“Woohoo!” by Julia on the 20


Wednesday April 27, 2016
10:34pm
5 minutes
from an e-mail

I am EXCITED to see you. I left you a scavenger hunt in the garage that you will LOVE but you have to have a reason to go to the garage. I didn’t leave clues in the house to go into the garage because I LOVE you but I do not have that much TIME! Remember that time I picked you up from the airport wearing a pleather sexy nurse costume? That was FUNNY but you were ANGRY with me because you were tired and not in the MOOD for an EXPERIENCE or a MEMORY. I was only upset about that for 6 months. Pretty good! Could have been way longer! Pride takes so long to heal though. You know that. Also my instinct to take risks for you had been RUINED and I didn’t really know that that’s what happened until much LATER.

“We’ve got your back” by Julia on her couch


Tuesday April 26, 2016
11:30pm
5 minutes
from a Suburu ad

Got a letter from Marie the other day. It was written on a series of post-its, unnumbered,disordered, and accompanied by a stack of photographs. She sent me a photo of her new belly button ring with a big “SORRY!” Written on the back in red lipstick. Another of her dog, Kate, and her just waking up. She looks happy in that one. She also sent a photo of her and Iris swinging a toddler between them. On the back she wrote “this ones a good one” and I have no idea what or who she’s talking about. Her post-its had her dreams scrawled on some but not all, a list of all of her current measurements, and a haiku about mint chocolate with a bunch of sparkly cow stickers.

“Not anymore” by Julia on the 99


Monday April 25, 2016
6:51pm
5 minutes
from a podcast

I don’t want you anymore
She says
Mouth full of corn flakes
Heart full of lonely
Are we going to discuss this
He says
Forehead vein pulsing
Forehead skin wrinkling
We are discussing it
She says
We are discussing it right now
No
He says
I mean don’t I get a say in this
Whatever you want to say will be too late
I don’t want you anymore
I don’t owe you a debate
You don’t have to be cruel
You’re already leaving me
He says
Eyes cast down
Eyes filling up
I think I’m being very nice actually
Being honest with you is the nicest thing I could do.

“you can do the first half” by Julia on the 250


Sunday April 24, 2016
2:55pm
5 minutes
from an e-mail

You can’t just tell me you love me once and then that’s it. You’re not in the clear. You have to show me that you love me. EVERY DAY. Because if you break the seal on love and try to hold it in, you are hurting everyone involved. You are hurting me. Don’t tell me that I “should just know” you love me. This is not a stupid video game. Or wherever you got that uniformed point of view. You don’t just say “I love you” and then expect all the perks of being with someone who actually feels loved. DID YOU KNOW THAT THERE ARE PERKS TO BEING WITH SOMONE WHO ACTUALLY FEELS LOVED? You get to feel the sunshine on your skin and wake up to beautiful breakfasts in bed and get tiny songs written for you and get love notes snuck into your gym shoes and get massages and genuine smiles and good gifts on your birthday. You don’t just get to do the first thing and then emotionally disappear!!

“No need to wait until we die!” by Julia at her dining table


Saturday April 23, 2016
4:35pm
5 minutes
The Essential Rumi
Tr. by Coleman Barks


We’re both sitting on the roof of Geri’s cottage and everyone else has gone to sleep. We are smoking weed and sipping on Mike’s Hard Lemonade and all of it feels perfect in this summer heat. I don’t know who started it but we’re playing a series of “get to know you”/ “get to fuck you” games. Questions like “Would you rather” or statements like “Never have I ever”. I am having the time of my life. I am flirting with you. Hard. You are flirting back and it feels like we could have been doing this thing together all our lives by how easy it all feels. At one point, after we simultaneously down our intentional drinks after both answering that we have have both in fact had a sex dream about the other, you tell me to close my eyes and say “stop” when your finger tips tracing my inner arm get to my elbow crease. I don’t want to say anything that might make it end.

