“This is a highly competitive, adjudicated process” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Monday March 30, 2015
2:13pm
5 minutes
The BC Arts Council website

Ladies and gentlemen, theys and theirs, it is of the utmost importance that you understand that this is a highly competitive, adjudicated process. Not everyone will succeed. In fact, look around you, look at the over-plucked or unkempt eyebrows and the chapped lips and the waxy moustaches… Only a handful of these toenailed toes will make it onwards. This is not to dissuade you. This is to INSPIRE YOU! This is to set you FREE! Competition is the fire in your loins or loinettes! It’s the rumble in your belly (and not from burrito night!) It’s setting your mind to something with the whole-hearted belief that YOU CANNOT FAIL! (But you can. And you most likely will. Always allow that littttttle voice in the back of your head that says you’re a loser to taunt you and judge you and keep you in check.)

“Welcome to the playground of the future” by Sasha in her bed


Sunday March 29, 2015
2:13pm
5 minutes
A TIFF kids TTC ad

When you care for me it’s like a wave crashing
Salt on my cheeks
Hair a little bit wet and a little bit greasy
The sound is gentler though
Water in the morning
A bit more still
I say “sorry” because you don’t want me to say “thank you”
because I need to say something
because it’s hard to just accept this unconditional love
Gulls circle
Tempting me towards awkward paranoia
Leading me down sand dunes that are riddled with
photographs
mixed tapes
black socks with holes in the toes
I want to cling to you like a barnacle
my desire calcifying on your chest
I want to swim next to your freedom like a dolphin
My fingers grazing the possibility of your soft wet skin

“WOMAN SENTENCED FOR BUTT INJECTIONS” by Sasha in her bed


Saturday March 28, 2015
9:39pm
5 minutes
An unknown transit newspaper

The city roars like a lion and she sleeps like a
dove
Wings tucked and coo-ing while feathers reminding us to
look up look down look deeper look through
The island calls with her harp and her pine needles
slugs leaving hope-slime
Will it be enough?
I’ll need to get a driver’s licence
Where do ambition and simplicity meet?
Let’s go there and
bring twelve lemons and our favourite books
One for me
(bell hooks)
One for you
(Dharma Bums)
It’s all we’ll need

Choosing what is important for her” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Friday March 27, 2015
6:42pm
5 minutes
Sasha’s notebook

She’s kept a food journal for twelve years. Mostly it’s been a secret. Only three people know. Sonja – because they spend so much time together and secrets are boring to keep for so long with someone so close; Pete (her once removed ex) – because he once caught her writing in it, when she’d thought he’d been asleep, and he asked and asked until she caved and then he made endless fun of her (via questions) and then she left him; and Jillian – because when Jillian was going through her sex change she felt it was only fair to reveal something private and strange and a bit shameful because Jillian was revealing so much so publicly and it was all she could think to reveal of herself.

She decides, one particularly rainy evening, as she sits cross-legged on her bed, her sheepdog Oscar snoring beside her, that this madness has to stop. She’s taken to recounting everything she’s eaten before bed, a kind of calming ritual, perhaps similar to putting ones legs up against the wall or praying (but entirely different). Today, she can’t remember what she’d eaten for lunch. Was it a can of tuna on baby salad greens? Was it miso soup? Was it half a cantaloupe with cottage cheese? Was it a protein shake? It was as though every day was every other day and nothing was as it should be. “Why am I doing this?” She asks aloud, Oscar waking up and cocking his head towards her, just the amount of sympathy she needs.

“I checked and it looks good.” By Sasha on her couch


Thursday March 26, 2015
5:35pm
5 minutes
From an email

“It’s okay,” you say. “I’ll be fine,” you say. “I know that you didn’t mean it,” you say.

None of us think we’re prejudiced. But we’re programmed to prefer what’s like us. But we’re taught that they are safe when they smell the same as we do, they are trustworthy if they speak our language and eat our kind of food.

I looked and it doesn’t check out. I am ashamed of the places where I am closed to difference. I am speaking this because I want to shine a light there, I want to say, “Look, I am a pretty progressive woman, but there are still moments where I am boggled by my own distaste for “difference”, where I am perplexed by my incapacity to understand!”

This is a quiet war cry from a red couch in a beautiful apartment in a towering house in the most expensive cities in the country.

“a new relationship to the vagina” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Wednesday March 25, 2015
9:41am
5 minutes
Vagina
Naomi Wolf


She mentions the book over pottery mugs of Earl Grey tea, cupped in our open palms. We’re perched in chairs that used to live in her parents house, smaller versions of their armchair grownup selves. She tells me that it’s changed her life, this book, and I trust her, this woman, and I promise myself that when I see it, I will buy it. I want a new relationship with my vagina, too.

The timer is running out of time because I’ve paused a bunch while writing this, feeling nervous, not wanting to overshare, but wanting to be very honest.

If you haven’t read Vagina by Naomi Wolf, please find someone to borrow it from, or buy it, or order it from the library. If you are a woman, this is for you. If you are a man, this is for you. If you are neither, this is also for you. No matter who you love or why you love them or what you have or what you don’t have, this book is for you.

It took me a long time to recognize the politics of my body. I want to understand them and I can’t simply from reading The Globe and Mail.

