“It never rains but it pours;” by Sasha at Lewis St.

Sunday January 14, 2018
11:35pm
5 minutes
Bluegrass
Rhona McAdam

It’s hot as balls back here and Dylan keeps throwing prawn bits at me. Fuck off, I say, but he doesn’t.

When I first started here I was at the cold station, but now I’m at the fryer.

Chef said we’ve got some VIPs coming in tonight, but none of us ever want to know who.

We did three hundred and nine covers last night which might not sound like a lot but if you saw the size of our dining room, you’d get it.

Turns out the VIPs are a hockey player and his family, some old guy who doesn’t play anymore but is on the Sports Network now. I couldn’t give a fuck about hockey but I know more than to open my mouth in this kitchen. Dylan played AAA before having one too many concussions. He stares at the guy all night, grinding his teeth, flipping steaks on the grill.

“Does it not sound like shouting to them?” By Sasha at the Intercontinental Yorkville

Saturday January 13, 2018
5:46pm
5 minutes
The Sisters Brothers
Patrick DeWitt

Ginny goes to dance class. She takes the streetcar across town, and walks twelve minutes to the studio. She’s glad that she doesn’t have to wear a leotard, but that she does have to wear ballet slippers. She used to dance when she was young, but then her teacher, Natasha, said that she doesn’t contain an “iota of grace” and so she stopped. But it haunted her. Natasha’s British accent and her delivery, not exactly cruel in tone, but direct, icy. Ginny changes into shorts and a baggy tank top. She smiles at Leanne, a sixty-nine year old former pastry chef, who is wiggling into tights.

“if she was obligated to say” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Tuesday January 9, 2018
11:02pm
5 minutes
Pamplemousse
Dominique Bernier-Cormier

Monique makes the bed with hospital corners just the way Nana taught her. She tiptoes down the stairs. Ever since Graham became a teenager he’s been sleeping until the afternoon and he gets very very angry if anyone wakes him up. Dad says that it’s fair game after ten on the weekends, but it’s before seven so she’s got to stay quiet as a mouse. Dad must be out in the barn. She wonders how he slept last night. Sometimes she hears him pacing in his room hours and hours after she’s gone to bed.

“I analyzed four rape jokes” by Sasha at Anytime Fitness

Thursday January 4, 2017
6:09pm
Shrill
Lindy West

It smells like old bacon fat and pinecones here. I hate your apartment, but you don’t like going outside so you never come to mine. The TV plays the news news news news news. Turns to music if you let it. Turns to grime if you let it. It’s all a frame of mind. You reach over and touch my nipple with your beer can. OUCH. I go to the kitchen and open the fridge even though I’m not hungry. I’m not hungry. I think resolutions are bullshit but you like them so I humour you and we talk about them forever. And ever.

Yours:
More exercise (what else is new)
Less TV
Call your mother

Mine:
Less beer
More vegetables
Clean your front hall closet (just threw that one in so that you would think I really cared)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It’s been a bad month.

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

“to bring supportive people into your life” by Sasha at her desk

Monday December 4, 2017
9:47pm
5 minutes
Feng Shui Dos & Taboos
Angi Ma Wong

She leaves the brown brick building with volcano steps and thunder tears. She runs down down down around turn left right right straight all the way to Domino’s. Glad she packed her toothbrush and a change of socks and underwear. Kay isn’t answering her cellphone so she’s not sure where she’ll go but she’s not there with him and his hands around her neck she’s not there with him and the fucks and the bitch and the spit and the slap. She orders a slice of cheese pizza and eats it very slowly because who knows when Kay will call back and who knows how long this square of space will need to be hers.

“Calls of guilty thrown at me” by Sasha at her desk

Monday November 27, 2017
10:51pm
5 minutes
Cherry Wine
Hozier

Mariah Carey makes me think about the Christmas that Ken dressed up as Santa and got wasted. Her Christmas album was playing, that must’ve been it. I don’t know what Ken was thinking. Dressing up was Dad’s thing. He found the suit when he was looking for tinsel in the garage and I guess he just couldn’t help himself. He was already starting to lose weight, so he wrapped a bungee cord around his waist as a belt to keep the pants up. Dad was a bit pissed, but he got over it and I think he actually was relieved that he didn’t have to sweat his balls off in that suit for four hours.

