“Our backyard garden plot” by Sasha in the passenger seat of a Car2Go


Saturday, June 26, 2015
11:32pm
5 minutes
From the back of a photo from Sarah

Dear Jemima,
I put in the garden this weekend and I can’t thank you enough for sending over those seeds. I can already feel them growing. It’s amazing to look over the raised beds and think of the cuttings from Babs and the seeds from you… You’re both growing so close! I like that a lot. I bought a huge bunch of garlic scapes at the market and I’m going to make them into pesto. They’re so pungent! Do you think I should roast them first or something? Garlic and parm and stuff? Whenever I’m in the kitchen I think about you and how easily all that stuff seems to be when you’re doing it. You effortless beauty. I’m always second guessing every move. I’ve got to try to be more confident, I think. Have you got a garden this year? I know it’s a commitment, but I don’t think you’ll regret it.

“nasal congestion” by Sasha outside of Banyan Books


Friday, June 25, 2015 outside of Banyan Books
11:41am
5 minutes
NETI: Healing Secrets of Yoga and Ayurveda


You’re ready. You’ve got a bottle of Grapefruit Perrier and a small bag of peanut M & M’s, poured into a pink teacup because you’re classy like that. You even blew your nose so that all your senses could be in their most tip top shape. You turn up your screen brightness and adjust the volume just in case there’s any video content. You know your route, your map, your lily pad path on which you’ll jump. You’ll hit up exactly two ex-boyfriends, but that’s just the warm-up, like a quad stretch or a neck roll. Then, you’re ready for the big leagues. The Ladies. First, the ex-girlfriend of an ex-fuck buddy. She’s so political. She’s so colourful and always has impeccable, stylish but not too stylish haircuts. She’s vegan. You eat exactly twelve M & M’s on her pages (Facebook settings are private, so quick! On to Twitter and Tumblr!), and then feel guilty and dump the rest in the compost. Next, the sister of your best friend from grade three. She’s a violinist. She’s in a band. She blogs while they’re on tour and one time you definitely had sex with the drummer so it’s a nice way to keep tabs! No! Big! Deal! You feel shitty about the fact that you called him drunk two years after sleeping with him ONCE and try to fish the M & M’s out of the compost. #FAIL

“Let me just check the mail” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Thursday, June 25, 2015
10:31am
5 minutes
Said by Nadeem

she lost her voice on the train tracks
she fell and when she stood
there it was
sizzling on the metal
when the train came
she watched from behind a juniper
the urge to scream replaced with a breath
an open mouth

she lost her voice on the train tracks
she waited and
waited
and waited to see if maybe
in the moonlight
it would resurrect
she fell asleep with pinecones as her pillow
and when she woke
she looked in the direction of her voice
she looked in the direction of the stars
the aurora borealis
there it was
chasing colours
and having more fun that it’d ever had before

“I got my new hair” by Sasha on her porch


Wednesday, June 24, 2015
5:43pm
5 minutes
Overheard at grange park

“Here we go,” he says, lifting Jo up. He puts her in her carseat. She isn’t sure about how tight it buckles around her waist. She isn’t sure about the smell of Dad’s breath. “Ahhh,” she says. He kisses her on the nose. “You’re a buttercup, Jo. You’re my little sunshine buttercup.” He closes the door and gets in the front seat. “Like my new hair, Jo?” He asks, checking himself out in the rearview mirror. “Gaaaa,” she says.

Somewhere on the highway, away from the buses and the hum of the city, he pulls over and calls Veronique. “Honey, I’ve got Jo. We’re going to visit your brother.” She hears her mother’s resistance and makes a small coo in solidarity.

“It is impossible to live without failing” by Julia at Valens Restaurant


Tuesday, June 23, 2015
5:23pm
5 minutes
A quote by J.K. Rowling

She came home huffing in and out like she was attached to a ventilator. It was exaggerated and annoying and I wanted to punch her strong in the throat to get her to just shut up and stop bragging about how gassed she was. She had seen me earlier on the couch with the TV blaring and I guess she thought I hadn’t left that spot all day or something? I did, for the record, in case anyone’s actually keeping tabs on me. I’ve been working more than ever, more than I should be, more than her and I combined, but sometimes it doesn’t look that way at all. She was smiling at me as if she pitied me and was trying to include me in something. Conversation, self-improvement, something like that. She asked, “How was your day?” And I pretended I didn’t hear her. She repeated herself, “How was your day today?” And I refused to turn around when I said, “Oh. It was fine. Thanks so much for asking.”

“It is impossible to live without failing” by Sasha at Higher Grounds


Tuesday, June 23, 2015 at Higher Grounds
1:07pm
5 minutes
A quote by J.K. Rowling

The last time I saw you I didn’t recognize you, which is funny because I came from your body so one would think that that’s the find of recognition that just sort of, happens.

In class, my writing teacher is preoccupied by “Obsessions”. He makes us list them and recite them and feel them on our tongues. I hate it. I find myself writing the same obsessions every class and feel as though I’m boring everyone. I’m boring myself.

Failure
Mother
Mother
Mother
Failure
Orphans
Mother
Drugs
Cancer
Mother
Mother
Failure
Mother
Mother
Mother
Drugs
Orphans

“from bridges to clouds” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Monday, June 22, 2015
6:11pm
5 minutes
theawesomedaily.com

Mitch drove a green Ford pick-up that summer and he felt proud to be so high off the ground. When he filled up the tank he wondered about how manly he looked and whether or not his shoulders were filling out his T-shirt well. He made a left onto Lexington and saw Jennie and Angel on her front porch. He slowed down. They were passing a litre bottle of Ginger ale back and forth. Jennie clocked him and his whole body reacted – a ripple of want and lust and longing. “HEY!” Called Angel, “Mitch Porter!” He pulled over and took a deep breath before hopping out of the truck. He slowly walked up to the house, not waiting to come across as too eager. The girls watched him. “Haven’t seen you since school got out, hey?” Jennie drank. He sat on the third step. “What’re you up to this summer?” Angel lit a cigarette. “Can I bum one off you?” Mitch asked. She extended the pack. He took one and lit it, hoping neither of them would be able to tell it was his first.

