“We are writing to confirm” by Julia on the 99

Tuesday November 21, 2017
8:59pm
5 minutes
from an email

YOU HAVE BEEN CORDIALLY INVITED TO SHARE IN THE NAMING CEREMONY OF OUR BABY!

(Please turn over)

Your attendance and your baby names are requested to attend the aforementioned event on Tuesday November 21, 2017 at 8:59pm, located at the fountain (you’ll know it by the baby lights, can’t miss em).

We ask that in lieu of monetary gifts, you and your guest please bring three names you would like to see our baby be called. Points for creativity and uniqueness will be awarded! Cemeteries are great places to get baby name inspiration-they’re not using them anymore so why not! Also, words in various languages that mean positive things will be most welcomed.

RSVP ASAP!

“We rent a condominium together” by Julia at her desk

Monday October 30, 2017
9:11pm
5 minutes
Telling Time
Philip Kelly

We take a drive down a quiet road and when we stop to see the horses he takes a small box out of his pocket. It’s not an engagement ring. He knows I am not marrying anybody thank you very much. It’s a key. A little one. I mean, a normal sized one. Just not like a big key. And I take it in my hand and I tell him it’s the dumbest and smartest thing we’ll ever decide to do. And he laughs, because I am fucking funny and then suddenly we have place together. I have my things beside his things in a drawer we share in the home we live in. Together.

We are in a the car driving down a quiet road when I tell him I have a living gingerbread baby growing inside me. And he laughs because who ruins pregnancy news like this but gets away with it? Me. Prince Chamring. I do. And he puts his hand on my belly and he thanks me. He thanks all of our lucky fucking stars.

She is giant and bossy and funny as hell.” By Julia on her couch

Saturday October 14, 2017

11:22pm

5 minutes

a text

Kitty tells me to say that that I’m the baby and she’s the mum. I say, I’m the baby and you’re the mum. Then she tells me to say I’m addicted to raisins! I say, do I know what addicted means already? And she tells me to just say it already. I say I’m the baby and you’re the and mum and I’m addicted to raisins. She tells me, okay now say you’re trapped in a lemon peel. And I say oh no I’m the baby and you’re the mum and I’m addicted to raisins and I’m trapped in a lemon peel. Then kitty bursts out laughing. She is laughing so hard she gives herself hiccups. She tries to give direction between giant gulps of air. I tell her to take a second and catch her breath and she tells me to hurry up and be funny. I tell her she’s being a bit bossy and she shrieks at the top of the lungs, THAT’S BECAUSE I’M THE MUM.

“COLD PRESS BRIGHT” by Julia at the studio

Sunday October 1, 2017
6:22pm
5 minutes
from the EPSON box

Cold press bright
button baby button
we are living in pink
hues and baby blues
baby baby will you
want to watch me grow
another human inside
me and then love someone
you’ve never met
but always known
button baby button

Conversation paused
on the problem
Nobody has written down
the plan for us
the three of us
nobody knew there
would be three
unless you knew
without telling me

Bright press cold
button baby baby
witness this magic
of me carrying a
peice of us both
in my body tell
the ocean we are
ready to cross it
all three of us
rock and wave it
all the way to
the shore to save it
baby button baby

Letters written in
father to be cursive
and mamma to be
subversive
you tell the
jokes and I’ll
tell the truth
you tell the
jokes and I’ll
tell the truth
We have not
always wanted you
but you were baby
worth the change
my mind made

“also fun” by Julia at her desk


Tuesday June 6, 2017
10:04pm
5 minutes
from a tweet

She comes over to sit with me as I attempt to airplane a chicken noodle into her baby’s scowl. She brings cheerios and cottage cheese and sets them next to the breaded chicken, the cup of green peas, the watermelon, and the cheese quesadilla. We alternate forced forkfuls from the grand buffet he cannot appreciate. She looks thankful to be talking to an adult that isn’t her husband, sick from back pain. She tells me they haven’t gone on a date since he was born eighteen months and two weeks ago. She says sometimes they just have a glass of wine in bed after he stops crying.

“and they’ll break your heart” by Julia at her desk


Sunday May 21, 2017
6:14pm
5 minutes
trueactivist.com

My sister gave birth to a beautiful baby a week ago. It is the happiest my entire family has ever been, and I’m including the time my mom caved and let us get KFC the day we moved into our new house. My sister called her Cleo and all of us can swear we’ve never known love until her. Harper’s doing great. She has a glow. She looks as calm as if she’d been a mother her whole life. It doesn’t look as hard as I thought it would be, of course Harper has always been good at figuring things out. Cleo latched right away and seeing my baby sister stroke her daughter’s cheek as they bond there in the rocking chair–it’s all I need to see to send me into a fit of emotion. I am overcome by how beautiful it all is. Even Danya is in awe, and we never thought she’d step foot in our parents’ house since she tried to burn it down in 1994.

“they fought amongst themselves” by Sasha at her desk


Wednesday May 10, 2017
9:49pm
5 minutes
True Confessions Of Adrian Albert Mole
Sue Townsend


When I saw you for the first time I wasn’t sure about you. I couldn’t believe that you came from my body, my place where I’d lived for thirty nine years. “You’ll never get pregnant,” they’d told me – furrowed brows and lips like a line drawn with a Sharpie – “it’s just not possible”. I swore at the midwife. She was a real cunt, telling me to breathe, trying to feed me frozen mango juice in the shape of little hearts.