“Orange County wild fire” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Sunday November 26, 2017
9:41pm
5 minutes
From an Instagram post

Vivian isn’t sure if anyone will remember her name. This is a big fear, taking up the space between temples, up neck, across shoulders. Fredrick suggested that she take some sort of weekly class, and at first she said that they didn’t have enough money and then she came around. Fredrick is virtuously patient. That’s the main reason she married him. She also very much likes his hands and feet. She parks near the entrance and checks her face in the rear view mirror. She isn’t sure what she’s looking for – salad in her teeth? She hasn’t eaten salad since last Tuesday. Fredrick was surprised when she chose a pottery class because she doesn’t like getting dirty. “It’s something I’ve always wanted to do,” she said.

“All I’ve ever learned from love” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Friday November 24, 2017
10:47pm
5 minutes
Hallelujah
Leonard Cohen

Love knocks you around
Especially when you’re young
You throw yourself at every blue eyed Casanova

Love scoops you up
Carries you for awhile
And then drops you
Sound of a cracking egg
Sound of a sizzle
Sound of morning

Love requests nothing
That’s not what you’re used to

Love ruptures
Love rips
Love heals
Love leaks
Love laughs loud
Open mouthed

Love grabs you hard
Hand on the small of your back
You’ve never been touched like this before
You’re breathless putty

“Can we burn something, babe?” by Sasha at her desk

Thursday November 23, 2017
11:29pm
5 minutes
Love On The Brain
Rihanna

Larry drinks a macchiato sitting at the bar drawing hangmen on a napkin waiting for Liz to arrive. She’s notoriously late. He’s spoken to her about it twice and each time she says that she’s sorry and that she’s trying to change. Maybe it’s because his father was in the army and if he was ever late for anything he’d get a slap on the side of the head maybe it’s because his father loathed him most of all more than his three brothers and one sister. He fumes. He checks his phone again and nothing from Liz nothing from Liz only the same old time and date and three unread emails he’s avoiding from work fucking Cathy and her meeting notes fuck fuck fuck.

“We are writing to confirm” by Sasha on her couch

Tuesday November 21, 2017
10:53pm
5 minutes
From an email

We are writing to confirm that you will be joining us for the safari in the Sahara from September 19th-29th, 2021! We want to commend you on your extreme foresight in booking your vacation four years in advance. While we know that many of our clients are busy, and book a year or even 18 months in advance, we have never had someone schedule a safari for four years away. We want to reward you with a special full moon feast.

“SEE ALL” by Sasha on her couch

Thursday November 16, 2017
11:52pm
5 minutes
http://www.bestbuy.ca

The front of my fleecy is wet. SHE SEES ALL. Have I been sweating again? Have I been crying again? SHE KNOWS YOU’RE WET. There are more than seven balled up tissues on the floor at my feet. I pick them up. I put them in the waste basket beside the lavender couch. I swat at a fruit fly.

“Would you like to pay by cheque or card?”

I am furious that Noreen has the audacity to ask me to pay for this divine interaction. God was here with us. Do we pay to go to church? Not where I come from.

“Card please.”

“A utopian vision” by Sasha in her bed

Wednesday November 15, 2017
11:47pm
5 minutes
from a quote by bell hooks

“He’s in Kingston Pen with twenty three years left on his sentence. That’s where he is. Now. You have a choice. Are you going to follow in his footsteps? Or, are you going to blaze your own trail – succeeding in your final year of high school, coming in top of your class at George Brown Culinary School? Getting a fine job under a celerity chef at a high-end restaurant? Being promoted to sous within your first year?” Stephen’s voice is booming. Cynthia looks at me. I look at Cynthia. We’ve both stopped worked. We are riveted. We are electrified. Holy EFF STEPHEN YOU ARE A GOD AMONGST US SIMPLE FOLK.

