“Summer road trip” By Julia at the Bloor/Gladstone Library branch


Thursday April 30, 2015
4:24pm
5 minutes
from a magazine article

Oh I’ve got that urge again to take off and just go somewhere that isn’t here. Been travellin’ every year now it seems and I do not want to stop that now. Got a good case of wanderlust, now that’s for sure. Been feelin’ that itch deep down for a while. Been keepin’ tabs on it, and it’s inchin’ its way on up to the surface again. I can’t tell you how anxious stayin’ put makes me feel. All these things I have to get done here because I keep puttin’ them off, seein’ the world, exploring myself. Some people might say that I’m runnin’ away but I can honestly say to you that for the first time, that’s not what this is. I think I’ve found what I’m supposed to do. I’m supposed to live outside this place and exist in a transient way sort of like a sailor or a thrill-seeker. But I also have plans to put my skills to use while I’m away. I’m not just spendin’ all my money on food or booze or whatever. It’s more calculated than that. It’s about makin’ that connection’ with other humans on a level that I can’t quite explain.

“I think his wife is pregnant. Or, she’s really heavy…” by Julia at her desk


Wednesday April 29, 2015
7:13pm
5 minutes
Overheard at Higher Grounds Coffee House

We had been waiting impatiently at Connie and D’s place, running out of things to keep us busy while they proceeded at the hospital. Aunt Laura told us that Connie appreciated our concern and was touched by us all wanting to be there for her. She said as soon as there was news we would hear from her. It had been 5 hours already. We had cleaned the house by that point, watered all the tomato plants, played two whole rounds of Monopoly, and still we hadn’t heard from Aunt Laura. When Michael called me in a panic about his sister, I was out on a run. I was training for the marathon coming up in May. So instead of running home, I ran to Connie and D’s so I could sit with her brother and try to keep him from freaking out.

“Watch your belongings” by Julia on the 505 going west


Tuesday, April 28, 2015
11:54pm
5 minutes
A sign in the Kitsilano Public Library

Tuck had been running back and forth to the toilet all morning. He felt like a train was plowing through his stomach since last night’s sushi. He knew he shouldn’t have finished it all after the first bite of tuna that smelled very close to the stuff he’d sometimes find underneath his toes. Tuck always smelled his toe jam. He couldn’t help it. He kind of liked it. But Tuck wasn’t big on waste, or health, or being an adult and ordering new food because that would take time and he was hungry as all hell. Every bite he ate he had to plug his nose so he wouldn’t taste the…funk of it. He ate every last morsel and it only took him 25 minutes for him to regret it. He could hear his mother’s shrill voice in his ear as he hunched over the can, preparing his guts for another roller coaster ride. “Don’t you want to enjoy your food, Tucker? What’s the point in eating if you refuse to even taste it!” He didn’t want to be thinking of her right now. It was hard enough having to ask a customer to watch the diner every 5 minutes so he could run to the bathroom and purge.

“saying she is lost” by Julia on the 505 going west


Monday, April 27, 2015
11:49pm
5 minutes
from Hopelessly Hoping
Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young


Do you remember those days we would show up to a concert wearing almost the exact same thing? I don’t know if you got a kick out of it but it was one of my favourite things. Did I not tell you that? I loved when we’d dress alike because it meant we were spending a lot of time together and our styles were merging because that’s just what happens when people are connected by heart strings. I liked most how it was unconscious or subconscious or whateverconscious because that was more proof that we weren’t even trying to be similar, we just were. Anyway, I guess all that to say I miss it. I miss you. I don’t even know where I am half the time and I’ve realized lately it’s because you’re not here anymore. You used to anchor me to the earth; to myself. I knew more about the world when you were around. I knew more about magic and wonder and rushing out of the house just to meet you at whatever corner so we could talk about writing or the painfulness of falling out of touch with ourselves.

“Watch your belongings” by Sasha at the library


Tuesday, April 28, 2015 at Kitsilano Public Library
6:20pm
5 minutes
A sign in the Kitsilano Public Library

Val wrote an e-mail to her parents because she could sense that they were worrying, even though she was thousands of miles away. “Hi guys!” she wrote, between sips of a mango smoothie. The cafe was crowded with mostly men, and she wished she’d brought a shawl. “I’m alive!” she smiled, thinking of them smiling, her father bent over her mother’s shoulder, the iPad on the kitchen table in front of them. “It’s crazy here. Delhi isn’t what anyone says it’s going to be…” She finished her smoothie and glared at a man staring at her breasts. “It’s beautiful, loud, smelly, closed, open, strange, inviting…” Val left in the Winter and hadn’t said when she’d planned to be back. They wondered, but didn’t ask. “I’m going to travel to Kerala. I want to visit that ashram. We’ll see how long I last.” A man beside her started smacking another man, the one who’d been staring. She saw that her bag was gone, that it was caught between them, that they were pulling it. Val swore at both of them and called to the teenager behind the till for help. The staring man was smaller, but he was determined.

“saying she is lost” by Sasha at Kafka’s Coffee


Monday, April 27, 2015 at Kafka’s Coffee
6:09pm
5 minutes
from Hopelessly Hoping
Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young


Her mouth says she’s lost but her eyes say something else, something in a language where tongues and lips aren’t involved, where it’s goosebumps and eyelashes.

