“everyone can help themselves” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Monday, January 11, 2016
10:41pm
5 minutes
thestonesoup.com

There was something in the air that made Amanda shiver, and it wasn’t cold. She got this feeling every so often. It was not linked to ovulation or the weather. She shivered and Jamie asked if something was wrong and she said, “No,” but Jamie knew her better than that. They were sat at the shared workspace table in the main room of the office. They had started at the firm at the same time and had a similar weariness to their foreheads. Jamie’s short blonde hair made her look younger than she was. Amanda always wondered if she had long hair, how things might be different for her. Amanda played with a swatch of fabric on the table in front of her. “I’m just having that feeling again.”

“211 Bannatyne Ave.” By Sasha at Pascoe Rd.


Friday November 13, 2015
11:52pm
5 minutes
from a business card

When we buy the house, we know what we’re getting ourselves into. Or, we fool ourselves into thinking we do. “We want to pour love into our home!” We say. “It’s a fixer upper!” We say.

Seven months into renovations, Kelly is three weeks away from giving birth and she’s ready to kill. If you’ve never been around a pregnant woman who wants to brood but can’t, you really haven’t ever seen rage. She’s normally such a level headed woman, I mean that’s why I married her. Also for her incredible intelligence and wicked banana pancakes. That and her ass. She’s got a great ass.

“Canada’s Indigenous communities” by Sasha at Benny’s


Tuesday, October 20, 2015 at Benny’s
2:21pm
5 minutes
An email from The David Suzuki Foundation

I watch as they search and I’m full and empty and nothing and everything
I help them I try to help them
Feeble attempt at solidarity
Until the sun sets and breath is visible
Until icicles form inside my ears
“Let’s call it a day,” Bruce says
and I’m grateful
“No.”
Jenny glares at me
at her father
“We have flashlights, we have tea…
What if she’s out here, freezing to death?”
Bruce goes home and I stay
Jenny and me
I’m half her size and my heart beats in my ears
the whole time
“She’s not dead,” Jenny says
offering me the thermos
“I know it.”
I nod
I drink deep
Cedar and something I’ve never smelt or tasted
“She’s somewhere.”
My sister
At home in Edmonton
Putting her daughter to sleep
Saying prayers about monsters
Kissing her nose

“the height of professionalism” by Sasha on her couch


Tuesday, October 13, 2015
6:12pm
5 minutes
howlround.com

Every time Jada puts a stamp on an envelope she says, “and may you arrive with swift inspiration.” She squares the corners and adds it to the pile. On Wednesdays she goes to the Post Office. She uses her trundle-buggy. She gave up her car Winter of last year when she realized that if she walked or took the bus, at least that meant she’d see people. Jada runs “Cards of Love”, an Etsy store. She hand letters invitations and birth announcements. She has mastered the art of the dove, the mistletoe and the bells. She lives alone, in the first floor apartment of an old brick house with a black shingled roof. On Wednesdays she goes to the Post Office.

“His name is Luke.” by Julia on her couch


Saturday July 11, 2015
10:59pm
5 minutes
Overheard at Higher Grounds

After she named her first two boys Matthew and Mark, everyone thought she’d name her third one Luke. She didn’t name the first two with any religious references in mind, she simply wanted the names and that was that. She might have named the third one Luke but she never liked the name. It felt too small for a man once he grew up. That and it reminded her of the first boy she ever agreed to marry. Luke Walker had asked her to marry him in the first grade and she said yes because that’s what six year olds do. He was small and feminine and had a horrendously small nose. She only said yes because she thought Andrew Griffith was going to ask Sylvia Van Kasterin to marry him. Turns out Andrew liked her all along. She found out when he left school to join the army.

“within 15 days” by Julia on her bed


Thursday, July 9, 2015
11:42pm
5 minutes
A letter from Health Insurance BC

“Or maybe we could rent a van and pack it up tight with all our stupid stuff that we don’t care about and just drive it across the country like we did last time?” She says this, rubbing an ice cube side to side across her collar bone, making him sweat, making him want her even more.
“Yeah, we could, or we could purge all our stupid stuff that we don’t need and just be free and minimal.” He says this with a knowing smirk that she’d never go for something like that.
“You mean minimalistic?” She pops the ice cube into her mouth and lets it melt there for a second.
“I don’t think we need to purge. Maybe get rid of a few things. The waffle iron. We could get rid of the waffle iron, and maybe the second set of measuring cups.”

“from bridges to clouds” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Monday, June 22, 2015
6:11pm
5 minutes
theawesomedaily.com

Mitch drove a green Ford pick-up that summer and he felt proud to be so high off the ground. When he filled up the tank he wondered about how manly he looked and whether or not his shoulders were filling out his T-shirt well. He made a left onto Lexington and saw Jennie and Angel on her front porch. He slowed down. They were passing a litre bottle of Ginger ale back and forth. Jennie clocked him and his whole body reacted – a ripple of want and lust and longing. “HEY!” Called Angel, “Mitch Porter!” He pulled over and took a deep breath before hopping out of the truck. He slowly walked up to the house, not waiting to come across as too eager. The girls watched him. “Haven’t seen you since school got out, hey?” Jennie drank. He sat on the third step. “What’re you up to this summer?” Angel lit a cigarette. “Can I bum one off you?” Mitch asked. She extended the pack. He took one and lit it, hoping neither of them would be able to tell it was his first.