“We can’t get nothin’ tomorra.” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Tuesday November 14, 2017
11:36pm
5 minutes
Grapes of Wrath
John Steinbeck

It’s just after the first bell and I’m shredding confidential documents. Stephen is meeting with Gunther Cyr, who may or may not have stolen chemical compounds from the Chemistry Lab for drug experimentation. I’m doing my best not to listen but I can’t help it, Stephen has a commanding baritone. He is mostly an excellent principle. He is definitely much, much better than Sheldon Halitosis. I’m good at not reading confidential documents. I am not quite as good at not listening to confidential conversations. I do not listen with my eyes, like so many women I know. I listen with my ears and my ears alone. It’s why I don’t wear earrings and it’s why my ear holes (all six of them) have closed up.

“I didn’t hear that part” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Monday November 13, 2017
10:15pm
5 minutes
overheard on the 84

A lavender couch underneath a window. Spider plants, succulents and African Voilets line the sill. She sits in a caramel leather chair, perhaps Moroccan. Paintings on the walls, all in blues, greens, purples. An Indigenous etching of two women paddling a canoe, a Georgia O’Keefe flower, lily pads on a lake. I take it all in as quickly as I can. I can’t get enough. I’m dizzy.

“It’s so good to meet you,” she says.

“Yes. You too.”

“A first session is a time for us to get to know one another, to see if this is going to be a good fit.”

WRECKING BALL. OH MY GOD. If this is a good fit? It fits! I’m well fitted! My core is getting stronger by the minute! You mean this might not be –

“You seem distracted. Is there something on your mind?”

“Um – …”

“You’re flushed.”

“Yes. Well…” A silence longer than the GO Train ride to Union Station.

“Along with underwear, love is a woman’s work” by Sasha at her desk

Friday November 10, 2017
11:16pm
5 minutes
How to Be A Woman
Caitlin Moran

Love’s her work. She doesn’t say it, but it is. Fold the t-shirts, ball the socks, and L-O-V-E. She keeps saying, “I’m tired,” and she’s not sure why, what could it possible be. “Women’s work”. She hasn’t heard that term since her grandmother was alive, doing crossword puzzles in the sunroom and asking for another peppermint. She wonders what would happen if she left a note on the table that said, “Make dinner for yourselves!”

“We’ll look into this right away” by Julia on her couch

Wednesday November 8, 2017
11:20pm
5 minutes
vistaprint.ca

You’re running again
feel it
feel that
it’s your feet
they’re tired of carrying you
they’ll do it
they’ll always do it
but they’d like to rest
they’d like you to get
that wart on the side
of your foot checked out
it hurts
it hurts when you run
and you’ve been running again
do you ever thank them
your feet
your tired aching feet
they might carry you further
if they knew you cared
it doesn’t need to be big
not a singing telegram
or anything balloon related
but a rub would be nice
a rub with oil if you have it
if you have the time
You’ve been wondering why
it feels like you’ve slowed
and if we’re going to look
into this right away we need
you to first look into this
we on behalf of your feet
the representatives you chose
before you started running
before you started moving
so fast and maybe too fast
we’re not mad but we do
want to make sure you know

“We’ll look into this right away” by Sasha on her couch

Wednesday November 8, 2017
10:56pm
5 minutes
vistaprint.ca

A: Hello? Hi, I just wanted to unsubscribe from –

B: Hello, and thank you for holding. We’re so sorry to hear that you are unsatisfied with our services and would request your feedback as to why you would no longer like to receive our emails. A representative will be with you shortly.

A: Oh good God.

B: Hello, and thank you for holding. We’re so sorry to hear that you are unsatisfied with our services and would request your feedback as to why you would no longer like to receive –

R: Thank you for holding. Rebecca here.

A: Rebecca. Hi. How are you? I just, I want to unsubscribe from the mailing list and I can’t believe that this requires a phone call, who even calls anyone anymore –

R: Could you please tell me you nineteen digit PIN?

“You are a joke cookie” by Sasha at her desk

Sunday November 5, 2017
11:23pm
5 minutes
From the postcard from Amanda

You, MR. SWANSON, are a joke cake, doughnut, um, loaf, no… cookie. YES! That’s it! You’re a JOKE COOKIE! You may not think that it’s your best attribute, but I do, oh I do. You are most possibly the funniest manager I’ve ever had. NO! You’re the funniest man I’ve ever met! NOW, I know that this might mean that I’ll be in some sort of trouble, but no one appreciates you, MR. SWANSON. In fact! Everyone says terrible things behind your back. “He looks like a turtle,” that kind of thing.