“Your hands are cold” by Julia on the 14


Friday April 22, 2016
8:51pm
5 minutes
Scars
James Bay


You’re sweet. You let me put my cold hands in your armpits when I need to warm up, when my teeth are chattering and I’m complaining excessively. You squirm the first few seconds and you dance around but you don’t make me take them out. That’s one of my favourite types of touching. I feel taken care of by you and your overheated underarms. You are always a furnace, kicking off articles of clothing in your sleep, ripping up sheets, opening windows in the minus 30s or 40s. The only time I ever remember warming you up was when we went skinny-dipping in your family’s salt-water pool. It wasn’t warm yet, but we were high and felt free, and so I cupped your nut-sack in my hands so they wouldn’t retract and we stood like that for a while, impersonating Ethel Merman and smiling big at each other.

“How did you recognize him?” by Julia at her dining table


Thursay April 21, 2016
6:18pm
5 minutes
overheard in the car

I wrote a poem about your laugh when I was 17 and in love with you. I compared it to Santa. I didn’t know anything about you, or love, or poetry then. Maybe I still don’t. I felt proud reading it in front of my class and thinking of you secretly as I shared some of my truest, most ridiculous metaphors about you. I told them about your laugh, about how you were so inclusive and even laughed at people’s bad jokes to make them feel good. I remember thinking you were generous. And I think I was right because a few months later I found out that you were trading kisses with other girls and going out with whichever ones you thought you would be able to sleep with. Maybe I was the generous one for sharing you! I was crushed. I could pull you off of a busy street with my eyes closed if I could hear your laugh. These days I don’t hear it as much as I used to. We don’t live in the same place. We live worlds away.

“We were two ships in the night” by Julia at her “New York”


Wednesday April 20, 2016
11:23pm
5 minutes
Capsized
You+Me


Arden: Elliot, where did you get that ring?

Elliot: Why, you like??

Arden: Yeah, I like it a lot. It looks expensive.

Elliot: What does that mean?

Arden: Means it doesn’t look like something you’d buy.

Elliot: What the fuck?

Arden: I don’t mean it like an insult, I’m just saying.

Elliot: Well why don’t you stop speaking in fucking puzzles? What are you getting at?

Arden: Woah, pump the breaks, I’m just saying I like your ring and I didn’t expect you to have something like that. Because you don’t have a job. And I don’t think you’re dating someone? I don’t know, Elliot, fuck, just forget it.

Elliot: You’re jealous.

Arden: No–

Elliot: You are. I fucking knew it. You can’t accept that I might have one thing that you don’t have.

Arden: That’s not true.

Elliot: No? Then I guess you won’t care if I tell you that Nanna gave me this ring.

Arden: What?

Elliot: Yeah. She wanted me to have it. She gave it to me before she died.

Arden: Why the fuck did she give it you?

“We were two ships in the night” by Sasha on her porch


Wednesday April 20, 2016
10:43pm
5 minutes
Capsized
You+Me


We were two ships in the night for twenty nine nights too long and then I lost you. The unnamed cousin of the Bermuda Triangle, you must’ve been swept up in a wave or a gust of wind, powerful and smelling of seaweed and broken bottles.

I looked for you, sails ragged and ropes broken, but only found a lantern and a tree stump. Remains of something that was once so precious, so present, so tangible.

I call to you sometimes, in my sleep. At least that’s what my lover says, brow furrowed.

“feel free to talk to me” by Sasha on her couch


Tuesday April 19, 2016
10:43pm
5 minutes
From an e-mail

You come home for lunch instead of buying it out, like you always promise you’ll do but never actually do and you make yourself a salad with greens from Kim’s garden – lovage and mint, romaine and baby kale. You don’t know how Kim does it – how she finds time to tend to all these things with her job and her father and the baby. You eat slow. You told Haddie that you have a meeting at a coffee shop after lunch – a white lie. You don’t feel bad about white lies anymore. No point. You sprinkle on soft goat cheese and pumpkin seeds.

“biking in the rain” by Sasha on the 16


Monday April 18, 2016
5:19pm
5 minutes
Overheard on Yew

Macy is sitting in the bathtub covered in blood. All I can say is, “What the fuck? What the fuck?” She’s not crying or smiling or moving, but her eyes are open and she’s looking at me, eyes wide.

