“All tickets sales are final” by Sasha on a bench near the water

Sunday December 31, 2017
1:32pm
5 minutes
From a ticket

You get tired thinking about who you can’t be. You buy a ticket for a cross-country train ride. You’ll write. You’ll sing. You’ll buy bad small town coffee. Really, you’ll spend a lot of time looking out the window. Really, you’ll finally stop dreaming about giving birth. You start reading the books you’ve always wanted to read. You start learning survival skills, karate, rock climbing. You have more space now. You call your brother on Sunday mornings and ask about his daughter. It hurts less and less. You aren’t sure about resolutions. You aren’t sure about numbers. You aren’t sure how long it takes for turkey to go bad in the fridge. You think about how you’ll wait however long it takes. You’ve got time.

“All tickets sales are final” by Julia on Amanda’s futon

Sunday December 31, 2017

11:16am

5 minutes

From a ticket

I know you and I don’t know each other very well. Aside from the fantasies. Okay, my fantasies. My fantasies of you and me: knowing each other. I almost said ‘nod nod wink wink’ just there. My grade four teacher used to say that. I don’t know why I just told you that. I don’t know what I’m doing right now, I’m sorry. I wish I hadn’t made it weird. You know what, let’s please just scratch what I said. Re re re re-wind! Back to the beginning of time before I ruined everything!

I know you and I don’t know each other very well. I thought I knew you cause my dreams have always been vivid and what I’d even risk calling ‘clairvoyant’. Pisces! Guilty!

“hesitating to” by Julia on Amanda’s tub

Saturday December 30, 2017
2:08am
5 minutes
From a tweet

Tell you the truth

Telling myself first

Listening

Believing you’re right

Believing I’m wrong

Go to the bathroom

Leaving the moment

Leaving the bar

Say something I’ll regret

To let you get away with it all

To let you have the last word

To agree with you

Disagree

Cry in front of you

Tell you about the hurt

Relive the hurt

Let you see me hurt

Be hurt

Ask for clarification

To cry when you cry

To hug you

To tell you I love you

To relive the past

To share what I’m feeling

To apologize

Fight

Forgive

Order another drink

Let you leave in anger

Keep you there in anger

Fight

Forgive

Fight

Forgive

Ask you to write me something

Ask you to read something

Admit I don’t know

“hesitating to” by Sasha on her floor

Saturday December 30, 2017
10:01am
5 minutes
From a tweet

Is there a hesitation?

Only a cherry pit at the bottom of a glass.

Some people never change.

I’ve said sorry a thousand time and now I’m not even sure what the word means.

“Sore” “eee”.
“So” “Re”.
“Sorry”.

What’s in the middle of the sandwich?

Sorry sorry sorry I’m so sorry.

I think I’ll stop.

Wash the dishes listening to loud music letting the soap splash all over.

Heed my love’s advice to stop apologizing and start moving.

Buy some good olives.

“Out beyond the rightdoing and wrongdoing there is a field”
it’s full of wildflowers
bumblebeees
I’ll meet you there.

“proud of your generation” by Julia at her parents’ house

Friday December 28, 2017

12:01am

5 minutes

Hidden Fruit

Madhur Anand

Could afford more if I worked

Harder

Lessons lived, life, rice?

Savings sellings ceiling sailing

One pot, pasta for one week, tiny containers and small

Achievements

Scavenger heart

Muscular calves

Walk to the grocery

And to the dentist

And to the Long Distance

Meditation

Saving

Save on bus fare

Could buy a burger

For lunch today and tomorrow

If I had more

If I worked

Harder

If I wanted to

If I worked

If it all worked

“proud of your generation” by Sasha at JJ Bean

Friday December 29, 2018
4:12pm at JJ Bean on Cambie
5 minutes
Hidden Fruit
Madhur Anand

when you wish upon a star
wish you could be proud of your generation
zombies marching towards the end of the world
radical in their distraction tendencies
worshipping dollar bills and black amex and celebrity dieties
seagulls calling some hymn of the moment
or is that a jingle
no one knows the difference anymore
no one knows the difference

when you run through the forest
wish you weren’t so afraid to be alone
maybe it’s cuz we all are
maybe it’s cuz you learned trust and then mistrust
house of cards
huff and you’ll puff and you’ll blow the house down
diseased and itchy and tired and broken
put the deck back together but the joker’s missing
and the queen of hearts
what a love affair
what a love

when you rise out the brainwashing
honey from your ears and dried flowers from your nostrils

“a weak spot” by Julia on Amanda’s futon

Thursday December 28, 2018
11:48pm
5 minutes
Golden Ray of Chemo
Fawn Parker

I didn’t believe you when you said today was Thursday. I see that it is now but earlier I thought you were going out of your way to try and trick me…

I do not like to be tricked.