“I grasped his.” By Julia at a cabin in Tofino


Wednesday February 22, 2017
10:41pm
5 minutes
Learning to Love You More
Harrell Fletcher and Miranda July


It was sudden in the way that sometimes my own pulse strikes me. I saw his tiny face and I loved it instinctively. I loved everything about him without meaning to; I had not prepared my heart for such surrender. He was something like a perfect feeling. A land without time. The best hug. I threw myself at his helpless feet. I grasped his burden like a swatter catching a fly. I have never thought once about anything.

“what curious sense does it make?” By Julia at Sasha’s kitchen table


Tuesday January 10, 2016
2:45pm
5 minutes
Upstream
Mary Oliver


She looked around the room
wild eyed and buzzing
her tiny eyes still too glassy
to make sense of any faces
or shapes
little hands and noses mushed
into her field of vision
blurring in and out
in and out
Her head was fully held up
by the neck on which it stood
Advanced, some of the other new mothers
were marveling
She was anxious to be independent
ready, rather, since she popped out
her new mother said nonchalantly as she gnawed
on a meaty rib bone with her free hand

She gulped at the air
her mouth the same shape as her tiny fists
eager to be in the glory of it all
curious and young
to be so new and so old
all at the same time
a thousand tiny lifetimes lived
in every breath
every glance
every nod
of her perfect little head

“What little it was” by Sasha on her couch


Friday September 9, 2016
12:17am
5 minutes
No Country For Old Men
Cormac McCarthy


Her shoulders are tight and her nipples are cracked and the baby rolled off the changing table and split his lip. Playground Moms will whisper and glare and she’ll put him in a swing that’s too big and push him too high and he’ll cry like he’s being tortured. Jeff gets home from the late shift and she wants him to fuck her but he grabs her belly fat and shakes his head. She watches The Shopping Channel until she passes out on the couch and wakes up because her tits are leaking Niagara Falls all over the place. The baby starts to cry and she wonders what kind of miracle it is that her tits know when he’s awake. They love him more than she does.

“then gave it to his daughter” by Julia at Starbucks


Friday June 24, 2016 at Starbucks
7:10am
5 minutes
The Govenlock Hotel
Sharon Butala

He was out in the yard gardening, tending to his beloved cherry tree
Those damn birds…
He propped the ladder up and began to climb, explaining himself each step
Then we pick the ones that are good…
And pops a dark survivor cherry right his mouth
And we keep doing that until they’re all gone…
Or until our arms get tired…
And we wait until the warmer months for the sour ones…
Those ones drive your mother crazy…
He scoops her up little into his chest big, holds her with one strong arm, searching for one perfect cherry with the other.
This is why we come out here…
He presents the cherry like a prize for his little thing to take a bite, deep red squeezing out fast, splattering onto her chin and dripping down her canary t-shirt

“I balance unlaced shoes” by Julia at Starbucks


Thursday June 23, 2016 at Starbucks
6:53am
5 minutes
Circling Before Landing
Mariene Crookshaw

Man puts on the radio, turns the dial so slowly
slowly
we hear bits and pieces of moments
and conversations
and music
and static
and we wait until he finds the station
he likes
he can put up with
that won’t make him crazy
He is responsible for us now
he keeps our spirits
in the switch of the dial
in the palm of his hand
In the corner
by the only
window
there is a bony girl in green and black
striped pants
who holds a paper
airplane up to the light
that was here yesterday
she is holding on
for
her turn
to dance
but the music doesn’t stay
the crackling continues
Her mother is lying two feet
away from her
her belly robbed in the
middle
of
the
night
the blood is slowing now
her eyes remain open
pointed at the ceiling
longing for
escape

“poignant revelations about life” By Julia on her couch


Sunday March 6, 2016
9:25pm
5 minutes
mic.com

Sirrah comes over to my house and tells me she is craving ice cream and fried chicken.
She says she’s been craving it since last week. I know immediately that She is pregnant. She never eats fried chicken. I don’t even really believe that she’s craving it now, but I don’t doubt that she is hoping I clue in and ask why she’d ever want to do such an out of character thing.
Sirrah drops another hint about laying off white wine spritzers for a while, even though I haven’t actually offered her anything. She talks a lot about how this life is so short and how we have to find our purpose through offerings and sacrifice. I want to punch Sirrah right in her first trimester. Trying to pass down life lessons to me without asking for permission. I don’t like that she assumes I want the same things as she does. I am perfectly happy without some other human to depend on me- complicating everything. I know that sounds bitter but it isn’t. If I wanted a baby, trust me, there could have been plenty of opportunities.

“Don’t tell anyone.” By Sasha on her couch


Sunday December 6, 2015
8:33pm
5 minutes
http://www.globeandmail.com/life/parenting

Jo and Ellie are at Marg’s and it’s just me and Charlie at home. I call Dad and Deb. It rings eight times before the voicemail message clicks on. They still have one of those real machines, the kind with the little tape. Dad loves to switch up the outgoing message.

“Hi you’ve reached Don and Deb. We’re in Mexico until the New Year, so we probably won’t get this! Send an email!”

