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


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


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

“A lot of physical theatre” by Julia at her dining table


Monday January 25, 2016
6:17pm
5 minutes
overheard at PTC

Andie used to be a performer, but she doesn’t tell anyone that now. Whenever she meets someone new at a coffee shop, or the library, she actively chooses not to bring it up or even reference it.
It’s hardest when Andie meets someone who is a performer or also used to be a performer because they tend to be the types that always want to discuss the nitty gritty or the pain or the joy of being in front of a big audience night after night. Her insides are screaming a million curses at the people who act like they’re the only ones who truly understand their lives and as a result, how eccentric everybody else must find them. Andie bites her tongue, trying to remind herself she doesn’t need them to think one thing or another about her, that chiming in with a “Yes, I do, in fact, understand,” or “No, I haven’t always been a florist,” won’t change her life choices or her past or her reasons for saying goodbye to it all. Some nights Andie dreams she is the only thing on stage, crying alongside the most beautiful and haunting violin playing that ever existed.

“the globally inspired” by Julia on her couch


Sunday January 24, 2016
11:49pm
5 minutes
from the front of a flyer

I heard on the news today that two more kids were shot in their front yard.
They were selling lemonade.
I don’t know how I’m supposed to wake up every morning, drink my coffee, put on my suit, go into schools and teach young people how to measure the angles of an isosceles triangle, or that just because our country allows people to carry firearms that it doesn’t make it okay to use them, or that these two smiling babies were still warm from their mother’s womb, being watched from the kitchen window by that same love–looking down for just one second to pull a splinter out of her thumb.
I don’t know how any of us do it. Keep living on repeat like we don’t see what’s happening in our world, right outside our houses, hitting closer and closer to home each time. I don’t know how any of us leave the safety of our sheets each and every day and find a new version of brave to wear for the day.

“a sneak peek” by Julia at her dining table


Saturday,January 23, 2016
6:57pm
5 minutes
a Facebook Post

I’m teaching my kid about privacy. Started with me locking my bedroom door because she wasn’t aware that there were any differences between my space and hers.
It’s heartbreaking. It doesn’t feel good to hear her scratch at the door and blame herself for being locked out. I think it’s a good lesson, I guess. Or I thought it was. I don’t know what it means except that I’m illustrating how my kid needs to ask for permission to exist….
I don’t want my kid to think she needs to ask someone else before she can do what she wants. Not that she should always get to do what she wants..Or should she? I don’t know what I’m supposed to be teaching her. Is she going to grow up thinking there were no doors open to her when she was just being herself? Is she going to think that I am only available for her when I decide, and not when she needs? Is that a good thing? Independence or something…I don’t know now. Maybe my kid is teaching me about understanding. Maybe she’s teaching me to stop looking for structures to follow. Maybe she’s teaching me to trust myself.

“This man does not speak for me” by Julia at her dining table


Friday,January 22, 2016
11:49pm
5 minutes
medium.com

Do I irritate you? Sitting here with a plan to speak every 28 seconds to say something to that will convince you of me?
Halo haze of truth and depth. You see me and I let you. Is that a good idea?
Do I irritate you?
You have to prove to me that you’re not accidentally in love with me.
I demand this of you the way I demand smokers step outside my home before pulling out their lighters.
I need you to tell me, to show me.
The things that confirm you’re not here because you forgot to look somewhere else.
That you’re not too afraid to look somewhere else.
I need.
I don’t have to explain why. You want me to. It’s easier.
But pass this test first.
Then you can turn it on me.
Pass this experimental mission and I’ll find my feet.
The earth. I’ll love her again.
The steady and the strong.
You lay kisses on my cheek when I believe I’m doing the right thing.
And my guts betray me.
And my skin starts to lie to you.

