“out in the burbs” By Julia in her bed


Saturday July 30, 2016
12:34am
5 minutes
Overheard at Lit on Roncesvalles

I met Geena there on her driveway after two years of not speaking or trying to. She had been crying and just finished doing a bump. Her beach waves looked fried. She looked like she was planning a rave. I hugged her, counting down from 6. Apparently it takes 6 seconds to feel somebody’s heartbeat.

You look like shit, she said. I half expexted you to be pregnant.
I’m so sorry Geena, I said, Brent was a good man.

“out in the burbs” by Sasha at Lit Espresso Bar


Saturday July 30, 2016 at Lit on Ronces
3:12pm
5 minutes
Overheard at Lit on Roncesvalles

James wants to move out to the burbs once he’s done his internship. He keeps talking about the “size of the lots”… “There’s nothing for us here, Carly,” he keeps saying and I don’t know what he means and I absolutely do not agree. There’s lots for us. Lots for all of us, not just me and him. I’m not getting cold feet or anything, but I don’t really feel excited when he talks like that – like he has a plan that I’m not privy to, like he thinks he’s the boss of our future. I actually asked him last night, “Do you want a pool, James?! Do you want a damn hot tub?” And he laughed because he thought that maybe I was joking or something.

“Bought wedding bands on Etsy” by Sasha on the couch in Swansea


Friday July 29, 2016
10:41pm
5 minutes
from a Facebook post

Ever since I started wearing your wedding ring I’ve been having bad dreams, seeing things I’ve never seen before. I wake up sweaty, the sheets soaked, and shaking. I tried to write the dreams down once or twice, but it freaked me out too much, when I went back and re-read it. Molly really really wanted it. I don’t know why you didn’t just give the ring to her. Dad says that because I’m the oldest granddaughter it had some sort of special significance to you, but you never showed that, I mean, I never knew you felt that way when you were alive. To be honest, I didn’t really think you ever liked me. I got a birthday card from you once or twice, but other than that, and Christmas visits, you didn’t seem to care for me or Bill. Molly and Kenneth were another story. I know that you took care of them more when they were still cute and cuddly. It’s not my fault my Mom thought you were irresponsible.

“the new thing in us” by Sasha at the table in Swansea


Thursday July 28, 2016
10:12pm
5 minutes
Letters To A Young Poet
Rainer Maria Rilke


There’s a new thing that you’re doing, that Daddy hasn’t seen yet. You’re making these faces, like we do, exactly like we do. I caught you this morning, on your back on the change table, furrowing your eyebrows and pursing your lips. It’s just the face that Daddy makes. I go to get my phone, to take a picture, but when I get back you’re rolled over on to your stomach and you are smiling. Missed it. You’re growing so fast, quicker than the carrots and the rainbow chard in the raised bed garden.

“We should be there by then” by Sasha on the couch in Swansea


Wednesday, July 27, 2016
11:13pm
5 minutes
From a text

Soon the earth will be
bare naked her cracks
showing even through
the concrete soon
the sky will cry more
or less
more or less
the exact prophecy we’ve
been hearing since that
first tsunami
I want to be here for
this paying the price
of generations and
generation paying the
price of overuse the
price of hedonism

“my drunken soul flies” by Sasha at the table in Swansea


Tuesday July 26, 2016
9:33pm
5 minutes
from the write up on the painting “Ascend”

I shaved the side of your left head, down to the scalp. I tattooed my right thigh with a tiny eight pointed star. I ate all the blueberries, the cherries and the frozen strawberries, all while tickling your back with my toe. When we woke up the next day, you weren’t impressed with my shave job or the tattoo. You asked where all the berries went and I blushed and gave myself away. We went down to the Splash Pad and cooled off. You don’t like pools. They give you the creeps.

“Bought wedding bands on Etsy” By Julia at Bean Around The World


Friday July 29, 2016 at BATW
7:10am
5 minutes
from a Facebook post

Marissa was insistent on spending as little as possible on her wedding to Greg. Her friends asked her why she wouldn’t want this special day to be more classy or fancy or memorable. And then Marissa dumped all her friends and moved to a tiny island town and lived in a log cabin where she ate dehydrated beef and played scrabble with her cat. She told them she didn’t want to wake up one day and realize she had wasted all her hard earned money on a thing that might not last. And they were appalled. Was she having second thoughts about Greg? Was she cheating on him with his brother Grant? Was she going to be a Run-away Bride? And Marissa slapped them all in their dumb mouths and ate a bowl of peach cobbler drenched in Añejo 7. It wasn’t about doubting Greg. But a marriage is the thing that people should be focused on. The thing that takes 100 years to succeed at. Not the wedding, which lasts for 8 hours on the day, but then haunts your financial dreams for the next 1000 years, leaving you wishing you just went to City Hall like all the smart people.

