“She didn’t need to tell me.” By Sasha at her kitchen table


Wednesday, December 30, 2015
11:04am
5 minutes
The Globe and Mail – Facts and Arguments
Monday, December 28, 2015
Yasmin Halfnight


Obsessions:
Avocado
Miranda July
My phone (ICK)
Anticipating working out
Alkaline foods/Acid foods
Quiet
What she didn’t tell me
Soft things
Orange/clove aromatherapy incense
Blue skies
Thinking about babies
Beeswax
Thinking about meditating more
Fire
Cedar
“Tap water is pure acid”
Money
Practise
Coffee

“Are you expecting us?” By Sasha at her kitchen table


Tuesday, December 29, 2015
12:35pm
5 minutes
from a Kitchener Utilities Pamphlet

“Are you expecting someone?” you say, picking up on my anxious energy.

“Yes. Shit. You know that!” I snap, picking at the scab on my right forearm. The sunflower tattoo that I got last week to cover the butterfly tattoo is itchy and dry.

“Relax,” you say, cracking your knuckles.

“I can’t!”

“Haven’t you ever bought drugs before? Like, when you were a teenager?”

“No…”

“Goody two shoes – ”

“Shut up.”

“It’s going to be fine. Larry says he’s a good guy. I trust Larry.”

“I don’t…”

You raise your eyebrows and smile and it disarms me. I sink into my chair, and sigh. The doorbell rings.

“poetry got a mainstream reputation” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Monday, December 28, 2015
11:31pm
5 minutes
The Four Agreements
Don Miguel Ruiz


My brother Zane fainted when he first saw the rainforest on Vancouver Island. He’d been anticipating the moment since boyhood, and had even planned to go into Botany if things had gone differently. Our mother, who we call “Barb”, just like her cello students do, thought we needed to rush Zane to the hospital.

“Better safe than sorry!” She said.

“He’s overwhelmed. I promise. That’s all it is. Just give him a minute…” Barb glared at me, but deep down, she knew I was right.

The irony of being an Oncology Nurse and then my brother being diagnosed with a brain tumour isn’t lost on me. We laughed, after the tears, following his first appointment at the hospital.

“Are you expecting us?” by Julia at DH Lodge in St. Jacobs


Tuesday, December 29, 2015 at DH Lodge
2:35am
5 minutes
from a Kitchener Utilities Pamphlet

Elliot sat on the couch digging into her scalp, searching for the patch of raised skull flesh she liked to play with when she was nervous. It was a quarter past four and her eyelids sometimes closed for longer than a blink while she waited up for Marco to get back. He was late. He told her he’d be back at midnight at the very latest. She had called him a total of seventeen times so far and counting. Elliot fingered the bump on her head and started to yank tufts of hair out with her finger nails, pulling slowly and firmly on a few strands from the root to the ends. Elliot thought about calling the police. The pendulum of the old cuckoo clock on the wall swung out of tune.

“poetry got a mainstream reputation” by Julia on Michael’s old bed


Monday, December 28, 2015
10:11pm
5 minutes
LENNY letter no. 14

Gabriela is my mother’s first cousin but she was disowned by the family in 1977 because she was “spreading the lies of the devil through her evil written word.” My mother only mentions Gabriela by accident when I ask her if we have any writers in the family. I ask because my son, Warren, is working on his family tree for school and has to answer a bunch of questions about the jobs his relatives have had. My mother tells me by accident that Gabriela used to write poetry about things people were too afraid to talk about. In one she remembers well, Gabriela wrote a line that said “The Church is lying in the Church. The Church is hiding in the Church. We do not know what we refuse to see.”
“So, she was a poet?” I ask my mother.
“No,” she tells me, “She was a sinner.”

“stop making assumptions” by Sasha on the couch at Bowmore


Sunday, December 27, 2015
9:35pm
5 minutes
The Four Agreements
Don Miguel Ruiz


Gemma vows to stop making assumptions. She vows in bed in the morning before she puts on her slippers and pads down the hall to pee. She vows while rubbing on face cream and again while pouring soy creamer into her coffee. Judy, the therapist at the community centre that Gemma’s been going to see every second Tuesday, told her to practise her special mantra when she walks Harold, Mrs. Grange’s schnoodle. Judy wrote it on a recipe card that happened to have someone else’s name written on the back.

“I approach life with curious wonder.”

Judy has grey hair that she wears in a braid that falls over her right shoulder and sometimes gets trapped in her armpit. She doesn’t wear make-up, except for mauve lipstick, which she clearly reapplies between sessions. She says, “Hi Gemma. So good to see you,” every single time Gemma arrives in her office. It’s near the pool, and Judy tries to mask the smell of chlorine with an essential oil diffuser. Once, when Gemma sneezed, Judy said, “Does Ylang Ylang irritate you, Gemma?”

“But it’s long, you have to go way down” by Sasha on the top floor at Bowmore


Saturday, December 26, 2015
1:52am
5 minutes
overheard at YVR

I am not the martyr you’re looking for
m for the mother that shamed you into thinking you could never be enough
a for the assumption that all women have a daddy issue
r for the restful quiet after the storm has passed
t for the time you take to love me like a snail inching his way towards water
y for the years we’ve done this over and over always finding the patience a mirage in the desert stretch
r for the reason why we show up again and again even when we don’t want to the quiet voice that lives in the root of the heart knows

“Like when I need plumbing done” by Sasha on the couch at Bowmore


Friday, December 25, 2015
1:43pm
5 minutes
Revolution
Russell Brand


I’m waiting for the nurse to call my name and I swear to God if I wasn’t wearing a hospital gown I would’ve bolted. I’m looking at a woman with an IV drip and then I’m looking at the guy coughing up a lung and then I’m looking at all the vacant faces who mirror mine. Waiting. “Franny Vince?” It’s a question like a roll call, like, when the teacher would take attendance before we sang the anthem. “Oh Canada, our home and native land!” I’m not trying to be funny, even, I’m just, like, I’m scared shitless. I’m scared shitless.

“Here!”