“if you gave me a chance I would take it” by Sasha on her porch


Saturday, June 13, 2015
9:12pm
5 minutes
Rather Be
Clean Bandit


My Mom and the only other Jewish mother came in to my Grade Two class on the first day of Chanukah and made latkes. I wonder what the other mother’s thought when they smelled the indescribable smell of oily potatoes in their children’s hair and on their wooly sweaters, a bit threadbare at the elbows and stained with paint and almond butter? “What did you do at school today?” They might’ve asked, pulling an undershirt over their child’s ringleted head, the music of the running bath in the background. We spun dreidels until we were dizzy with sore tummy’s from laughing, and sang “Baruch Ata Adonai” before decorating our latkes with applesauce and goat yogurt. I was proud of my mother’s heritage – Katie and I were special, the only Jews in the class! There was nothing complicated about it. The complications would sneak in like Winter, grabbing Autumn’s hand one night and refusing to let go.

“Northern Adventures” by Julia at her desk


Wednesday, June 10, 2015
11:03am
5 minutes
from a pamphlet

Taking a road trip in September to a new place a new hideaway a new home and you’re gonna drive and I’m gonna pick the mixed CD and you’re gonna say “look at that view” and I’m gonna take a photo of it in September when the air is still warm and the trees still green that’s when you promised me first and that’s when I said yes I’ll do it I’ll follow you if you lead me to the best parts of me if you show me I won’t be missing anything here or if you just keep loving me the way you do I’ll go with you anywhere and then one day when we’ve seen the world we will curl up in front of the slideshow of our lives and be perfectly content we only have to wait until September that’s when everything good can begin to be born and develop and flourish and nourish and save us

“He always was kinda young looking” by Julia at Valens restaurant


Tuesday, June 9, 2015 at Valens
5:31pm
5 minutes
overheard at the ferry terminal

My brother Reid’s eyelashes were so long they used to get caught in his eyes, like a little cow. He hated how they tangled into each other and refused to grow outward. Because of them he always had red eyes as if they had just been rubbed or showing the effects of recreational substance use. Once this got him in trouble with a police officer who believed his red eyes to be a sign of impaired driving. Reid was embarrassed to admit it was because his eyelashes were so long. That answer doesn’t sound real but I swear to you it is.

“cake and frozen yogurt” by Julia on the Greyhound


Sunday, June 7, 2015
9:01pm
5 minutes
From a sign on Queen’s Quay

He worked in one of those giant lobbies, his shiny desk the only fixture in the entire space. From the outside his place of employment was like a fish bowl: glass windows all around, anyone looking in whenever they wanted to, the room itself encasing a slab of marble and a couple sparse plants. He had been trying to figure out just what exactly made him so damn anxious everyday about going to work; about sitting in his fish bowl. It wasn’t the fact that he was completely visible and couldn’t risk doing his alone behaviour. He did whatever he wanted without hesitation. It was something else. Perhaps the feeling of intense loneliness mixed with the artificial comfort of being the most important thing in a room.

“Northern Adventures” by Sasha at the Angel’s Nest


Wednesday, June 10, 2015
10:42pm
5 minutes
from a pamphlet

Last night I fried zucchini with garlic and I fed it to you with my fingers. You leaned in and bit my lip and my eyes filled with tears. “Oh no!” You said, “oh no!” You didn’t draw blood. I fed you more zucchini and you put a tiny piece of garlic in my mouth, too.

The night before you’d shaved off your beard and I was so sad but I smiled because I didn’t want you to feel bad. You touched your face like it didn’t belong to you. “Look at my chin,” you said, jutting it out.

“cake and frozen yogurt” by Sasha on her porch


Sunday, June 7, 2015
7:32pm
5 minutes
From a sign on Queen’s Quay

“I’m glad you’re here,” you said.
“I’m sorry for grabbing your arm that hard,” you said.
“Let’s go to the airport and buy tickets to wherever the next flight’s going,” you said.

Me, in my mother’s old lavender sundress, braless, six days of stubble laughing in my armpits. You, a denim shirt and black cut-offs, On The Road in your back pocket, the pages a promise of your wanderlust.

“Let’s have cake for dinner,” you said.
“Can you make me salad with exactly 15 green peas in it?” you said.
“I would impregnate you right now if we had the money and the bananas in the fruit basket,” you said.

“Last night I was like fuck it” by Julia at Bicerin Espresso Bar


Friday, June 5, 2015 at Bicerin
3:26pm
5 minutes
from a text

Oh you want me to start with you? Tell you all the things you could be “working on?” How bout you just fucking man up and look around you for once in your life. Maybe just take two seconds to acknowledge that there are other people in the room, that I’m in the room. did you think to ask how I was doing? Did you think to maybe put aside your own needs for somebody else? Don’t answer those…They’re what we call “rhetorical questions”. They don’t need answers because I KNOW THE ANSWERS. You keep disappointing me. Do you know that that’s what you’re doing? Don’t answer that either.
I told you I didn’t want to start because I knew I would get petty and start naming off all the shit I think you’ve fucked up. I don’t think I’ve even asked you for that much and you still make it feel like I’m begging for the moon. I don’t want the fucking moon, okay, all I want is a little common courtesy. Or..I don’t know, not common. Special courtesy for once would actually be very nice, seeing as though you subscribe to the notion that the other kind is too common to even give to me.