“Overthinking it” by Sasha in the cabin on Galiano


Sunday, June 21, 2015
9:11am
5 minutes
from a tweet

“You’re overthinking it, Cece!”
“Am not!”
“Just do it!”
“AH! I’m scared!”
“Just jump! We’re all waiting for you!”
“But – ”
“Shit or get off the pot, honey!”
“Be quiet, DAD!”
“You can do it, Cece!”
“Ce-ce! Ce-ce! Ce-ce!”

Cece jumps, after thirty six minutes of prompting and agonizing and feeling rushed and feeling afraid. She jumps and the water’s colder than she expected. She sees a flash of the woman she never imagined she’d become. She sees strong arms and a heart unencumbered by potential betrayal, or loss, or ecstasy. When she surfaces, Felix is there and he kisses her on the cheek and says, “You did it, Cec. You actually did it. None of us thought you could, or would, we thought you could, I thought you could, but I didn’t think that you would.”

“suffers from a lack of imagination.” By Sasha on White Shell Beach


Saturday, June 20, 2015
4:12pm
5 minutes
from a quote by Oscar Wilde

Julie reads her horoscope every morning. In fact, she reads three versions, all on different websites that different psychics recommended. She hopes that they’ll bring her inspiration. She crosses her fingers all the way through the last one, whispering, “Gimme gimme gimme,” just like the ABBA song, but different.

Writer’s block came like a fog, thick and inconvenient. She felt like she couldn’t see, like she couldn’t feel, like she couldn’t meet deadlines, like she’d die seated at her writing desk, where she’d had so much luck before.

“I’m sorry, Mel, I just need a couple more weeks…”
“You’re three months overdue, Julie – ”
“I know, I know. I’m sorry.”
“You’ve put me in a real tough position.”
“I’m – ”
“If you don’t have pages to me by the end of the week the deal’s off, hon.”

She takes up smoking, thinking that it can’t get worse. She’s addicted after the fourth drag. Maybe the protagonist is a smoker. Yes! That’s it. Billy McDonald is a chain-smoker. That’s why Lisbeth leaves him! That’s the final straw!

“Sentenced to two years for new offences” by Sasha at Culprit


Friday, June 19, 2015 at Culprit
4:42pm
5 minutes
CP24

You never thought it would come to this. You never thought you’d be here. You never thought your wrists would be bruised by handcuffs and that you’d be wearing granny panties and and a used bra two sizes too big. You never thought you’d be sentenced to two years for new offences. You never thought that you’d be back. You never thought that once you were out you’d be tempted and you’d fuck up and you’d be arrested. Again. you never thought that you’d kiss a woman. You never thought that your sons would be raised by your mother. You hope that she’ll do better with them than she did with you. You never thought that they’d stop coming to visit after only two years. You never thought you’d develop a taste for mashed potatoes. You never thought you’d cut your hair short. You never thought you’d miss the smell of freshly cut grass.

“before you begin” by Sasha on the 99 going East


Thursday, June 18, 2015
6:02pm
5 minutes
livestrong.com

before the sun rose you lifted your cup to your lips
you drank
you stood from your bed and prayed for strength
for tea
for warm enough socks
you were out of the house before the phone call that would change a lot
not everything
but a lot
you were on the highway
speeding towards the light
your cellphone
forgotten on the kitchen counter beside the cereal bowl
muesli
you’d switched from the sugary stuff after ron got diabetes
your phobia of needles stronger than your desire for sweet

“from bridges to clouds” by Julia on Amanda’s patio


Monday, June 22, 2015
8:16am
5 minutes
theawesomedaily.com

My sister, Monica, loved a book when we were growing up: Bridge to Terabithia. I never read it but I didn’t have to cause my sister told me all about it 2 billion times and it was somehow my favourite book too. I would have favoured anything that already had my older sister’s stamp of approval. She knew good books. I trusted her. Monica also knew how to french kiss and told me to practice on the crook of my elbow. She said that space there felt the most like a mouth that I could get. She was right about that too. She was very wise and so I waited for her opinions before I gave mine. When I told Monica that I wanted to shave my head like her, she told me I should wait until the full moon to decide cause in that moment I wasn’t making the decision for me.

“Overthinking it” by Julia on Amanda’s couch


Sunday, June 21, 2015
2:10am
5 minutes
from a tweet

When Alana showed up everyone else had already taken their pill, or their half, or their second by that point. She was the only one who was seeing the world the way she was and she didn’t know if she wanted to even be there. Someone offered her some M and she took it in her hand but didn’t put it in her mouth. She wondered about leaving with the pill and doing it completely by herself so she could experiment with the environment and have access to recording devices. Alana couldn’t stop pre-planning and she was getting excited by all the possibilities of finding herself away from these people. Some guy with a bow tie danced past her and told her she looked exquisite in the moonlight. She smiled and said, “so do you”, and she meant it, but she wanted to mean it the way he did. She debated where that would best occur.

