“Doll factory.” By Sasha at Vancouver General Hospital


Monday, August 24, 2015
12:11pm
5 minutes
a receipt

Sunday morning quiet while Nanny sleeps
Baking cookies with rainbow sprinkles and peanut butter bits
Bit a oatmeal
Oatmeal is a health food, yeah?
Molly’s got that look on her face, all
“Heyyyyy there!”
Steals a handful of sprinkles and before you know it she’s all green lips and yellow tongue and she’s all sugar sugar high
Molly’s keeled over and says
“I need to go to the hospital! My appendix is bursting!”
It isn’t true but whatever
Put her in her snowsuit and walk to the bus stop and then she’s fine
And then she’s a-okay
And then she wants to go back home and finish those cookies
Nanny woke up and is already into the brandy
“What are you girls up to?”
Slurred words like slug juice

“Darwin and Freud walk into a bar.” By Sasha at her kitchen table


Sunday, August 23, 2015
8:32pm
5 minutes
http://discovermagazine.com/2013/may/13-grandmas-experiences-leave-epigenetic-mark-on-your-genes

Darwin and Freud walk into a bar, one after another and neither know who the other is. Darwin orders a pint from the bartender, the darkest ale they’ve got. Freud sits down a table and waits for a server to come. When one doesn’t, he approaches the bar slowly, assessing what they might have, closing his eyes and deciding if he wants scotch or gin. Darwin sits at a tall stool and takes a book from his coat pocket. He sips his beer, the froth gathering on his upper lip. He licks it off. Freud waits for his friend to arrive, never checking his pocket-watch, never drinking from the rocks glass filled one thumb length with something brown.

“Cut to the chase” by Julia on an airplane


Tuesday, August 25, 2015
5:25pm
5 minutes
an in-flight magazine with Air Canada

I’m not going to tell you again, it wasn’t me who offered your name up. What am I going to have to do to convince you that I would never do that to you. Okay, alright, I get your anger, but I’ll be dames if let you come in my house with your accusations. Are you kidding me? I must be asleep cause this whole thing is unbelievable. A bad dream. No, a fucking nightmare. I did my best for you! I actually gave a shit about you which is more than I can say for how you feel about me. No, seriously, just stop! I don’t want to hear any of your excuses. I stood up for you, Trina. I fucking stuck my neck out for you and it’s still not enough. But you know what, I’m over it so consider yourself fully free or whatever it is you’ve been after. I’m not doing this anymore. I’m done.

“Doll factory.” by Julia on her couch


Monday, August 24, 2015
12:43am
5 minutes
a receipt

When I look at your face, I remember my best friend from the 10th grade. I thought I had found my soulmate. Someone who I could talk easily with, be always welcome at her house, be always welcome in her life. I would have done anything for her and I thought she would have done anything for me. We’re not friends anymore, but you and her are so much alike that I can’t tell if it’s on purpose or if I just miss the good things about her and I’m forgetting all the bad. I know you’re different people. I know that. But your laugh is the same and the way you move like a dancer is the same. And the way you hug me is the same. So sometimes I feel like I’ve found my soulmate again: someone who understands me and encourages me and sees me. But then I worry if one can turn sour, maybe another one can do. You might not be cut from the exact same cloth, but in my fear pit lives the defenses that you in fact might be.

“Darwin and Freud walk into a bar.” by Julia on her couch


Sunday, August 23, 2015
10:42pm
5 minutes
http://discovermagazine.com/2013/may/13-grandmas-experiences-leave-epigenetic-mark-on-your-genes

Hey Andrews One and Two, quit your yammering. I mean it this time. Whatever you think you’re getting away with, you won’t. I’ve seen kids like you in my day, don’t think you can fool me. It’s not that I don’t respect your attempts, because believe me, I do. But they just won’t work on me. Now you two boys may appear to be just whispering, and probably about who is going to stick that rock up his nose first, but I can see right through you and I know your little game. This is not my first rodeo, so to speak, and you’re not my first broncos! I’ll tell you something, the things kids will do to get out of nap time! There was once an Andrew in my very own kindergarten class. He stuck a pebble so far up his nose he had to go to the hospital and have it surgically removed. Now he missed nap time, alright, but that image is ingrained in my memory for all time!

“It has nothing to do with you” by Sasha on her porch


Saturday, August 22, 2015
10:31pm
5 minutes
Art & Fear
David Bayles & Ted Orland


When Moses comes home, you will reach for him like you once did. He will turn towards you but shake his head slow, like rain moving across the water. You will ask him what he saw, what he did, what he didn’t do. He will turn away, like summer does in September, and turn on the TV. You will be patient for days, for nights, for months, until one day you will reach for his hand. He will extend his open palm. You will put your cheek in it, a puzzle piece, and he will finally cry. A tsunami is often caused by an earthquake. You know this, and you will feel the ground shake. The tears don’t stop until the moon hangs drunk on the horizon. The wave comes in.

