“the wild nature teaches us” by Sasha at her desk


Friday March 31, 2017
11:36am
5 minutes
Women Who Run With the Wolves
Clarissa Pinkola Estes


In the forest
you finally find
the rhythm of your breath
Old growth and
new life
It’s where you go when
you’re empty
or full
It’s where your truest
gaze finds
stillness
hope
relief

Your breath isn’t what you
imagined it would be
It’s deeper
wet with
stream water
dew
footprints

It’s early and you’ve
been here since
darkness
since before the
first glow of morning

Your wild nature
greets this day
You’re where
you’re
meant to be

“he digs into that” by Sasha at Kafka’s


Thursday March 30, 2017 at Kafka’s CoffeeKafka’s Coffee
4:02pm
5 minutes
Overheard at Kafka’s

Jer doesn’t make the sign of the cross as much as he used to. But there are still times when he does it out of habit. Sometimes when he’s alone, and those times matter less, but sometimes in front of other people, and those times hurt. Most people at the printing press don’t know that Jer was raised religious, and he does his best to keep it that way. Sometimes, when he slips up with his crossing, he’ll act like it’s a joke and he meant to do it.

“While I watched a yellow caterpillar” by Sasha on her couch


Wednesday March 29, 2017
11:24pm
5 minutes
Standing
Shel Silverstein


My sister had dance class on Thursday nights. My Mom would take her there. I’m not sure what she would do while my sister danced – did she read a book? Eat a chocolate chip cookie? See a friend?

My Dad and I would be home alone together. This was rare. It was treasured. The King and Queen would come for dinner. We would eat something my Mom had left on the stove for us.

Afterwards, when the food had settled and the King and Queen had left, we would go into the dining room and dance to Dire Straits. Sometimes I would dance on my own feet and sometimes my Dad would pick me up.

“he digs into that” by Julia at her desk


Thursday March 30, 2017
9:19pm
5 minutes
overheard at kafkas

We keep talking about getting a dog. We sometimes talk about if we ever moved it might make more sense, so we keep talking about moving. I don’t want this to happen. He does. Sometimes we talk about settling for the tiniest dog in the universe so if we can’t convince our current landlord to let us keep one, we can pretend like there is no dog, what dog? Oh that little fluffy..entity…nothing…just…tissue…?
We haven’t quite figured it out. I’m glad. He is not. But we can’t justify getting a dog when there are so many other items already on the list. First things first. Like getting a new matress, a vaccum cleaner, laundry detergent, a vaporizer, toilet paper, and bananas.

“While I watched a yellow caterpillar” by Julia at her desk


Wednesday March 29, 2017
9:19pm
5 minutes
Standing
Shel Silverstein


Sometimes I forget how easy it is to listen to my body. I’ve been living under the impression that there’s some kind of decoding I need to do, some deep analytics about what signals I am feeling and what they mean.
Today I held the hand of a three year old while we ran him to the bathroom. I didn’t think he looked well but he was the one who told me he needed the toilet. I continued to hold his little hand as I watched this yellow caterpillar respond to what his body was telling him without questioning if it were true or right. As soon as it was over, he wiped his face and smiled. He felt better. He wasn’t going to keep thinking about his sick. His stomach had stopped speaking to him. It no longer needed to be heard.

“Bad bitch” by Julia at her desk


Tuesday March 28, 2017
10:25pm
5 minutes
overheard at JJ Bean on Cambie

Eddie carries around her Coffee cup with the name “Bad Bitch” written in sharpie. She did not ask for double capital but the kind barista soul knew that she was deserving. She drinks from it, she embodies the statement. Eddie has been about Power Statements since she got suckered into participating in a colour wheel at Lush that convinced her to buy the deep burgundy lipgloss in Confident.

“Bad bitch” by Sasha at JJ Bean on Cambie


Tuesday March 28, 2017 at JJ BeanJJ Bean
2:05pm
5 minutes
Overheard at JJ Bean on Cambie

Krista knows how to walk in high heels and does so, day after day, without any visible discomfort or achy lower back. She’s one of those women. She carries a small tin of flaky sea salt in her purse and asks for her salad without salt because she wants to add her own. She probably did a lot of blow in her twenties, but you’d never know it, and she never talks about it, but her appetite is still suppressed. Krista didn’t fuck your boyfriend, that was someone else altogether, let’s not get distracted. She only meets men on Tinder who are a decade older than her and whose salaries are at least ten thousand dollars less than hers. It’s one of many little rules that keep Krista Krista.