“the new thing in us” By Julia at Bean Around The World


Thursday July 28, 2016 at BATW
7:10am
5 minutes
Letters To A Young Poet
Rainer Maria Rilke


She hopped to her seat at the back of the aircraft and chuckled to herself as she heard the voice in her head refer to it as an aircraft. A craft that belongs in the air, she thought, how magical. Someone thought this thing up and then built a bunch of Popsicle stick models out of it before building the real thing.
She was anxious to get home for her brother’s surprise 30th that her whole family was apparently gathering for. He was the one who invited her to it in the first place, but they were close and couldn’t keep secrets from each other. Her brother had found an envelope in the garbage that had the details on it. She was excited to get back to her life as she knew it best for a little while. Familiar streets and faces, going strawberry picking with the family, spending quality time with her dog.

“We should be there by then” by Julia at her dining table


Wednesday, July 27, 2016
7:23pm
5 minutes
From a text

Reese made me throw out my slushie before I got in the car and I wanted to strangle him for the next six hours as a result. I thought it was stupid of him to be a dick to me as I was the only thing keeping him from driving off a cliff. But whatever. It’s like, maybe if you would drink some slushie I wouldn’t have to throw it all away just so we don’t risk getting your stupid car dirty. It wasn’t even going to happen again but Reese holds grudges, like woah. Like woahhhhhh. So. Whatever. I threw it away. But then I sat with my arms crossed the whole time because car tension really messes with a driver’s head. Especially Reese because he holds grudges but he also holds on to guilt. When he’d ask me to change the music, I did it and everything. I’m not a monster. But I took my sweet time and I made him wait for it. And if he got hungry I would give him a chip or or a piece of cheese, but then pretend to fall asleep in between bites. I don’t know if I wanted an apology or if he was waiting for me to be sorry that I was trying to have a little fun on this road trip, but whatever. I think we both lost or something.

“my drunken soul flies” By Julia at Bean Around The World


Tuesday July 26, 2016 at BATW
6:53am
5 minutes
from the write up on the painting “Ascend”

Heaven forbid I tell you how I actually feel. I say that under my breath because I’m too afraid to say anything about how I actually feel with full voice. What the eff. Where did that start? When I was a kid? As everything in this life does? I had to do what you did when we were young because I wanted to be you and the only way I knew how to be you was to do what you did or what you wanted. That made sense. I was looking for lightening. Wasn’t about to spend three to five years wishing I was you without trying to make it so. I still want to be you on most days. You were older than me then but now you’re a painting. I see you still: beautiful and still. You’re not going anywhere and I don’t have to run to catch up to you. I don’t have to hold my breath and count to three because you’re not running away from me. I am a mess. It makes sense that I would want to live your life and not mine. But I still can’t tell you how I actually feel. Because my soul is drunk on doubt and it flies high when it’s left to its own devices. You are still the moon, and I love you for that. The shiny thing in my sky that makes me want to open my eyes and see…

“an unexpected family thing” by Sasha at the desk in Swansea


Monday, July 25, 2016
9:27pm
5 minutes
From a text

An unexpected family thing came up and I’m not going to be able to make it. I’m sorry. I really am. Shit, Bette, don’t cry. Are you crying? Please stop crying… Bette, I’m not making excuses. My Ma called and something’s going down at the shop. She needs my help. My Dad’s still in hospital, you know. Stop being so selfish. I really don’t know what to say… Shit, stop crying please. Can you take a friend? Call Lynn and see if she’s – … Oh. I see. Well, what about Donna? Could Donna go? I didn’t know that. When did you have a falling out? Bette. I’m trying my best here, but I’m being pulled in a million different directions and if I had my druthers I would take a hot shower, have a drink and go to bed… Bette? Don’t hang up! Bette. I’m sorry. I really am.

“an unexpected family thing” by Julia on her bed


Monday, July 25, 2016
8:13am
5 minutes
From a text

Annie calls me from the other room to see if I’m awake. I am. But I ignore the ring. Letting it finish its tune before I toss in bed some more to make it seem like I’m still asleep. Annie hasn’t been sleeping well on the couch, even though she says she has been. She makes sad squealing noises throughout the night but doesn’t remember doing it. I know she isn’t well but I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do. I told Jeremiah about it and he told me he needed at least eight hours sleep to get through his day and if he could sleep on the couch, he would. I told Jeremiah I would sleep on the couch if he would let my sister sleep on my side with him in the bed. He looked at me like I had just swallowed too many blue pills. He shook his head slowly from side to side and said, I don’t know, Lisa, I don’t know.
For the first time I wonder if Jeremiah is attracted to Annie. Or if he is trying to assert his power.