“I’m going to leave the room” by Julia on her couch


Thursday,January 21, 2016
11:17pm
5 minutes
said to Sasha in rehearsal

I don’t wait for your pain to subside before I break more bad news directly to your heart passionate and raw abrupt and insensitive you just need to know the truth someway or another and I don’t want to tip toe around you or lie or lie or ever ever lie so fast and hard no thought given to sparing emotions the words hit you deep in the windpipe and you only have time to react not to analyze or to hurt and not qualify it I wish I could say I was sorry but I’m not because life is a juggling act and you don’t get to choose which feelings you keep up in the air and which ones fall I know it isn’t easy because I practice taking the news myself asking all the tough questions right after another so I let my guts respond without my rational getting in the way recognizing importance and value based on my insides churning or making space

“starting in the same spot” by Julia at Arbutus Coffee


Wednesday,January 20, 2016 at Arbutus Coffee
2:52pm
5 minutes
overheard at Arbutus Coffee

I can’t write about someone else doing something interesting or brave or great or even good. I physically can’t. Mentally can’t. My body refuses to listen to what someone else is doing, how they’re feeling, who they’re talking to. I have tried, I have erased. I have wondered, I have stopped. I don’t know why other than the fact that I have no choice but to write about myself. I suppose that is a strong enough reason for a writer going through things of her own. Can’t pour from an empty cup or however the saying goes. Put oxygen mask on self before assisting others. Something like that. All these ideas wrapped up in a journal or diary or confession or voice memo. They don’t belong in someone else’s mouth, or phrased in someone else’s diction. I can only put myself on paper, hope it doesn’t bleed through every single page and tarnish the book I’m writing of me. Unclear but honest, I am city girl noise and small town heart, bursting.

“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.

“Why do we do that?” By Julia at Christie Pits Park


Thursday, August 13, 2015
12:48pm
5 minutes
Overheard on the Spadina streetcar

So I met her on a subway platform. She was going to jump and I didn’t say anything. I just stood close to her thinking maybe she would feel something from me and decide not to do it. I don’t know what I was thinking. I can’t say it was my brightest moment. But I felt bad interfering. She had decided this would be how she goes and who was I? Someone she didn’t even know trying to convince her not to take her own life. I started humming. What else do you do when you’ve basically resigned yourself to assisting a stranger’s suicide? It was Chariots of Fire. God, don’t ask me why cause I’m still trying to figure that out. But it was like a movie. Maybe a badly written one. She started humming a long. I kept going. I could keep going with that song more than others. Maybe that’s why. Maybe not. I could see the light on the train coming toward us. She hadn’t looked up from her feet yet. So I just sang louder. She sang along with me, and then she looked me in the eyes, tears in hers. I smiled.

“Why do we do that?” By Sasha on the Spadina Streetcar


Thursday, August 13, 2015
11:24pm
5 minutes
Overheard on the Spadina streetcar

Do you feel lost without your cellphone?
Literally?
Figuratively?
Do you long for the weight of it in your hand, your pocket, your purse, like you might long for a lover or a brownie?
Do you crave to look at it, to check it, to search with it, to move with it?
When do you put it down? Turn it off? Let it go?
Never?
Ever?
Do you shut it down when you shut down? Do you let it rest?
When do you say good morning?
Is it the first thing you look at? Speak to? Connect with?
One new Facebook friend, three new “Likes”, seven Twitter followers, two re-tweets, a text, five emails, a voicemail.
“Hi, it’s Dad. Just calling to say it was so good to see you and I love you.”
“Hey, it’s me. When are you coming over? Do you need dinner?”
“Hi! I heard you’re in town! Welcome back home! Wanna get coffee?”
A voice.
How does it work? No wires, waves, maybe, sound waves, web waves, waves like the ocean but in the sky, searching, searching, searching.
Touch screen, touch fingers, touch bellies.