“bigger than my hand laid out flat” by Sasha in the TA office at UBC


Monday March 27, 2017
2:12pm
5 minutes
From an assignment

You’ve never asked me about
my appetite
my one night stands
my musical aspirations
my stretch marks
my collection of cards and crystals
my hidden chocolate

I wonder about honesty
and where it’s filmy and where
it’s white
opaque
bigger than my hand land out flat

We’ve started drinking more
and eating more potato
chips and I’m not sure if
these are
good things or bad things

I’ve never asked you about
what you write about in
your morning page journal
your one night stands

“helps clear the air of many toxins” by Sasha on her living room floor


Sunday March 26, 2017
8:10pm
5 minutes
From alive magazine

You watch the movement of hips and arms
muscles and bone
You can only see in once the sun has set
and that’s okay
You like it that way
You never thought yourself to be a watcher
like this but you find yourself
wondering if I’m there
visible
open
eating roasted sweet potato from the pan
at the stove
You find yourself
wondering if I’m there
unpacking jars from a reusable
canvas carry bag
Washing dishes
Wiping the counter
Sat at the table laughing at my own jokes

“I can bearly remember a thing” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Saturday March 25, 2017
10:15pm
5 minutes
From a fridge notepad

When this song comes on, it reminds me of you like that summer was last summer. It wasn’t. It was seven summer’s ago, and I didn’t even have a good time, mostly, but there’s something about you, there’s something about then, that catches like a bubble in my throat. I cough. Can I finally dislodge this? Can I finally blow you away?

I consider emailing you, with this song, in this coffee shop. But I don’t. I don’t need to write another chapter to that story.

“bigger than my hand laid out flat” by Julia on the other chair


Monday March 27, 2017
9:29pm
5 minutes
from an assignment

If we’re trading in gesutures…
I extend my hand
I look you in the eye
I wait for you to meet me
you take my hand
we do the cheorgraphed move to symbolize greeting
shake
and drop

You raise your head high above my head
I aim to connect
with my flesh on yours
we do the rehearsed beat to symbolize rhythm
and how we like to make sound out loud
every now and again

If we’e trading gestures…
I’ll give my laugh
for his lips

“helps clear the air of many toxins” by Julia on the other chair


Sunday March 26, 2017
8:00pm
5 minutes
from alive magazine

Silas comes home after a fight and 3 long nights of sleeping on the floor of his best friend’s living room. there was no couch after Trevor’s boyfriened made them get rid of it under the suspicion of bed bugs. he comes home needing to shower, carrying a Peace Lily and looking me in the eye.
“i think we’ve been misunderstanding each other and i want you you to know that i want to understand you. ”
he doesnt hold out the plant, but keeps it tucked under his arm on condition.
“where did you get that?” i ask him without moving from my office chair.
“honestly, Lydia? is that what you think is the most important question?”

“I can bearly remember a thing” by Julia at N and W’s kitchen table


Saturday March 25, 2017
9:45pm
5 minutes
from a fridge notepad

I can’t remember birthdays unless I write them down–or to buy onions, or to take out the trash. I’m terrible with names and with dates.
I love faces. I’m a faces person. I’ll never forget a face. I know a lot of people like me. We all joke about the kind of checklists we keep. My friend Bernice has a refrigerator notepad with a bear on it that says “I can BEARLY remember a thing” but I’m not sure she’s found the cure because I’ve noticed that every time I go over there the list is completely blank. My cousin Christina sets reminders on her phone, in her email, writes them down on graph paper, and puts sticky notes on her bathroom mirror. She’s very determined to remember. It’s not like she’s not trying. I don’t have a ton of methods. My preferred way of keeping on top of things is to sing myself songs about my tasks for the day that rhyme.

“Is Mommy pretty…” by Sasha at her desk


Friday March 24, 2017
9:52pm
5 minutes
Is Mommy?
Victoria Chang


I don’t want to be all doomsday-y but I’m feeling like shit today. I really am. And I don’t want to say that because of all that you’ve been through, and all that you’re still going through but… Well, bumblebees are officially on the endangered species list. I’m going to say it again. Bumblebees are on the endangered species list. Do you know how badly we need bees? They transfer pollen from flower to flower. They help to fertilize many plants that become our food. Without bees, many of our food sources will die, too. And people don’t care. They just don’t. Maybe it’s because they don’t know how to relate to it… Bees. How come bees matter to me in my life when I have to work forty seven hours a week just to afford my bus pass and mediocre apartment?!