“take her children to church” by Julia at her desk


Thursday June 4, 2015
1:01am
5 minutes
Vogue
October 2014


She wakes up early in the morning, before the sun does, before the man does. He sleeps like a bear anyway. He wouldn’t notice if the house was on fire. He wouldn’t notice if his testicles were dipped in hydrochloric acid. For the record she has considered both options. She decides on sneaking her babies out without causing any physical pain. She doesn’t want to add to her little ones’ suffering. God knows they’be been through enough. She dresses her sleeping children as best she can. Georgia’s eyes flap open and she knows if she’s to wake anyone, Georgia’s the best one. She loves secrets. She’ll be good at helping her get the other two ready. She doesn’t even worry about the snoring bear. Georgia is quiet but she is curious. She puts her fingers to her lips and smiles with her eyes.

”you push into a new space.” By Julia at R&D Spadina


Wednesday June 3, 2015 at R&D
3:55pm
5 minutes
http://www.mysticmamma.com/the-theme-for-june-2015-is-creative-action/

Birthing the new you out from the old you is the hard part. Woman on the floor Legs spread breathing breathing life into this place. And you, the new you, a bundle of joy wrapped up in perfect pain masked as a blanket has suffered the trauma just as any new born has. And just like the old you with your primal scream caught deep in your throat, your nightmares of the fight you put up just to be here, just to enter this new world from your old one are playing over and over again. You have a hope, you have a dream but you don’t know it yet–cause you’re so new. But you look at this new place with wonder and awe and excitement for all the magic it holds. You don’t leave all the things you wish you weren’t behind, but you don’t know how to access them in this place yet—Which is a good thing—because the hard part—the hard part before birthing your new self—is the discipline of leaving the you that doesn’t belong here on the shelf.

”you push into a new space.” By Sasha at Kafka’s


Wednesday June 3, 2015 at Kafka’s
11:01am
5 minutes
http://www.mysticmamma.com/the-theme-for-june-2015-is-creative-action/

You
in your oldest jeans and a threadbare flannel shirt
green and blue plaid
You
hands in your pockets
quietly jingling your nickels and dimes
You
all cedar wisdom and morning sweetness
a musky leader never leaving the ring
You
scribbling prophecies in your notebook
collaging dreams with photographs from albums filled with unknown faces
You
push into a new space
lift up to be bigger and deeper and more fluid
You
jump but in stillness
dive but in

“I got you I won’t let go” by Julia at Bicerin Espresso Bar


Monday, June 1, 2015
3:13pm
5 minutes
I got You Babe
Sonny and Cher


I held my hand out for you to hold
You said you’d Get Back To Me
That was not the answer I wanted
That was not the thing I expected

I held out my hand for you to grab
You said No Thanks, Baby, I’m Good Right Now
That was not the response I should have gotten
That was not the moment I wanted

But maybe your hand is not ready
And maybe you need to be alone
And maybe you’re lying to me
And maybe you’re lying to yourself

I dreamed up the perfect day
You said Honey I Don’t Have Time
That was not my ideal holiday
That was not the gentlest way

I dreamed up the best idea
You said Don’t Wait Up For Me
That made me feel insecure
That made me feel unsure

But maybe it wasn’t personal
And maybe you were just being blunt
And maybe your heart is still healing
And maybe you don’t know what you want

“coconut oil and coconut sugar” by Julia on the 505 going west


Sunday May 31, 2015
10:47pm
5 minutes
from http://www.simplyquinoa.com/vegan-coconut-oil-chocolate-chip-cookies/

You can’t make fire with rain
(her)
STOP with the analogies
(him)
Just let me LIVE
(her)
I am trying so hard, believe me
(him)
Yeah, you’re not a martyr at all
(her)
You make me seem so horrible
So fucking horrible
(him)
I don’t know who this person you see is, but I swear it’s not me
(him again)
It takes horrible to know horrible
(her)
What?
Why would you say that?
(him)
I don’t know
Maybe you resist being horrible
because you are horrible
(her)
I didn’t mean that
Please don’t leave
(her again)
PLEASE
(her)

“I am a taffy snob” by Julia in the stairwell of the Artscape Youngplace building


Saturday May 30, 2015 at the Artscape Youngplace Building
4:01pm
5 minutes
From a text to Julia

I was in Halifax when I tried my first piece. Salt water. Perfect Melting New Religion. I bought 6 lbs of the stuff and threw out a pair of running shoes and a flask so I could fit it into my suitcase.
Emmy said, “I would have taken those shoes!”
Taryn said, “you know you can buy that stuff in Ontario too, right?”
But I knew it wouldn’t have been the same. It was like entering a childhood backwards, and experiencing something that was never mine but felt like it was meant to be. Now I don’t go for any old taffy. And why would I? I don’t hate myself for Christ’s sake! Why would I walk if I could run? No scratch that–FLY.