It’s been ten years since she spoke to her sister.

The margarine was left out and now it’s a tub of yellow paint. She wonders about rubbing it on the dry skin on the soles of her feet. She wonders about putting it on the wall in the bathroom – could use a fresh coat of paint.

She cancels her subscription to People magazine because she’s tired of the buzz and the dresses and the pictures of strangers babies.

“Looking for a therapist?” by Sasha on the couch


Sunday, April 26, 2015
7:49pm
5 minutes
From a PRS subway ad

Incense and pillows with tiny mirrors and embroidered flowers
Sponge painted walls
yellow and orange
Soft feet
Soft soft feet
A couch over-steeped
smells like blue
smells like now
smells like tissue dust
I want you to know me like no
father
or
friend
or lover
I want you to know me in watercolours
Soft belly
Soft forehead
There’s a moment
still
Where I want to know how you are
Where I want to ask if you’ve known this grey
this deep growth low
There’s a moment
still
Handing over five twenty dollar
bills
Where it’s achy

“original packaging” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Saturday, April 25, 2015
10:14pm
5 minutes
From a receipt from The North Face

There were three reasons why Anna didn’t want to go to the doctor.
One – Doctors never bring good news. Why would anyone want to go to a place where it’s a given that there will be bad news? Isn’t that the sign that there’s something wrong with you? If you seek out bad news?
Two – Her sister had died on the table of a walk-in clinic three falls ago. No explanation. Just dead. She had been there to get some answers about a rash on her stomach. Anna had vowed to stay away from all “clinics” from thereon in.
Three – When she used to go to the doctor it made her sweat in places she didn’t even knew existed – inside her ears; her fingertips; underneath her toenails. “Is that sweat?” she’d asked her boyfriend at the time. He’d scoffed and made fun of her.

“Looking for a therapist?” by Julia on the subway going south


Sunday, April 26, 2015
1:49pm
5 minutes
From a PRS subway ad

There are feelings
Woah like the waves of the sea
And they’re big
Whoosh like the world shifting
Tectonic plates moving
And I have them
They’re in me
Whoosh waving through me
Around my bones
Keeping them cold
Keeping me far away from settling in
That’s the best way to describe
Whoosh
Wave
Whooshing
Is there a cure?
For the feelings that slosh around beneath my skin
Boom begging me to hold on tight
To wrap up my insides
So they stay good and out of contact
With all my major organs?
Does the doctor know this brand of illness?
Oh the waving
Whooshing
Sloshing sick-feelings landslide
Tsunami
and
Evolutionary jolting
Rocking my core
And shaking me from my roots?

“original packaging” by Julia on the 47 going North


Saturday, April 25, 2015
1:36am
5 minutes
From a receipt from The North Face

I came in a box with a manual and a number for an information hotline. Everybody was anxious to use me. To see what I could do. To figure out my functionality, my abilities, my strengths. No one anticipated I’d be difficult to understand. There were pictures and diagrams, step by step instructions and video guides. There was a lot of hype about my arrival and people got cocky. They thought they would all be able to follow the directions and handle me as intended as a highly user-friendly model. All of these expectations were real. But so was I and nobody was quite ready for that part. Nobody was ready for my opinions, my point of view, my perceptions of the world, my critique. They had waited for a presence that would exist like them but not make change. They wanted something in their image but void of their flaws. My maker was a genius. She was smart and designed me perfectly. She included exactly what she should have. But the collective human weakness is greater than the solution to it. Unfortunately for me.

“Done and done!” by Sasha on her couch


Friday, April 24, 2015
10:28am
5 minutes
from a Facebook post

done and done
under the sun
stir the cake
make a lake
up and down
smile and frown
this ain’t over
a dog named grover
done and done
let’s have fun
make a friend
turn and bend
trees in bloom
clean that room
hope for change
eggs free range
yellow and blue

“Rathburn Rd.” by Sasha in her bed


Thursday April 23, 2015
1:03am
5 minutes
from a street sign

Joe’s biggest complaint is that there aren’t enough windows.
“It’s dark,” he repeats, fiddling with a knob on a kitchen cupboard.
Alexandra reassures him that it’s going to be fine.
“It’s such a steal,” she says, grabbing his bicep for emphasis.
They walk up to the second floor and see flashes of what could be.
“Are we ready for this?” Joe’s brows are furrowed and Alex tries not to think about how he looks like a Great Dane when he does this.
“Joe…” She kisses him and makes it last a bit longer than she might’ve, had she not been on a mission.
He sighs.
Out the smaller bedroom window, they watch Leanne, the real estate agent pace the driveway, talking on her cellphone.