“What’re you doing here?” I sit on the closed lid of the toilet.

“I hurt myself, Jay.”

“What the fuck happened?”

“I hurt myself.”

“What’re you doing here, even? How did you get in to my apartment?”

“I need to talk to you.”

“Okay. What, yes, okay…”

“I rode my bike here, in the rain, and I got hit by a big truck. I passed out, under it. Louise, she was driving the fucking truck. I couldn’t call the police. She was high. She ran, she left the scene, she… Someone called a fucking ambulance and I was…”

“My head is so horrible” by Sasha on her couch


Sunday April 17, 2016
10:31pm
5 minutes
From a text

You are onstage and you are beaming and you are beautiful and you are gold. I am in the audience and I am watching and I am all heartbeat and dry mouth. You catch my eye and I am breathless, winded like I’ve been punched right in the belly.

I come out of the bathroom, rubbing my wet hands on the legs of my jeans. You’re there. You look at me, like we’ve met, like you know me. “Hi,” I say, but it’s too small a word for such a big moment.

“feel free to talk to me” by Julia at her dining table


Tuesday April 19, 2016
9:36pm
5 minutes
from an e-mail

Dearest Dot,
I am wearing the friendship bracelet you sent me in your last letter as I write you this letter in response. It is beautiful. You have such knack for colour coordination and choosing the coordinating colours that suit me best. My favourite part is the little H stitched in. How did you do that? You must send a tutorial for me to try in your next letter. Before I forget, I wanted to enclose some photos of me and my family while we were camping at Driftwood Beach this summer. I think you’ll find a pleasant surprise in the photo with me and Elsie holding her fetch ball in her mouth! Won’t spoil the surprise but I wanted to give you a heads up to look for it. Joshua tried to kiss me again behind the big elm tree in my backyard. I told him that if he keeps doing it I’ll have to find someone else to be in my play. I heard Benjamin and his brother, Nick, wanted to be in it but are too shy to talk to me. I wonder why that is? I like talking to everybody! I hope that you feel like you can talk to me? I mean I know you do because you always write back! Well I hope you know that I want you to feel free to talk to me about anything. Even this request!

Until next time,
Heath Heath

“biking in the rain” by Julia on Kits Beach


Monday April 18, 2016
4:49pm
5 minutes
overheard on Yew

I am
Moving
To a place where
You do not have
To worry
About
Biking
In
The
Rain
Because this place
Doesn’t have
Rain
And this place
Doesn’t have
Bike
Lanes
So crisis averted
And nobody’s hurt
And nobody’s sad
Because their
Favourite
Shirt
Got
Road grit
Splattered
On it
This place where
I’m going
Is far
And is
Wide
And is
Hope
And is
Dream
I will invite
You to meet me
As soon
As
I
Learn
My new
Address
Something like
Sunny Lane
In Sunshine Town
Just at the corner
Of
Rainbow and Sunset
Or I guess
Not Rainbow?
No more
Rainbows?
I didn’t
Think
This
New life
Through
I’ll need
Rainbows

“My head is so horrible” by Julia on her couch


Sunday April 17, 2016
11:44pm
5 minutes
From a text

Remember when you wore your pink thong to the beach and greased yourself up in olive oil to go play Frisbee in front of all our friends? You put glitter in your beard and people were taking photos of you the whole afternoon. I searched the hashtag “manthong” and your photo was all over Instagram. I spent that day laughing my ass off at your ass in the sand and your boyish charm. When people asked you why you were wearing your “thing” you said “it’s 34 degrees my brother” and then you’d do a cartwheel. I admit at first I was annoyed, maybe slightly even embarrassed. But I’m glad you didn’t care about one single bit of that.

“all that we went through” by Sasha on her porch


Saturday April 16, 2016
9:31pm
5 minutes
Back to Black
Amy Winehouse


fingerprints on arteries on sails
so young for this adventure
needles out of toenails out of freezer burn out of steam
the windows open in the summer and suddenly we all small
each other’s cooking hear each other’s kisses
told that you were better off
i wonder if you ever crumple up your dreams like you used to?

broken teacup broken heart broken frontal lobe
what if we could change our mind and go back and go there
would you say something different?
would you still light the fire?
would you drink just as many greyhounds?