“legs crossed and notebooks open.” by Julia on her patio


Fridayy May 29, 2015
9:43m
5 minutes
Intro to Happiness
J. Allyn Rosser


Brooke had that lisp she was self conscious about so she was avoiding esses this week. Her best friend Phoebe told Brooke that she would say all the hard ess words for her until she was comfortable doing them on her own. Brooke wanted to trade with Phoebes, make it nice and equal, so she offered her the small Doritos snack that her dad had snuck into her lunch that morning when Brooke’s mom was putting Leon into his new leg braces. She knew Phoebe didn’t get Doritos snacks in her lunches, just sandwiches that smelled of bananas. Phoebe liked to swing her lunch bag around and she was always bruising the nice yellow bananas her mom packed for her.

“We say our work” by Julia at her desk


Thursday May 28, 2015
12:18am
5 minutes
Overheard at Lansdowne Station

Our work is good when it’s good
And when it’s not
Because our work
is whatever we need to keep going
even when it feels pained and full of punishment
It’s still ours
It’s still ours
Out hands and our hearts
Our hands and our burning bleeding hearts
When we wake from a bad dream
We shake imagination from our backs
Do we listen to what the muse is telling us?
Or do we toss her recklessly to the floor
Where she can’t bother us anymore?
It’s there
Our work
even though it feels secondary
It’s still ours
It’s still ours
Our hands and our hearts
Our hands and our thumping drumming hearts
Say hello to her
pick her off the earth
And tell her that she’s welcome here
Tell her that she’s beautiful

“Just go in the direction where there is no direction” by Sasha at Culprit Coffee


Tuesday May 26, 2015 at Culprit Coffee
3:37pm
5 minutes
Forbidden Rumi
Tr. By Nevit O. Ergin and Will Johnson


blurring past a cityscape
hoping for a swift mistake
making friends with the unknown
just go
in that direction
forward
or really
now
now is that direction
not a direction but
oh well
fishing in the ocean deep
make a promise you can keep
evening primrose kisses
blood’s all washed off
the greyhound lurches and you spurt a prophecy
i love you most in the rain
i love you most when you’re hurtin’
i love you most when i’m
now
let’s take that as our last name

“Just go in the direction where there is no direction” by Julia at her desk


Tuesday May 26, 2015
11:57am
5 minutes
Forbidden Rumi
Tr. By Nevit O. Ergin and Will Johnson


Like the wind, she speaks, she says
Oooh ooh, yes, yes
Calmly without rushing
No goal exists but to breathe in
every single moment
she whispers through my hair
Hums a day song worth remembering
Oooh ooh, yes, yes
And they say go where the wind blows you
And they say if you’re moved travel alongside her
I don’t know where she’s taking me
But I feel cradled in her billowy arms
And I feel welcomed by her carefree smile
Shhh shh, yes, yes
She reminds me to take time
She reminds me to inhale
and stop worrying
and exhale
and stop worrying
Shhh shh, yes, yes
I’m here for you until you get to where you’re going
Don’t run…
Glide
Don’t push…
Float
And the air is changed beneath me
And the air is changed right through me

“new hipster beer” by Julia on her patio


Monday May 25, 2015
4:03pm
5 minutes
from a beer tasting

I didn’t want to go to Portland and see all the hipsters wearing their hipster gear and drinking their new hipster beer. I didn’t have a better answer for wanting to stay at home other than I just didn’t want to go, but Reilly was being such a nag about it, asking me a thousand times a day, “why, Elyse, why don’t you want to go? You hiding something, Elyse? You got better things planned, Elyse?”
My God she was such a rat terrier. I guess when you bail on a plan 2 days before you’re supposed to hit the road, people are bound to get weird about shit. I just never really wanted to go from the beginning but I didn’t admit that part out loud when we were all contributing our halves to the housing and the “unpredictable” fund. It doesn’t feel so good saying it now–Note To Self: Always be up front so that I never have to feel whatever it is I’m feeling now, again.
It just saves everybody a healthy dose of disheartened confusion if we all just say what we need at the very moment that we need it. And guilt too. It saves me guilt.

“new hipster beer” by Sasha at Higher Grounds


Monday May 25, 2015 at Higher Grounds
4:03pm
5 minutes
A beer tasting

L. orders me a drink, a new hipster beer, a tallboy can, and I don’t have the heart to tell him I don’t like beer. I drink it fast, for that reason, to taste it less. “Let’s get nachos,” I say, figuring if I already drank beer, cheese won’t hurt. “Cool…” It’s his favourite word. “Cool.”

I regret sleeping with him the second he’s on top of me. “Uh, I need to go to the bathroom.” He rolls off. “Cool.” I put on a hockey jersey that’s over the back of his desk chair, hoping to endear him. I don’t know why. Why do I want to endear him? I can’t help it.

The tiles are cool under my feet. I look for something to wash myself with and find shaving cream and toothpaste. Shaving cream it is.

I don’t go back to his room. I leave my clothes – my new bra, my ripped black undies, by cutoffs and my maroon tank top – I leave it all. Who cares. Thank god my purse is with my shoes. Thank god. In a hockey jersey and flip-flops, I hail a taxi.

