon and I was in the middle of my Yogalates video and she comes in and she shows me… this… and she says, “This is your sons.”
Nick looks at his feet.
“This is probably assault, Nick!? Did I raise you to be a rapist?!”

“The heat is bad, the water’s bad” by Sasha on the bed in Mississauga


Sunday April 27, 2014
10:54pm
5 minutes
Knocked Up
Henry Lawson


When we made up our minds it was for real, it was for sure. It didn’t matter that the heat was bad and the water smelled like swamp muck, we were home. When I met Terri she’d just shaved her head and was massaging sunscreen onto it. She laughed when she saw me watching her and said, “I never realized how white my damn scalp is!” We were instant friends, the kind of friend you bring to Thanksgiving with your family and it somehow satiates their constant questioning about a boyfriend. She was enough, she was everything. “Let’s move to Alaska,” Terri said one night, when we’d smoked half a joint and eaten mac n’ cheese from the pot, feeding eachother using a wooden spoon. “Okay,” I said, and she looked confused that I was suddenly impulsive, like she was. We both knew I wasn’t, really, but I was trying it on, like a fuchsia prom dress at Salvation Army. We hitchhiked partway and took a bus the rest. Terri’s uncle Berry lived in Anchorage and we crashed at his place until we found an apartment of our own.

“and the world steps in” by Sasha on the Jane bus


Saturday April 25, 2014
1:24pm
5 minutes
Revelation Must be Terrible
David Whyte


The smell of the rosemary is the same. The smell of the cedar is the same, a little damper, a little more fragrant. I’m more afraid of darkness, but that’s just because there’s less of it. I’m tired, but I know it’s because I’ve been eating too much chocolate and bread and some might say I’m allergic to both but I love them so I just keep trucking. My favourite blanket is dotted with marks of it’s history, and it’s rarely around my shoulders or gripped tightly in my clenched fist. It sits at the foot of my bed and only gets pulled up on the coldest nights. I’m no longer worried about grey hair at my temples, or bits of celery and broccoli clogging the drain of the kitchen sink. I’m no longer fighting for the last word.

“The heat is bad, the water’s bad” by Julia on Sullivan’s Island Beach


Sunday April 27, 2014 at Sullivan’s Island Beach
4:12pm
5 minutes
Knocked Up
Henry Lawson


Ellis looked down at her foot encrusted in tiny sand sparkles. She decided then and there that she would stop caring about how fat she looked in her new summer dress and focus solely on her new endeavour: feed decals. Ellis wanted to design a foot stencil that would cover all the toes, and then come down the middle of the foot like a hanging chain. She would make the “non-sandal-sandal” and it would look a lot like a foot bracelet that glimmered in the light. She could hear the skinny girls behind her laughing as she took photos of her elegant looking feet. They might have been laughing about her muffin top—and they might have been laughing about the dog behind her that was burrowing himself into the sand each time one of their boyfriends threw a potato chip into a tiny hole of sand.
Ellis would be famous for her foot decorations. She’d try to sell them at farmer’s markets by wearing an example decal on one foot, and a completely different design on her other.
People don’t care about your muffin top. They’re only worried about their muffin tops.
Ellis could hear the voice of her mother in her head-she also heard her saying, If you hate it so much, you could start exercising or stop eating entire bags of Dorritos for breakfast.
Ellis tilted her feet into the sunlight-she wondered if she’d be able to source local sand particles for her first peel on overlay.
She vowed to ask Uncle Lars as soon as she got home.

“and the world steps in” by Julia at the Holiday Inn in Charleston


Saturday April 25, 2014
12:04pm
5 minutes
Revelation Must be Terrible
David Whyte


Right when you think it couldn’t get any better, that’s when the world steps in and reminds you that you’re a part of it. A part of the magic, the memories, the moving, the making, the creating, the loving, the living, the beauty of it all.
So you have to leave room in those kind of moments. Leave room for the world.
Dance with your arms outstretched and your eyes closed so you can let the world slide in and dance along side you. So you can feel alive today, tomorrow, and everyday.
Because what a better body guard.
What a better way to say, Yeah, I think I need to keep myself good because I’m a part of the bigger picture.
The world doesn’t have to be in the shape of a globe, in a blue and green Earth Day costume.
It’s just the gold flecks and the negative space between you and life. It’s everywhere. It’s not a circle. It’s not an object you can hold.
It’s big and getting bigger.
It’s got to hold a lot of love so it just keeps expanding.
And when you notice its presence, when you make way for your happiness to braid its way into your skin,
you won’t need something tangible to prove it all to you. Tangible no. There is no need.
It gets very positive around you when you start to breathe deep and choose love.
It gets very spiritual very fast and there’s no slowing down because the good keeps procreating with itself and causing more opportunities to be great.