Deb is laughing in the background.

Charlie coos, clawing at my shirt. He wants the boob, but my nipples are cracked so I give him a bottle instead. He coos as he sucks. God, I love this boy.

Beep.

“You guys really shouldn’t advertise to the whole world that you’re away! I know that Ella is looking after the plants, but still! What if someone is up to no good and comes to break in or something! Anyway, love you both. Miss you. Really.”

“Her face was like a spring sun halo” by Julia at Shaktea


Friday November 20,2015 at Shaktea
1:06pm
5 minutes
White Heat
M.J. McGrath


I scooped up her tiny face into my hands and I brought her close to mine so I could feel her nose and inhale her intoxicating smell. She smelled of cinnamon and felt comforting to be around. I liked that she didn’t have a sweet smell because when I thought of her defending herself against the world, it put me at ease to think that she’d be a little bit tougher, connected to her roots, fiery, quick.
She was sleeping still and I thought about leaving in that moment so I could remember her like that: peaceful, calm, perfect. I couldn’t bare the idea of her crying at the realization of my absence. I didn’t want to cause her any more pain than I already had.

“feeds your hunger for meaning” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Sunday, October 11,2015
10:51am
5 minutes
An e-mail from The Sun

When Stephen was a baby, his father, Bill, forgot that he was in the bath. Bill liked expensive whiskey, anything over sixty five dollars and he was as golden as a sunbeam. Stephen’s mother, Martha, was at her Women’s Group. Bill didn’t support Martha’s leaving then house on a Monday Night. He didn’t support her leaving the house on any night. She’d leave something in the oven, “All you have to do is turn it on to three hundred and fifty degrees, Bill,” she’d say. Bill put Stephen in the bath and poured himself an expensive whiskey. He turned on the television. Two and a half hours later, Martha got home. “How’s Stephen?” She whispered. Bill ran upstairs.

“OH MY GOD” by Sasha in the basement at Bowmore


Tuesday, August 11, 2015
11:47pm
5 minutes
Overheard on Gerrard St.

“Twenty-seven fifty three, please,” I try not to yawn. The baby in her cart is screaming, his face turning purple, then blue. I cock my head sideways and stick out my tongue. Nothing. His mother is rifling around in her purse. “”OH MY GOD hurry up!” Hunt Wilson is three people behind her in line and I know why he’s grouchy. He’s run out of smokes. “Shut up, Hunt!” I call and then look behind me quickly to make sure that Kevin isn’t there. Safe. He’s taken me into his office before and said, between puffs on his e-cigarette, “Three strikes and you’re out, Christie!” I can’t count how many strikes I’ve had but Kev has a soft spot for me because he lost his virginity to my oldest sister Charlene. “Twenty-seven fifty three…” I say again. I meet her eyes, tears about to escape. “I only have twenty five,” she whispers, desperate. “No problem,” I take her bills and coins and bag her groceries. I add “$2.53” to my list beside the cash. I’ll top up the till before giving it to Kev at the end of my shift.

“I still want to think about safety” By Julia on the Greyhound to Kitchener


Sunday, August 9, 2015
9:44am
5 minutes
Said by Julia’s Uber driver

Colleen you can’t be lifting that shit anymore, you’re gonna hurt the baby for Christ’s sakes.

Forget it, Richie, it’s not even heavy. I don’t like you watching over me and micromanaging my pregnancy every single minute. Give it a rest, she’s gonna hear you and decide she doesn’t want to come out!

Colleen I told you, I want to be here for this baby, I want to help you name this baby, I want to help you love this baby. You can’t be stubborn now! You’re making choices that affect all three of us! How many times do I have to hear myself tell you this?

Richie didn’t you listen to one word I said? I said she, didn’t I? You only hear what you want to hear or what?

Colleen. You said she!! She said she!!

“how to be a parent” by Sasha at the Vancouver Airport


Wednesday, August 5, 2015
1:11pm
5 minutes
from Harper’s at a kiosk at the airport

When Cecelia is three weeks old, Maggie leaves her on her own on the bed and eats cold pizza standing in front of the open fridge. Eventually she hears Cecelia crying and she goes upstairs, but begrudgingly. She looks at Cecelia and says, “What do you want?” Maggie wants to be held but will eventually learn to find comfort in this question from her mother. Maggie will ask Cecelia to call her, “Maggie” not “Mom” or “Mummy”. Cecelia will do as she asks, but not without questions of her own. “You can’t have pizza,” Maggie says. Cecelia wants her milk and she knows it, but isn’t in the mood.

“I got my new hair” by Sasha on her porch


Wednesday, June 24, 2015
5:43pm
5 minutes
Overheard at grange park

“Here we go,” he says, lifting Jo up. He puts her in her carseat. She isn’t sure about how tight it buckles around her waist. She isn’t sure about the smell of Dad’s breath. “Ahhh,” she says. He kisses her on the nose. “You’re a buttercup, Jo. You’re my little sunshine buttercup.” He closes the door and gets in the front seat. “Like my new hair, Jo?” He asks, checking himself out in the rearview mirror. “Gaaaa,” she says.