“I’ve got to go” by Sasha on the 16 heading West


Sunday May 24, 2015
5:13pm
5 minutes
When I’m away
The Colourist


Marg died on Wednesday. I got the phone call when I was trying to decide which olive oil to buy, in the oil aisle at the IGA. “Hello?” It was Henry. “Hi Henry.” I looked at one bottle and then another and then another. “I’m so sorry to say, but Marg passed today.” “Passed?” “Passed on…” I opened a bottle and drank and drank and drank until I was sick. “Hello? Honey? Are you there?!” “NO ONE EVEN TOLD ME SHE WAS SICK!!!” “You two were out of touch.” “I would’ve liked the opportunity to say goodbye, Henry. Jesus.” And then, I puked, all over the oil aisle, a whole bottle of the stuff, a whole bottle. I dropped the phone and it shattered. So much for the fifty dollar case. I could hear Henry still, saying, “Honey?! Honey?!” A clerk came with a mop and a bucket, a kind face, “Honey is in Aisle Seven,” he said, quietly, to the disembodied voice. I lay down and pressed my face into the cool linoleum.

“sometimes you’re like a stranger to me” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Saturday May 23, 2015
10:39pm
5 minutes
Stranger
Alfie Conor


He has dreams of being chased by the man in the black robe with the white fleck as his neck
That space
That small hollow space
He runs and runs and he can’t out-run and he’s down and then he’s up
In those big hands
Big veins
Big tongue
Big hurt
The forest floor changed those nights
Became angry and heavy and unkind
The pine needles pricking
The owl calls like a nightmare

One hundred and fifty thousand children
He and his army
His Sisters
His Brothers
Turtle Island cries elephant tears
An ocean of sobs
I turn my face away

Got a dollar I’m hungry
I don’t say anything
Got a dollar I’m thirty
Thirst won’t quench with the brown stuff
I don’t say anything

Truth
Reconciliation
My heart
Those hearts
Broke
Broke
KIN
Sisters
Brothers

“evil, greedy, deluded, fatally flawed.” by Sasha at Vancouver General Hospital


Friday May 22, 2015
1:07pm
5 minutes
Talking Masks
Adam Seelig


Take off that stupid mask, Bobo.
No.
Take it off!
Nawwww…
How are your Mama and I supposed to tell you something very important when – ?
I won’tttt!
Listen here.
No.
We are selling the farm and moving to the city.
What?
You heard me.
I didn’t!
Take off your mask!
Okay, fiiiine…
We are selling the farm and moving to the city. Your mother got a job at a school in the West End.
I’m staying.
You can’t stay.
Why not?
Who would take care of you?
Mona!
Mona is a dog. She can’t care for a boy.

“Dessert is an apricot tart” by Sasha at Harvest Community Foods


Thursday 21, 2015 at Harvest Community Foods
3:02pm
5 minutes
SAVEUR magazine
issue 152


Maggie listens to the Cranberries. “Zombie! Zombie! Zombie! Zombie!” She doesn’t make eye contact on the bus, but sings along, like a bee buzzing, not loud enough to disturb, just loud enough to wonder. She wears a light blue T-shirt that reads, “I’ve got a heavenly body”. She wears it ironically. Her cell phone rings but she ignores it. The display broke seven months ago and she never knows who is calling and she never knows if she wants to speak with them. It’s probably the bank. Or her mother. She gets off at Main St. and walks north, towards the water. She starts the song again. “Zombie! Zombie! Zombie! Zombie!” She sees Neil but pretends that she doesn’t. He stops her. “Maggie, hey!” She reluctantly takes off her headphones. “Oh. Hi.” “What’re you up to?” “Oh, just on my way somewhere…” He furrows his brows. “You’ve been avoiding my phone calls.” “I don’t really believe in phones. I never answer mine. I don’t even know why I have it…” She takes her phone out of her purse and throws it over her shoulder. Neil laughs and then looks worried and runs to pick it up. “You broke it!” He says, accusatory. “Why do you care?”

“I’ve got to go” by Julia on her patio


Sunday May 24, 2015
8:17pm
5 minutes
When I’m away
The Colourist


Adrienne and Lara were sitting on the bar stools in Adrienne’s parents’ basement. Only Lara’s chair swiveled and Adrienne secretly wished Lara wasn’t on it.
“I want to talk about sex,” Lara suddenly announced.
“Uhh..I don’t know–”
“I think I have to lose my virginity by the time I’m 16. I have to or I’ll just die. ”
Adrienne was uncomfortable. She had made a pact with her cousin, Tina, that they’d both wait until..well..they were older. They briefly discussed holding out for college.
“Didn’t you hear me, Age? What’s your year?”
“Yeah. Same. 16. Or I’ll just die…”
Lara was spinning around and around. Adrienne watched as her anger grew.

