“RESET BALANCE” by Julia on the airplane

Sunday October 30, 2016
5 minutes
from a Freshii sign at the airport

Things are slowing down
We are finding our breath and our hurt and we are letting them kiss
I know how to find centre
I know now I know now I know now

Yesterday’s self portrait is unrecognizable to me today. The shapes are the same but the lines are different. Different good, different wise. I think in the last few hours I have grown new lines or old ones have morphed into something that holds my skin in place better now. I greet the mirror with the kind of warmth reserved for reunion; homecoming to the eyes of my mother.

“Then there’s no point” by Julia at Forth in Winnipeg

Saturday October 29, 2016
5 minutes
overheard at Forth in Winnipeg

I can’t smell my own breath and that is terrifying
I assume it is fine and that is also terrifying
I do not drink coffee
Except on Saturdays
I do not smoke
But I do not floss either
So isn’t there a rule?
I spit though
I think that counts or maybe it doesn’t
But maybe it does
And maybe it doesn’t
I think I can smell anything
So I assume that I can be smelled
Beep boop beep boop
In love
with myself?
I think people who don’t
know how to do that
hate that smell
I am not sorry for the reek of me
The yeasty in between thigh truth
That tells everyone

“the waiting room and the forms” by Julia in the air bnb in Winnipeg

Friday October 28, 2016
5 minutes
from LENNY Interview with Amanda Nguyen

Last time I was here the form asked what I used as contraception and the woman sitting right beside me was also reading that question and in unison we both said out loud: ABSTINENCE! And then we both laughed because we didn’t mean to say it out loud all but then there was an accidental performance of our sentiments and obvious life experiences and we felt an ease that was otherwise unavailable in the waiting room full of people waiting to find out some bad news or good news or respond to questions with good answers or with bad answers.
When I got out of my appointment that woman was still there, waiting for me. I smiled at her and then she asked if we could walk out together. As we exited the building she said: so is it lack of options? And I said: obviously. And she said: well have you ever considered—I mean–have you ever thought..inside the box?

“Unmasked” by Julia in the air bnb in Winnipeg

Thursday October 27, 2016
5 minutes
from a Manitoba concert hall sign

Oh hi sorry, I didn’t recognize you. Usually you’re wearing that big-that uh-your face is-I’m sorry. Usually you look different. Are you okay? I mean, am I allowed to ask that? What I mean is, is it up to me to ask that? I don’t know if I should know to ask you to know not to or if I should or shouldn’t ask you if it’s okay to ask you how you are. There are a lot of rules here muddied in this-space between us-the uh-sorry-the space between what used to be okay and not okay. I think you fall under that category. I mean, you used to be okay. Seem okay, I’m sorry. I don’t know how to call you. Maybe you never liked that distinction? I don’t know if you like being called anything at all so that’s why I don’t know if I should ask you if you’re anything when you’re different from what you were before because maybe you were never that either and I just don’t know how to know you. I don’t know how to know if you want to be known at all.

“the waiting room and the forms” by Sasha at JJ Bean on Cambie

Friday October 28, 2016
5 minutes
A LENNY Interview with Amanda Nguyen

I am a good pretender. I still think about doing it professionally, actually, especially when I’m lonely or the season’s change or when it smells like mothballs and tequila. You all try to fool yourselves that it’s not pretending, that it’s truth-telling but everyone else is laughing like crows.

Sitting in the waiting room, filling out the forms, picking egg yolk from my cuticle, rolling my eyes at the magazine selection. I’m pretending, Mistress of Disguise, clever clever. When the mouse behind the counter who tells everyone what to do but gets paid the least, when the mouse calls my name I smile. Liar. I smile and I hand in my form and I walk down the long hall.