“suffers from a lack of imagination.” by Julia at her desk


Saturday, June 20, 2015
1:01am
5 minutes
from a quote by Oscar Wilde

Teeny had all her materials splayed out on the deck. She was painting her white canvas sneakers–had the idea to make them look like sunsets without actually being sunsets. She wasn’t allowed to actually paint sunsets. Just the feeling of sunsets. The essence.
Teeny’s paints were smeared across her face and neck. She was allowing herself to “get messy” and “stay messy” cause that’s what professor Islington told her she was missing in her life. “You need to let go and paint from that place of freedom and ease. Stop trying to control the product.”
Teeny couldn’t help herself, she wanted to control everything. Even this uncontrolled shoe painting that’s supposed to be free and easy was becoming work. Too meticulous and too formulaic. Professor Islington made Teeny feel like she lacked imagination. She would show him with these half planned and structured canvas shoe sunsets.

“Sentenced to two years for new offences” by Julia at Ka Chi


Friday, June 19, 2015 at Ka Chi
3:33pm
5 minutes
CP24

I don’t want to talk about jail cause that’s a part of my life that I don’t want to talk about. So, how’s Astrid?
You think I can talk about Astrid right now?
I think it’d be nice if you did. I’ve missed her. I’ve thought about her a lot. I don’t know, what else do we even have in common anymore?
Not much.
No.
She’s fine.
Yeah?
Yeah. Alive, happy. She’s fine.
Well what’s she been learning in school lately? What’s her favourite colour now?
Look, Lee, I don’t feel right discussing her with you. She’s none of your business, if I have to say it.
I know that. I know that. I don’t deserve to know about her. I’m just asking you to, I don’t know, show some compassion, here. Break the rules for a good cause or something.
Compassion? If there’s one thing I don’t have for you, Lee, it’s compassion.

“before you begin” by Julia at Valens Restaurant


Thursday, June 18, 2015
6:17pm
5 minutes
livestrong.com

I am at a loss for words. Which doesn’t usually happen to me. I’m the kind of person who always knows what to say. I’m also one of those people who says “I’m the kind of person”. And I don’t say it ironically. I say it because I think it makes me sound refined and special and unique. So because I’m the kind of person who usually has the right words ready to access at the blow of an arm hair, I’m now finding myself the kind of person who is “at a loss for words”. I suppose before I continue I should begin with a little backstory. See, I’m the kind of person who likes to always provide a bit of a backstory so everyone can get on the same page, and really begin to champion the whole tale. I believe in reeling the kinds of people who appreciate “drama” and “entertainment” and who let me take centre stage of any conversation so I may grace the masses with my gift of words.

“calm and balance your mind” by Julia on her couch


Wednesday, June 17, 2015
3:21pm
5 minutes
The Epsom salt bag

I had a good friend and I loved her and her name was Annie but she begged us to call her SID so we did cause it suited her but only after she dyed her hair bright purple like Easter threw up. I liked spending time with Annie who let me and only me call her Annie because she was full of good ideas about how to find “eternal happiness”. Once Annie showed me how to breathe and I didn’t think it was a very necessary thing because hadn’t I been breathing this whole time? But Annie showed me the right way and I paid close attention cause the way Annie breathed felt a lot better than the way I had been doing it and from that moment on I knew that I could trust her and she wouldn’t laugh at me for somehow not knowing how to do something I was born knowing how to do. When we went to the drive in, Tucker and Jesse and Leila tried to convince us to go cow-tipping after the movie was done cause we were in this big field and they said “SID, YOU HAVE TO COME WITH US!” And I looked at Sid with my “Annie” eyes and she told them, “why don’t we all just learn to breathe instead?”

“the important mother” by Julia at her desk


Tuesday, June 16, 2015
11:47pm
5 minutes
Back of the Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar bottle

She wasn’t a very good mother, I can say that without even feeling the slightest pang of guilt. Wanna know why? Cause she wouldn’t let me love her. Not even a little bit. She made me call her by her first name. She didn’t want to be a mother, you understand? She didn’t want me at all. She used to send me to school with half used packets of Sweet And Low. And that was it. No PB&J with the crusts cut off, not even bologna and mayo. Sweet and Low, not ever the full packet. And that’s what she expected me to eat. Or that’s what I thought. It took me longer than it should have to figure out that she was trying to get me taken away from her. She thought maybe the teachers would see what she was packing me for lunch and send a note home, a warning, then maybe get a social worker to come and break the door down or something while she was watching Days of Our Lives. I guess every system failed me, cause I was never questioned. Maybe Deena’s first mistake was sending me to a school that couldn’t give a fuck about me either.

“calm and balance your mind” by Sasha on her porch


Wednesday, June 17, 2015
8:13pm
5 minutes
The Epsom salt bag

If I made a claymation stop
motion
film of your life I would build
twelve tiny bathtubs
A blue one and a grey one and a yellow one
For the most important months
All the clocks of your life
The cycle starts orange and ends green
A single mint leaf in the bottom of the hand-painted porcelain teacup
I would use your fingers to move the tubs
Here and there across the counter
The marble
The table
The wood
The porch
Here and there they’d go
Dancing in the bumblebee sunlight
Tiny clawfeet
Shaped with a toothpick
You could have written the soundtrack but you don’t
You ask your twin to
In a dream
She hears you
She delivers an orchestra to my doorstep
Tuba and violin
Cello and piccolo

“the important mother” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Tuesday, June 16, 2015
10:48pm
5 minutes
Back of the Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar bottle

oops she dropped the ball again the important ball the big ball the one with the attached little balls and the
oops she let it all go again she slid in the compost pile and got pineapple all over her ass
oops she’s in the lost and found again beside empty wallets and ten million umbrellas and thirty six cell phones with no chargers and an ace of spaces ace of spaces ace of spades mother of pearl
oops she fell down the well again blowing bubbles til she’s saved by her own shortcomings
for once she didn’t plan it
her fall
oops she finds a diamond ring and marries her devotion to the weather
oops she got wax on the tablecloth again she’ll get it out she always does out damn spot damn beeswax damn fire