“The sound of cracking bones” by Sasha in her bed


Wednesday April 22, 2015
1:12am
5 minutes
from an e-mail

When I see your selfies I hear cracking bones
Not knuckles
Bigger bones
Bones of more consequence
Femur and humerus
A selfie is self-exploration
the self-portrait of our generation so why am I
goosebumps and stomach flips?
Why am I skeptical?
Your face is the milky way of your being so seeing thirteen
photos a day of it leaves less mystery
leaves less imagining
leaves room for less mess
Or
Maybe
it’s my awkwardness
I like my face
It’s one of my better attributes
But when I hold the camera
short arm extended
It still makes my nose look larger than it is
My roots exposed above ground
(I think?)
My forehead
the prairies

“Die this way” by Sasha on her porch


Tuesday, April 21, 2015
10:01am
5 minutes
from a song on the radio

I’m ready for this age
Wrinkles across
wrapping paper cheeks
My grandmother’s tiny bird-frame lasted ninety seven years
These curves becoming rounder and these feet
taking me deeper into the red valley

The last time I saw my father I noticed the lines around his eyes
My eyes
This blue like the party dress I wore to my sister’s wedding
I noticed the whiteness of his beard
His ears
Hairs like ivy
My sister and I talk
long distance
about our mother’s pains
spreading like a forest fire
Now it’s her knees

“bowled over” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Monday, April 19, 2015
4:28pm
5 minutes
The Cultch season announcement

Mimi gags. She wasn’t expecting the house to smell like skunks. “Dan?!” She calls, plugging her nose. She doesn’t hear anything but she knows he’s home because his work boots are outside the door, on the porch. It’s the only pair of shoes he owns. He wears them all year round, even in the heat of July, when no one should have anything that heavy on their feet. She hears the water running, he must be in the shower. She calls again, “Dan!” as she opens the fridge door. A bottle of no name hot sauce, three loose eggs and a hot dog, cooked, no bun. She’s afraid to open the cupboards.

“Done and done!” by Julia on the 45 going north


Friday, April 24, 2015
8:28am
5 minutes
from a Facebook post

I said May 1st and I said that to myself, my boyfriend, my therapist, and my roommate’s dog. I told so many people I was waiting for May 1st it felt like I had to uphold the expectation. I have never been good at starting something in the middle of the month, or the week, or basically any time that doesn’t fall on the very first day of something. Usually months. I’m great at starting things at the beginnings of months. So I made a list, with lots of columns and categories. I wanted to be able to check things off and keep on task from that moment forward. No more waiting for the next month. It would have to be this beginning and not the one after. Some of the things on there were: Start Exercising Daily (as of May 1st), Try to call my mom once a week, Ask for help (starting May 1st), Stop Apologizing for my opinions, Refrain from buying dollar store chocolate, Stop waiting for the new month to get my life together, Work on false promises (even in list format), Eat more apples, No more feeling sorry for myself.

“Rathburn Rd.” by Julia at her desk


Thursday April 23, 2015
12:44am
5 minutes
from a street sign

When I approached his body laying there in the middle of the street, I felt an overwhelming sense of dread–as if it were my little brother or my own baby, lifeless, helpless, quiet. Ever since I was a kid I’ve had a problem with overreacting to roadkill. I love all animals, I hate seeing any of them injured or dirty or unhappy. Seeing them dead is pretty hard for me. Even when it’s a skunk or a squirrel. Most people don’t care about those animals because they’re a nuisance. I don’t see them as that. I see them as these almost human beings trapped in a world of insensitivity. So I was walking up to this poor thing and it wasn’t moving. I’m glad I didn’t see the moment of impact. Really glad. But as I got closer I started full on weeping there, right in the middle of Rathburn Rd. Sobbing for a dead pigeon, and wishing there was someone I could call for him.

“The sound of cracking bones” by Julia on her bed


Wednesday April 22, 2015
1:01am
5 minutes
from an e-mail

This one is a nod to three old friends from a former existence who found each other again in this current one. Their souls were already promised to one another and they were happiest then when they loved each other without question. There is a story about a hotel room and sharing beds and drugs and jokes and chips. It’s a good story. It started with a road trip and it ended with truck stop ice cream. In the middle there was a lot of laughter and unexpected ease. In the middle middle there was a promise wedged in that this would be how it is. When these three old friends met in a different dimension, they exchanged a round of flat stones they found in the ocean that represented loyalty and acceptance and longevity. There was a grand speech made in that different lifetime that would inspire their strength in this one.

“Die this way” by Julia on the 505 going west


Tuesday, April 21, 2015
11:34pm
5 minutes
from a song on the radio

I haven’t figured out how I want to go. Some might say that’s a very good thing. It’s morbid, I suppose, to dream up what the best way to leave this earth is. If death is like life, then it should be my choice. It should be for me. But death is not like life, or it wouldn’t have a different name. Death is not for us. It’s for those that have to bury our bodies, spread our ashes, visit mausoleums, script out pretty eulogies. If it were just for me, then a shot to the head would have fit nicely. Something dramatic, quick, loud, messy. It would have been a nice match. But it’s not just for me. And so going peacefully in my sleep is also off the table. People don’t do well when death sneaks in and swoops down and silently exits. People want to know that it’s there so they can bring the right flowers, or the right last words.