“Some of the inspiration came from silent movies.” By Sasha at Great Dane Coffee


Tuesday March 24, 2015 at Great Dane Coffee
2:43pm
5 minutes
From Women In Clothes
Sheila Heti, Heidi Julavits, Leanne Shapton & 639 Others


When she moves she’s a dancer but
she’s not a dancer
in the proper sense of the word
capital D
She doesn’t glide across sprung floors to the beat of
a drum or
leap like a fawn from here to there
legs spread wide
She moves with grace down the aisle of the grocery store
stretching a long arm for a high placed bottle of low sodium soy sauce
Pushing her cart like it contains her first born daughter
A small watermelon
Some linguine noodles
A bag containing seven lemons

“You look terrible.” By Sasha at Higher Grounds


Monday March 23, 2015 at Higher Grounds
11:10am
5 minutes
Overheard at Higher Grounds

I choose my sweaters carefully. I only have six of them and each has a very particular role. The forest green one, purchased for my Engagement Party that took place around four long picnic tables in a huge park, has now become worn and over-washed. I refuse to get rid of it, though, as I so love the memories associated and the high neckline, perfect over a collared shirt. Does one need to hand wash sweaters? The black v-neck, one of those crosses between a sweater and a shirt, is tight and sexy. When I wear it I feel like I am a real woman. Gold hoop earrings and boyfriend jeans are it’s perfect partners. It has a hole in the left armpit that I’ve stitched up several times. I’ve had it since my early twenties. I’ve gone a year without wearing it, but choosing to keep it in the Annual Spring Purge means that I know a time will return when I crave it’s clinginess and slightly washed-out colour.

“the spirit dwells in rhythmic silence” by Sasha at Kits Beach


Sunday March 22, 2015
10:10am
5 minutes
The Prophet
Kahlil Gibran


I wasn’t sure what to do. I mean, do you report it to the police? Do you pawn it?! What if they trace it back to you? I don’ wanna go to jail for something I didn’t even do! Do you keep it as a trinket in your jewellery box for a year or two before you dare to wear it? I was quitting smoking at the time so I was a real moody SOB. I put it in my pocket and I continued on my way to the Salvation Army. I kept putting my hand in my pocket to make sure it was still there. My grandmother was into antiques and she taught me how to hold a diamond up to the light to see what it’s worth. She taught me how to lick the gold and see if it’s real. She could even name the carat – just from the tinny taste of it… A real talent. Yup… A real talent. I’d done all that, down in the park, in the ravine, so I knew it was worth a heck of a lot. It was worth Charity’s university fund and wedding fund and don’t-you-dare-get-preggers fund.

“we realize we can’t eat money” by Sasha at her desk


Saturday March 21, 2015
6:24pm
5 minutes
from an Indian Proverb

We realize we can’t eat money so we eat
banana pudding instead
The texture reminds us of babyhood of being
held close to the heartbeat of
the source
We slop it up like it’s delicious
fooling ourselves
Joke’s on us
Joke’s on the ice cream sundae
No banana split for old time’s sake
We realize we can’t keep eating banana pudding because
it’s making us sick
We’re turning soft
Ripened on the counter
Speckling brown and black

“the spirit dwells in rhythmic silence” by Julia on her couch


Sunday March 22, 2015
1:56pm
5 minutes
The Prophet
Kahlil Gibran


I knew they were going to ask me about it. My job, what did I do? Why was I always home all the time and what was I constantly doing sitting on the couch with 4 notebooks strewn around me? I knew it was coming. They wanted to understand who I was and what my deal was. And when I told them, these complete foreign strangers what my profession was, it all made sense to them. They said “Ohhhhh, okay, we understand now.” They were relieved that they had an explanation for me. “It’s different. Uh..very not common!” Then it went through my mind that they were automatically judging me and talking about me every time they spoke french around me. I started to question myself, was I truly what I said I was? I didn’t want them to think I was a liar or just good at making up excuses. Maybe where they’re from they don’t consider what I do to be a lucrative or respectable career. Or maybe they don’t care about that and are only interested in me because they want to invite me to a threesome.

“we realize we can’t eat money” by Julia at her desk


Saturday March 21, 2015
6:24pm
5 minutes
from an Indian Proverb

It stops me in my tracks for a second. We can’t keep it, eat it, turn it into fuel and be nurtured by it. We can’t take it with us, weave it into our bodies, make it anything but what it is. It stops me. It stops me in my tracks. When the world is spinning so fast it looks like it’s still..
That’s how it hits me, moves me, like a tectonic plate. I don’t know what I need usually -to remember this. A baby’s laughter, the oil painting of a woman breast feeding her new-born, a warm hug that lasts for at least 6 seconds, the poetry I buy with the currency of my tears. I am energy, I eat energy, I do not eat money. I wear artistic expression. I do not wear money. I think in hearts and hope. I do not think in money.

“I haven’t messed with or taken anything at all today.” By Julia at the Bloor/Gladstone Library branch


Friday March 20, 2015
1:07pm
5 minutes
Black Butler
Yana Toboso


Clean As a Whistle Wendy! That’s what they call me. Cause I can be counted on when it’s important (and when it’s not) to be fully present. And to drive people home when they’ve consumed too much! You can call my references, who are mostly my friends, because I’ve been nothing but a good one to them and they know it and they’ll tell you. If you want an example? Allow me to give one through a story. I was not my best self, one day, long ago, and I was finding myself easily persuaded. I would say yes to anything! I would say no to the consequences! But when I was asked if I wanted to put things up my nose like the rest of them, I said no! I said NO to that and I said yes to everything. So I made sure everyone arrived alive! Because It was a very clear choice! Say yes to everything but stand up for one thing. See, black heart and all, but my veins are clear as day! And that’s how I got my name!