“I met my first savant 52 years ago” by Sasha in the Joe Creek garden


Saturday, August 1, 2015
5:43pm
5 minutes
http://blogs.scientificamerican.com

there we were
twisty smiles and fly-aways
cheshire eyes and moon smiles
there we were
reading palms like twilight
a tarot deck our only language
yerbe mate in a gourd
someone found on a road trip to san diego
on the nude beach
you were naked as the day you were born
i slowly peeled off layers
a red onion
all the way down to skin
against sand
“you’re the real deal”
you rolled a joint and i ran into the ocean
and you watched
blowing hearts
blowing kisses
she said we’d be here
the psychic from five years ago
she said we’d live where the earth meets the sea
where the trees sing the evening hymns
where the sun bobs like a buoy on the horizon
where the crows lead us towards the north star

“You were the scene of the crime” by Julia in Brooklyn


Saturday, July 25, 2015
1:51am
5 minutes
Trailer Park
Jenn Grant


I’m starting to wonder what world this is. I thought I knew but the colours keep changing and I’m no longer sure of where I am. It’s hard to keep tabs on your existence when Consistency laughs in your face while she sunbathes on her vacation at Coney Island. Nothing really matters. You hear her hum this, chuckle this to the sand, and to the mango flowers ready for purchase on the boardwalk. She sees the truth. It’s not easy and you should know it. So I’m starting to wonder what world this is. Is this the one where blood can be shed for no reason at all? Where my things are your things solely on account of you wanting them to be?

“submitting this entry” by Sasha in the bath


Wednesday, July 22, 2015
11:24pm
5 minutes
From the Standardized Patient website

it takes time
oh it takes time
to decide
to come back
to look up up up
it takes time
oh it takes time
to unlearn the taste
to shake it loose
to smile at cracks
and
it takes time
oh it takes time
to learn something new
to learn something blue
to let the dust settle
oh oh oh
oh oh oh oh
it takes time
oh it takes time
to see all the colours there
all the blues there
all the truth there
all the brightness
it takes time
oh it takes time
to find the clearest water
to chase away the monsters
to listen to the wind
oh oh oh
oh oh oh oh
it takes time

“You can live in Heaven” by Julia in Brooklyn


Friday, July 24, 2015
11:05pm
5 minutes
The Four Agreements
Don Miguel Ruiz


I hear Bryan Adams in my head, playing a song I know I should love. Makes me wonder if I’m checked out or something. Makes me wonder if you’re the one. Makes me wonder if you’re not. I think because there aren’t angels in my version, or glitter bugs, or trumpets or whatever. There’s a couple things I do like a lot, but none of that Hallmark clownshit on your deathbed stuff. I guess I’m going to get a lot of flack for saying that. Don’t care. Not enough to retract it. It’s just been something on my mind for a while is all. You, me, what is perfect, if there’s a perfect, what’s forever, if there’s a forever, if Heaven is where we’re going, if it’s where we already are, if it doesn’t exist at all, thereby ruining everyone’s standards without fully knowing it. I don’t know. Bryan Adams or something.

“OH MY GOD I GOTTA GO!” by Julia at Propeller Coffee


Thursday, July 23, 2015 at Propeller Coffee
2:20pm
5 minutes
Overheard on the Street

I’m the person on the street that annoys you with my heavy walk That spits on the sidewalk
That answers my phone too loudly on public transportation
That lets my phone ring too loudly before I answer it on public transportation
That drops an earring in the parking lot and then is too shocked to offer sincere gratitude when it’s returned
That is obnoxious on a bicycle because nothing is oiled and it sounds like a David Lynch movie
That tries to make other people feel good about their bad choices
That would rather close a window than put on an extra layer of clothing
That orders McDonald’s fries without sodium just because I can
That falls asleep at the library
That takes a shit in public restrooms
That wishes on shooting stars which end up just being planes