“bowled over” by Julia on the 505 going west


Monday, April 20, 2015
11:34pm
5 minutes
from the Cultch Season Announcement

Mallory was listening to Sarah Harmer on repeat. She had this one song on the go that she just couldn’t stop playing. She may have had it on her New Year’s playlist for 2009 and it may have reminded her of her first love, Sean, though he probably didn’t even know who Sarah Harmer was. Sean was only slightly taller than Mallory and for the first time in her life she didn’t care that he wasn’t over 6 feet. She would have accepted anything about Sean because he had this cute way of swaying back and forth to a hidden track in his head. He was goofy and he was sweet, and he respected women because he had 4 sisters. He also moved away when things got real for them. Not just once, but twice. Mallory thought he’d come back just like the first time, but he didn’t. He wanted a simpler life. Not one that required breaking one’s heart open again and again.

“the wisdom of the world” by Julia at Jess and Rick’s kitchen table


Sunday, April 18, 2015
7:12pm
5 minutes
http://www.onbring.org

On my way to the edge of the world I found myself
dangling there
one foot over the part where it’s dangerous
too far to come back from
and one foot teetering on the earth beside it
that’s where I was
that’s where I found myself
Melting into my own choices
left alone to face this vastness
and my own devices
but what I found I started to like
what I found I started to love
what I found I started to nurture
cause she was lost before
and she was scared
and suddenly I heard her prayer
and her promise to make time a priority
not to waste or to kill it, but to welcome it
And I was her just days ago falling
Or wanting to
over the edge of the world where I didn’t recognize my own thoughts
My own gifts
nothing mattered at all
Then I took a drive by my old memories
and I conjured up the spirits of my past
asked questions like, oh, do you remember me?
And if you do, can you spare a hope or two?

“She was in a pure state,” by Julia at Jess and Rick’s kitchen table


Saturday, April 17, 2015
9:11pm
5 minutes
100 Essays I Don’t Have Time To Write
Sarah Ruhl


she stared out the window regretting all the missed moments
the missed targets
the missed connections
where did they all go?
did they find a home inside someone else’s heart?
she watched as the water swooshed up onto the beach
washing away the seconds that were there before
purifying the spot where sadness and helplessness like to procreate
she stared out the window
thankful for all of nature’s help
cleansing the pallet and offering up a blank space
for her to scrawl the initials of a life painting worthy of a name
I’m sorry
she hummed to the nothingness
I’m finished with that one
she whispered to the nobodys
I’m better now
she believed to the quiet
I’m making room for the good
she promised to the sunset

“Ungouge yourself” by Julia on the 45 going South


Friday, April 16, 2015
1:52pm
5 minutes
A yak.ca bus ad

I hadn’t thought about it before Annie, I mean, I would have if it came up, but it didn’t,so. Yeah. That’s it, that’s my final answer. I’m not changing it now because you want me to, or because I feel like I’m in trouble or something. I don’t. I mean, I don’t think I did anything wrong. I was honest with you, I was patient, I was hopeful, and you didn’t meet me halfway. You didn’t try to make me feel better about it. About any of it, so, that’s where I am. That’s where I stand. I’m done. I’m not going to apologize for that. I feel like I did that. Like I have been doing that this whole time. And I’m unhappy about it, I guess. In the way that, yes, obviously I still love you and feel like it’s a part of my life now that’s done or something. But I’m not unhappy that this is finished. Because it wasn’t right. And I spent a lot of time lying to myself about that. And one of my goals for this year was to be honest with myself and, truth be told, this the worst and hardest thing I’ve ever had to come to realize. Out loud. Because of you. Because I care about you. And because I don’t know who I am without you. But now that I’m saying it, Annie, I’m convinced. It’s time.

“the wisdom of the world” by Sasha on her porch


Sunday, April 18, 2015
5:34pm
5 minutes
http://www.onbring.org

I’m not sure about this place. I’m not sure about a city where pork is cheaper than chard. I’m not sure about boys in between home and school being stopped and carded and not given explanations and not being given whys. I’m not sure about some women sleeping under bridges and some women wearing jeans that cost five hundred dollars. I’m not sure about sending away the garbage we are too lazy to separate into recycling and compost. I’m not sure about cars. I’m not sure about unsafe bike lanes and people that don’t care about the people that choose to ride bikes. I’m not sure about dumping toxins into Lake Ontario. I’m sure that there’s a connection between the hormones in our dairy and the puffers in the backpacks of our young friends. I’m not sure about gender binaries and public bathrooms. I’m not sure about so many Starbucks.

“always more for less!” By Julia on Jessica and Rick’s couch


Thursday, April 15, 2015
12:12am
5 minutes
A Food Basics store sign

Shondra decided to leave a half drunk bottle of Trapiche right beside my computer. It was a nice thing that she did until the contents of the bottle found its way in all the cracks of the keyboard. I was mad at Shondra for being so thoughtful, cause if she had just finished the bottle, there would have been no spillage, or ruinage of my very expensive new laptop. However, she is a good person and it’s not her fault, per-say, that now my life is in shambles. No, that’s not fair. It’s not the worst thing to happen to me. It’s not like I lost a limb or a loved one. Just all my pertinent information, work, and browsing history. I hear how it sounds. I’m the dirt-bag for even saying it. I spilled the wine. It was me. I can’t be trusted. I can’t do anything. Shondra, I’m sorry. I’m not mad at you. I’m mad at me. I’m always more mad at me than anyone but.. I guess I like to first put blame elsewhere cause I’m so fed up with being so bad.