“No not that fake smile!” By Sasha on her couch


Friday, August 21, 2015
5:11pm
5 minutes
Overheard at a bus stop

Gimme a smile, Goldie! No, not that fake smile! Give us a truthful, good, honest one! I don’t know why this child doesn’t want to smile – all I do is give her what she wants. She isn’t mine, oh no way. You think I look old enough to be a mother? HA! How a three year old learns how to fake smile is beyond me. It’s her mother. Truthfully, I’ve never met such a wicked woman. I play along, I play along with her strange games but when I go up to my room at night and close the door sometimes I just can’t stop thinking about how she looks at her children. Like they are the carriers of some disease! Goldie vomited on the coffee table while there was company over and she dragged her out by her pigtail.

“”I wish to offer him no honour.” By Sasha on her porch


Thursday, August 20, 2015
3:11pm
5 minutes
A tweet by the Globe and Mail

She licks her lips. Dry. Unsure of what exactly to do, she ponders a glass of water, but she doesn’t arise to get one. She wonders if she’s horny, but the thought of finding non-offensive porn to masturbate to feels like an undertaking she’s not ready for. Is this boredom? “I’ve never felt bored,” she hears her own voice echo as if in the Bat Cave at the Museum. Oh, those were the days. Her stomach grumbles and she thinks about something she read once about how people become obese because they can’t tell the difference between boredom and hunger. Shit. She opens the sliding door and let’s a breeze wash over her like rain. She closes her eyes.

“It has nothing to do with you.” by Julia on her couch


Saturday, August 22, 2015
9:50pm
5 minutes
Art & Fear
David Bayles & Ted Orland


When you come inside from dancing with the moon and making promises to her that you see the light she’s shedding and the path she’s illuminating just for you, your skin tingles with joy and recognition for the you she knows.
Your skin: The protector of your bones.
She is held together tight with a thousand promises just like the ones you made with your Moon Mother. And you can feel each one alive inside you, making their way down your veins to keep you warm.
You can’t live another way. You even feel tempted to shed the skin you’re in but she hugs your limbs in close and whispers, I’m Not Going Anywhere….I Still Know Your Insides.
If you don’t keep the dancing hot and perfect in your hair, and the pure boundless generosity you feel with every concentrated breath, then you might just live on in a different moment and you don’t blame yourself for that either.

“No not that fake smile!” by Julia on the subway going west


Friday, August 21, 2015
1:16pm
5 minutes
Overheard at a bus stop

Biddy and me make a pact to bleed each other’s blood and wear each other’s smile. I want to marry Biddy so I can be around her all the time and let her light wash over me and catch me in all the right moments. Biddy plays the violin and when she does the whole world stops. I do all the humming and Biddy plays so I can feel. She tells me that I’m most me when I open my mouth and let my heart sing out. She tells me she can see me growing into the person who’s taking better care of me. She tells me I’m the kind of woman who becomes more beautiful with age and experience and confidence and time. It’s my idea to combine our life force and Biddy smiles with her whole face because she loves all of my grand ideas. She snips a lock of her strawberry blonde curls and wraps it around my finger to remind me that we’ve got each other’s soul close by.

“I wish to offer him no honour” by Julia on her bed


Thursday, August 20, 2015
11:19pm
5 minutes
from a tweet by the Globe and Mail

I have been wondering if I will ever leave this place. It does not feel like home (never did), and it is starting to weigh heavy on my heart. It sounds like an easy decision but it is not. Nothing is an easy decision for me. I am used to making bad decisions. Maybe staying here this long is one of them. Maybe I am trying to justify something. I think it is hard because I do not know what I want instead. I do not know where is better than here. So I must stay here until I know where there is. Must I not? It does not sound very adventurous of me (well aware of that), but does it not make sense?
I cannot decide this with the help of anyone else. I am torn in two but I am the only one who can mend the halves and make them whole. I am learning here. It sounds as if I am not but I am.

“the most infamous female sexual offender” by Julia at Dark Horse


Wednesday, August 19, 2015 at Dark Horse
2:23pm
5 minutes
https://broadly.vice.com/en_us/article/a-womans-touch-when-pedophiles-arent-men

Okay I’m a bit confused. Is it wrong to want to meet her?
No, I don’t think so. It’d be interesting to hear her side at any rate.
I feel like my mind is on a different page than me right now. I’m not convinced.
Then don’t reach out. It’s not like she’s the only one.
But she’s the most infamous!
So ask her.
I don’t know.
I don’t know either.
You think she would even meet with me?
Yeah.
You do?
Yeah.
Really?
Yes.
Okay, so then, I’m going to draft a letter.
You’re going to do that now?
Yeah.
Oh.
What?
Just, I don’t know. Maybe wait till tomorrow?
Why because you think I’m too high?
Yeah.
You’re right. I’m too high.
But tomorrow you’ll be able.
Yeah tomorrow I can edit, though.
Yeah. But draft it in your notebook or on Word or something then.
God bless you.