“Improve your English” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Thursday March 23, 2017
11:36pm
5 minutes
From an ad on the bus

Shaking your fist at the red sky
you are the underwater colours that I
don’t have the language to describe
You are swollen and indignant beyond
the horizon
Roots reaching and curling into other
roots and fingers of butterfly wings
You are more tired than you’ve ever been
and yet you keep wailing
waiting for for someone to respond
When I was fourteen and riding
the bus home
a man pulled a knife on another man
because he was standing too close
I knew the world would break my heart
but I didn’t know the cruelty
the oil
the destruction
Sixteen years and three broken hearts
later and I lean in to you and
put my hand on your quaking back

“Is Mommy pretty…” by Julia on Quinn’s couch


Friday March 24, 2017
9:19pm
5 minutes
Is Mommy?
Victoria Chang


She wouldn’t like that I am telling you this but when I was young I would have said my mom made the best Caesar salads out of anyone because she used those bacon bits or those “facon” bits or whatever they were called. She would tell you she knows better these days. She might even say that it wasn’t true.
I would have said that my mom liked to yell.
She’d say she didn’t like it but she had to do it because we misbehaved a lot. Misbehaving meant bickering with one another. Misbehaving meant not listening to her.
I would have said that she smelled like vanilla and could whoop your ass in Tetras.

“Improve your English” by Julia in her bed


Thursday March 23, 2017
11:30pm
5 minutes
from an ad on the bus

I can’t explain it well
enough with words.
English words.
The ones I got stuck with.
They are either too short
or too long, too young or
too old. None of us are
speaking the same language.
Even when we are.
What if ‘can’t’ changes shape as we age; what if ‘nos’ become ‘Nos’ as we shed salty skin.
In other languages that I know
I can speak things
I cannot say in the tongue
that I have learned.

“several thousand feet above sea” by Julia at her desk


Wednesday March 22, 2017
12:12pm
5 minutes
Traveling Mercies
Anne Lamott

I have lived on the edge separating peace and prayer
the whole ship sank but failed to go under
We learned a lot about swimming
and staying afloat
and how they are not the same thing
we sang for the lost sheep
the ones who boarded too early
we mourned for the found hurt
that couldn’t stand on its own two feet
we do not beg for better circumstances
We fight a thing called tomorrow before
it ever walks out of the womb
we only ask questions we know the answer to
And knowing is not the same as knowledge

“several thousand feet above sea” by Sasha at her desk


Wednesday March 22, 2017
9:45am
5 minutes
Traveling Mercies
Anne Lamott

“Boy you best pray that I bleed real soon
How’s that thought for you” oh Tori Amos
my fourteen year old self did not know the
weight of this waiting my fourteen year old
self sang this line at full voice full wave
crest and now sixteen years later I wait
for blood and we talk about bank accounts
and moving thousands of miles home

We’re giddy on possibility and the sweetness
of spring in the air and you pull me extra
close as we cross the street

“A cherished pastime” by Sasha at her desk


Tuesday March 21, 2017
9:32am
5 minutes
From a Facebook post

It’s Wednesday and the whole notion of “hump day” makes her stomach turn. “Why do we live in a world where two thirds of the population are okay with the idea that Wednesday is a hump we have to get over?” Leila says.

“What?” Su peeks over the dividing wall between their cubicles.

“I’m talking to myself!”

“Lower your voice then, princess. You’re getting in the way of my f-l-o-w!”

Leila loves Sugreet, she really does, but their desks are practically on top of each other and he often sings Beyonce under his breath which gets in the way of her work f-l-o-w, so, she doesn’t apologize. Not today.

“If all your favourite makers got together” by Sasha on her couch


Monday March 20, 2017
1:10am
5 minutes
Steal Like An Artist
Austin Kleon


If all your favourite makers got together and made
you all of your favourite things
then would you feel worthy of the bounty
in you life?