”Many people want love to function like a drug,” by Julia on the 505 going east


Monday, June 15, 2015
4:48pm
5 minutes
A quote by bell hooks

Do me fix me haunt me lick me
i want that kind
that sticky kind
that getting matted in your hair kind
tangled in your feelings
watching a parade
dare me wear me tear me care me
i want that kind too
that exposed kind
that open and vulnerable scary and beautiful kind
accepting and overwhelming
sitting side by side at the river
ease me lift me tease me shift me
i want that kind
that vibrant kind
that moment intensifying everything is interesting kind
promises projected in each other’s eyes like a private motion picture show

“Foul language” by Julia on her couch


Sunday, June 14, 2015
6:52pm
5 minutes
overheard at Kits Beach

Am I out of control?
That’s a line that took me over one whole minute to craft. I wrote “Am I” without even knowing I was doing it. That one’s the easy one. It’s narrowing down the second part that’s really work. I thought for a whole minute before I wrote “out of control”. I don’t know why that took so long. Why it felt that precious. I couldn’t just outright ask. It needed some dancing around the subject first. It needed some profound introspection. A) because I needed to make sure I really wanted to ask it. And B) because I needed to make sure I wanted to hear the answer.

”Many people want love to function like a drug,” by Sasha at Higher Grounds


Monday, June 15, 2015
4:13pm
5 minutes
A quote by bell hooks

I peel the sticker on the back of the “Visitor” tag off and stick it to my T-shirt. The guard pats me down and lingers on my left pocket. “I said empty your pockets,” she says. I take out Jose’s small red truck he wanted grandma to have. “What’s this?” She asks, like she’s never seen a toy before. “It’s my sons,” I say, “sorry, I forgot it was in there…” I toss it in the trash can. “You didn’t have to do that!” The guard smirks. “Won’t your kid be pissed?” “My kid will be fine. He has a few others.” I push past her and she grabs my shoulder. “Is there a problem?” “Nope…” “Who’re you here to see?” She takes out a clipboard. “Monique Rodriguez.” She looks up and raises her eyebrows. “What?” I say, worried, defensive, unsure. “You didn’t hear?” She licks her lips. “Hear what?” “Monique is in the hospital… She got in a fight.” “Excuse me?” My heart sinks. I hadn’t been to see my mother since two Christmas’ ago. I’d taken a five hour flight and a two hour bus ride to be there. “My mother is a pacifist,” I feel a tear trying to sneak out of my left eye but I will it back in. Not now. Not now.

“Foul language” by Sasha at Jericho Beach


Sunday, June 14, 2015
1:35pm
5 minutes
overheard at Kits Beach

The dust settles and we shake pinkies
The gentlest touch
The ladybug crawling across the window pane
In the afternoon sun the lazies settle in
I try to paint your toenail pink but
failure is inevitable
You dig your feet into the earth where the hostas multiply
Pour me another cup of cold brew
You already have my heart
You’re already winning
James Taylor on the record player
A braid in my hair from three days ago
I sit on the peeling black paint of the deck
And a hornet
“FUCK!”
Bursting the bubble of sunshine and gentle

“if you gave me a chance I would take it” by Sasha on her porch


Saturday, June 13, 2015
9:12pm
5 minutes
Rather Be
Clean Bandit


My Mom and the only other Jewish mother came in to my Grade Two class on the first day of Chanukah and made latkes. I wonder what the other mother’s thought when they smelled the indescribable smell of oily potatoes in their children’s hair and on their wooly sweaters, a bit threadbare at the elbows and stained with paint and almond butter? “What did you do at school today?” They might’ve asked, pulling an undershirt over their child’s ringleted head, the music of the running bath in the background. We spun dreidels until we were dizzy with sore tummy’s from laughing, and sang “Baruch Ata Adonai” before decorating our latkes with applesauce and goat yogurt. I was proud of my mother’s heritage – Katie and I were special, the only Jews in the class! There was nothing complicated about it. The complications would sneak in like Winter, grabbing Autumn’s hand one night and refusing to let go.

“if you gave me a chance I would take it” by Julia on her patio


Saturday, June 13, 2015
2:35pm
5 minutes
Rather Be
Clean Bandit


Clean break
Said goodbye
Said it twice
Left the room
Turned back
Waited to make meaningful eye contact
You didn’t see me
Said goodbye too
Said it with your back to me
So what now
What do I hold onto
That memory
Should be enough
To remind me that it’s over
You said goodbye
Said it twice
Clean break
No lasting happy thoughts
To tricks of the mind
True colours splattered on the walls
For all to see
No hiding them
No covering them up
No pretending they don’t exist
So believe them now
Trying to
Cause those true colours
Aren’t doing it for me
Aren’t lifting me up
And I know they’re supposed to
Clean break
Painful aftermath
Sad songs playing on the radio
On repeat
Waking up alone
wanting to die
Said goodbye
Said it twice

“Let me just say he did some pretty terrible things” by Julia at Valens Restaurant


Friday, June 12, 2015
5:01pm
5 minutes
Overheard at Valens

Graham was finally allowed to see his daughter in two years and he wasn’t going to sabotage himself this time. No chance in hell was he willing to risk anything getting in the way of that sweet angel face. Gina didn’t want to bring her. She said a prison is not the place she wanted Olivia to associate him with. She said this isn’t good for the baby. Graham wanted to believe that she was still too young to be affected by this or anything that he was guilty of doing. But Olivia wasn’t a baby anymore. She was three now. She had nightmares and daydreams and memories. And graham had missed the part where she didn’t have those. Where she hadn’t grown up without a daddy yet.