“her “home” shifted time and again” by Julia at R&D


Tuesday, August 18, 2015
4:20pm
5 minutes
An article in The Atlantic

Eagle and Snail lay on the cool linoleum, looking up at the stolen chandelier that’s glittering on the ceiling. Snail’s head is on Eagle’s stomach and he can feel her breathing and he can hear her heartbeat.
Eagle keeps falling asleep and when she does Snail listens to the gurgling of her lower intestines and mimics the sounds to her with his best out loud impression. Eagle wakes up when he does this and she laughs sleepily but with commitment. Eagle’s hand is on Snail’s face, holding his left eyebrow in the crescent moon of her palm. When she remembers, she strokes it with the grain and smooths it with the inside ridge of her finger.

“Let me get what I want this time” by Julia at Propeller


Monday, August 17, 2015 at Propeller
4:13pm
5 minutes
Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want
The Smiths


I’ve been on my knees
begging someone please
take me from this tease
give this half life ease

I am not a victim but I have gone a long time without getting what I want and I think it’s fair to share that. I am not a victim but I don’t get things given to me for free or by accident or without me giving something first. I am not a victim but I watch other people win while I wait. I am not a victim but I don’t have any socks that match. I am not a victim but I do all the calling out and reaching out and loving out. I am not a victim but nothing ever works out for me. I am not a victim but I can’t lose weight. I am not a victim but I wasn’t put in piano lessons as a kid. I am not a victim but I’m always the last to know. I am not a victim but I play the part because it was designed for me.

“her request seems to have been ignored.” By Julia on her patio


Sunday, August 16, 2015
11:01am
5 minutes
The New Yorker

Okay so we’re both wearing the same shirt which is not the first time and Dalton comments on Janie’s shirt and not mine which makes me want to compete with her even more, as if I don’t have a butt-loaf of insecurities I am already baking. Maybe because when Dalton walks into the shop, I start talking to him about all the various colours and flavours our cotton candy machine is capable of producing and Janie just sits quietly roping a strand of hair around her index finger with big shy eyes that don’t offend Dalton like my excessive and sometimes obnoxiously loud commentary does.

“Then the chicken to fry” by Julia on her couch


Saturday, August 15, 2015
4:17pm
5 minutes
Women Work
Maya Angelou


Hi Dad,
How’ve you been? I already hate that I’ve started this letter with a pleasantry, but I didn’t even know if I should write this in the first place and now I’m doing it so let’s just see how it goes. I actually don’t need to know how you’ve been. Sorry for asking that. I saw a chicken and waffles place on 5th and Carmichael last Friday and haven’t been able to concentrate on my life because it’s something you are somehow attached to now and forever and I’m a bit fucked up about that for some reason. I went in, I ordered a huge plate of the stuff and then cried into my fried lunch for about 12 minutes straight. I wasn’t planning on telling you that but here I am writing you a letter I didn’t plan on writing to you either.

“agreed-upon sex date” by Julia on her patio


Friday, August 14, 2015
2:11pm
5 minutes
From http://thehairpin.com/2015/08/today-is-the-12th-anniversary-of-the-big-blackout/

Me and Matthew are intimate with each other on average 6 times a week. Before you grab your shit to egg my house or something, you should know that I don’t just mean sex. Phew. Collective exhale. I mean, don’t get me wrong, we fuck like rabbits and we do that a lot too (Woah, easy…) but plain intimacy is harder for us so we have to schedule that in. Now I’m not saying this is how it should be. But we’ve figured out a way to stop taking sex personally and to stop measuring our value as a couple (or our self worth) by the act. We still struggle with making time for us to stare into each other’s eyes for an extended period of time, or sit in silence without other stimuli creeping in. It’s taking a long time. So we pencil it in and we work on it.

“Why do we do that?” By Julia at Christie Pits Park


Thursday, August 13, 2015
12:48pm
5 minutes
Overheard on the Spadina streetcar

So I met her on a subway platform. She was going to jump and I didn’t say anything. I just stood close to her thinking maybe she would feel something from me and decide not to do it. I don’t know what I was thinking. I can’t say it was my brightest moment. But I felt bad interfering. She had decided this would be how she goes and who was I? Someone she didn’t even know trying to convince her not to take her own life. I started humming. What else do you do when you’ve basically resigned yourself to assisting a stranger’s suicide? It was Chariots of Fire. God, don’t ask me why cause I’m still trying to figure that out. But it was like a movie. Maybe a badly written one. She started humming a long. I kept going. I could keep going with that song more than others. Maybe that’s why. Maybe not. I could see the light on the train coming toward us. She hadn’t looked up from her feet yet. So I just sang louder. She sang along with me, and then she looked me in the eyes, tears in hers. I smiled.