I must have been caught up in yesterday or seven years ago when the city summer fried all my people reading skills. Maybe it’s from all the medicine. All the weed. All the nights spent trying to quiet my dreams.

The night before last I didn’t smoke and my nightmares came back like quick sand or an overripe banana. I dreamed I was being made to fight another woman and everyone watched when I won.

I wasn’t ready for Thursday. One more day closer to seeing you or seeing me and neither feels easy.

“a weak spot” by Sasha at her desk

Thursday December 28, 2018
7:41am
5 minutes
Golden Ray of Chemo
Fawn Parker

D: Do you have to eat like that?
M: Like what?
D: You are chewing very loud.
M: I’m chewing how I chew.
D: PLEASE stop.
M: Why are you –
D: Can I have a beer?
M: No.
D: Please please please please please?
M: No.

D: My camera’s better than yours!
M: When did you become a photography expert?
D: We don’t need duplicates of everything we do!
M: Alright, we’ll use yours.
D: Did you know that you snore?
M: I do not snore.
D: You live alone. Who would tell you?
M: I do?
D: Yes. It’s sweet. It’s like a little bulldog.

She imitates a bulldog snore. They laugh.

M: When you were little you used to pick your nose and eat it.

“the grey of old age” by Julia on Amanda’s toilet

Wednesday December 27, 2017
1:48am
5 minutes
Oath
Hussain Ahmed

We were all laughing until time ran out. I don’t know why we were so surprised, we practically begged it to hurry up. Now it’s gone and we’re left kissing by the clock in case these moments are our last. You stopped sipping your whiskey. She stopped her favourite hum. The windows waited, and I stopped tonguing the rotten tooth. The silliness tiptoed around us. We couldn’t very well pretend to be fine. We were all just laughing a minute ago, laughing because where did the time go? And then we all knew where it was because it had run out and

it’s easy to feel when it does. Now it’s gone and we’re not sure if we made all the right decisions but we don’t have the luxury of going into it.

“the grey of old age” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Wednesday December 27, 2017
4:20pm
5 minutes
Oath
Hussain Ahmed

The grey of old age is creeping up your sideburns
and it’s sexier than I imagined it would be

You’ve got wrinkles in your forehead
Laugh lines across your cheeks
Dimples in the small space between joke and laugh

When we promised forever
I didn’t know it would be
like this
When we promised forever
I didn’t know so much would change
I didn’t know so much would stay the same

We’re making more tacos
more love
more dirt under the fingernails
We’re making less fuss
less waste
less fire

“little package” by Sasha on her couch

Tuesday December 26, 2017
6:55pm
5 minutes
From an email

“You mentioned in your voicemail that you’ve seen several other counsellors. What has your experience been like with them?”

“I, I… We… It wasn’t a good fit.”

“Why do you imagine that might be?”

“My insurance only covers psychiatrists and psychologists, so – “

“I’m a psychiatrist – “

“I don’t want to go on medication – “

“There’s no shame in supporting your healing with – “

“I DON’T WANT TO GO ON MEDICATION.”

A silence like Don Mills station at 1:15AM.

“Let’s take a step back.”

I nod. “Okay.”

“When you say, “episodes”, what do you mean?”

“Um…” A silence like Thanksgiving with Al and Carly, Dad and Penelope with her stupid sweet potato pie.

“little package” by Julia on the greyhound bus

Tuesday December 26, 2017

2:07pm

5 minutes

From an email

In recent years I believed a gift had to have many moving parts:

First, a card, a language of otherwise indescribable gratitude. A love, living. A promise, dancing in the living room.

Second, a thought profound and seeing. A proof, light, opening the airways.

Third, a joke, folded into the side bed of the card and woven through the thought. A humble choice to make such vulnerable words a party of intention.

Fourth, a practical container, one that said The Inside Counts Best Here. I Have Used My Time Solely For The Contents. I Have Neglected The Wrapper On Purpose.

“I’ve never been more absorbed in anyone.” By Sasha on her couch

Monday December 25, 2017
3:15pm
5 minutes
Elliot, Adam, Elly and Me
Charlotte Joyce Kidd

Heloise listens through the wall. Dan caught her twice last week so now she has to be much more stealthy.

“I’m going to the gym!” Dan calls, already half out the door, scarf pulled up over his nose.

“Bye, hon!” Heloise shouts back. She runs to the kitchen for a glass. She runs back upstairs and almost wipes out. Must get socks with grips on the bottom, she thinks. It’s not like she runs any other time.