“Unmasked” by Sasha at Nadeem’s desk

Thursday October 27, 2016
5 minutes
A Manitoba concert hall sign

There is nothing about you that I don’t want to consume there is nothing about you. Your mistakes are the most delectable because they convince me that you are in fact human. Flesh, shit, bones, brains, heart, sinew. I learned about human when I started gorging on junk. Sugar, shit, bones, brains, salt, salt, sinew, guts. I learned about human when the world fell apart when my Dad left. I tempted human when I fucked anyone that made good eye contact. I chased human when I moved far far away.

“Goodbye!” By Sasha in her bed

Wednesday October 26, 2016
5 minutes
Overheard out the window

it’s hard to imagine the beginning
just like it’s hard to imagine the end when the bus shuts
off her lights eyelids dimmed to close
it’s hard to imagine and so we don’t
but we do because it’s the only absolute
but we don’t out loud really
it’s a quite wonder caught in the petals of the throat
or the ear when there’s music
beginning and ending are relative
the moon waxes and wanes with a poetry bigger than us
beginning and ending are here now
gone now
before the timer stops before the time’s up

“don’t get it in your eyeball!” By Sasha on the bus

Tuesday October 25, 2016
5 minutes
From a text

The voices start quietly, slurring into my vision, tripping my feet over pavement cracks. I don’t say shit to them but they go on and on, taunting and daring. I can’t even count how many there are any more and I’m not going to tell Kelly because there’s no way he’ll understand the migraines or the pebbles in my pockets. Got to make sure I start doing my own laundry, leaving the windows open. Got to get a new prescription, is what he’ll say, but he’s wrong as Christmas.

“don’t get it in your eyeball!” by Julia in the air bnb in Winnipeg

Tuesday October 25, 2016
5 minutes
from a text

I shared an attic with my brother one summer during a heatwave in Italy. We didn’t know what we were getting ourselves into. All we had was a spray bottle filled with heating water between our beds and we didn’t know how badly we would need something in between us. When your brain is melted there is just a puddle where your patience should be. We were puddles of annoyance and sweat and sleepless.
One night we were both aliens to each other, trying to rest, delirious from the air trapped somewhere in a tiny cloud inches from our skin and far enough away from all roads carrying oxygen. He sprayed me with water which was our ritual. I sprayed him back. We did this for 5 minutes or 5 hours and laughed the whole time. Nobody knows why. Something about enough being enough. Something about my eyeball. Something about the first time we didn’t hate each other.

“Important passages” by Julia in the air bnb in Winnipeg

Monday October 24, 2016
5 minutes
Jacob Neusner

My legs are hot
I spilled water in my canvas tote bag
My legs were wet
From the water spilling
Leaking out onto me
My eyes are tired
My eyelids close
My dentist no longer remembers my name
My legs are hot
My house is haunted
My bathroom floor is covered in tiny bugs
My house is haunted
My God is testing me
My legs are hot
My dentist no longer remembers my name
My eyelids close
My eyes are tired
My heart is sleeping
My body is taking a break

“Important passages” by Sasha at her desk

Monday October 24, 2016
5 minutes
Jacob Neusner

there’s a bridge atop a tree atop a cliff
it creates a passage from one side to the other
only the brave and broken know where to find it
have hands and feet that know the knots to grip and
branches to swing up from
momentum will be a friend but not a guide
only the brave and broken know the intricacies of a
delicate and powerful tree climb
at the top of the cliff and up the tree
when you make it
you’ll gaze out over the pregnant horizon
you’ll see buildings and highways
gulls and sailboats
ant-sized people
before you cross the bridge
atop the tree
atop the cliff
before you cross from one side to the other
you take a breath
all the times you’ve kissed a face you love goodbye
all the groggy mornings
before water
all the moments
like this one
that you’ve dared to resist the urge to jump

“butler service, gourmet dining” by Sasha at Pascoe Rd.