“the origins, the history, culture” by Julia at Charleston Tea Company


Friday April 24, 2014 at
11:45am
5 minutes
An e-mail about grappa

Well I’m in a place in my life right now where all I want to do is tell other people how I got here. You know, there’s a history and origin story within each of us, and I’m just at that hippy dippy stage where I want to share it. I also have more urges to pet strangers’ dogs, which is very unlike me so I know I’m going through some sort of transformation. If you asked me anything, I’d probably find a way to bring up the summer I spent in Berlin, or the Pilates class I took while I was in Amsterdam, or the amazing little girl in Africa I filmed wearing her brother’s prized soccer jersey. I’d also tell you that I brought her brother that jersey, and that I made their lives better just by being in it. It would be inflated and I would be doing it purely for my ego, but that’s just the life check point I’m at, you know? It’s so weird, I spent all this time trying to be who I was for others, and now I’m being who I am for me. And I take a lot of selfies because, hey, I’m worth it. And I post them on the internet just because I think people should see the process of life, right? That some days are better than others, but that doesn’t mean the bad ones are any less worth documenting. Those are the days I inscribe onto my heart and put a tacky frame around it when company is over just to prove that I am, in fact, as lame as the mural in my front foyer that says “Live, Love, Laugh.”

“you’re obliged to keep living” by Julia at a park in Charleston


Thursday April 23, 2014
4:29pm
5 minutes
Locked In To Life
Mark Brazaitis


Keep pushing, keep moving, keep trying trying trying.
Don’t believe you’re stupid. Don’t believe that because nobody believes that and you don’t want to give them any new ideas about it.
Keep.
Pushing.
Yeah, it’s hard.
And yeah there will be lots of crying.
(With you, there’s always lots of crying. Get used to it.)
And there will be lots of laughing.
(With you, there’s always more laughing than crying. See?)
But there will be no regrets.
You don’t have time for those.
You don’t even have enough time to call your mother.
Or send that postcard to your boyfriend.
Or apologize to your inner person for being so damn-self-deprecating on a daily basis.
You don’t have time for that stuff.
So you most certainly do not have time to wish you did it differently.
The universe can be cruel.
I know that. You know that. Everybody knows that.
But it can also be kind.
So be a little nicer.
Be a little less quick to place the blame.
Be a little less okay with believing you’re mediocre.
Even when you forget how to spell “Disappointment” without an electronic device correcting you.
And even when you convince yourself you can’t do simple math in your head when trying to tip the server.
Be a little more confident.
Because you’re here.
Because you’ve made it this far and because if you didn’t want to be alive, you just wouldn’t be.

“Maximize your chances” by Julia at the Holiday Inn in Charleston


Wednesday April 23, 2014
12:55am
5 minutes
http://www.zerve.com

Wendy had a thing for counting. She counted the stars visible from her bedroom window, she counted the number of steps it was her room to Park’s room, from her room to any room, really, and from the basement to the attic. Even numbers were her favourite. Sometimes she’d count again just to make sure she didn’t count wrong because those odd numbers always seemed so odd. Wendy was also very interested in grouping objects in front of her in categories. She grouped gum wrappers according to life story, bread crumbs, according to size, and pennies according to amount of dirt. She was interested in organizing these things and everything, and Park made it very difficult for her because he had a personality that refused to be contained. Park couldn’t even remember his own birthday. He was a disaster of a 3 year old. Wendy tried to teach him the basics but Park was a bit of an idiot and would just wander off into walls and burst out in hysterical laughter. Wendy never understood why he didn’t just count the steps from the coffee table to the kitchen– That way he wouldn’t have that stupid problem every time of banging into something so clearly avoidable.