“If you find yourself with a free second” by Julia on her patio


Thursday, June 11, 2015
11:14pm
5 minutes
from a staff meeting handout

Take that second to hold your face in the mirror and smile at that beautiful thing that is growing and sharing and developing in front of your very eyes. Such self love is necessary to survive and thrive and achieve and believe. It starts with an appreciation for magic and mistakes, for findings and failures, for dreams and denials. We can love a loaf of bread with every fiber of our being, but when we hold ourselves up to the light we can’t indulge in ourselves the same way. We can not crave it or feed ourselves with it. And we must. We must feed our souls with intense and concentrated self love, the kind that springs eternal when it’s allowed to enter. And though it’s not a vampire and it won’t kill us, it still won’t come in unless we invite it in.

“Northern Adventures” by Julia at her desk


Wednesday, June 10, 2015
11:03am
5 minutes
from a pamphlet

Taking a road trip in September to a new place a new hideaway a new home and you’re gonna drive and I’m gonna pick the mixed CD and you’re gonna say “look at that view” and I’m gonna take a photo of it in September when the air is still warm and the trees still green that’s when you promised me first and that’s when I said yes I’ll do it I’ll follow you if you lead me to the best parts of me if you show me I won’t be missing anything here or if you just keep loving me the way you do I’ll go with you anywhere and then one day when we’ve seen the world we will curl up in front of the slideshow of our lives and be perfectly content we only have to wait until September that’s when everything good can begin to be born and develop and flourish and nourish and save us

“He always was kinda young looking” by Julia at Valens restaurant


Tuesday, June 9, 2015 at Valens
5:31pm
5 minutes
overheard at the ferry terminal

My brother Reid’s eyelashes were so long they used to get caught in his eyes, like a little cow. He hated how they tangled into each other and refused to grow outward. Because of them he always had red eyes as if they had just been rubbed or showing the effects of recreational substance use. Once this got him in trouble with a police officer who believed his red eyes to be a sign of impaired driving. Reid was embarrassed to admit it was because his eyelashes were so long. That answer doesn’t sound real but I swear to you it is.

“Can I get you anything?” by Julia at her desk


Monday, June 8, 2015
3:12pm
5 minutes
Overheard at Culprit Coffee Co.

Then suddenly I was at his funeral and his mother had asked me to say a few words. I didn’t want to say any words at all, maybe for the first time in my entire life, even. I was angry at her for even suggesting it, as if she knew I couldn’t say no even though I feared that saying anything at all would break me into a million pieces, beyond repair and reassembly.
So I started to write out a dedication to my fiancé and realized it would take years to truly honour him properly. The way I was headed, I was lucky if I could get past writing his name without weeping uncontrollably, no matter where I was or how much I had just cried over him. I didn’t want to seem weak, but what if I couldn’t read anything when it was time? What if the only thing that came out was a pained shriek or a wimper?

“cake and frozen yogurt” by Julia on the Greyhound


Sunday, June 7, 2015
9:01pm
5 minutes
From a sign on Queen’s Quay

He worked in one of those giant lobbies, his shiny desk the only fixture in the entire space. From the outside his place of employment was like a fish bowl: glass windows all around, anyone looking in whenever they wanted to, the room itself encasing a slab of marble and a couple sparse plants. He had been trying to figure out just what exactly made him so damn anxious everyday about going to work; about sitting in his fish bowl. It wasn’t the fact that he was completely visible and couldn’t risk doing his alone behaviour. He did whatever he wanted without hesitation. It was something else. Perhaps the feeling of intense loneliness mixed with the artificial comfort of being the most important thing in a room.

“are you from here?” By Julia at R&D Restaurant


Saturday, June 6, 2015 at R&D
5:25pm
5 minutes
Overheard at R&D

I didn’t know what to say, she was this beautiful blonde with tits as big as my head. Dressed in a sweet long dress that I imagined was covering her perfect panty-less ass. I believe this woman doesn’t wear underwear. Just let me have that, okay?
She asked me if I was from here and I think I died. Classic line. She was engaging with me and I wanted to play. But, call me crazy, maybe it was the boyfriend sitting right beside her, but I didn’t feel right saying anything at all. As if she was testing him and he was testing me. But her perfect blonde tits and her perfect free and liberated ass….they haunt me still. As if I was almost on my way to actually getting to know them.

“Let me just say he did some pretty terrible things” by Sasha on Granville Island


Friday, June 12, 2015
6:13pm
5 minutes
Overheard at Valens

The gulls know things we don’t
Eternal foragers
Making friends to get what they want
The end of an ice cream cone
A piece of hot dog bun
A peanut
The gulls are the wise ones here
Calling for their friends with the abandon of the wild
Riding air
Kissing the water with feet like hands
The gulls see what we don’t see
A lotus between the cracks of concrete
A receipt from the deli with a prayer written on the back in pencil
A look between a mother and her babe when he goes too close
too far

“If you find yourself with a free second” by Sasha on the ferry


Thursday, June 11, 2015
6:06pm
5 minutes
from a staff meeting handout

let’s lose ourselves in each particle of sand each blade of grass each small meringue of beauty if you find yourself with a free second breathe in the magenta the azure the forest green
take back the things you don’t need
someone might
take back the records you don’t listen to and the photographs of lovers you no longer love
if you’re carrying something heavier than you want
put it down
let it go
check back in a day or two and see if someone’s taken it
maybe it’s on their coffee table now amongst black and white photography books
maybe it’s holding up a tropical plant

“Northern Adventures” by Sasha at the Angel’s Nest


Wednesday, June 10, 2015
10:42pm
5 minutes
from a pamphlet

Last night I fried zucchini with garlic and I fed it to you with my fingers. You leaned in and bit my lip and my eyes filled with tears. “Oh no!” You said, “oh no!” You didn’t draw blood. I fed you more zucchini and you put a tiny piece of garlic in my mouth, too.