“American singer-songwriter” by Sasha on the 99


Friday April 15, 2016
6:52pm
5 minutes
From a Lenny Kravitz Google search

I’m not sure about much right now
just the look of spring in your eyes
Glint like water of Salmachain pond
We spent the whole summer there
1979
The year your father re-married and mine
smoked his last cigar
We’d meet when the sun was just above the big willow
You’d bring the frisbee and I’d bring the lunch
We’d stay until the dock was empty
Everyone gone home for barbecued ribs and bath time
1979

“Let’s roll, babycakes” by Sasha on her porch


Thursday April 14, 2016
11:54pm
5 minutes
overheard on Arbutus

A: Let’s roll, babycakes…

B: I’m not ready to go yet –

A: Come on, this place is dead.

B: I’m, I’m having a good conversation with –

A: I already called a taxi.

B: You go. I’ll meet you at home.

A: No.

B: Excuse me?

A: I’m not leaving without you. That’s ridiculous.

B: Well, I’m not ready to go yet so either cancel the taxi or –

A: Excuse us, Elizabeth. We just need a minute.

B: No. Stay. It’s fine.

A: You are being really crazy right now.

B: Liz. This is what I have to deal with. Daily. Now you know.

A: I don’t know why –

B: Excuse us
.

“Don’t turn off your computer” by Sasha at Platform Seven


Wednesday April 13, 2016 at Platform 7
4:43pm
5 minutes
from the update installation screen

I showed you love like moss thick under bare feet
tangled just like we are
all roots and flowers all held tight
all reaching

I showed you patience like a watched pot like
the new moon and the tide in and out in and
out all smiles and sighs and gulps
all dirty fingernails and guitar solos

I showed you lavender bouquets blinded by the
streetlights the kitchen is the only alter I’ll
pray at the great divide somehow smaller
amongst tarragon and cinnamon

“I do not lie to you.” By Sasha at her kitchen table


Tuesday April 12, 2016
9:56pm
5 minutes
from a text

I was never asking for a storm, but it came with all the accompanying thunder and hail and wind storms and branches across the porch. I might’ve lied to you when I said that the chickens were safe and that the roof would’ve leak. Sometimes I am not the one in control. I ventured out into it, knee-high in mud and shit, stepping over bits of fence and roof, shielding my head and my eyes. I tried to save Alice, your favourite calf, but she disappeared. Lifted by a gust like a giant’s sneeze, who knows where she is now.

“This never happened before.” By Sasha on the 99


Monday April 11, 2016
9:23pm
5 minutes
overheard on the 99

This
This didn’t happen
Never happened
Won’t happen
An eye like a dart right through the soft belly flesh
This
The space between never and always
The unrelenting happy birthday song rough and round
This didn’t happen in a basement
The sounds of a teenage party full throttle above
This didn’t happen at a bus stop in the broad daylight
cars driving by and honking
This didn’t happen in a movie theatre
Leonardo diCaprio pouting on screen
This didn’t happen round back of a night club
Pressed against the red brick
Scars on the back
Scars on the back
This
This didn’t happen
Never happened
Won’t happen still
A sugar cane factory
Smell of burning

“In terms of expenses” by Sasha on her couch


Sunday April 10, 2016
11:16pm
5 minutes
from an email

Can’t afford the rum or the coke or the ring or the milk for coffee or even KD, you know. That’s when it’s real bad, right? That’s when you’ve sunk to a new low. Can’t help that I’m bad with coin, it’s in my blood. My Pops once won seventy thousand dollars in a lottery, one of those kinds that they do at the hospital? It was all gone before the year was up, right? All gone. Didn’t see a penny of it, my Mama or me or Kelly. Fuck if I know what he spent it on, probably drugs or clothes or something.

“your comfort and ours” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Saturday April 9, 2016
8:32pm
5 minutes
from an email

My mother and father on their wedding day

Anthony and Sharon
Twenty nine – both of them, born the same year

1979 – August
U of T Faculty club
“My friend got us in” My mother says now, on the rare occasion that she talks about their wedding.