Somewhere on the highway, away from the buses and the hum of the city, he pulls over and calls Veronique. “Honey, I’ve got Jo. We’re going to visit your brother.” She hears her mother’s resistance and makes a small coo in solidarity.

“Let me just say he did some pretty terrible things” by Julia at Valens Restaurant


Friday, June 12, 2015
5:01pm
5 minutes
Overheard at Valens

Graham was finally allowed to see his daughter in two years and he wasn’t going to sabotage himself this time. No chance in hell was he willing to risk anything getting in the way of that sweet angel face. Gina didn’t want to bring her. She said a prison is not the place she wanted Olivia to associate him with. She said this isn’t good for the baby. Graham wanted to believe that she was still too young to be affected by this or anything that he was guilty of doing. But Olivia wasn’t a baby anymore. She was three now. She had nightmares and daydreams and memories. And graham had missed the part where she didn’t have those. Where she hadn’t grown up without a daddy yet.

“I got you I won’t let go” by Sasha at Kits beach


Monday, June 1, 2015
5:13pm
5 minutes
I got You Babe
Sonny and Cher


Hiding behind her neighbour’s wisteria bush, Ronnie marvels at how well Judy keeps her yard. “That grass… It’s fucking perfect,” she says. Ronnie forgets where she left the baby. She says a prayer for him, “Jesus, please keep James safe while I’m out of the house,” and goes back to her watching. She’s taken up this spot several times over the last week – only when Derek is at work. If he were home she wouldn’t need this, she’d have adult company. She sips from her Starbucks travel mug, a gift from Derek on her first mother’s day. The vodka is flavoured by the coffee that’s sometimes contained inside. Judy emerges from her back door in an aqua bikini top and khaki shorts. “Seriously?!” Ronnie mumbles, drinking deep. “She had Adelaide five months ago!” Judy looks towards the bush, cocks her head like a beagle, and then delicately unravels the garden hose. She sets up the sprinkler.

“Happy Mother’s Day” by Sasha in Horseshoe Bay


Sunday May 10, 2015
8:33pm
5 minutes
from a sign at the florist

spit up on the front of this goodwill shirt
i don’t have much of it
goodwill
so tired i might puke too
flowers
i don’t want flowers
i want sex and a steak and in that order
if you really knew the way to my heart
you wouldn’t have given me this creature that cries all the time
and bites my nipples so hard that they bleed
i’ve gotten fatter than i’ve ever been
your gaze like a canon ball
the beauty you once fell for
gone
like the cat
poster on the tree at the end of the street
my body
all stretch marks and cellulite
my face
all frown lines and bags under my eyes
“diamonds” you used to say
diamonds
twinkle twinkle little star
how i wonder what you are
where you’ve been
i’m not sure about this creature
whether he’ll turn out alright
i’m not sure about how tiny his toes are
puts me off

“Abundance” by Julia at her desk


Friday May 1, 2015
4:38pm
5 minutes
from a vintage matchbook

Daddy and little girl
Playing with new tricycle and puppy
Good man
Good good man
And the ball bouncing one two three
Happiness until the air runs out
Mommy comes with belly full of baby new
Big sister runs and jumps
Daddy pushes little girl on swing
WEEE!
HIGHER!
Laughing and family growing
Tell me when you get cold!
Mommy and puppy new keep their watchful eyes open
Little girl dragging tricycle along
Can’t ride it if you don’t get back on!
Daddy kneels down next to little girl
I’m right beside you, don’t be afraid.
Mommy and belly baby new, Daddy and little girl smile

“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.

“we realize we can’t eat money” by Sasha at her desk


Saturday March 21, 2015
6:24pm
5 minutes
from an Indian Proverb

We realize we can’t eat money so we eat
banana pudding instead
The texture reminds us of babyhood of being
held close to the heartbeat of
the source
We slop it up like it’s delicious
fooling ourselves
Joke’s on us
Joke’s on the ice cream sundae
No banana split for old time’s sake
We realize we can’t keep eating banana pudding because
it’s making us sick
We’re turning soft
Ripened on the counter
Speckling brown and black

“we realize we can’t eat money” by Julia at her desk


Saturday March 21, 2015
6:24pm
5 minutes
from an Indian Proverb

It stops me in my tracks for a second. We can’t keep it, eat it, turn it into fuel and be nurtured by it. We can’t take it with us, weave it into our bodies, make it anything but what it is. It stops me. It stops me in my tracks. When the world is spinning so fast it looks like it’s still..
That’s how it hits me, moves me, like a tectonic plate. I don’t know what I need usually -to remember this. A baby’s laughter, the oil painting of a woman breast feeding her new-born, a warm hug that lasts for at least 6 seconds, the poetry I buy with the currency of my tears. I am energy, I eat energy, I do not eat money. I wear artistic expression. I do not wear money. I think in hearts and hope. I do not think in money.

“You’ll be an architect” by Sasha at the UBC Learning Exchange


Sunday February 1, 2015
6:02pm
5 minutes
I’ll Keep You Safe
A song by Sleeping At Last


You’ll be an architect and I’ll be an Interior Designer. You’ll wear square glasses and I’ll wear brightly coloured, impractical shoes. We’ll live in a square house that people will walk by and take pictures of and wonder how the roof works, where the rain goes. Mostly we’ll work separately but sometimes we’ll work together and there will be passionate fights and confusing make-up sex. You’ll splurge on high end stereo equipment. I’ll splurge on designer lipstick. When we go out to eat, you always order steak, rare. I sometimes order fish, I sometimes order pasta. We don’t keep it at home, so it just makes sense. You don’t want children and I don’t either. Except this month, when the moon is full and I keep feeling a phantom newborn sucking on my nipple.