“You are a joke cookie” by Julia on her couch

Sunday November 5, 2017
11:44pm
5 minutes
From the postcard from Amanda

I never meant to run this dry. This many days in a row without even attempting to find the joy behind the keys. And I never understood the power of peripheral vision until now. How have I always been such a tentative typer with this new feature? I am crumbling cookie dry like an over baked chicken over baked chick and I never meant to be. I never meant to fall apart. I have been avoiding some truths to myself and spilling the beans to him.  During the full moon I tell him that I feel like I’m being wasted. He tells me he’s sorry. I have been avoiding. Didn’t want the back ache, the carpal tunnel, the magical erase button. Didn’t want the proof of purchase. So dry the cookie forgets to laugh at itself. So dry the cookie thinks about milk for the first time in years. So dry the cookie asks for help. So dry the cookie tells a joke. Nobody laughs. I never meant to fall apart.

“Acceptable for Breakfast” by Julia at her desk

Saturday November 4, 2017
5:36pm
5 minutes
Smittenkitchen.com

Every Zia made sure we had the right breakfast. Zia one would let us have cookies and milk. Oreos to be exact. Wih a tiny esspreso spoon, we’d crush them all up and eat it like ice cream. Zia two had something good to eat too. Salmon gravlax, snails, probably, and cantaloupe.  Zia three never had to feed us. Zia four had homemade leftover pizza, yogurt, biscotti and homo milk. Zia five had captain crunch cereal. Zia six gave us cadburry cream eggs. Zia seven gave us soft boiled eggs and olive oil. That’s not even all the Zias.

“Acceptable for Breakfast” by Sasha at Moii Cafe

Saturday November 4, 2017 at Moii Cafe
4:45pm
5 minutes
Smittenkitchen.com

My Mom and Angel have completely different ideas of what’s acceptable for breakfast. My Mom believes that sugary cereals and bacon are only appropriate for Sundays. Every other day has to contain whole grains. Angel will slather anything, and I really mean anything, in Nutella. She loves the stuff. My Mom goes on and on about how much crap Angel eats, but how she keeps the body of “Cindy Crawford”. I don’t tell her that I have no idea who that is. Gotta add that to my Google List. Whenever I have access to my Mom’s computer, or Bruce’s tablet, I go through my Google List and check off the things that have been accomplished.

“The great task in life” by Sasha on her couch

Sunday October 29, 2017
8:19pm
5 minutes
From a quote by Iris Murdoch

Iris stops smoking on her eighty-second birthday because it’s never too late to change a bad habit. It’s wild to out-live almost everyone you know, Iris says to anyone that will listen – the Wheel-Trans driver, the teller at CIBC, her grandson’s boyfriend. She has everyone over for Nanaimo Bars and sherry, and insists that she does not need eight-two candles. Grey kisses her on the nose and says, “I love you Gran.” She scoffs and says,

“I’m not dead yet, boy.”

“She insisted I make no special concession” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Wednesday October 25, 2017
5:43pm
5 minutes
from Swing Low
Miriam Toews

I told you. She expressly insisted that I make no special concession! Yes, yes, I know that she’s my daughter but she articulated in her own words that she wants me to treat her as I would any other student. Mr. Black. You must listen to me. I know that defacing school property results in two weeks of detention, and probation for the rest of the year. Elizabeth is old enough to know better. I’ve already apologized for her behaviour, as I would with any of my students, but she must take responsibility for her actions. This has gone too far! Mr. Black. Please don’t look at me like that. Please.

“being interviewed” by Sasha on the plane

Tuesday October 24, 2017
6:32pm
5 minutes
From a tweet

Miriam closes her eyes and prays. She would never tell anyone that she does this, a few times a day. It’s new for her and she holds new things close, a smooth black rock in her pocket. She would specify though, if she did tell you, that she isn’t praying to God. She prays to the sky, the colour of raspberry jam right now, sprawling wider than she’s ever seen. She wonders if Dad will still be alive when she gets there. She only brought a carry-on, even though she’s unsure how long she’ll stay. However long it takes. “Some things can’t be rushed,” Dad used to say when they’d be waiting for a calf to be born, clutching thermoses of hot peppermint tea, their breath dancing through the icy barn.