She puts the glass to the wall. She can hear Liam typing. He must be writing again. Good for you, she smiles. Footsteps. He gets up. Maybe watering a plant? Maybe stretching? Writer’s block?

“I’ve never been more absorbed in anyone.” By Julia at her parents’ house

Monday December 25, 2017

2:54pm

5 minutes

Elliot, Adam, Elly and Me

Charlotte Joyce Kidd

When I see you differently and you see me the room is shaded pretty like a lilac or a leaf of sage. I haven’t asked for this the way I have been so bold to ask for other things. I have asked for so many now that I’ve lost count. My bones have always wept for this. My dreams have always known. You are crying at the dinner table and I have never felt your pulse as thick. I am crying at the dinner table and you do not turn away. In kiss we are rooted deeply like a fire place, locked. Nothing gets in. Nothing gets out. There is no wondering anymore. About the silence or the motivation. There is no hungry imagination turning dust into villains, holding sweet hostages for ransom. We are a seeing and a knowing now. We rest firmly in this house.

“winter solstice ritual at a hippy retreat center” by Julia on Amanda’s couch

Sunday December 24, 2017

1:16pm

5 minutes

Dear Sugar on therumpus.net

In the upstairs room we open the skylight to let in the crisp air. We cover up the light with a dark pillow and a rainbow one that fits better on top. We sit on the floor next to the strawberry creams in a plastic bag. We light the candles of each chakra and place them around us. We light the incense and the joint and we take off our socks. The tears are there before the answers. We always knew we were witches. She reads the booklet and I hold the cards near my heart. She tells me where to lay them and I open my skin to the room. After everything is illuminated we sit inside our sanctuary and let our esses turn to mud.

“winter solstice ritual at a hippy retreat center” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Sunday December 24, 2017
9:09am
5 minutes
Dear Sugar on therumpus.net

Come on Thelma! It’s the solstice! The darkest day of the year, Thelma!
We gotta go down to the ritual at Morningstar. It only happens once a year! You loved it last time you went, I don’t know why you keep acting like you didn’t… You said you loved those drums! If you don’t want to go, then unfortunately I’m going to have to go without you. I need this, I really do. It’s been a hell of a year, Thelma. I know I put on a brave face, but truth be told – I’m struggling. I need to jump over that fire! I need to drink apple cider vinegar cocktails! I need to hug Bear Claw MacDougall!

“continues scheming to win” by Julia on Amanda’s toilet

Saturday December 23, 2017

11:50pm

5 minutes

a Bard on the Beach program

Stomach empty, churning

butter into bitter

bitter into bit

Hungry belly begs

Hungry heart quakes

More or something like it

good or something close

Full feels faraway and fleeing

Catch me if you pay attention

Stomach empty, churning

Wanting wishing waiting

asking for a morsel

eating itself quiet

sucking the bones dry

“continues scheming to win” by Sasha at Elysian

Saturday December 23, 2017
3:36pm at Elysian 5th and Burrard
5 minutes
From a Bard on the Beach program

It’s all about winning for you
Being the best of the best of the best
It’s all about competition to you
Whose got the highest score
The best lines
The searing jokes
The this the the this that that

It’s all about rising to you
And that’s easy to glorify
I did I do I did did do
But when I look closer
I see the oozing self consciousness
The fear
The smallness small small tiny smallness

It’s all about anger to you
Not even sure what the difference is anymore
Being or being angry
You dump all over all all over over over
Until it’s all red all best all small all fear

Only in distance can I see it
Up close it’s ha-ha yes yes okay um maybe sure
Up close it’s feel good
Far away it’s oh oh tastes metal tastes burned tastes cheap

It’s always been about winning for you
So hard to give a compliment
So hard to give a something something real something good

“when my father went crazy” by Julia at her parents’ house

Friday December 22, 2017

11:43pm

5 minutes

The Monsters Inside

By Eric Sherman

There wasn’t enough breadcrumbs to coat the chicken the way he would have liked. Mom suggested cornflakes instead but he didn’t want to hear about it. The roads were too wild to go into town. Marge begged him not to leave but dad wasn’t one for heeding warnings. He went outside to dust the snow off his Corolla, something he’d done a million times in his life. Mom watched from the kitchen window as she always did, sending him warmth or hope or speed. Then he looked up at her and started taking off all his clothes. First went the winter hat, spiking his thinning hair into a little tuft pointing upward. Then he removed his winter coat, and threw it over the windshield of the car. Mom started laughing. Dad’s face didn’t move.