“When did we leave for thing there?” By Sasha at her kitchen table


Sunday January 18, 2015
10:10pm
5 minutes
Overheard at Julia’s aunt’s house

Little one, if you call? I’ll be there before you can say my name again, before you can blink twenty times, before you get scared. If you’re tucked in and you get a chill, close your eyes and imagine you’re on the beach and the ocean is coo-ing you and crashing you to warmth and sleep. My baby, the nightmares come, they do, I’m sorry, but so do the ecstatic dreams of present and future. When the nightmares come just meet them. Meet them, don’t run. They’ll chase you if you try to get away. Face them and say, “HEY! YOU!” And be patient because maybe around the next corner is something fabulous. When we leave things behind, we rarely need to go back for them, they are usually good just where they are. I love you, monkey, I love you fiercely and massively. I love you wider than the sky.

“he loved it when I forced him into seasonal costumes” by Julia on Katie’s couch in London


Friday December 12, 2014
5:36am
5 minutes
from Minnie Driver’s Instagram feed

Tonight Kip is looking perfect in his elf suit. The ears are just subtle enough and his strong body is showing through the tight striped T. I’m not one to brag, but I’ve outdone myself this time. All the ladies are swooning at this Christmas bachelorette and the feeling in the room is definitely a merry one! Part of the excitement is watching him entice other women, knowing full well I get to take him home directly after so many others have been wanting him.

Last year, a bit different, I made him be the stork at Jenna’s baby shower. He was not happy about it but he was the only one who could capture the essence of one so effortlessly. I never told him he had the easy energy of a bird but he knew he had it in him and he knew he had to share that because it was the right thing to do.

“Share with a friend!” by Julia at her desk


Wednesday November 26, 2014
6:45pm
5 minutes
from a thank you card

She stole my baby name and that’s why we’re not friends. I told her, I said, I’m really excited about this name, it means a lot to Philip and I, and I can’t think of a single better name for our future child. So I laid it all out. I was honest, I was candid. I made sure she knew the stakes were high for me. There has to be some sort of unwritten, or even written, fully and explicitly written rule about baby name theft. And how if it’s not illegal, should be. Even if someone isn’t pregnant, it doesn’t mean their baby name is not still something incredibly important. And Sheila was pregnant, sure, and fine, but, but, she took something from me. A million other names in the free world, and my best friend, takes my best name, and then acts like we never had that really clear conversation about what we would name our kids that rainy march saturday afternoon. The nerve. So obviously when I found out that I was unable to conceive, I withheld that information from Sheila because I learned to only share important things with real friends.

“Detour 23” by Sasha on the porch at Knowlton Lake


Sunday Aug 3, 2014
3:11pm
5 minutes
from a Pembina Hwy sign

At Detour 23 I pull over and change Lenny’s diaper. He’s been wet since Detour 17 and screamed bloody murder for the last handful of miles. “What kinda mother are you?” Cody kept saying. “Go back there an’ do it! I’m driving!” Cody got a DUI last November. His favorite thing to do is drive. It’s made him a different kinda person… The kinda person you wouldn’t trust around a kitten or to make you breakfast. “He’s your kid!” Cody screamed. I will not get into this, I will not get into this, I will not get into this, I will not get into this… I close my eyes and imagine the Old Growth forests we’re driving towards. I imagine climbing into a tree, Lenny strapped to my bike, and living there for a very long time.

“Pure Life” by Julia in the car


Thursday July 31, 2014
8:44pm
5 minutes
the nestle water bottle

She was PURE LIFE. PURE JOY. I held her for the first time and I DIED. I MELTED. I wanted to stay seated on that wicker rocking chair that didn’t rock anymore FOREVER. FOR HER. She was honestly the best moment of my life. She was PURE LOVE. PURE HAPPINESS. I wanted to build a bubble of warmth and love around her fuzzy little head and hold her until she was too big to want that. That way I could pour all of my undying love into her bubble and feed her with is so she would know how special and worth it and truly unequivocally loved she was. This little thing without opinions of the world yet, without the sadness, the jaded crispiness that comes from getting left behind, or getting told you’re ugly, or getting felt up by a stranger at a sleazy hot dog stand one stupid night in Sacramento. This little thing without pain, and without anger, and without wanting so much that the world seems so unwilling to give. I would have shown her that all she needed to do was sleep there and giggle sometimes and hold my finger. I would have loved her the way I needed to be loved.

“I watch a news clip of” by Sasha in her garden


Wednesday July 9, 2014
9:02pm
5 minutes
We Should Do Something
Laurel Leigh


I watch the news clip again and again and I can’t believe he said it and I can’t believe it’s real.

“Are you sure?”
“Yes.”
“How sure?”
“I went to the fucking doctor.”
Silence.

She’s crying and he’s on the other side of the road, wringing his hands, hanging his head, shuffling his feet.