“research purposes only” by Sasha at the casita

Sunday October 22, 2017
6:04pm
5 minutes
From an Air Canada survey

“It’s just for research,” Jonah says, and for some reason I don’t totally believe him. “Would you like another beer?” He has long eyelashes. He has a disarming smile. I shake my head.

He calls me three days later. I’m not sure how he got my phone number, and I don’t ask. Am I doing the thing that I roll my eyes at? Shit. I am. I’m doing the thing.

“What exactly are you researching?” I ask, popping a tortilla chip in my mouth.

“Cultural anthropology,” Jonah says, checking his phone, and then putting it on the table face-down.

“I wanted to go on sitting there” by Sasha at the casita

Friday October 20, 2017
10:47am
5 minutes
Rebecca
Daphne Du Maurer

Mama’s talking about the spaceship’s coming and Papa’s yelling at her to “SHUT UP, CLARISSA!” Petey reaches for Mama and flings his glass of milk off the table and he wails and wails. I take him upstairs and change him into his PJ’s. Mama and Papa yell a bit and Mama cleans up the mess. Kimmy still isn’t speaking and we’re all worried about that.

“The aliens are coming tonight, Phil!” Yells Mama and Papa rubs his temples like he always does.

Petey looks so cute in his one piece red number and I make faces at him so he doesn’t hear the strangeness. He smiles his big toothless moon smile and for a moment everything feels alright.

“It seems to me an awfully silly thing” by Sasha at the casita

Tuesday October 17, 2017
11:02am
5 minutes
The Mystery of the Blue Train
Agatha Christie

It seems to Elizabeth an awfully silly thing that Benjamin was allowed to go to the store on his own and she could not. Mother even said that she had better sense of direction than Ben, and that she was better with her allowance money. Elizabeth sulked on the couch, watching Ben walk down the street. She waited for him to turn around and stick his tongue out at her, or make a face, but he did no such thing and merrily rounded the corner onto Harrison Street.

“Have you cleaned your room, darling?” Mother asked, wiping her hands on her purple apron. Mother recently started dying her hair and Elizabeth isn’t used to it yet. Every time she sees her, she gasps. It is three shades darker than her natural colour, Mother reminds her, and hardly something to get dramatic about.

“She is giant and bossy and funny as hell.” By Sasha at the casita

Saturday, October 14, 2017
2:10pm
5 minutes
From a text

Darla, you gotta meet her. She’s giant and bossy and funny as hell. When you get her going she will not stop. She will make joke after joke until you really have to say, “Darla, you must be quiet. You must stop talking!” She must be close to six feet, and she’s got the biggest breasts anyone has ever seen. It’s problematic only for those of us that come up to her nipples and have a bard time seeing her face. She has this great bit about how both her parents are half a foot shorter than her, her father being shorter than her mother and how maybe her Mom actually fucked the big friendly giant.

“Your name is the strongest” by Sasha in the living room at Black River Farm

Sunday, October 8th, 2017
8:15am
5 minutes
Milk and Honey
Rupi Kaur

I will never tell anyone that I’m here, I whisper as I exit the elevator and walk left, then right, then left. Never ever, cross my heart and swear to die. What an effed up saying. I wonder why we used to say that all the time. If Al knew I was here he would tease me into eternity. Dad would mock me until I wept silently in the bathtub, a bottle of Shiraz cradled in the crook of my arm, never touching my lips, just there. In case. Dr. Noreen Sandhu, is written on the door. Is there a waiting room? Is this just, like, her office? Should I wait outside? Oh my God. What am I doing? Deep breath deep breath DEEP BREATH THIS IS WHY YOU’RE HERE, CLAIRE. THIS IS WHY. I give a very small, basically inaudible knock, just to test the waters. NO answer. Okay. Hm. Okay. I try the door handle and at first it feels locked but then I realize it’s just a very, very heavy door. I push with all my might, after all I have been going to Pilates most Tuesday mornings and my core is getting stronger, I can feel it even if no one can see it. I told Yolanda that my goal was to feel stronger. I don’t care about how things appear on the outside, I’d said. She’d scoffed. Eff her. I am achieving my goal. I am a goal achiever. A GOAL DESTROYER. I AM A GOAL ORIENTED WOMAN. A manifester. “Claire?” The smell of sage, lavender, ylang ylang. Doctor Sandhu, with perfectly chestnut skin, a deliciously large nose, excellent knockers and wearing a turquoise tunic and white tights. Oh my God. “Claire?” She says again, and for once in my life I am speechless.