“when my father went crazy” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Friday December 22, 2017
7:12pm
5 minutes
The Monsters Inside
Eric Sherman

We didn’t see it coming. The tantrums. The scabs. The howling. The hiding in closets, under the bed, in the subway station. He was always the breadwinner, the Dad with a capital “D”. He was quiet and stern and warm only on birthdays or Christmas or graduation. My Mum says that when they first started dating, when he was twenty-six and she was twenty-nine, that he said something about struggling with depression, but when she asked more he didn’t want to talk about it. “Let sleeping dogs, lie, hey?” That’s what he said. Mum is in Nurse Mode, meaning, she is calm and smiley on the outside. On the inside? Who knows.

“turns up the heat” by Julia in Nicole’s bed

Thursday December 21, 2017
12:09am
5 minutes
a flyer from The Cultch

Her room, she says, is too cold to sleep in. Except when he’s here and he’s furnace and he’s dripping sweat in her sheets. I ask if I can turn the oven on tomorrow. She says it might blow up the whole place and better to put on a better sweater. I have a better sweater now. It was the only thing I told myself I’d bring and then I packed too many what ifs and accidentally forgot to leave some things behind. I forgot that I told myself I wouldn’t smoke so much.
She says we’ll have to make sure to look out the window. When I ask if there’s a meteor shower she doesn’t laugh. She says 10 somethings of snow will be falling tonight. I don’t remember the measure of snow she used. It wasn’t what you would have expected. He’s not coming by to warm the bed. She says I won’t be meeting him until tomorrow.

“turns up the heat” by Sasha at her desk

Thursday December 21, 2017
3:24pm
5 minutes
A flyer from The Cultch

My daughter
I just want to take her for

My mother
She just wants to take me for

STEAK

A good steak

The best steak

Rare

The best steak is in

The best steak

The best steak is in

SPAIN

I have been saving for months
Air miles every time I buy gas
Air miles every time I buy cereal

Air miles

She doesn’t think I’m going to say

YES

Who would refuse a trip to fucking Spain?

Hahaha

We haven’t travelled together since I was a kid

We went to Florida every other winter
It was all I could afford

A single Mom

I’ve never been to Europe
I never thought it would be with my Mom but

It’s good

We’ll have that time together

It’s good

“unconscious anger at my mother” by Julia at LoPan

Wednesday December 20, 2017 at LoPan
12:27am
5 minutes
This wounded healer says warp up the loom
Sharon K. Farber

We didn’t speak much after her mother died. I didn’t ask her how she was each day and maybe that’s good.
I always knew how to keep living.
I remember that she never had as much as I gave before. As little. And I resented for a period that she didn’t beg herself better. That she did not shoot a little higher. I see this woman on the moon, and in the moon, and of the moon and of the moon, and she does not want to admit that.
I don’t know which truth tasted sweeter. I would likely have done the same thing in her position. Even I would hope for love in another way.
I am happy in my life thanks to all the sauces she’s talked me through over the phone.
I sometimes wish it could have been her.
I sometimes wish it wasn’t me, or us,or him,just her.
Just her floating through life unattached to the promise of pleasing

“unconscious anger at my mother” by Sasha in her bed

Wednesday December 20, 2017
2:09pm
5 minutes
This wounded healer says warp up the loom
Sharon K. Farber

Fiona asks me to go to a therapy appointment with her. I read the magazines so I know that therapy isn’t stigmatized like it used to be. I mean, you practically hear people bragging about their therapist-this and their therapist-that. But why on earth my daughter wants me to go with her? I don’t know. I thought it was a personal, private, solitary thing… Unless you’re going as a couple or something.

“Are you sure you don’t want your father to go instead?” I ask. She smiles her little condescending smile and I want to say, “I changed your nappies! I wiped your ass!” But I don’t. I smile back. I say, “Alright. I’ll come. When is it?”

“It made me feel so much better” by Julia on Rebecca’s couch

Tuesday December 19, 2017
11:21pm
5 minutes
From Not That Kind of Girl
Lena Dunham

I clenched my fist so hard it turned to dust.
(The brick that I was busy holding onto crushing.)
When the small bits caught hold of their wind, they flew.
They flew to the moon and back again,
they built their own closet of
hopeless fear-facing dragons.
They learned how to dance with them
and how to lock the door tight.
How to be so tired.
And they learned how to rest and I learned
to let go and it did not kill me.
It did not know where to strike me first.
A month of release, dominoes,
pouring when it rains.
I let it go and it let go and one of us
said goodbye sweetly
and one us said the words.

