“itching for Presidency” by Julia on S, G,and E’s patio

Saturday June 16, 2018
11:03pm
5 minutes
The Politician
H.L. Mencken

Watch the sky turn from velvet to suede
The city, whatever the opposite of itching, below
It is easier than it was the last time
The last time I wasn’t myself and still they loved me
The last time I was eating scraps of pizza and noodles and
the one most lie me told her aunt that I ate A LOT of food
I didn’t mean to be so hungry
I was worried about dying and leaving them dead
I am worried about their parents and I wonder where they are

The waxing crescent moon is keeping score tonight
Making sure I don’t rely on all my usual charms
The city can look so beautiful when the light hits it right
I only eat the watermelon cut into slices
I only take a blueberry yogurt and a chicken finger
I am the boss and they know it but they do not care
And I do not make them care
I make them feel important
I tell them they are

“Did you try to reply to my email about confidence?” By Sasha at Knowlton Lake

Wednesday September 27, 2017
8:42am
5 minutes
From an e-blast

Dear Theresa,

First, let me start by saying I’m delighted that you’ve joined our team. You are a welcome addition. Your intuitive approach, coupled with your intellect are benefitting the team. Several of your colleagues are singing your praises to upper management daily.

I’m writing to address the superlative questions that layer each of your emails. Please stop it. I find that several employees have this unfortunate habit, and it undermines intellect and experience. You are a qualified leader. Own it.

“Certified manager” by Julia on her couch


Friday April 14, 2017
10:13pm
5 minutes
from a business card

Barry is my boss and also my father. He does not let me take home extra envelopes or paper clips. Once he said I could have the left over pinapple from the staff party, but other than that he’s a pretty big stickler for the rules. He’s the middle child so I guess you could say he was a big advocate for justice. Things always needed to be fair. Barry is a good boss and a good father. He sends me letters when I travel, he walks me all the way to the baggage drop off at the airport. Barry has a picture of me in his wallet singing into a toy microphone. He tells his other emplpoyees very little about himself. I’m the only one who knows his birthday.

“you are not the first” by Sasha on her couch


Tuesday December 6, 2016
9:28pm
5 minutes
aware
Alyxandra Harvey-Fitzhenry


Kevin keeps joking about the icy streets and people wiping out but no one is laughing. All I can hear is his stupid voice cawing like a crow. Sometimes I dream about Kevin and I wake up and I’m pissed. I try to stay focused –

“Hello, Milner and Associates, this is Deborah, how may I help you?”

but it’s so hard. If he wasn’t the boss I would report him. We all would. My favourite thing is when he comes and stands behind me and times how long it takes for me to type up some bullshit that he’s asked me to email to Jed.

“Nice work, Deb! You came in under thirty six seconds!”

Douchebag.

“With a couple of girlfriends” by Sasha on her couch


Saturday November 26, 2016
8:51pm
5 minutes
Overheard at BC Children’s Hospital

“What are you hoping to get out of this position in regards to personal growth?”

Genevieve squints at me and re-crosses her legs.

“Um, well, I’ve always wanted to work in the charity sector, you know, like, give back?”

She doesn’t move a muscle. Didn’t they teach you about mirroring body language in your HR trainings? Are you capable of nodding or saying “Mm-hm” or something?

There are five seconds of agonizing silence. Are you waiting for me to say more? What more is there to say? I thought that this job was mine? What is happening?

“You aren’t really a people person, are you Becky?” Genevieve pulls her Blackberry out of the pocket of her blazer and starts typing furiously.

“Am I supposed to answer that?”

“the hands upraised” by Julia on her couch


Friday November 25, 2016
8:01pm
5 minutes
from the back of a Buddha greeting card

She was the kind of person
who declared things,
sent everything up to the sky then washed her hands of it. Nothing to debate.
This is feeling. Feeling is real. I feel. I am.
Thank you. Goodnight.
He hadn’t stopped her yet from saying everything gospel.
Telling it all to the hilltops. Mountains.
He hadn’t noticed yet the tone she wasn’t intending.
Made it seem okay
or fine
or nothing. But maybe
was noticing it.
Maybe silently adding it up in weapons of mass cold shoulder
or gas light
which is to say
destruction.
She had put her arms up that night to veto the smell of his feet. No ifs or ands–
he changed his socks emphatically.