“submitting this entry” by Julia on her bed


Wednesday, July 22, 2015
2:04am
5 minutes
from the Standardized Patient website

I’m really upset because I shrunk my favourite yellow shorts in the dryer even though I was following the care instructions to a t. I read everything over, I made sure the temperatures we correct. And now when I wear them they don’t look like they did before. They look like the shorts you try to wear when you’re not sure of how to actually dress: you know they’re sort of right but they’re not working at all for your body type. They shouldn’t be this mangled now and I no longer have a bright pair of shorts to wear to Deanna’s birthday. She specifically requested bright bottoms and black tops and now I have to figure this out. I am always the one with the bright bottoms and black tops but tonight I’m gonna be the only idiot who doesn’t know how to do laundry! It’s so embarrassing. Deanna always look stylish and put together. I can’t show up to her themed birthday party with bottoms that don’t fit! They fit the colour criteria but the style is way off! So I am asking you, ambassadors for Forever 21, if you could do something about this ASAP. I read the instructions and followed them. Is this a manufacturers’ failure???

“grabbed by the notion” by Julia on the 505 going West


Tuesday, July 21, 2015
11:28pm
5 minutes
from a letter to a celebrity

I’m on the ocean
The waves are healing me
I’m looking deep
In the cave in my chest
I’m on the ocean
The water is curing me
I’m holding tight
To the magic underneath

I remember these words better than I remember my own address. They’ve been sung into my soul so many times that they’re practically mine, top to bottom. Grandma used to sing it to me before bed. She dreamed of the ocean, and taking me there to live with her. When Aunt Christina passed away, Grandma said she knew a place where I wouldn’t feel any pain. She asked Mom if I could go but Mom said, You’re not leaving me too, not now, not ever. And Grandma tried so long to get me there. I didn’t know how much Mom hated to be alone.

“a boy like me calls his mother.” by Julia on her patio


Monday, July 20, 2015
6:19pm
5 minutes
http://www.howlround.com

I HAVE A DOG! Daddy saved a little black one from the shelter and brought him home for me TO KEEP! Mom said play nice with Joseph. Daddy thinks it’s better to call him Joseph than mom’s name, Peanut. He laughed when I picked it and looked at me with big Daddy eyes. Peanut is not the winner! I tell mom this and she storms back into the kitchen with the dish towel over her shoulder and tears in her big mommy eyes. Don’t worry about it, she likes to make things about her, Daddy tells me. She’s just mad you didn’t like her name, but guess what, Joseph didn’t like it either. Daddy goes into the kitchen after mommy. How could you, I hear her yell to him. Dammit, Karen, I hear him say back.

“There’s something I need to explain to you.” by Julia on her bed


Sunday, July 19, 2015
1:14am
5 minutes
Sputnik Sweetheart
Haruki Murakami


I’m not the light you thought I was
I am the cloud
The dark one
I am the cloud
The dark one
I am the cloud
The dark one
There is hate in my heart
There is anger in my belly
I feed them
I nourish them
I grow them inside me like a backyard tomato plant
I choose them over bravery
I choose them over peace
I don’t have excuses for this anymore
I would have once tried to explain
Why I am or why I have them so close
Some excuses
Some lies
Some carefully constructed reasons
Some backtracking
Some omissions
Something tangible to give you
So you can take home and look at it
To remind you that I tried
But I’m not the light you thought I was
And you should know
Before you count on me to glow

“No need to hurry” by Julia on her couch


Saturday, July 18, 2015
2:12am
5 minutes
From an email

Hi there’s something I’d like to say to you and I’m going to try to get it all out without freaking myself out into not saying it. So. Okay. Good mother of Christ. Okay.