“every minute” by Julia on her bed


Sunday, July 24, 2016
11:41am
5 minutes
From a birthday card

I didn’t mean to be rude but I was. I told you I didn’t think it mattered if you lived or died and I see the error of my ways now and how if I were thinking clearly I could have avoided hurting you. I really didn’t mean to. Not that I ever do, but that stuff doesn’t usually make up enough for the other stuff, so I’m sorry. I am. I wasn’t trying to be rude. I think if I could go back in time I would have assessed you differently and I would have made different choices. Maybe I would have asked you what you meant, or asked for clarification before I assumed you were really asking me the question. Of course it matters if you live or die. I mean, every minute of your life is important so don’t get me wrong when I tell you any of this. I should have been more careful.

It’s always my fault, whether I like it or not.

You are valuable. I mean that. I just meant before in the grand scheme of life, that it didn’t matter because nothing matters, because everything matters, but because it’s everything it’s also nothing. Does that make sense? In the grand scheme of things, and things being the world, and the world being life, nothing matters.

“every minute” by Sasha at the table in Mississauga


Sunday, July 24, 2016
11:03am
5 minutes
From a birthday card

You sing Jann Arden at karaoke like it really matters, like important people are watching. This speaks to something in you that’s superior to most people. You aren’t afraid to belt:

Maybe you might have some advice to give
On how to be insensitive
Insensitive
Insensitive


You sit down next to me, after you’ve wrapped up and some bro in a pink tank top is trying to sing the Beastie Boys, and you’ve got tears in your eyes. I grab your face and kiss your nose. You are surprised, but you like it, and you tell me so.

“Are you gonna sing something?” You ask, swigging soda water.

“Yeah,” I say, “I absolutely am.”

“We’ll discuss some of the best” by Sasha on the grass in Mississauga


Saturday, July 23, 2016
3:11pm
5 minutes
vancouvertrails.com

Marika says that we’ll discuss the best scores and feedback over beers at the tent. I have no idea what she’s talking about but I nod and say, “Sure! Sounds good!” When I meet her there, she’s ordered a pitcher of something blonde and she’s eating pretzels and curly fries. “Hey!” She waves at me and I try not to cringe. “Hi.” I say.

I’ve known Marika since we were campers, since we competed just like these kids are. I never thought that she’d last. I never thought we’d be coaching together. I never thought I’d be stuck with her for four months of every year.

“I can’t believe that Amy actually got the highest score,” Marika says, picking a bit of pretzel out of her molar.

“It’s hot in here” by Sasha in the car on the 401


Friday July 22, 2015
10:39pm
5 minutes
Overheard at the No Frills

In the shade
Under the tree marked
with our initials
we wrote songs about the parents
we’d become a decade from now.

In the heat
Pressed against the cold fridge
door we kissed places we forgot
existed.

In the summer
rivers of sweat descending between
breasts and hips and shoulder blades
we wove macrame homes where our
cactus might live.

“We got a good surge” by Sasha in the Kiva


Thursday, July 21, 2016
11:14pm
5 minutes
Overhead at The Rickshaw

When you got to prison, you missed the smell of your home pillow – the one with the blue paisley design, worn from so many years of face and head and hair. You called your brother and cried and cried until your phone card ran out of money. You learned the rules, but it took time, and you goofed up enough that the guards kept their eye on you. This went against the plan to remain invisible. This went against who you always were – a well mannered wallflower whose anger was buried beneath layers and layers of fear, whose visions of knives and train tracks and fingernails only came at night, in the safety of your basement apartment bedroom.

“We’ll discuss some of the best” by Julia at her dining table


Saturday, July 23, 2016
1:12am
5 minutes
vancouvertrails.com

On the walk home tonight you grabbed my hand so I wouldn’t tumble down the hill and told me you were seriously considering buying a camper van.
It was a nice moment.
I could tell you more about what I was thinking inside my head when you said it.
I could say that I wanted to know you forever right then and there. I could say I wasn’t sure all this time because I was convinced you would find a reason to leave me but then I was. And it felt different. It felt different than being weary of you. It felt different being so completely certain.
But I didn’t say any of those things. I smiled at you. I gripped your hand tighter. And I looked into your eyes with a deep sadness for all the moments before I doubted you. The moments before I doubted you could love me as much as I loved you and as much as I needed to be loved.
So I think that was enough.
I think that was all I needed to do.
And then we came home and baked some tortilla chips because why the fuck not.

“the jeans have not been washed yet” by Sasha at Capital Espresso


Wednesday July 20, 2016
10:16am
5 minutes
Grasshopper Jungle
Andrew Smith


Stu and I met in our first year of Journalism School. We became fast friends. We were attached at the hip from pretty much day one. Stu’s shoe collection became my shoe collection and, well, the rest is history. Stu has taught me about loyalty, unconditional love and, most importantly, how to make a killer negroni. (The secret is Cocchi di Torino vermouth… Shhhh…) Ryan and I were working at the Torontoist together, in the early days, and we all went out for nachos at Sneaky Dees and Stu came and… I literally watched these two dorks fall in love. I knew that I’d lost my best friend, I mean, not lost him but that things were going to change. I had never seen Stu happier than when he was with Ryan. Suddenly, every text message contained the word “AMAZING!” Capital letters. Exclamation mark. Stu smiled more, enjoyed his work more, worked out more, ate more greens – with Ryan, Stu is more. More Stu. That’s all we can ever hope for, right?