“getting rid of these assholes” by Julia at Jessica and Rick’s kitchen table


Wednesday, April 14, 2015
11:57pm
5 minutes
Julia’s notebook

I’ve made a list of all the people who will be no longer invited to my existence. I’ve made up this list cause I’ve made up my mind. There is no more room for assholes. This is my new life motto. My new life motto for my new life. No More Room For Assholes. Now I understand that these people sometimes wear masks so you think they’re smiling and supporting you and loving you with their fake fake hearts. They’re good at what they do because they spend all their time being this way to avoid spending any time trying to be happy. Truly happy. Truly happy and helpful and honest with what those things mean. The list is small but it’s there. I don’t need to carry it around with me in my wallet like a proof of identity. I can just feel it in my skin that they’re not welcome anymore. That they don’t make me happy because they love their own misery. I don’t know when this started. It’s as if the ‘live life to the fullest’ alarm went off and I finally stopped pressing snooze…

“GOOD BOY!” By Julia at George Brown Theatre School


Tuesday, April 13, 2015
7:01pm
5 minutes
Overheard at Kits Beach

He strokes the skin right behind my ears. Tells me I’m soft, but I’m hiding it. He takes his tongue to the edge of where is expected. He lightly drags it up my neck to my ear lobe. He pauses. He whispers. “You taste like sunset.” He continues. My earlobe is in his mouth now, the softness being swallowed, chewed, ignited. Tells me I don’t have to be afraid of magic. I start to tell him I’m not–he devours me whole. “Shhh” he croons. “Don’t fight it. I’m here. I’m not going anywhere.” I try again, “I’m not afraid. I’m fine.” He groans in a gentle way, holding my head up with his thumb and forefinger.

“please remove” by Julia on her bed

Monday, April 13, 2015
2:12am
5 minutes
The Blue Bottle Bag

Please remove the idea you have of me in your head. I’m asking you this because I’m desperately trying to fix myself. I don’t know how else to do it but to make sure there’s a clean slate first. I’m aware that I’m asking a lot. Maybe too much. But I wouldn’t be asking at all if I didn’t think it was worth the effort. I’ve just always had this plan for myself. This vision of who I was supposed to be. And I’ve got to admit, I haven’t been so great at upholding that vision. Completing anything that I imagined for myself, that I had set out to do. In fact, I had gotten good, great even, at being the person who doesn’t do anything at all with the intentions for being the person I am supposed to be. So. Maybe it’s more for me than for you, but, in the end it’s for you. In the end it’s for everyone. I know that sounds self-indulgent. I guess cause I have indulged so little in the things that would actually make me better, and so much in the things that don’t matter from one day to the next. I’m trying to sell my cookies here. I’m trying to lay out all my ingredients and convince you that they’re good enough to make you want to try them, buy them, and recommend them to your friends. I’m not selling them for a lot of money either. Not yet, anyway.

“She was in a pure state,” by Sasha at Benny’s


Saturday, April 17, 2015 at Benny’s Cafe
4:01pm
5 minutes
100 Essays I Don’t Have Time To Write
Sarah Ruhl


Jackie peels the orange and lets her long legs dangle off of the top bunk. She drops the rind on the floor. “It’ll make the place smell bearable,” she says, honey-voiced. Kate flicks the bottom of Jackie’s foot. Jackie shrieks. It’s so hot neither of them can move. Kate is reading The Bible, not because she’s religious but because she wants “context.” They wear as little clothing as possible, Jackie in a sports bra and old tennis shorts and Kate in a dress that may as well be a shirt. Each says a quiet thanks that it’s their days off. “Working in this heat would actually kill me,” says Kate. Neither has the insight to realize that all of their dramatic death references connect to the fullness of their youth, pursed lips and raindrops of sweat on the curve of the lower backs. The lodge is fully booked with fishermen from now until October. Jackie works in the kitchen and Kate is a cleaner. Jackie brings Kate cans of BC salmon and leftover strawberry shortcake. Kate makes their beds, tucking a lavender sachet under Jackie’s pillow.

“Ungouge yourself” by Sasha at Benny’s


Friday, April 16, 2015 at Benny’s Cafe
11:17am
5 minutes
A yak.ca bus ad

Climbing into the oldest pair of pants I own, khakis that I got at a flea market when I was fifteen, I consider leaving this place. I won’t, of course, because Pete’s here and he needs me, but I have to give myself the gift of consideration. So, I’m painting the first floor. The furniture is moved away from the walls, draped in old sheets. The rollers are in from the garage, and I got discount paint at that place on Adelaide. It’s hot. Summer is full-bodied here, all sticky sleeps and popsicle drips. I might leave. Pete is getting worse. No one wants to say it, but it’s true. When he goes, I’ll leave. No one will need me anymore. That sounds sad, but I don’t mean it in that way. I’ll be free. Pete texts. “Can you bring orange juice?” He’s never liked orange juice, but chemo has left him wanting strange things, things he never had a taste for, like pulled pork and Oreo cookies.