I am not in love with you anymore. I do not like the way you chew with your mouth open. I shouldn’t have said I am not in love with you.
That was too far.
I love you and I am in love with you but I do not like some of your quirks the way I once did. The last time we spoke I watched myself tolerate you. I hate that I’ve just used that word. Oh Lord, I’m struggling with being direct with you. I’m worried that you will not be able to take my criticisms without hating yourself. For the record I do not hate you nor could I. What am I trying to say? I have to hurry so I don’t give up on telling you and I have to tell you because if I don’t then I’m afraid I just might. Might start to hate you, I mean. Not that I ever could. So the chewing. That’s a problem. The soup slurping. That’s probably a bigger one. Anything to do with how you eat, really: The way you crack pistachio shells, remove olive pits from your mouth, swallow full sunflower seeds including the shell…

“I see four stages” by Julia on the bench outside Baldwin Laundry


Friday, July 10, 2015
4:08pm
5 minutes
On Writing Zion
Maureen Stanton


Day One:
listening at the door to see if Alistair is still crying into his pillow
making sure he knows he can talk to me if he needs to
hoping that if he needs to he doesn’t bring up Deb
knowing that if he’s going to, he’s going to bring up Deb
preparing to talk about Deb
hand-washing the kimono Rufus stole for me at the charity drive
listening to Marco Beltrami to help focus my intentions

Day Two:
Consoling Alistair again about Deb
Using kind words with him like Easy Does It, There There Sweet One, I’m Not Going Anywhere
Wearing the kimono in front of the mirror to test it out
Deciding to wear the kimono loosely tied when dealing with Alistair
Figuring out ways to move my body naturally so as not to arouse suspicion when dealing with Alistair
practicing the look of genuine understanding and concern mixed with attraction

“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.

“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.

“He always was kinda young looking” by Sasha on the Gulf Islands ferry


Tuesday, June 9, 2015
11:15am
5 minutes
overheard at the ferry terminal

Billy hates making his bed, so he doesn’t. At least at his Dad’s place, where he can get away with pretty much anything. He gleefully leaves his bed unmade, his dishes in the sink and drinks a Sprite for breakfast. “Bye, Dad!” He calls, his father asleep upstairs. He cocks his head at the pink high heels near the door. He waits for a response, until the bus honks and he runs out, the screen door slamming behind him. On the bus, he puts on his headphones, even though Ray wants to talk.

“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 Sasha at Arbutus Coffee


Friday, June 5, 2015 at Arbutus Coffee
2:52pm
5 minutes
from a text

Vera walks by the ocean everyday, and she has since she was fifteen, since she moved to Vancouver from Windsor with her stepmother. Her father had gone to Hong Kong for a two year placement at a Chemical Engineering firm and both she and her stepmother had sworn they wouldn’t leave Canada. “Well at least go someplace fun,” he’d said, probably stroking his beard, probably narrowing his eyes the way he did when he was deep in thought. “Vancouver!” Her stepmother had said, with her Polish accent. “Okay,” Vera had shrugged and gone to her room and listened to Joan Baez. She has walked by the ocean everyday since she got here, different shores, but the same changing ocean. Today she sees an Orca. She blinks several times, as she does when she doesn’t trust her eyes, maybe she hasn’t drunk enough water, maybe an orange and a piece of toast wasn’t a big enough breakfast. Nope. It’s definitely a whale. She watches and listens, he’s singing! He’s singing just for her.

“take her children to church” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Thursday June 4, 2015
10:21pm
5 minutes
Vogue
October 2014


We’re down the road at the Allen’s and we’re drinking sangria and laughing about the sound of Kevin practising the trumpet. We’re eating hot dogs and coleslaw and Mary says, “Lar, didn’t you have something you wanted to say to these guys?” And Larry looks dumbfounded, or struck by this, by what Mary’s said. Your Mom and I have no idea what’s happening, and I’m thinking about whether or not I’ve got mustard all over my face! Finally, Larry says, “We’ve lost everything…” Mary runs inside, her hand over her mouth, stifling tears, and your mother goes, “Mary! Larry…” And I’d never thought about how their names are, you know… So I can’t even help it! I laugh! Larry stands up and pulls back like he’s going to sock it to me and your mother glares at me and I follow Mary, running inside.