“a wise man” by Julia at the Holiday Inn in Charleston


Tuesday April 22, 2014
1:22am
5 minutes
A plaque beside a photograph

A wise man once told me to never drink vodka without a mixer, a chaser, a plan to get home, and parental supervision.
That wise man did tell me that when I was living under his roof, and after the first time my parents needed to lecture me about safe drinking. He was very nice about it. Thankfully. He was joking around thinking I had gotten enough punishment from the sheer fact that I woke up in somebody else’s clothes with part of my left tooth chipped, a busted nose, and a hangover to rival some of my university days. He was right. It wasn’t exactly my proudest moment. But neither was being 15 and not knowing what being drunk felt like. When you’re 15, even though your parents think you won’t be a problem, you have a bunch of stupid ideas and you scoop them all up in one handful and you make stupid choices. Then you suffer the consequences. And you live the rest of your life remembering how disappointed your mother was when you walked into the kitchen after realizing you couldn’t remember 80% of Lindsey’s party, and then remembering that your father was just slightly okay with giving that life lesson in such a capacity.

“Health and Beauty Aids” by Julia at the Sheraton in Philadelphia


Monday April 21, 2014
12:07am
5 minutes
A sign in Parkdale

Haven’t considered Oshawa? Wow! You’re gonna be in for a treat! One of those places you really oughtta see before you die, eh Margie?
Oh exactly, you just have to visit. Great for your health and one of a kind landscape! And the people! Don’t get me started on them!
You guys, stop it. I’m not going to die! And even if I were I don’t think I’d put Oshawa on my top destination list.
You’re being a bit rude, Liam! It’s a beautiful place. Your mother and I wouldn’t talk about a city like that without anything to back it up, huh Marge?
Oh honey, your father’s right. He’s always right. But if I can be candid, he did have to convince me too!
I wasn’t always aboard the Oshawa train, but now I’m on it and it’s full steam ahead!
Choo chooo!
Oh Peter, I love it when you do that! Chugga chugga chugga chugga.
Chugga chugga Choo choo!
Okay, okay, stop.
What, honey, is it too much? We just get a real kick out of it.
I know.
And I don’t think it would kill you to visit us every now and again, that’s all.

“First Sunday in May” by Julia at South Philly Bar and Grill


Sunday April 20, 2014 at
8:01pm
5 minutes
Blue Cross Broad Street Run sign

I envisioned arriving with orchids for her cause those are her favourite. I was hoping she’d forget I forgot to call her on her birthday, but more importantly that I “forgot” to tell her I was moving to Kelowna. I wanted to tell her, and I was planning to but then she got sick and I thought that if i told her she’d get sicker. This way she’d think I was just some snot-nose kid who didn’t have time for her, instead of believing that I was leaving even after I knew. I guess she knows now. I guess either way I lose and she thinks she raised some terrible version of the kid who was actually going places a few short years ago. She asked me one night how I thought I was going to get away with it, and I told her I was planning on being better at faking all the bullshit that she wouldn’t have approved of. So then when it was Mother’s day, I was going to surprise her with a visit and tell her I was sorry cause it was a pretty selfish thing to do. And it would be a real sad story if the sickness had gotten the best of her and there was no first Sunday in May for me to make amends. That would have been real sad. Instead she just moved from her house that I grew up in and “forgot” to tell me where she was going. That’s the problem with not having a telephone number. Things don’t always work out the way you envision.

“Was she already dead” by Julia in a van in Philadelphia


Saturday April 19, 2014
1:08pm
5 minutes
Her Room
Anja Garbarek


i knelt down close to her unmoving body. i wasn’t about to touch her just in case. i didn’t know why, but just in case seemed like the most appropriate reason. she had on the scarf i gave her. she thought she was borrowing it, but i was planning the whole time to just say, keep it, annie, it looks better on you. i never really got the chance to tell her. now she’s probably on her way to dying thinking that she was dying in my favourite scarf. i would have liked for her to go in peace; still haunts me that i didn’t let her know sooner. all the memories of us stealing earrings and toothpaste filled my head. i can’t remember now whose idea it was to take all that stuff but i do know that i haven’t felt a rush like that since. neither of us really wanted those shitty earrings. we just liked the idea of taking something with some kind of value. the toothpaste, i’m pretty sure we just needed. i reached out to let my energy sort of drip off my fingers and into her scalp just in case. i didn’t know why, really, maybe just in case that was the one thing keeping her from being already dead.