“always more for less!” By Sasha on her couch


Thursday, April 15, 2015
11:14pm
5 minutes
A Food Basics store sign

tug of war over the land again
birch bark and salmon skin ripped from
their bodies
their roots
my feet in rainboots
cracks in the plastic
the water always finds a way in
how can we make peace with injustice?
should we?
can i?
pinecones marking the sacrificial trail
a tuft of rabbit fur
a shark’s tooth

“getting rid of these assholes” by Sasha on the Sea Wall


Wednesday, April 14, 2015
2:14pm
5 minutes
Julia’s notebook

Ya know Nancy, everyone thinks a me as the lady with all the plants! I hearda kid say I was a witch! I was out watering the spiders and this lil’ guy ridin’ his trike with his Pops… He said, “That’s the crazy witch!” An’ I had this epiphany in that minute, like, what am I even doin’ here? So! I’m gettin’ rid of these assholes. Every single one a ’em. I’m bringin’ them to the curb and I’m puttin’ out a jar. If someone wants a plant they can just go on an’ take it. If they wanna leave me somethin’ that’s okay, too. Never hurts to turn a lil’ profit, right?

“GOOD BOY!” By Sasha at Kits Beach


Tuesday, April 13, 2015
9:14am
5 minutes
Overheard at Kits Beach

I take Ned for a walk every morning. Before I’ve fully arrived here, in the day, I walk down to the beach and I let Ned off the leash even though it’s against the law. It’s my small “Fuck the man”. I don’t do it anywhere else, I play by the rules, but I’m gonna let my hundred pound dog off the damn leash. Come on. There are other dog walkers there, and runners… A few carriage pushers. A few old women in running shoes and shawls. Sometimes I bring my travel mug with green tea. Sometimes I stop for a full fat latte. Screw the fads. My mother drank full fat milk and she was always thin as a broom handle. I don’t reward Ned with treats. I give him a good scratch behind the ears and a “good boy”. It’s enough for him.

“please remove” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Monday, April 13, 2015
11:02am
5 minutes
The Blue Bottle Bag

please remove the cobwebs from around your ears and listen
this this this story
opening like a fist
closing like a flower at
night
catching venus and the moon
an ancient song
we know the tune even though we’ve only heard it whispered
in the womb
the kind of memory that lives in the flora of our guts

“our only option!” By Julia on her bed


Sunday, April 12, 2015
1:05am
5 minutes
A text message from Sarah

Calls me up and he’s like, it’s our only option, we’re doing it, we’re moving to New York City. I say, how can you be so sure? And he says, a place that has city in the name? That was always the winning ticket! I say, but how can you be sure. I told you! He says. It’s in the name. Okay okay, when I got my palms read at the Slice and Saint, she said that New York City would make us happy. Is this before you finished your complimentary pizza slice? I ask. Of course! He says. They don’t let you have the slice without the voodoo! The phone beeps on his end. Gotta take this one, babe! It could be destiny calling!

“Thousands of things” by Julia on her bed


Saturday, April 11, 2015
2:45am
5 minutes
The Bargain Club sign

Got a thousand things to do today meliss! I set my alarm for exactly 7:41am, snoozed it for exactly 9 minutes, laid in bed for exactly ten more minutes thinking about the thousand things I have to do, and then I finally got out of bed by 8:00 am. I was prepared to get started, I had made a list, and then on my way to the bathroom, I tripped on the steamer that I left in the middle of the floor (cause I thought I’d just be able to SEE it and something like this would never even happen), I fell to the ground, and I fractured my wrist, meliss! How was I supposed to get things done like that!

“I was just, like, wondering” by Julia at her desk


Friday, April 10, 2015
11:39pm
5 minutes
Overheard at W Caffe

I’m always wondering
Where will I go
And if I should carry you
With me
Will I know?
I’m always wondering
What will I be
And If I should stay with you
Or leave
Will I see?
I’m always wondering
If I am strong
And if I should hold you close
To me
Will I be wrong?
I’m always wondering
What should I say
And if I can forgive you
For me
Would I fly away?
I’m always wondering
Is this the end
And if I can feel you
With me
Will our hearts mend?
I’m always wondering
Can I be great
And will you please free me
From you
Will I be saved?

“These jokes are for intellectuals only. ” By Julia at Pearson airport


Thursday, April 9, 2015
9:24pm
5 minutes
higherperspectives.com

Here’s one: what did the farmer say to his neighbour farmer yesterday morning? He said good morning, neighbour. Oh another? What did the elephant do to cool off? It sprayed itself with water, just like a regular elephant would. Making you laugh I see. Well in that case you’ll love this one: When is the right time to throw out your garbage? When the bin is full. Yeah yeah. These are fun. I could keep going all day. What did the basket ball team do again last night? They lost. Two apples roll down a hill. One is red. One is green. The green apple bumps into the red apple. And the red apple says to the green apple, “What do you think I am a typewriter?” That one’s my favourite. Classic typewriter jokes. Hope you didn’t find these too hard to understand. I know how difficult intellectual jokes can be for the average mind. If it makes you feel any better, I didn’t get the typewriter one at first either. Obviously now I do though. Obviously now I do.