“Rebecca, you’ve gotten yourself into a very delicate position…”
There are other ways I can think of putting it. There are others ways I can think of. There are other ways that a man can turn away, can run, can forget to return your phone calls or your iPhone charger.

“I’m sorry. We should’ve been more careful…” Is what he says.
I’m drowning.

“Why don’t you meet me at Frans for breakfast and we can talk this out in person?” He’s whispering, which means she’s close by.
“No I will not fucking eat pancakes while you tell me to get an abortion!” I scream and I feel his silence like a knife in my ribs. I hang up the phone.

I call my mother.

“not liable for any consequential damages” by Julia at MAKE coffee+stuff


Wednesday June 25, 2014 at MAKE
4:49pm
5 minutes
the Canon Camera User Guide

Of course she’d say that. She’s the kind of person who says things like that. Honestly, Dai, I’m not even remotely surprised by her anymore. Of course not. No, of course not. Because she glides around with this holier than though attitude and I can’t stand it no more. No because why should I? No really, she’s supposed to strut around and not take any responsibility for her actions while I sit here trying to figure out exactly what I’m supposed to do with her? She’s a mess. Dai, I’m telling you, she’s a real problem, you’ll see. What are you telling me for? Go tell her, she’s your damn cousin. Yeah so what, I know we’re all related. When she makes me mad like this I pretend she doesn’t even belong to this family. Because, Dai. Because, Dai. Why I gotta tell you everything, what you don’t think for yourself no more? Honestly? Because of the whole baby thing. I know she didn’t mean to get herself knocked up or nothin’, but it’s her choices, you know, all of them, that lead me to think that she had it planned in some way. Oh you see how happy she is, how smiley she is cause she got the nice warm pink smell of a new baby on her skin.

“was just perfect” by Julia at her kitchen table


Thursday May 29, 2014
10:18pm
5 minutes
shutterbean.com

baby bruised me yesterday on my right arm. i said baby, it’s okay, it’s not your fault.
i said, don’t worry baby, it doesn’t hurt. baby didn’t mean to bruise me. i wanted baby to squeeze my arm as hard as possible because i couldn’t feel it in that moment. i wasn’t sure if it was still mine. i didn’t know if it had any blood left in it to keep it alive. baby squeezed and said, tell me when it’s too much. and i said, i will, i will. baby squeezed and i closed my eyes and felt connected to my body again. baby watched my expression and kept squeezing. i just breathed and breathed as if for the first time. i said, harder, or a little harder, and baby didn’t stop. baby pressed harder, my blood barreling down my veins again like the first day of spring. barreling down into my hand, my fingertips, flooding my limb with life and revitalized juices to keep me going. baby looked down and saw there was a mark. baby said, did i hurt you, tell me. and i said, you could never hurt me. you made me better. you always make me better. that was the feeling i had. like everything was perfect.

“Safety pocket” by Sasha at her desk


Wednesday March 5, 2014
10:33pm
5 minutes
the box of matches

I’m not sorry for calling your name in my sleep and waking up my wife. I’m not sorry. See, I never told her about you and I had no choice now and that was a good thing. I can’t blame you on PTSD. I can’t blame you on rum. I can’t blame you on forgetting that I had a wife and twin girls and a blue doored house back home. I’m not sorry.

Okay. I hear you, Eric. But when you arrived today you said you felt “sorry”. That was your word. Why did you say that?

Because I’m sorry that Rebecca feels betrayed. That’s her word. “You fucking betrayed us!” She screamed. And she doesn’t just speak for herself. She speaks for the girls, too. That’s the worst part. And it’s true, I guess. I did. But she doesn’t know what it’s like there. She doesn’t know that Kabul smells like fresh baked bread and that the women have eyes like wolves.

“simultaneously ancient” by Sasha on her couch


Wednesday January 22, 2014
11:02pm
5 minutes
KINFOLK, Volume 10

My Poppa was a repo man and he’d come in tired as a horizon at dusk. My Momma would ring her hands as she looked out the kitchen window like she was hoping for something to drip down from them – cherry cordial or lime juice or blood or sunshine. There was an easy feeling before the winter but in it, there was a weight to feet on the floorboards, creaking into the darkness. I never laughed so loud as the time my brother Aaron told me that there was nothing that was gonna stop him from leaving the farm. I never cried as much as when Baby Charlotte decided to die. We’d seen birth and death since we were little, a kitten swept into the compost pile or a cow giving herself to our bellies, bullet in the head. Charlotte was different though. We’d been so excited for a baby girl, after the twins, after enough blue blankets. I’d rubbed Momma’s belly with oil and whispered to her in there. She had the whitest skin of any of us. “I can see her wormy veins,” said Jeffrey, peeking into her cradle. “Shhhh,” I said. When Charlotte decided to die, it was like a snow had come, cloaking the house in whispers and shadow and porridge.