“the origins, the history, culture” by Sasha at Early Bird Espresso and Brew Bar


Friday April 24, 2014 at Early Bird Espresso and Brew Bar
11:26am
5 minutes
An e-mail about grappa

“What are you afraid of?” you ask me, our heads on the same pillow, that sacred space, where noses touch and breath swirls together. “Oh God, how am I supposed to answer that?!” I say, a bit too loud, given that we’re tired, and it’s been a long day, and we’re using bedtime voices. “What’s the first thing you think of?” You’re so encouraging and patient and wise. Goddamnit. “I’m afraid I’ll never be “in the best shape of my life”, that I’ll never be able to actually connect with that phrase… Shit. That sounds so superficial – ” You interrupt me by kissing my nose. “So, tomorrow,” you’re setting out a plan for me, “let’s go for a run… I’ll show you those crazy squats that Simon’s been doing. You should see his ass! It’s totally insane!” I can’t believe we’re talking about your bother’s ass right now. “I’m also afraid that you’re going to realize how fucked up I am, but that’s only going to happen once we’re actually married and then you’re going to want an annulment and I’ll truly never be able to recover from something like that.”

“you’re obliged to keep living” by Sasha at Early Bird Espresso and Brew Bar


Thursday April 23, 2014 at Early Bird Espresso and Brew Bar
11:21am
5 minutes
Locked In To Life
Mark Brazaitis


There’s a funny contract we all signed
The day we were born
(Not funny “ha ha”
but the other kind)
We’re obliged to keep living
Having a sister like Colette
Having a sister who is sick
Having a sister who has tried to kill herself
Too many times to count
Makes me think about this
Obligation
She came to me and asked if I would help her
“I don’t want to be here”
She said
The longing in the shaking of her lower lip
The smell of her desire
Fresh
for once
I paused and said
“I’ll have to think about this, Colette”
She didn’t like that answer
She slammed the door on her way out
I got an e-mail from her later that read
“Dear Suzanne,
Thank you for having me for tuna melts today
It made me angry that you wouldn’t help me
But I get it
I get that I’m asking a lot of you
I’ve always asked a lot of you
I love you
Let’s go to the Island the May long weekend”
I thought
“I wonder if you’ll still be here then?”
May is a long way away
Twenty whole days

“Maximize your chances” by Sasha on her couch


Wednesday April 23, 2014
12:56am
5 minutes
http://www.zerve.com

I was the kinda kid that wanted freckles, I wanted to be better at football and I wanted parents that cared enough to stick around. My Nana raised my brothers and I. She was the kinda lady that always had a bed for you and some leftovers staying warm in the oven. My Dad was busted for some criminal activity at the lounge he was managing and had to spend sixteen months in a minimum security prison. My Mom was “following her heart” and find Jesus on some farm in the Midwest. My oldest brother Donny went on a lot of dates. He was only allowed to go out on Fridays and Saturdays, though, so he had a wait list of girls… Or so he said. I’d watch him get ready, clenching his jaw as he looked at himself in the mirror, rubbing hair gel between his palms and smoothing it over his head. Donny wasn’t even the best looking of all of us, but he tried the hardest. He spent an hour lifting weights and doing pushups and sit ups in his room every night before bed. I knew it because Paul and my room was next to his and Karl’s and we could hear his grunts and he struggled and counted – “fifty six, fifty seven, fifty eight…”

“a wise man” by Sasha at iDeal coffee


Tuesday April 22, 2014 at iDeal Coffee
3:12pm
5 minutes
A plaque beside a photograph

You ever get that feeling you wanna run away? You ever get that itch, but it’s inside you and to get it scratched you gotta bust out?

Isobel?

I been saving, baby, I been saving. I been saving my money since last year, since we were back home.

I got $15,000… Over $15,000… $15,213.

Isobel?

I’m gonna find us our own house. None of this sharing a room with other people. How are we supposed to really love eachother? I’m tired of listening to Jerry snore!

We’ll keep it so clean. Our home. You won’t have to work or nothing. Maybe we can have a goat and some chickens!

