“get shared and discovered” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Wednesday May 4, 2016
12:47pm
5 minutes
From the back of a pamphlet

“I want to write about female friendship, but no one publishes it,” Rhonda picks at the scab on her forearm. She just got a tattoo covered up. A rose covering a butterfly. “Fuck butterflies,” she says. I remember when she got that tattoo. We were eighteen. She wouldn’t shut up about the fact that it was her spirit animal and a “governing force in the journey of her life”.

“I’m getting more iced tea,” Rhonda stretches, standing up from the picnic table. The bench has made a line on her thighs. Her cutoffs are riding up. “Want some?” She’s in through the screen door.

“Yeah, sure,” I say, putting on more sunscreen.

“feel free to talk to me” by Julia at her dining table


Tuesday April 19, 2016
9:36pm
5 minutes
from an e-mail

Dearest Dot,
I am wearing the friendship bracelet you sent me in your last letter as I write you this letter in response. It is beautiful. You have such knack for colour coordination and choosing the coordinating colours that suit me best. My favourite part is the little H stitched in. How did you do that? You must send a tutorial for me to try in your next letter. Before I forget, I wanted to enclose some photos of me and my family while we were camping at Driftwood Beach this summer. I think you’ll find a pleasant surprise in the photo with me and Elsie holding her fetch ball in her mouth! Won’t spoil the surprise but I wanted to give you a heads up to look for it. Joshua tried to kiss me again behind the big elm tree in my backyard. I told him that if he keeps doing it I’ll have to find someone else to be in my play. I heard Benjamin and his brother, Nick, wanted to be in it but are too shy to talk to me. I wonder why that is? I like talking to everybody! I hope that you feel like you can talk to me? I mean I know you do because you always write back! Well I hope you know that I want you to feel free to talk to me about anything. Even this request!

Until next time,
Heath Heath

“I do not lie to you.” by Julia on her bed


Tuesday April 12, 2016
9:51pm
5 minutes
from a text

When you ask me for the truth I gladly give it. Not to everyone, but to you, I don’t how not to. I remember sitting with you in a dusty bar a year and a half after first meeting you and feeling like that was the first time I actually got to know you. You said some profound shit and you were as lucid as I’d seen you. I preferred you like that. I wonder if you noticed me opening to you too. If you noticed me sharing more secrets or more weaknesses or more dreams laced in marijuana and vulnerability. We are close now like a weird combination of two unlikely flavours that you avoid combining at first because the idea puts you off, but that no longer surprises you once they’ve been mixed together and tasted and enjoyed.

So now. We’re both here: you in love with someone who loves you even more than you love him, and me in love with someone who loves me for reasons I will never comprehend, and we still have each other when we’re dying or when we’re thriving. You ask me if you think you deserve to be happy. I say yes. You ask me if you made mistakes. I say yes. You ask me if I’m happy. I say yes. You ask me if when the world ends, can we hold hands in a tulip garden. I say yes.

“What? What’s wrong?” by Sasha in Cowichan Bay


Monday, March 28, 2016
11:02pm
5 minutes
From some sides

“What’s wrong with you, Loretta?”

Biddie is superstitious. She pours some salt from the shaker shaped like a chicken into her palm and tosses it over her shoulder.

They’ve been in this Highway Diner for what feels like seventeen years. Loretta can’t tell Biddie what’s wrong. It’s far too complicated.

“I’m just sad I didn’t get to say bye to Malcolm and Lilly… Especially with Lilly’s concert coming up. I’m just… sad.” Loretta wishes they hadn’t thrown their cellphones out the window while doing war-cries.

“They’ll forgive you, Lo. Promise.” Biddie eats a mouthful of flapjacks and a bit of syrup drips onto her chin.

“The earth’s insomnia” by Sasha at Studio 1398


Wednesday March 16, 2016
9:08pm
5 minutes
Moonlight
Lorna Crozier


Julie and Mel stand on the steps of a Church downtown.