A modern dancer
A justice of the peace
His Catholic family from Edmonton
Her Jewish family from Montreal
Finger foods made by aunties and the Thai restaurant on Baldwin St.
They danced to Joan Baez and Rikki Lee Jones

I imagine my mother running her hands over the ribs of the brown corduroy
I imagine my father touching the soft floral cotton of her dress
“I didn’t wear a bra,” My mother says now, we’re only talking about weddings because I’m planning mine.

“Your grandma loved that.”

“We ate cabbage rolls and pad thai and Richard drank too much and Bubby was anxious and it was just what it was supposed to be, I guess.”

“authentic salt” by Sasha at Moksha Yoga Vancouver


Friday, April 8, 2016
10:29pm
5 minutes
from the Real Salt shaker

HER: Hey. Can you talk? Ugh. I just hung out with Brian and it was… I don’t know – it’s just like, I like him, you know? I liked him. But then he just… I’m not gonna lie, I was thinking about him too, like, I was excited to hang out again, I had a good time the other night but… He’s weird, man… I don’t know…

Jen? What are you doing? Are you in the bathroom? No, no, it’s fine.

But, like, after what happened last time, when he ghosted, when he… I think he might be a closet player. You know those guys who just – yeah – who, like…

Did the toilet just flush again? Are you sick?

Maybe he’s one of those guys who pretends to be the caring, sensitive, easy-going, kinda, like gentle type but really he’s this weird, awkward, asshole player?

Shit, it’s the other line…

“all that we went through” by Julia at her dining table


Saturday April 16, 2016
5:31pm
5 minutes
Back to Black
Amy Winehouse


I don’t feel right writing this. You’ve been gone for one month. I know you said it wouldn’t bother you if I saw other people once you said goodbye, but everyone else is saying it’s too soon. I met someone. I don’t know if he’s my one, but he’s someone and it feels nice to be with a man that isn’t dying. Your mother is still angry at me. She thinks I am mistreating your memory, disrespecting what we had. But the worst part is, I know I’m not doing anything wrong and I know that when you told me you didn’t want me to mourn you for long that you meant it. I still love you, I always will. I would have died with you if I could have but it doesn’t work like that. I wanted to thank you for being so understanding and trusting and knowing that me dating someone else does not mean I’ve moved on or that I’m okay or that I wanted to be with someone else this whole time. Nobody outside of us can know what we went through and what we talked about and what we decided together. Now all that’s left is my side of the story and no one seems to want to believe me when I say it’s okay that this is happening and you wouldn’t be upset. I don’t know how long I can keep justifying myself in the eyes of your family or my family. I miss you more than life.

“American singer-songwriter” by Julia on her couch


Friday April 15, 2016
8:55pm
5 minutes
from a Lenny Kravitz Google search

Performing in the bar, local bar, playing to crowds who love it, come back each week, bring their friends, become family. That’s what I really want. I don’t need stadium. I just want to entertain and share my music. I don’t care if I’m not rich. I’ll have artistic needs being met. I’ll get to share an experience, make people happy, help the bar make a bit more cash that night, drink for free. That’s it. I’m far from it. I’m not a flake or anything; I know that I’ve got a long road ahead of me before I can be that ready. I’m not delusional. It’s the dream though. I don’t necessarily envision it with a band or just me and my guitar. I don’t play the guitar yet. Doesn’t mean I can’t learn. Never too old to learn something new.

“Let’s roll, babycakes” by Julia at her dining table


Thursday April 14, 2016
11:52pm
5 minutes
overheard on Arbutus

I want you to beg me to stay when I tell you I’ll be sleeping at my mother’s place tonight. I want you to get on your knees and apologize for being a dick so I can forgive you and then apologize for being a dick back to you. I’m angry but I won’t be later but I don’t know how to turn this thing around before later is later. I feel like I’ve pushed all your buttons and there’s no easy rewind let’s pretend that never happened one to press. Why don’t you come with one like that? I am at the door with my overnight bag and I want you to throw me a banana if you’re not going to try to keep me from going. Let me know you still care about my potassium intake even when we’re hating each other. Even when you’re secretly glad that I won’t be sleeping beside you tonight to remind you of this stupid fight we both engaged in when we were both enraged about the thing we won’t remember in the morning.