“It made me feel so much better” by Sasha on her couch

Tuesday December 19, 2017
1:49pm
5 minutes
From Not That Kind of Girl
Lena Dunham

It made me feel so much better to go outside and be in the rain and the peek whisper of sun and to feel the nibble of cold on my cheeks and to be splashed by a car turning and then I was at the water’s edge and that always makes me feel so much better but when I feel good the very very best I cry then too because you know what my heart is the open doorway or frame my heart is the door frame there isn’t even a door there the door was taken a long time ago and sold in an antique store to someone who really needed it who needed that oak protection

“confirm your choice” by Julia at Vancouver International Airport

Monday December 18, 2017
11:04pm
5 minutes
The Essential Enneagram
David Daniels and Virginia Price

Confirm your choice between parsnips and yams. Please confirm.

You don’t know what a parsnip is?

You can say that on the form.

There is a box marked ignorance. You can check that one if it applies to you. It might also fall under indecisive. Might this fall under indecisive for you? Are you asking for help? You can only ask for help once, can you confirm your choice to ask for help? Good or bad? For you? You alone know the answer to that. I am not authorized to offer any responses as examples. Because I am not the one filling out the form. Please confirm your choice to ask a personal question. Confirm. I did not need to fill out a form. I did not need to fill out a form.

“confirm your choice” by Sasha in her bed

Monday December 18, 2017
9:02pm
5 minutes
The Essential Enneagram
David Daniels and Virginia Price

I don’t have anything to say
Everything hurts
Go away

I turn into a needy kid when I’m ill
That’s a fact
You’re name’s not Bill

I’ve gone through three boxes of tissue
And that’s not all
There’s a bigger issue

My brain is mushy slimy mud
I don’t have a nurse
I don’t have a bud

This really is a poem of pity
I hope no one read’s it
It’s a terrible ditty

I don’t have anything to write
My head is throbbing
Turn off the light

“A good traveller has no fixed plans” by Julia in her bed

11:27pm

Sunday December 17, 2017

Tao Te Ching

Translated by Stephen Mitchell

We did it. We’re going. Bought the ticket, told the parents, brought up the suitcases. Shook hands. Went exploring. Went learning. Got lost. Got overwhelmed. Got hungry. Got quiet. We found ourselves in different cabins. Waking up to unbelievable. Got lost. Found each other. Soothed each other’s tired muscles. Laughed out the tension. Decided on some things like desires, geography. Dreamed about not knowing. About figuring it out. How we’ll figure it out. Sharing strengths. Trading off who gets to lead when a trade can be made.

“A good traveller has no fixed plans” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Sunday December 17, 2017
4:59pm
5 minutes
Tao Te Ching
Translated by Stephen Mitchell

I’m going to bring you a jar of soup for every day I’ve left you limping
Sunday will be tortilla with black beans and chipotle
I’ll pick off the coriander leaves and let you dollop the cream
Monday will be red lentil with lemon and rosemary
I’ll give you extra of that one because it’s my favourite
Tuesday’s soup will be white bean and pesto
so aromatic that you’ll smell it from the other side of the world
Wednesday will be roasted butternut squash with cumin and cinnamon
I’ll leave out the chilli pepper because you’re sensitive to spice
Thursday will be chicken and barley
Friday potato leek
Saturday roasted cauliflower with parmesan croutons
made from freshly baked bread
I’ll leave each jar on your doorstep so you won’t have to see me
You’ll taste how much I love you in each bite

“It’s not fair, after all, to lick tigers so small.” By Julia at D and A’s house

Saturday December 16, 2017

9:47pm

5 minutes

I Can Lick 30 Tigers Today!

Dr. Seuss

When I’m lucky enough

to feel lucky about my tongue

I think of her.

I think of how

all gums no teeth

she could hurl a yell

at any one of us;

have us quaking

in our boots.

Her tongue was a whip.

A weapon.

She used it and the

chorus did sing.

I got mine from her.

I borrowed it once

tried it on

liked it a hell of a lot

and then kept it

in my mouth

like a hard candy

turning it over

against my cheeks.

She could lick a tiger quiet.

She could hum a baby

back into the belly

of her mother.

She could break my

heart and crack it open

in the same breath.

When I’m lucky enough

to think about the origins

of my loud,

when I’m lucky enough

to think about my tongue,

the light in the room lifts.

I am soothed, tender lion cat

nuzzling in the neck

of her sister.

Calmed, the way

an anchovy might.