Sunday October 23, 2016
5 minutes
Westjet magazine

Shaving off his moustache was an identity thing. James didn’t want to make a big deal about it, but it was a big deal and everyone knew it. Facial hair quickly becomes a meaningful manifestation of identity and no, he didn’t first grow it during Mo-vember and yes, he does use wax. Fiona had suggested it when she witnessed James’ profound attachment to his moustache. She introduced the idea with subtlety at first and then got a little bit more bold.

“eat off the counter” by Sasha at Pascoe Rd.

Saturday October 22, 2016
5 minutes
from a list of instructions

Please don’t let Finn eat off the counter. He loves to do it and will try, especially if you leave out bread or snacks. He’ll even go for dirty dishes if they haven’t been loaded into the dishwasher or left inside the sink. He’s a rascal… So, watch out. When you take him for a hike, keep him on a leash while in the parking lot especially if it’s the weekend and there’s a lot of people out. He runs in front of cars and won’t get hit, but it really pisses off drivers. Understandably.

“butler service, gourmet dining” by Julia on the plane

Sunday October 23, 2016
5 minutes
Westjet magazine

I don’t want money
I just want to be able to buy things
I don’t want money

Yesterday I slept over at Laura’s house
Not a house
Laura’s mansion
Her grandparents invented The Ponytail
or something like that
Something that makes money
I slept in a bed bigger than my
whole house
Laura asked if I wanted
to try running away with her
again and I said for once
I would really really like
to stay

I don’t want money
I just want to be able to want things
I don’t want money

When Elsie came back from the
bathroom she had devised a
plan for our
Office Heist
She said if I tackled the pens
she would make sure we
had enough paper
to last us for our entire lives
I told her I didn’t know how
to get them
and she smiled sideways
Just show me some charm
And some leg

“eat off the counter” by Julia in her bed

Saturday October 22, 2016
5 minutes
from a list of instructions

Jo was standing over the sink eating spoonful after spoonful of apple crisp. She studied each crumb on the counter, each one on her tank top. She didn’t want to use a plate. She didn’t want to sit down. Her mind wasn’t capable of instructing her at all. Nothing was making sense. Nothing felt possible. Jo wished Kyla hadn’t asked her if she could crash at her place.

“he knowingly did” by Julia in her bed

Friday October 21, 2016
5 minutes
Annabel Soutar

There was the time earlier where he put his kiss onto my head at the perfect moment. Head kisses don’t usually make me feel very good. They tend to make me believe that nobody takes me seriously. That I need protecting. I think I cringe when I get head kissed. Usually. But earlier you did it when I needed it and I could feel the difference. You couldn’t help yourself in the other scenarios but in this one you weren’t doing it for you.

“he knowingly did” by Sasha at Pascoe Rd.

Friday October 21, 2016
5 minutes
Annabel Soutar

I’m never sure if I should tell you that you have something in your teeth or pretend that you’re the Statue of David
You move like a javelin is clenched in your hand
the grace of a figure skater
a dancer
the sea.

This lettuce or broccoli or kale or bit of bok choy from last nights stir fry undermines all that I ever thought you were
and I
I can’t cope.

I leave you at the coffee shop counter and return to my desk and craft a sticky note to put on the monitor of your computer at your desk.

“LYING TO TELL THE TRUTH” by Sasha at Pascoe Rd.

Thursday October 20, 2016
5 minutes
From a workshop description
Johnny MacRae

I know you’re scared shitless
crapping oceans every day eating saltine’s like
your life depends on it
(your life does depend on it)
I know that the voices in your head keep
you up at all hours
counting blessings counting sheep counting the second hand
ticking at the speed of waiting
I know you paint red and blue on your face
warrior mask smudging orange and yellow on the darkest days
I know you’ve been pulling out your eyelashes again
your eyelids naked as a newborn
naked as a piglet

“Lying flat because my back is killing” by Sasha on her couch

Wednesday October 19, 2016
5 minutes
from a text

I’m lying flat because I threw out my back again. As if I need another thing for the guys to mock me about. As if. Doc said, “Lie flat like a board and call your sister.” Ha! Like Julianne could possibly leave Jim for twenty four hours to take care of me! Ha! It was a humbling moment, you know, when Doc said that… Because really, what with Zachariah away at school, I don’t really have anyone to… I mean, who am I gonna call besides Julianne?! I wracked my brain for someone who owed me a favour and, well, I think I’m square with most folks. So… that’s why I’m callin’ you. Would you think about comin’ to look after me for a couple days? I’d take care of the bus fare, and you can get whatever food you want, even that fancy meat stuff you like?