“Health & Beauty Aids” by Sasha on the Queen streetcar


Monday April 21, 2014
11:46pm
5 minutes
A sign in Parkdale

You ever seen one of those cadavers all dressed up like they be ready for prom or something? So, like, that’s what she looked like. All made up, all plastic. She didn’t look like herself, nope. Mostly around the mouth. Above the lower quarter of her face, she looked like herself but not above it… Above it she looked like a different… woman. It’s strange to call her a… woman because I think of “woman” as, older than twenty and she was… twenty. God damn, it’s sad, isn’t it? God damn. She was a real “Belle”, you know. She lived up to her name. You know what I mean? She was a pretty thing, right. She was a natural beauty though… None of that schlop that them other gals like to put on their face. Belle and her Old Man came to town when she was about eight… or nine… And she came to pick up her Old Man’s order every Friday. They’d do up a big Sunday Roast, you know? Every week. Her Old Man would… Aw, man, I feel so bad for him, you know? Can’t imagine he’ll stay here when every damn thing reminds him of her? Can’t imagine. She invited me to come to one of those dinners and I did… I went… Lived in the tiniest little cottage. The smallest little spot you ever did see, right? Almost bumped by head walking through the door… Like the place was built for midgets or something.

“First Sunday in May” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Sunday April 20, 2014
10:23pm
5 minutes
Blue Cross Broad Street Run sign

The first Sunday in May is Penny’s fiftieth birthday. She’s going to take the ladies to the King Eddie for high tea. They are all going to dress their best, but in shades of Spring. Penny specified this on the invitations, which she wrote by hand and delivered in person, each with a single purple tulip. She invited twelve ladies in total but three had to decline due to previous plans, so there would be nine of them. She hasn’t done a birthday high tea since she was fifteen, and that was entirely pushed upon her by her mother. Funny, she thinks, that now, when it’s all said and done (said, “I’m sorry for causing you so much grief, Mother…” Done, the permanent move to Florida). Penny looks up the high tea menu on-line and decides that she’ll pay for the whole thing and though the ladies will try to stop her, they won’t. She’ll insist. At forty two dollars a person, Penny just couldn’t assume that each of the ladies would be willing to pay that for tiny sandwiches, Devonshire cream and buttermilk scones spread with elderberry jam. They wouldn’t drink champagne. They’d drink tea. Penny closes her eyes and tastes the Ceylon.

“Was she already dead” by Sasha at the Dundas/Jane Toronto Public Library


Saturday April 19, 2014
12:35pm
5 minutes
Her Room
Anja Garbarek


I live on Virtue St. I have a solarium filled with plants, and sometimes cats. Two of them. I have a collection of china dolls in the hutch in the dining room and a fifteen road signs stolen from a wide assortment of places that decorate the walls. My favourite sign says “MOOSE CROSSING” and Herb sound it in Jasper when he was working the Western Parks. He brought it all the way back for me, even though he hitchhiked most of the way. Herb lives in Espanola now and doesn’t come around much, but when he does, he usually brings cheese from the dairy farm close to him. That’s a real treat. Cheese that’s not purchased at a supermarket is one of life’s greatest delights. I live on Virtue St. I took over the house when Mum died. She bequeathed it to Bethany but Bethany didn’t want it so she signed it over to me without even a blink of the eye. She doesn’t come around much, either. Vancouver is far away.

“Don’t make the same mistake twice” by Julia at the Sheraton in Philadelphia


Friday April 18, 2014
7:03pm
5 minutes
Overheard on Queen St.

Last time I sat there for you like an idiot with a death wish. It was that bad, and don’t try to tell me that it wasn’t. I mean, I waited and waited for you, or for a sign, and you just kept making me into a bigger and bigger fool. Or I made myself into a fool. I guess that’s how it happened. You didn’t quite ask me to do it, did you? I mean, you didn’t not ask me. And you certainly gave off the impression that it would be “worth my while” even though you didn’t say that outright. You didn’t have to: I inferred. And I wish I could take it back, but instead I just hope I don’t fall into that same trap again. You know, like tomorrow when you make me want you all over again just by wearing that oversized wind breaker that you look so darn good in. But then you have your ways with me, the way you do with most women. Everyone always wants to be around you and you bring them close, but then when one gets too attached, you do some weird gymnastics dismount away from the situation and distance yourself with a kind of cruelty that I do not have the patience for, nor the ability to resist.