“you can ride on its back” by Julia on her couch


Thursday, January 2, 2014
2:10am
5 minutes
The Yak
A poem by Hilaire Belloc


It will take you where you want to go and you wont even need to say the name of the place…it just knows. It’s part of you, but you don’t have to recognize that if you think it takes some of the romance out of the situation…like explaining that a shooting star is really just the visible path of a meteoroid as it enters the atmosphere, becoming a meteor. Sort of takes the wind out; sort of brings it back down to earth in the same way..
But that’s why it works. I just want to be real about it, let you know what you should know.
It’s part of you and so it knows better than anyone else. But forget it, we don’t have to discuss this kind of thing anymore. It’s not really necessary. It’s just extra, in case you’re curious about self-actualizing at all…not that you have to be. But. You see, I’m nervous. I can’t quit day dreaming about being there for the first day you meet yourself. It’s like hearing a baby say his or her first word, and that first word being ‘mama’. It’s life-changing. And I’m just excited for you when that happens. When your world takes off. It will take you exactly where you want to go.

“10 days prior” by Sasha at her desk


Friday December 27, 2013
7:23pm
5 minutes
Application for a Special Occasions Permit

Ten days prior to the coldest day of the year, Marnie had a baby girl. They hadn’t found a name for her yet. Marnie had listened to every one of her seashells and searched in every recipe book, Bible and receipt envelope. No name had landed. Gideon cared less about the name and more about the colour of the walls of her room. Should he sponge-paint mauve or paper floral?

Ten days later, after twenty-seven hours of pushing and crying and drinking fresh squeezed citrus juice, they held a baby girl between them. Gideon turned to Marnie. “Well,” he said, not too loud so as to not disturb his sleeping daughter, “what’s it gonna be, buttercup?”

“modern doughnuts” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Saturday December 21, 2013
12:02am
5 minutes
From the Jelly doughnut store sign on College

There’ll be sushi
charcuterie
baked brie
figs and honey
you and me

I’m going to make you a spread like you’ve never seen before

I never thought I’d delight in setting a table
In finding an antique table cloth at the flea market
And stitching it where it was worn
In lighting the candles
And decanting the wine

I wish I’d been there when you were born
Maybe that sounds far out
I wish I’d been the one to catch you
To wash you
To see you first

“sometimes enlightenment” by Julia on her couch


Tuesday, October 1, 2013
12:30am
5 minutes
Grand Theft Auto 5

Sometimes enlightenment will come back to bite you right in the ass.
Umm, actually? Did you just use enlightenment and ass in the same sentence?
Yes. And I’m not apologizing. Did I offend you?
Yes. Which is nothing new. Not since you lost the baby.
Ahh, the mighty old exposition. Tell me again why my life is such a fucking failure.
I never said that. I would never ever say that.
You don’t have to. We’re braided together like soft cheese.
And I’m supposed to respond to that…how…exactly…?
SOMETIMES ENLIGHTENMENT CAN SUCK. THAT’S ALL. You want a remedy for this? For me?
Easy. I’m not even mad right now.
But I’m not good for you like this.
No, you’re not. But you’re fucking lucky I already love you.
Otherwise?
Otherwise I wouldn’t.
I appreciate your honesty. I’d rather not know most things because the truth is a wicker basket filled with regret. But not when you do it. When you do it, I respect you more.
Great.
Yes. It fucking is.

“on the contrary” by Sasha on the Bathurst streetcar


Wednesday, September 18, 2013
4:42pm
5 minutes
from the Dawn to Earth pamphlet

I left the city. Bunny came with me. He got his own seat on the bus and everything. He didn’t cry much, only once when we stopped and we didn’t get to buy a chocolate bar. I told him it would be better where we were going. Better than Hal trying to get us to eat cheese from a can and Mommy laughing at the empty bottles. I told him that Babar would never make us do the stack of dishes. All I knew was that Babar lived in Fance. I figured France must be close to London. I knew we could take a bus to London because I’d seen it on the Departure screen when we’d gone to St. Thomas to visit Aunt Ashley at Christmas. I told Bunny how Babar would treat us like princes and we still might have to share a room, but it would be so big we wouldn’t even notice. Bunny just looked at me like, “Drool”.

“There is an old joke” by Julia at her kitchen table


Friday, September 6, 2013
6:38pm
5 minutes
The Fireman And The Waitress
Dessa Kaspardlov


I catch myself laughing sometimes at the wind and all its misery.
So bleak, so dark, and yet, free, as if it doesn’t even know it’s sad.
I don’t mean to be rude.
But the sounds of violins remind me that I’m better off. That I have exactly what I asked for.
That I don’t need the breeze, even when it’s teasing me.
The universe and I go way back. She gives me what I need and I just put it into a want-cloud for her to brush up against.
I know the symptoms of a happy life.
I own one.
My new happy, shiny life.
I break the news to the insects and to the sunbeams in all their abundance.
I’m having a baby! I exclaim to them.
I’m having a perfect realization baby!
I catch myself laughing.
I know it’s not quite common, or appropriate.
But I asked the dusk to put in a good word for me at the star library.
I take whatever sparkles brightest and I return them whenever I feel I’m done with them.
No one thinks I’m just going to run off with them without payment.
I’ve made sure I held the honesty tight to my chest just in case someone asked me to spell my last name to prove who I was.