“Right this way.”

“Nice Santa Claus brooch.”

“My grandson made it.”

“He’s really good.”

“Thanks.”

“You dye your hair?”

“Yes…”

“What brand?”

“My sister does it.”

“Paul had known” by Sasha at the kitchen table in Mississauga


Thursday, December 24, 2015
12:14am
5 minutes
Dune
Frank Herbert


Paul knew about the body before Gemma. He knew that the toenails were still growing and that the intestines were still twisted. He knew that there would be one final exhale. Paul was quiet over breakfast of boiled eggs sprinkled with salt and pepper and whole wheat bread cut into soldiers. “What’s wrong with you, Pauly?” Gemma scooped out the egg white from the bottom of the shell. “Nuthin’ Gem…” He arranged the slivers of egg shell into a circle.

“good times” by Sasha in Mississauga


Wednesday, December 23, 2015
11:16pm
5 minutes
from the back of a CD

“Who is this?” Kate asks, holding the picture in her hand and reaching out her arm to her mother. Leslie is making three piles of records – keep, give away and sell. Once, she gets confused as to the order of the piles and Kenny G ends up in the “keep” pile. “Sebastian…” Leslie says, almost without looking up. “Who is Sebastian?” Kate says, sticking a photo of her and Henry into the album. “He was married to Grandma for seven months right after Grandpa died,” Leslie picks up the pile of records she’s keeping and puts them into the red milk crate. “What are you talking about? Grandma remarried before Julian? She’s been married three times?” “Those were good times,” Leslie says, picking up a Tina Turner record and smelling it.

“stop making assumptions” by Julia at her Mom’s desk


Sunday, December 27, 2015
7:57pm
5 minutes
The Four Agreements
Don Miguel Ruiz


On some days when the hearts are full and the bellies even fuller
we will think the thoughts of a mind that is empty
because comfort takes the driver’s seat and warmth is possible from all directions
Some of us with full bellies also have full senses of self
and like to take any opportunity to be the loudest in the room
It will be difficult to ignore these bellies and these loud laughs
It will seem impossible to have a positive thought about them
But nothing is impossible
and we must be able to remember that when our hate wants to step on a stool to be easily seen
We must ask ourselves if it’s not worth saying, is it worth thinking?
The closer we examine these moments, the easier it becomes to be good at handling them
We do not want to assume that the loud bellies are seeking to harm
We do not need to assume that they have a particular agenda in mind
Only that they are in need of love just as much as we are

“But it’s long, you have to go way down” by Julia at YVR


Saturday, December 26, 2015
7:52am
5 minutes
overheard at YVR

-It’s a long walk to your gate, Meliss, you want me to come with you?
-No you can’t come with me, dad, that’s after security.
-I know, you’re right. You sure you have enough snacks?
-I have two bananas and a bag of your trail mix. I think I’m going to be fine.
-Okay well you know that in security you have to take off your jacket and make sure your pockets are empty. They might make you take off your shoes so just be ready for that and if you are unsure just ask someone or read the signs, they should be posted everywhere–
-Dad. It’s okay. I’ll be fine.
-Okay I love you.
-I love you too.
-Call me when you land please. You know as soon as you can turn your phone off airplane.
-I know dad, I will. I’ll be okay. I’m not scared.
-No, I know I know you’re not.

“Like when I need plumbing done” by Julia at her table


Friday, December 25, 2015
11:14am
5 minutes
Revolution
Russell Brand


I’ll call my Aunt Maureen when I need my taps to stop dripping, thank you very much. I don’t need to call some plumbing “aficionado” as you like to do. My aunt Maureen, she’s a self-made woman! She didn’t have to go to plumbing school to learn about the world in a different way than she was used to. Her man was a no-good and he left, or she kicked him out, and she taught herself how to fix leaky faucets, leaky pipes, floor boards, and window cracks. It’s amazing. She doesn’t need anybody but herself and some tools and a can do attitude. So that’s who I want in my bathroom if push ever comes to shove! At least I know my aunt Maureen would take her shoes off before she tracks mud through my entire house! And when she’s done maybe the two of us can sit down over a spiked ice tea and talk about the real stuff.

“Paul had known” by Julia at her table


Thursday, December 24, 2015
5:11pm
5 minutes
Dune
Frank Herbert


It was hidden in the secret stash, tucked away deep in the back of her closet.
She didn’t want anyone to see. She didn’t want to be reminded.
Paul had known the whole time that Lara was keeping a shoe box sealed with a red ribbon tied in a hundred tiny knots. He had known and he had attempted many times to open it up. He knew Lara didn’t want it to be opened. But his curiosity was bigger than both of them.
One day Paul sneaked to the closet while Laura was napping on the couch in the living room.
He brought with him a Swiss Army knife and a plastic bag, just in case.
Paul didn’t care about the photos Lara kept, or the notes she liked to hold onto from her high school friends.
He slipped out the dusty shoe box and flipped it upside down. Paul held the knife carefully and began to draw a fine line on the box’s seam. He was nervous. He wasn’t sure if what he was doing was worth the findings. Worth Lara never trusting him again. Worth Lara not being able to deal with what seeing the contents might bring up…

“good times” by Julia at her island


Wednesday, December 23, 2015
12:13am
5 minutes
from the back of a CD

Memories are being made in our perfect little apartment
I can see you from across the room and I like that I can take in every part of you now
Before I think I forgot to make eye contact with you
We sat side by side so we got used to staring straight ahead
It was more comfortable that way
Now I can see you from a distance
See your smile
Your strength
Your genuine desire to help me
Memories are being made here
We sit on our properly sized couch and remember how things used to me
We are learning to remember our hardships as the golden thread in our tapestry
The through line in our story
The magic of perspective and just-desserts
We can see the mountains from our bedroom window
We can see the ocean from our dining room table
We can see the future of our love expanding when it finally has the space to grow
These are good times
These are our good times

“vow to scrap” by Julia at Platform 7 Cafe


Tuesday, December 22, 2015 at Platform 7 Cafe
11:29am
5 minutes
Overheard on Gerrard St.