J: Want a smoke?
M: Naw…
J: Why not? You too good for this now?
M: Naw?
J: You fuckin’ quit.
M: Nu-uh.
J: You did! You fuckin’ quit!
M: You know what, Julie? You’re a bitch!
J: What?
M: Yeah! You’re a fuckin’ bitch who talks too fuckin’ much and I’m sick of your bullshit.
J: Naw. You’re grumpy cuz you quit smoking.

Pause.

M: So what if I did?
J: I knew it! I fuckin’ knew it!
M: Yeah, I did. I’m tryin’ to get things back on track, okay?
J: Good for you! I’m proud a’ you! Really.
M: Shut up.
J: I am!

Pause.

M: Really?
J: Yeah…
M: Thanks. Thanks alot, Jules.
J: Yeah, man. You’re welcome! Onwards to health and vitality, man.

Julie finishes her cigarette and lights up another. Mel watches her, out of the corner of her eye. A few moments pass. A car goes by blaring hip hop. They both bop their heads.

“used to cook turnips” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Saturday February 6, 2016
10:20am
5 minutes
A quote by Rumi

When Isabel invites me to her house for “tea and hangz” (her words, not mine), I feel like I’m floating in the sky for the full seventy two hours leading up to the event. We’d known each other since junior high and up until a few weeks ago (January 21), I’d watched her from afar. My sometimes fuck buddy Tom is friends with her twin brother Isaac, so we’d sometimes see her at various social things. (Tom refuses to be my boyfriend but loves to make me cinnamon rolls, bring me flowers, and eat me out). Isabel and I smoke a joint together at Isaac’s place, sitting on the roof. She looks at me sideways and says, “You’re actually so cool,” like it’s a surprise or something. We’d eaten plates of brisket and turnips and I was massaging my belly to help my digestion.

“The oldest surviving” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Saturday November 14, 2015
12:39am
5 minutes
from a tweet

The oldest survivor, Maya, white braids woven around her head like a brain basket, lives on the Big Island of Hawaii. When I visit her, careful not to step on the wildflowers and cacti that line the path towards her door, she opens it before I can raise my fist to knock. “You’re here,” she says, like she knows me, like she knew that I would have a sunburned nose. “I’m here!” I say, unsure what to do besides parrot. Maya leads me into her kitchen and cracks a coconut open with a machete on her countertop. She’s plump in the most beautiful way, her arms strong and her shoulders broad. They’ve carried waves. They’ve carried change. They’ve carried children and banana leaves.

“Rainfall warning” by Sasha on the couch at Pascoe Rd.


Thursday November 12, 2015
10:36pm
5 minutes
from the weather network

What you can do:
Be present.
Hold space.
Actually listen (ie. refrain from thinking about whether or not your lover just texted a sexy picture of their shoulders or what you’re going to have for dinner).
Breathe deep and feel your feet on the floor.
Bring Sleepytime tea and a hot water bottle with a dog on it. Even if there’s a rainfall warning or a blizzard or you really just want to stay in your pyjamas and watch reruns of Nashville.
Stay for a sleepover and rub her back until she’s sleeping even if you are also tired. Wait until she falls asleep and then you can follow.

What you can say:
“I believe you.”
“I believe you.”
“I believe you.”
“I believe you.”
“I love you.”
“I support whatever choice you make.”
“I believe you.”

“I would like to invite you” by Sasha at Benny’s


Friday October 9, 2015 at Benny’s
3:20pm
5 minutes
from an e-mail

I don’t know what to say. I’m afraid that when I open my mouth I’m going to say the wrong thing. I’m afraid I’m going to ask how Judd’s doing, if he’s been playing his guitar in the hospital. I don’t know what to say so I would like to invite you over for pizza. I’m going to make it. I’ll knead the dough and let it rise and it will be thin, how you like it. I won’t put tomato sauce on it, because tomatoes make your tongue feel strange. If you bring Judd up, I’ll listen. I won’t change the subject because I don’t know what to say. I’ll give you a massive ball of dough to take home so that you can make pizzas all week. I’ll loan you my pizza pan. I’ll kiss your eyes. I’ll let you sleep over.