“Bitch better have my money” by Julia in a taxi


Wednesday, April 8, 2015
3:21pm
5 minutes
Better Have My Money
Rihanna


Went to the mailbox today. Noticed all my letters were soaked right through. Holes. I chalk it up to holes. I expect this shitbox house I am living in with its shitbox buzzing refrigerator and its shitbox screaming radiators and its shitbox location right beside not one but TWO railway tracks to also have a leaky shitbox mail collector. I have no more hopes for myself. I’m at what you would call, rock bottom. And no, though you think it might, it doesn’t feel good. Sorry I get sarcastic when I’ve slept for only 3 hours because my shitbox neighbours were up until sunrise playing a death metal rendition of The Itsy Bitsy Spider. I LOVE MY LIFE.

“Are you free” by Julia on the 47 going north


Tuesday, April 7, 2015
11:57pm
5 minutes
From a text message

Are you free of your anger and your blame? Or do you curse at the passing bus who forgot to show you compassion and pick you up even though you were waiting just two feet too wrong to board? Are you free of your expectations and your disappointment? Or do you wonder why some people operate on a different level than you do? I’m a bit of Column A, little of Column B. I ask these questions because I’m half hoping you’ll say no and half hoping to hear you say yes. Solidarity. For one. And inspiration for two. Cause I’m not there yet. Cause I really want to be but I don’t know how to to find it. Are they already inside? The releasing agents? The ones that set my mind and heart and soul free of all their burdens? For this one I hope you say yes yes yes so I can stop with these excuses.

“Your values” by Julia on her couch


Monday, April 6, 2015
12:41am
5 minutes
From a bookmark

I wish I could go back in time and erase all the bad thoughts I’ve ever had about you. Not that I regret having them because you were hurt by them. You don’t even know they exist. I want to erase them because they remind me of a time when I didn’t trust myself enough to fall deeply. I’m mad that I had the signs laid out in front of me. All the proof was there: you were good. You showed me everyday. You made me feel it even when it felt impossible. And sometimes the fear of being fully loved by you manifested itself into negative thoughts about you. If I could I would replace all those bad ones with all the times you made me laugh, all the times you told me I was beautiful even when I had just woken up, all the times you serenaded me with your ukulele, all the times you held my hand when I got too scared to take a risk. It’s not to prove to you that I’m only keeping the good stuff from now on, it’s to prove to me that I know the difference.

“our only option!” By Sasha on her couch


Sunday, April 12, 2015
10:03pm
5 minutes
A text message from Sarah

Margot had never planned on living in the Five Alive Motel, it just sorta happened. When she and Lucy split up, Lucy got Suki, their German Shepard, which meant she got to keep the apartment. “What do I get?! What do I even get?!” Margot had shrieked until her voice was horse. Lucy had given her the cast iron frying pan, the red Rubbermaid blender and a teapot that her mother had given them when they first moved in together.

The Five Alive actually has a different name, but it smells like Five Alive so Margot calls it that. “Better than urine!” She jokes to the cashier at the IGA. She’s stocking up on nacho fixings, the primary food group for the broken hearted. She chooses her salsa carefully, switching it up every time in pursuit of the perfect blend of sweet, spicy and tangy. “When ya movin’ on, hon?” Asks the cashier, all feathered bangs and chipped coral nail polish. “Moving on?” Margot opens the bag of tortilla chips and starts stuffing them in her mouth. It was then, tongue burning with salt, cheeks being torn open by the sharp edges, that she realizes she’s been at the Five Alive for seven weeks. “Shit,” she says, reaching across the checkout, chip bag extended towards the cashier.

“Thousands of things” by Sasha in front of the fire


Saturday, April 11, 2015
10:28pm
5 minutes
The Bargain Club sign

Ellie isn’t sure when they started coming, if it was before Ryan started to leave bananas on the counter to ripen, or after the cherry blossoms bloomed. The ant infestation has gotten out of hand. She takes her frustration out on the carrots she chops for Gerrard, the sixteen year old rabbit that once belonged to her older sister. Ryan is at work when she decides that something must be done. “I’ve tried everything,” she’d said earlier, brushing her teeth. “What have you tried?” Ryan asked. “I sprinkled cayenne everywhere, and I made a honey trap!” She washed her face and Ryan left the bathroom, pulling on one grey sock, and then the other, as he walked down the hall. Ellie goes to the Home Hardware a few blocks away and asks the teenager with bad acne and nice teeth where she might find the pest control isle. He leads her there, sneaking a peek at his cellphone on the way. “What’s your vermin?” He asks, like it doesn’t matter, like he gets this question a lot. Ellie wonders why employees aren’t trained on sensitivity. “Lower your voice,” she growls. “Sorry,” he whispers, smiling, revealing teeth like Chicklets, all perfectly lined up. “Ants,” she replies. He crouches down and she crouches too, you’re in this with me now, she thinks. He hands her something called Raid, something nozzled and metallic. “This’ll get them good.” He leads Ellie to the cash, like she’s his puppy from the pound.