I think I know why
I don’t want to say why
I think I know why I can’t keep the moments from turning into monuments
To keep the steam from turning into smoke
To keep the cut from turning into scar
I think I know why I don’t want to say why
I think I know why I can’t
I’m sorry
You say don’t be I’m trying to remember that
You say don’t try I’m trying to remember not to do that either
It’s taking some time
I am not sorry I am not trying
I think I know why
I think it scares me more than it might scare you
Human beings dancing without the proper shoes
Eagles flying without wings
You work hard to keep my wound a slice
To keep my throbbing a pulse
To keep my hyperventilating a breath
I think I know why
But I don’t say why

“Bye” by Julia on the 99


Monday, December 21, 2015
11:45pm
5 minutes
Overheard on Gerrard St.

I think I have waited for this moment for my whole life
I was testing myself
I wanted to see if I could wait
Reward myself with the news of my body no longer needing you
The way I had counted off the days, like I was reminding myself of how many days I was sober
Oh it’s been 17 days since we’ve spoken
Oh it’s been 2 months since we’ve seen each other
It’s been 2 years since we’ve kissed
It’s been 15 years since I first saw you
I have been waiting for independence
Waiting to see if I could do this thing on my own
This living thing
Sober and Solitary
The title for my autobiography
But I had to quit you more than I had to quit anything else
Ever
You were that good
There has been a lot of recycled peanut butter jars since
But it’s finally here
The moment of magic peace that feels like truly living
I don’t think about you anymore without warning
I wish you all the happiness
I wish myself all the happiness I’ve refused to let in since you left

“The people Fred wanted me to meet” by Julia on her couch


Sunday, December 20, 2015
7:12pm
5 minutes
from the back of matches

He was excited to have me over, I could tell cause he was wearing a pressed shirt and up until then I had only ever seen him in a hoodie. I was impressed too, his fingernails were clean, his apartment smelled of cinnamon, and there were place settings on the table. Fred told me there was a surprise and I started to get nervous, but he told me there was nothing to be worried about. Then the doorbell rang. I was like, what? What is happening? Fred sprung to the door and I was instantly upset that his efforts weren’t for me alone. Who could I possibly be meeting?
Fred came back from the door with a dark haired woman and her perfect little arm linked through his.
Amy, this is Katya.
It’s so very nice to meet you, Amy. Fred has spoken about you at length.
I laughed quietly shifting my eyes from her succulent mouth to her dainty wrist hanging in Fred’s elbow bend.
How do you two know each other?
Oh, Katya’s my ex-girlfriend!

“vow to scrap” by Sasha at R Squared Cafe


Tuesday, December 22, 2015 at R Squared Cafe
12:49pm
5 minutes
Overheard on Gerrard St.

the sun peeks and i am reminded of the
grandmothers in the congo raising their grandchildren
girls and boys a generation removed
the wedge of hunger and dis
ease

i buy a pair of expensive boots i can’t
really afford
and wear them and then they hurt my feet
my calf engaged more muscle more fire more
want more more more
more

a kiss tattooed on a neck
arms overflowing with
presents
the saccharine aftertaste of
over abundance
i find a card from my father’s mother

“merry christmas sasha!
i hope this finds you well.”

“Bye” by Sasha on the basement at Bowore


Monday, December 21, 2015
10:41pm
5 minutes
Overheard on Gerrard St.

R. never tells me she’s a surgeon. I find out from a process of elimination. After spending a third night in her bed, no sex, just cuddling and laughing at the strange sounds my stomach makes when I’m falling asleep, she gets a text and says she needs to take off for a few hours. “Sleep,” she insists, “I want you to stay.” I feel strange in her bed without her, smelling her cocoa butter smell.

After two weeks of this, and finding strange, comfortable, clog-like shoes in her gym bag, and seeing how tired she is and how much she knows about my concussed skull, I realize. We’d agreed not to talk about what we do, but this, this was something.

“The people Fred wanted me to meet” by Sasha at the CSI Coffee Pub


Sunday, December 20, 2015
3:01pm
5 minutes
from the back of matches

When he calls, he’s quiet, which is unusual. “I need you to come get me,” he says. I wonder how much pay phones cost nowadays. He doesn’t have a cellphone, can’t make the payments on time, so he’s stuck tracking down the last remaining booths with dangling cords that used to hold phone books. He doesn’t have to tell me where he is. I get in the Jeep that replaced the Honda Civic that he totaled when he drove drunk to go to the liquor store to get more booze. He’d forgotten that it was three in the morning and the liquor store was closed. The streets are empty. When I get to the casino, I look for him in the parking lot. He’s usually leaning against a pick-up, pretending it’s his. “No one’s watching, Fred,” I want to say. “No one cares.” He behaves out of character and is waiting around the back, near the dumpsters. When he sees me, he looks happy, but that fades fast. “Hi Dad,” I say.

“Safety” by Sasha at the table at Bowmore


Saturday, December 19, 2015
11:02pm
5 minutes
from the back of matches

When I meet Marta, she’s got three thousand dollars worth of heroine in a small blue suitcase. “You want to drive with me?” she asks, cocking her head to the side, like a puppy. “No,” I say, feeling the magnetic pull of the long stretch of highway that she’ll be driving alone. Or maybe she’ll find someone else to accompany her. That’s more likely. Marta’s only recently dyed her hair platinum, and her eyebrows look like too dark caterpillars. “You good?” She asks, licking her lips. “Same old,” I say, but it’s a lie. Truth is, nothing is the same and she knows it. “It’s good to see you, Chris,” she pulls chapstick out of her leopard print shoulder bag. “It’s good to see you,” she repeats, trying to convince herself, as she goes round and round her lips.

“We talked at length about it” by Sasha in the Kiva


Friday, December 18, 2015
10:32pm
5 minutes
Dispatched To The Derwent
Malcolm Dale


We talked at length about performance art and I pretended to know who people were and what they’d made. You drank straight from the bottle and I laughed at your unfunny, pretentious jokes. You made comments about my body that were not appropriate, even though we both knew that the night would end in an unfortunate blow job. You asked me about my father and my education. You asked how many planes I’d been on and if I’d ever had wild boar.

