“and a quiet evening sipping whiskey” by Julia on the Brown Line

Wednesday September 12, 2018
7:16pm
5 minutes
Mr. Bright Eyes
John Barton

Who had the bright idea to go to Target and buy a 12 pack of Miller Lite? Must have been you since you’re the only one drinking Miller Lite these days. Me, I can’t swallow the stuff. Not just Miller Lite, but beer. The only thing they drink here. Not beer as in here take a sip, take a load off, take the edge off. Beer as in, here, here, here, and here, and more, and more, and more, and here. I can’t do it like that. I was told not to. My body has been trying to remind me that. You wouldn’t want me that way anyway. Those days when I used to drink beer and beer and here and here I wouldn’t know where here was or me, or my desires. I don’t recognize the person who used to drink in the shower, before the comedy show, before leaving the house. I could ask us to stay in one night, have a quiet evening sipping whiskey but, you are not the kind of person who sips anything. You like the feeling of being tipsy with me, but I can’t seem to get there anymore without losing myself. I don’t like the action of sipping things when I am simply not thirsty.
My guts have been full since I got here. You had a Miller Lite in the closet yesterday and I had one more reason to stop. The dreams come worse when I’ve been filling all the holes with the wrong kind of gold. The kind that costs four dollars at Target.

“coffee laced with rum” by Sasha at Anytime Fitness

Tuesday February 6, 2018
7:12pm
5 minutes
I’ve Fishing Crawford Lake
Kim Maltman

First date and she asks what you’re drinking and you say that you’re not but she thinks that you’re joking so then you’re joking and then there’s a rum and diet and instantly you’ve got game and sex appeal and a smile that looks like you’ve had orthodonture.

You pour yourself three fingers and you know you shouldn’t you know you promised but you do it you do it anyway.

Morning meeting coming up there will be pastries maybe a few too green bananas there will be coffee you bring a travel mug of your own your own is better and you get to lace it with rum.

Hard times come and it’s harder for them to go once they’re there and you’re back nursing a beer at three when you should be with your family at Len’s christening shit shit when did it get this bad?

“so that we can contact you” by Julia on her couch


Friday November 4, 2016
9:46pm
5 minutes
from a contest information sheet

Paulette: Yeah, that’s just the thing, you give them one high five and they’ve already saved your phone number to their contacts list and found you on Facebook! Ha ha ha, you know it’s true! You’re jus–we could be having lunch tomorrow you’re right–no we won’t! Definitely not and–okay you too. No you too, I mean it. Goodnight Jerry. Goodnight. Goodnight.

Paulette throws her cellphone into the waste bin beside her bed. She tightens the belt on her robe and pulls the flask out of her gym bag.

“disaster in one form or another” by Julia on the Greyhound to Toronto


Monday, August 10, 2015
6:38pm
5 minutes
Courage
Debbie ford


I stabbed my eyelid with my thumbnail and it started to bleed so Rainbow or whatever the fuck her name is won’t let me participate in the fucking step class. So now I’m sitting outside the gym waiting for Deanna to finish “getting her sweat on” cause she has our locker key and Rainbow’s stupid bitch face said I wasn’t allowed to reenter the class after leaving cause it disrupts the other “athletes”. Jesus fucking hell, it’s not a broadway show! Are the “athletes” really going to have to stop on account of the squinty eyed bleeding girl taking a place in the room? I’m the fucking victim here! Probably my last day of seeing and Rainbow STILL refuses to grant me my dignity.

“and I’m not driving!” By Julia on her bed


Saturday, August 8, 2015
2:13am
5 minutes
from a Facebook post

See I got this problem and it’s not a very big one, in the grand scheme of life and stuff, you know? But this problem of mine, it’s a very annoyin’ situation so I just can’t stop talkin’ about it. See I was drivin’ to the corner store last Wednesday cause I needed those new chips they had out? You know the Lays, how they have those flavour competitions and you got to vote for the best one to see which one gets to stay in the natural rotation of things? So I had this deal with myself, a bet more like it even, and I had to try all of the chip flavours but completely blind to avoid all bias. And I knew I wanted to taste them one by one side by side to get the true reaction of my mouth goin’. Anyway, I was really lookin’ forward to having this taste test cause after Arnie won the kids I was drinkin’ more than ever and felt like I needed some kind of comfort that wasn’t clear and all consuming. So as I’m drivin’ I start to cry, real big whimperin’ whinin’ kind of tears and it makes it real hard to see…

“I’ve been catfished!” by Sasha at Higher Grounds


Friday March 6, 2015
1:41pm
5 minutes
from a text from Sandra

Not even kidding. Not even. I sobered up one year ago today. It’s pretty strange being twenty and being sober. I said I’m not gonna drink because I wanted to live a life of abstinence from everything. I couldn’t get clean, and, after I moved here, I stopped doing drugs but it was hard not to drink. It’s, like, acceptable. This year I’ve been clean and sober from everything. I didn’t do the program because it felt cult-y. I don’t know. No offence, I mean, I know it really helps people, but I found that it was this weird meat market where everyone was looking for a fuck, or something. I’ve got a new life to live, man. It’s a day by day thing. I just wanna be a better person. Alcohol is everywhere. It really is. Going out dancing sober is pretty fucking uncomfortable. But I do it. I want to do it. It’s a real shame. I’ve lived a whole life of forgetting everything, blacking out, you know. I don’t want to forget.