“giving a private lesson” by Julia at her desk


Thursday March 19, 2015
9:19pm
5 minutes
from a slide in lecture

So I’ve been meeting with this guy for coffee every two weeks because on a whim, I put an ad on the internet offering my tutoring services. And honestly, I wasn’t expecting anyone to respond but this guy, who I’ve been meeting for coffee and conversation every week and a half, was looking to improve his Italian and so he sent me a message. The first day I showed up with all my books and my notes and an Italian flag lapel pin my mom found for me at a garage sale (which I regret, but still wore) because I was ready to teach; To exchange a service. But this guy, who I’ve been meeting for coffee and conversation and casual sex every week ended up being ridiculously hot. Like stupid hot. And he wanted to improve his Italian so I was like, WHAT? YES? YES.

“I haven’t messed with or taken anything at all today.” By Sasha at her kitchen table


Friday March 20, 2015
10:58am
5 minutes
Black Butler
Yana Toboso


I like it when I’m spinning and the only way I can get that feeling is on a tire swing or with a shot of – … Never-mind, I mean, I don’t wanna upset you. I haven’t messed up or taken anything at all today. I pinky swear. I got that flame inside though… Needs more kindling. There’s a soundtrack, right, constantly playing these chords on a piano and I can’t keep it quiet because then, I mean, I hate it, but if it was quiet I’d think I was dead. Or dying. And clapping hands… To the rhythm of a march. My father was in the army right, so maybe it’s one of those memory that isn’t yours things. Maybe it’s one of those… I’d be more comfortable if we could go down to that little park around the corner so I could swing for a bit. Wouldn’t be so twitchy.

“giving a private lesson” by Sasha in the Binnings lecture hall


Thursday March 19, 2015
1:46pm
5 minutes
from a slide in lecture

The rabbit ran away. Don’t make me say it again… The rabbit ran away. I got nothin’ without that fuckin’ rabbit, man! I don’ gotta show without that rabbit. Clarissa said she saw it run towards the women’s washroom but I’m not gonna be one of those pervs who goes in, meets a lady, and then has to say, “Jus’ lookin’ for my RABBIT…”

Pepple want classics, man. They want the card tricks and the saw and the box and they want the rabbit in the hat. I tried to break out. I really did. That was pretty much all of 1998 for me. You know, hot sauce and table jumping an’ stuff. No one wanted it. I barely got by. Had to borrow money from fuckin’ Bucky.

You think Sting likes singing “Roxanne”? You think he likes it after thirty years of “you don’t have to wear that dress tonight”?! He doesn’t. There’s no way. But, people work hard for their money and when they spend it on YOU, you gotta deliver… You better give ’em what they want.

“And now I know he’s not my soulmate” by Sasha at UBC


Wednesday March 18, 2015
1:16pm
5 minutes
overheard at aroma espresso bar

Lying beside G., he smells like salami and body odour or maybe his body odour is salami-like
And now I know he’s not my soulmate
My soulmate’s sweat will smell like pinecones
Looking across the table at A., he chews like a rabbit (all front teeth) and it’s even stranger because we’re eating sushi
I down a half bottle of sake (come on, they’re small)
And now I know he’s not my soulmate
My soulmate will chew mostly with his molars
Flecks of rice will not escape when he leans in to tell me about the shower gel at his gym
Walking beside Z., he always keeps a half-step ahead of me, preferring that I always be in “catch-up” mode
And now I know he’s not my soulmate
My soulmate will walk with me, side-by-side, fingers grazing like blades of grass

I trust signs
It’s a sign
There’s a sign
And there, too

“Feed Your Family” by Sasha at W Cafe


Tuesday March 17, 2015 at W Cafe
10:10am
5 minutes
taste.com

At Ken and June’s wedding
I sweat through my red silk dress
Alexandra sang Unforgettable
and everyone jumped in the river between the
ceremony
and the
reception
The rocky bank speckled with lacy undies and
spotted boxer shorts
like trilliums

I found Jasmine crying in the outhouse and
I told her a joke about a mushroom
she laughed
and
snot bubbled from her nose
and we both laughed
and I only thought once about the time that she made me
get in the red
Honda Civic with her ex-boyfriend
after he’d been drinking

Henry and I danced
only to fast songs
June took off her high-heeled shoes and ran
bare-foot
through the vegetable garden
pulling up carrots and handfuls of
nasturtiums

“Their smiling faces touched” by Sasha at Higher Grounds


Monday March 16, 2015
4:47pm
5 minutes
Still Alice
Lisa Genova


Make no promises you can’t keep, Lizzy. That’s the one rule of them. “Do not covet thy neighbour’s wife.” “Thou shalt not steal.” Make no promises thou cannot keep. Might as well be in the Holy Book, Lizzy. You’ll go straight down to H-E-L-L if you break a promise, double H-E-L-L if you break a promise you made to me or Mama.

I did once, Lizzy. An’, well, you see my limp! You know what God did to my leg! He maimed me! He reached down from High Heaven and he struck me with his force. I never saw it coming, Lizzy, because I didn’t have a Papa to sit me down and tell me how life works.

Any questions?