“Home of the burger” by Sasha in the Kiva


Thursday, December 17, 2015
5:39pm
5 minutes
from the A&W sign

I wonder what will happen to me if the police come? I don’t know anyone who belongs to the Children’s Aid… I’ve only read about foster homes and they don’t exactly get the best rap. I’m not sure if I can make it on my own. I’m not sure if I would be a good street kid because I don’t really like getting dirty and I’ve never squeegeed anything ever! I don’t know how to de-feather a pigeon and I’m absolutely unsure how to panhandle!

“benefiting those in your” by Sasha on the walk home


Wednesday, December 16, 2015
5:55pm
5 minutes
From a Caroline Myss card

Sneaking a handful of chocolate chips from the freezer, Imogen regrets the upgrade to stainless steel. Now she can see her reflection. She spits the half-chewed mess into a tissue and puts it in the compost bin on the counter. A swarm of grateful fruit flies emerge.

“Chandler, put down the scissors, arts and crafts is over now.” Imogen whispers in Chandler’s ear. He smells of play dough and chicken noodle soup. She looks at her watch – three fifteen. It will be another two hours before his Mom returns. Before she can repeat her instruction, he pulls on her silver hoop earring, ripping her earlobe down the middle like an envelope.

“hello, you!” By Sasha in the Kiva at Macdonell


Tuesday, December 15, 2015
10:31pm
5 minutes
Overheard on the bus

arrivals and departures and luggage tags and duffle bags and the pilot in her shirt too big too big and ginger ale and cherry clouds and tiny plots of land and ant cars and almonds salt salt salt and movies too early and babies crying and who knows where home is what does that even mean and who knows when now is it’s late here and it’s early there and both are home and both are home and both are home

“Safety” by Julia at her dining room table


Saturday, December 19, 2015
11:02pm
5 minutes
from the back of matches

There’s a level of discomfort that follows a perfect moment. It’s perfect until it’s not, fading into something hard to sit in. That second after the joint decision to bask in the glory of said perfect moment is made up of tiny doubts, fears, deep-swimming insecurities-or truths that we usually find more grace to disguise. I think it comes from wanting the next moment to be as good as the one before but it can only be anything close if it were the exact same moment and no two moments can be replicated no matter how badly we want them to be. So I guess it comes down to choices. Going left or right directly after the experience of tiny perfection. Does it live in us as a thing we both just know now, or does it change every moment after it by being so tightly clutched that we start to live in debt of that particular instance? Trying to pay it back forever.
I want to know…

“Closed now” by Sasha at JJ Bean


Monday, December 14, 2015
7:26pm at JJ Bean Main St.
5 minutes
From a Google search

mountains catching clouds like venus fly traps
mouths open robin red breast feeding worms from
the end of the line
crows fly to richmond to roost every night
the whole murder making the sky black
people take photos on their phones and look at them
later bringing the wild in
under the covers
we hold hands
fingers intwined like lives
like rope
like claws

“communication and community” by Sasha on the 99


Sunday, December 13, 2015
4:51pm
5 minutes
Dispersing Power
Raúl Zibechi


I took a lunch break around one forty five. Made myself a
nice sandwich. On a whole wheat bread. With spicy salami.
Sometimes the Deli guy brings us some fancy meats, not just
the turkey and ham that we give the patients. It was tasty.
I ate in a quiet corner of the kitchen. I spend so much time
on my feet, I’ve gotta take a seat, right, to eat my lunch? I don’t tell anyone where I’m sittin because if I do they gonna bug me! Just how it goes, in a leadership position, right…

“winexpert” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Saturday December 12, 2015
3:12pm
5 minutes
from a wine cork

When I opened my eyes and looked out the window, though, I
jus’… I lost it! I mean, all those little squares a earth an’ shit! An’ snow, all that white an’ the little cars and the little houses and my Ma was all, “What the fuck the matter witchu?!” But, I, I… We’re tiny, man. I know I’m a XL guy, but, like, we’re all this big.

I don’ know if I believe in God or what, man… I seen some
fucked up shit go down an’ I wonder about if this God would
really let that all happen… If this God is cool with Dad’s
runnin’ out, an’ kids bein’ hungry an’ on the street because
their Mama’s sellin’ themselves in their bachelor apartment,
like… Is that the God you want?! Is that the fuckin’ God
that everyone is prayin’ to? That’s a fucked up God, man.

“Has it really been almost 100 years” By Sasha at UBC


Friday December 11, 2015
12:42
5 minutes
from a Facebook post

Dear Cheyanne,
God. It’s been a long time. Almost a hundred years, right? Ned just moved out and Kevin is going absolutely stir crazy. We were glad to see Ned go, to get out on his own, but didn’t realize how much we’d miss him. We really miss him. He’s on the other side of town, so it’s not like he’ll swing by for a cup of coffee or something, that’s not likely to happen. Anyway, how are things in Fort Lauderdale? Kevin said that Bill won’t be joining you til March. How is that? Do you get lonely? Barb, you know Barb, my university friend, she’s practically obsessed with Oprah and Oprah says to read Brene Brown. Have you heard of her? I’m reading her book about vulnerability. Kevin thinks it’s all a joke, but I don’t. I quite like it. I think you might find it interesting, you know, something to read on the beach.

“for the guy or girl you’re kind of into” By Sasha on her couch


Thursday December 10, 2015
11:43pm
5 minutes
Vancouver Metro
Thursday, December 10, 2015


Nitrates, don’t even get me started on nitrates. You know what nitrates do? They make things last til hell freezes over. You know that bread at the supermarket that expires in three years? Nitrates. You know those hot dogs that have been sitting in the bottom of your fridge since last Canada Day? Nitrates! It’s a travesty, really, that these things are legal but everyone’s all up in arms about friggen marijuana. That’s corporate greed, for ya, right there. Yup! And who even invented these things?! They probably had no idea, no clue. Poison. They’re poisoning us. Warning labels on cigarettes but not on pastrami?