Beeswax candles dipped by hand and
decorated with pressed flowers
Tinctures of mugwort and cleavers
and rose
An oak wood board decorated with honey
crisp apples and dried figs
Garlands of lily of the valley
sunflowers
ferns
Lavender infused honey in a
small clay pot
Nettle tea
A painting of a dream you
had six months ago
swimming with dolphins
dancing with dolphins
the underwater music the
truest song you’d ever heard

“A cherished pastime” by Julia on the 99


Tuesday March 21, 2017
9:08pm
5 minutes
from a Facebook post

Samar shows me the sweater she’s been knitting since last Tuesday after learning how last Monday and I’m embarrassed because I’m impressed because she’s seven and it’s stunning. Samar tells me that the sweater if for her sister because she doesn’t want her to think the world is cold. I ask her what she’s reading these days and she pulls out the biggest book I’ve ever seen. She tells me she’d rather save reading for another time though because now would be a good opportunity to teach me how to knit since I liked her sweater so much. I’m embarrassed again but this time for being behind on my own life. I didn’t know what knitting was when I was seven. I wasn’t relying on the smell of books to calm me down.
I causally mention to her that knitting is a good balance to reading because you get to wield a weapon. Samar laughs at this and for the first time today I feel smart.

“If all your favourite makers got together” by Julia on Lindsay’s couch


Monday March 20, 2017
1:48am
5 minutes
Steal Like An Artist
Austin Kleon


i know anout making things
two hands
heart beating
connected tissue
i would ask about making big things
four hands
hearts in sync
canvas and words
i want to tell you that it’s not all beautiful
but none of it is bad
it makes you
feel alive and
full of possibility
when the minutes are salty
from marinating in think juice
in sweat
mind body connection
collaboration we cling to
we know our own rhythm until
we mix the unknowing
with the craft
i know about making things
there is never only one person

    “periodic assessment” by Julia on her couch


    Sunday March 19, 2017
    8:54pm
    5 minutes
    from a contract

    There was a scrawny boy, from my teaching days, who used to come into my office for extra help on his map reading at recess. He was very worried that he wasn’t picking up on the navigation unit as comfortably as the other children so I worked with him as best as I could and showed him plenty of examples. He seemed to always wear that same confused face even after I felt I had made things very clear. I tried not to get frustrated that he’d come in every day to work on the unit that everyone else had figured out with relative ease. I asked him one day if he thought coming in to see me was helping him. That’s when he told me he had understood the whole time but was afraid of recess because of Tyler, who sometimes tripped him while he ran.

    “periodic assessment” by Sasha at her desk


    Sunday March 19, 2017
    10:37am
    5 minutes
    Exclaim Magazine

    The children will be assessed periodically in the following areas: mathematics, language, geography, biology, physics, public speaking and physical stamina. It is up to you, as their leaders, to make sure that they are ready. If they fail more than one assessment per term, they will be punished, and you will be penalized. Please do not ask for details at this present moment, as the penalization changes yearly. We have found that incentivizing the learning is highly beneficial. Our assessment success continues to increase, which is what has put our institution on the map. If you have concerns, write them on a piece of paper and set that piece of paper on fire. I don’t care for worry-warts, complainers or socialists.

    “The life and crimes of” by Sasha on her porch


    Saturday March 18, 2017
    9:14pm
    5 minutes
    Exclaim Magazine

    When Freddie arrives at the rodeo, we all know that something’s gonna change. First, the horses start falling over and I never seen anything like that in my whole life. Freddie walks by and they fall onto their side. No injuries or nothin’, but it’s pretty wild to see. Freddie has a little smirk like this always happens but Papa and me, we are transfixed. I start to follow Freddie around, cuz I’m small and I’m stealthy, and I don’t know if he notices or not but if he does he doesn’t seem to mind. When Freddie snaps his fingers there’s a spark. You ever seen anything like that? He lights everyone’s smokes like that.

    “You know I will oh baby” by Sasha on her couch


    Friday March 17, 2017
    10:46pm
    5 minutes
    Never Had A Dream Come True
    S Club 7


    “It’s fine, I’m not mad,” Louise says stirring a sugar cube into her coffee.

    “I hear you, it just sounds like maybe there is anger in there somewhere, and I want to address it before it becomes resentment…” Yaris squares his jaw and pouts like a puppy.

    “I’m irritated, but I’m not angry. Or mad.” Louise drinks. “Shit!” She says, “it’s hot.”