“you fit the part” by Sasha on the Lansdowne bus


Sunday , August 11, 2013
11:12pm
5 minutes
from a thank you card from a friend

I am sitting on the bus. It’s late, not the witching hour but late enough that there’s a tickle of tired in everybody’s eyes. A man is slumped in a solo seat. He is asleep. There’s a baby carriage near him, with a sleeping boy, two or three. They both sleep. It’s peaceful and disturbing. When the bus starts to pull away, the carriage goes lurching forward. I gasp. I put my foot out to stop it, I grab at the side. The boy doesn’t wake. Neither does the man. “Uh…” I say, mostly to the bus driver, a little to the woman with a shaved head sitting across from me reading her Kindle. I want to take the boy out of the carriage and sing to him, I want to adopt him, I want to start his university fund. The man sleeps. The bus driver tries to rouse him, unsuccessfully. “Is he drunk?” I ask. “No,” says the driver, matter-of-fact. “He’s sad.” I don’t ask how the driver knows this man is sad, perhaps there is a code of understanding reserved for those that encounter people day-in-day-out of all corners of this city. Perhaps it’s a “guy” thing. He’s sad. He’s sleeping. He’s sad. Okay. I get down on my knees and put the lock on the wheel of the stroller.

“he comes up with a plan” by Sasha on her couch


Tuesday May 7, 2013
12:37pm
5 minutes
The back of The Store DVD case

He comes up with a plan, one that he deems responsible. He writes it down in a three-ring notebook that he finds on a bottom shelf at the Dollar Store. First, he goes and gets a haircut. He closes his eyes when the barber massages his scalp and he doesn’t even care if it looks dumb. He almost asks the barber to keep going for a bit, he almost makes an offer for an extra five dollars. He could probably get a whole thing of diapers for five dollars. He doesn’t ask. When he gets home, to the basement apartment that he and Polly moved in to last September when they got evicted from their last place in Scarborough, he sits down at the kitchen table and starts his plan, his list, his on-paper, written-down, how-to. Number one: get a better job. He’s been working at the No Frills in the Produce department since they got to the new neighbourhood. He worked full-time but they could barely pay the bills. Number two: start a Savings Account. He wanted that baby to get to go to college if he wanted, or go to camp, or try his hand at sailing. The savings account would be called “BABY”, and once they decided on a name he’d change it. It was a place to start.

“St. George” by Julia on her couch


Sunday, March 24, 2013
12:06am
5 minutes

St. George Subway

Sid was cutting the cuticles from her toenails while watching the nightly news. One more murder, she mumbled out loud with her turban toweled head cocked to one side. She had been waiting for her gluten-free carrot cake to be done in the oven but couldn’t help herself and had to keep opening the door to check. She was thinking about it again when the phone rang. Sid didn’t want to answer it, she wasn’t expecting anyone. But she did in spite of herself. She waited on the line while a man ran off some uninteresting facts about car dealerships and how buying a car is as important as adopting a baby. Sid never wanted a baby but her belly was growing with every new day and she found herself watching a lot of disturbing news stories or terrifying slasher films. She was getting acquainted with the idea of death so she’d be better equipped to handle it if it ever threatened her existence. Or her baby’s.

“Be able to talk” by Sasha at her desk


Friday, December 7, 2012
5:32pm
5 minutes
The notebook of Caitlin Fysh

We couldn’t believe our luck when James came to us. We’d been trying for over nine years, two miscarriages and many long cries to show for it. James’ birth mother, Becky, was a high school student in the neighbouring town. She chose us because Don is a teacher and… I guess she liked that. And it didn’t hurt that I was a nurse, travelling the handicapped and elderly in Dublin for homecare. We were in the hospital when Becky was in a labor, for sixteen long hours, something about her small size and no space for our James. They did a C-section eventually, Don and I pacing the waiting room, getting delirious and then excited and then angry and then all those things over again. Finally at five in the morning, the doctor called us in to the nursery. We saw our boy for the first time. He had a full head of dark hair and the tiniest fingers and toes. “Is there a… deformity?” Don asked. The doctor laughed and said that he was in tip top shape.

“The sheriff nodded.” by Julia at her kitchen table


Sunday, November 25, 2012
9:49pm
5 minutes
A Lesson Before Dying
Ernest J. Gaines


I wasn’t going anywhere without Lucy. I would be damned if they locked me up this very moment and I had to watch her watch me get taken in. I knew damn well that Lucy wasn’t going to be coming with me. And suddenly I realized: I couldn’t go either. I was stuck to that girl like glue, you understand. Her freckles, her smile. I was lost in her baby blues the first time I laid eyes on her. She was shivering in the cold, wet from the rain, and alone. And I picked up that perfect little girl, with the coat off of my own back, and I cradled her there. Remember singing to her until she fell asleep, poor thing. Couldn’t stop shaking until she was dreaming. I wanted her to know I was there, and that I wasn’t going no place else because we had developed a perfect bond, you see. I never wanted children. Not in my whole life. I wanted a dog, maybe a cat if I got too lonely, but never ever a kid. Then that day, her tiny body sitting in a pothole on the road? You think I’m going to turn my back on her? Absolutely impossible. Some sorry excuse for a human being left her there on purpose. Couldn’t care for her. Well I couldn’t either, but that didn’t stop me, you see what I mean. I was going to keep this girl alive if it were the last thing I did.
I didn’t want to explain that whole story to the sheriff. Something about his smirk told me he wouldn’t understand. Or if he would, I knew he just wouldn’t believe me.