“We talked at length about it” by Julia at her dining room table


Friday, December 18, 2015
6:36pm
5 minutes
Dispatched To The Derwent
Malcolm Dale


Greer reaches down to pull up her knee socks that never seem to stay at the knee. She leans over in her chair disappearing under the table for a moment while Brody shifts in his spot, uneasy about a lot of things, in addition to the fact that Greer is no longer making eye-contact as he explains himself.
Greer’s stupid socks keep bunching in her shoes! That’s why they never stay up, they are being pulled down but her toes or something equally as lame! She lets out a tiny laugh.
“What? What is it?”
Brody doesn’t like unexpected bouts of laughter. He doesn’t like being the butt of anyone’s joke.
“Sorry, I, it’s nothing, really. What were you saying?”
“No, seriously, just tell me!”
“It’s actually not worth repeating, but, I’m fully listening, please continue.”
Brody starts to chew on the inside of his lower lip. He Has created a patch of bite marks, raised to the touch of the tongue, a tiny graveyard of anxious scars.

“Home of the burger” by Julia on the 9


Thursday, December 17, 2015
6:06pm
5 minutes
from the A&W sign

More often than not do I get to the point where I suddenly remember that I have to eat something before I fall down dead. It’s true. Sometimes I get so engrossed in work and I realize after 7 hours or something ridiculous that all I’ve eaten so far is a probiotic and a couple Oreos. I can’t even think straight when I do this. I start to aimlessly wander around the house from room to room with no real plan or solution. I look in every single cupboard but nothing looks appealing cause all of it looks like it requires work. It’s sad, it happens so much, but I still don’t try to avoid that. I don’t know many adults who have to write “Eat Lunch” on their to-do list just so they actually do it! When I get to the point of fainting or falling apart mentally, the only thing that calms me is envisioning biting down on a huge and messy burger, reeking of onions and dripping a rainbow sauce concoction all over the counter. I suppose I get so delirious that I dream of doing this while standing up? Over the sink? My hunger dreams don’t make sense, really.

“benefiting those in your” by Julia on her old couch


Wednesday, December 16, 2015
6:55pm
5 minutes
From a Caroline Myss card

I no happy at job
I look for other opportunities
I ask around
I talk to all the bosses
I show skills and personality
I ready for new life
New job offer benefits
I take job
I need help
I need security
Benefits no start right away
Must wait long time for starting
I wait long all day
I wait long all night
I pray fast comes the help
I pray for family
For friends
I make sure I no mess up
I make everything perfect
Old job slow
Old job not much help
No go to dentist for 2 years
No go to department store
No buy new underwear
Even when old ones have holes

“hello, you!” by Julia at her kitchen table


Tuesday, December 15, 2015
10:31pm
5 minutes
Overheard on the bus

That’s what he says to me when I call his cell while he’s at work. He doesn’t want to let anyone know that it’s me. He refuses to use my name. I get it. I don’t want anyone to know either. It’s nice anyway, like he’s happy it’s “me” when he says it like that. Like he’s relieved. He sometimes answers the phone with just a “hello” when he picks it up in the company of others. He leaves quickly enough to go into another room, pretending always that it’s work related or family related, depending who’s nearby. I clear my throat twice, quickly, and that reminds him to adjust his volume. You never know who could be listening for key words or a flirty laugh. I can’t wait to be alone with him and when his volume is lowered I tell him this. He laughs because if he doesn’t he might do something he regrets. I laugh back.
“Were you able to rent the cottage for the weekend? Boys trip?”
“I’m working on it.”
“When will you know? I want to see you…”
“Yup! Let me get back to you, hopefully it all works out, sound good?”
“I miss you..”
“Thanks, I’ll see what I can do.”

“Closed now” by Julia on her couch


Monday, December 14, 2015
11:26pm
5 minutes
From a Google search

Nobody is here to take your coat. Nobody is here at all. They all went home. Sanders said they could go early for Christmas. Sanders told them all they had to come to a unanimous decision. At first Donna didn’t want to go early because she was worried she wouldn’t have enough money to buy her son the snowboard he wanted. She cried for about 30 minutes straight until Lise and Desmond told her they’d chip in to help. They just wanted to get out of there. They were worried that Sanders would make them stay the whole night just cause he didn’t have anyone to go home to. Donna finally agreed and wouldn’t stop saying “thank you so very much. Thank you to the moon and back!”
I’m only here because I was waiting for you…

“It breaks my heart” By Sasha at her kitchen table


Wednesday December 9, 2015
10:14pm
5 minutes
overheard at 49th Parallel

When Mika leaves the office, she kisses the top of her Dell desktop monitor. “I love you,” she whispers, eyes closed. She fought to be here, tooth and nail, toe and cheek. She rides the train all the way West, the furthest you can go, and when she gets off, she waits for Mark to pick her up at the Kiss-N-Ride. She reads her book – a racy paperback from the library – and gets a bit turned on, but not too turned on. When Mark pulls up, he honks and she gets startled. He laughs. She gets in the backseat, because all his dirty work clothes are in the front seat and she’d rather not touch them. “How was your day, hon?” He says and she thinks for a minute. “It was superb,” she says, finally, making eye contact with him in the rearview mirror.