“I might be” by Sasha at Matchstick Coffee Roasters


Monday January 19, 2015 at Matchstick Coffee Roasters
5:12pm
5 minutes
from a poster in Ricardo’s studio

I might be the only one here with any real love in my life. Sorry. I don’t mean that in an arrogant way but like, I feel badly because in some ways it feels like I shouldn’t even be here, you know? Why am I fucked up when I’ve got all this love going on all over the damn place?

We have mice. My roommate and I. And she’s new so I feel like a dick that’s been leaving granola out or something… Which I have been doing… I just, like, I forget, you know, I forget about wiping the counter. There’s better shit to do.

My name is Alana and I’m an… Shit. This is so fucking weird. It feels contrived. Or, like… I don’t think I belong here. I might be that one person that everyone looks at like, “I feel bad for you…” Feel bad for me! Do it! I dare you!

“train service is suspended” by Sasha in her garden


Friday June 6, 2014
12:03pm
5 minutes
A tweet by the TTC

All I can hear, over and over again in my head is that automated voice… “Train service is suspended between Ossington and Dufferin with a passenger emergency onboard a train. Shuttle buses will be operating between – ” Are you okay? Are you going to be okay? All I can hear is the sound of my heart in my ears, in my throat, the pulsing. “Chloe? Chloe! Are you alright? Chloe!” We were just playing around. We were just… We went to the kegger at the Sorority that Vanessa’s sister was apart of. We didn’t know that… “Butt chug it! Butt chug it!!” There were guys there, too, you know. Not just… She’s a daredevil. I have that caution gene but she… doesn’t. I went into the walk-in closet with her and this sister there… or whatever you call it and… Half a box of wine went up her ass. Sorry. But that’s what happened. And the other girl was laughing and I was like, “Chloe? Chloe! Are you alright?” And she said that she was. She felt wasted but “all good”. We left about an hour later and I didn’t know that she went into the bathroom and did another… one. Then, when we got on the subway she blacked out and she fell and on her way down she smacked her face on the edge of a seat and it gave her a bloody nose and…

“X&Z” by Julia on the 94 going east


Thursday June 6, 2013
9:48pm
5 minutes
from a sign on Harbord

Could it be the alcohol? Is my face red? Am I laughing too much? You’ve got me punch drunk on good vibes, didn’t touch a drop, don’t need to when I’m with you. Got that dyslexic view going on, X&Z and Y Y Y, as long as it stands for Yes. Don’t need to read when I’m with you. Don’t need to see a dictionary and feel the desire to open it up and put sense to what you’re doing to me. Could have recited Flanders Fields in complete and udder gibberish and I would have fallen to my knees in a fit of heat for you. Could it be the alcohol? Is my face red? Am I laughing too much? You’ve got me singing the alphabet backwards cause you’re testing me. Next thing is a tight rope on an empty side street, one foot in front of the other and I could land in a splat of whatever for you and I would have to say that yeah, I passed that test. You can make me do your bidding. Got a shovel? Cause I’ll dig a hole and bury whoever you want with it.

“adapted for use” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Tuesday, April 9, 2013
11:12pm
5 minutes
101 More Drama Games for Children
Paul Rooyackers


“With a name like that, you’re just asking for it!” He says, this dumb guy with the dumb haircut that all guys seem to have, with that dumb smile that’s really a “I’m coooooool.” “I didn’t choose my name, asshole,” I say, turning around, hoping that Jo will save me. She doesn’t. She’d gone to the bathroom, or out for a cigarette, or is in the alley behind the bar making out with Joaquin, her flavour of the month, sexy but rude, tall but skinny. “Damn,” I whisper. I face forward, face the wall of scotch, bourbon, whiskey, rye. I look down. I think about stealing the few loonies that are there, meant for the bartender, but she was a bitch so who cares. I do. I steal them. Dumb Guy notices and says, “Oh, so you’re that kinda girl.” I pause. I want to hit him but I don’t want to get kicked out so I pause, instead. “What kind is that?” “The stealing kind.” “NO way,” I say, sliding off the stool. “I saw that,” he whispers. “Those dollars don’t belong to you.” “Whatever.” I walk away. I go into the bathroom, graffitied and smelling of Comet and pee. “Jo?!” “Nope – ” says a voice, in a stall. I don’t apologize. Most people would. I’m trying to break that habit. I walk through the bar, a long and lean room, towards the door. Dumb Guy grabs my hand, “Baby, let’s dance.”