“The owner kindly said it was not working out” by Julia in Amanda’s bed


Friday, January 8, 2016
12:06am
5 minutes
A Facebook status

I usually don’t, but sometimes when the light is right I feel like I should apologize for all the prosciutto I used to steal from the very first restaurant I worked at. I know there are worse things to steal and I like to tell myself that I had my reasons but even justifying it makes me sort of wish I had chosen a different way to rebel. I mainly remember sneaking the expensive and coveted cured meat for the following reasons:
1. I was trying to punish my boss for making me work every brunch by myself
2. I was trying to punish my boss for never having enough cash to pay me in full
3. I was trying to punish my boss for hating women
4. I was trying to punish my boss for only offering to feed me at midnight

“Closed now” by Julia on her couch


Monday, December 14, 2015
11:26pm
5 minutes
From a Google search

Nobody is here to take your coat. Nobody is here at all. They all went home. Sanders said they could go early for Christmas. Sanders told them all they had to come to a unanimous decision. At first Donna didn’t want to go early because she was worried she wouldn’t have enough money to buy her son the snowboard he wanted. She cried for about 30 minutes straight until Lise and Desmond told her they’d chip in to help. They just wanted to get out of there. They were worried that Sanders would make them stay the whole night just cause he didn’t have anyone to go home to. Donna finally agreed and wouldn’t stop saying “thank you so very much. Thank you to the moon and back!”
I’m only here because I was waiting for you…

“thank you for your hate” by Julia in Piazza del Francia


Monday October 27, 2014
1:09pm
5 minutes
from an e-mail

I’ve received numerous letters from viewers this week and I wanted to share with you the major themes they all have in common. As you are well aware, we set the example for those at home and when those at home see you at work, they follow your actions without thinking and they do what you do. Now you may be thinking, Marlena, great stockings today, but how are we supposed to know which behaviour the viewers at home will want to emulate? How, Marlena, should we prepare ourselves for the randoms and for the sheep-like viewers? And to that I will respond with, Thank you, they’re from Barclay’s, and because you don’t know what they’ll do, you must always behave accordingly. Now the first thing I’m going to talk about is one that’s really inspired a different breed of human to participate. I am going to say this only once: WE DO NOT EAT OVER OUR CATS. Does anyone know why we don’t do this, aside from having to spend 2-3 minutes pulling the couscous from their fur while debating whether or not it can be washed off and still eaten??

“The realist canon” by Sasha on the 99 Bus


Thursday October 23, 2014
1:32pm
5 minutes
Realisms of Redress
Natalie Alvarez


She tells me that she knew there was something thick in that autumn air before he even asked her to stay late. She tells me that she could feel his eyes on her ass and her breasts, eyelashes to nipples to curve to skin. She tells me that she stayed late because she thought it might be about the deadline, the recent fire, the recent hire, or that she’d been sick last week. “Three days,” she said, twisting her ponytail. “Three whole days.” She tells me that when she went into his office, his tie was off and his shirt was unbuttoned. “Just past the collarbone.” She tells me that she felt that pit in her stomach sinking further into the earth, a Grand Canyon, an ocean, a Ground Zero.

“Now get your ass over here!!!” By Sasha at her kitchen table


Saturday October 18, 2014
12:18pm
5 minutes
Advanced Italian Grammar
Marcel Danesi


“Alan! Get your ass over here!!!” Bernie has one of those voices you hope you’ll never have to hear at seven ten in the God damn morning. “Do you have to shriek like that? It’s early…” I want to kick Leonard. Bernie takes a long pause and then rises from his desk. “What did you just say to me?” “I just, ah…” Leonard shrinks into his sweater vest like a fucking turtle. “I’ll talk however I want, Leonard, because guess what?! I’M THE FUCKING BOSS HERE! I’M THE BOSS! So, shut up, drink your orange juice and get to WORK!” Poor Lisbeth is plugging her ears. I think there’s a tear forming in her eye… If she cries, I might. It’s that bad. Alan’s made his way to Bernie’s desk and he’s waiting, shaking. Poor guy’s wife just gave birth to a stillborn. He does not look good. I try to catch his eye to wink at him or something, but his gaze is fixed on the floor.