“You wanna build another house?!” By Sasha on her couch


Tuesday December 8, 2015
11:49pm
5 minutes
overheard at Arbutus Coffee

I want to love you wide open
an avocado pit in your centre that leaps
out of my hand
I want to love you until you’re spread thick on toast
butter knife dull
When you breathe I see your future on the window pane
It’s here
with me
It’s there
with the waves and the million dollar sunset
I want to love you wide open

I want to build you a house out of music
Ray Charles and Frazey Ford
Otis Redding and Ani DiFranco
I want to live in those harmonies and
those soul grooves
with the bass line as our walls and the horns section
as our ceilings

“communication and community” by Julia on her couch


Sunday, December 13, 2015
9:53pm
5 minutes
Dispersing Power
Raúl Zibechi


In the middle of the night I am shocked awake by your fist bruising my left cheekbone. You have been attacking me in your sleep since September but this is the first time it leaves a mark instantaneously.
I am livid in the moment because I am stunned and confused but I know you don’t know what you’re doing so I don’t wake you up to tell you what just happened like you want me to. In the morning you are concerned about my face and beg me to tell you what you’ve done. I say, it was an accident this time, I know it was. But you don’t believe me. I am not a good liar. You ask me to tell you what you’ve said but I don’t want to upset you so I stick to my guns and say I don’t think you said anything at all. The truth is, you’ve been calling out my name each time but I can’t bring myself to confess that you’re not just remembering your days on the battlefield. Once you yelled that I was keeping you a prisoner. Another time you told me that I didn’t deserve to live.

“winexpert” By Julia on her couch


Saturday December 12, 2015
11:58pm
5 minutes
from a wine cork

Shari was very excited about her work’s Christmas party. Last year Abigail Hayes won a gift card to the Wine Rack and everyone tried to steal it or trade the ones they got for hers. Shari received a ticket to Cineplex Odeon as her Secret Santa gift but she had the idea to quickly hide it in her sleeve so when everyone crowded around to see what Shari’s gift was, she showed them an empty card and everyone felt so bad for her that they all started offering her their gifts. The only thing Shari wanted was Abigail’s Wine Rack gift card, but she refused to give it to her because she said it wouldn’t be fair to all the other girls. This year Shari had drawn Abigail’s name and was going to return the Christmas spirit that Abigail bestowed upon her the year before. In her white leather purse, Shari had a card addressed to Abigail, but she didn’t include anything else inside it….

“Has it really been almost 100 years” By Julia at Gene


Friday December 11, 2015 at Gene Coffee
1:51pm
5 minutes
from a Facebook post

Hard to believe she hasn’t come back to get her coat yet, it’s the dead of winter! After all these years of doing coat-check, it STILL surprises me that some people don’t think to call the last venue they went to to even inquire about a missing jacket in x size, x style, x cetera. Some people don’t remember how they got home the night before so to them they think their coat could be literally anywhere. But the ones who know for sure they left it at an establishment and DON’T CALL must be very embarrassed about something because they sure as hell don’t want to show their face the day after a holiday party or a bachelorette. I have held one beige coat, size small, trench style belt, for almost 100 years now and still nobody has claimed it. So I have decided that if it’s still hanging in my coat check come the new year, I’m going to take it home. I’ve been eyeing it. And there are cameras in the coat check room so once I even turned off all the lights and tried it ON. Now I know it fits. It would be useful to me. Not just theft to thieve! But! There’s a chance that someone might still come back for it and how awful would it be to have just taken someone’s jacket right before it was about to be reunited with its owner.

“for the guy or girl you’re kind of into” By Julia at Bean Around The World


Thursday December 10, 2015 at BATW
6:45pm
5 minutes
Vancouver Metro
Thursday, December 10, 2015


It’s Christmas Eve and Iris is going over to Reid’s house to give him the cookies she baked from scratch, burnt once, remade, and packaged in her mother’s favourite tin, tied with a red bow.
Reid is shaving his stray mustache hairs that have only disappointed him this entire year. He doesn’t want to look like a Berenstain Bear. He doesn’t want Iris to think he’s trying to be something he’s not.
Reid is thinking about the gift he bought for Iris but is second-guessing whether she will like it or not. He didn’t do any research but his older sister said that all girls like stuffed animals so it was a safe bet. Reid is 99% sure that Iris is not like all girls…
Iris doesn’t want to show up early or late, so she walks around the block three times before knocking on Reid’s door.

“it breaks my heart” By Julia walking home


Wednesday December 9, 2015
10:10pm
5 minutes
overheard at 49th Parallel

Rip me apart
like a Custard Tart
Pull Away
Hold my hands up
in an I’m Innocent
Not Holding A Weapon
kind of way
Make me your mission
but keep me alive
Steal all my
useful organs
So you can peer inside
Shatter my bones
like an ancient mosaic bowl
that you break to rearrange its pieces
in an order you like better
Crack open my chest
like a safe
without a lock
And watch
my beating heart beat for you
one last time
Then stop

“You wanna build another house?!” By Julia at her desk


Tuesday December 8, 2015
11:46pm
5 minutes
overheard at Arbutus Coffee

I can’t move in with you anymore, Kev, it’s not going to work for me.
What do you mean, we just signed the lease, both our names are on it and everything.
I know.
Okay?
Yeah but I know myself too and I’m not going to be able to get on board with a commitment this size right now.
This is unbelievable.
What is? That I don’t want to live with you? I think of all people you should know how hard it is to share a house with you.
What?
Don’t pretend like this is my fault, you’re a difficult housemate, even you said that to me!
But you still signed the lease, you signed up for this whole thing with me. How are you just figuring out now that this is…that you’re not…I seriously can’t believe this is happening.
It is happening, though, so we need to both accept it and move on or something.
How do you not feel bad for completely fucking me over?
Wouldn’t you rather know this before we try to build a home together? Like this is good news, we won’t be blindsided later.
Blindsided?
I don’t know, poor choice of words I guess, but I’m not going to apologize for changing my mind.
So are you saying you don’t want to be with me either?
No, of course not, I’m totally not saying that. I feel like we’ll be better off if we just live in separate houses.

“Read. Think.” By Julia at her desk


Monday December 7, 2015
10:12pm
5 minutes
Edible Magazine

Okay so remember when I told you that my horoscope for yesterday told me to avoid confrontation at all costs? Well I swear to God I should have listened because it was RIGHT, Leah. It was the freakiest thing I’ve ever experienced in my entire life. I go to the grocery store off 24th every Wednesday, right? Like clockwork or whatever, it’s like, that’s my routine. But my credit card wasn’t working for some reason and like, I use it there every single time so I was starting to think it was the machine’s fault, you know? Anyway so as I’m telling this to the pregnant girl behind the counter, who is supposed to know me so well by now cause I’m like always in there, regular customer, no surprises, I bring my own bags, whatever, she starts breathing super heavily like what I’m saying to her is giving her a panic attack. And honestly I wasn’t being like, super mean, but I also, honestly, wasn’t being super nice, just cause it’s so weird for this thing not to work and like I have stuff to do so I’m getting a bit anxious, you know, just a typical reaction based on the situation, right? And as I’m like, look lady, I’m telling you it’s not my card, SHE STARTS GOING INTO LABOUR.