“in Canada right now” by Sasha in the Kiva


Tuesday, July 19, 2016
10:43pm
5 minutes
from a Facebook comment

Smoke break round the back and she’s begging for it
we got full sections inside and I can’t believe I’m doing it
But I turn her down
Don’t want to wrinkle my shirt
Adam’s been all up on me recently about ironing it
Or not ironing it
Stefanie hates it when I smoke but I can’t quit
Can’t quit the artichoke dip and the pita chips
Can’t quit

“a lot of big names” by Sasha in the Kiva


Monday, July 18, 2016
10:34pm
5 minutes
The 4am Mystery
Rives


There were a lot of big names there that night. I’m not going to list them or anything, I’m not that smug, I’m not that douche-y, but all the who’s who of the industry were there. Mickey had been drinking, rum and coke with a handful of ice, she was back on it after having been off for almost three years. She had her chips and everything to prove it. I kept telling her, “Easy, easy,” but she swatted me away. The pool had these different cabanas and everyone was sloshed, I mean I was probably one of two sober people there. The other was Beth, whose in the early days of her third pregnancy.

“Spiritual teachers” by Sasha on the couch


Sunday, July 17, 2016
12:06am
5 minutes
Women Food And God
Geneen Roth


so much damn construction in this city.
it’s a spiritual teacher.
the trucks stopping lurching starting
clutching revving
the men in the sun getting drunk on
the heat waving and whistling and why
are stereotypes true today when other
days they are just stereo
types?
assault sounds of drilling and poking
and cutting the pavement that pierce that
pierce

“if something opens up” by Sasha on the couch


Saturday, July 16, 2016
1:16am
5 minutes
From a text

Secretary’s pencil is scratching
all over the damn place
Construction worker boot
tap tap tap tap tap
tap tap
Jiggling the whole row
of chairs
The baby
The nun
Me
“Dead man walking” I expect
to hear pencil poised apologetically
“Dead man walking”

Name call roll call
I’m up with the lipstick on her teeth
“Mr. Anderson?” Nod
“Dr. Henry has had an emergency that
needs to be attended to and she must
reschedule my apologies that you came
all the way in I hope you don’t live
too far away I can call you if
something open’s up”

“Yeah that’s correct” by Sasha in her bed


Friday, July 15, 2016
1:02am
5 minutes
Overheard at Platform 7

A: You know Kenny?
B: Yeah.
A: When’d you meet him?
B: At the gym…
A: Did you hang out a lot?
B: Why are you givin’ me the third degree here, man? I just came in to get a coffee.
A: Do you know who I am?
B: No idea.
A: Kenny’s little brother.
B: Ok, nice to meet you. Excuse me –
A: Kenny’s been gone since Friday.
B: What?
A: Yup.
B: Shit.
A: No one’s seen him.
B: He said that –
A: You were the last person to speak with him.
B: Yeah, we spotted each other Friday morning.
A: And?
B: …
A: What did you do with his body, huh?
B: Excuse me?
A: I know you know our secret.
B: What are you fucking talking about?
A: …
B: I’m calling the cops.
A: I am the cops.
B: What?
A: Happy Monday, Benjamin. Happy fuckin’ Monday.

“I don’t have anything else…” by Sasha at the kitchen counter


Thursday July 14, 2016
10:12pm
5 minutes
overheard at The Tenant

I don’t have anything but these boots and this hat, honey, so if you’re looking for a sugar daddy it’s not me. Hate to disappoint you, I can smell disappointment from a mile away. My Ma was always disappointed, not just by me, by life, by her folks, by my Dad. You learn to develop the ability to know when a person is really swimmin’ in it. I knew to stay away. I’d busy myself with something or other, you know, in the barn or cleaning up. When Ma was down in the dumps the house got like the pig sty. Only worse. Pigs are actually pretty clean beasts. Not like us.

“It’s hot in here” By Julia at Bean Around The World


Friday July 22, 2016 at BATW
7:33am
5 minutes
Overheard at the No Frills

He tells me it doesn’t feel like there’s any oxygen in the air today. He tells me that ‘outside’ is trying to compress him, make him small. We round the corner by the Mac’s and see a dog squatting to relieve herself. See? He says. See what I mean?
I try to hold his hand but he only lets me take his forefinger. Something about energies and needing most of ‘them’ free. I don’t know if I’ve just never noticed before, or if it’s new. His voice trembles a little bit when he speaks. I want to ask him about it but now doesn’t feel like the time. We make our way to the coffee shop to get a couple donuts, dodging three (or “one hundred”) babies as we line up to order our espresso. It’s hot in here, he tells me. The whole world is on fire.