“that they might have life” by Julia in a van in Lansdowne, PA


Thursday April 17, 2014
4:40pm
5 minutes
John 10:10

Weston had his hands full. Couldn’t think about all the things he needed to get done without his head exploding right off his body. He was supposed to be applying for university and supposed to be tutoring Nebraska, the albino girl with ADHD, in chemistry, and supposed to be mowing the lawn for his father, and supposed to be organizing a court yard clean up for his school so he could count those hours toward community service instead of spending his thursday mornings and friday afternoons refusing to braid Nebraska’s neck white. He had a lot of trouble saying no, which was starting to really weigh on him. He didn’t have time for sleep anymore, and wondered, often aloud, if he was even cut out for university. How could he hack it when there’d be far more to do when he got there? Or when he eventually got around to applying to a decent set of schools in all his down time.

“Don’t make the same mistake twice” by Sasha on her couch


Friday April 18, 2014
11:21pm
5 minutes
Overheard on Queen St.

“Don’t make the same mistake twice, Shirley,” my sister, Emma, said, as she squeezed a slice of lemon onto her salmon. We sat in our parent’s backyard. We were both home for Easter, our stepmother Veronica’s favourite holiday. “I don’t plan to – ” I heard the Finn barking, our father pulling into the driveway. “If you move again, who is to say that the same things won’t happen?” Emma lined up the tiny bones along the edge of her plate. “”Wherever you go, there you are…”” It’s like she thought that suddenly she was wiser, now that she was a property owner and was even leasing-to-own a Jetta. Shit. “There are opportunities in Halifax,” I said, hearing our father baby-talk Finn in the kitchen. “Hey girls!” He called, “I’m going to take a shower and be right out to join you!” “Okay!” We called, at the same time.

“that they might have life” by Sasha at her desk


Thursday April 17, 2014
4:02pm
5 minutes
John 10:10

This is the time of year for fiddleheads
Or it should be
If winter would finally melt away once and for all
This is the time that the fiddleheads grow on the banks of the river
Peeking through the moist ground
I’ve heard that if you close your eyes and listen
You can hear the earth opening
They can grow four inches in a day
Fiddleheads taste like asparagus’ illusive cousin
Related distantly to mushrooms
And broccoli
They are my mother’s favourite
She used to steam them
Half an inch of water in the bottom of the pot
Just a few minutes
They should still crunch
She’d spoon a bit of butter
A sprinkle of salt
Fiddleheads are coming
There are no fiddlehead farms
Really
Just foragers who find them
And sell them
Who can make a pretty penny
On those early spring days
When we so crave something from the earth
Close by to where we life

“Make a green choice” by Sasha on the Lansdowne bus


Wednesday April 16, 2014
4:59pm
5 minutes
from a Sheraton Hotel Voucher

Remember back to the time before you were afraid
Remember the place you used to fall asleep?
The train
Taking you to your friend across town
The treehouse
Built by your father’s hands
Remember back to the time before you were afraid
When you felt your feet on the earth
And their roots going down
Your ancestors
Reaching up
Laughing at how seriously you take yourself
Remember the smell of your pillow
The smell of your birthday party
The one where you collected and then painted rocks
The smell of your mother on Date Night
Remember the time
You forgot who you were
And sat in the back seat
While your supposed best friend’s boyfriend
did doughnuts in the parking lot
of the subway station

“Make a green choice” by Julia at Bodhi Coffee in Philadelphia


Wednesday April 16, 2014
4:55pm at Bodhi Coffee
5 minutes
from a Sheraton Hotel Voucher

There was a sign that she couldn’t help but stare at. It looked like a child had drawn the font, cut out each letter one by one, and pasted them akk to it without adult supervision. She was captivated by the colours, the shapes, the unique feeling it made her connect with. It read “Do The Right Thing. Do It ‘Till You Die.” It seemed like US Army propaganda from the 40s, but it looked like it was made only yesterday, or this morning, even, not giving the glue enough time to dry properly. The rest of the font was too small to see from where she was sitting. She didn’t want to move just to go up to it, feeling a little self-conscious that the sign, the poster from yesterday or today, had worked its magic on her. So she stayed where she was and glanced over at it hanging in the window only every other minute, and only after first looking all around it to make sure it seemed like she just had a curious and inquisitive eye. Nobody was looking at it. She wondered if the person responsible for making it or posting it up was sitting in the cafe with her, watching her watch the damn thing.