The night before you’d shaved off your beard and I was so sad but I smiled because I didn’t want you to feel bad. You touched your face like it didn’t belong to you. “Look at my chin,” you said, jutting it out.

“He always was kinda young looking” by Sasha on the Gulf Islands ferry


Tuesday, June 9, 2015
11:15am
5 minutes
overheard at the ferry terminal

Billy hates making his bed, so he doesn’t. At least at his Dad’s place, where he can get away with pretty much anything. He gleefully leaves his bed unmade, his dishes in the sink and drinks a Sprite for breakfast. “Bye, Dad!” He calls, his father asleep upstairs. He cocks his head at the pink high heels near the door. He waits for a response, until the bus honks and he runs out, the screen door slamming behind him. On the bus, he puts on his headphones, even though Ray wants to talk.

“Can I get you anything?” by Sasha at 49th Parallel


Monday, June 8, 2015 at 49th Parallel
3:06pm
5 minutes
Overheard at Culprit Coffee Co.

This business of womanhood… Today, in the near perfection of the blue sky and mountaintops peeking over the colourful roofs, I could’ve done anything. I could’ve done anything, but I had a bikini wax. I both dread and crave them, relieved when the hair is gone, when the skin is soft, when it’s less sweaty, less stinky, less… hairy. I dread it because, goddamnit it hurts. Each waxer has their bit of advice or feedback, that upon unveiling my vagina, they impart with the sincerity of a grade one teacher on the first day of school. “Oh, you have ingrowns, hey? Do you exfoliate?” Or, “your hair is so coarse! Where are you from?” I find myself laughing, extra enthusiastic at their jokes or making excuses about my poor trim job. I feel the need to explain myself. In response to, “How long has it been since your last wax?” I say, “I was out of town!”, imagining myself in the bush of New Zealand harvesting rare herbs for tinctures to cure my mother of her arthritis. Who has time for wax when there’s healing to be done?! I wasn’t out of town. I was here. The whole time. Over coffee with my best girl, she proclaims, “I’m thinking of growing in my bush,” and I feel proud of her, I feel inspired, I think, for a moment, “Will I grow in my bush, too?” I give it a small go, half heartedly, like a “commitment” to stay away from simple carbs. But after seven weeks or it, I sniff my underpants in the change room at yoga, marvelling at the difference of the smell between a bush and a wax. Another woman walks in and catches me, she smiles and says, “the smell of your most intimate self never gets old, eh?”

“cake and frozen yogurt” by Sasha on her porch


Sunday, June 7, 2015
7:32pm
5 minutes
From a sign on Queen’s Quay

“I’m glad you’re here,” you said.
“I’m sorry for grabbing your arm that hard,” you said.
“Let’s go to the airport and buy tickets to wherever the next flight’s going,” you said.

Me, in my mother’s old lavender sundress, braless, six days of stubble laughing in my armpits. You, a denim shirt and black cut-offs, On The Road in your back pocket, the pages a promise of your wanderlust.

“Let’s have cake for dinner,” you said.
“Can you make me salad with exactly 15 green peas in it?” you said.
“I would impregnate you right now if we had the money and the bananas in the fruit basket,” you said.

“are you from here?” By Sasha in her bathroom


Saturday, June 6, 2015
10:51pm
5 minutes
Overheard at R&D

You thought I was someone I wasn’t, that’s for sure. How could you have thought that I was just me and that that was enough? I was wearing a red short, tight in the right place, loose in the others, aka “just right”. I’d ordered vodka sodas from you all night, smiling, eye contact, touching your fingers a little bit longer, aka “just right”. Before I left you called me over to the bar and said, “I want to see you again…” It was gentle, slow, it was corn roasted on the barbecue, perfectly blackened. I wrote my number on the inside of your wrist, where lots of women have etched in black forever ink “DESTINY” or “breathe”. You liked the placement, you had an accent but I wasn’t sure from where.

We met at a bar a few blocks from my apartment. I noticed blue nail-polish on your pinky. “What’s that?” I asked, a sip of cider fresh on my lips like a coy “Hello”. “My daughter,” you said, and I leaned back, swallowing.

“Last night I was like fuck it” by Sasha at Arbutus Coffee


Friday, June 5, 2015 at Arbutus Coffee
2:52pm
5 minutes
from a text

Vera walks by the ocean everyday, and she has since she was fifteen, since she moved to Vancouver from Windsor with her stepmother. Her father had gone to Hong Kong for a two year placement at a Chemical Engineering firm and both she and her stepmother had sworn they wouldn’t leave Canada. “Well at least go someplace fun,” he’d said, probably stroking his beard, probably narrowing his eyes the way he did when he was deep in thought. “Vancouver!” Her stepmother had said, with her Polish accent. “Okay,” Vera had shrugged and gone to her room and listened to Joan Baez. She has walked by the ocean everyday since she got here, different shores, but the same changing ocean. Today she sees an Orca. She blinks several times, as she does when she doesn’t trust her eyes, maybe she hasn’t drunk enough water, maybe an orange and a piece of toast wasn’t a big enough breakfast. Nope. It’s definitely a whale. She watches and listens, he’s singing! He’s singing just for her.