    Yaris goes to the bar to get her a napkin.

    “You have a lot of repressed feelings, Lou… I just want you to experience the release of sharing them.” He sits, and she rolls her eyes. “Resistance is normal. Change is hard.”

    “Who died and made you Deepak Chopra?!” Louise is yelling now, even though she wishes that she weren’t.

    “Let it out, let it out!” Yaris puts her hands palm up on his thighs.

    “We barely know each other!” Louise hisses.

    “I’m striving for intimacy, my dear. You are putting bricks on a wall that’s already so high.”

    “Fuck you, Yaris! Is that even your name?! It’s a brand of a car. A car! Fuck you!”

    “with one hundred hands each” by Sasha at her kitchen table


    Thursday March 16, 2017
    10:30pm
    5 minutes
    Age Of Bronze Betrayal
    Eric Shanower


    Stepping into the water
    you aren’t sure if you’ve been
    here before
    Your twenties are a blur
    One hundred hands reach out
    to touch you and you close
    your eyes because you aren’t
    sure if this is ecstasy
    or hell
    Vic stands on the shore
    cheering you on
    even though you never
    asked them to
    There’s a sand bar that
    stretches out really far
    and when you turn back
    to see Vic
    they are smaller than a
    lego man
    Eventually there’s a drop off
    and you dive under water
    and you are flooded with
    all the times you were
    afraid

    “The life and crimes of” by Julia on the 4


    Saturday March 18, 2017
    12:04am
    5 minutes
    Exclaim Magazine

    I’m not saying that I’m perfect
    I’m not saying that
    I just remember some things didn’t turn out exactly the way my mom planned
    the way my dad planned
    that way anyone really hoped things would be
    I won’t say I was stupid
    But I wasn’t thinking clearly
    I was just sort of acting like I knew what was best for everybody
    I thought that the entire family’s financial burdens were falling on me because my mom was stuck in her bed too sad to move too mad at herself for all the shit she put us through to go out and get herself cleaned up and get a goddamn job my dad wasn’t around not just because of my mom but because he was really let down as a kid and he never got over that
    I’m not saying I’m a bad person because I believe that I was doing what I thought was right at the time but I haven’t made the best choices my younger sister still blames me for not getting into college
    my younger brother still thinks that I should have called more adults into the equation

    “You know I will oh baby” by Julia at her desk


    Friday March 17, 2017
    9:33pm
    5 minutes
    Never Had A Dream Come True
    S Club 7


    For almost two years we have been meaning to go to Burgoo. For almost two years the blue name lit up on the front of the restauant always called to us. Tonight, we finally make the dream a reality. We had heard good things from friends and locals. And it’s Friday, we want to get out of the house, we want to spend time together, it’s raining; it’s going to be Burgoo. And then we sit down, read the menu, and we realize…that we have spent almost two years assuming that it’s a burger place. There were no burgers. Because Burgoo is a stew from Kentuky that has okra in it.

    “with one hundred hands each” by Julia the VPL


    Thursday March 16, 2017
    6:20pm
    5 minutes
    Age Of Bronze Betrayal
    Eric Shanower


    Hold me like the sun is going down for the last time–
    like the nights are long
    like the mornings are extinct.
    Keep me alive under a dead moon–
    under a baren sky
    under a hurt wing.

    With one hundred hands you will know enough
    how to close the door without waking me
    how to prepare a tea without asking me
    how to teach my skin what it’s worth.
    With one hundred hands can you memorize my scars–
    how the thick one reeks of curiosity,
    how the raised one is a reward for the brave?

    “marinated citrus” by Julia in her bed


    Wednesday March 15, 2017
    10:54pm
    5 minutes
    from the menu at Matchstick Riley Park

    Sometimes they don’t respond when he says I love you.
    There are nights where it slips out of his mouth in place of a sorry.
    In place of a period.
    They’ve stopped responding to the ones that’ve stopped meaning anything.
    He doesn’t even mean to say it sometimes. It catches him off guard when he sneezes.
    He tells them this. And some nights he tells them more.