“Read. Think.” By Sasha at her kitchen table


Monday December 7, 2015
9:37pm
5 minutes
Edible Magazine

Joyce is in her makeshift bed on the couch, talking to Rachel on the phone. The room is mostly dark, as the blinds are drawn. She whispers her fear that it’s clear that Esther doesn’t want her to meet Robert and that time is running out as she flies home tomorrow afternoon. Esther interrupts the phone call by opening the blinds. Bright light pours in, blinding Joyce. Esther grabs the phone from Joyce and asks Rachel to put her grandson on – she has questions about software for downloading music. Joyce listens to Esther speak to one of the boys. She pulls on shorts and a tank top and mouths to Esther, “I’m going for a run”. Esther keeps talking on the phone and joking as Esther leaves the apartment. Once out in the hot Florida sun, Joyce sprints the three long blocks to the beach. At the water’s edge, she folds over, a sob emerging that’s been growing ever since she arrived.

“Don’t tell anyone.” By Sasha on her couch


Sunday December 6, 2015
8:33pm
5 minutes
http://www.globeandmail.com/life/parenting

Jo and Ellie are at Marg’s and it’s just me and Charlie at home. I call Dad and Deb. It rings eight times before the voicemail message clicks on. They still have one of those real machines, the kind with the little tape. Dad loves to switch up the outgoing message.

“Hi you’ve reached Don and Deb. We’re in Mexico until the New Year, so we probably won’t get this! Send an email!”

Deb is laughing in the background.

Charlie coos, clawing at my shirt. He wants the boob, but my nipples are cracked so I give him a bottle instead. He coos as he sucks. God, I love this boy.

Beep.

“You guys really shouldn’t advertise to the whole world that you’re away! I know that Ella is looking after the plants, but still! What if someone is up to no good and comes to break in or something! Anyway, love you both. Miss you. Really.”

“Shhh…..” by Sasha at Kits Beach


Saturday December 5, 2015
4:19pm
5 minutes
Overheard at Kits Beach

she’s reading the newspaper like she’s a grown up but she’s not one of those nope not yet.

her kilt goes below her knees she’s not one of those girls who rolls it over at the waist to make it shorter to bring it up. she’s got banana bread in one hand and a highlighter in the other. every so often, she highlights a word on the newsprint. when she does, she examines the tip of the highlighter – a little bit of black against the yellow. dissatisfied, she bits off the tip. she glances around to see if anyone is looking.

i am.

i don’t want her to be embarrassed so i hold my finger up to my lips.

“Junk Email Folder” by Sasha at Moksha Yoga Vancouver


Friday December 4, 2015
10:16pm
5 minutes
from an email account

I put on a blue sweater, stained with paint.

“I’m going for a walk with Toby,” I call to you, in your studio, earphones on. You likely can’t hear me, but as long as I’ve technically told you where I’m going, it won’t start a fight.

I put on Toby’s leash. I scratch his ear, the way he likes, using my nails, and he closes his eyes.

On the trail, I wonder about your mother and her dialysis. It’s the place my mind usually goes. I’ve never liked conflict, or unsaid anger, and your relationship is rife with both. I think about texting you, and even reach into my pocket to do it, but realize I’ve left my phone at home, likely on the back of the toilet.

I let Toby off his leash and he races after a squirrel. I laugh. It’s been awhile since I did that. I keep forgetting to take the Vitamin D drops.

“to achieve perfect personal silence” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Thursday December 3, 2015
10:42pm
5 minutes
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
Maya Angelou


The doorbell rings.

Shit shit shit shit shit.


“One second!”

It won’t be, but that’s what you’re supposed to say, right?

I’m not dressed. I’m not even close to dressed. I don’t even have underwear on. I’m naked.

I run to the kitchen and reach for the bottle of tequila on top of the fridge.

It burns! It burns!


“Emily?!”

“JUST A SECOND, I SAID!”

I run into the bedroom and grab jeans, bra, a T-shirt.

“It’s already 10 o’clock!” by Sasha on the 99


Wednesday December 2, 2015
6:20pm
5 minutes
Said by Joe

Clark got new glasses. It’s like he thinks he’s handsome now or something. Whatever, Clark. They are silver, the kind that would blind you if the sun was shining and you looked directly at them. They belong in 1997.

“Have you finished updating the spreadsheets, Pete?” He peers over the half wall that separates us. Every one else has a full wall between them. Not me and Clark.

“You asked me to do that sixteen minutes ago. What do you think I am, Superman?”

Clark winks. I roll my eyes.

“I’ll have it to you by end of day, Clark.” I smile through clenched teeth.

“depending on importance & urgency” by Sasha on the 99


Tuesday December 1, 2015
6:02pm
5 minutes
from a To Do list in October

Every year it’s the same
A razor blade for a tongue and braids down a back with a
snake spine
She’d had scoliosis surgery three times
Each cut goes deeper
Each healing means more
scar tissue
Riding the bus towards cigarettes and hot chocolate
Beth calls and she cusses loud enough for everyone to hear
I forgive her for it when she gives me a Leah voodoo doll
“Stab her into oblivion” Beth says
Our mother’s are sisters so technically Beth and I are cousins
But I call her my sister because neither of us have one of those
Our Friday ritual
Smoking on the roof and
Popping marshmellows
Beth faints

“Don’t tell anyone.” by Julia at her desk


Sunday December 6, 2015
9:43pm
5 minutes
http://www.globeandmail.com/life/parenting

Don’t tell anyone but I love the smell of my own skin. Like the ooey gooey yeasty smell of the inside of my bra after a long day of support and entrapment. I like it like I like the smell of your hands after they’ve been down your pants. I don’t know why but they smell the same to me. Secret Skin. Hidden in plain sight. Terribly crass. Undeniably human. I love the human you become when I’m an animal sniffing the sweat off your thighs. I ache for you to want me like your body has no choice. You tell me you like the smell of my arms, behind my ears, my belly button. I tell you to describe the scent that you like so much. I beg for you to prove it to me that it’s worth risking everything for.
You don’t know what to say except that it’s spicy and reeks of the earth. I am lifted from my bones when I hear you inhale me.