“Weren’t you sorry” by Sasha on her couch


Sunday March 15, 2015
12:34am
5 minutes
from Sputnik Sweetheart
Haruki Murakami


weren’t you sorry when you left the party early and then the shit hit the fan and nothing was the same
weren’t you sorry when you tied yourself in knots to please them and then they smirked anyway
weren’t you sorry when the moon was full and you were planted on the couch eyes on the screen
weren’t you sorry you never said sorry for blaming that shiny one for something she didn’t do

round and round and round
more predictable than the summer following spring
these days at least
it’s getting hotter here
and colder there
these days
these long sorry days
you tie a string around your finger to remind you to recycle

“And now I know he’s not my soulmate” by Julia at Aroma Espresso Bar


Wednesday March 18, 2015 at Aroma Espresso Bar
8:00pm
5 minutes
overheard at aroma espresso bar

The first thing I did was dance. Second thing was shove a Ham and Swiss baked croissant into my mouth. Still dancing. Still moving. Eating dancing moving breathing. Living. That’s what it was. Fear leaving the body. Pain released into a thousand tiny gold flakes, decorating the sky. The ham and cheese croissant was the only thing allowed in my stomach. No more knots. No more anxiety. No more burying my feelings so deep within me they could hide behind organs and slip under the radar. After the dancing eating moving breathing, FREEING thing I was doing, I threw my head back and I just laughed and laughed and laughed. The day felt warm again and I felt whole–like a hot, gooey pizza ready to be devoured by the hungry and the good.

“Feed Your Family” by Julia at the Davenport branch of the TPL


Tuesday March 17, 2015 at the Davenport Branch of the tpl
3:20pm
5 minutes
taste.com

Then she slapped the cucumber right out of my hand and all I could do was just stand there with my mouth on the floor. I’m worried about her. This kind of thing hasn’t happened in 6 years now and we all thought she was in a good place. Then out of nowhere we’re right back where we started and nobody knows how to handle it. I don’t want to judge her or act as if she’s some kind of monster, she’s not. But I find myself anxious and confused a lot lately. I don’t know how to help her. It’s not like I can just give her a stern talking to and she’ll change her behavior. This has been a reality for our family for as long as I can remember but when she’s good, she’s really good, and sometimes we simply forget how she used to be.

How is one to know—with strangers?” By Sasha at Studio 1398


Saturday March 14, 2015
3:41pm
5 minutes
The Midwich Cuckoos
John Wyndham


Let’s take ourselves back in time to the time before
the time when we knew about consequence
and hemming of jeans and the blueberry kiss of

summer

How is one to know when a stranger is the icy breath on the window
of the car accident?

or

The Mother we’ve been waiting for since the day we arrived her
spewing needs and hunger
calling for

more

at the top of our lungs

I’ve wanted a revolution from day one but I don’t like starting things
preferring the sourdough to rise in the cupboard
unwatched by blue eyes

brown eyes

We wrapped purple and blue and green and grey around strands of hair we weren’t
afraid to lose

a summer of coconut oil and tuna sandwiches

Cherry popsicle lipstick

“Their smiling faces touched” by Julia at her dining room table


Monday March 16, 2015
5:47pm
5 minutes
Still Alice
Lisa Genova


In the window fog she traced his name with her pointer finger and drew a heart around it. Finding herself rereading the same last paragraph of his letter over and over again, she knew she wasn’t going to rid herself of his memory with any ease at all. She stopped herself for an instant, glanced out into the passing world outside her moving train, and came back into the present moment. She had been talking about him as if he had not only left her, but left this earth all together. Then, a tiny ember of hope flickered inside her. He wasn’t even gone, just away. Just away from her. His final words to her,the ones she’d been revisiting each time without effort, were suddenly so clear to her: “In time we fade and in time we’re built anew.”

“Weren’t you sorry” by Julia at her desk


Sunday March 15, 2015
10:32pm
5 minutes
from Sputnik Sweetheart
Haruki Murakami


Like a ton of bricks falling from the ceiling, right over your bed while you’re in the middle of a good dream. I don’t know if I’ll ever recover from the moment of feeling like nothing else was even happening or existing around me. Just hazy, stabbing light, hacking into my every skin cell.
It was shocking to say the least. The motherfucking shock of my motherfucking life. I didn’t see it coming. Maybe I never wanted to see something like that, and in my head I couldn’t even think it was possible. And then all of a sudden I was sitting at my best friend’s hospital bed, holding her hand and keeping her eyelids cool with my fingertips. I don’t know if I said it out loud, but I know for a fact my heart was singing it. Over and over again like a broken, desperate record: Please don’t die. Please don’t die. Please don’t die.

“How is one to know—with strangers?” by Julia at the Dufferin/St. Clair Public Library


Saturday March 14, 2015 at the Dufferin/St. Clair Public Library
3:10pm
5 minutes
The Midwich Cuckoos
John Wyndham


Caught her staring at me from underneath her sunhat. She was trying to catch glimpses of me incognito but I could see her there, plain as day, paying all her attention to me, avoiding everything about herself. In her slight defense, I would be sneaking glances at me too if I were her. From an objective perspective, I was talking about some fascinating things. People always seem to perk up when they hear the words “wild” “unbelievable” “mind-blowing” “freedom” “sensual” and “magic”. I didn’t want to shame her for watching. After all, it was my choice to leave my house and interact with other human beings. You can’t really blame someone for wanting to see how another person lives, talks, eats, breathes, shares, listens, reacts, lies, sinks, falls, achieves, succeeds. I was curious about her too; sad girl hiding behind her over-sized beach hat.