    “marinated citrus” by Sasha at Matchstick Coffee Riley Park


    Wednesday March 15, 2017 at Matchstick
    6:55pm
    5 minutes
    From the menu at Matchstick Coffee Riley Park

    When Beth gets home she sees a salad on the counter – endive, roasted beets, marinated blood orange, goat cheese, pickled red onion. “Hello?” she calls, unsure who she is expecting to reply, and if she’ll like it if someone does. Dustin gave his key back the last time he looked after Jemima, the cat. Of course no one answers, she doesn’t know what she was possibly thinking. Lily. Of course! She watered Beth’s plants when Beth was white water canoeing in August. She texts her sister, “Did you make a most beautiful salad at my place today?” and then she backspaces because she remembers that Lily is on a ten day silent meditation retreat.

    “rejection is deeply painful” by Sasha on her pullout couch


    Tuesday March 14, 2017
    11:30pm
    5 minutes
    Daring Greatly
    Brené Brown


    You start keeping a sketchbook. You just turned fifty and your son just moved back into the basement and you aren’t sure exactly why but he’s driving you crazy. He’s thirty five and he just left his “common-law partner”, at least that’s how he explains Troy. You need a reason to get out of the house and so you take the number thirteen bus to the cafe on Arlington Avenue. You order a brownie and a peppermint tea. You start sketching the ways in which he drives you crazy. The mopey face. The dishes in the sink. The orange running shoes. The constant chatter. The “common-law partner”.

    “I don’t ever think about death” by Sasha at the Airbnb in Kelowna


    Monday March 13, 2017
    11:32pm
    5 minutes
    Glory And Gore
    Lorde

    He breathes fire
    He drives a yellow Honda
    Civic and always
    goes at least thirty
    kilometers over
    the speed limit

    I’m not sure if
    he thinks that
    he’s beyond the
    parameters of life
    and death or if
    he’s just jacked
    up on energy drinks
    and the fact that
    his muscles are growing

    He isn’t interested
    in women or girls
    He goes to work at
    the lumber yard and
    then he drives to
    the gym

    That’s it really

    Sometimes he’ll go
    to a party at Steve’s
    place and when he’s
    there everyone will
    say

    “Why don’t you ever
    hang out, man?”

    “You live on campus?” by Sasha on her couch


    Sunday March 12, 2017
    1:05am
    5 minutes
    Overheard on the 4 going west

    My dorm room was on the fourth floor of the Fine Arts residence. When my Mom dropped me off – a few boxes, a laundry hamper, some bedding, a plant from Ikea – I turned away from all the people screaming in the quad. I remember putting my black and white postcards on the wall from Paris, Vienna, Greece and Switzerland, and putting the framed photograph of my boyfriend and I on the desk. I remember brushing my teeth in the communal bathroom. I remember telling my Mom that I wasn’t sure if this was going to work out.

    “rejection is deeply painful” by Julia on her bed


    Tuesday March 14, 2017
    10:00pm
    5 minutes
    Daring Greatly
    Brené Brown


    I am gutted when I realize how wrong I have been
    I think a lot about the feeling of my guts being yanked out of me
    My belly ripped open
    My heart now more exposed
    I didn’t know that you were also worried
    I didn’t know that you felt pain in the same spot as I did
    You are amazed I am still crying
    I am amazed you are still here
    A hundred years ago we met and we’re still fighting for ease
    I didn’t know that you felt pain the same spot as I did
    I’m sad for all the simplicity I’ve avoided
    I have never been a speaker of few words
    You don’t need my apology for that
    It’s a nice way to distract you from my genuine fear of being alive and fully feeling everything sharp

    “I don’t ever think about death” by Julia on her couch


    Monday March 13, 2017
    9:31pm
    5 minutes
    from Glory And Gore
    Lorde


    I don’t ever think about death in the dying kind of way. I think I’ll be here then gone then always haunting the people who loved me. I think I’ll be able to reach them. I will try to send them messages until I know they’ve received them.
    I will sleep in my sister’s bed and tell her she’s not alone.
    I will ride shotgun in my brother’s Lexus and tell him that he is loved.
    I will curl up on the couch with my mother and tell her how lucky I was to get her.
    I will kneel in the garden with my father and tell him that he is enough.
    I will live on the lips of my love and tell him that it’s okay to let me go.