“Babysat while Christian went to bingo.” By Sasha at Black River Farm

Saturday, October 6th, 2017
8:12am
5 minutes
Adrian Mole: The Wilderness Years
Sue Townsend

When Christian went to bingo, Dominique and I babysat Felix. He would pay us ten dollars each, which at the time we thought was a hundred. Mimi would save hers. Right into her bank account it would go. She couldn’t get there fast enough. Christian had to tell her, repeatedly, that she ought to buy herself something. “It’s okay to spend a little,” he’d say, smiling. I would make lists of what I wanted – the newest YM, a watermelon lipgloss, a journal with a sparkly peacock on the front, a set of fine-tip sharpies, an extra large toblerone bar, my own matte scotch tape, Guatemalan slippers, a mini flatiron… The list would be so long that I wouldn’t be able to choose what I wanted first. Sometimes I’d cry and Mimi would console me. By this time, Felix would be drinking out of the toilet or scratching the wallpaper off the walls in the den and we’d have to call the bingo hall and Christian would have to come home early.

“how on earth an idiot like that could be trusted” by Sasha on the dock at Knowlton Lake

Friday October 6th, 2017
7:32am
5 minutes
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
Maya Angelou

Jack is a namecaller and I know it to be true because the walls are thin in this God-forsaken house. My mother only knew Jack for thirteen weeks before they got married, and yes it was because she was pregnant, but she’s not pregnant anymore. Jack was drunk on their wedding day, even before breakfast. Louelle and I brought them boiled eggs and sliced ham in bed and I don’t know how he did it but he’d definitely already been drinking. Jack calls my mother “idiot”, that’s his favourite one. He calls her “cunt”, which I’m not entirely sure about the meaning of, “twat”, which I think means “cat” like “bitch” means “dog.” Louelle just frowns when she hears it and shakes her little curly head.

“After the Flood” by Sasha at the kitchen table

Sunday September 17, 2017
9:39pm
5 minutes
The cover of NOW Magazine

By now it’s all happened. By now your hair has dried even though the city is broken and bandaged. By now you have socks. It’s funny when people call you a name that I don’t know. It smells like seaweed and rain. Today will be known as The Day After The Flood.

When we roast marshmallows and eat the sticky bits slowly pulling them between our fingers, sixteen years from now, you’ll look at me sideways and say, “I thought you were going to drown.”

“Get me the hell off this bus” by Sasha at the kitchen table

Saturday September 16, 2017
9:45pm
5 minutes
Overheard on the 99

“Get me the hell off this bus!!!!”

“Open the back door, please.”

“Driver, open the back door!”

Bang bang bang on the window and finally the driver stops and he doesn’t open the back door. He walks towards the back, past baby carriage and a printer in a box and a very fat man with a very kind face and children holding onto their parents’ hands and a woman in a leapord print shirt drinking a grapefruit juice box.

“What’s going on back here?”

“That was my stop! That was my stop! Now I’ve missed my stop!”

“Calm down please, or I’m going to have to ask you to leave.”

“If you have troubles” by Sasha in the bath


Thursday August 17, 2017
11:06pm
5 minutes
from an e-flyer

It’s been a long time since I brought my notebook into the bathtub
It’s been a long time since I cried til my eyes bled
It’s been a long time since you told me you loved me
It’s been a long time

It’s been a long time since I took myself out for ice cream
It’s been a long time since I talked to my Mom
It’s been a long time since I laughed til I was red
It’s been a long long time

It’s been a long time since I knew I was certain
It’s been a long time since I sweat through my shirt
It’s been a long time since I saw a bald eagle
It’s been a long long long time

“Life Lessons From 100-Year-Olds” by Sasha at her desk


Sunday July 30, 2017
11:15pm
5 minutes
Youtube

Fiona turns one hundred on a Sunday. She’s outlived most of the friends of her generation, but her three grandchildren come over for waffles and bacon. Fiona asks Sam to make her a stiff drink. He obliges. Fiona doesn’t dole out advice, or even speak about the good old days. She listens to her brood speaking words she has no idea the meaning of, and she adds more whipped cream to her waffle, a small smile on her lips.