“roasted fennel” by Julia at the Sheraton in Philadelphia


Tuesday April 15, 2014
11:09pm
5 minutes
A post on Instagram

Mama liked it when her drinks tasted like Italy. It reminded her of home, of her mother, of her doggie, Stella, and her doll-friend, Cicio Bello. When mama took a sip, she’d slip, then slide, then land back in a time where farm animals woke her up each morning, and where Figs grew as big as your face in September.
She stocked up on the stuff just in case they ever decided to stop making it. Not that anyone would, it was a beautiful thing. But just in case, she always said, just in case.
We knew she could say whatever she wanted and we’d never say a thing in return to her about it. We didn’t want Mama to feel like she had a problem. We didn’t want anyone to think she couldn’t handle it on her own, just the way she wanted to. Nobody mentioned a thing when we’d find bottles of her nostalgia hidden under the sofa cushions, or planted deep in the soil of her dying rosemary bush. Nobody said anything when Cicio Bello started appearing again in Mama’s life, her old friend whispering things to her no one else could hear; keeping her company through the storm.

“roasted fennel” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Tuesday April 15, 2014
8:40pm
5 minutes
A post on Instagram

Sam made salmon and roasted fennel last night. “I’m gonna make you dinner,” he said, a carry bag over his shoulder and the car keys swinging around his index finger. He returned from the market with a grin and a wink. I rolled my eyes. “Don’t be an Oscar,” he whispered into my ear. “Don’t be a grouch,” he means. What a dweeb. I was working on a deadline for an editor I am desperately hoping to impress. “I’m going to keep the house exceptionally clean,” said Sam, mopping the kitchen floor. “You’re an angel,” I repeat daily. He is. He is an angel. “Dinner’s ready!” Sam calls and when I enter the kitchen, a few minutes later, he’s using his grandmother’s dish-ware and has lit three candles. He’s turned the lights down and he’s poured me a glass of wine. “You’re so dedicated. You inspire me,” he says, kissing me. He tastes like he’s been testing things, making sure they’re flavoured just right. A dash of paprika, a stroke of miso on the fish, roasted garlic, fennel brushed with olive oil and rosemary.

“chicken liver pate”by Sasha at her desk


Monday April 14, 2014
3:08pm
5 minutes
The Grid
April 10-16, 2014

When Jon got here, he looked nervous. Most people do. He was how I expected him to be, in some ways, but in other ways he surprised me. I didn’t expect the lisp. Or the combed hair, to be honest. He had light blue eyes… Almost like that actor that played Jesus in that Mel Gibson film. You know that guy? I don’t remember his name. Anyway, he sat down, stiff, like, he wouldn’t even lean back against the couch. I asked him the usual questions… The questions I always ask a new client. “You come very highly recommended…” he said. “By whom?” I asked. There was a long pause. “I can’t say,” Jon looked at the carpet and I wondered when I’d last vacuumed. “Alright…” I sipped my green tea, I think. I said, “What brings you here, Jon?” He remained very quiet for quite some time and I wondered who it was who might’ve recommended me to him. “It was Larry Pickford,” Jon said, his voice louder. “I met Larry in a chatroom. On the Internet. A special support group…” He stopped speaking and left the room. I called him a few hours later and left him a voicemail, asking him to come the following week. It took him a month to call me back. I know what you’re thinking…

“chicken liver pate”by Julia on the plane to Philadelphia


Monday April 14, 2014
2:59pm
5 minutes
The Grid
April 10-16, 2014

He said he’d return it if it got sent over to his table. Said he thought it was inhumane. Said don’t even bother trying to impress him by sending over your best items. It was already too late having things like that on the menu in the first place.
When I met him I thought I was going to shoot myself in the face. Out of just being so tired of dealing with his ever present presence and his attitude toward the waitstaff. I wanted to shoot myself in the face. I wanted to shoot him him the face. But instead I smiled politely and I worked harder then I thought I would just to distract myself from his persona.
I knew about his disdain for foie gras. I knew he hated it and was making a big scene. So I’m the one who got it sent over to his table. I admit, I wanted to see what he’d do. I wanted to see what he’d do when the cameras weren’t rolling, when the reporters weren’t reporting, when he was alone, or thought he was.
And I watched him look around and take a bite. And then I watched him smile and take another.