“It’s not fair, after all, to lick tigers so small.” By Sasha on her couch

Saturday December 16, 2017
4:24pm
5 minutes
I Can Lick 30 Tigers Today!
By Dr. Seuss

it’s not fair it’s not fair it’s not fair or claire or bear
it’s not nothing it’s not something it’s not deer it’s not mare
it’s not orange it’s not blue it’s not green it’s not pink
it’s a bit red it’s a bit bright it’s a bit right it’s a bit blink
tigers laughing and lions crashing and oh my oh my oh my
look at the clouds and look at the moon and look at the blue blue sky

it’s not fair it’s not fair it’s not fair or claire or bear
it’s a sewer rat in the desert who simply won’t share

“Can’t tell if that’s funny or really scary.” By Julia on her couch

Friday December 15, 2017
11:39pm
5 minutes
Calvin and Hobbes
Bill Watterson

In the night when I’m dreaming of saving you or someone else I love

I can see all the feelings I’m experiencing. I can hold them. Touch them. I can’t tell if some things are very funny or very scary. There are images in dreams and I can see both versions clearly, as if they’re showing off. Screaming, laughing, tell your neighbour how much more unstable she is than you. I am busy holding my feelings in my elbow crease. Deep down In the cuticles creeping up onto my toenails.

“Can’t tell if that’s funny or really scary.” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Friday December 15, 2017
7:46pm
5 minutes
Calvin and Hobbes
Bill Watterson

I must’ve done something right when I was a blue whale
I must’ve shared my fish and breastfed other whale’s babies
(I don’t know very much about whales so am not sure if that is a thing
they do but)

When I was a blue whale I wrote a column in the seaweed newspaper
about love and injustice and gave away the secret chords to songs
no one could ever find

I cleaned the seafloor with my tail
and not for the glory or the high fives
but because it was crowded and messy

I comforted strangers when they were sad
sleeping into the day
crusty-eyed and moaning
a cousin caught in a fishing net
oh sweet Cecilia
day by day by day

“And we’re looking for a few more faces” by Julia on her couch

Thursday December 14, 2017
7:23pm
5 minutes
from an e-mail

Be a seagull swimming with the ducks.

Watch as Little Buddy does not let not being a duck deter her from being with the ducks. Watch as she casually lands amidst the them, plunging, gliding, squeaking. She looks around, not hurting anyone. Not asking for anything. Then slowly she swims closer to them. She joins in, hello, hi, how are you, just another sweet duck here, hello just another regular duck like you, swimming in the pond.

Be a seagull swimming with the ducks. All out of what ifs and better nots.

Maybe we’re waiting for an unlikely friend to be made. A new way of searching for tiny fish to catch.

We’re looking for a few more faces like that. Like the ones who don’t hide theirs to fit in with the others. The ones who risk difference in a pond of same.

“And we’re looking for a few more faces” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Thursday December 14, 2017
7:12am
5 minutes
From an e-mail

She knows that he thinks he’s better than her.
But that’s only now. Three years, seven months, and two weeks later.
When he invited her to collaborate, she thought that it was because he respected her work. She thought that perhaps he even thought that she had things to teach him.
But now she knows the truth.
Ego is a word that’s haunted her since middle school.
“You’ve sure got a big ego,” Mr. Spence said when she shared with the class that she had been cast as Young Jane in Jane Eyre at the Rep, the biggest theatre in town.
She’d blushed and made sure never to speak with such exuberance in front of peers again. (Also, fuck you, Mr. Spence.)
“You need more of an ego,” Brenda, her painting instructor had said in her second year of college. “Defend your work! Defend your life!”
(Shit.)
And now, Julian.
“People keep saying that our styles aren’t compatible anymore… I’ve surpassed you in some regards, I guess.”
Who are these people?
Your fuck-buddy Lena?
Your mother?
Your best friend from childhood who wishes that he could be you?
“Sure, okay, sure.” She says.

If you believe it has been lost, stolen or compromised.” By Sasha at her desk

Wednesday December 13, 2017
10:14pm
5 minutes
BC Revenue Services

Bernie isn’t sure which way is up and what, “everything happens for a reason” even means. Kim keeps saying that to him and at first he really tried to understand what it might mean, and how it might help him, but now he just thinks it’s a crock.

It’s been a bad month.

Bernie got fired at the end of November. He’d worked at the same paper mill for twenty three years. It’s closing. It isn’t personal. “Everything happens for a reason”. Kim says that “when one door closes another one opens,” and Bernie agrees but what he thinks should be an immediate follow-up is that who knows where that door is going to lead. It could be a basement with rats and mould.

If you believe it has been lost, stolen or compromised.” By Julia on her couch

Wednesday December 13, 2017
6:11pm
5 minutes
BC Revenue Services

There’s that ring in the ears…

When a thief fears being stolen from, or a liar paranoid of being lied to.

