Tuesday August 22, 2017
We assumed that he’d be okay. We thought that he was invincible. He thought he was invincible. After a month of sitting beside him in the hospital, we start to lose sense of time. Days blur to hours and minutes slam weeks. Grief is thick in these buildings. We make bad, morose jokes. Toby starts smoking again. Ivy texts from Delaware but we can’t loop her, it’s impossible. You have to be here, I say, finally, on the phone in the gift shop. I pick up a stuffed bear and hug it.
Thursday September 22, 2016
I’m riding my bike quickly down the hill, the wind blowing a symphony of “yes” in my ears, hands firmly on the handlebars and
My front tire hits a bump, a piece of metal? A big nail? A shoe? I fly over my handlebars and in that moment
I see my life
my bathroom with the new coat of eggshell white paint
I wonder if it’s already happened
Am I dead?
Thank goodness it’s already turned cool and I’m wearing my denim jacket or my elbows and arms would be torn to shred
A car pulls over and a woman gets out
She looks like my Mom but with black black hair
She gives me her hand and helps me up
Saturday June 18, 2016
All My Puny Sorrows
They found the squirrel on the side of the road, barely hanging on to life. Eyes open and feet pawing at the air, her stomach was split open and guts and blood were coming out. He tried to make a joke but it fell as flat as the soda in the back seat, rolling around on the floor. She held back tears, searching for veterinary clinics and animal rescue shelters on her cellphone. The reception was bad so she kept holding her arm up into the air like she had a question for a teacher in the sky.
Saturday May 7, 2016
from a chef magazine
I get blood after losing seven litres in the cycling accident. I have no idea how many litres I lost but I know it was litres. I think it was “litres”. I never considered myself to be a spiritual man, but as soon as I had someone else’s blood pumping through my veins, I was. I was a spiritual man. I am a spiritual man. It wasn’t the blood, if that’s what you’re thinking. It was the act of getting the blood, that someone gave blood and now it’s in me, mixing with my own.
Monday April 18, 2016
Overheard on Yew
Macy is sitting in the bathtub covered in blood. All I can say is, “What the fuck? What the fuck?” She’s not crying or smiling or moving, but her eyes are open and she’s looking at me, eyes wide.
“What’re you doing here?” I sit on the closed lid of the toilet.
“I hurt myself, Jay.”
“What the fuck happened?”
“I hurt myself.”
“What’re you doing here, even? How did you get in to my apartment?”
“I need to talk to you.”
“Okay. What, yes, okay…”
“I rode my bike here, in the rain, and I got hit by a big truck. I passed out, under it. Louise, she was driving the fucking truck. I couldn’t call the police. She was high. She ran, she left the scene, she… Someone called a fucking ambulance and I was…”
Sunday, December 13, 2015
In the middle of the night I am shocked awake by your fist bruising my left cheekbone. You have been attacking me in your sleep since September but this is the first time it leaves a mark instantaneously.
I am livid in the moment because I am stunned and confused but I know you don’t know what you’re doing so I don’t wake you up to tell you what just happened like you want me to. In the morning you are concerned about my face and beg me to tell you what you’ve done. I say, it was an accident this time, I know it was. But you don’t believe me. I am not a good liar. You ask me to tell you what you’ve said but I don’t want to upset you so I stick to my guns and say I don’t think you said anything at all. The truth is, you’ve been calling out my name each time but I can’t bring myself to confess that you’re not just remembering your days on the battlefield. Once you yelled that I was keeping you a prisoner. Another time you told me that I didn’t deserve to live.
Saturday November 21, 2015
Overheard at the Eastside Culture Crawl
I keep replaying the moment before, like that cat food jingle no one can get out of their heads.
“Maybe we shouldn’t,” you say. “What if it hurts?”
I don’t feel fear like you do, as a “golf ball in your throat, covered in thorns”.
I jump first. I’m a more experienced swimmer. I promise you I’ll be fine but we make the plan that if I don’t bob up within a few minutes you should call 911.
The water is colder than hell. It shakes me into oblivion. It’s better than coke. I bob up and I scream, “Jump! Jump!”
You say that you’re scared and I reassure you that it’s deep, that it’s safe, that you’ll be fine.
Tuesday, June 30, 2015
From a text
“Please don’t be mad at me,” Sydney says, eyes round as fried eggs. “I sorrrrrry!” She wails, throwing her arms around my waist, wetting the front of my dress. “It’s okay,” I say, even though it’s not. “It’s fine, sweetie.”
She’d been painting on the floor and had used one of my grandmother’s bone china tea cups to mix her paint. Acrylic. She’d asked for acrylic paints from her aunt Kim and Kim always obliges, without okay-ing it with us. “Really?” I’d hissed, taking off my party hat. “That shit stains!” Kim had smiled apologetically and said, “I’ll tell her to keep it on newspaper.”
Sydney and I tried to get the paint out of the teacup but it was forever tinged green. “Why don’t you just turn it into a planter or something?” Kim asked. “I liked to drink tea out of it, that’s why!” I said a little too enthusiastically.