“it’s been my pleasure” by Julia at her desk


Wednesday, August 12, 2015
1:22pm
5 miutes
From an email

My pleasure your pain
My sorrow your gain
We meet in the middle
Dance on the line
Decide to move in
Then we both explode
Can’t get close to you
You’re a fiery mess
Can’t get close to me
I’m a ticking time bomb
My sorrow my sorrow
My pain my pain
Your sorrow your sorrow
Your pain your pain
Made of the stuff I can’t touch
Too hot
Too dangerous
Get me into trouble
Too wild
Too cancerous
Keep me far from loving

“the most infamous female sexual offender” by Sasha on Bowen Island


Wednesday, August 19, 2015
3:43pm
5 minutes
https://broadly.vice.com/en_us/article/a-womans-touch-when-pedophiles-arent-men

sammy’s got the glimma glimma gimme something that tastes like
animal crackers
alphabet alphabet past possessive french class math class biology
coffee spill wipe it up
sammy’s got a hangover smell rum on his breath
his mummy’s got a new lover gasoline under his nails
wipe a tear off sammy’s cheek
lick it to make it go away
down down way down down
sammy’s in the office with a tummy ache
too many timbits
too much ache all the way to texas

“her “home” shifted time and again” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Tuesday, August 18, 2015
9:10am
5 minutes
An article in The Atlantic

I’m not sure about frogs, or tumbleweeds, or mustard. Frank says it’s because I moved around so much when I was a kid. Takes me awhile to trust people. “Ever-present ambivalence” he calls it. Did you know that Frank never graduated High School? Shocking, right? I sometimes remind myself of this to make me feel better when he’s quoting some article he read in Scientific American and I’m feeling like a schmuck. We were talking in the woods with Bailey and Viv’s dog, Harissa, and a frog jumped across our path. I shrieked. Frank said, “There it is again,” like he was a wise guy. I rolled my eyes. “Ever-present ambivalence, Julie. It’s gonna kill you.” “No, Frank,” I said, “these tree frogs are!”

“OH MY GOD” by Julia at her desk


Tuesday, August 11, 2015
11:18pm
5 minutes
Overheard on Gerrard St.

I’ve been the praying type before! Not really so much now, but before? MY GOD.
HAHA. That was a joke. But in all seriousness, I used to write letters to Jesus. I used to pray asking him for guidance and protection against my nightmares, my fears, my flaws. I had to ask for so much forgiveness just because I couldn’t keep my 11 year old head on straight enough to stop “accidentally” watching the Sunday Night Sex Show, or finding my mom’s electric nail buffer and “accidentally” using it to explore all of my “sacred” places. I said I was sorry at least 15 times a day, followed by a promise that I would be better next time and not do it ever again. I got good at making promises I couldn’t keep.

“Let me get what I want this time” by Sasha on her porch


Monday, August 17, 2015
5:11pm
5 minutes
Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want
The Smiths


All of my life I longed for a friend like you
Someone who would wear purple when I would wear blue
I wished on every birthday candle and every shooting star
That someone would appear who is just as you are
The day that I met you I felt everything shift
Like an earthquake or a season or an iceberg set adrift
I am writing to say I love you and that I always will
I am writing to say you’re the best and I’ll never get my fill
I think you’re the most creative person I have ever met
And your incredible curiosity means your mind is never set
You’re adventurous and funny and your smile lights the night
When you are by my side everything feels right

“her request seems to have been ignored.” By Sasha at her kitchen table


Sunday, August 16, 2015
12:16pm
5 minutes
The New Yorker

They’re moving again, just a few towns over, but it’s the third time this year and that’s not the only suspect thing… My psychic told me I need to let go of my skepticism, she said that it’s inhibiting tectonic shift (whatever the eff that means). I’m trying here, but then they up and decide to move again and I’m sent into a spiral of wondering. Bob and Bet are the only couple friends I got here, you see, so I can’t just, like, get over it! Lost my car after another DUI so how the heck am I even gonna visit them? Buses are unreliable and full of perverts. I refuse to take the bus.

“Then the chicken to fry” by Sasha in Pearson International Airport


Saturday, August 15, 2015
6:37pm
5 minutes
Women Work
Maya Angelou


I got a case of the Mondays.
I got a case of the Bad Days.
I got a case of Corona and a spliff from five years ago.
I got a real bad dog show.
I got chicken to fry.
I gotta undo a lie.
I got an itch that can’t be scratched.
I got a case of the Mondays, baby.
I got a case of the Sad Days.
I got a case of old photos.
I got a broken motor.