“We got a good surge” by Julia by her bed


Thursday, July 21, 2016
12:16am
5 minutes
overhead at The Rickshaw

Because there was an opening
we stood up tall on a mountain and opened our mouths to the wind
We wanted to
We wanted to shout
out
all of the sadness and all of our lungs
Just in case she was listening
Just in case she was sorry
I dream of her in reds and yellows
In basil and lavender
In honey and lace
She is perfect still in a world where compliments cannot buy her
I dream of her in here yes today please
She is gone like a feather from a wing
And I can only let my agony
into the wild
As a ghost
As a whisper
As a lullaby

“the jeans have not been washed yet” by Julia at Starbucks


Wednesday July 20, 2016 at Starbucks
7:16am
5 minutes
Grasshopper Jungle
Andrew Smith


I invited Elliot back to my apartment after drinks because he tied a cherry stem in a knot with his tongue and I wanted to see if he was a one trick pony or if his tongue could tie other things into knots…
When we got back to my place I told him to make himself comfortable while I poured us some scotch. But then I remembered he was wearing dark denim, and I had to rush out to see if he had plopped his Abercrombie & Fitch ass down on my new white couch. He had. I tried to act cool, but I could practically see his jeans forming a navy puddle underneath him. Was he sweating or something? Didn’t he know you have to wash new jeans before you wear them? Didn’t he think, oh I might ruin this sweet Norwegian couch?

“in Canada right now” by Julia at her dining table


Tuesday, July 19, 2016
7:13am
5 minutes
from a Facebook comment

there are a lot of people holding each other tight and saying how lucky we are
how we may have wanted to leave before, but we don’t anymore
how there are places to be proud of and how nice it is that ours is one of them
that there’s love here
that there’s change here
but we have a long way to go
we are not immune to frightened decision making
we are not ahead of the charge
we are far from perfect
because geography helps, but it can’t do everything for us
we have to rise up when it hurts to do so
we have to be better than we were yesterday when it feels impossible
we have to be examples for ourselves first before anyone else will benefit
we are lucky
we are so very lucky
but luck doesn’t mean we don’t have to keep trying
for the people who have been silenced
for those who come here looking for acceptance and still find hate on their doorsteps
there is love here
but that’s only one part

“Spiritual teachers” by Julia on her bed


Sunday, July 17, 2016
11:06am
5 minutes
Women Food And God
Geneen Roth


I called my spiritual teacher, Helia, because I was in a state of emergency. I couldn’t find anything to wear and I couldn’t tell if it was my inner child reacting to my adult life, or if it was sign from the universe telling me I had to listen inward, or take a risk, or write down my dreams in the journal marked “For Dreams”. Helia was on vacation in the Okanagan. She had posted a photo from Peachland so I knew she was alive, but why wasn’t she responding to my very desperate attempts at contacting her? It’s not like this was a run of the mill anxiety attack or some realization that I cannot do this alone. I already know that I can’t, and that’s what I pay a spiritual healer for. Healia said to never hesitate to reach out. She failed to mention that I should just never be in crisis during the last weeks of July and first weeks of August. So I called my sister instead and she invited me over for homemade brownies and lemonade. She said she would try to massage my left shoulder knot out and maybe I just needed some TLC from someone who used to share a room with me.

“if something opens up” by Julia at her dining table


Saturday, July 16, 2016
1:14am
5 minutes
from a text

I’m waiting in line at the store
planning to buy this canned tuna
and a clue
because I got hungry
just
waiting and looking at the food
Seron said he was going to meet me here
I don’t think he’s coming
he said he would come to the broccoli aisle
but no one has showed up yet
that looks like it could be Seron
Based on his picture he will have a big black beard
and he said
for fun
he would be carrying
a daisy
in some way
I liked that he was trying to be creative
for me
because I told him before
I like making art and starting conversations
I wonder if we are at the same store
if he meant, maybe, a different one
or if I got the address wrong
I have been waiting for two hours
now
and counting
I wonder how long he has
been waiting
for me

“Yeah that’s correct” by Julia at Platform 7


Friday, July 15, 2016 at Platform 7
3:07pm
5 minutes
overheard at Platform 7

I am alone in my room and I am putting up pictures of you on the walls and in frames because I might be insane since you broke up with me yesterday and I’m doing this today. I have my reasons for doing this. I know about heartache because I’ve felt it before and it’s about to sink in. So I think, what I’m doing is keeping you close so I don’t feel like you’re gone. So I don’t have any spaces that feel like they’d be better with you in them because you are everywhere now and I control the positions. You don’t look good in all these photos because I am trying to be honest. I am trying to teach myself that you were wrong sometimes and you were ugly some days and the sun did not shine out of your ass. I miss you because I know I can’t have you but I’m here hoping to change how my brain processes the newness of not getting to touch you. I don’t know if it’ll work. I am pretty sure there are some people out there who have done worse things to get over someone.