“landed immigrants” by Julia on her couch


Friday March 13, 2015
6:39pm
5 minutes
from http://www.banffmediafestival.com

Touch down acquaint orient
Reorient
Find the water
Where’s the water?
Friendly Sir
Morning coffee spill parade
Left then left then left then straight
Breathe in this city
Ask all the hard questions
Where am I going?
Why am I going there?
Fear leads and buries
Don’t follow blind
Don’t assume
Ask all the hard questions
Can you help me?
Can you show me?
South then east then south then east
Home now, a strange word
Invented
Reinvented
Depending on the day
The time
The hour

“This woman was able to reach me” by Julia at Perth/Dupont Public Library


Thursday March 12, 2015 at the Perth/Dupont Public Library
3:35pm
5 minutes
from a Facebook post

This woman was able to reach me
while I hung myself out to dry
Pushed away everything that everyone thought was good
I said “let me be here on my own”
I cried “don’t love me with your pity-
I don’t want worried eyes and heavy hearts”
And so they left
One by one
with their apologetic expressions
with their baskets of misguided but good intentions
I built a wall around my pain
and tricked myself into thinking
I didn’t create a door
And this woman was able to reach me
when I thought
I’d blocked off all the entrances
Believing no one would want to come in anymore
if they could find me
in the first place

“One male one female” by Julia at her desk


Wednesday March 11, 2015
2:38pm
5 minutes
from an online acting breakdown

It was everything and nothing
One male
One female
She cradled his heart gently in her palm
He unraveled his entire soul at her feet
Everything
And nothing
One male
One female
She held his sobbing head
On her lap
In the dark
He poured out his deepest secrets
To the folds of her jeans
To the softness of her thighs
Everything
And nothing
One male
One female
She waited until he was able
He held tight to her patience like a wounded bird

“landed immigrants” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Friday March 13, 2015
4:09pm
5 minutes
from http://www.banffmediafestival.com

We have finally found the rainbow and it’s better than we’d heard
The blue tastes like french fries and the yellow
is smooth like velveteen rabbits
We have finally learned the secret and it’s gentler than we’d assumed
The Lost Boys know their times tables!
The ketchup has magic in it!
The library door is never locked!
We have finally burned the glass and it doesn’t shatter like we’d guessed
Friendship bracelets keep the moths out
Your grandmother is rolling cigarettes and blaring Edith Piaf from her
imaginary record player

“This woman was able to reach me” by Sasha on a bench on Granville Island


Thursday March 12, 2015
3:34pm
5 minutes
from a Facebook post

The clock was ticking faster than it ever had before and I’m not sure what month it is or who is Prime Minister. I wonder if I need a mirror, if there’s something on my face, but I’m shit outta luck there and next time anyone asks me if my name is Ashley, I’m going to punch them right in the stomach. No! My name isn’t Ashley!

This woman is able to reach me at the Motel off Major Mac. I know that I’ve seen her before and that she’s fatter now and that it used be winter and now it’s Spring.

“Ash? Are you in there?”
“Yes?”
“Are you going to open the door?”
“I don’t know who you are…”
“Ash. It’s me.”
“I’m sorry. I’m not supposed to talk to strangers.”

“One male one female” by Sasha in her bed


Wednesday March 11, 2015
12:33pm
5 minutes
from an online acting breakdown

It is all we can do not to laugh our friggen heads off! He’s got a booger hanging out of his nose, AND his fly is down, AND he’s got a piece of something brown between his two front teeth… AND he’s trying to school us on Sensitivity and Awareness like it’s a rare bird… I mean, come on! If anyone needs the training it’s Dave and he’s out sick with bronchitis! Kathleen and I are literally losing it, I mean LOSING IT, and he says, “I need TWO volunteers – ONE male and ONE FE-male!” He says it like we should be friggen excited. No one puts up their hand. Not even Larry. I almost feel bad for him, you know, such a mess in front of the whole twelve of us. I go, “I’ll do it,” and he’s so grateful I think he might cry, and he takes me by the shoulders and puts me in the middle of the circle.

“I wish he would ask me out. But he won’t.” by Sasha at Studio 1398


Tuesday March 10, 2015
5:33pm
5 minutes
Julia’s Diary
September 1997


I wish he would ask me out. But he won’t. Because he can’t talk. Because he’s a horse. Because I’m a turkey. Because the world isn’t ready for inter-species love affairs just yet. Because feathers and manes might get tangled.

I wish he would look at me. But he won’t. Because I’m out of his eye line. Because he prefers Daisy, the thoroughbred mare. Because all I can do is cluck and that’s only on a good day.

I wish he would spoon me. Because I could fit right in to that place under his neck. Because then maybe I’d kick this cold. Because then my beak wouldn’t chatter as I’m falling asleep.

“can’t go a day without” by Sasha at Kits Beach


Monday March 9, 2015
4:21pm
5 minutes
from a comment on YouTube

A small song

I can’t go a day without cracking my neck and my knuckles.
I can’t go an hour without clenching my teeth and craving coffee.
I can’t go a minute without deep breaths and laughter.
I can’t go a second without you you you.

I can’t go a day without peanut butter or yoga.
I can’t go an hour without laughing at the wrong time.
I can’t go a minute without heartbeats and a smile.
I can’t go a second without you you you.