“agreed-upon sex date” by Sasha in the car on the way to Black River Farm


Friday, August 14, 2015
11:24am
5 minutes
From http://thehairpin.com/2015/08/today-is-the-12th-anniversary-of-the-big-blackout/

There are times when we pretend that we’re something other than what we are. There are moments, fleeting ones, where I imagine that you’ll be there when I get home from work with spaghetti bolognese on the stove and a glass of red wine already poured into my favourite ceramic mug. There are nights when you lie in your king sized bed and imagine that I’m in the bathroom flossing my teeth. “Did you take out the recycling?” You imagine me saying. There are midnights when we think of each other at the exact same second.

A text message. What are you doing?

“Why do we do that?” By Sasha on the Spadina Streetcar


Thursday, August 13, 2015
11:24pm
5 minutes
Overheard on the Spadina streetcar

Do you feel lost without your cellphone?
Literally?
Figuratively?
Do you long for the weight of it in your hand, your pocket, your purse, like you might long for a lover or a brownie?
Do you crave to look at it, to check it, to search with it, to move with it?
When do you put it down? Turn it off? Let it go?
Never?
Ever?
Do you shut it down when you shut down? Do you let it rest?
When do you say good morning?
Is it the first thing you look at? Speak to? Connect with?
One new Facebook friend, three new “Likes”, seven Twitter followers, two re-tweets, a text, five emails, a voicemail.
“Hi, it’s Dad. Just calling to say it was so good to see you and I love you.”
“Hey, it’s me. When are you coming over? Do you need dinner?”
“Hi! I heard you’re in town! Welcome back home! Wanna get coffee?”
A voice.
How does it work? No wires, waves, maybe, sound waves, web waves, waves like the ocean but in the sky, searching, searching, searching.
Touch screen, touch fingers, touch bellies.

“it’s been my pleasure” by Sasha at the kitchen table at Bowmore


Wednesday, August 12, 2015
10:32pm
5 minutes
From an email

The merry-go-round sings like a banshee and I forget where I’m going
Round round round
Amos starts to kiss my neck but I say
No
Shoulda said that a long time ago
Forgot my words
“Use your words”
Funnel cake’s gone funny in my belly and the coke is making bubbles in my chest
“I ate too much”
“You’re fine”
Ride’s over and the man who is running it has real bad acne
“Thanks”
“It’s my pleasure”
Snakes up my spine
Snakes in my tennis shoes
Snakes in my ponytail

“OH MY GOD” by Sasha in the basement at Bowmore


Tuesday, August 11, 2015
11:47pm
5 minutes
Overheard on Gerrard St.

“Twenty-seven fifty three, please,” I try not to yawn. The baby in her cart is screaming, his face turning purple, then blue. I cock my head sideways and stick out my tongue. Nothing. His mother is rifling around in her purse. “”OH MY GOD hurry up!” Hunt Wilson is three people behind her in line and I know why he’s grouchy. He’s run out of smokes. “Shut up, Hunt!” I call and then look behind me quickly to make sure that Kevin isn’t there. Safe. He’s taken me into his office before and said, between puffs on his e-cigarette, “Three strikes and you’re out, Christie!” I can’t count how many strikes I’ve had but Kev has a soft spot for me because he lost his virginity to my oldest sister Charlene. “Twenty-seven fifty three…” I say again. I meet her eyes, tears about to escape. “I only have twenty five,” she whispers, desperate. “No problem,” I take her bills and coins and bag her groceries. I add “$2.53” to my list beside the cash. I’ll top up the till before giving it to Kev at the end of my shift.

“disaster in one form or another” by Sasha in the kitchen at Bowmore


Monday, August 10, 2015
10:32pm
5 minutes
Courage
Debbie Ford


Pete curls a beard hair into his mouth with his tongue. “I don’t have all day, Pete…” I quickly think about my plans, if I have an escape. I told Karla I might get a pedicure. “Okay, okay, don’t rush me.” Pete takes my hand.

“You know I’ve always loved dogs.”
“Yes…”
“And the bike shop isn’t making us enough…”
“Uh huh.”
“I’m starting a new business!”
I count down in my head, “Three, two, one!” and he produces a business card. Pete’s Dog Walking Service. I turn the card over in my hand, as I do every time, and take a deep breath. I smile at him, lips closed.