“No not that fake smile!” by Julia on the subway going west


Friday, August 21, 2015
1:16pm
5 minutes
Overheard at a bus stop

Biddy and me make a pact to bleed each other’s blood and wear each other’s smile. I want to marry Biddy so I can be around her all the time and let her light wash over me and catch me in all the right moments. Biddy plays the violin and when she does the whole world stops. I do all the humming and Biddy plays so I can feel. She tells me that I’m most me when I open my mouth and let my heart sing out. She tells me she can see me growing into the person who’s taking better care of me. She tells me I’m the kind of woman who becomes more beautiful with age and experience and confidence and time. It’s my idea to combine our life force and Biddy smiles with her whole face because she loves all of my grand ideas. She snips a lock of her strawberry blonde curls and wraps it around my finger to remind me that we’ve got each other’s soul close by.

“her request seems to have been ignored.” By Sasha at her kitchen table


Sunday, August 16, 2015
12:16pm
5 minutes
The New Yorker

They’re moving again, just a few towns over, but it’s the third time this year and that’s not the only suspect thing… My psychic told me I need to let go of my skepticism, she said that it’s inhibiting tectonic shift (whatever the eff that means). I’m trying here, but then they up and decide to move again and I’m sent into a spiral of wondering. Bob and Bet are the only couple friends I got here, you see, so I can’t just, like, get over it! Lost my car after another DUI so how the heck am I even gonna visit them? Buses are unreliable and full of perverts. I refuse to take the bus.

“Our backyard garden plot” by Sasha in the passenger seat of a Car2Go


Saturday, June 26, 2015
11:32pm
5 minutes
From the back of a photo from Sarah

Dear Jemima,
I put in the garden this weekend and I can’t thank you enough for sending over those seeds. I can already feel them growing. It’s amazing to look over the raised beds and think of the cuttings from Babs and the seeds from you… You’re both growing so close! I like that a lot. I bought a huge bunch of garlic scapes at the market and I’m going to make them into pesto. They’re so pungent! Do you think I should roast them first or something? Garlic and parm and stuff? Whenever I’m in the kitchen I think about you and how easily all that stuff seems to be when you’re doing it. You effortless beauty. I’m always second guessing every move. I’ve got to try to be more confident, I think. Have you got a garden this year? I know it’s a commitment, but I don’t think you’ll regret it.

“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.

“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.

“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.

“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.

“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

“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

“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.

“scoop up all the trash” by Sasha at Higher Grounds


Thursday May 7, 2015 at Higher Grounds
3:29pm
5 minutes
from http://www.ecokids.ca

Don’t pick a girl who wants you to treat her like a princess. I did, and look where it got me. Broke, broken-hearted, broken set of toes… Damn. Still got my cowboy hat and still got my pride, though. No one can ever take those two away from me. Look, Sandro, I don’t wanna freak you out, but, like, you pick a girl who wants you to treat her like a princess and you’re never gonna be happy. I mean, I don’t think life is really about being happy, but it’s about being, like, peaceful or something. It’s only when you’re scooping up the trash of your life that you realize – you did everything for her and nothing for you. You’ve spent almost a decade sucking up to someone who wishes she were royalty. She’s not! If you’d just stuck to your guns and told her that when you first got together, “Honey, you’re from Campbell River, you’re never gonna be Cinderella, get over yourself…” maybe things would’ve worked out a little differently. I want the best for your Sandro, I don’t want what happened to me to happen to you… I mean, what am I supposed to do now? I’m forty two. I’m supposed to start over?