We all find our cells interlocked with the cells of the mirror. The truth scares us because we have not told it. The worry of someone who is capable of taking something that doesn’t belong to them is because we know we have already waited for the perfect umbrella to be left behind. The perfect chance to live, risk, live.

There is no scolding.

No judgement.

No scorn.

No blame.

“The Best And Worst Of” by Julia in her bed

Tuesday December 12

12:16am

5 minutes

from uproxx.com

And now since you asked I don’t know what to say. Do I love you, yes, do I want you, yes.

Do you see me.

The best part of me was I could write circles around you. The worst part of you was that you could pretend that wasn’t happening. We didn’t feed each other proper toast. We didn’t call down the chimney in a rotting feast of anger. I can’t answer you safely. I don’t trust my own tongue in a game of truth of dare. I don’t let her speak if she’s quivering.

I once thought you were minnow, me a whale, and I’d swallow you whole. I’d take every skin on your knees and hold them.

“The Best And Worst Of” by Sasha at her desk

Tuesday December 12, 2017
11:13pm
5 minutes
from uproxx.com

It was the best of times and the worst of times. That’s always how it goes. When it’s good, it’s so good and the taps are open and beauty is everywhere and the buildings are trees and the parties are groundbreaking. When it’s bad, it’s the darkest, dirtiest, nastiest, most broken-down, ramshackle bad. There’s no moon or sun. One needs the other, right? That’s what you’re learning? When you don’t have one, you can’t have the… The worst needs the best. Conjoined twins, or twisting carrots, or…

“One day you finally knew what you had to do,” by Julia on the 99

Monday December 11

6:54pm

5 minutes

The Journey

Mary Oliver

You decided to wear those jeans. Those light washed jeans with the holes in the knees and the music note above the left pocket. You knew what you needed to do. You always knew. I realized you were serious when you wore those jeans. And I don’t know if I would have been supportive if you had asked me first. I might have told you it was a bit too on the nose. Or maybe infantilizing. Admittedly I’m not the best one to ask for my opinion about jeans. I have been told that my cynicism gets in the way of true happiness. But you didn’t need me to tell you what I thought. You already knew. You were waiting for your insides to know; to match the outside. And when we went into that funeral home and sat down a few rows from the casket, it all added it up anyway.

“One day you finally knew what you had to do,” by Sasha at her desk

Monday December 11, 2017
7:09am
5 minutes
The Journey
Mary Oliver

One day you finally knew what you had to do. That’s not quite how it happened, but you’ll tell yourself it is. Honey goes down easier than vinegar. You’ve been writing things on your hands this week, God in black ink, spiraling into the drain in the sink at work. Shit, you needed it to last, just this once.

The only way out is through.

One day you did the thing that took more bravery than you knew you had. How do people cross deserts with children on their backs and their belongings tied to the back of donkeys? How do people survive losing children, losing mothers, losing lost loves? You dug deep and you told the truth and everything broke but no one died.

The truth will set you free.

“The randomness comes from atmospheric noise” by Julia on the 2 bus

Sunday December 10, 2017

6:46pm

5 minutes

random.org

Yesterday I came home and I heard a buzzing. I stopped. I looked around. You had eyes on me like you were worried. Like I was smelling burnt toast. Or listening to satan sing. I swear I heard it. You said you didn’t and that messed me up. You tried to get me to come to the couch and sit near you but I was rhythmically attached elsewhere. When you tried to tell me about your day I didn’t respond. I heard the buzzing and the room shifting on its axis. I was listening the where it was originating from. The television had never buzzed like this before. The floorboards made me suspicious. We’ve been finding a lot of dead spots lately and for a minute it made sense. But in between tuning in and trying not to make you think I had lost my mind, it lost a little bit of strength. I felt sad then. As if I had lost my chance. Or my baby.

“The randomness comes from atmospheric noise” by Sasha at Matchstick Riley Park

Sunday December 10, 2017
6:07pm at Matchstick Coffee Roasters
5 minutes
From random.org

Big wide open sky is what she needs
Bird song and gopher’s popping up like an inside joke
She contemplates running away
Going to Alberta
Big wide open sky is in her blood

She used to joke about things that aren’t funny

She’ll pack only one sweater
One pair of wool socks
Brown boots
A pair of jeans
A black tank top
She’s never travelled so light

If it wasn’t 2017
If it wasn’t winter
If she wasn’t a woman
She’d hitchhike

She’ll take the train
Counting cornfields
Counting blessings
Counting failures
Which one will come out on top?