“disaster in one form or another” by Julia on the Greyhound to Toronto


Monday, August 10, 2015
6:38pm
5 minutes
Courage
Debbie ford


I stabbed my eyelid with my thumbnail and it started to bleed so Rainbow or whatever the fuck her name is won’t let me participate in the fucking step class. So now I’m sitting outside the gym waiting for Deanna to finish “getting her sweat on” cause she has our locker key and Rainbow’s stupid bitch face said I wasn’t allowed to reenter the class after leaving cause it disrupts the other “athletes”. Jesus fucking hell, it’s not a broadway show! Are the “athletes” really going to have to stop on account of the squinty eyed bleeding girl taking a place in the room? I’m the fucking victim here! Probably my last day of seeing and Rainbow STILL refuses to grant me my dignity.

“I still want to think about safety” By Julia on the Greyhound to Kitchener


Sunday, August 9, 2015
9:44am
5 minutes
Said by Julia’s Uber driver

Colleen you can’t be lifting that shit anymore, you’re gonna hurt the baby for Christ’s sakes.

Forget it, Richie, it’s not even heavy. I don’t like you watching over me and micromanaging my pregnancy every single minute. Give it a rest, she’s gonna hear you and decide she doesn’t want to come out!

Colleen I told you, I want to be here for this baby, I want to help you name this baby, I want to help you love this baby. You can’t be stubborn now! You’re making choices that affect all three of us! How many times do I have to hear myself tell you this?

Richie didn’t you listen to one word I said? I said she, didn’t I? You only hear what you want to hear or what?

Colleen. You said she!! She said she!!

“and I’m not driving!” By Julia on her bed


Saturday, August 8, 2015
2:13am
5 minutes
from a Facebook post

See I got this problem and it’s not a very big one, in the grand scheme of life and stuff, you know? But this problem of mine, it’s a very annoyin’ situation so I just can’t stop talkin’ about it. See I was drivin’ to the corner store last Wednesday cause I needed those new chips they had out? You know the Lays, how they have those flavour competitions and you got to vote for the best one to see which one gets to stay in the natural rotation of things? So I had this deal with myself, a bet more like it even, and I had to try all of the chip flavours but completely blind to avoid all bias. And I knew I wanted to taste them one by one side by side to get the true reaction of my mouth goin’. Anyway, I was really lookin’ forward to having this taste test cause after Arnie won the kids I was drinkin’ more than ever and felt like I needed some kind of comfort that wasn’t clear and all consuming. So as I’m drivin’ I start to cry, real big whimperin’ whinin’ kind of tears and it makes it real hard to see…

“I still want to think about safety” By Sasha in the Kiva


Sunday, August 9, 2015
1:32am
5 minutes
Said by Julia’s Uber driver

Chai simmers on the stove, wafting cinnamon and vanilla. You, tuning your guitar, all focus and callouses, forget that I'm there and I like that. Soon, your voice will mix with the spices and I'll put down my book and close my eyes. The melody and the warm liquid will lull me to sleepy safety.

Your cell phone rings. I curse technology. I am a broken record saying, “Can we have twenty four hours technology free once a week?” You’ve already answered so you don’t hear me. “Shhh,” you whisper.

“and I’m not driving!” By Sasha in a parked car


Saturday, August 8, 2015
4:53pm
5 minutes
from a Facebook post

I am sitting in a parked car outside a liquor store. I am a progressive, independent, feminist, free-thinking, multi-city living, graduate student. I do not, however, have a driver's license. I am both embarrassed and charmed by this, I am proud and filled with shame. I diverted around the 16-year-old wheel-craze and instead opted for a bicycle and a bus pass. I went for my Learner's Permit and failed, having only studied the first three pages of the manual. I remember saying to my friend, “Dumber people than me know how to drive! I don't need to study!” Cocky. Now, thirteen years later, I humbly search the internet for a cheap driving school near where I live. I don't have a parent's car to practice on and I will most likely be the oldest person in my driving school class. I am terrified of getting in a car accident. I am afraid of pissing people off on the road. I am so excited to rent my first car and hit the open highway, snaking up a mountain.

“She locked me in a room until I said a password” by Sasha in the basement in Mississauga


Friday, August 7, 2015
12:34am
5 minutes
from a story on The Moth

Haley locked me in the closet until I said the right password. It was pitch black, the colour of fear. I closed my eyes because at least with my eyes closed it seemed like the darkness was my choice. It took me one hundred and seventy eight tries.
“Cantaloupe?”
“Yup!”
Haley opened the door like it didn't even matter, like I hadn't been in there with little oxygen and even less sanity, for close to an hour.
“Now kiss me!” She said, an order from a General.
“No way.”
“Kiss me!”
“NO.”
She grabbed me by the ear. “Then back in the closet for you…” She started to push me in. I kicked her in the shin, harder than I'd ever kicked anything, not even a soccer ball.