Friday September 12, 2014 at Pigneto 41
from Thunder and Lightening by Natalie Goldberg
In any given moment Talia will be coming home. Talia likes butter on toast, then orange marmalade. When Talia’s dad isn’t looking, she sneaks the spicy nduja spread that he likes so much. She sticks her finger in the jar to lick it quickly in case he emerges from the TV room and sees her taking his favourite snack without asking. Talia will be coming home soon and she will tell us the news of Sofia–she will remind us of what we already know and that’s not to get our hopes up about her memory. Talia always tells us the same thing about Sofia but we wait for her the same, with bated breath and fingers crossed that today Sofia will remember something new. Talia isn’t even Talia to Sofia but she gets to see her because Sofia thinks she is her imaginary friend from childhood. Sofia called her Naya and used to say Naya was a trouble maker with a beautiful singing voice. Talia doesn’t sing at all but she hums to Sofia and Sofia believes. Talia hasn’t been the same since she started pretending to be Naya. But she does it so she can see her sister every day.
Saturday April 5, 2014
from the box of envelopes
When the truck hit, my spine broke on impact, but I didn’t feel pain. Blood gushed from the side of my body, and I thought about my son, Louie, at daycare, playing with play-dough, mixing all the colours together. He’d be waiting for me. I’d never been late for him. This would be the first of many times I broke his heart. I break. I broke. I woke up in the hospital, machines whirring, my boyfriend, AJ, kissing my fingers. Louie slept in his stroller at the foot of the bed. AJ cried. I’d only seen him do it once before, when Louie was born. A doctor came quickly and smiled blue eyes at me. I closed my own. It was too much, too bright, to achey, too broken. “Lilly,” Blue Eyes said, “You’ve been in a coma for three months.” I tried to sit up, to see Louie. I missed too much. Shit. “Please don’t try to move. You suffered exceptional injuries – ” and AJ stands up. He kisses me on the forehead. And I can’t feel his lips there, and I can’t smell the fear on his breath.
Wednesday November 13, 2013
25 Insights on Becoming a Better Writer
Jocelyn K. Glei
Corinne and her baby brother, Emilio, were standing at the bus stop–well, Emilio was not standing, but sitting more so on Corinne’s hip and playing with the gold chain around her neck. She was careful to watch him so he wouldn’t pull off the ‘C’ that hung near her cleavage.
Emilio, according to most, was an accident baby as he had been born 20 years after Corinne. She didn’t think of him like that…A happy accident if any.
Corinne was the only one who seemed to care for little Emilio as her mother was away for weeks at a time attending to “business” which really just meant “business men”. Corinne wasn’t even convinced that her and Emilio had the same father. Her mother was not one to kiss and tell so everyone was always just left guessing.
Corinne was on her way, with unintentional offspring in tow, to meet Carla, her friend from high school who said she had some very important news.
Sunday October 13, 2013
The Unhealthy Truth
My dad told me when I was young enough to fuck up the way I did, but old enough to feel badly, that I should never forget to mix hard alcohol with orange juice or something. Straight vodka doesn’t go well with girls who think white rum is the same thing….
I had made that mistake when I was 15. Old enough to know better, young enough to try to be sneaky about it. I was carried home by both of my parents from a party at which I had blacked out and chipped part of my front tooth. I didn’t know I was making it easier for my tooth to be susceptible to further damage. Now 11 years later, the whole bottom half is completely missing from a car accident. I didn’t realize it till now that it was a vulnerable tooth and that I was the one who should be responsible. All from when I drank too much at a friend’s party while her parents were out of town. And all because I thought that the more you drink the better you feel. My mother was disappointed. More than angry, which, as usual, is always way worse. My dad, I think, was relieved. He was happy to do some parenting. He was happy I was learning those hard life-lessons while I was still interested in gaining their approval.
Monday, September 9, 2013
We Think Alone
Week 11 from an email sent by Lena Dunham that includes a picture of herself
And then he chased me out of the shop with a broom, yelling something about “inappropriate” or “this is not how the world works, little girl”. I didn’t mean to steal them…I thought they were free and I left once before for what could have been permanently and he didn’t say one thing to me. So who ratted me out? Does it even matter? I never have to go there again. I shouldn’t even care but I’m finding it very difficult to let this one go. He’s just the type that likes rules. That needs rules. And because I’m at the “whatever whatever” stage in my life, the “stick it to the man and live hard and fast” stage, I didn’t think twice about what he might be feeling. And I liked him right away. I was expecting us to have a nice rapport. I didn’t consider him at all…
Friday April 26, 2013 at Starbucks
The front page of the Metro Weekend
April 26-28, 2013
It was a nightmare the day she lost her left arm. A softball player since she was big enough to hold a stick and swing it at tossed pebbles at the end of her driveway. Marissa was the catcher for her team. It would make more sense to address that first, but she’s sensitive and doesn’t want everyone in the town to pity her. Marissa was in a car, driving, sleeping, driving. She woke up on the wrong side of the road once and was shocked so intensely she swore she’d never drive tired again. She had been on her way home from the big away game. It was the playoffs. Her team had won, Everyone was celebrating. Marissa didn’t drink, she even took a nap before talking on the three hour drive. She is still confused about what happened. How it happened. How she ended up in a ditch with her arm out the window–crushed beyond possible repair. She woke up in the hospital with her teammates all around her crying. She hadn’t even looked at the damage yet. But, she knew. Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye, she thought.