“I don’t have anything else…” by Julia at her dining table


Thursday July 14, 2016
5 minutes
overheard at The Tenant

I wish you’d stop staring at my cousin at our family dinner. You think you’re doing a good job of hiding it, but you’re wrong. I know she doesn’t interest you or stimulate you mentally, but I also know that she is exactly the type you go for when you’re thinking outside my box. She’s objectively better looking than I am even though her features are offensively small. When I picture her and her tiny eyes and gummy smile, I think sometimes that she might just be a bear with bangs. Except really pretty.

“#BESTOFVAN” by Sasha at Home Baking Co.


Wednesday July 13, 2016 at Home Baking Co.
6:07pm
5 minutes
From a sign on a newspaper box

Kim got a Lamborghini Aventador for her seventeenth birthday. I got a box of strawberry pop-tarts and a Graduation card. I wasn’t graduating until next year. Pam doesn’t remember how old I’m turning, or what I like, or that I’m allergic to wheat. Kim texts and asks if I want to go for dinner in Gastown and I tell her that I have to work. I don’t, but I spent my thirty dollars a month allotted for eating out three weeks ago. Kim texts and asks why I always have to work. I tell her that my Mom had to take some time off work because of her leg and I’m chipping in with rent. I see those little bubbles that show that Kim’s typing. They start and then they stop and then they start and then they stop. “#BUMMER”, she finally responds.

“everything I possibly can” by Sasha on her bed


Tuesday July 12, 2016
9:32pm
5 minutes
From a text

I don’t remember Scott. I can’t find his face anymore, way back in the very back of my brain. It used to be there, before Jonah and Daisy, and before I had to memorize so much for school. I’m the oldest one there. That probably doesn’t come as a surprise… Jonah laughed when I told him I was going back. He thought that I’d finished my degree. I never lied to him, he just jumped to a conclusion. Scott would do the same thing, we all do, but these two are worse than the rest. Scott would convince himself that someone had said something, something really particular, and he was so persuasive, especially within his own mind, that he would truly believe it had happened. Jonah was six when I saw him do this, for the first time. I was excited, because it reminded me of Scott, and sad. I was really, really sad.

“spread the word” by Sasha at the table


Monday July 11, 2016
8:25pm
5 minutes
From an e-mail

This heat has got you thinking all crazy this heat
has got your thinking like stalactites and radio
waves bottom of the swimming pool bottom of the
forest floor crunch crunch
tread
crunch tread tread
treading water til you land on something familiar but your
feet don’t know the difference or do
they or do they?

Thirty six degrees and you’re wanting
wanting for something sweet salty sweaty
bitterness turns to calcium turns to
a face you recognize
but can’t name

“okay okay okay” by Sasha on the couch


Sunday, July 10, 2016
9:37pm
5 minutes
Overheard on the street

Okay okay okay, I hear you, like, I hear what you’re saying but I think you’re really missing the point, like, you’re missing my point. What I’m saying is that I’ll take the car, but I need you to get it cleaned, like, it’s fucking disgusting in there and no one in their right mind would spend two thousand dollars on a vehicle that looks like that, you’d have to be completely loonie toonie, a complete nut job, like a psychopath – … You get it, I see that you get it. Have you had many other people out to see it? I mean, have you been getting other feedback? Right. Right… No one. I can see it, in your eyes, I’m the first guy whose come out to look at it and, I mean, no offence, no offence at all, I’m not, like, judging you as a person. I don’t think you’re some kind of pig.

“#BESTOFVAN” by Julia at Starbucks


Wednesday July 13, 2016 at Starbucks
6:55am
5 minutes
from a sign on a newspaper box

A couple of us decided we were going to sneak into the Kits pool and I was trying to work up my nerve. Casey and Alison had their trust funds to use if they got caught, but what did I have? Two pennies and a stick? A lighter filled with pocket lint? I told them I was having second thoughts and they both stood there on the sidewalk howling at the sky, trying to get me to cave. I can’t do this you guys, I said, I’m not lucky enough to pull this off. Alison rolled her eyes back in her skull. You think I have a golden horseshoe up my ass or something? I don’t know, I told her, I’m sure you could buy one if you needed to. Casey grabbed my shoulders and stared me straight in the eye. We don’t want to do this without you, she said, but we will if you’re not okay with it. But know this, you will be missing out. I felt like I was being bullied into a licking a frozen lamp post in the dead of winter.