“Shhh…..” by Julia at her desk


Saturday December 5, 2015
11:49pm
5 minutes
Overheard at Kits Beach

I clutch the truth to my chest like a secret that is not meant for anyone to see but me.
It stings a bit, this truth. If I hold it too tight it starts to burn through my skin.
I don’t tell you because it might burn you too.
I can’t let that happen. I promised I would protect your heart. I promised I wouldn’t let even one bad thing get close.
You beg me for my truth. You try to sneak it away from me when I’m not thinking clearly. You bet you can take it from me to peak at its face in the place between asleep and awake. The place where I call out sometimes and tell stories in the dark.
You think it’s sweet that I grip it so tight. You laugh when I roar at you to back away. You call me your lion and you plant a kiss on the skin closest to my lips:close enough for me catch it…or close enough to bite.

“Junk Email Folder” by Julia on her couch


Friday December 4, 2015
9:56pm
5 minutes
from an email account

It’s been 5 consecutive days that I haven’t called you. It could have been 6 but one of those calls was out of my control and it would have happened no matter what. I don’t want to hear your voicemail again. I want to hear you. I want you to pick up and just say my name one last time.
I know it’s over. But I can’t help myself. I’ve checked your emails every day since you left. I know what you’ve sent, what you’ve said, what you’ve done, and how you feel. From some in the first few weeks, I knew you were unhappy too. But then…one day after I told myself to stop, I got this urge to log myself in…

“to achieve perfect personal silence” by Julia on her couch


Thursday December 3, 2015
10:15pm
5 minutes
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
Maya Angelou


I don’t like to hear myself breathing; it makes me too self-aware of being alive that I start to think about death. The absence of breath. The absence of thought. Eternal rest, peace…silence. I realized that audibly yawning triggered these ideas when I woke up the man who shared my bed by doing it. I had never realized how loud the tiny second just after it peaks, after the soft pallet is fully open, was. That I was luxuriating in it without thinking about it, or questioning it. The next time I yawned after that, I tried to quiet the denouement and found that I could achieve an effective yawn, almost gratifying enough to suffice, if I stopped adding sound to it. It’s less enjoyable but it doesn’t make me think about dying.

“It’s already 10 o’clock!” by Julia on her couch


Wednesday December 2, 2015
6:00pm
5 minutes
said by Joe

Time is flying by and I wish he would just look up from that damned banjo of his for a second to notice that I am no longer interested in dicking around. When you meet the person your heart chooses to love and accept and be challenge by on a daily basis, why waste a single minute of that time after you’ve made up your heart to do something about it? I don’t think he believes that I love him and only him. I think he needs me to write it down and mail it in a letter! Maybe that’s what I’ll do, put it on some pretty pink stationary, spray it with my Eau De Toilette, then shove it in an envelope and seal it with a kiss! Telling him, you better hurry up and marry me quick before I change my mind about you, mister!

“I really like hugs” by Sasha on her couch


Monday November 30, 2015
11:10pm
5 minutes
overheard at the Vancouver Poetry Slam

Bob’s got chapped lips. Really bad chap. Like, the skin’s flaking off, and he must notice but he’s not even licking them or considering chapstick. Bob is distracted. After seventeen months, two weeks and three days of unemployment, Bob has a job.

On his first day at J Greer Computing, Bob is called into his manager’s office. Leslie has a trophy on her desk from the Regional Curling Championship. Around women like Leslie, Bob always finds himself with sweaty palms and an itchy upper lip.

“How’s it going today, Bob?”

“Oh pretty good, Leslie.”

“You’re settling in alright?”

“You bet,” Bob forgets about his moustache and tries to lick his lip where it’s tingling.

“Bob, I just have a question about your previous employer…”

“depending on importance & urgency” by Julia on her couch


Tuesday December 1, 2015
6:00pm
5 minutes
from a To Do list in October

Meredith is getting breast implants and she is sure so don’t ask her if she is. She’s answered that question 70 billion times and she knows what she wants. Each time someone inquires if she’s ready she becomes a thousand more percent positive that this is what she wants, answering each time with a resounding YES! Christ! YES I FUCKING AM. The only person who hasn’t asked Meredith if she’s thought about her decision is her mother who gave her the idea in the first place. Meredith’s mother said to do whatever her heart called her to do, and she would support her no matter what. Meredith’s mother was good about keeping promises. But everyone else seems to think they know better and can’t believe that this is the choice she’s come to. Meredith knew she wanted implants since her first year of medical school. She did not decide it while getting chosen to be the captain of the cheer-leading squad in high school. She did not decide it when her first boyfriend broke up with her over Thanksgiving weekend.

“I really like hugs” by Julia on her couch


Monday November 30, 2015
11:00pm
5 minutes
overheard at the Vancouver Poetry Slam

I showered for this. I just want you to know that. It’s that level of important to me. You are that level of important to me. This is harder than I want it to be. I hope you won’t make me explain in different words cause I’m not too good at that part either. I am trying though. You said something to me the other day when you came over to my house with scones or whatever when my roommate was out? You said it’s nice to spend time together outside of work. And I wanted to tell you that I think so too and if I don’t seem like I agree, I just don’t know how to…meet you there quite yet. Not in the way that I want to. If you know what I–because I. You know. I’m sure you know. Also kick butt tonight. I know you’re gonna crush it. All the math and stuff.