“take her children to church” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Thursday June 4, 2015
10:21pm
5 minutes
Vogue
October 2014


We’re down the road at the Allen’s and we’re drinking sangria and laughing about the sound of Kevin practising the trumpet. We’re eating hot dogs and coleslaw and Mary says, “Lar, didn’t you have something you wanted to say to these guys?” And Larry looks dumbfounded, or struck by this, by what Mary’s said. Your Mom and I have no idea what’s happening, and I’m thinking about whether or not I’ve got mustard all over my face! Finally, Larry says, “We’ve lost everything…” Mary runs inside, her hand over her mouth, stifling tears, and your mother goes, “Mary! Larry…” And I’d never thought about how their names are, you know… So I can’t even help it! I laugh! Larry stands up and pulls back like he’s going to sock it to me and your mother glares at me and I follow Mary, running inside.

“Last night I was like fuck it” by Julia at Bicerin Espresso Bar


Friday, June 5, 2015 at Bicerin
3:26pm
5 minutes
from a text

Oh you want me to start with you? Tell you all the things you could be “working on?” How bout you just fucking man up and look around you for once in your life. Maybe just take two seconds to acknowledge that there are other people in the room, that I’m in the room. did you think to ask how I was doing? Did you think to maybe put aside your own needs for somebody else? Don’t answer those…They’re what we call “rhetorical questions”. They don’t need answers because I KNOW THE ANSWERS. You keep disappointing me. Do you know that that’s what you’re doing? Don’t answer that either.
I told you I didn’t want to start because I knew I would get petty and start naming off all the shit I think you’ve fucked up. I don’t think I’ve even asked you for that much and you still make it feel like I’m begging for the moon. I don’t want the fucking moon, okay, all I want is a little common courtesy. Or..I don’t know, not common. Special courtesy for once would actually be very nice, seeing as though you subscribe to the notion that the other kind is too common to even give to me.

“take her children to church” by Julia at her desk


Thursday June 4, 2015
1:01am
5 minutes
Vogue
October 2014


She wakes up early in the morning, before the sun does, before the man does. He sleeps like a bear anyway. He wouldn’t notice if the house was on fire. He wouldn’t notice if his testicles were dipped in hydrochloric acid. For the record she has considered both options. She decides on sneaking her babies out without causing any physical pain. She doesn’t want to add to her little ones’ suffering. God knows they’be been through enough. She dresses her sleeping children as best she can. Georgia’s eyes flap open and she knows if she’s to wake anyone, Georgia’s the best one. She loves secrets. She’ll be good at helping her get the other two ready. She doesn’t even worry about the snoring bear. Georgia is quiet but she is curious. She puts her fingers to her lips and smiles with her eyes.

”you push into a new space.” By Julia at R&D Spadina


Wednesday June 3, 2015 at R&D
3:55pm
5 minutes
http://www.mysticmamma.com/the-theme-for-june-2015-is-creative-action/

Birthing the new you out from the old you is the hard part. Woman on the floor Legs spread breathing breathing life into this place. And you, the new you, a bundle of joy wrapped up in perfect pain masked as a blanket has suffered the trauma just as any new born has. And just like the old you with your primal scream caught deep in your throat, your nightmares of the fight you put up just to be here, just to enter this new world from your old one are playing over and over again. You have a hope, you have a dream but you don’t know it yet–cause you’re so new. But you look at this new place with wonder and awe and excitement for all the magic it holds. You don’t leave all the things you wish you weren’t behind, but you don’t know how to access them in this place yet—Which is a good thing—because the hard part—the hard part before birthing your new self—is the discipline of leaving the you that doesn’t belong here on the shelf.

”you push into a new space.” By Sasha at Kafka’s


Wednesday June 3, 2015 at Kafka’s
11:01am
5 minutes
http://www.mysticmamma.com/the-theme-for-june-2015-is-creative-action/

You
in your oldest jeans and a threadbare flannel shirt
green and blue plaid
You
hands in your pockets
quietly jingling your nickels and dimes
You
all cedar wisdom and morning sweetness
a musky leader never leaving the ring
You
scribbling prophecies in your notebook
collaging dreams with photographs from albums filled with unknown faces
You
push into a new space
lift up to be bigger and deeper and more fluid
You
jump but in stillness
dive but in

“Those were the worst nights” by Sasha in her kitchen


Tuesday June 2, 2015
8:32pm
5 minutes
overheard at Higher Grounds

“Those were the worst nights,” he says, “when she couldn’t sleep, when she’d sweat like an athlete, you know, that stinky sweat, like there’s toxins coming out?” I didn’t want to hear about her again but I swallowed it and looked at him like, “Nothing you say will phase me.” “I didn’t know what to do, I felt so helpless… It totally triggered my trauma around women being dependant on me, you know, like, my stuff with my mom…” I pulled the covers right up to my chin and thought about if there were chips in his cupboard, and then if Heather ever ate chips when she was sad. “What’s she up to now?” His eyes narrowed and he scratched somewhere under the covers.

“I got you I won’t let go” by Sasha at Kits beach


Monday, June 1, 2015
5:13pm
5 minutes
I got You Babe
Sonny and Cher


Hiding behind her neighbour’s wisteria bush, Ronnie marvels at how well Judy keeps her yard. “That grass… It’s fucking perfect,” she says. Ronnie forgets where she left the baby. She says a prayer for him, “Jesus, please keep James safe while I’m out of the house,” and goes back to her watching. She’s taken up this spot several times over the last week – only when Derek is at work. If he were home she wouldn’t need this, she’d have adult company. She sips from her Starbucks travel mug, a gift from Derek on her first mother’s day. The vodka is flavoured by the coffee that’s sometimes contained inside. Judy emerges from her back door in an aqua bikini top and khaki shorts. “Seriously?!” Ronnie mumbles, drinking deep. “She had Adelaide five months ago!” Judy looks towards the bush, cocks her head like a beagle, and then delicately unravels the garden hose. She sets up the sprinkler.