She’ll make a friend in a seatmate
An old woman going to meet her grandchild
For the first time
The old woman will have beautiful wrinkles
And will say all the right things
Which means something wrong occasionally slips out
She likes that

“Got a call from a flower shop.” By Julia on her couch

Saturday December 9, 2017
9:01pm
5 minutes
From a text

It was late August.

I’ve never liked August.

Too many endings

Or shadows

The nights feel like ticking time bombs

I never considered that until now

You were having neck pain

You literally could not watch me go

At the airport the day we had to

close the gate on most things

It was the hardest wishing you could

have been graceful about it

It was late in the last days

I’ve never like August.

Got a call from a flower shop

All the scraps and thorny sides mine

“Got a call from a flower shop.” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Saturday December 9, 2017
8:16am
5 minutes
From a text

“Had the weirdest dream last night…”

“Oh yeah?”

“Mhmm. I was riding this snake, like it was pretty much a crocodile but it looked like a snake? And I was riding it, totally naked, riding it into this forest, but the trees were all silver, like the leaves were silver and so was the bark – “

“Please stop.”

“What?”

“I will actually die if I hear one more of your dreams. I will die.”

“What are you talking about?”

“WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?!”

“I always tell you my dreams…”

“Yeah, you do! And I fucking hate it! The only person who is interested in your dreams is YOU! You’re such a fucking narcissist that you just assume that other people are going to care what your mind involuntarily comes up with?! You know that dreams mean nothing, right? Freud was an idiot!”

“What’s your problem?”

“YOU AND YOUR DREAMS! You and your need to talking non-stop about your dreams! Weird shit happens in my dreams, too, but I write it down in my fucking private journal if I really have to get it out, I don’t bore someone who I supposedly care about with every agonizing detail!”

“We create all this poison and spread it to others” by Julia on Q’s couch

Friday December 8, 2017
12:50am
5 minutes
The Four Agreements
Don Miguel Ruiz

Here’s a little feather caught tight in the zipper of your backpack. Feel it rip and tear when you try to pull it out. Lose a part of yourself. Lose a part of what you need.

It’s a purple little feather.

It’s soft and light. It wants to be

given to a three year old to put on

a Christmas card for his mom. Let him tell you that he wants to use it

because it would make his mother happy. Let him feel like you weren’t

trying to hoard it for yourself or for

a different kid.

Here’s a ruined purple feather sitting

lifeless at the heel of your boot.

Tell it you’re sorry.

Tell it you weren’t thinking.

“We create all this poison and spread it to others” by Sasha on her couch

Friday December 8, 2017
10:53pm
5 minutes
The Four Agreements
Don Miguel Ruiz

I thought I was doing the right thing
After the wrong thing stuck it’s hands
on the small of my back
I thought I was doing the right thing
The space of years
of silence
Gaping wide and scabbed over

Empaths are sensitive to crowds
Light
Sound
We don’t like malls
We like driving our own cars to parties
Or knowing the bus route
So that we can leave whenever we want

I roast a chicken
Stuffing my hand up it’s emptiness
I’m always scared about what I’ll find
Heart?
Neck?

I cut my index finger
chopping carrots
Shit
Blood’s everywhere
And it feels good

“The children are the adventure now.” By Sasha at her desk

Thursday December 7, 2017
11:17pm
5 minutes
Mating in Captivity
Esther Perel

I want to take Shayla to the Swiss Alps. I want to hike in the mountains with her and take photographs. I want us to sleep in side-by-side twin beds and talk until one of us falls asleep. When she was little, three to six, I had to stay with her until she fell asleep and she’d want me to talk the whole time. I would start by telling her a story, and then I would tell her things about my day – cucumbers on sale for a dollar each, Charlie’s bad breath, the stress of trying to keep up when everyone seems to be getting younger while I’m just getting greyer. If I stopped, even for a moment to think of what to say next, her blue eyes would pop open and she’d cock her head a little, like, “What are you trying to pull here, Mom?” I’ve been saving. Tickets to Switzerland are expensive, and it’s not like I have a lot of extra cash just sitting around.

“The children are the adventure now.” By Julia on her couch

Thursday December 7, 2017
10:28pm
5 minutes
Mating in Captivity
Esther Perel

She was cute, wasn’t she?

Yeah I guess. I was kind of grossed out though.

By her tongue?

Yes by her tongue. I didn’t like how she was folding it all around and stuff like, all that drool all over her hands.

It’s true, that tongue thing was like, right, this is next level, kids will lick anything.

Yeah it made me wish I could just keep talking to you, you know keep the adult conversation going.

But you were so good with her.

I mean, I stuck my tongue out at a little pudding cup standing in line at the post office. I was barely good with her.

But she was all eyes on you.

Because I’m at her eye level.

No because you were real with her.