“I’ll just call out the names and tell them to wait” by Sasha on her couch


Monday July 24, 2017
11:42pm
5 minutes
Overheard at the airport

A baby is screaming. I’m sympathetic, I really am. I know I’ll be her – that woman with white stains on her hoodie, a shrieking infant hanging off her – I know I’ll be her one day. I feel bad, I mean, everyone is trying to look supportive, but underneath they are cursing her, “Goddamn it, woman! Shut that baby up! Give it the bottle or the breast or a baby-sized dose of Gravol so it shuts UP!” The baby – cute, but not too cute – locks it’s little eyes on me. I’m on the other side of the plane, but it sees me and it stops screaming. Shit. Now it’s up to me to play peek-a-boo.

“Stanley stepped carefully” by Sasha at work


Friday July 14, 2017
2:17pm
5 minutes
Holes
Louis Sacher


Stanley carefully stepped into the water. He wasn’t sure about any of this. When Uncle Jim had asked if he would like to come with them to the beach that weekend, instead of staying in the city, he hadn’t said yes. Babs, Stanley’s mother, had quickly chimed in, “He would love to!” Stanley knew that Babs wanted some time to herself, to take a bath, eat some salt and vinegar chips, maybe watch a rom com. He didn’t blame her. Moreover, Stanley knew that Jim was a good influence on him. Stanley had never swum in the ocean before, despite living four hours away. Babs was once violently stung by a jellyfish, so she had no interest in a beach vacation.

“if indoors, stay indoors” by Sasha at her desk


Monday June 26, 2017
11:51pm
5 minutes
From the Central 1 credit union emergency response plan

It all starts when you get hives, clustered around your collarbones, reaching up your neck. You think it’s a spider bite and then Janis says, “What’d you have for lunch?”

Dr. Klein is useless. He tries to put you on anti-depressants. “I’m not depressed,” you say. He gives you a look like you will be, or you should be, or you could be.

Soon, a triad of plantar warts sprout on the ball of your left foot. You hobble around the office and Janis says, “What’d you have for lunch?!”

“Good girls wore miniskirts but not hot pants” By Julia at her desk


Sunday June 18, 2017
9:56pm
5 minutes
They Used To Call Me Snow White…But I Drifted
Regina Barreca


I wish we didn’t have to fight so hard for our bodies. How can one opinion be the ignition behind so much devestation. All these lies we told ourselves because of the lies we heard first from someone else’s head. It must have been a group. There must have been a threat lobbied at enough of them to cause a movement. Why hold some bodies back if nothing is at risk? But what was at risk? What could it have possibly been to mean so much? What is the small bone we must find before breaking all of ours instead?

“Popeye was right!” By Sasha at her desk


Friday June 16, 2017
10:46pm
5 minutes
La Dolce Vegan
Sarah Kramer


When your mother brings home Steve, the third potential stepfather, you are immediately sceptical of his black goatee and reddish, greying hair. You know that that is not how nature works. Steve is the “assistant manager” (oh-kay) at the mechanic on the corner of First and MacDonald. His brother is the owner. His brother, according to Michelle St. Bernard, is almost a millionaire. Something about good investments, or the stock market, or Atlantic City. You and Tina kick each other under the table as your mother giggles at Steve’s jokes. You get a few of them, and want to laugh because they are not half bad, but you don’t. Out of solidarity with Tina. Out of mourning for your father. Steve says something about the spinach and rice pilaf and your mother says something about Popeye. Tina’s eyes light up.