“Those were the worst nights” by Julia at her desk


Tuesday June 2, 2015
12:44am
5 minutes
overheard at Higher Grounds

Trains pounding through the thin night air and landing directly beside us in bed
Mosquitoes trapped between the broken screen door and the hot summer sunset
Newborn babies trying to name their pain at every single hour
Flash floods and terrible eaves
Basement apartment and a new soggy sofa bed complete with rain-water swimming pool
Wasps building nests and forever homes in our nest and forever home
Staying up late fighting over who would get the window side
Staying up late fighting over who would get Tess and who would get Jinx

“coconut oil and coconut sugar” by Sasha on her couch


Sunday May 31, 2015
10:24pm
5 minutes
http://www.simplyquinoa.com/vegan-coconut-oil-chocolate-chip-cookies

down below the tell all tell tale there lives a man who wears a brown hat. it’s a bit too big for him. it sometimes slips down over his eyes (depending on his haircut). when he laughs you might catch a glimpse of the fact that he doesn’t have any eye teeth. it’s okay! he can still eat strawberry shortcake! down below the tell all tell tale, below the man in the brown hat, sits a calico cat, lean through the jowls and plump through the belly and hind legs. she licks herself clean (especially after dinner) and sings sad, edith piaf style songs until she falls asleep again. this is the cylce.

“I am a taffy snob” by Sasha outside Moksha Yoga Vancouver


Saturday May 30, 2015 outside Moksha Yoga Vancouver
8:04pm
5 minutes
From a text to Julia

“She’s a little shy,” Veronica’s mother used to say, when Veronica would crawl under her dress and hide there, safely between her thighs. On the first day of Kindergarten, Veronica made a silent oath that she would never again get in the car with her father, for he might drop her off at this stinky, loud, child infested place once again. When her mother tucked her in that night Veronica said, “I’m never going back to school, thank you very much.” Her mother smiled, smoothed her unruly red hair, kissed her freckled forehead and said, “Goodnight, Veronica.”

“legs crossed and notebooks open.” by Sasha on her yoga mat


Friday May 29, 2015
10:43pm
5 minutes
Intro to Happiness
J. Allyn Rosser


Cecilia scratched a deerfly bite and called to Ron, “Can you bring me a beer?” She was so perfectly comfortable, on the screened-in porch, reading a Bon Appetite from 1995, in an old Speedo one-piece that most likely was threadbare but neither she nor Ron cared so… Ron brought a beer and she closed her eyes and pursed her lips, a kiss call. Ron kissed her. Without words, he went back into the house, letting the screen door swing closed. She dog-ears a Rhubarb Crisp and read about arugula. Ron came out again, this time shirtless and in running shorts. “What are you doing?” Cecelia asked. “Running,” said Ron, sprinting off, before she could object.

“I got you I won’t let go” by Julia at Bicerin Espresso Bar


Monday, June 1, 2015
3:13pm
5 minutes
I got You Babe
Sonny and Cher


I held my hand out for you to hold
You said you’d Get Back To Me
That was not the answer I wanted
That was not the thing I expected

I held out my hand for you to grab
You said No Thanks, Baby, I’m Good Right Now
That was not the response I should have gotten
That was not the moment I wanted

But maybe your hand is not ready
And maybe you need to be alone
And maybe you’re lying to me
And maybe you’re lying to yourself

I dreamed up the perfect day
You said Honey I Don’t Have Time
That was not my ideal holiday
That was not the gentlest way

I dreamed up the best idea
You said Don’t Wait Up For Me
That made me feel insecure
That made me feel unsure

But maybe it wasn’t personal
And maybe you were just being blunt
And maybe your heart is still healing
And maybe you don’t know what you want

“coconut oil and coconut sugar” by Julia on the 505 going west


Sunday May 31, 2015
10:47pm
5 minutes
from http://www.simplyquinoa.com/vegan-coconut-oil-chocolate-chip-cookies/

You can’t make fire with rain
(her)
STOP with the analogies
(him)
Just let me LIVE
(her)
I am trying so hard, believe me
(him)
Yeah, you’re not a martyr at all
(her)
You make me seem so horrible
So fucking horrible
(him)
I don’t know who this person you see is, but I swear it’s not me
(him again)
It takes horrible to know horrible
(her)
What?
Why would you say that?
(him)
I don’t know
Maybe you resist being horrible
because you are horrible
(her)
I didn’t mean that
Please don’t leave
(her again)
PLEASE
(her)

“I am a taffy snob” by Julia in the stairwell of the Artscape Youngplace building


Saturday May 30, 2015 at the Artscape Youngplace Building
4:01pm
5 minutes
From a text to Julia

I was in Halifax when I tried my first piece. Salt water. Perfect Melting New Religion. I bought 6 lbs of the stuff and threw out a pair of running shoes and a flask so I could fit it into my suitcase.
Emmy said, “I would have taken those shoes!”
Taryn said, “you know you can buy that stuff in Ontario too, right?”
But I knew it wouldn’t have been the same. It was like entering a childhood backwards, and experiencing something that was never mine but felt like it was meant to be. Now I don’t go for any old taffy. And why would I? I don’t hate myself for Christ’s sake! Why would I walk if I could run? No scratch that–FLY.