“LYING TO TELL THE TRUTH” by Julia in the kitchen

Thursday October 20, 2016
5 minutes
from a workshop description
Johnny MacRae

Sat still with my mouth shut
didn’t know if I should breathe
Didn’t want to let it slip out
and seem like I had something to present
I wanted to say more
I sat stiller than I thought I could
Waited till the silence doubled itself before
I let myself exhale

In the space between me getting enough air and you sucking me dry
there is a house.
Nobody wants to live there
It hurts
It is blessed hot and cursed
I wanted to say more

We wither and die in the shape of our smallest self.
We do not notice how far from the sky we have sunken
But our bones know
And a child who spends two minutes with you will know
And every time we and you and I
hear the words
I’m proud of You
we will all know
And there will not be enough time

“Lying flat because my back is killing” by Julia on her bed

Wednesday October 19, 2016
5 minutes
from a text

Oh no! Me? I’m THRILLED to stay at home laying on the hard wood floor instead of watching Lauryn Hill and being changed for the better. Trust me. I couldn’t be happier that my back is no longer functioning enough to hold me vertical and allow for even the most casual of swaying. I tell myself I will get an opportunity like this again and not to worry. And not to cry because crying hurts my entire body. My sister’s voice on the phone echoes off the floor. She yells at me to stay strong and to remember how many people wouldn’t dare complain about much worse. I don’t know what the fuck that means. I am missing Lauryn Fucking Hill. I don’t even have a good reason. Slipping on a patch of ice is not a good reason!

“let us communicate” by Julia at her dining table

Tuesday October 18, 2016
5 minutes
From the back of The Sun

He never asked me what I wanted to do or what I loved or what I was thinking.
He didn’t need to know, I assumed. He didn’t think it was necessary. I don’t
know how you go your whole life as a parent not thinking it is necessary. I don’t
Know how you go your whole life talking to so many people each day and saying so

The best gift he ever gave me was a necklace: black gem stone, elegant.
He brought it home for me the day after my sister gave the other half of her best
friends forever necklace to someone other than me. He said he wanted me to have one
of my very own. One that I wouldn’t need somebody else to complete.

“let us communicate” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Tuesday October 18, 2016
5 minutes
From the back of The Sun

Henry builds forts out of pillows and blankets I always thought we’d use for company. When he started sleeping downstairs, in the basement, I thought it was because of the snoring. He felt bad for waking me, he said. When I finally went down there and saw his forts, I wondered if something else was going on. It took me awhile to get up the courage to talk about it. We’re both introverts. We prefer quiet dinners, reading side-by-side at the kitchen table. Sometimes I wonder if we’ve even spoken to one another that day. At least we texted about who was going to bring Bigsby to the groomer, I’ll say.

“has been hurt on the job” by Sasha in her bed

Monday October 17, 2016
5 minutes
From a Facebook post

I’m not bitter. I wouldn’t say that. But Jeanie coming in here and saying, “Shit happens,” like she has no clue – … I just, it bugs me. It bugs me. I’m not gonna tell the story again and I’m not gonna whine but, like, you’re goin’ along, having a normal day, a regular Thursday, and then – BANG. Everything changes. Nothing will ever be the same. I don’t want pity! I really don’t. But I just don’t need some punk with attitude comin’ into my hospital room, actin’ like they know what’s up! Jeanie has no fucking clue!