“The days will be longer” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Sunday March 8, 2015
7:42pm
5 minutes
http://www.skam.ca

I’m at a loss because I don’t even know what I would say if I could say
Say say I was one of the brave ones who could think outside the
B – O – X
Say I was Mohammad Ali
Say I was stinging and swinging and ringing and clinging and clammering and
Say I was able to worry less about being called a
B – I – T – C – H
And say I was able to tell the way-sayers and the nay-sayers and the too-tiny-mini-miney
Sorry if I’m not making sense
But this doesn’t make s-s-s-sorry
MEDIUM RARE
Still bloody
Knuckles know the truth
Knuckles know that concrete tastes like frosting and the red tastes like the inside of a chocolate dollar
She has to hide her body because it will undermine her power
She has to hide her children because they will show her heart
She has to smile when she’s angry because you can’t handle the
T – R – U – T – H
Open up that Pandora’s Box, mmmm-kay?
Mouthful of bubble gum
Silenced
Mouthful of brilliance
Loud loud loud
Times running out and I’m
worried
I’m
war-ied
War wounds are these wounds are this girl this girl this girl
this girl this girl

“nothing has ever summed me up so succinctly” by Sasha on the number 3 bus


Saturday March 7, 2015
6:24pm
5 minutes
from a caitlinjstasey Instagram post

Nothing has ever summed me up so succinctly
The tickle tickle throat of the morning after
The flowers out of their water
On the floor
Beside the table

When I found my father’s secrets
I decided that I’d rather
eat a bag of chips
and make eyes at tall men in bars

It’s lonely here in the biggest city
in the biggest world
Bread rots but not the way that you think it might
The bus lurches and sputters like a drunk frat boy
Forget-me-knot
tied around a waist of the one I was before I became
before I became

“I wish he would ask me out. But he won’t.” by Julia on her bed


Tuesday March 10, 2015
4:33pm
5 minutes
Julia’s Diary
September 1997


how have i spent so much time inventing scenarios about this?
i’m sitting by the tree, knees up, cause that’s the cool pose, wearing the plaid vest with the hood and the white t-shirt, hair in a ponytail. what am i missing? lunch recess or afternoon? god, i’m so stupid. it’s not up to me. it’s all his decision. he can decide the time and the moment and the location. i’ll be by the tree because that’s like staying behind in class when everyone else leaves. he’ll know being alone will give him the opportunity. he’ll feel confident. nobody wants to be heard getting rejected. but i would never reject him since i’ve loved him for two years! i’ve been waiting all this time and on the last day of school last year i wrote him a note asking if he like-liked me, yes, no, or maybe.? he said “yes. a bit.” so i know he wants to ask. he likes me a bit! that’s way more than not at all! and so that’s why i want it to be perfect.

“can’t go a day without” by Julia on her bed


Monday March 9, 2015
9:27pm
5 minutes
from a comment on YouTube

thinking about bread
wishing i was better
praying to a god i no longer believe in
touching my hair
remembering
examining my fingernails
snagging my ring on the inside of my jacket
sighing deep and audibly
dreaming about chocolate
playing with my earrings
singing to myself
communicating with my love
apologizing for something
tricking myself into stillness
cracking my back
touching my face
biting my lower lip
smiling
holding space for pain

“The days will be longer” by Julia at Zia Kathy’s house


Sunday March 8, 2015
12:29am
5 minutes
http://www.skam.ca

I suddenly became the girl who sits cross legged at her typewriter with her lamp weirdly perched on the bed beside her knee. It happened in the moment where I wanted to feel alive and well and proper and good. The lighting wasn’t right and somehow being closer to it felt more rustic. It felt the way a real writer would sit. Propped up against a few pillows, wrapped in an itchy couch throw. I knew that I was okay with the emptiness that was leaving my body because I could feel my lungs filling with a golden breath after so long without activity. In and out, lights on and bright. The days, I realized, would be longer from that instant on. There would be an abundance of abundance. How beautiful and mysterious and possible it all began to appear. You and your day will work together. You and your night will snuggle up and sleep soundly.

“nothing has ever summed me up so succinctly” by Julia at her desk


Saturday March 7, 2015
12:54am
5 minutes
from a caitlinjstasey Instagram post

Put me in a bottle, ship me out to sea
I float along like a magic little oyster pearl
and I found the freedom there in a wave’s whisper
caught up real high in conversation
with the night
with the night
She sang “don’t come back again”
but I was long gone by then

Put me in an envelope and ship me out to sea
I bob along like a magic book inside of you
And I found the freedom there in a wave’s anger
Up up and away down
up up and away down low
Cause I would be a million miles away from me

Put me in a memory and ship me out to sea
I’ll crash along the shores all the way there
And I found the freedom there in a wave’s evening dress
she pulled out a letter saying
Who is this from? A letter to my soul…

How does she know
Just what I’m looking for?
And she was caught up real tight in conversation
about lost oyster pearls
With the night
with the night
with the night

“I’ve been catfished!” by Julia on the subway going west


Friday March 6, 2015
6:47pm
5 minutes
from a text from Sandra

I’ve been fully tricked
Half baked and eaten
Bowl of fruit and flies
Lights dimmed and lying kind of thing
It wasn’t easy to admit
In fact this is the first time
Felt too vulnerable and stupid
Felt too salty in all my gnashed out skin
Row of fakes
Tray of lies
Cup of deceit steeped to almost ready
And I drank it up gulped it down
Forgot all my faculties
Should have known it needed to cool before tasting
Donated all my wits to the charity drive on 8th
Wished I asked for a deposit on my self-worth