“everything I possibly can” by Julia at Starbucks


Tuesday July 12, 2016 at Starbucks
6:28am
5 minutes
from a text

I sit on the edge of my nothingness like it’s a cloud and I’m in love with it. I am cotton candy insides and I’m melting away leaving a trail of rainbow guts and tie-dyed blood. There is nothing wrong with my nothingness and for the first time in all the time there ever has been, it is peaceful instead of not. Acceptance of nothingness is a road with bumps and potholes and with poor lighting sometimes but usually free of other travelers because it’s a long one and there is enough room for everybody. There is a space now between yesterday’s pain and tomorrow’s worry and it’s all here all now- all everything I’ve been avoiding- because feelings are attached to beliefs and those things get stuck pretty hard as a system that limits me if I let it. I dangle my feet off the edge of nothingness now like it’s a dream and I’m no longer trying to catch it. No flash photography here to capture it, just smiling into the places that can be so easily filled with words words words.

“spread the word” by Julia at Starbucks


Monday July 11, 2016 at Starbucks
7:01am
5 minutes
from an e-mail

There are crazy people everywhere. Waiting to get on a bus, complaining about a dirty table, screaming about the bugs in their hair. Some days I am this way. I can see myself reacting, overreacting to things and I don’t recognize my face. It’s like some crazy person has hijacked my body to do all their crazy things. I know it’s me, but it feels like a movie or video game. My therapist says I can’t be held responsible for things I do or how I behave outside my “window of tolerance”. She says that trauma can lead to the window being broken wide open and that’s how things become blurry; hard to control; hard to keep rational. I told her, I don’t know how I could do it, I never wanted to do it, and she said, well it’s that “window of tolerance” thing we talked about and would you like to go back in time and speak to your six year old self right now?

“okay okay okay” by Julia on the reading chair


Sunday, July 10, 2016
1:57pm
5 minutes
Overheard on the street

It’s the eleventh time (maybe the twelfth) that he’s told me he loves me today and it’s not even noon yet. I think he’s covering up for something. Overcompensating like he does sometimes when he becomes afraid of me. I catch a glimpse of myself being hugged in the mirror, (bent low) by his unavoidable embrace. I say, okay okay okay and he lifts me up, hurt on the inside, and in his eyes. You don’t want me to love you? I catch reflection again and there is hurt on me too. I do, I say, just not parallel to the floor like that, not crumpled up in a ball that makes my back ache. Sorry, he says, I didn’t mean to hurt you. Okay okay okay, I say, I know, no one ever means to. I give myself a time out so I can be far away from him and his love that doesn’t know how to feel rejection. I don’t want to be the thing that twists his insides when he’s happy and makes him drift off to sleep dreaming about my funeral. I tell myself, in exactly five minutes (maybe six), I will go back over there and squeeze him with the honest love I’ve been keeping from him.

“her demand of you.” by Julia at 49th Parallel


Saturday, July 9, 2016
11:43am
5 minutes
The Unsayable
Annie G. Rogers


To stay up late and watch a movie, she says, can you push on my feet just for a little, he says, I would do anything for you. Secretly there is resentment he wonders, how did I trust myself so little that now I’m here, rubbing feet, wishing I was anywhere else. I didn’t think love was an option for me. To wake up early and eat a sugar donut for breakfast, he says, can you sit with me and squeeze my hands while I read, she says, of course that’s all I ever want to do. Below the smile she is angry at the world for doing this to her. She thinks to herself, I shouldn’t have stolen those earrings from my grandmother when I was young and obsessed with the idea that if I didn’t take them she would leave them to my sister. Now I’m here, counting down the minutes that I can be alone.

“her demand of you.” By Sasha at Home Baking Co.


Saturday July 9, 2016 at Home Baking Co.
3:30pm
5 minutes
When I Am King, Dilly Dilly
Don Cummer


I know that you listen to me, blow drying my hair and snacking on tortilla chips. Ear pressed against the wall that separates our rooms, I know that you listen like a sponge, soaking up the cadence of the floor boards creaking under my weight. I don’t know why you quit your job, or even how you’re surviving. I don’t know when I started working from home, only plywood and drywall and paint between us, only the hum of the fan white noising the August air, the sound of the bus revving it’s engine, going too fast, just like you used to do. You’re slower now.

“it would be like not listening at all” by Sasha at Simit and Chai Co.


Friday July 8, 2016 at Simit & Chai
5:15pm
5 minutes
When I Am King, Dilly Dilly
Don Cummer


lotsa hurt
this week mornings with
bowling ball lumps in dry hot
throat mornings spent
scrolling tears
streaming feet
tingling
what can i do what can i do what can i
can i do
can i
can’t i
ally alley ally
i want to choke
the fear and
ignorance
mine
yours
i am sorry for my
race and our horrible
terrible empty
fear
fear
fear grips a gun
tight like a baby
the baby watching
in her carseat
the father reaching
for a license
for a license to drive
license to shoot
license to bleed
license to break
we are breaking
we are broken
broken down
broken up and open
broken open

“where the water is still” by Sasha at the kitchen counter


Thursday July 7, 2016
11:39pm
5 minutes
Cranes and Egrets
Marlene Cookshaw


“When you swim far out, way out past the break, past where the waves are tall as houses, the water is still…” Granny eats a piece of honeydew, the juice dripping down her chin. She wipes it with the back of her hand. “You have to be very brave to swim out that far, you have to be bigger than you are… Fifteen or sixteen. It takes strength of mind an’ body, you see, an’ something else, too…” At this time of night her accent gets thick. “You need the determination, the power that comes along with really believing in yourself.” She swats at a mosquito. “I used to spend hours and hours out there, in the still water, thinking up what might happen. I’m more of a future person than a past person. Past people, they’re more apt to get all depressive. Future people? Like me? Anxiety… But on the still water, floating on my back an’ my front an’ treading water – just calm.”