“whenever I decide to finally” by Sasha on her couch

Sunday October 16, 2016
5 minutes
From A Pinterest board

Whenever I decide to repent my sins
it will
smell like spring.
Damp earth
pine needles
baby’s breath
You’ll light a bonfire on the beach.
The gulls will gather.
I’ll write down each of them
my sins
on bark and newspaper
and I’ll burn them
one by one.
Thank you for your patience
as I purge
and dance
as I sweat
and scream.

“has been hurt on the job” by Julia in her bed

Monday October 17, 2016
5 minutes
from a Facebook post

My cousin Matthew missed the Family Picnic that we started calling “The Reunion” even though it was really just a regular get together only with meals starting at 10am instead of 2. Italians love starting meals at 2pm. He missed it because he was in an accident at work and got a piece of led in his eye or something equally as dramatic. He would have liked to be there. He said he looks forward to the hour drive every summer, even if it’s raining. Matthew couldn’t even open his eye for a whole week. He had a very good excuse to miss the bocce ball and the badminton and the group photos and the cute little videos we make for the family members who also really wanted to be there but couldn’t because of very good excuses. We should have made one for Matthew. I’ll tell him we owe him one.

“whenever I decide to finally” by Julia at her dining table

Sunday October 16, 2016
5 minutes
from A Pinterest board

If it’s not the third time you’ve come to collect my mushing bones from the living room and scoop me back to bed with you, it’s the second, and I’ve already said no once in a way I was sure you got it. See this mushing thing that I’ve been doing/allowing is sort of on purpose sort of something that I don’t want to change. You’re in the bed, I’m out here, it is quiet. It is easy. You in the bed means sleep comes next means tomorrow comes after means tomorrow night follows. Means I don’t want to wake up. Because I wanted to love today better. But didn’t. Because I don’t want to get out of bed. Because I wanted to love myself better today but I didn’t. Because I don’t want to face myself in some form or another, some battle of self expression or survival- I don’t know which way I’ll be asked to listen to myself tomorrow. So if I ignore you, make it seem like your fault, it’s because sleep will ruin me and you and everything it touches, and I am doing my best to shield you from that.

“It isn’t worth missing any moment.” by Julia on her couch

Saturday October 15, 2016
5 minutes

I want to sleep on your lap want to sleep on your lower half while it’s not doing anything at all
I want to
I want to rest on your shoulder rest my head on your shoulder while you read and i dream for a while. I want to kiss you goodnight and good morning and good warning and good knowing you. I want to be the lifted weight that you need while you love while you wish for some giant accomplishment that does not expect you to be perfect.

“It isn’t worth missing any moment.” By Sasha at her desk

Saturday October 15, 2016
5 minutes

I’m not sure what to tell you. Maybe that it’s going to be okay? But, that’s a bit of a white lie because I’m not actually sure if it’s going to be okay… Maybe that I love you? That usually feels good to hear, unless it’s someone professing something that you do not, in fact, reciprocate. Um… You’re going to do great. You’re going to be strong. You’re going to show this whole… situation… who is BOSS. You! You’re boss. I love you? It’s going to be okay? I don’t know. I’m bad when it comes to giving advice, I really am, I just… Here’s what I’ll say. You are probably the strongest human I have ever met. If anyone can face this, it’s you.

“Final deadline” by Sasha on her couch

Friday October 14, 2016
5 minutes
from the Crazy8s postcard

When I was seven I wanted a hamster so bad
that I would write notes to my mother
leave them tucked under her pillow
I don’t know why I chose a hamster to want
I am terrified of rodents
I did.
It eventually passed
I forgot about my wanting
Oh to be seven again.

“Final deadline” by Julia in her bed

Friday October 14, 2016
5 minutes
from the Crazy8s postcard

I wanted you to be gone before you became a baby deer. I looked at you, sorry. Your tiny legs betrayed you. If I could have helped you I would have. If I could have helped you while helping myself I would have.
I would have if I could have.
If I was able.
If I was happy.
If I could trust myself.
If I was happy.
I didn’t want you to know about the storm. I didn’t want you to worry about getting caught in it.