“I was just, like, wondering” by Sasha at W Caffe


Friday, April 10, 2015 at W Caffe
1:24pm
5 minutes
Overheard at W Caffe

I was just, like, wondering if maybe I could go out tonight? Papa? I’m just gonna turn down your program for a minute because I need your permission, or, I’m wondering if I could – … So there’s a, a, friend, a new friend that I made in my Chess Club and h – … they invited me out to a, a place… I’ll ride my bike and maybe take a taxi home? May I? Papa?

There’s nothing I can do to convince you? I don’t really think it’s fair because I’m seventeen and other girls are allowed to go out on a Friday and I’m already done my homework for the whole weekend… I did practice the violin.

COME ON! I do well in school! I come straight home every day! How many times have I asked you for something like this? Do you want me to start sneaking around like every other teenager?!

“These jokes are for intellectuals only. ” By Sasha outside of Whole Foods on W 4th


Thursday, April 9, 2015
4:42pm
5 minutes
higherperspectives.com

I’m gonna take just a few minutes of your time… Like, three, yeah, five minutes. If I make you laugh, you gotta give me ten dollars, okay? Okay. A mushroom walks into a and sidles up to this super hot redhead. He sits down beside her. He’s like, “Babe, can I buy you a drink?” She rolls her eyes and is like, “Um, NO.” He order a shot of tequila and says, “Why? I’m a FUN GUY!” Like, get it? Like, FUNGHI?! Like, mushroom?! Why aren’t you laughing? That’s my best one, lady, I don’t know what you thought I was gonna say, I mean… Are you one of those intellectuals that only really laugh at, like, clever jokes, like the kind in The New Yorker? Not my fucking brand.

“Bitch better have my money” by Sasha on the 99 going East


Wednesday, April 8, 2015
6:25pm
5 minutes
Better Have My Money
Rihanna


black eye magenta dream smoking gun lemon water blue pulse bank statements birch bark juxtaposition rejection rainbow rainbow bitch better have my money publish publish kick the habit wearing the same thing weeks and weeks it’s raining again rainbow we can cross our fingers for that we can cross our fingers for the cardboard recycling we can cross our fingers for a good sweet spot cheesecake redhead lettuce cucumber slice slice the knife coffin of circumstance unsure unsure backpack straps digging into flesh inconsequential tattoos

“Are you free” by Sasha on a bench at UBC


Tuesday, April 7, 2015
10:25pm
5 minutes
From a text message

Not sure how I got here but Goddamn am I glad that I am…
Remember last night? Blurry blurry foggy head like cobwebs, man, like sticky cobwebs…
We made a pact, right? Blood brothers?
Army pants were on the floor this morning and I was like, What the fuck?
Man, did you bring me home?
Whole 24 pack, right?
Trying to quit smoking but, like, it’s hard man, it’s so, like, deep.
The craving.
It’s from my cuts.
It’s from my guts.
Forgetabout it.
Want a Red Bull? I think I’ve got one in my backpack.
Fuck.
Where’s my backpack?
Man, have you seen my backpack?

“Your values” by Sasha on her couch


Monday, April 6, 2015
12:25pm
5 minutes
From a bookmark

You’ve got the value
You’ve got the game
You’ve got the pace
You’ve got the flame
You’ve got the smile
You’ve got the heart
You’ve got the garlic
You’ve got the smarts
You’ve got the face
You’ve got the mind
You’ve got the songs
You’re one of a kind
You’ve got the run
You’ve got the bat
You’ve got the coat
You’ve got the fat
You’ve got the sweat
You’ve got the guts
You’ve got the monkey
You’ve got the mutts

“Is it coffee time yet?” by Sasha on Sarah’s bed in Abbotsford


Sunday, April 5, 2015
11:14pm
5 minutes
Overheard at the bus station in Kitchener

She ties the rubber in a knot and flicks the white liquid. She scrunches her nose. She adds it to the jar. Thirty five. She texts Bec. “Up yer game bitch”. Flat Face Pug Man was completely quiet when he came. His Flat Face barely changed. She’d watch them, all of them, number six through til now, focused on the tiny muscles around their eyes, the purse of the lips, the flexing biceps.

“Thank you for using Bell, how may I help you today?” She gulps from her coffee mug. “Nancy?” She recognizes the voice. Her heart drops, a bomb in her stomach. “Hold please…” She crawls under her desk and sucks her thumb. Chris finds her like that, three hours later. “Are you okay?” She nods. Her phone vibrates on the cubicle desk above her head. “It’s from Bec,” says Chris, getting down on his knees and taking her face in his hands.

“Welcome visitors from Denmark” by Sasha on the 99 going West


Saturday April 4, 2015
10:01pm
5 minutes
from a school sign

cold coffee in a pottery mug made by hands that know the fault lines of a woman’s body
too much almond milk and a dash of vanilla
denmark feels far with so much water between
honey
lick the lip
guard the contents
a lioness
not sure about the night on these flower streets
not sure about eye contact or road signs or lazy feet
unrolling the mat is the hardest part
once you’re there the truth flows
honey
lick the lip
once you’re there the streetlight doesn’t forget anyone
her hips are the mantra i’ve been waiting for