“right on the train, first one out of here” by Sasha in The Loving Hut


Thursday, August 6, 2015
7:01pm
5 minutes
If Only
Fink


i see the guilt around your lips
smudges of purple and gold
your eyes say something else
your eyes say
BELIEVE ME
i kiss your cheek with my teeth
clever cleavers
BELIEVE ME
god is there when i leave you
god traces my courage with monarch wings

“how to be a parent” by Sasha at the Vancouver Airport


Wednesday, August 5, 2015
1:11pm
5 minutes
from Harper’s at a kiosk at the airport

When Cecelia is three weeks old, Maggie leaves her on her own on the bed and eats cold pizza standing in front of the open fridge. Eventually she hears Cecelia crying and she goes upstairs, but begrudgingly. She looks at Cecelia and says, “What do you want?” Maggie wants to be held but will eventually learn to find comfort in this question from her mother. Maggie will ask Cecelia to call her, “Maggie” not “Mom” or “Mummy”. Cecelia will do as she asks, but not without questions of her own. “You can’t have pizza,” Maggie says. Cecelia wants her milk and she knows it, but isn’t in the mood.

“Feed your creative juices” By Sasha at the BC Women’s Hospital


Tuesday, August 4, 2015
6:35pm
5 minutes
from a pencil case

Impractical fingernails. Okay. Lipstick the coral colour of her toenails. Impractical fingernails. How does she do dishes? How does she wipe herself?

“Miss? Miss. You can’t smoke in here.”
“FUCK YOU.”

Click click click and she’s out the door. She doesn’t come back. She didn’t even get to see the doctor. I wonder if she travelled as far as I did to get here, or further. I wonder if she’s waited months to get in. I wonder if she tries to smoke indoors every where she goes and how that’s working out for her.

“One day she made a mistake” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Monday, August 3, 2015
11:36pm
5 minutes
overheard at 49th Parallel

Groggy and mouth parched, I roll to my side and reach for Miranda. She must already be up. Her side of the bed is cool and I stretch out, star-fished, and open my eyes once and for all. She comes into the room, an oversized black T-shirt, threadbare around the collar, and paint stained jeans. She holds a glass of water. I sit. She hands it to me. She raises her eyebrows.

“You did it again,” she says, her eyes filling with tears.
“What?”
“You left. You sleepwalked out the door.”
“Shit.”
“I found you in Tony and James’ garden, pruning their roses.”
“With what?”
She reaches for my hands. They’re cut up and dotted with dried blood.
“Mir-”
“I’m putting a hidden lock on the door. What if you get hit by a car?! What if you-”
“Sweetie…”

“Me time” by Sasha on the ferry to Horseshoe Bay


Sunday, August 2, 2015
10:35am
5 minutes
Facebook

He’s dancing on the porch, swaying like a willow tree, beard winding down his chest now, eyes half closed. He’s singing along to the music on the record player. He forgets about the bottle of whiskey. He forgets about Olive weeding in the garden. He’s dancing on the porch and he’s back in Havana, back in a time that’s cola in a glass bottle and his mother’s hands pulling out the knots in his hair.

“Tito?” Olive carries a basket full of string beans.

“I met my first savant 52 years ago” by Sasha in the Joe Creek garden


Saturday, August 1, 2015
5:43pm
5 minutes
http://blogs.scientificamerican.com

there we were
twisty smiles and fly-aways
cheshire eyes and moon smiles
there we were
reading palms like twilight
a tarot deck our only language
yerbe mate in a gourd
someone found on a road trip to san diego
on the nude beach
you were naked as the day you were born
i slowly peeled off layers
a red onion
all the way down to skin
against sand
“you’re the real deal”
you rolled a joint and i ran into the ocean
and you watched
blowing hearts
blowing kisses
she said we’d be here
the psychic from five years ago
she said we’d live where the earth meets the sea
where the trees sing the evening hymns
where the sun bobs like a buoy on the horizon
where the crows lead us towards the north star

“She locked me in a room until I said a password” By Julia at her desk


Friday, August 7, 2015
12:03am
5 minutes
from a story on The Moth

Come on Sid, I said, face buried into the wall. I’m right here. Right beside you.
I don’t want to come out, she said.
You don’t have to, I told her. Don’t do anything you don’t want to do.
Do you hear that? She asked me. Whispering just loud enough to make out.
What do you mean?
I didn’t hear a thing.
The music. It’s beautiful..you don’t hear it?
Describe it to me, I said, leaning my head back toward her.
It’s like a snowflake, dancing, and spinning, and falling softly on a bed of rose petals.
Beautiful?
Yeah. You should hear it, Ray.
I’d like to.
You’d truly feel it, she said.
It’s okay, I told her, don’t worry about me.
It’s not something I can keep, she said.