“Slack jawed” by Julia on the tub

Thursday October 13, 2016
5 minutes
from an email

Russell was really pleased with himself for finding a teddy bear with his own name etched in the ear tag. He believed this kind of thing was rare and meant to be and that he had some newfound super powers. Suddenly he believed he was where he was supposed to be. He had never believed that before. He attributed it to the bear finding and the sign receiving he was now very open to. He said thank you in a low whisper to his lucky stars and his Nanna Toni who was among his lucky stars but also acted in part as a guardian angel. She was a star angel. Russell liked to think of her twinkling in the sky and twirling in the wind. She never danced while she was alive but somehow afterward Russell felt like that was all she did. Aside from looking out for him. When the bear appeared to him, his face fell open in wonder and amazement for the possibilities he might get to find.

“slack jawed” by Sasha in the bath

Thursday October 12, 2016
5 minutes
From an email

I wasn’t used to the attention
an excuse
a discretion
I did fifteen things I regret
starting and ending with
Tears fall onto a notebook page
a and e and s swell and bleed
a womb away my sister
nurses the next generation
It’s late there
My sorry will never be
for the slack jaw
on the couch
in the country
My regrets bite my tongue
Assault my dreams
night after night
season after fall
driving cars off cliffs
walking topless into a family reunion
in Florida

“A man named Jimmy” by Sasha on her couch

Wednesday October 12, 2016
5 minutes
Your Fathers, Where Are They? And The Prophets, Do They Live Forever?
David Eggers

Envious of your metabolism
the scar above your lip
all the numbers in your contact list
Envious of your eyelids
expansive as sky
your bellybutton
the bites you take of your cheese pizza
eaten like tea sandwiches
crusts cut off
my oldest sister
Oldest of us all
paints our nails when our parents go away
Grandma is staying with us for the weekend
We eat Wonder bread and stuff our mothers bras with
our fathers socks

“a man named Jimmy” by Julia on her couch

Wednesday October 12, 2016
5 minutes
Your Fathers, Where Are They? And The Prophets, Do They Live Forever?
David Eggers

He read my palm as the radiator behind me clicked, and played rhythms I could have danced to. When it slowed into the easy drip of a faucet I could finally calm down. I wished I hadn’t come here. I wish I knew better about most things. He told me that I didn’t have to be nervous even though I had convinced myself I wasn’t. The sound of an indescribable call outside the window: the rolling yelp repeated with urgency; the kind of animal that could be a raven or a sea gull or an owl.

“shouldn’t cost you money” by Julia on the 2

Tuesday October 11, 2016
5 minutes
from a Tangerine ad

I am writing this outside your window
You are sleeping
It is dark
You left the light on
I keep thinking you will look out
And find me here
I don’t know why but that would break my heart
Maybe slightly more than you thinking I was still gone
I have been gone for longer than I realize
When people ask me how much time has passed since then and now
I surprise myself with the forgetting
That it is no longer yesterday and nothing is new anymore
I wonder if you’re dreaming of something you’ll remember when you wake up
I wonder if you’ll use the notebook beside your bed to reincarnate one of the scenes you built when your eyes were closed
I wonder if you’ve ever thought to read one of my journals marked Nightmares
I wonder if you’ve ever thought to open up the medicine cabinet and
Remove the post-it telling you that I love you

“shouldn’t cost you money” by Sasha at her desk

Tuesday October 11, 2016
5 minutes
From a Tangerine ad

No one tells you that you become invisible. Your nose gets bigger, you sprout hair out of your ears, you lose all your pubes, and you become invisible. That’s the truth. I want you to know it because I wish I had. I would’ve given a heck of a lot less attention to how I looked when I actually looked like a Goddamn goddess. I’m not exactly sure when the invisibility cloak was placed over my shoulders… Fifty five? Sixty? I even tried dressing extra sassy, then extra sophisticated, then radical… Didn’t real change a thing. It really showed me what we were fighting for in the Women’s Lib Movement… If you aren’t deemed valuable, viable (ie. child bearing) to MEN, then suddenly society doesn’t value you. You are no longer sexual currency. Might as well be in the bargain bin.