“A rare chance” by Sasha at Culprit Coffee


Tuesday May 5, 2015
10:20am
5 minutes
A Friends of Chamber Music brochure

“It’s a rare chance, Al,” Clare says, painting the big toe of my right foot. “I think you need to go for it…” Her hands are cold and I think about when we met, tadpoles in overalls and baseball hats. “I just can’t imagine going so far away, it seems so extreme…” “You’ll be fine,” she blows on my toes and I laugh, pulling my foot away. “That tickles!” “Don’t jerk around! You’ll mess them up!” She furrows her eyebrows. “What time is the concert tonight?” “I thought you said you’d bought your ticket?” “I…” “Claire!” “I’ll get it at the door!” “You’re just waiting to see if something more interesting turns up. I know you.” “I am certainly not doing that… My credit card was cut off, I, I can’t book anything online and I didn’t want to ask someone to cover for me…” “Shit. Sorry.” “It’s okay.” “I’ll ask again about getting you on the guest list?” “I’m happy to pay…” “I’ll ask again.”

“saying she is lost” by Julia on the 505 going west


Monday, April 27, 2015
11:49pm
5 minutes
from Hopelessly Hoping
Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young


Do you remember those days we would show up to a concert wearing almost the exact same thing? I don’t know if you got a kick out of it but it was one of my favourite things. Did I not tell you that? I loved when we’d dress alike because it meant we were spending a lot of time together and our styles were merging because that’s just what happens when people are connected by heart strings. I liked most how it was unconscious or subconscious or whateverconscious because that was more proof that we weren’t even trying to be similar, we just were. Anyway, I guess all that to say I miss it. I miss you. I don’t even know where I am half the time and I’ve realized lately it’s because you’re not here anymore. You used to anchor me to the earth; to myself. I knew more about the world when you were around. I knew more about magic and wonder and rushing out of the house just to meet you at whatever corner so we could talk about writing or the painfulness of falling out of touch with ourselves.

“Looking for a therapist?” by Julia on the subway going south


Sunday, April 26, 2015
1:49pm
5 minutes
From a PRS subway ad

There are feelings
Woah like the waves of the sea
And they’re big
Whoosh like the world shifting
Tectonic plates moving
And I have them
They’re in me
Whoosh waving through me
Around my bones
Keeping them cold
Keeping me far away from settling in
That’s the best way to describe
Whoosh
Wave
Whooshing
Is there a cure?
For the feelings that slosh around beneath my skin
Boom begging me to hold on tight
To wrap up my insides
So they stay good and out of contact
With all my major organs?
Does the doctor know this brand of illness?
Oh the waving
Whooshing
Sloshing sick-feelings landslide
Tsunami
and
Evolutionary jolting
Rocking my core
And shaking me from my roots?

“original packaging” by Julia on the 47 going North


Saturday, April 25, 2015
1:36am
5 minutes
From a receipt from The North Face

I came in a box with a manual and a number for an information hotline. Everybody was anxious to use me. To see what I could do. To figure out my functionality, my abilities, my strengths. No one anticipated I’d be difficult to understand. There were pictures and diagrams, step by step instructions and video guides. There was a lot of hype about my arrival and people got cocky. They thought they would all be able to follow the directions and handle me as intended as a highly user-friendly model. All of these expectations were real. But so was I and nobody was quite ready for that part. Nobody was ready for my opinions, my point of view, my perceptions of the world, my critique. They had waited for a presence that would exist like them but not make change. They wanted something in their image but void of their flaws. My maker was a genius. She was smart and designed me perfectly. She included exactly what she should have. But the collective human weakness is greater than the solution to it. Unfortunately for me.

“Done and done!” by Julia on the 45 going north


Friday, April 24, 2015
8:28am
5 minutes
from a Facebook post

I said May 1st and I said that to myself, my boyfriend, my therapist, and my roommate’s dog. I told so many people I was waiting for May 1st it felt like I had to uphold the expectation. I have never been good at starting something in the middle of the month, or the week, or basically any time that doesn’t fall on the very first day of something. Usually months. I’m great at starting things at the beginnings of months. So I made a list, with lots of columns and categories. I wanted to be able to check things off and keep on task from that moment forward. No more waiting for the next month. It would have to be this beginning and not the one after. Some of the things on there were: Start Exercising Daily (as of May 1st), Try to call my mom once a week, Ask for help (starting May 1st), Stop Apologizing for my opinions, Refrain from buying dollar store chocolate, Stop waiting for the new month to get my life together, Work on false promises (even in list format), Eat more apples, No more feeling sorry for myself.