“sometimes you’re like a stranger to me” by Julia on her patio


Saturday May 23, 2015
11:44pm
5 minutes
Stranger
Alfie Conor


Came into the bedroom and the first thing that made me worry was your smell. You don’t like to shower at night. So why did you smell clean and sneaky and lying and suspicious?
I smelled you with a new nose. A detective’s nose. Unwilling to rest until the case is solved.
The second thing that was cause for concern was your humming. For someone who prefers to whistle. I found it peculiar. I found it unsettling. Your humming was beautiful. That was unsettling too.
I heard you with new ears. A dog’s ears. Unable to ignore the information traveling at a higher frequency right above my head.
Then, the last thing I noticed…the last thing…

“evil, greedy, deluded, fatally flawed.” by Julia at her desk


Friday May 22, 2015
11:21pm
5 minutes
Talking Masks
Adam Seelig


After I wash my face at night, I don’t really want to see other humans until morning. It’s not that I don’t want them to see my face unmasked, without colours and expressions painted on, it’s more than that. It’s about time and space and holding that for me in a sacred way which for some odd reason at any other point in the day doesn’t feel as possible. Maybe I’m greedy. Maybe I want my born like this, woke up like this, go to bed like this face for me and only me. Maybe it makes me feel closer to the earth and to my mother and to my truth. It’s strange because this ritual has turned me into a monster. One knock at my door and I’m hissing like a cat with her claws out ready to pounce. I can’t say “Nobody’s home” or “Nobody that you will recognize is here”. Though I am good at it, I don’t want to lie. So I answer with my secret night time alone time me time face, and there’s a scowl where my lightness just was, a cold stare where my openness used to be.

“Dessert is an apricot tart” by Julia on her bed


Thursday May 21, 2015
11:40pm
5 minutes
SAVEUR magazine
issue 152


And happiness is a sailing ship
the ocean strong
the wind fair
gliding across the water
a beacon of hope
a sign of peace
we all tilt our strained chins to the earth
and we sigh
breathe out
that’s the final taste
that’s the summer sun warming up the frigid ground
And dessert is an apricot tart
the filling sweet
the pastry light
being passed around the after party
a moment of indulgence
a gesture of great care
we all throw our anchored heads back against the sofa
and we laugh

“9AM-6PM” by Julia at her desk


Wednesday May 20, 2015
12:33am
5 minutes
from a parking sign

That’s when I’m awake and dreaming about being so much better.
Wishing I had taken out the trash.
Wishing I had eaten breakfast on the back porch.
Wishing I had cleaned my house last night so I could wake up with it ready.
That’s when I spend time thinking about what food I could eat.
How excited I’ll get when I plan a delicious feast.
But really just eat pickled eggplant and chili bean paste from the jar.
And call that a proper meal.
All day.
From 9AM-6PM when the rest of the world is out there making a living.
I’m in here thinking about how one day I’ll be making a living.
Instead of making a living now.
Instead of living now.
But there are other dreams too.
Of how tomorrow will be filled with positive and productive and persistent.
How if I can just get through this day.

“believe it or not” by Julia on the 72 going north


Tuesday May 19, 2015
10:45pm
5 minutes
A Ripley’s bus ad

believe it or not we’re here now together
you say you don’t want to believe that cause then it’s harder to let it go
but i’m telling you now that we’re here now together
and the harder you push me the farther i’ll get let go
why wouldn’t you just trust me?
when i say i have a heart built for two
when i say it’s like a bicycle and it carries the both of us?
why can’t you allow me to be exactly how i am
without getting scared of endings and losings and assumings
i’ve never been this happy before either
but i’m not running away
and i’m no trying to convince you that this is too good to be true
you have to listen to what your gut is trying to tell you
all those warm fuzzy tinglings?
they don’t exist there for nothing
and those happy pretty songs that you’re humming
aren’t just an accident either
they’re your feelings and they’re your truth
just the way i paint more when i think of your face
and i can’t help but smile when you cross my mind
i know it’s not normal that doesn’t mean it’s bad
you have to believe me when i tell you the truth before it all goes away
before you see exactly how much better us being here now together is
than what you’ll have when it’s gone

“Reducing your taxes” by Julia on her patio


Monday May 18,2015
10:19pm
5 minutes
http://www.finance.ubc.ca

I met a woman and she was obsessed with money and she gave me her card and it took me a while to realize it but the reason was cause she was an accountant and it dawned on me a couple days later but now it makes sense cause when a woman talks about money that much and with that much authority she must be some professional when it comes to sorting all that stuff out–you know the numbers and the what have yous. I think she was trying to sell me her business cause of the card cause she could hear that I wasn’t too good with all those numbers and terms and she musta thought I was a big dumb man not knowing how to take care of all those financial issues and the like. It got me to thinking of my ex-wife Rosie cause she didn’t know a thing about money and she used to tell me it wasn’t her job to worry about bills and limits and payments and the what have yous and that’s why ours were always such a problem case I didn’t like them either. She used to say that women don’t know money just the way men don’t know gentleness and if we just teamed up then we’d never have to learn the other part cause that’s how God intended it when he looked down on the earth and matched up two people and decided how to make them into a family. This woman with the money she told me real nice that my eyes made her feel things she had never felt before and when she gave me her card and told me to call her I thought for a second maybe she wanted to love me.