“the authors of our lives” by Julia on the bus

Monday October 10, 2016
5 minutes
The Rising Strong Manifesto
Brene Brown

I tell myself I am beautiful on days that I don’t wear makeup
On days that I don’t leave the house
On days that I wonder what it would feel like to kick a living thing that is smaller than me
I tell myself that outcomes are not reliant on incomes
That success is knowing that success is just a word
That joy can come from wondering about kicking a living thing that is smaller than me and knowing that I never really wanted to do it in the first place
I tell myself that if ignore my thirst it will turn into hunger
but if I ignore my hunger it will turn into regret
I tell myself that I am beautiful
on days when I forget that beautiful is just a word

“the authors of our lives” by Sasha at her desk

Monday October 10, 2016
5 minutes
The Rising Strong Manifesto
Brene Brown

I’m sorry for my chin hairs – – –
my legs \\ my armpits \/
my belly >
“my” is pejorative
none of these parts are mine
I laugh because the cry is too big for my one bedroom apartment

I’m sorry for the unpalatable opinions
on the table between us
swirling squash and shit and sex and

My dreams of motherhood don’t betray my dreams
of taking over the world
with stories of chin hairs
legs armpits bellies

Shred the TRUMP cards and recycle them
Maybe they will end up
paper that you’ll write me a letter on

“All of my days” by Sasha on her couch

Sunday October 9, 2016
5 minutes
All My Days
Alexi Murdoch

Margot isn’t sure when it occurred to her that maybe it would be a good idea to stop going to spin class. She cancelled her gym membership. She de-activated her monthly yoga pass. It was a slippery slope, but in a good way. Margot started going outside. Radical. Revolutionary. Margot bought a seventy dollar bike on Craigslist and put a water bottle holder on it, and a basket on the back. She started biking to work. She walked the grocery store. She realized that she had been spending a kazillion dollars on things she could really do for free! She just needed a good rain coat and some bravery! She just needed to learn the arm signs that indicate if one is turning left or right!

“All of my days” by Julia at Anna’s in Seattle

Sunday October 9, 2016
5 minutes
All My Days
Alexi Murdoch

For the rest of them and for all of them
I want to wear yellow
And have deep red nails
because that is nice
I want to puff up my hair and
walk around with songs coming out
of my soul
and my mouth
I want to drink all the water that it takes to drown the itch inside of me
I want to eat an anchovy in spicy oil every day for breakfast
And maybe a mid day snack
For the rest of them and all of them
I want to connect with a stranger
some way
some how
I want to borrow smiles and lend out
extra pens when it counts

“If you see something suspicious or unusual” by Julia at Anna’s in Seattle

Saturday October 8, 2016
5 minutes
from the Amtrak safety booklet

Nobody here wants to tap my prepaid VISA card that says USD all over it. Like a glowing sign that No, I am not from here. They take my card away, they take it to the back, they swipe it, and they make me sign the slip. I have to do basic math in my head and I have to worry about my burning need to steal the pen every single time. I know you’re not supposed to let them do that–take the card away and make the transaction when you’re not there to see that it’s legitimate. I know this and yet I don’t say anything. I don’t stand up for my rights. I could say, excuse me, wouldn’t it be better for everyone if you let me put in my PIN number?