“Rathburn Rd.” by Julia at her desk


Thursday April 23, 2015
12:44am
5 minutes
from a street sign

When I approached his body laying there in the middle of the street, I felt an overwhelming sense of dread–as if it were my little brother or my own baby, lifeless, helpless, quiet. Ever since I was a kid I’ve had a problem with overreacting to roadkill. I love all animals, I hate seeing any of them injured or dirty or unhappy. Seeing them dead is pretty hard for me. Even when it’s a skunk or a squirrel. Most people don’t care about those animals because they’re a nuisance. I don’t see them as that. I see them as these almost human beings trapped in a world of insensitivity. So I was walking up to this poor thing and it wasn’t moving. I’m glad I didn’t see the moment of impact. Really glad. But as I got closer I started full on weeping there, right in the middle of Rathburn Rd. Sobbing for a dead pigeon, and wishing there was someone I could call for him.

“The sound of cracking bones” by Julia on her bed


Wednesday April 22, 2015
1:01am
5 minutes
from an e-mail

This one is a nod to three old friends from a former existence who found each other again in this current one. Their souls were already promised to one another and they were happiest then when they loved each other without question. There is a story about a hotel room and sharing beds and drugs and jokes and chips. It’s a good story. It started with a road trip and it ended with truck stop ice cream. In the middle there was a lot of laughter and unexpected ease. In the middle middle there was a promise wedged in that this would be how it is. When these three old friends met in a different dimension, they exchanged a round of flat stones they found in the ocean that represented loyalty and acceptance and longevity. There was a grand speech made in that different lifetime that would inspire their strength in this one.

“Die this way” by Julia on the 505 going west


Tuesday, April 21, 2015
11:34pm
5 minutes
from a song on the radio

I haven’t figured out how I want to go. Some might say that’s a very good thing. It’s morbid, I suppose, to dream up what the best way to leave this earth is. If death is like life, then it should be my choice. It should be for me. But death is not like life, or it wouldn’t have a different name. Death is not for us. It’s for those that have to bury our bodies, spread our ashes, visit mausoleums, script out pretty eulogies. If it were just for me, then a shot to the head would have fit nicely. Something dramatic, quick, loud, messy. It would have been a nice match. But it’s not just for me. And so going peacefully in my sleep is also off the table. People don’t do well when death sneaks in and swoops down and silently exits. People want to know that it’s there so they can bring the right flowers, or the right last words.

“bowled over” by Julia on the 505 going west


Monday, April 20, 2015
11:34pm
5 minutes
from the Cultch Season Announcement

Mallory was listening to Sarah Harmer on repeat. She had this one song on the go that she just couldn’t stop playing. She may have had it on her New Year’s playlist for 2009 and it may have reminded her of her first love, Sean, though he probably didn’t even know who Sarah Harmer was. Sean was only slightly taller than Mallory and for the first time in her life she didn’t care that he wasn’t over 6 feet. She would have accepted anything about Sean because he had this cute way of swaying back and forth to a hidden track in his head. He was goofy and he was sweet, and he respected women because he had 4 sisters. He also moved away when things got real for them. Not just once, but twice. Mallory thought he’d come back just like the first time, but he didn’t. He wanted a simpler life. Not one that required breaking one’s heart open again and again.