“I made this cake” by Julia on her bed


Sunday May 17, 2015
9:44pm
5 minutes
http://www.epicurious.com

I uhh…I made this cake for you. I’ve never made a cake before but I made this. Or like, I tried to, I guess? I mean. Yeah. A cake! For your birthday. And I know your birthday was like, a month ago. But I wasn’t confident enough to try making a cake then so, I didn’t give you anything and I wanted to, but I was embarrassed so I just pretended that you didn’t have a birthday at all so that you wouldn’t..uhh.. not get a cake from me. I also pretended that not even wishing you a happy birthday alongside not making you a cake was an okay thing to do. It wasn’t. It’s weird, it was just what I decided to do. Uhh…You don’t have to eat this even. The cake, obviously. It might not be edible, actually, because I didn’t taste it and I didn’t know how to taste it without wrecking it so I just took a chance and thought, maybe I’ll taste it first when we’re together so in case it’s bad there will be someone there to warn you. So if you want we can do it that way, or I can just stop talking now so you can stop wishing this was a different moment in your life and not the one you have to be in.

“Reducing your taxes” by Sasha on the deck at Horseshoe Bay


Monday May 18,2015
1:30pm
5 minutes
http://www.finance.ubc.ca

Across from him I’m all “What are we going to barbecue for dinner?” And he’s all “How much did you make last year?” I got here forty five minutes ago and I was cracking jokes for the first twenty. Twenty minutes. He’s all “When did you move here?” And I’m all “We got bumped up to first class!” And he doesn’t want my stories. He wants numbers. Okay! Okay. Numbers are a scary place. Numbers under the bed. Numbers hiding in the depths of the sea like the Loch Ness Monster. Numbers are extra time after school because I JUST DON’T GET IT. Give me a soul to sooth and I’ll do it with my eyes closed.

“If you don’t come with me,” by Sasha on the deck in Horseshoe Bay


Saturday May 16, 2015
5:13pm
5 minutes
Behind Sad Eyes
Marc Shapiro


Take me back to Memphis where the sky is blue
Take me back to Nashville where the music is new
Take me back to Jerusalem
Take me back to New York
Take me back to Copenhagen
Take me back to County Cork
Take me back to Marrakech where the food’s so good
Take me back to Jasper if we pretty please could
Take me back to Helsinki
Take me back to Saskatoon
Take me back to Kingston
Take me back to Paris for a macaroon

“I’m on Prozac, did I tell you?” by Sasha on the couch in Horseshoe Bay


Friday, May 15, 2015
10:27pm
5 minutes
View From The Dome
Theresa Rebeck


“What are you eating?”
“Nothing…”
“You’re chewing!”
“No I’m not.”
“Stop lying to me – ”
“Leave me along!”
Pause.
“I saw you.”
“You saw me doing what?”
“…”
“…”
“You know!”
“…?”
“I don’t want to say it! It makes it real! It’s gross!”
“Get over yourself.”
“Me?”
“…”
“Eating your toenail clippings might be the nastiest thing I’ve ever seen.”
“Your judgement is toxic.”
“Your TOES are probably toxic!”
“It’s natural. All animals preen.”
“You’re a grown woman. You are not an animal.”
“We are all animals.”
“On my God.”

“If you don’t come with me,” by Julia on her bed


Saturday May 16, 2015
1:56am
5 minutes
Behind Sad Eyes
Marc Shapiro


If you don’t come with me, I’ll toss and turn each night
I’ll hold the space for you to join until you realize that you must
I’ll write you my feelings in haiku and limericks
I’ll dance with someone who may hold me closer
I’ll tease the mind of someone who may enjoy little games better
I’ll eat a tub of peanut butter before the week is through
I’ll take myself to the lake and I’ll be content alone
I’ll pretend you don’t exist until one day you do not

“I’m on Prozac, did I tell you?” by Julia at the Toronto Reference Library


Friday, May 15, 2015 at the Toronto Reference Library
4:27pm
5 minutes
View From The Dome
Theresa Rebeck


Oh I didn’t tell you? I thought I told you. Cause somehow everybody knows so I thought you knew and I thought I told you. Well. I am. So now you know. Anything you want to tell me now? Any burning truths you want to share? Cause I didn’t share just so you would share but I did have a hope that it might open you up to if I went first.
But. No. You don’t reciprocate. And for the record I feel like I’ve made it quite easy for you, but no, that’s okay, everybody’s different, what’s mine is not necessarily yours. Your bag I mean. Your style. Your cup of tea. Your safe is locked tight, hey? Your ‘can’t keep it in anymore cause it’s corroding your insides’ stuff is not like mine–which actually does inflict physical pain on me if I choose not to purge.

“About 10 years ago” by Sasha on the deck in Horseshoe Bay


Thursday May 14, 2015
7:48pm
5 minutes
From a story by Mikal Cronin

about ten years ago I was riding a horse across the desert and trying to remember the names of all my cousins eight five of them EIGHTY FIVE ~ about ten years ago I was stealing gum and wonder bread from the convenience store and blaming it on the homeless drunk ~ about ten years ago I was fucking every man I met not because I wanted to but because I needed to prove to myself and to God that I was worthy ~ about ten years ago I was trying to remember the eight times table ~ about ten years ago I was changing your mind about white chocolate ~ about ten years ago I stopped procrastinating ~ about ten years ago I fell in love with nutritional yeast ~ about ten years ago I got a disease that I’ll have til I die but I’ll never tell anyone but you what it is because I’m a stuck up prude ~ about ten years ago I bought a pink backpack and travelled by foot across india ~ about ten years ago I went a year without sugar ~ about ten