    “You live on campus?” by Julia on the 4


    Sunday March 12, 2017
    6:35pm
    5 minutes
    Overheard on the 4 going west

    Alex told me that if I was really considering York I should come visit him for night and get a feel for residence life. When he invited me and some musical theatre friends to come see his show I started dreaming of my new life as a university student. Alex’s dorm smelled like pizza pockets and microwaves and at eighteen I didn’t have a problem with that. He also mentioned that Rachel McAdams was an alumna from the acting conservatory but I obviously already knew that since she was the one reason other than Alex that I wanted to go to York in the first place. He and I chatted on the floor of his residence room for an hour about how he was switching from English to theatre and where the best falafel was. He told me being away from home was the best part of it all because most people from high school never left town and we’re all obsessed with Wilfred Laurier’s homecoming.

    “update your voter information” by Julia on the 99


    Saturday March 11, 2017
    7:22pm
    5 minutes
    from Elections BC

    Raise your hand in the air if you vote yay to Cinnamon Bun Sundays. Really? Only 1 of you? I thought you people would be over the moon about that. Okay all opposed? All of you now? What is this, Fake Out Mommy Friday? Let’s try again: all in favour of Topless Tuesday? Oh come on, Elliot, you know you’ve been trying to get me to agree to this for weeks now! There we go, thank you, someone is finally being honest around here. And we have two more! Motion granted. Topless Tuesdays for everybody! Ok anyone who wants to begin Monkey Mondays raise your chubby little hands. You’re all sheep. All four of you. You don’t even know what Monkey Monday means!

    “update your voter information” by Sasha at her desk


    Saturday March 11, 2017
    10:36am
    5 minutes
    From an email

    My mother hands me her wallet and asks me to count out the change for her bagel and coffee. She acts like this is normal. I play along. She holds onto my elbow as we snake our way through the grocery store. “I want three oranges, Lola. And make sure they are ripe!” She sniffs cantaloupes and squeezes nectarines, but it’s hard to tell with citrus.

    I’m the youngest of six and this means it’s my job to care for my mother in these last years of her life. My older siblings helped to raise me. It’s an unspoken rule that I’ll look after Mama. They visit. But they don’t sell their furniture and books, break up with their sometimes boyfriend, give away their three-legged cat and move back home.

    “There is a pay parking garage” by Sasha at her kitchen table


    Friday March 10, 2017
    8:43pm
    5 minutes
    From an email

    In the basement of the building
    forty nine stories high
    there is a parking garage.
    This is where Nan sleeps
    in a recycling bin
    laying on it’s side.
    This is where people in
    black and grey suits
    park their Lexus and
    their Prius and their
    BMW. Nan did not imagine
    that she would lose it
    all. We all have problems.
    Some of them are invisible.
    Nan wakes to the BEEP BEEP
    of the cars locking. Nan
    wakes to the sound of heels
    clicking on the concrete.
    Once
    in a snowstorm
    a bike courier with a joint
    between his lips found her
    and he screamed. He wasn’t
    expecting to see anyone
    he explained.

    “Definition of knowledge” by Sasha at her desk


    Thursday March 9, 2017
    11:46pm
    5 minutes
    From an email

    When you sleep, you dream in black and white. You aren’t sure if everyone does, or if it’s just you. Often, you dream about wild horses. They are running across deserts, through rivers, over mountains. You rarely see yourself in your dreams, and when you do, you are wearing a cape. When you dream about Stella, or your father, they look like younger versions of themselves. They laugh more in real life.

    “IT’S TRUE!” By Sasha on her couch


    Wednesday March 8, 2017
    10:49pm
    5 minutes
    Overheard in the kitchen

    It’s true, Jenna thinks. She does hate to disappoint. “I wouldn’t say that’s the primary thing going on here, though…” Dr. Hendricks looks over her wire rimmed glasses and raises her eyebrows. Jenna has been a patient for long enough to know what this means. “You’re full of shit.”

    “You’ll need to investigate your feelings about disappointment, Jenna. We’ll do some of that work here, in session, but you’ll also need to keep a close eye on when you’re feeling disappointed, in yourself or in others, and how that effects your behaviour. Are you lashing out more? Are you quiet? Pay attention.”

    “There is a pay parking garage” by Julia in her bed


    Friday March 10, 2017
    7:40pm
    5 minutes
    from an email

    The other day I gathered up my courage in a ball and I threw it as far as I could. I had to see how far it would land. I was aiming for the open door. When I couldn’t hear it crashing off the sidewalk I wondered if it had gotten squashed by a car or stuck on a branch instead. I pictured it deflating slowly, as it attempted to free itself from the tangle that I had forced it into. I couldn’t help but think that maybe I didn’t have enough courage to begin with, and it wasn’t the right kind of heavy to travel without being carried by the wind. I convinced myself I had to be patient; wait until there was more courage to choose from; pick the strongest looking stuff and stick it to the weaker ones did next time.