“getting rid of these assholes” by Julia at Jessica and Rick’s kitchen table


Wednesday, April 14, 2015
11:57pm
5 minutes
Julia’s notebook

I’ve made a list of all the people who will be no longer invited to my existence. I’ve made up this list cause I’ve made up my mind. There is no more room for assholes. This is my new life motto. My new life motto for my new life. No More Room For Assholes. Now I understand that these people sometimes wear masks so you think they’re smiling and supporting you and loving you with their fake fake hearts. They’re good at what they do because they spend all their time being this way to avoid spending any time trying to be happy. Truly happy. Truly happy and helpful and honest with what those things mean. The list is small but it’s there. I don’t need to carry it around with me in my wallet like a proof of identity. I can just feel it in my skin that they’re not welcome anymore. That they don’t make me happy because they love their own misery. I don’t know when this started. It’s as if the ‘live life to the fullest’ alarm went off and I finally stopped pressing snooze…

“Are you free” by Julia on the 47 going north


Tuesday, April 7, 2015
11:57pm
5 minutes
From a text message

Are you free of your anger and your blame? Or do you curse at the passing bus who forgot to show you compassion and pick you up even though you were waiting just two feet too wrong to board? Are you free of your expectations and your disappointment? Or do you wonder why some people operate on a different level than you do? I’m a bit of Column A, little of Column B. I ask these questions because I’m half hoping you’ll say no and half hoping to hear you say yes. Solidarity. For one. And inspiration for two. Cause I’m not there yet. Cause I really want to be but I don’t know how to to find it. Are they already inside? The releasing agents? The ones that set my mind and heart and soul free of all their burdens? For this one I hope you say yes yes yes so I can stop with these excuses.

“Are you free” by Sasha on a bench at UBC


Tuesday, April 7, 2015
10:25pm
5 minutes
From a text message

Not sure how I got here but Goddamn am I glad that I am…
Remember last night? Blurry blurry foggy head like cobwebs, man, like sticky cobwebs…
We made a pact, right? Blood brothers?
Army pants were on the floor this morning and I was like, What the fuck?
Man, did you bring me home?
Whole 24 pack, right?
Trying to quit smoking but, like, it’s hard man, it’s so, like, deep.
The craving.
It’s from my cuts.
It’s from my guts.
Forgetabout it.
Want a Red Bull? I think I’ve got one in my backpack.
Fuck.
Where’s my backpack?
Man, have you seen my backpack?

“A woman staggered into” by Sasha at her desk


Thursday April 2, 2015
4:12pm
5 minutes
Focus
Daniel Goleman


She felt a tiny bit bad about it but not bad enough to change.
Add an extra zero here.
Photocopy a signature.
Scratch this out and add that and BOOM!
She’s walking in those shoes she’s been eyeing since Christmas.
She’s picking up the tab at lunch and brunch and happy hour.

Martha wonders what’s changed.
“Where are you getting all these new clothes?”
She whispers because Mr. Boss doesn’t like when they talk about lady things.
Mr. Boss likes it when they keep quiet, keep pretty, keep working.
“Gifts,” she replies, licking an envelope.
It slices her tongue,
the kind of cut that won’t stop bleeding,
that makes her question her choices.
She wraps toilet paper around her tongue in the washroom,
looking at her hands,
wondering when it was that she got so pale.

“a new relationship to the vagina” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Wednesday March 25, 2015
9:41am
5 minutes
Vagina
Naomi Wolf


She mentions the book over pottery mugs of Earl Grey tea, cupped in our open palms. We’re perched in chairs that used to live in her parents house, smaller versions of their armchair grownup selves. She tells me that it’s changed her life, this book, and I trust her, this woman, and I promise myself that when I see it, I will buy it. I want a new relationship with my vagina, too.

The timer is running out of time because I’ve paused a bunch while writing this, feeling nervous, not wanting to overshare, but wanting to be very honest.

If you haven’t read Vagina by Naomi Wolf, please find someone to borrow it from, or buy it, or order it from the library. If you are a woman, this is for you. If you are a man, this is for you. If you are neither, this is also for you. No matter who you love or why you love them or what you have or what you don’t have, this book is for you.

It took me a long time to recognize the politics of my body. I want to understand them and I can’t simply from reading The Globe and Mail.