“About 10 years ago” By Julia at Holy Oak Cafe


Thursday May 14, 2015 at Holy Oak Cafe
1:17pm
5 minutes
From a story by Mikal Cronin

About ten years ago I got arrested for shoplifting and it was the best day of my life. I had been taking things that didn’t belong to me for years, for a lifetime even. I would have killed at living on the streets if I had ever had to do that..I don’t know if saying that diminishes it or not, but my skills were unparalleled. I’m not just talking little kid stuff like embroidery floss, or key chains. It was that stuff plus the good hits. I’m talking fancy face creams, high end jewelry, many expensive bathing suits, and a couple electronics every now and again. I was a little thief and I was having the time of my life. I don’t know how I got away with so much of it. Nobody every caught me, I assumed I’d never have to “pay the price”. And then that day I got arrested and had to own up, for the very first time, to what I had been doing. To who I had been. And it made me realize that I am not invincible. That I am not the exception to the rule. Cause eventually everyone has to learn that somehow.

“In the 1950’s the word” by Julia at Dark Horse


Wednesday May 13, 2015 at Dark Horse
5:16pm
5 minutes
The R-Word
Heather Kirn Lanier


In the 1950’s the word was imagined. Created. Conjured up. It was used for a brief time to describe the feeling of having everything but still feeling so helplessly and problematically empty. It was a truthful word adopted by a lot of artists. They began to write songs about it, make plays about it, dream about it, live by it. The issue that arose was the word was being over-used and becoming too loved. Yes, the strain it had, the effect of identifying too closely with one word, caused artists and young people to connect so strongly to it that they stopped trying to end the initial suffering of it. They began to accept it as it was, without the need to change it in any way.

“That’s amazing, honey,” by Julia at her desk


Tuesday May 12, 2015
1:22am
5 minutes
Almost Unendurable Beauty
Jocelyn Evie


I don’t believe you, Brendan, how the hell am I supposed to believe anything you say? Not just what you say but how you say it. You never mean anything.
…Aimless pacing
…Wandering
…She does
…He watches
What are you even talking about, Maggie? I mean things. I mean what I say to you, of course I do.
…Veins bulge
…Slowly threatening to pop
…His do
…She watches
Because I feel like you’re pulling one over on me all the time. The way you say shit, like “That’s amazing, honey” when things aren’t amazing, or when I’m clearly upset about something and you tell me “well, there’s always tomorrow”. Like what the hell am I supposed to do with fucking tomorrow when today I feel like dying and you can’t even see that?
…Heart fuming
…Coat wearing
…She is
…He isn’t

“Knowing they can’t touch us” by Julia at her desk


Monday May 11, 2015
12:55am
5 minutes
Breathe Easy
Rachel Sermanni


I called out to an old friend who had come back into my life recently. I called out to her while she still had one foot in my world and one out the door. I wanted her to hear everything before she left.
She turned her head slowly, with an expectant look in her eyes. She could see right through me like I was made of glass. She knew I was in need of her and the way things used to be. Maybe she was in need of me and the way things used to be too. It’s as if in that moment of time-stopping-fears-cast-aside-light-warming-honest-connecting we were transported back to the place where the rain poured everywhere except for directly on us. We were untouchable then and I wanted that again. If not for us, than for me. She was back and here for only moments, maybe not even. She held that daisy chain limp in her hand as if she knew time was a thing one of us imagined some hot afternoon in July.

“Happy Mother’s Day” by by Julia at her desk


Sunday May 10, 2015
4:33pm
5 minutes
from a sign at the florist

So I was 12 or something when we were having a Mother’s Day Brunch for my mom and I was convinced it had to be like a movie. So when my family was all gathered around the table ready to eat, I stop the presses and run to go get the CD player because there is a crucial song that needs to be played right at the start of the meal (for some reason). So I go get it, and everyone’s like, what are you doing, let’s do it after, come on let’s just eat now, etc. And then I get VERY upset because no one can understand how ABSOLUTELY FUCKING IMPERATIVE PLAYING “THE PERFECT FAN” BY THE BACKSTREET BOYS ACTUALLY IS. So at this point I’m in full cry-town mode. I hate the world, I’m very embarrassed that they let me hype up the plan only to criticize it, and worst of all, now my mother will never know how I truly feel about her.

“I feel like a skid” by Julia at her desk


Saturday May 9, 2015
12:02am
5 minutes
overheard at Kits Beach

I accidentally caught a glimpse of myself in a store window earlier. I didn’t mean to look and I was even more startled because of it. I glanced briefly and I was surprised by what I had seen. So that’s why I double took. And that’s when I noticed myself for the first time. My white tank top was too lose for me. It was covering all my curves and it made me look 10 years younger or older than I am. My knees were all bruised up. I guess I have bruise-able knees, or I don’t walk carefully around bed frames or something. Maybe a bit of column A, maybe a bit of column B. And the part that did me over? The part of me I was most disgusted by? Was that I had a mustard stain right in the belly button of the shirt. How does one slop mustard right in the belly button of anything? By being a slob apparently.