    Suddenly, I realized, my curiosity had forced my legs out into the street. Out in the street to meet courage.

    “Definition of knowledge” by Julia on her couch


    Thursday March 9, 2017
    11:00pm
    5 minutes
    from an email

    Mama says not to ask him for help with opening jars. She says try to do it on your own. She says visualize yourself opening it. She says breathe through it. She says by any means necessary. Mama teaches you the elastic trick and the knife knocking. Says to pop the bottom. Say to run it under hot water. Says to uses a wet rag. Says to visualize yourself asking for help and him looking smug. Mama says don’t let him look that way. Mama says make it a habit you forget how to break.

    “IT’S TRUE!” by Julia on her couch


    Wednesday March 8, 2017
    10:49pm
    5 minutes
    Overheard in the kitchen

    I saw a heron tonight-true
    I have cried today-true
    I have cried fewer than three times today-lie
    I wore all black today-true
    I met someone new this afternoon-true
    I found the ear bud cover-lie
    I listened to the ocean today-true
    I wiped my snot on my coat-true
    I had only rational thoughts-lie
    I loved myself today-true
    I thought about drowning-true
    I wrote this easily-lie

    “As Elizabeth lost” By Julia on SM’s couch


    Tuesday March 7, 2017
    9:43pm
    5 minutes
    the Globe and Mail Lives Lived

    It had been an hour and Remi still hadn’t called. Elizabeth paced the shiny tile in front of the door. She wasn’t angry because she wasn’t surprised. She’d stopped expecting him to get it together because Allie and Nathan needed one of their parents to show up for them. Elizabeth had given up on Remi a long time ago. She couldn’t keep space for him anymore. A car zoomed by outside and Elizabeth stopped in her tracks. It wasn’t him.

    “As Elizabeth lost” by Sasha at her desk


    Tuesday March 7, 2017
    5:07pm
    5 minutes
    Lives Lived
    The Globe and Mail


    Elizabeth. Forty seven, but she tells people she’s “on the cusp of forty”. Tall, taller than most at least, six feet and three inches, to the chagrin of her mother. No, she doesn’t play basketball. No, she doesn’t want to join your rep volleyball team that plays every other Wednesday in the gym on the university campus across town that smells like Smart Food. Elizabeth just lost her job, and now she’s sitting at the bus stop, a small tupperware box on her lap. Contents: pink sticky notes, three uni-ball pens, a framed photo of Henry, her ginger three-legged cat, and a small cactus that she hasn’t watered since 2013 and magically is still alive and well. She’s worked as a copywriter at Cityscape News for twelve years. “We’re going digital,” her boss Kenton, who looks like a bulldog, had said. “We’re streamlining…” He’d smiled his way through the “evaluation”, as though something, unknown to Elizabeth, was funny. She knew that she had one of those expressionless faces. She liked to think of it as “Mona Lisa-like”. She knew that others thought of it as “rude”.

    “Now that I’m free from any such shackles” By Sasha at her kitchen table


    Monday March 6, 2017
    10:37pm
    5 minutes
    davidsilverberg.ca

    saved by the ivory
    tower but not for long
    good god i hope i don’t
    have to
    saved from the beer
    spills and “our house wine
    is a dollar an ounce”
    from roll-ups and tip-outs
    and “can we have more
    bread?”
    i’ll tell you what
    the magic word is
    it’s please

    the summer i was
    twenty one i worked
    at a place where
    the bartenders were
    always high and the
    sous chef called me a
    stuck up bitch
    and i cried in the
    basement and ate shrimp
    in the stairwell
    and everyone seemed to
    be fucking each other

    then there was the
    sous who would request
    my presence in the kitchen
    only to undo my apron
    so that i’d have to bend
    over and pick it up

    then there was the
    sous (is there a theme
    here holy hell) who
    would stick out his
    chest when i’d come
    to ask a question like
    those are just my breasts
    it’s how they are i
    am not sticking anything
    out or up except my
    middle finger at your
    ignorance