“right on the train, first one out of here” By Julia at her desk


Thursday, August 6, 2015
12:22am
5 minutes
If Only
Fink


I heard the cry of your sorry bones
Creeping up to the surface
Poking through the earth, begging, pleading
The haunting was my lullaby
The dream a hoax fabricated by guilt and uncertainty
Far apart from you I wept
Far apart I wished it was my life that was buried instead
I learned to sleep with the white noise of your pain;
the gentle and ever-present reminder that you were gone
That my punishment for all wrongs otherwise
Was getting out of bed even after memory restored
Each day
To face your ghost

“how to be a parent” By Julia on her couch


Wednesday, August 5, 2015
12:40am
5 minutes
from Harper’s at a kiosk at the airport

Didn’t trust myself with Audrey. I didn’t know what I would do to her if I got mad and she said the wrong thing. I didn’t have the breaks for something like that. Some people, you know, they can stop on a dime, but not me. For me it’s 0-100 and there’s no taking back after that. Audrey, you know, she was in the wrong place at the wrong time. She always was. And the first time I realized I wasn’t safe for her was the last time. I snapped. I just…leapt out of my skin and I was a monster. Truly. At the time it was her or me. Feeding Audrey or feeding the monster. Only one of them could eat at a time and I used to make sure that I knew the difference. That wasn’t easy.

“Feed your creative juices” By Julia on her bed


Tuesday, August 4, 2015
1:05am
5 minutes
from a pencil case

Lana blotted the excess lipstick off with a square of toilet paper, remembering how her aunt Kathy showed her while she was living with her. Apparently Aunt Kathy was only supposed to stay for a couple weeks-a month tops- but things got complicated and before they all knew it, it had already been 4 years. Lana used to hear Aunt Kathy in the early morning when she would get up to shower and get herself ready for her receptionist job. When the water would stop, Lana would crawl out of bed and go sit beside the bathroom door, tapping on it quietly. Aunt Kathy would open the door, scoop her up and sit Lana down on the toilet seat while she did her makeup. Lana would have been two years old. She didn’t say a word, but she watched Aunt Kathy’s every move from the blush to the spacing out of her mascaraed eyelashes with the tip of a safety pin. On some days, Aunt Kathy would even put a little eye shadow on Lana, or let her taste a bit of her vanilla lip gloss.

“One day she made a mistake” By Julia on her bed


Monday, August 3, 2015
12:31am
5 minutes
overheard at 49th Parallel

suddenly the truth hits
boom
like a grenade
no time now
no time to think
good choices be damned
it takes everything inside
not
to
scream
again and again
but there is no unknowing
when the decision is made
to let it in
now it’s in
boom
like a truth bomb
boom
like a higher standard
today
and
each
moving forward

“Me time” By Julia in Brooklyn


Sunday, August 2, 2015
2:30am
5 minutes
Facebook

Jonette had her long chestnut waves draping down her body so only her breasts were perfectly covered. She looked like a pre raphaelite painting. She looked like she had just stolen the ease of the sun. She was laying across the couch as if she just always did this. She could have had a book, or a magazine. She could have had a bowl of angel hair pasta dripping in olive oil and parmigiana.

“I met my first savant 52 years ago” By Julia on the A train


Saturday, August 1, 2015
3:30am
5 minutes
http://blogs.scientificamerican.com

I didn’t want to meet him. I wasn’t really in the position of meeting someone outside my own brain let alone someone outside my own comfort zone. I tried to be sweet but I came off as this precious little bitch with an agenda and a superiority complex. He was kind. He played me the song he wrote on his banjo and asked me if I thought if sounded genuine enough. I couldn’t lie to him so I told him it sounded like heaven and I wished he’d never stopped to ask me about something I was clearly already thinking about. I hate when people push their shit on you. I didn’t really know sweetness. What I knew was that he cared about my opinion and what I knew was that he didn’t actually need to hear what my true one was. That should have been enough of a warning sign but I stuck around anyway. I waited till he sent me a photo of him wearing army pants to call it off.

“She expected me to be in jeans” by Sasha on the porch at Joe Creek


Friday, July 31, 2015
6:32pm
5 minutes
from Sasha’s transcriptions

The tug of a familiar string
Bubby’s bowl of Wether’s Original
Four stuffed in my mouth
Six more in the pockets of my jean shorts
Too tight around the
round belly
“She expected me to be in jeans”
Hyman’s voice in my earbuds
More accent than I used to guess
More gentle
A blade of grass between thumb and fore-finger
This woman calls me back to a time before
Calls me towards my mother
Interrupting
Me
Interrupting
A thousand and ten minutes late
“I’m sorry”
“Please, go on”

His resentment weighs the bags under his eyes
Heavy
Raises the glass
The voice
The memory

Her blood’s here
I listen to my pulse
Watching the hourglass empty and fill
Flip it over
The best latkes
Flip it over
Forget about what hurts
Eat what hurts
Fuck what hurts
“I’m sorry”
Interrupting is enthusiasm
Is lack of patience
A child who was never told