“a real nice desk-sofa” by Julia at her desk


Wednesday June 11, 2014
3:31pm
5 minutes
A quote from Ian

I hate everything about everything and the only thing I like in my life right now is my purple hair. That’s it. That’s all I like. And I don’t feel even a little bit weird that I only got this hair colour in my late 20s when everyone else my age started dying their hair crazy colours in high school. I needed to do it because I felt like I was losing touch with myself, so I did it, and I don’t regret it, but I hate everything about everything because I lost my job because I wouldn’t dye it back to normal. How stupid is that? Do I look any different with purple hair streaks than I do with brown straight hair that just gets tied up everyday like some cookie-cutter version of myself? I mean, yeah, it looks really different, and my boss was just confused with my life choice because I couldn’t explain to him my life phase, but I mean, I still have the same face. Or I mean, sort of. I did pierce my lip, and my nose, and my eye-brow. But whatever it’s the same face with just accessories! Nobody got mad at Janice for losing 73 pounds and now looking like a coat rack holding chicken skin.

“chicken liver pate”by Julia on the plane to Philadelphia


Monday April 14, 2014
2:59pm
5 minutes
The Grid
April 10-16, 2014

He said he’d return it if it got sent over to his table. Said he thought it was inhumane. Said don’t even bother trying to impress him by sending over your best items. It was already too late having things like that on the menu in the first place.
When I met him I thought I was going to shoot myself in the face. Out of just being so tired of dealing with his ever present presence and his attitude toward the waitstaff. I wanted to shoot myself in the face. I wanted to shoot him him the face. But instead I smiled politely and I worked harder then I thought I would just to distract myself from his persona.
I knew about his disdain for foie gras. I knew he hated it and was making a big scene. So I’m the one who got it sent over to his table. I admit, I wanted to see what he’d do. I wanted to see what he’d do when the cameras weren’t rolling, when the reporters weren’t reporting, when he was alone, or thought he was.
And I watched him look around and take a bite. And then I watched him smile and take another.

“With lots of ice-creams” by Sasha at Moksha Yoga Downtown


Saturday March 1, 2014 at Moksha Yoga Downtown
5:14pm
5 minutes
My Dream World
Parul Naveen


You got those leetle ice-creams that aren’t reeeealy ice-creams but they look like them in those leetle cookie cones. Monique says, “Why you not put the diapers in the kitchen garbage? Smells like poop in Isabelle’s room!” Monique isn’t the boss of me but I pretend it’s ok for her to talk like this to me. “I put, I put…” I say, quiet. I put those diapers in the downstairs garbage but it’s full so I bring it to the garage. Nice garage. You know, this word, “garage”? Strange strange. I look at all Missus’ nice boxes with big labels and I think about how much they have they don’t use ever. In the box. In the garage. Monique says none of my business. I say, is my business because this is my job.

“He was a rich asshole.” by Sasha on her couch


Sunday, December 16, 2012
7:12pm
5 minutes
Hands Off
An essay by Miranda July


He was a rich asshole, yes, but he had those hands and those eyes and that sideways smile that makes my heart go BOOM BOOM BOOM so loud I think he might hear it. “Ruth? Can you please bring me the Jefferson file?” He says. I pause. I think. I think maybe he glanced at my boobs, bigger since Christmas vacation, and looking particularly good today in a blue striped sweater. “Of course!” He returns to his office and a few moments later I knock, as I always do, the file tucked under my arm. “Here you go, Mr. Jenkins…” I say, unsure if there’s more maybe, unsure if I could go on and not have it be rambly ridiculousness. “Ruth…” He says, when I’m partway out the door, “if my wife calls – ” “Tell her you’re in the conference room?” He smiles that sideways smile and, you guessed it, my heart makes the sound of a very large drum. A very, very large drum. “God, you’re good,” he says. I wish he was talking about something else, that I was good at something more close and nasty than remembering the memos concerning his diamond-wearing, clutch-tucking, lip-smacking wife. “Have you booked Ballentine in for tomorrow morning?” The intimacy of our interactions are thrilling, aren’t they?