“compelled to live under difficult conditions” by Sasha on her couch


Thursday June 15, 2017
11:11pm
5 minutes
Ancient Wisdom, Modern World
The Dalai Lama


You occasionally wonder about what it might be like to be a sister of the holy order of the Arbutus. They live in a thick forest, in an abbey built of three different kinds of sacred wood no one knows the names of. They are not your traditional nuns, these sisters. They can still have sex, for one, and for two, they question morals and books and all that is sworn to be truth. Sister Lupe even has a husband back in Argentina, but they are happier apart with what she calls “conjugal visits” six times a year. Their creed is long, but one of your favourites is that no one shall ever suck in their tummy.

“As the vibrations release” by Sasha at her desk


Friday June 2, 2017
10:45am
5 minutes
Freeing the Natural Voice
Kristin Linklater


“What are you getting at?” Ben puts his hands in his pockets. That’s never a good sign.

“I just…” My mouth is pasty. My knees are weak. My heart is beating like I’m running, but I’m still.

“Spit it out, Caroline,” Ben says, shifting his weight from one foot to the other.

“I want to go by myself.”

He steps back, putting more space between us. Maybe he understands.

“We bought our plane tickets,” Ben says in a soft voice.

“I know, I know… You can go, too! But, I want to travel alone. I need to do this. I really need to do this.” I will tears not to come. Please please please.

“This is fucked.” Ben walks into the bedroom and slams the door.

“Cut cucumber halves crosswise” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Monday, May 29, 2017
8:03pm
5 minutes
The Silver Palate Cookbook
Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins


For her nineteenth birthday, Cath makes Tal a cookbook of all the recipes that she loved growing up. Cath’s still known around town as “Tal’s Mom”. She wonders when she’ll regain her one-ness, sometimes, when she runs into Rita and John at the IGA. “How’s Tal?” Rita says, putting hamburger meat into their basket. “She’s good! Really good.” Cath says. “Still playing basketball?” John strokes his grey goatee. “Yup, varsity,” Cath smiles. “You must miss her so much,” Rita shakes her head. “Girl that talented, you hope that she sticks around…”

“super slinky.” By Sasha at her kitchen table


Sunday May 14, 2017
9:57pm
5 minutes
From the pack of guitar strings

Sadie flips pancakes at the old stove that you’ve got to kick on it’s right side to get going. She’s made them just out of bananas, almond butter and eggs, blended in the Magic Bullet. She’s a witch (and I mean that as the highest compliment) in the kitchen and the rest of us are her disciples, watching as she sprinkles cinnamon, hemp hearts, gogi berries. Marlene gave birth only two weeks ago and whenever she’s away from Arlo for longer than thirty minutes, her nipples start leaking. She’s got big, wet circles on her purple tank top. “No one tells you that this happens,” she says, looking down. Sadie kisses her on the cheek, and hands her a pancake, fresh from the skillet.

“Fine then, you get out.” By Sasha at her desk


Saturday May 13, 2017
9:34am
5 minutes
Oil and Water
Robert Chafe


Budgie makes the sign of the cross whenever I mention Anton.

“We’ve been dating for almost three months,” I say. “You’re really going to have to come around.”

Budgie never liked when I made a new friend, let alone went on dates with someone. Scared Henry McAlister away, in fact. He’d be sitting in the window, like a statue when we left and we got home. Did he move when we were out eating burgers and seeing a show at the Dominion? No one knows.

“Humph,” Budgie says, opening a can of 7Up.

“You should really stop drinking that stuff,” I say, wiping a layer of dust off of the coffee table. “It has about twelve teaspoons of sugar in it, Budg, and it’s not even ten o’clock!”

“it won’t matter what house I move into” by Sasha on her couch


Friday May 12, 2017
9:51pm
5 minutes
Love Warrior
Glennon Doyle Melton


Gramma takes us in after the house burns down. We move into her attic, me and Kate and Selma. Ma and Freddie McFly go to the Spencers’. Selma says that they might be swingers, but Kate and I say, “please don’t make us picture that.” Gramma never recovered after Gramps died. She doesn’t smile, or laugh, or do the crossword puzzles. She makes us toast with raspberry jam in a little bowl. No butter in sight. “We can just use jam from the jar, Gram,” says Kate. Gramma scowls. Sometimes, at night, when all the lights are out and we are three in a row in the king bed, we hear her whistling the Canadian anthem.