“Don’t turn off your computer” by Julia at Platform 7


Wednesday April 13, 2016 at Platform 7
4:47pm
5 minutes
from the update installation screen

For the first time in a month of coming here, the man with obnoxious voice and even more obnoxious ponytail is not working in the cafe that I am borrowing as my office. I don’t mean to say I miss him-I don’t- but I’ve come to expect him and now things feel a bit off.
I spilled coffee into my laptop bag, and into my laptop keyboard, and onto my table, and into the self-deprecating narrative that I’m the kind of person who spills liquids on all the things that should never get wet.
I waited in line for the single-stall bathroom for the duration of “Another Day” from the Rent soundtrack because I could hear someone doing a million weird things inside and I didn’t know how long was reasonable to wait before I decided to stop waiting.
Nothing else bad has happened. I don’t think it’s obnoxious ponytail accent’s fault for not being here- I was just trying to connect some dots that don’t need connecting while my computer updates itself and tells me not to shut off until it’s done. It’s done now. It doesn’t take long to restart or update but I always think it will. Maybe that’s a reminder for me when I make excuses for staying married to bad habits…

“I do not lie to you.” by Julia on her bed


Tuesday April 12, 2016
9:51pm
5 minutes
from a text

When you ask me for the truth I gladly give it. Not to everyone, but to you, I don’t how not to. I remember sitting with you in a dusty bar a year and a half after first meeting you and feeling like that was the first time I actually got to know you. You said some profound shit and you were as lucid as I’d seen you. I preferred you like that. I wonder if you noticed me opening to you too. If you noticed me sharing more secrets or more weaknesses or more dreams laced in marijuana and vulnerability. We are close now like a weird combination of two unlikely flavours that you avoid combining at first because the idea puts you off, but that no longer surprises you once they’ve been mixed together and tasted and enjoyed.

So now. We’re both here: you in love with someone who loves you even more than you love him, and me in love with someone who loves me for reasons I will never comprehend, and we still have each other when we’re dying or when we’re thriving. You ask me if you think you deserve to be happy. I say yes. You ask me if you made mistakes. I say yes. You ask me if I’m happy. I say yes. You ask me if when the world ends, can we hold hands in a tulip garden. I say yes.

“This never happened before.” by Julia on the 99


Monday April 11, 2016
11:39pm
5 minutes
overheard on the 99

You tell me you love me like a bazillion times a day and I say it back maybe once? Twice if I’m in a good mood. I wonder it it bothers you that I say I love pizza more than I say I love your lips or your hands or whatever nice shit you say to me. You don’t seem bothered. You seem normal. Not even phased. I assume because you must believe you’re hearing me return your sentiments every time you say them cause otherwise your heart would need mending. And I’m saying you seem fine so I imagine you feel great about needing to express yourself so much and being with a person who needs coffee before speaking to you and who wants to be left alone for the first 40 minutes after returning home. I used to think saying I love you meant meaning it. If you asked me now I’d say it had nothing to do with that.

“In terms of expenses” by Julia on her couch


Sunday April 10, 2016
11:44pm
5 minutes
from an email

Mia and I have plans on the weekend. She wants to go camping and I want to go where Mia goes. So we’re going camping. She says it will be really easy if we just pack a tent in my car and then sleep in cornfields or daisy patches or whatever the fuck she actually said. I said yes. I said, I love camping, and I’ve been camping many times, and I am not afraid of getting caught by police or bears or raccoons or snakes. Mia wears an anklet that drives me wild. It’s a gold infinity rope thing and I didn’t know I liked ankles, but fuck hers are nice. She asked me recently if we could squeeze one more person in the back. I heard myself say yes but my whole body was screaming no. My body was too late to the party. It was distracted by the smell of her ponytail.