“behind your kiss” by Sasha on the couch


Wednesday July 6, 2016
10:45pm
5 minutes
When I touch you; Peter Ilyanov
Diana Brebner


Me and you create a secret language of only vowels and speak it when we’re in public. Only we know what we’re saying. There’s power in that. It’s no surprise that I fall in love with you over “o” and “a”, the soft shape of pursed lips, a kiss somewhere behind there.

Some people make fun of us, we hear them cackling or whispering.

“it would be like not listening at all” by Julia at Starbucks


Friday July 8, 2016 at Starbucks
6:49am
5 minutes
When I Am King, Dilly Dilly
Don Cummer


I wake up everyday already loving you, you’re at, let’s say 20%. You know, like a server at a restaurant: I go in and I give you the benefit of the doubt, I start you at a 20% tip and if you mess up by being rude, I knock a couple percent off. I have no ill intentions, I don’t go to a restaurant expecting to be disappointed. I expect kindness. I expect good food. I expect thoughtfulness. And I expect, sometimes more than I should, a freebie of some sort. And then because I’ve eaten out at other restaurants before, I compare this service to that service to this service to that service, and I know when I’m not being treated right. I also know because I was a server once too, and it’s not hard to remember what was involved in a customer experience job. I wake up everyday at the top of my love for you. And then you forget to buy the garbage can again, or print off the movie tickets, or you bring home the light mayonnaise even though I specifically asked you NOT to get the light mayonnaise, for reasons that don’t need to be stated here. I’d say you’re lucky if you’re getting a base tip of 15% by lunch time.

“where the water is still” by Julia at Starbucks


Thursday July 7, 2016 at Starbucks
6:59am
5 minutes
Cranes and Egrets
Marlene Cookshaw


I will meet you there at our favourite spot
the one where we feel like we’re in our own little world
early in the morning before the rest of the ones who need the sun
even see it
where the water is still
where the sail boats line up so perfectly
camping on the ocean
When you need to remember why we chose each other
when you need to feel big in your smallness
I will
I will always.
I will meet you there
at our favourite spot
where the moments feel full
and little ducks rest on rocks
the one where we’re one
with each other
and with the sky

“behind your kiss” by Julia at Starbucks


Wednesday July 6, 2016 at Starbucks
7:05am
5 minutes
When I touch you; Peter Ilyanov
Diana Brebner


Behind your kiss I can feel
the thing you’re trying desperately
not to ask me.
Did you do it?
Would you do it?
Do you still love me?
Am I enough for you now
that you’re bigger
than you used to be?
Don’t ask don’t tell;
maybe something I taught you,
maybe something you taught me.
But your lips leak your secret,
parting the seas
every open close pucker and smack.
Each breath
you take
parts the seas for the truth
to spill
out
into
my
mouth,
drowning me,
or begging me to swim.
I watch you sometimes
from behind my eyes,
searching for meaning
and a reason.
Do I need to answer everything
for you?
Have you never looked
inside yourself
for something you need?
Will you ever be enough
for you?
Your tongue licks and flicks
all the possibilities of honesty
to the roof
of
my
mouth.
Behind your kiss,
there is a flood coming.
Ask me no questions, I’ll tell you no lies;
maybe something you taught me,
maybe something I taught you.

“dies in slow motion” by Sasha on the couch


Tuesday July 5, 2016
11:11pm
5 minutes
In Search of Agamemnon
Bruce F. Fairley


It’s the hottest day of the year and the air conditioning is broken. We’ve rehearsed the scene what feels like a million times and Mario says, “Ah! Yes! The deaths… The deaths are… they aren’t working, mes amis. Let’s try them both in, in…” We wait, bracing ourselves, willing him to call the day, “in slow motion!” As he says it he does a demo, as if we don’t know what slow motion means. Eric and I look at eachother and try not to scream/cry/laugh. Mario wonders aloud why we’re stalling. “It’s forty degrees. I’m sweating my balls off,” I say. Eric blushes. Mario gets up. He has his water bottle in his hand. He looks pissed. He pours a bit of water into his palm and then throws it at me, right in the face. Pour, throw. Pour, throw. Nicola, the stage manager, almost says something but Eric silences her with a glare.