“I’ve been catfished!” by Sasha at Higher Grounds


Friday March 6, 2015
1:41pm
5 minutes
from a text from Sandra

Not even kidding. Not even. I sobered up one year ago today. It’s pretty strange being twenty and being sober. I said I’m not gonna drink because I wanted to live a life of abstinence from everything. I couldn’t get clean, and, after I moved here, I stopped doing drugs but it was hard not to drink. It’s, like, acceptable. This year I’ve been clean and sober from everything. I didn’t do the program because it felt cult-y. I don’t know. No offence, I mean, I know it really helps people, but I found that it was this weird meat market where everyone was looking for a fuck, or something. I’ve got a new life to live, man. It’s a day by day thing. I just wanna be a better person. Alcohol is everywhere. It really is. Going out dancing sober is pretty fucking uncomfortable. But I do it. I want to do it. It’s a real shame. I’ve lived a whole life of forgetting everything, blacking out, you know. I don’t want to forget.

“a wonderful future beckoned and winked” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Thursday March 5, 2015
10:41pm
5 minutes
The Fig Tree
Sylvia Plath


Kimmy’s got new gold hoop earrings and she’s all “TRA LA LA”
Not the best speller nope nope but she’s got bling for days
“TRA LA LA”
Makes a mean tequila sunrise
Shake shake shakin’ it up
Until we’re turned inside out
And orange juice is the right way
Morning is the right way
Kimmy leaves a trail of cigarette butts with
coral lipstick kisses
“TRA LA LA LA”
Going down to Hollywood for pilot season
Gonna get a job in the movies
She’s got her leopard print tights
She’s got her striped bikini
She’s good to go
“TRA LA LA”

“This is why you need to clean your room” by Sasha on the 99 going West


Wednesday March 4, 2015
12:25pm
5 minutes
overheard on the subway

this one
bursting like blueberry
folds the corners down
tucks in the edges
smoothes the bumps and
she’s out the door
i think about
the time before
when she hid behind my leg
when she clutched the fabric of my jeans
this one
she reminds me of her father
quiet but
stubborn
determined
“i’m going to join the rowing club”
she sleeps late
we tiptoe
i “shush” her father
“she needs sleep now”
she’s growing wisdom
seeds in her heart
in her toes
she’s growing possibility
reaching down
reaching up
this one
a leg out
away
a
leg in
here at home

“a wonderful future beckoned and winked” by Julia on her bed


Thursday March 5, 2015
11:59pm
5 minutes
The Fig Tree
Sylvia Plath


“I’m ready for something bigger.” I took a deep gulp of air and I said that to myself. I did. I was, in that moment, feeling very existential. I wanted to know things about myself. I realized I wanted to enjoy my own abilities instead of waiting, forever waiting, for someone else to tell me that they enjoy them. “How is that living?” I exhaled and I said that to myself. “How is it?” If I might, I’d like to paint the scene for you so perhaps you’d see how silly it is too.
You wake up, you dread enjoying your own gifts because you’re afraid someone else might disagree with you or have an opinion about what you’ve made. You make a bowl of quick oats and banana, and you tell yourself internally how bad you are for wanting to spend time doing the things that bring you joy and amusement and pleasure. You clean the dishes and you imagine a world where there is applause for you, but you see it as its own entity and not attached to the doing. Then you put on your jeans and you notice that you don’t ever see the part where you’re actually enjoying your own ability. You can’t envision the perfect happiness that comes from simply doing that thing, and you can’t fathom for even a split second what the feeling of truly expressing and connecting would mean for you.
So you throw on your winter scarf and head out of the house to once again avoid doing what you know your heart bleeds for.
Bizarre, isn’t it?

“If you catch some salmon in October” by Sasha on the 99 going East


Tuesday March 3, 2015
11:12am
5 minutes
Cascadia
Ramon Esquivel


If you catch some salmon, I’ll grill it up real good… I’m also a really good baker. I make excellent Christmas cookies and cookies with cashews and… Why do I feel like I’m trying to impress you? I’m not trying to impress you. I’m just… Food is something I know. I am good with food. I’m not so good with people. I’m better with cracking an egg. I’m better with cutting up an onion or a carrot or…

Look – if you’d like to come over, I will make you a really delicious soup. Oh… I’m not hitting on you. I don’t even like women. I barely like men, I just… If I was going to make you a soup, I’d make you a coconut Thai curry with tofu and lemongrass. You look like one of those people – who can handle a little bit of spice but doesn’t want anything that’s going to smack you on the chin.

You can tell a lot about someone by the kind of soup they eat.

“What can I do for you?” by Sasha on her couch


Monday March 2, 2015
10:21pm
5 minutes
From a Pattison subway ad

He sits too much.
He knows this is true.
He eats too many chocolate chip cookies.
Hard to resist.
Hard to resist.
Betty forwarded an email article about “Standing Desks”.
Maybe he should get one of those.
His doctor says he has high blood pressure.
No more egg yolks?
No more custard before bed?
He goes for a walk or two and then thinks:
I’d rather be sleeping.
He reads a few passages of the Bible…
(Betty highlighted them and tagged the pages with post it notes)
He decides he’s going to take Betty on a date to the Planetarium.
“Why would we look at fake stars when we can look at real ones?” She says.
He hadn’t thought of that.
Damn.
He takes Betty on a date to the park and he brings a blanket.
“Why did you bring this blanket? It’s going to get dirty!”
Betty drinks all of the hot chocolate.
“It’s cold,” she says.
It’s cloudy so they don’t see any real stars.
He kisses her, though.
That hadn’t happened in awhile.
A kiss that makes them both remember a time before the toilet seat being left up.
A kiss that keeps them warm, inside out.