“If you see something suspicious or unusual” by Sasha at her desk

Saturday October 8, 2016
5 minutes
From the Amtrak safety booklet

Sweat collects in the small of my back and
I’m more confident than I’ve ever been ever
dared to be
I french kiss
a currency
I learn the rules too early
too late
Eye contact pact to meet in the bathroom
Eye contact pact you’ll buy me a vodka water
Eye contact here
then here
Maggie does lines of blow off a cock
I’m not sure about much
Riding old bikes without helmets
or enough air in the tires

“I’m not sure what you’re talking about” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Friday October 7, 2016
5 minutes
overheard on Oak St.

I’m not sure why… I guess, it’s always been a dream. I thought I wouldn’t do it until I had some sort of stability, until James or I were doing really well and we wouldn’t be sinking everything we have into it, but… Well, we’re doing just that and I have no regrets. Lots of people say, “You must be crazy to go into business with your husband!” “You must be crazy to open a restaurant!” “You must to CRAZY!” And, well, maybe they are right… I don’t know. But what I do know is that I’ve never been so excited for something in my life.

“I’m not sure what you’re talking about” by Julia in her bed

Friday October 7, 2016
5 minutes
overheard on Oak St.

We start the day with pancakes and stretching. He tells me, usually, his dreams and who was starring in them. I sit on the toilet waiting for God or something. I sit until I am ready to be around another human being. He understands and is already cooking and singing to himself. He is good for me. We start our day with Mary Oliver and a bacon croissant. We talk about the names we will give our future daughter.

“a seagull just horns his way in.” By Sasha at the Diamond Centre

Thursday October 6, 2016
5 minutes

A seagull
A seagull
horns his way in
to our conversation about
The impending flood
A seagull
Beady eyes
A name we recognize in our guts
but are wary of
A name
name calling
ceremony of his and hers
ceremony of eleven months left

“Includes taxes” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Wednesday October 5, 2016
5 minutes
from the Westjet website

The price includes taxes so I would say it’s pretty much a steal. You’re never gonna find this kind of quality for this cheap anywhere else. Any-where else. Really. You’re not. I mean, look at the open and close function? Look how smoothly that operation executes here. It’s an art. Really this is an art object. $89.99. You can’t beat it. You really can’t.

“Inexcusable.” By Sasha on her couch

Tuesday October 4, 2016
5 minutes
From the The Blue Jays game commentary

You ever heard that song that goes, “I try to say goodbye and I choke, try to walk away and I stumble”? Ever heard that song? I love that song… Really says it all.

You ever tried Suicide Wings? I never thought I’d like ’em, because I don’t love spicy food and I find wings to be pretty aggravating to eat but like, wow. Suicide Wings. So good.

You ever walked on that trail on the peninsula? That one with the little bridge thing?

“You could smoke cigarettes in class” by Sasha at her desk

Monday October 3, 2016
5 minutes
Downtown Owl
Chuck Klosterman

When I got out I couldn’t get over the smell of the air. It smells different inside… Like burning, or choking, or stale breath, morning breath, you know? I went to the diner in town, where all the guys go when they are released. I was wearing my jacket from ’96. I can’t believe they keep all that stuff, whatever you’re wearing when they bring you in. It’s too big on me now.

“a seagull just horns his way in.” by Julia at her dining table

Thursday October 6, 2016
5 minutes

We went down to the water because the house had turned into an inferno that was trying to steal our souls. Those were your words. I think I called it Hell On Earth and you tweaked it so it would apply more to our situation as individuals and as atheists. Before we found a place to sit on the sand, you told me you needed a chocolate swirl or you were going to fucking kill somebody. I paid the little boy who was so proud to be working at his dad’s shoppe for the summer selling aggravated and overheated people their necessary fix. He smiled like this was the best job he would ever have the great pleasure of holding. But that little moron was so busy joking with the swarm of people also ready to fucking kill somebody that he didn’t give us a spoon. By then it was too late. You had already cried once. You sucked the top layer off, shoved the rest in my direction, and walked ahead of me, kicking the sand up at a seagull that had come to watch.