“You saw her bathing on the roof” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Sunday March 1, 2015
9:43pm
5 minutes
Hallelujah
Leonard Cohen


When you saw her, you weren’t sure if you were seeing a woman or seeing sunlight reflecting off a chimney. Nope, a woman. You paced yourself (slow down! Slow down!) and tried your best not to giggle, you didn’t want to scare the pigeons, which might scare her, which might make her leave. You had no idea how you were going to get up there, but you knew, in that moment, that reaching the top was one of your life’s greatest purposes.

You bribed the door man with an under-ripe banana and three Canadian Tire dollars.

“This is why you need to clean your room” by Julia on the 47 going North


Wednesday March 4, 2015
3:20pm
5 minutes
overheard on the subway

I will not touch the basement! Everybody! I will not transition into being a house cleaner, that is not on my vision board! Everybody? Is that clear? I speak this next nugget of profundity to the masses in hopes the whole world will echo it back to me! “Hello!!”(Hello, hello) “I’m a genius!” (Genius, genius) “I do not clean basements!!” (Basements, basements) “I am a genius and I do not clean basements!!” (I am a genius and I do not clean basements) “I will mark the entire universe with my light and I will love beyond myself! I will help others and be present in this life, but I will not clean the basement!” (Yes you will, you will, you will). And then! Hark! I pause! For the world’s echo sounds an awful lot like my mother!

“If you catch some salmon in October” by Julia on her couch


Tuesday March 3, 2015
11:07pm
5 minutes
Cascadia
Ramon Esquivel


I haven’t told you this but there’s a black cloud that hangs over your head every time you enter a room. It sits in the upper right corner of your human bubble and it looks pretty heavy. I really thought it would pass: the storm would come down eventually (after threatening to so consistently), the grass would be nourished (after being teased with water), and the sun would pop out and say, “Just kidding! I’ve been here all along!” But you never stopped turning shared spaces grey and you never stopped shifting the feeling of an entire room, or influencing the mood of a whole group of people. I suppose I wanted you to know this so you could potentially fix it for your future interactions. Part of me, however, thinks I’m getting good at making up excuses for you.

“What can I do for you?” by Julia on the subway going West


Monday March 2, 2015
10:20pm
5 minutes
From a Pattison subway ad

She listened with a humility and a grace that couldn’t be articulated. You saw it in her face, the way she smiled with her eyes, the way she held the room with her silence. I didn’t know if I was watching the speaker or the listener, the dreamer or the doer. She was everything at once, and everyone without noticing. There was a love in the room, a moving buzz through the place, almost singing the same song, almost humming a non existent tune. It was bigger than us. It emanated through our eyes as we connected our souls to a soul with infinite outlets. “Plug into me,” she whispered, “I have enough light for all of us…”

“You saw her bathing on the roof” by Julia in her childhood bedroom


Sunday March 1, 2015
11:56pm
5 minutes
Hallelujah
Leonard Cohen


I’ve seen all your parts
Tarnished and familiar
Bruised from being too sensitive
And taking a world’s beating
You glow sometimes
under the proper light
When the pain is dimmed down low
And you feel safe in you skin
When you trust yourself enough
To thank your demons for their good fight
And to put a stop
to any future breakage
I’ve seen all your parts
Bathing in the haze of the moon
Your heart creaks
when it’s been walked over
That’s how you recognize the enemy
That’s how you know when to rebuild the wall
And the faint memory of it cracking
Keeps you far away from me
Even though I’m here to hold you
Even though I’m here to hold you

“Can you see anything?” by Julia on Amanda’s couch


Saturday February 28, 2015
3:05am
5 minutes
overheard at Amanda’s house

I begged Birdie to let me have a look but she told me I was being impatient and to show some courtesy. When I asked her what courtesy meant she shushed me so fast it sounded like a bullet was zooming right past my face. It was my idea in the first place to “borrow” uncle Ray’s ladder and creep up the side of the fence. Birdie didn’t trust me with being the first set of eyes on Old Annabel Winkler because she was convinced I wouldn’t be able to
control my laughter and I’d give away our hiding spot in seconds. Then she got up there and all she was saying was “ooh” “woah” “oh my gosh” and “no way!”

“Can you see anything?” by Sasha on her couch


Saturday February 28, 2015
11:30pm
5 minutes
overheard at Amanda’s house

It hadn’t happened in a while, so when it did she was extra surprised. I mean, she’s always surprised, but it’d been seven months since she’d awoken with that thud. It always started the same, like she was being dropped into her bed from the ceiling. She woke, swore, and also said, “AGAIN?!”

It had started just after Monty died. She knew it was him. She said, “Hi, Monty,” that first night because she almost had expected it. Every night for twenty six weeks he would visit, usually around one or two in the morning, when he used to go to bed. Once, she asked Pauline to sleep over. “I wanna see if you see it, if you feel it too,” she’d said. Pauline had slept sound as a puppy. In the morning, over granola and tea, she’d said, “I honestly think it might be in your head, honey… Are you seeing the grief counsellor?”